Senior defensive lineman Will Clarke had nothing bad to say about the game against Oklahoma.
Clarke says Oklahoma was just one performance, and the D can't rest on that.
“We played a physical game. We played tough, but we came up short,” said Clarke.
Many fans were impressed with the defense’s performance last week. All Clarke had to say was that the team is only two games in and they are not letting the performance against Oklahoma get to their head.
“We can play horrible Saturday (against Georgia State.) You never want to read into it too much or fall into that.”
Clark commented that it is most important to build from each performance and keep progressing. He didn’t seem too surprised about the performance from the defense facing Oklahoma this year compared to last year.
“We were just executing the game plan that coach Patterson put together for us and we knew that if we executed it well we could be pretty dominant,” said Clarke.
When asked about sophomore defensive end Kyle Rose, Clarke simply said, “he played good.”
“He was a rotational player last year, so he played a lot.”
On looking over a team like Georgia State, Clarke said that the Mountaineers could easily be let down.
“Last season going from Texas to Texas Tech, the letdown mentality was not there,” said the lineman.
A letdown against Georgia State could happen just like last year if the Mountaineers do not take the game seriously.
Where does the defense go from here?
“You don’t watch the good plays. You watch the bad plays. You correct the things you need to correct and take it on to the next game,” said Clarke.
Senior defensive end Shaq Rowell started off his player interview on a very emotional note when asked about Curtis Jones Jr. who recently passed.
“He was like a big brother. He left a legacy that will never be replaced and he was an incredible guy,” said Rowell. “I’m just happy that he was in my life for the year and a half he was here.”
“He (Jones Jr.) came here every day with a smile ready to work. He was willing to help anybody.”
Side note: HERE is a really great tribute video to Curtis Jones Jr.
When Rowell was asked about the team’s performance last week, he seemed impressed.
“Nobody wants to give up, and that’s something I haven’t seen in a while,” said Rowell.
He noted that he saw determination in every player’s eyes and that the team has confidence in what the coaches are preparing for them.
“They (the coaches) told us that there are going to be situations we aren’t going to like and we’re going to have to overcome diversity.”
He believes that this Mountaineer team is overcoming all of the adversity thrown their way.
When asked about injuries being prevalent this season, Rowell simply said that when one guy gets out the next one steps up. That simple.
Like Clarke, Rowell is not looking past the upcoming Georgia State game.
“We’re going to prepare for them (Georgia State) just like we did for Oklahoma because any team can be beat on any given day,” said Rowell.
“We’re not going to take these guys for granted.”