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November 23, 2010

Beal knows Bedlam is more than another road game

Jeremy Beal has a unique perspective as Oklahoma gets set for Bedlam football on Saturday in Stillwater. Beal has seen this rivalry develop for four years and he knows how crazy the fans can be during Bedlam. Beal talked about the atmosphere of Bedlam and his respect for the playmakers on the other side of the ball.

Jeremy, you've played OSU three times. They've always had a good quarterback, they've always had a good running back and at least one really good receiver. These three guys, how do they compare to the guys you've seen in the past?
They're just as good if not better. Weeden is a great quarterback and Kendall Hunter is probably one of the best running backs they've had in a while and there's not enough to say about Blackmon (chuckle). He's an outstanding wide receiver as well. It is going to be a difficult task to try and stop him.

Talk about what your sense is of what Brandon Weedon has meant to that team? They were without a quarterback and here's a guy who hasn't played in years. But his maturity and he's talented. It's been pretty amazing.
Well yeah, like you said, he's a mature guy and an older guy and you tell that by the way he plays. He doesn't get flustered and he leads them in a great way. You can tell that by the way he plays.

What do you see from him on tape about the way he plays? Obviously he makes good decisions.
Oh yeah, he's a smart quarterback and he knows where to go and he rarely makes mistakes. He's accurate too. He hits his wide receivers all the time and he doesn't (make it hard) trying to catch the ball. He's a great quarterback and a great thrower.

Decent mobility?
Yeah. He doesn't move around too much but he's mobile. He chooses to stay in the pocket.

Jeremy you seem to be getting stronger as the season goes along. Is it a case where you're coming to grips with being a marked man or are you getting healthier? How do you put your finger on that?
At the beginning of the season I got a lot more double teams and you can tell the other ends and people on the d-line are getting better. They're double teaming less and less because they can't. They've got to double-team Frank, they've got to double-team Jamarkus (McFarland) and all the other linemen. I have more opportunities to get more sacks and more tackles for loss.

Obviously it's less frustrating when you're getting to the quarterback and making plays, but was there a time this season when you were getting frustrated and bogged down with all that stuff?
Uh no. I just thought to myself that I had to push through it and play my best. That's all we can do is try our hardest and if that doesn't work, hey, you tried.

That being said it's got to be nice coming home and seeing all these tackles for losses and pressures and sacks now...
I really don't look at the stats. The only stat I look at is whether we win or lose. If we do that I'm happy.

Talk about where Ronnell Lewis is at now and how he's entered the picture.
He's an outstanding player. It just makes the defensive end group that much more deep. He is special because linebackers bring speed to the table and speed is something you can't really teach. That's what he brings. The offense has to compensate for his speed.

You talked about getting pressure on Griffin last week. OSU doesn't give up many sacks and they don't allow much pressure. That's a key isn't it?
Yeah. Sacks aren't as important as getting pressure and not letting Weeden feel comfortable at quarterback. You have to cause disruption in his timing. It's up to the d-line to get that pressure and you don't have to really sack him but if you get in his face and knock him down a couple of times you can get him kind of flustered and it gives you a chance to win.

Do you guys have more success blitzing because the cornerbacks have held up?
We can blitz more because we've got some outstanding corners and some safeties that can cover one-on-one. That allows us to blitz more.

Jeremy, why have you guys had so much success in this series recently?
I don't know. I don't know man. Maybe one reason is it's a rivalry. You're always going to bring your best to the table when you're playing your arch-rival. Maybe that's why we play our best against OSU.

Do you expect another wild game like you had up there last time?
I can tell you this is gonna be a great game. They're a great team and we expect to bring our best to the table and it's gonna be a great game.

I know you stay in a hotel and you get off the bus and go in the stadium like every other game, but is there a different feeling being in Stillwater compared to other place?
Yeah. It's a different feeling because you're playing your rival and they're hyped up and we're hyped up and its' a rivalry game. So it feels different than a regular game.

Do the fans feel different or act different or say things that are a little different?
(Laughing) Yeah, they say some crazy things and they are close to you on the sidelines. They say some crazy things and you can't let that fluster you as a team.

You're in a bunch of different stadiums. How tough is this place to play compared to other places?
It's tough. The fans there, they get loud and they support the Cowboys. It's going to be a difficult place to play in. They're real close.

So when you go back to the bench and have meetings between series, do they make it tougher even then?
Yeah. They really do because they're yelling and it's hard to hear your coach, but you just have to stay focused and try to maintain and play good.

Because the fans are so close to you, does it make it louder than other places?
Yeah, you can say that.

The best OSU team you've faced is this one?
Yeah. You can say that. They've had great teams in the past but this team is as good as any other team we've faced.

Do you sense something a little bit different about this team since A&M?
Uh, yeah. We kind of got embarrassed down there at College Station and we wanted to come out and finish the season strong and try to get to the Big 12 Championship. That's our goal right now.

Your offense unveiled the diamond formation last week against Baylor but now your scout team is running that against you this week.
Yeah. It's a difficult formation to defend. We just have to get down to it and defend it.

Is it the misdirection that's toughest?
A little bit. You've just got to be disciplined as a defense and read your keys.

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