SANTA CLARA – Aldon Smith will face Patriots’ left tackle Nate Solder on Sunday. The two players faced each other once in college, and Smith beat Solder for four sacks.
Here’s what Smith said in the locker room Thursday afternoon about the upcoming matchup against Solder and the Patriots offense.
Q: Do you remember what happened when you faced Nate Solder in college?
ALDON SMITH: I had a good game.
Q: You had three sacks.
ALDON SMITH: Four.
Q: Must have been looking at the wrong box score.
ALDON SMITH: Must have.
Q: Does that give you good feeling going into this game?
ALDON SMITH: Yeah. I faced him in college and I know who he is.
Q: Is it just a good matchup for you?
ALDON SMITH: I was able to beat him, yeah.
Q: Is he a much different player now?
ALDON SMITH: I’m sure he improved. He made it this far. He’s starting.
Q: Is there a different atmosphere for the night games? Is there a different energy in the air?
ALDON SMITH: I think so. Everybody just gets up for it. Being back under the lights – we played under the lights in high school, Friday night lights. That’s when everybody got their real love for football. We all get amped for it.
Q: Do you have the same feelings that you had back in high school when you’re under the lights?
ALDON SMITH: Yeah. Back in high school under the lights, you knew it was show time. It’s just that feeling that you get again, being in the spotlight.
Q: Tom Brady has only been sacked 20 times this season. Do you take that as an even bigger challenge?
ALDON SMITH: Yeah. They do a good job protecting him, and he does a good job getting rid of the ball. Hopefully we can change that number.
Q: J.J. Watt was pretty winded in the fourth quarter against the Patriots on Monday night. What have you seen of the Patriots no-huddle offense, and can it create problems from a fatigue standpoint?
ALDON SMITH: If you’re not in shape by this time, you’ve got a problem. They do a good job of getting back to the line. We’ve just got to get the calls in and be ready for the next step.
Q: We asked Fangio if he enjoys facing the Patriots, and he asked us if we were sadists. When you look at the Patriots offense, do you say, “Wow, how do we stop them?” or “We can stop them.”
ALDON SMITH: We can stop them.
Q: Do the games against the Packers and the Lions give you confidence you can stop the Patriots?
ALDON SMITH: Yeah. We’ve played good offense before. This isn’t the first offense we’ve played that has talent. Tape shows what happened. We’ll just put it back on tape again.
Q: When you see Nate Solder again, will you say, “Remember me?”
ALDON SMITH: No, I won’t say anything.
Q: Do you think he’ll remember you?
ALDON SMITH: We’ll see after the game.