|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
January 1, 2015
Oregon Â– 59
Florida State - 20
THE MODERATOR:Â We're now joined by Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, linebacker Tony Washington, and quarterback Marcus Mariota.Â Both Players Of The Game, Offensive and Defensive.
I'd like to ask Coach Helfrich to start with an opening remark, and then we'll take the floor for questions.
COACH HELFRICH:Â Just extremely proud of our teams and our coaches.Â Obviously, the entire kind of University of Oregon community for how they represented down here.
Again, hats off to congratulations to Coach Fisher on an unbelievable season, an unbelievable two‑year span of what they've been able to do.Â In this day, it's extremely difficult.Â I think a lot of times that gets lost this time of year as the season becomes a failure because you don't win the championship.Â We've been on that side of it too.Â They had an unbelievable run.
Just tremendous total team effort by our guys, sticking together in the second half.Â Defensively, creating some huge plays.Â Saw T‑dubs burst.Â Talked to receiver coach after, he may be moving next week.Â Total team effort.Â Very proud to be a part of it.
Q.Â Marcus, describe what it was like when you gained all of that momentum and were putting up all those points.Â Do you think it's going to carry over to the Championship Game?
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â It's an incredible feeling.Â When you prepare all week and you find success and are able to execute as we did, it does feel good.Â Hopefully, we can take a little bit of this momentum heading into the next game.
Q.Â Marcus, first for you and then Tony can talk about it.Â To watch your defense do what they did with the turnovers, that had to be nice.Â And the fact that you were able‑‑ how important was it that you turned those into points?Â Tony, obviously, you have to feel that your defense continued that "bend, don't break" thing.Â I'm guessing that worked pretty well for you.
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â Yeah, defense played incredible.Â They practiced hard all week.Â Just a testament of what they've been able to do.Â Those guys have been doing it all year.Â They always kind of find ways to get the ball.
For us as an offense, it gives us an opportunity to have good field position and to turn those into points.Â Defense played great, and they are really just kind of the steam that we needed to roll.
Q.Â Coach Helfrich, how long will you let your players celebrate this victory?Â When do you want them to start thinking about the National Championship Game?
COACH HELFRICH:Â I guarantee there's a few guys in the locker room dialed in and tuned into those guys and trying to get some tendencies.Â Doing what they did tonight, the culmination of the season, they need to enjoy it for a couple of days.Â We've got a plan going forward of how we'll manage that.Â These guys can enjoy getting patted on the back for probably too many times here in the next couple days, and then we flip it.
It has to be that way, whether it's coming off the regular season, the Championship Game, the Championship Game to here, managing those kind of extra days and really taking advantage of and balance getting healthy versus getting stale, and all those other things that go into it.
Q.Â Coach Helfrich, what happened with Devon Allen just before the game?Â Can you discuss the way your receivers responded, Baylis and Carrington, kind of with that curveball?
COACH HELFRICH:Â Those two names you just threw out there, Devon was unavailable the rest of the game.Â Baylis played extremely well in Brown's stead.Â Carrington made some amazing plays.Â Those guys did vital stuff without the ball, which is vital to our success.
Those guys have been battling all year long, and we had to win on the perimeter both in the run game and the bubble game and all that stuff that goes into it and make some plays downfield, and we were able to do that.
Q.Â For Marcus and Tony, can you guys talk about being the team that finally ended the FSU win streak of 29 games?
TONY WASHINGTON:Â Honestly, going into the game, we never really thought about it like that.Â We were just kind of focused on going out and being the Oregon team that we can be.Â We knew coming into the game that this group of guys who are going against us are a great team.Â It's really hard to win every game throughout the whole season in college football, especially in the conferences we play.
We were just ready for the fight, and we just came out on top.
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â Just to kind of add on that, we knew coming in that they're a great team.Â They were undefeated the last two years, and I mean just that in itself says a lot about what they've been able to do.
Coming in, we didn't focus on that.Â We just wanted to focus on ourselves and really just trying to execute to the best of our abilities.
Q.Â For Coach and Marcus, there were times, probably more so in the first half, it seemed like their defensive players were a little late getting over or walking around.Â Do you get the sense your tempo was able to get to them at times in this game?
