(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / December 19, 2018) – Select members of the Oklahoma State football team met with members of the media Wednesday prior to practice to discuss the Cowboys’ upcoming clash with Missouri in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, which takes place Dec. 31 in Memphis, Tennessee. A look at what some of them had to say:
Wide Receiver Tylan Wallace
On being the focus of Missouri's defense:
- "I feel like being recognized for my play, obviously they are going to see that and probably make adjustments for that. I think that we will be prepared for it."
On the significance of the bowl game:
- "This isn't just, ‘We're happy to have made a bowl game.’ This isn't a game to blow off. This is a game where we have to go show out for the seniors and make it good for them, so it's not a game we can just take off."
On his relationship with Taylor Cornelius:
- "We always try to get in as much work as we can. Even after practice we'll stay and try to get some extra work in. Last year we would work together, but now it is different because it is for real and we're actually on the field and I'm catching balls from him. That was a real big thing going into this year knowing that we had to build that connection to be successful."
Quarterback Taylor Cornelius
On playing in his final game at OSU:
- "You always want to win the last one. It'd be a great way to go out on top."
- "They're a really good team on both sides of the ball. We're ready for the test I think."
On if it's hit him at all that it's his last game:
- "No, I haven't thought about that at all. We're just focusing on Missouri and getting ready for them."
Safety Kenneth Edison-McGruder
On if the team is ready for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl:
- “Yeah, everyone is ready to go. We’re just perfecting our game plan and getting it down to a tee so that we’re ready to go.”
On knowing this is his last collegiate game:
- “It has definitely hit me since the last game. It definitely hit me on graduation day, going through the graduation ceremony and all those things like that.”
On wanting to go out with a victory:
- “We definitely want to turn it around. We’re practicing hard and getting prepared and ready for it.”
On Missouri quarterback Drew Lock:
- “He’s definitely a good quarterback. We just have to be ready and prepared for him.”
Wide Receiver Dillon Stoner
- "They're athletic. They're athletic on defense. They have a big, athletic secondary filled with guys that move well. We're going to have to be ready to go."
On transitioning into a leadership role on the team:
- "I think the biggest thing is to lead by example. I know for me personally, that's something that I have looked up to and respect more than anything."
On the team being on the road during Christmas:
- "I think (the team) are the only guys here on winter break. We're getting close to each other and during the time, these guys are who we all hang out with. It's a good time and we're blessed to be in the situation that we're in, now we have to make the most of it."
On the bowl streak:
- "’The ‘Cowboy Culture’ is a winning culture and continuing the bowl streak means a lot to me."
Defensive End Cole Walterscheid
On the bowl game being his last game:
- "It flies by fast. I feel like it was just yesterday that I got dropped off at the dorms. It has been fun. I've enjoyed every minute of it. I love this place. I'm really happy that I've been able to be around these guys and enjoy this experience."
On Missouri's offensive line:
- "They've got some big dudes. That was the first thing we noticed watching film as a defensive line. That's one of the biggest offensive lines that we've seen this year, and we've seen a couple good ones. They're big and can move around, they've got a really good starting five up front."
On his brother, Kody, joining the program:
- "I'm really excited for him. He's developed a lot quicker than I did. Coach Glass will be really excited to have him in the weight room. He'll have the chance to get better over the summer and maybe even play as a freshman."
On the team being on the road during Christmas:
- "This is all I know. This is what we've been doing for the past five years, spending Christmas on the road with the team. There's no place I'd rather be than with my teammates. They'll have a nice setup in the hotel for us and we'll just spend time together and enjoy each other's company."
Wide Receiver Tyron Johnson
On the experience for OSU football players:
- “I think Coach Gundy is a player’s coach. He wants us to enjoy our time here. We put a lot of work in, so he likes to balance it out with fun.”
- “Some guys just think that other places are a good fit for them. How the system is now with the portal, kids have the freedom to go to other schools where they feel like they’ll have better opportunities. I feel like the players are doing what is best for them.”
On bowl preparation:
- “A lot of people are going to have to step up – a lot of unfamiliar guys, but guys that we know can play. Just seeing the young kids come up and practice hard is a good thing for us as a team. We want to see those guys step in and be ready.”
Defensive Tackle Trey Carter
On his performance this season:
- "I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I brought everything to the table so this is a good way to end. We get to go show off some skills and everything and just get ready."
On the challenges of facing Missouri's offensive line:
- "It is probably one of the toughest offensive lines we are going to face. We will just need the defense to go out and compete and challenge them. It should be a challenging game."
On his relationship with Enoch Smith Jr.:
- "I am very close with Enoch Smith. We came in together and we hit it off real early. We talk just about every day and he motivates me to be better. I am very close with him."
Linebacker Devin Harper
On the possibility of playing with his brother, Thomas Harper, at OSU:
- "I haven't played with him yet so I'm looking forward to it a lot."
On factors that drew he and his brother to OSU:
- "The family atmosphere. It just makes you feel at home. It's not a big town, which he likes a lot."
On his role in recruiting his brother:
- "I had a pretty big role in it. He'd been up here plenty of times and he likes the town and the coaches a lot. Then I just told him to choose where you want to go, choose where you want to be. Then make the best of it."