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Oregon State DC Anthony Perkins Notebook | Sun Bowl

December 27, 2023

Oregon State defensive coordinator Anthony Perkins spoke ahead of Friday's matchup with Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl.

On the excitement to play in the Sun Bowl:
”The guys that we have in our locker room, they're excited for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with a program like Notre Dame. A program that's prestigious year in and year out. They're always at the very top, so to play in an environment like this, to play at this level with this magnitude - a bowl game late in December is something that everybody's excited about. I know our players are hungry, they're ready, they're excited for the opportunity.” 

On having a top defense this fall: 
”It’s a testament to Coach Bray, what he was able to do before he got the head coaching job. Just him being able to build the culture of this defense and build it to where it is, but I think more than anything it's a testament to the players that we have in the locker room. Just a bunch of guys that are hungry. You’ve got a bunch of guys that are hyper-competitive, a bunch of guys that were willing to show up every single day and just lay it on the line, leave it all on the grass and it was fun to watch.

“Some of the younger guys kind of grew through the season and everybody had a chance to step up and make plays when their opportunity came about. For us to be here now, I think the guys are excited. That's about all I can say.” 

On the experience in El Paso:
”The hospitality has been unreal and the people here are more than willing to go above and beyond to make us feel at home, to make us feel comfortable, and yeah, I can't thank you guys enough for going out of your way to show us a great time and make sure that we do truly feel at home while we're down here.” 

On how much influence head coach Trent Bray will have this week:
”Coach Bray is around and he's done a really good job of just really being available, especially for the players. For myself being able to get him and ask him whatever questions are needed, bounce ideas off of him, he’s done a great job of being available, being present, being part of this thing.” 

On if he will be the DC next year:
”I’m the defense coordinator right now and I'm excited for this opportunity. Next year will take care of itself, but I'm focused on right here, right now and making sure that I do my part in allowing our players to play fast, play physical, play confident and put a good product out on the field.” 

On the matchup being one of the best of the bowl season:
”I think that's the beauty of college football is you have all these bowl games and you have a bunch of great athletes, great teams, great programs playing in a bunch of awesome parts of the country. I'm excited about this one. I haven't put much thought into this one compared to other ones I just know that we have a great opportunity to go against one of the best programs in the country and we're excited for it.” 

On the impact of opt-outs:
“It doesn't change the preparation. Coach Boyer already alluded to it, it’s kind of the nature of college football right now, but I'm a firm believer in the next man up and the guys that we have with us right now. They're excited, they're hungry. We have a couple younger guys playing in expanded roles and I know that they're ready for their opportunity.” 

On the impact of his uncle Don Perkins on his life and coaching career:
”Don Perkins, what a great career he had as a collegiate player at the University of New Mexico and then getting to play for the Dallas Cowboys for those seasons. The biggest impact I think that he made on my life and when I talked to a lot of other people who knew him as a person, it was bigger than football for him. Football was what he did, but it wasn't who he was and he was very much a relational person who poured into those around him and I think the legacy that he left behind was a legacy beyond football.

“It was a legacy of being a great father, being a great grandfather, being a great friend. He was able to use this platform to make an impact beyond the game and I think that's been the biggest impact
that he left for me - was just being able to use a platform that you have to build into those around
you, to pour into those that you’re around.” 

On what the linebacker position looks like with the loss of Easton Mascarenas-Arnold: 
”Yeah, I think obviously he's a very good football player who played a lot of snaps and was very productive in our defense, but I'm excited for a couple guys who are going to get a chance to kind of show the world who they are, that are going to have this stage, this opportunity to do so. I think you got a couple young guys that are hungry, they're ready, they've been preparing and I know that they're chopping at the bit. They're ready to go out and show out and I can't wait to watch them.”

On if Notre Dame’s new look offense changes Oregon State’s preparation:
”No, I think they do a great job with what they do just from a scheme standpoint. They’re big up front, and they've got really big tight ends. They're physical up front, they’ve got a good and very dynamic run game versus how they scheme it up.

“I think at the end of the day, we’ve got to make it about us. We’ve got to do a good job of being sound in our run fits and we’ve got to do a great job of playing fast, playing physical, knowing that they’re going to try to do what they do regardless of who they have playing.

“It’s going to be a good football player, it’s going to be somebody that’s hungry, that’s ready to roll. Somebody who’s ready to make a name for themselves, so I’m not worried about who is playing; I’m worried about us and making sure that we do our jobs. Playing fast. Playing physical. Playing confident and finding ways to help the offense so we can win this football game.” 

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