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Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
Release: October 28, 2003
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Head coach Gary Barnett.   By CUBuffs.com
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BOULDERThe University of Colorado held its weekly press conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, as head coach Gary Barnett addressed the media about last week’s game vs. Oklahoma and this week's matchup at Texas Tech (5:10 p.m. MST, FSN).  The following contains quotes from the afternoon press session.


ON THE OKLAHOMA GAME—“After the Oklahoma game, really for the first time this year, I saw a great deal of hurt in our players when we failed to win that game. I know there was a lot of invested on everybody’s part. Everybody invested a great deal in that game, we came up short and it hurt. That’s not a good feeling, but it might be a good sign. We want to build on that investment, we want to build on not wanting to feel that hurt again and we will. As we went back and watched the film, we really thought that a number of our guys on defense played really well. Akarika Dawn played his best game, but we had a number of guys who played pretty well. Offensively we struggled up front with their defensive line. We audibled every play and Oklahoma’s defense forced us to call probably more passing plays than we wanted to, but that was what our plan was. Overall our special teams did a nice job of keeping (Antonio) Perkins out of the game and keeping us in the game.”


ON TEXAS TECH—“As we try to get ready for this team this week, Texas Tech, we have to use every body that can run a pass route in practice and everybody that can rush a passer as well, in preparing for their offense. You have to prepare your mind for it because you know they’re going to get yards, you know they’re going to complete passes and you’ve got to be somewhat patient with it in understanding that’s just the way this game is going to go. We know playing down there is a hostile environment and a tough place to play. They’re coming off two straight losses, one that was a significant loss to them (to Missouri) " the score was significant last week (62-31). We’ve got our hands full just with the whole scenario of going down there. We’re taking a team that’s found a little pride and has evolved to where it’s much better than it was two weeks ago, three weeks ago or four weeks ago. We’ve got to keep that evolution going, we’ve got to keep the confidence up and we’ve got to keep trusting each other up. This is a tough game for us going down there, playing on turf etc" But, we saw enough on Saturday for all of us to be excited about our opportunity and we have, from the very first meeting, put emphasis on playing our very best football at the end of the year. We do that every year and November has been good to us. We’ve played well, we’ve played hard and we’ve played good opponents in November, so if there’s a little history on our side it says we’re going to play well in November and we need to. We had great energy at practice yesterday " no one was hanging their head, everybody is excited about playing and everybody understands the purpose that we have and the opportunity that’s out there for us. We feel good going into the first major practice of the week.”


“You have to find a way to keep their offense off the field, and you have to make plays on your defense in order to win this game.”


“(Jones SBC Stadium) is just a little bit different than every place that we go. The crowd is pretty hostile and they start from the time that you get off the bus.”


“We like our matchup, our offense vs. their defense, statistically anyway. As many plays that our defense has to make, our offense can’t have a three-and-out and we almost have to score on every series. You got to finish every drive is your mentality. The key thing is that you keep up in the scoring matchup. You’ve also got to be a great tackling team to shut a team like this down.”


ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR’S DEFENSE—“We’re a little different than we were last year. We matched up really well with them by putting Donald (Strickland) inside and matched him up on their most productive receiver. We had two scores on defense last year and struggled on offense. Defensively (this season), we’ve played so many snaps of this kind of offense already, that rather than changing things up, I think we’re really starting to get comfortable with what we do on our calls. Where we struggled early on, getting lined up in the right spots, now at least we’re getting lined up and we’re getting more comfortable playing those positions. I would doubt that you would see us change a whole lot from what we’ve done this year.”


ON THE TEAM HURT AFTER THE OU LOSS—“It’ s part of the evolution of our team with the investment that they are making. All the young guys are learning how to invest more, and it’s risky investing because if you lose, it hurts more. They’re taking those risks and they’re starting to invest more, preparing differently and bringing more to practice. It’s the team growing up.”


ON DE GABE NYENHUIS—“Gabe has really been outstanding this year. When you take the fact that Marques Harris isn’t in there – last year Gabe would’ve gotten a couple of sacks because of the pressure that Marques brings – so they would leave Gabe alone. Now, with Gabe being our best pass rusher, he’s drawing double teams and he’s drawing everybody’s attention, but he’s still making plays. I think that speaks to how hard he’s playing and what kind of player he is. If we had Marques, and more productivity from the inside guys, Gabe would be really productive " they couldn’t isolate on him. If you look at his numbers with the kind of attention that he’s drawing, I think he’s had a spectacular season so far.”


ON TEXAS TECH’S O-LINE COMPARED TO LAST YEAR’S—“It’s about like it was last year. They’ve got one senior, a redshirt freshman and a sophomore. But it’s very similar. Maybe they are not quite as big as they were last year, but the same thing, big wide splits " five-foot splits. Their line does a good job because you wouldn’t think that you could give a Division I pass rusher a five-foot split and still block him, but they do. And then they’re able to run the ball fairly well. They don’t try it a lot, but when they do it’s always for big yards.”


ON THE 4-2-5 DEFENSE THAT CU EMPLOYS—“What we like about that defense is that it is a goal line to goal line defense, so you could adjust to all the different formations. It really wasn’t done to stop the run. We went to the 4-2-5 so that we would not necessarily have to get in and out of a great deal of personnel. For example, against Oklahoma, we only went to dime for six snaps. We played our base package, which is really nickel, and Oklahoma did the same thing to us. They never got into a dime; they played us in nickel the whole time. The adjustment from nickel to dime is really simple for us in theory. It just adjusts out better to everything that you are going to see in today’s game.”


ON CLYDE SURRELL’S PERFORMANCE VS. OKLAHOMA—“It was important to our team, and it was important to Clyde because he’s had such an up-and-down career. Now, we need to move towards consistency in the last four weeks of ball and Clyde prepared for this game (OU) like he was obsessed with it. And he played well. It helped that he was the guy we were able to blitz a couple of times and get him in positions where the ball came loose, but he caused two fumbles in there as well and recovered one. He did a good job and had a big game.”



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