Just 3 weeks shy of a matchup with #3 Oklahoma BYU LB Matt Bauman sat down with The Upset to discuss the upcoming season.
Q: What was the most difficult part of last season? How has that changed heading into 2009
BAUMAN: Losing. We dont like to lose. Our mentality is better this year. There is more fire and heart.
Q: There have been some defensive changes this season (Scott Johnson moving to Safety alongside Andrew Rich. JC Transfers Lee Aguirre and Corby Eason coming in at the Corner spot and Vic So'oto moving to defensive end). What are your expectations for these players and the defense as a whole?
BAUMAN: Expect to see some big hits from the safeties. They are going to play well. We're having a corner battle right now and seeing who is going to step up. So'oto is a beast and will do well on the D-Line when the technique comes.
Q: Who is a player on defense that you see being a revelation and making a name for himself?
BAUMAN: Robbie Buckner at Corner and Terrence Hooks at Linebacker.
Q: You face a tough challenge in your opener vs. Oklahoma. You will be going toe to toe with the defending Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. How much preparation and game planning is star driven? Or do you focus more on the team as a whole?
BAUMAN: I could care less that he won the Heisman. That means nothing to me. He puts his pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us. We will prepare well and hard because we love the game and want to win, not because of who we play.
Q: Take us through a normal Saturday as a BYU Football player.
BAUMAN: Wake up, Walk Throughs, Meetings, Get to the Stadium, Get Ready, Self Reflect, then Go Make Plays.
Q: What is a characteristic Bronco Mendenhall posseses that fans might not know about?
BAUMAN: Great with kids.
Q: You were a Freshman under Gary Crowton. Now having 3 seasons under Coach Mendenhall what is the biggest difference between the two?
BAUMAN: Coach Mendenhall does a great job of uniting team. Under Crowton I felt like the Offense and Defense were two different teams.
Q: Best player you played against?
BAUMAN: Reggie Bush
Q: Loudest Crowd you played in front of?
BAUMAN: Boise State
Q: What team talks the most trash?
BAUMAN: Utah. No Question.
Q: Most Disappointing Loss?
BAUMAN: Utah 2008
Q: Most Gratifying Win?
BAUMAN: Utah 2007
Q: Toughest player on the team?
BAUMAN: Terrence Brown
Q: Best athlete on the team?
BAUMAN: Jordan Pendleton
Q: Best friend on the team?
BAUMAN: Lots of them. We are a close group.
Q: Lowest handicap on the team?
BAUMAN: Max says he is. He shoots around a 5 handicap.
Q: Best Chance to go pro?
BAUMAN: Dennis Pitta
Q: When you look back on your playing days, what specific play/game comes to mind?
BAUMAN: The blocked FG against UCLA and Utah's 4th and 18.
Q: You are a walk on. Was there a moment when you finally said "I made it"?
BAUMAN: I'm still trying to make it. Everyday is a battle. I got a scholarship but I have to fight each day to feel like I deserve it.