Brian Kelly Press Conference Quotes 09/02/08

Sept. 2, 2008






SEPT. 2, 2008


Senior Defensive End Connor Barwin


On playing against Oklahoma

"All of us are really excited about the opportunity. We know that their the number four team in the country, so we know we're playing the best. From my standpoint, I was watching the film yesterday and we were getting a view from the stadium and it got me excited to see the amount of people that they pack into their stadium."


On being overwhelmed playing at Oklahoma

"No, I don't think anybody is overwhelmed. It's an exciting atmosphere to play in."


On Oklahoma's quarterback Sam Bradford

"We've watched a lot of film on him. He's a Heisman candidate, a guy who likes to throw the ball around a lot. Their offensive line and tight ends really try to protect him. He's their guy and don't want him to get hit but we're going to try to get after him the best we can."


On Oklahoma's protection

"He doesn't have to move, they run a lot of play action for (Bradford). Like I said, they keep their tight ends in to block for him. They run bootlegs and nakeds, he doesn't like to run.  They defiantly try to protect him the best they can."

Senior Wide Receiver Dominick Goodman


On coming into the game a 21-point underdog

"It's motivation. When we go out there and game time comes around, we can prove everyone wrong. "


On Oklahoma's defense

"We were watching the film; their defensive line is really big. They have a lot of potential NFL players. They're big up front and their secondary is very good. We have to execute  our plays and limit our errors."


On the speed of their secondary

"On film I can see the routes (Oklahoma's) opponents have run and how well their secondary jumps those routes, it tells us a lot about their speed."


On UC's performance against Eastern Kentucky

"Watching the film, we have to eliminate the penalties that happened in the game. Many were simple mistakes that we made."


On Oklahoma's inability to stop the spread offense

"Watching the Fiesta Bowl game against West Virginia last year, (West Virginia) showed a lot of their weaknesses and hopefully we can go out there and do the same thing that they did."


Head Coach Brian Kelly


Opening Statement

"The most important thing for us is we took this game on as an opportunity to measure ourselves against the very best. When we came here our first goal was to get our football team to change their mindset in how they compete and what they compete for. Now that we've broken the top twenty last year, we have to measure ourselves against the very best in the country, that next progression. We know we can compete for a championship, we know we can win a championship in the BIG EAST, now we want to know where we stand on a national level stage and there wasn't a better opportunity out there than to go to Norman, Oklahoma and measure ourselves against arguably one of the best programs perennial in the country. Having said that we have a great deal of respect for Oklahoma and what they've accomplished but we thing we have a pretty good football team too. We're excited about this opportunity that we've been given and we're going to make the best out of it. We know it's important to go there and not only show up and get off the plane but to play well. It's important to play well and win. Last year South Florida went to Auburn and beat Auburn. The BIG EAST needs an opportunity like this and we saw it as a great opportunity for our football team. As you know we have the BIG EAST player of the week in Dustin Grutza that will be leading our offense and we're excited about that. Also, Connor Barwin was voted for his play defensively, two sacks. He's getting closer to that proclamation of ten sacks he wanted this year."


On beating Oklahoma if they play up to their potential

"We don't look at it that way, and we never have. We feel like it's about how we play. We can't control how well Oklahoma does. So why go into the week and even think about, well I hope they don't play well. We can't control that, what we can control as a football team is to be prepared and to be prepared in a lot of different instances. For example it's in front of 87,000; it's going to be 90 degrees hot. Those are factors we can control relative to practicing out in the heat. Relative to crowd noise and cranking it up in the stadium, we can control those things and then controlling how we play and how we execute through our preparation. Quite frankly, it's about how we prepare for Oklahoma. "


On playing as a underdog against Oklahoma
"That's why we took the game on. We took the game on knowing that this was a team that was going to compete for a national championship. We knew last year when we were putting this together that Sam Bradford was a freshman quarterback and they had the pieces around him. Clearly we could have said no thanks, we'll stay and play someone else but we wanted to take this game knowing those were the circumstances going into this football game. It doesn't surprise me, we should be an underdog in that sense. Oklahoma has proven it a lot longer than the University of Cincinnati has, so that doesn't surprise me.


On Oklahoma being able to defeat Missouri and their spread offense

"Missouri does different things than we do offensively. They put a lot of points on the board; I think if you ask Missouri they would probably say they played well offensively, we just didn't hold them down very well. Both of those games were shootouts. Again, the way we look at it our systems are a little different in terms of how we operate, but Missouri was pretty successful in scoring points. They didn't get shut out in those games and they scored over 28 points in both instances. We take a little bit from every game that we watched Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma State. We try to look at those teams that know Oklahoma well and there's never a better team to look at than the in state rival. We try to do what's in our system first and then we'll go from there. "


On how Oklahoma compares to other team's UC has played

"They're like a BIG EAST All-Star team. Take the best players from the BIG EAST on both sides of the ball and put them together. They've got great players at every position, they have no weaknesses. But, we don't have to play them ten times; we just have to play them once."


On Oklahoma's offense

"They don't ask him to (scramble) in the structure of their offense. They've got a guy by the name of DeMarco Murray who's an outstanding running back. They're so balanced offensively; they want to run the football and try to establish their ability to impose their will on you. Bradford is put in great opportunities to play action pass, he's really efficient with the football. They don't put him in a situation like I put Dustin Grutza in. He's not in that kind of situation, he's surrounded very well. He's perfect for their system; he fits their system of offense. "


On Oklahoma's defense

"I think there safeties are returning starters they're each very athletic on the back end of their defense. Their front four are a dominating group from the inside and outside, it's a dominating unit. They lost a couple of linebackers but, they don't miss a beat. I think the biggest thing for us is protecting our quarterback, we've got to be able to protect our quarterback and that means we're going to have to move the launch point for our quarterback, we can't just sit in the pocket against this defense."