COACH HELFRICH:Â We take great pride in our physical conditioning.Â That was something going into it we wanted to, in our kind of way, exploit.Â They didn't play a ton of guys defensively, and it's hard to endure.Â I don't know exactly what it ended up being play‑wise.Â I think it was high 40s in the first half.
Yes, we definitely talked about this look and where we thought we could try to make some plays in the second half.
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â We knew going in that our tempo can be a weapon.Â We kind of feel that way in every game.Â But at the same time, our guys are getting set as fast as they can, and that's a testament to them.Â Just the way we've been able to practice.Â It's awesome to see it relay back on the game field.
Q.Â Mark, Carrington hadn't been a huge contributor for you during the season, a couple of touchdowns, 30 catches, I think.Â How big was it for him specifically to step up for the game and do the things he did?
COACH HELFRICH:Â I think that's, again, the most important part of understanding what we're all about is it's we.Â Sometimes guys can take over the game and never touch the football.Â This game happened to be his game, and when he had the opportunity to make those plays, it was huge, and he's grown up a ton, realizing early on that I can affect the game without the ball in my hands.
Byron Marshall has been one of the most valuable guys without the ball.Â Keanon Lowe without the ball tonight was unbelievable.Â Evan Baylis without the ball.
Sometimes it's the ebb and flow of how the system works.Â You're not going to touch the ball sometimes, and sometimes you are.Â You're needed every single play.
Q.Â How do you think Tyner's return impacted the way you guys were able to run the ball?Â Seems like he provided a big spurt for you guys.
COACH HELFRICH:Â A healthy Thomas helps everybody out.Â It helps Marcus.Â It helps Royce.Â It helps Byron be truly versatile and not have to lean one way or the other as far as a game plan approach.Â We were very excited when we thought‑‑ we talked kind of during the Bowl prep he was having a great last couple weeks.Â He's had a couple of hard‑nosed, tough runs going against the defense quite a bit, and there were a couple of good little battles in there.
Q.Â For Marcus, in the beginning of the game, it seemed like maybe you were just a little bit anxious, but as the game went on, you kind of found your rhythm.Â Can you talk about how maybe you got more comfortable as the game went on and how kind of the game slowed down for you.
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â I didn't feel that I was too anxious going in.Â I just missed a couple throws here and there.Â But that's the thing with our offense is you start building a rhythm up, the offense has to go a little bit.Â Hats off to the guys because they're finding ways to get open.
That defense is very athletic, and it's tough to kind of find spots in the zone or run away from man coverage.Â But at the same time, guys like D.C., Keanon Lowe, I mean Byron, just doing a great job of getting open.
Q.Â Mark, it's been a pretty natural season for the Ducks.Â You win the Pac‑12 title.Â You're in your second year.Â You won a Bowl game last year.Â You have the Heisman Trophy winner.Â You come to the Rose Bowl and win the Rose Bowl, and now you're going to the National Championship.Â If you could, maybe just encapsulate what this season so far has meant to you, to the team, to the community.
COACH HELFRICH:Â I think the passion our fans certainly showed just by their representation here today was a great statement by them, unbelievable representation in terms of volume and sheer numbers.
I'm the luckiest guy in the world to be around these guys.Â This team is unbelievable, unbelievable to be around these guys every single day.Â That's probably the biggest blessing of all is we get a few more days together.Â And this edition has been resilient.Â They've been tough.Â They've been smart.Â They've been kicked in the gut a couple of times and looked it straight in the eye.
We had to have that kind of effort to overcome the team and the movement that Florida State had over the last couple years, and, again, total credit goes to these guys.
Q.Â Your fans were chanting "We Want 'Bama" at the end of the game.Â Is that what you guys want?Â Or talk a little bit about either team you could face in the title game.
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â It doesn't matter to us.Â We're happy that we're able to get this win in the Rose Bowl, but whatever comes next, we look forward to playing them.
It's an opportunity for us to hopefully win the National Championship.Â We're just going to look forward to whoever we play.
TONY WASHINGTON:Â Ditto.
Q.Â Tony, Jameis Winston was just in here, and he said that the game could have gone either way and that his offense was never stopped.Â He said let's be real with everybody in the room.Â As a guy on the defense, what's your reaction to that?
