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November 2, 2011EAST LANSING - Kirk Cousins has more wins than any quarterback in Michigan State history and he will finish his Spartan career at or near the top of every statistical category pertaining to his position.
But as the fifth-year senior prepares for the first contest in the final four regular season games of his Michigan State career, Cousins wants to enjoy himself on the football field more than he has in past games.
"When you talk about having a month left, it is not so much about having a sense of urgency, I always feel a sense of urgency," explained the three-year starter. "It is more trying to enjoy it. I think too much during my experience here, I am trying to have too much of a sense of urgency to the point where I don't take advantage of the opportunities that I have here and realize the privilege that it is to play here and just have fun with it.
"During my last four games I am going to forget about the sense urgency so much and try and take the pressure off myself and enjoy the process and make sure that I don't regret not enjoying it more when I am done."
Letting go of the past is one way Cousins can begin to enjoy himself. And while it was clear after Tuesday night's practice that Michigan State's disappointing road loss at Nebraska was still on the mind of the Spartan captain, it was also clear that Cousins is not beating himself up over his team's first Big Ten loss in 2011.
"It was a combination of things," explained Cousins. "First and foremost, like we said on Saturday Nebraska did a good job, they had a good scheme. They covered things well and they knew what was coming, so credit them. There were times where, if I throw that ball a little bit farther, maybe we get a completion or if we catch the ball when we get a drop, maybe we can get a drive going or if a guy runs a route a little bit different maybe it is open. Overall, you have to credit Nebraska and the job that they did and we will have a much better plan and be much more focused in our attention to detail going into this week. I walked away from the game, not feeling like there were too many plays we just didn't execute. It was more of just, they had a good bead on us and we have to do a much better job of making sure that they don't know what is coming."
Cousins does not expect his team to suffer a hangover from their loss to Nebraska this weekend when they take the field at Spartan Stadium against Minnesota.
"I think putting a tough loss behind you starts with the recognition of what you still have left to play for," Cousins explained. "And for us, if we win out I think we have a good chance to be there in the championship game and that is all the incentive we need to get back on track and put the loss behind us and keep moving forward. We recognize what is at stake and we get back to work right away and recognize that if we win one game at a time and end up 4-0 in November we are right where we want to be."
Click below to watch Cousins post-practice interview, which includes the Spartan quarterback's thoughts on an improving Minnesota ball club. Cousins also explains the meaning of the "I Agree with Kirk" signs around the Michigan State campus.