Saturday, September 19, 2009

ESPN: Big Ten spotlight: Minnesota's Simoni Lawrence



ESPN: Big game this week. How excited are you to face a team like Cal?

SL: Man, I'm walking around campus and everybody's like, 'You guys are playing Cal this year? Oh my God! They're ranked this or they're ranked that.' It's just going to be a great day. Cal is a great team. I've watched like three of their games already, the Miami game from last year, a little bit of the Maryland game. This is why you came to the Big Ten, to be in big games like this, to get a chance to play great Pac-10 schools. It's going to be a great feeling.

ESPN: I'm sure you got a good look at Jahvid Best in the Maryland game. What stood out to you about him?

SL: He looks like a track star running the ball. He cuts on a dime. He's a great player. Those kinds of players, you've just got to make sure you gets your hands on them. You've just got to hit guys like that.

ESPN: How do you approach a team like Cal?

SL: From a schematic standpoint, we know what they're going to do. It's about executing. When you play great teams, you've got to let it all hang. You've got to go after them, you've got to make sure your group of guys are all playing great football because if you don't come in there with your A-game, you'll get beat. If we come in there and play great team football and everybody plays at their capabilities, we'll be right in there with Cal.

ESPN: It seems like a lot of Big Ten teams shy away from games like this. You guys get Cal this year and then USC the next two years and maybe Texas. You guys really play a lot of these games.

SL: This is what you want to play college football for, if you're a real competitior. That's why I love Minnesota so much and the coaches and everything; they're just competitive. They're like us. If they could put the pads on, they would come and play with us. They believe we can play anybody and come out with a W. They trust us, and we trust our coaches. We trust the game plan and we come in and execute at our highest abilities.

ESPN:  Any predictions for Saturday?

SL: I'm going to hold off on predicting. I would, but I'm going to hold off for now.

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