Ryan Smith On TCU Rivalry: 'It's Beyond Big'

After Thursday morning's practice Pony Stampede caught up with SMU safety Ryan Smith to talk about TCU

PS: How would you assess the defense's play thus far?

RS: I think we're doing well. This is one game that everybody gets ready for. Not putting this game above any other game, but we circle this game on our calendar every year because we know it's going to be a dog fight. We're definitely ready, we had a bye week so it gave us extra time to prepare for these guys, and we're excited about it. We know it's going to be a great game on our home field so our mentality is to come out ready to play.

PS: How would you assess your own play thus far?

RS: I definitely have some things to improve on. I've had some good plays and I've had some plays that I can't let repeat itself so you always want to look at the things that you can improve on and get to the practice field every day and continue to work on it.

PS: You've seen TCU four or five times now. How big is this rivalry to you personally?

RS: It's beyond big man words can't even come to describe it. I have a couple of friends over there and we both know that when that whistle blows it's all business and we expect a hard matchup and we're going to give them our best and they're going to give us their best. This game just means so much to myself, my teammates, this school, this fan base, the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, everybody's excited for this game and it's finally here. We've got it back at our home crowd so it's going to be a nice packed out crowd and we're looking forward to it.

PS: Casey Pachall comes in as the highest rated passer in the nation right now; what does he do that makes him so effective and so hard to stop?

RS: He definitely takes what the defense gives him. He goes through his reads and I think their offense is built on things that he expects to be open and it's not all him. He has a great group of wide outs that can really go after the ball and they make him look good. He definitely starts everything off but he has a great supporting cast and he trusts his line to give him good protection. He has a great arm, he's mobile in the pocket, and he's been there before so it's not his first rodeo. So he's definitely a great quarterback all around.

PS: PS: How's the injury?

RS: It's doing well; a little tender but it's nothing that's going to keep me out. I expect that with the full day tomorrow it should be 100 percent come Saturday. I felt really good today so we're expecting everything to go smoothly and I'm blessed to be back out here.

PS: The defense played a solid first half against A&M and it just seemed that the offense couldn't get it going and has struggled throughout the season so far. How confident are you that they'll turn it around?

RS: I'm beyond confident in our offense. Those guys work so hard and it's just all about timing and progressions and things like that. As a defense we have to go in with the mindset that there will be games like that where they will have some problems moving the ball so we're going to have to be at our best and there will be some times where we'll have some problems stopping guys so the offense is going to have to pick us up so we work together as a team. We have all faith in those guys.

PS: You guys played an elusive Johnny Manziel in the last game who really showed you guys his dual-threat capabilities and Pachall is another guy who has some wheels on him. How have you guys game-planned to stop his mobility as well as his passing?

RS: The only way that you can stop stuff like that is getting everybody to the ball. We pride ourselves in flying around to the ball and we had a couple lapses in the A&M game but we definitely think we've got those things corrected so it just comes down to everybody wanting to get the ball and trusting your teammates that they're going to make tackles.

PS: It seems as though the injury bug just continues to plague the SMU secondary this year. How frustrating is it for you guys to continue to have to battle against injuries?

RS: It's always frustrating; you never want to see one of your teammates go down. We love each other out here and each one of those guys is our brother. This game is just so violent that that's a part of it so you hate to see it but you also know that everything happens for a reason. God has his hands in everything and those are some great guys that went down but it's going to benefit them in the long run. We hate that they went down but that's where the trust comes in. We have to build everybody up and have the back-ups ready to roll. At the end of the day we always have to have that next guy step up. Our heart goes out to all those guys that can't play anymore and like I said we love them to death but we have to in essence move on; that's what they expect us to do because they know that the game can't stop for those types of things. So it is frustrating to an extent but that's the game we play so we have to take advantage of every play that we have out here on the field because you never know when it's going to be your last.

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