September 6, 2006
Ohio State match-up has Griffin's attention
One of the biggest question marks for the Texas Longhorns entering this season was at safety, where junior Marcus Griffin is being asked to fill the shoes of one of the school's all-time greats in Michael Huff. However, in his first career start against North Texas on Saturday, Griffin more than held his own, as he finished second on the team in tackles and made a number of big-time hits. Orangebloods.com sat down with Griffin this week to get his thoughts on the season opener and the challenge that faces the UT this weekend.
Q: Congrats on a successful start to your career as a starter. You've been receiving a lot of praise for your play on Saturday, but how do you think you played?
A: We just got through reviewing the tape and I think overall as a team that we did pretty well. I think individually, I haven't really sat down and really studied it too much, but I think it was a good positive start for a first-time starter.
Q: Is there anything that you didn't do in Saturday's game that you'd like to do in the future? Maybe something that the casual fan in the stands wouldn't notice?
A: There's a lot of things. When the other quarterback came in, I want to make quicker reads and dissecting things a little bit faster.
Q: Your role in the secondary has been a question mark for a lot of people coming into this season because of the guy you are trying to replace - Michael Huff. Still, you've played a lot of football coming into this season. Was there ever any doubt in your mind that you could handle this new, larger role with success?
A: Being a first-time starter, you're going to have some questions when you are replacing Ced (Griffin) and Huff. I think each and every day Coach Akina prepares us defensive backs like we're all starters because you never know when one might go down. IT could be off-the-field issues or on-field issues. Replacing Huff is a big deal and I haven't played to his abilities yet, but I think only time will tell (if I'm a success).
Q: What are your first impressions of Ohio State? This would seem to be a big challenge for you guys in the secondary this week.
A: I think each week we face a challenge, but this week is (different). They have some great receivers. Ted Ginn is coming back and I'm sure that (Anthony) Gonzales is a good receiver. I can remember him last year making some good plays. We've got to dial in this week and focus and make sure that we don't have any busted assignments.
Q: What do you remember about last year's game? You guys played Ted Ginn on an island for much of that game. Was Santonio Holmes the bigger concern for the secondary heading into last year's game?
A: I'm not even quite sure. We pretty much thought that all three or four receivers that they had were big threats. Coach Chizik put a great defensive scheme and we went out and executed well.
Q: When you look at Troy Smith, do you feel like being able to practice every day against Vince Young the last few years will help the defense prepare for the challenge of this week?
A: I think going against Vince every day prepares us (for this weekend). He still does things that amaze me when I watch him now. Going up against Troy Smith this week, I think you can always practice for him, but you never know (because) it's hard to simulate actual game-time reps in practice.
Q: You guys have been in a lot of big games over the last two years. Can you look at this week as just another game this week in practice or does this one get a little more special attention this week in practice?
A: We take everything one week at a time. I think each and every week is a big-time game if we are going to achieve our goals this year. This is a big-time game for this week. Once this week is over, win or loss, we have to go and compete in the next 11 ball games that we have.
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