Harrell and Byrnes talk Oklahoma State

QB Graham Harrell and C Shawn Byrnes discuss the upcoming Oklahoma State game.

Graham Harrell, Quarterback

On the offense's success on opening drives so far in 2007:

I think that's been helpful for us. Like you said, we've gotten off to a pretty good start in each game, especially in our first drive of the game; we've marched it down and scored every time. It's good to get off on a good foot and get some momentum rolling for us and get our confidence up, that's been very helpful for us and hopefully we can continue with that.

On what the offense will need to do to adjust to facing Oklahoma State on the road this week:
"There's no doubt Oklahoma State's a good team, they're always very talented and Stillwater is a very tough place to play. So far we've been rolling pretty well on offense, we've had good protection, the receivers are making plays for me, Kobey [Lewis] and Shannon [Woods] have both been playing well, so we look to continue that this week. Like you said, we're going to face tougher teams, some more talented teams, so we're going to have to work on executing just as well."

On whether he is surprised by redshirt freshman receiver Michael Crabtree's early season success:
"Not really. Last year, had we been able to use him, I think he would've put up big numbers too. Ever since we've seen him we knew he was going to be special and he hasn't disappointed anyone so far I don't think. He's going to continue to get better and teams are going to have to start double teaming him, even though we have talent across the board at the receiver position. If you try to take one away, the others are going to kill you. Crab's done really well, so has everyone else so we're just going to have to continue to spread the ball out and continue to make plays."

On whether or not he expects a drop off in Crabtree's production in conference play:
"He's had some really big numbers and some really big yards and I would have to think that teams are going to have to start double-teaming or doing something. If they don't, he'll continue to put up big numbers and even if they do, he's still going to get the ball some."

On what options he'll look to if opposing coverages focus heavily on Crabtree:
"If they try to take away Mike on the outside over there, they're probably going to have to match-up one-on-one outside on the other side with Eddie [Britton] and L.A. [Reed]. Those two guys are really explosive players and if they try to match them up one-on-one I think those two are going to have big days. Eddie is so fast and he makes big plays in a hurry and he's tough to stop once he gets the ball in his hands. L.A.'s the same way, he's strong, he's explosive, and if you just have one guy on him, there's a good chance he's going to make that guy miss the tackle and then you're in trouble."

On whether he is surprised that he and Crabtree both lead the nation in their respective categories:
"If you were to tell me that before the season I wouldn't have said, ‘There's no way that will happen,' but it's not like I thought about that coming in. It's not something I look at that much and that's the first I've heard of it right there. He's a really good player and he's made me a lot of yards so I appreciate it."

On what the offense has done to improve its third down efficiency this season:
"Just locking in and focusing on things. We've converted a lot more this year and I think that's really helped us offensively to put up more points and be more successful. If you convert third downs, you're going to have good drives. For the most part we've had pretty manageable third downs and that helps a lot too. I think we've done a really good job of staying out of tough positions and focusing on it. Coach [Leach] has made a big deal of it in practice and we work on them in our special third down periods. We're conscious of it, and it has really paid off so far."

On what it's like to play a team coming off of a loss:
"Last year after the Missouri game and then that Colorado game, we were going through a tough time and then we really locked in and started playing really well after that. When you're going through a tough time, that's kind of what you do, you have to go back to the beginning and start working hard and you're usually really hungry. I'm sure that's how they are after a tough loss last week and they're going to be ready to play. We're going to have to go in there and be ready to execute because they're going to be excited to play us."

On playing in Stillwater:
"It's always a tough place to play. They've got the fans sitting right on top of you; most of them are usually probably drunk, but just crazy and screaming at you. It's a hostile environment, but we're going to have to go in there and try to block all of that out and try to execute what we do. Last time we went there it was two years ago when I was a freshman and we went down there and didn't execute very well. We can't worry about their fans, we're going to have to try to block that out and just play like we can play."


Shawn Byrnes, Center

On what offensive line coach Matt Moore has stressed to the linemen so far this year:
"Making routine plays snap after snap. We just have to keep doing our job to stay focused and protect this guy [Harrell] at all costs. We just have to keep working to get better because our competition level is going to rise here in the Big 12. We're going to play better players and face different schemes that we're really going to have to prepare for so we just have to focus on getting better every week."

On what he knows about the Oklahoma State defense:
"I know their front four is pretty athletic, they're big guys and they rotate a lot so they're going to be pretty fresh throughout the game. We'll find out a little more tomorrow."

On playing on the road:
"I like to play away a lot; I think it's more fun going into different crowds when everyone is against you. I like it a lot because it's real loud and we can't hear, but it's just more exciting for us."



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