Junior running back Jacob Gutierrez will be very much involved in the Sooners' upcoming game with Baylor, as you can expect him to play some at running back and on every special team.
Junior running back Allen Patrick worked out some again today, but he is still not at 100 percent and there is no guarantee that he will be by Saturday. Plus, if he doesn't really practice all week then the OU coaching staff may decide to hold him out for the Baylor game to make sure he is ready for OSU.
So there are still a lot of scenarios to play out and it looks like Gute and freshman Chris Brown are still going to get the bulk of the carries against Baylor.
Gute is one of the teams biggest fan favorites and he is well liked by the media, and he recently talked with OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: Do you enjoy doing so many different things on the field for the Sooners? I guess this why they call it football and you a football player?
GUTE: "Yes, it is. There are a bunch of different ways and areas on the field in which you can help make a difference. Special teams are one of them, so I have kind of found a niche there alongside playing running back. I just try to make some plays and make a turning point in the game."
JH: Did you become good at special teams because you made that happen? Or was it because the Sooner coaches pushed you hard in that direction because they want to have such great special teams?
GUTE: "I think it is both. Our coaches demand it, but it is still going to be an individual choice when you get out on the field. I want to do my best when I play on Saturday. I don't want to go to the coach's offices on Sunday or Monday to watch film, and be the example of a coach saying here is what happens when we are slacking. Or have him ask me why I didn't get that block.
"I make it a point to myself to make a block. To me, it is personal. When I am blocking on punt returns I don't want my guy to hit Reggie (Smith). We are all close and I make it a personal point to get my guy, do my job and help out in our success."
JH: How did your first extensive action at running back go against Texas Tech?
GUTE: "It went alright, but of course I had that fumble which is a rough situation. I should have put both arms over the ball. They got a helmet right on it, but I should have tucked it in with both arms. Other than that, I found some holes and made some yards. I also picked up my protection, so it went pretty well other than that fumble of course."
JH: Doesn't it take just as much courage to play special teams as it does on offense and defense?
GUTE: "Oh, it sure does. It definitely takes a lot of energy and commitment because you are not just running our there and taking a play off. You have to know beforehand what is coming, where your blocks are coming from. A lot of times on our kickoffs, I will get down there first and we see the wedge, and you have to fill it whether you like it or not. You just have to stick your head in there and hope it all works out."
JH: Has the helmet lasted or has it been broken several times?
GUTE: "It has, but there are a few snaps gone. But the helmet is still there."
JH: The ability of this team to handle adversity this year has been amazing. What has been the team's secret in doing so?
GUTE: "This team has done a good job of handling anything thrown its way. We have gone through a lot of stuff, and it actually started last year with Tech. Since then we have gone through different situations losing a quarterback at the beginning of the year, then Adrian, then Branndon Braxton and the latest with Manny (Manuel Johnson). That is the character of our team to work through a lot of adversity. We have come together and we are closer as a team.
"That makes it special — to get wins when you are not supposed to get wins. This year was the first year in a while that we have gone into games as underdogs, and we have done that a few times now so it is special getting wins when nobody else thinks you can win."
JH: How cool is it to be such a popular guy with the general public and with your teammates and coaches?
GUTE: "It is just an honor. The team has been great to me since I first arrived here. They have been real supportive. It is really special to hear the crowd chanting Gute after I get a chance to carry the ball. I know I have a role and I will continue to do that. Hopefully they won't hate me pretty soon."
JH: You will never have to worry about that!
GUTE: "Thank you Mr. Hale, I hope not."
Two Minute Drill: Jacob Gutierrez
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