FOX College Football’s Robert Smith at the State Fair talking Rivalries

Video Details

FOX College Football's Robert Smith at the State Fair talking Rivalries

CAMERAMAN: All right.

- Ready to do it?

CAMERAMAN: I'm ready to do it.

- All right, joined by Robert Smith, of course, the legendary tailback from Ohio State. Hey, you know rivalries? There's nothing like OSU and Michigan, man? What makes rivalries so great? And specifically, this Red River rivalry?

- Well, I think, anybody that signs their name on the dotted line to play for one of these programs, you know that this is part of it, and this is one of the biggest reasons that you do it. Whether you're an Ohio kid, and you want to play Ohio State, Michigan, or an Oklahoma or Texas kid, and you want to play in this game, it's literally one of the primary reasons that you signed as a high school player, because you want to be part of the rivalry.

- This is the moment they all wait for. Let's talk Tom Herman, Texas, trying to turn this thing around in year two. How would you assess the job he's done through 18 games, and what is he trying to do most? What is the key, you think, for him finding success?

- Well, you got to bring in elite players. But then you have to develop those players, and you have to get the most out of those players. Because you can look at how many stars somebody has by their name as a recruit. Texas produces about 350 Division I athletes a year.

- Yeah.

- At the top level. But if those guys aren't coming in, and they don't learn how to compete, they don't learn how to deal with adversity, and I think that's really what, for me, has defined Texas when they were most successful until now. And I think he's starting to get those players-- the right kind of players, that not only have the stars by their name, but that are willing to work and that are willing to deal with the adversity and willing to buy in completely to what a coach tells them.

- What do you think of this Kyler Murray kid they're going to have to slow down? I mean, what do you try to take away first-- the ability to stay and contain, not let him beat you over the top? Where would you start trying to slow this guy down?

- That's a very, very good question because he's so dangerous in every aspect. And the worst thing about it, as a defensive coordinator, is you can have it drawn up perfectly. You can have-- you could have the perfect call against the-- a play that you knew was coming, and he has the ability, because of his acceleration, his athleticism, but his fearlessness-- you combine all those things, he can escape. Even if the guy's in the right place as a defender, he can escape. He'll keep his eyes downfield.

He could have somebody running right at him to sack him, and he'll deliver the ball perfectly. And that-- there's really no great defense against that. It's players making plays. It's guys doing something athletically throughout the course of a play.

And it's not necessarily how it was drawn up. It's just how you actually play it from a technique standpoint because some defender's going to have to get their hand up, either in the line of the pass or covering the wide receiver down the field. Or they're going to have to, one time, when he's escaping the pocket, just get enough of this heel, because he's not going to let you get a clean shot, to get him down before he gets a first down. He is amazing.

- He can do it all. He's got tremendous feet. He's got a tremendous arm. OK, let's transition to our final question for you.

My dad coached this game for 40 years. Right? The coach speak. Just one game at a time. It's just another opponent.

That is not true this week. So as a player, as you prepare for a game like this, how do you try to keep the emotion in check? Not get too emotional, stay grounded even though you know you're going to run out there and see your rival?

- Well, I mean, it's the ultimate contradiction that you need to approach it with because you need controlled chaos. Because inside your mind, you're as intense as you can possibly be, but power is nothing without control, as they say. And intensity without discipline in a game just leads to mistakes. So you have to find that balance as a player. It's not just a game, but at the same time, if you just go out and play wildly, then you have less of a chance to succeed than more.

- Last up. You obviously played Michigan, and I don't mean to put you on the spot, but your record against them was?

- 0, 1, and 1.

- And does it stick with you? Is it always in the back of your mind?

- It's always in the back of my mind. I mean, only two shots at them, and no wins. And you know, they-- the saying is that regret for the things that you do is tempered with time, so you can get over all the dumb things that you do.

But the things-- regret for the things you failed to do is inconsolable. You never get over it. And it's not life or death, but I certainly wish that I had won against my biggest rival.

- He gave everything he had. He was a legend on the field, and we're excited to see a couple more legends take the field tomorrow in the Red River rivalry. Back to you guys.