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October 15, 2009Wide receiver Keith Smith sees no greater opportunity than this season, when the Boilermakers get a chance to break their losing streak against the Big Ten's premier squad, Ohio State.
Listen to what the junior had to say in this GoldandBlack.com audio interview. Click the link below.
Transcription below ...
GoldandBlack.com: After streak, do you feel like Ohio State presents you with a big opportunity to get on track, and not only that, but do so in a big way?
Smith: "Definitely, you have a big caliber team like Ohio State coming in, that's good year after year after year, and you have an opportunity to play them and turn your season around, that's all you can ask for. I don't know what they're nationally ranked right now, but I know it's up there, and to be able to get a win against them would turn our season around and have everything get back on track."
GoldandBlack.com: Do you feel like you'd really surprise some people if you could pull off the win?
Smith: "Definitely. I was watching the Big Ten Network and they were saying it's not if Ohio State's going to beat us, it's how much they beat us by. Having people say things like that it's extra drive and being able to go out there and surprise millions of people, you couldn't ask for much more."
GoldandBlack.com: If you could just cut off the turnovers, would that go a long way toward earning a win?
Smith: "By far. That's what's hurt us every single game. Even in the game that we won, we had turnovers that could have cost us the game. If we could get them turned around, I feel that we have the best possible opportunity to beat Ohio State."
GoldandBlack.com: After the Minnesota loss, you talked about how one mistakes is leading to another. How do you stop that snow-balling effect?
Smith: "It's a mindset of the players. It has nothing to do with the coaching staff or anyone else. It's the mindset of the players, and I believe the talk that we had with everyone on Sunday finally got everyone's mindset on the right page, and knowing that if something goes wrong, we can make something good happen right afterwards. If something goes wrong on Saturday, I believe in this team that we'll make something good happen right afterwards."
GoldandBlack.com: Talk more about Sunday's meeting.
Smith: "We had to get everybody on the same page again. And make sure that everyone was still dedicated to this program and did not throw the season already. We needed it big-time and it was a good meeting for us. We had a great practice Sunday and now I'm just ready to go out here today, on Tuesday, and have a great practice as well."
GoldandBlack.com: What is it that makes Ohio State so good?
Smith: "Speed and physicality. They're big and run very well side-to-side. Our gameplan is going to be great, as we have a good gameplan every single week but we're going to have to work on their little weaknesses, their little zone drops or different points that we feel we can exploit."
GoldandBlack.com: You're on a nice little stretch here, with three straight games of 100-receiving yards or more, which is one short of a Purdue record. What has been going well?
Smith: "Personally, I've been catching the ball pretty well. Me and Joey have been on the same page, so being able to click on third-down plays, or key plays, we're able to find each other. He knows what I'm going to do and I know what he's thinking. We've been clicking very well and it's been showing."
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