November 6, 2006

Prince pleased with Freeman's game

In just his fifth start, true freshman quarterback Josh Freeman captured the Big 12 Conference's attention by earning the league's Offensive Player of the Week honor on Monday morning, but first-year head coach Ron Prince was the talk of the coaches' teleconference as well. Prince addressed the climb the Wildcats took in reaching bowl eligibility for the first time since 2003 and Freeman's performance at Colorado that contributed to the achievement.

This season you're switching from a run-first type of offense to a pass-first type of offense. How much easier does it make the transition having a quarterback like Josh Freeman?

Well, on your first assertion, we really try to run the ball so I don't think that much has changed. The development of this particular quarterback has allowed us to be much more efficient passing the ball to try and complement that type of running game. But being a freshman he's had his growing pains early in the season and we've felt like he's had a nice level of maturity and development here in the last couple of games and we hope that continues. But we've really tried to run the ball. We just weren't as effective in doing it early in the season as we would have liked.

Has there been one or two moments for him where Josh has taken a tremendous jump?

Upon his arrival we realized he was a very gifted player and athlete. It's just like with every other player that comes into a system, there's a new language, the schedule of being a college football player and all of those things that someone might not think are that difficult but just the process of going off to college I thought he handled very well. He's very mature so it's just been a matter of him growing in the system. We've seen this type of play in practice. Obviously, the competition has a lot to do with it when you start to recognize the coverages and the defenses better and understand how all of those things come together. He had a couple really good opportunities in the Oklahoma State game. That was a confidence builder for him in being able to put those two long drives together from a deficit and lead us to a win. We're hoping that those things continue. He's had his up-and-down moments because when you have plenty of games on tape he's learning how to make those kinds of adjustments within his own circumstances and in the last two games he's tried to do that very well.

Looking back, was there one or two things that you did that helped establish the mindset of this team?

There's probably been a host of things all the way down to the small details. We've had a team, these seniors are very proud players. They were a part of a Big 12 Championship. The way the circumstances of the last two years have gone that hasn't built the most confidence, but they were in a lot of games and to miss the bowl season twice, just doing all the little things to help ourselves to be hard to beat. We haven't always done that. When we've played in that kind of style we've played confidently. There have been a lot of little things. I don't know that there has been any one particular thing but just many little things that have added to our efforts but we still have plenty of improving to do.

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