As Oklahoma heads into their final game of the 2010 season, Cameron Kenney is set to play his final game as a Sooner. Kenney has become quite the attraction following breakthrough performances against Oklahoma State and Nebraska late in the season, and he could be saving his best for last against UCONN as OU gets set to head to Arizona early next week.
Cam, can you talk about the team's mindset at practice this week, with still about ten days left before the game?
Everything has been good, we're focused and ready to get to Arizona so we can take care of business.
I think it was Coach Venables, last week, who said that the coaches have been quick to remind you guys of the last two trips to the Fiesta Bowl.
Oh yeah (laughing). A lot of the young guys, me included, weren't around to experience those losses, but they've definitely been brought up a lot here in the last couple of days. The coaches have been hammering to us that we can't go into this game relaxed, we have to go to take care of business. Connecticut is a great team and we have to go out there and finish strong.
What do some of the veterans say about those last two Fiesta Bowls?
They stress not to take anything for granted. You have to approach this game like it's a regular-season game and make sure that you take care of business both offensively and defensively.
But how do you separate business from pleasure, because a bowl game is a reward for your success during the regular season. Do you go out to Arizona all business, or do you expect there to be some down time to where you can have a little fun?
Well, you have to remember that you're there to play a football game. Maybe, the hardest part is the practicing and the time off. Other than that, when it's game time, everyone is pretty good at focusing in. I think everyone will be ready to play. We're definitely going to enjoy ourselves, but whenever it comes down to it, we know its all business there.
You've heard coaches say that maybe the most important part of these bowl trips is the extra practice that you get. Just how important are these practices?
They're huge. During the year you're really limited as far as picking up better ways of improving your technique, and technique is everything. Now, we get a lot more time to work on the technique part of things. It doesn't seem big talking about it, but when you get in a game and you start to put what you worked on into the game, it makes a world of difference.
Going back a year ago to the season you had, how much did those extra practices help you into making that leap into spring ball and being better prepared in the fall?
It definitely helped. It just made me focus and realize how much more work I needed to put in if I was going to make an impact on this team. I knew that I couldn't get comfortable, I knew I had to put in work every day.
What do you see from UCONN's defense?
They're very physical. They've got good linebackers, good secondary and they know how to play ball. They play very smart. They don't do too many things real special, they just play fundamental football as well as a team can.
When you have a game like you did, against a secondary like Nebraska, how much confidence does that give you going into this game and even into the future of your career?
It gives you a lot of confidence knowing that the corners and the secondary that Nebraska had were all NFL corners. I think all of us receivers played that game with a chip on our shoulders. We knew that we had to attack them, we couldn't let them put their hands on us. It gives you confidence, but you still have to know that every game is different and every game you have to go out and do your job.
What are your thoughts on Coach Heupel being named the play caller for this offense?
It's a great opportunity. They're all great coaches, and Coach Wilson getting a chance at a head coaching job is great for him as well.
Have you noticed any difference, in practice, now that Coach Heupel has taken over?
No, the offense is still the same and the play calling is just as good. There's no difference, we're still doing the same stuff.
Can you talk about reemerging near the end of the season. It has to give you a good feeling to play the role you did against Oklahoma State and Nebraska?
It was a great feeling. I knew that whenever I got another opportunity, then I had to make the most of it. Nothing is ever promised (to you) and I know whenever I get a chance to get in the game I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win.
A lot of people have said that Landry (Jones) passed a few milestones with those two wins. Does that strike a chord with you
No, I felt Landry was capable of that every time I've gone onto the field with him. I think guys were able to step up because of the O-line. We had more time, and I think Landry is getting better and better with each game.