Venables previews Texas Tech's offense

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables talks about his seniors and the matchup against Texas Tech's high-powered offense. Oklahoma's defense ranks 1st in the Big 12 in total defense and passing efficiency defense, whil the Red Raiders rank 1st in total offense and passing offense. (AP Photo)

Below are excerpt's from defensive coordinator Brent Venables' meeting with the media earlier this week.

On the defensive staffs' familiarity with Texas Tech's offense having coached with Mike Leach and against him so many years

Venables: You have a good familiarity with it. The longer you're away from it though, the more you have to get yourself re-acquainted with it come game week. So, you know some intricacies of it.

It's kinda like an option offense though. They do what they do and it comes down to execution. They try to wear you down mentally as much as they do physically. They'll do the same things over and over and over, and pretty soon they count on you springing a leak and breaking down.

They're talented and really match up well with most people now. Early on in their time at Tech, they had to recruit their guys. Now they have their guys and that's why they're very explosive.

They make even good people, for example Texas, work their fannies off to defend them and even then it's not good enough. Against three pretty good teams the last three weeks, they've had their way with them.

Familiarity is one thing, but your players have to have the same type of familiarity. It comes down to your players' recognition and the players' ability to execute that's going to make a difference on gameday.

On the seniors playing in their last home game

Venables: We talked briefly about it on Monday in regards to what your legacy is going to be. Everybody is going to remember you for your last one, your last performance, and if you don't play well they'll remember that.

Individually, my experience has been that you never forget your last. You remember all the players, the guys you lined up against, the conversations you had on the field, the big plays that you make. It goes with you forever.

Hopefully, they'll come out and put their best foot forward and have a great performance. And we'll need them to to have a chance to win.

On senior linebackers Rufus Alexander and Zach Latimer, who he personally coaches, and what they've gone through in their career

Venables: I love those guys. They mean a great deal to me as people and young men. I'm happy to see them growing up and having success in their lives and setting themselves up for future success as well.

They'll be successful people because of the character that they have, the work ethic that they have. They just have great heads on their shoulders and they're tough. They're talented people outside of the football field as well.

I'm proud to have had a relationship with those guys. They've helped me grow as much professionally and personally as much as I've hopefully influenced them in their lives.

On if it will be tough not having Larry Birdine and his opinions around next year

Venables: Some things are better left unsaid (laughs). No, Larry lightens the mood. Everybody has their strengths and a way to the team and to ad to the chemistry. That's Larry's way and we've welcomed it.

On the defense playing at a high level, and how he feels about the progress they've made

Venables: Well, you wish you didn't have to have a learning curve early in the season. But it builds your character and I think it's toughened us up to handle some of the adverse situations that we've had the last couple weeks on the road.

I'm proud of our guys and the work that they've put into it because it hasn't happened by osmosis, or all the sudden we're putting the right calls out on the field. They've improved, they've trusted each other and they're playing with better discipline.

Obviously, there's a better chemistry out on the field. As a coach, that's gratifying to see guys make improvement daily and certainly weekly.

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