TONY WASHINGTON:Â I mean, I don't really know.Â I feel like that's a mentality you kind of have to have playing on offense.Â Those guys always come out and fight, and we've kind of seen that showcased throughout the whole season.Â They can be down multiple touchdowns, but they always come out on top.
I think it goes to show what they think about themselves and how they come out and play.Â I mean, he has that competitive attitude, and I thought that's what he was trying to present to everyone.Â I don't really have much to say about it.
Q.Â Turnovers don't usually come like they did today with the frequency.Â How are you looking at winning differently next week?Â What are you looking to clean up in the next seven days?
COACH HELFRICH:Â We can win the same way.Â We're good with it.
There's always stuff.Â There's always stuff, whether it's, whatever, 59‑20 or 10‑7.Â There's always a ton of things that you can improve upon.Â Certainly, winning the turnover battle in terms of the defining victory and determining outcomes, other than score, that's the top one.Â So handling our business a little bit better offensively.
Had a couple guys in there late that caused some self‑inflicted turnovers, which we had fun with in the locker room, but that's huge.
Q.Â Marcus, a couple of nice plays by DeForest in the first quarter, and then in the third quarter, which helped to set up your touchdown.Â Can you comment on your fellow interscholastic league of Honolulu former star?
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â Yeah, DeForest has been making plays like that all year.Â It's a testament to his work and his character because he had to battle through a little bit.Â For him to make those plays, he's going to continue to make them, and it's awesome and looking forward for him to do that.
Q.Â Question is for Tony.Â Describe the feeling to have a game like this essentially back at home.
TONY WASHINGTON:Â It's incredible.Â Growing up in Southern California, the Rose Bowl has always been a big game to me.Â So just being able to play in it, and just winning with my teammates, there's no feeling like it.Â It's a really special game, really special moment for all of us, and I'm just trying to cherish it.
Q.Â Coach, it was 25‑20 in the third quarter, then all of a sudden, we all look up, and it's 59‑20.Â What's it like to be in a zone like that where it's just the points are flowing?
COACH HELFRICH:Â A lot of fun, but at the same time, these guys were able to retain a tremendous focus, and we knew that was going to, again, be needed against an opponent like this and in a game like this, where the emotions, the crowd, everything is just up and down and up and down.
To sustain the effort defensively, to create some issues there, to do some great things on special teams, which I thought was key in terms of covering these guys in the kick return game especially, and then to score touchdowns.Â We have to score touchdowns.
That was a great, again, run by our guys in terms of maintaining focus and finishing.Â Truly, truly finishing.
Q.Â Coach, you guys are primarily a run first team.Â They're known for their secondary.Â Yet you guys came out throwing the ball.Â What did you see on film that led you guys to think you could come out throwing the way you did?
COACH HELFRICH:Â We've got a pretty good quarterback, and we have a ton of confidence in him, and a bunch of young guys that have done great things on the perimeter.
And then just by virtue of how they play us.Â Sometimes it comes that way through the run game, where we're actually running a run play with some sort of bubble or something off of it.Â That occurred several times.Â And then you have to be able to dictate a little bit what the game's going to be about, in terms of you've got to be able to slam it up in there a few times, and you've got to take some shots.
So I thought Coach Frost and the offensive staff did a great job of balancing just that to keep them off balance.
Q.Â For Marcus and Tony, what does it mean to you to be in this Championship Game, the ultimate game in college football, for this season?
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â It means a lot.Â All the hard work, all the stuff that we put into it during the off‑season and for it to kind of pay off and allow us to be a part of this game, it's a great feeling.Â We're very fortunate to be a part of it, and we're excited to get going and get prepared for it.
Q.Â Marcus, a lot of people wanted to see this great battle between you and Jameis.Â After everything started unfolding in the fourth quarter, what's it like as a competitor to see that going up against your counterpart in a game like the Rose Bowl?
MARCUS MARIOTA:Â I was just happy for our team.Â The entire week, I really didn't want to focus on the matchup.Â I think that was just stuff that other people really wanted to talk about.
I just wanted to focus on this team and for us to kind of go out there and be successful, it was just a great feeling, and I'm happy for us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports