Chillar: "Us Against the World"

Linebacker <b>Brandon Chillar</b>, the Pac-10 defensive player of the week, took questions from the media Monday. He talked about UCLA's defense, offense, and the mentality of the team going into the game against #1 Oklahoma...

Linebacker Brandon Chillar, who was named defensive Pac-10 player of the week, answered some questions from the media Monday:

Do you know about the Oklahoma defense?

"Yeah, I know about their defense. Great players, great athletes. They play fast. We really just have to worry about ourselves and fix our mistakes. They're a good program and a good defense and I'm just excited to play them."

Do you think your offense will be able to get it done?

"I have confidence in our offense. They just have to work out a couple of things and they'll be ready to go."

Do you really think about an opponent's offense and their players much?

"I think we look at it more what we did wrong and right, not so much the offense. If we do what we're supposed to, it's not going to matter as much what the offense does. We just have to fix our mistakes, working on ourselves."

What are those mistakes you have to work on?

"Some gap control. We had some mis-tackles. You can't have mis-tackles if you want to play great defense. And pursuit probably, too."

Do you worry that, if the offense doesn't start producing, the amount of time the defense spends on the field will wear you down by Pac-10 play?

"No, if you're a good defense you just go out there and play and don't even think about that stuff. We're confident. Our d-line rotates. We have good depth there and that helps a lot."

Can the offense turn it around?

"I think they've just had a couple of mishaps, dropped balls. You can't have stuff like that, like dropped balls and penalties. That's all stuff that can be worked out. We have confidence that can be worked out. They look fine in practice. Did everything fine in practice. Just in games, they need to come up with the plays. We have great players and playmakers on offense. They just need to make the plays in the game."

Do you like the leadership role you have?

"Definitely. As a senior and a captain, some of the younger guys look up to me and I like to lead by example. That just comes along with being an older guy on the team."

How do you feel about getting Pac-10 defensive player of the week?

"It's exciting. It's always good to get something like that. But if I'm playing good, it means the defensive line played good. It's just a defensive effort."

Do you look at playing Oklahoma as an opportunity?

"Exactly. We're excited. This is big-time football. I think we can make a statement to the nation, and there's no better opportunity than this."

What will you have to do to beat Oklahoma?

"We'd have to play mistake-free football, play hard and play fast, and just play Bruin football and make no mistakes."

Why is the defense so good? Is it the schemes or all the veterans?

"I think it's a little bit of both. We've all been together playing together for a couple of years. And I think the new scheme fits the personality of the defense good?

What is that personality?

"I think we like to run, pursue, like to hit and play hard. It fits well with the defense."

Do you like the role of field goal blocker?

"I do. It's exciting. Extra points and field goals are a big part of the game. And to be able to come close to blocking those, it's exciting. I did play it last year, but we didn't use the jumping block as much. So, yeah, it's exciting."

Do you think you affected the Illinois kicker?

"I'm sure he watched the film and knew I got up and blocked one the week before. I think the penalty hurt him a little bit. He just shanked it."

Do you expect to win against Oklahoma?

"Yeah. You don't ever go into a game thinking you're going to lose. We have confidence in ourselves. If we just take care of what we need to and play hard."

What do you think about how most people outside of UCLA think about your chances?

"We don't really worry about that. We're just worried about our Bruin family. It's us against the world. I'm not sure what they think and we're not worried about it."

Do you think this team is the type that thrives as an underdog?

"Yes. I think we take every game as if it's the same. Go out there and take care of what we need to do and see what happens."

How do you feel about being an underdog? Should UCLA ever be such a big underdog?

"We really try not to worry or think about it. We just need to worry about ourselves and worry about football."

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