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December 27, 2016

Trevor Knight

Houston, Texas

Q. Coach said last year that you might consider Kansas State. Did you consider them on any level?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Yeah, I talked to Coach Snyder a little bit. I've always respected the way he runs his program. Obviously getting to play against them for four years and just the way that he treated me personally, but also the way he ran his program was top-notch, and I still believe that today. I'm excited to get this opportunity to play against them because I do respect them so much.

They are a team that's very disciplined, like Coach Sumlin said, and they do exactly what they are going to do. And they are not going to beat themselves. You're forced to beat them. So it's going to be a fun matchup.

Q. You've had some success against them as the quarterback at Oklahoma. What did you take away from those matchups that you can use in this one?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Well, I've seen them before. I've studied their defense before, so I kind of know what they are going to do. Now, whether that shows up on the field tomorrow or not, I don't know. But I've at least played against them and I've seen them schematically before, so I think that's a little bit of an advantage.

Q. Did you inquire about going to K-State?
TREVOR KNIGHT: That's what he was just asking. I definitely talked to Coach Snyder when I was going through that process. I talked to a lot of people, so I'm not going to say that I was thinking about going there or anything like that, but I definitely had conversations with him.

Q. Biggest challenges in this game that you see coming up?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Again, I think that Kansas State is extremely disciplined. They have some great playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. We are going to have to execute to our full potential in order to have an opportunity to win. They are not going to beat themselves. Again, they do what they do and they do it really, really well.

Q. What's your impression of Jordan Willis?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Like Coach Sumlin said, he's going to be a guy that goes really high in the draft next year. He's a playmaker and he's versatile and he's extremely explosive. He's somebody that we kind of have to take notice of whenever we are scheming things up and things like that.

Q. What was the biggest difference, SEC and Big 12, any one or two things that you can put your finger on?
TREVOR KNIGHT: You know, when you get out there between the lines, it's just football. You know, maybe the types of offenses and even the defensive schemes are a little bit different from week-to-week. For me personally, I really enjoy getting to travel to new places. I get to go play at all the places in the Big 12. But this year I got to go to Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa and go out to Jordan-Hare at Auburn. That was fun for me.

But as far as football goes, maybe slight differences, but still just football.

Q. How nice was it to get back and practice and be fully healthy?
TREVOR KNIGHT: It's been nice. These Bowl practices have been good. I feel like we are really gelling at this point and kind of got back into a rhythm. We went I think eight straight days before we got a few days off for Christmas break. Any time you get going like that, get a little energy behind it, I think good things happen.

And we are excited to play. It's been three weeks, almost a month since we've played, and you know, we kind of have a bad taste in our mouth, because Thanksgiving Day we played LSU and didn't come out with a win. So we're excited to come out tomorrow and hopefully finish the season out the right way.

Q. You were on the sideline for the Oklahoma/K-State game earlier this season. Did you notice anything you can use for your preparation?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I was really enjoying myself at that game. I wasn't necessarily scheming them up or anything like that, because obviously at that point I didn't think I would be playing against K-State or didn't know, so not really.

Again, I've played against them before, and they haven't changed up what they do too much over the past, however many years, under Coach Snyder. I think it is an advantage that I've played against them before and seen some of the looks but we still have a huge challenge ahead of us tomorrow night.

Q. Do you feel like you and Jesse Ertz are similar? What similarities do you think you share?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I think he runs the ball extremely well and he does a great job of managing that offense. Obviously, no, I didn't watch them too much, as we were preparing for K-State because I'm looking at the defensive side of the ball. But he is a dynamic player and poses a challenge for our defense just because he does have that run-threat ability.

Q. Can you talk about the whole full circle it's come with Texas A&M, being committed in high school and finishing out your career?
TREVOR KNIGHT: It's been a perfect ending. Obviously you want to come in here and compete for a big-time championship, but this year has been phenomenal for me. I was a guy that really loved where I was at the Oklahoma and kind of took the leap of faith just because I wanted to be on the feel again.

Coach Sumlin and his staff have given me every opportunity that I ever could have asked for, about to play in my 11th game at A&M as a starter and we've had a lot of ups, a downs but memories that will last a lifetime. Specifically it being this week, being the last one, kind of tried to take everything in. Enjoy the little things that maybe sometimes you take for granted week-in and week-out.

Q. What have you seen from Nick Starkel and Jay, just throughout the year, and knowing obviously they are going to be stepping in and competing next year?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I've loved working with those guys. The way that they prepare, even when they are not I guess necessarily the guy has been phenomenal. They have helped me out so much just competing in practice and even on the sidelines, talking about looks and things like that. I've gotten really close to both of those guys.

I'm excited to watch them compete next year for the job. I think both of them have things that are going to give this team an ability to win and so it's going to be fun to watch.

Q. How close are you to 100 percent?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I feel great. I feel like I can do everything that they ask me to do, and again, last game, so I'm ready to rock and roll.

Q. Jordan Willis leads the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss. What did you see against him?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Yeah, he's a fantastic player. Can do everything that he's supposed to do and even more. He's definitely a challenge for us, especially as we go through scheme and some run game stuff. We're just going to have to play really well against him and try to work around him, because he's going to make his plays.

Q. Why do you think that y'all will play well?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I think we've done a great job in preparation leading up to this game. We lost our last day of the season on Thanksgiving day and kind of got a bad taste in our mouth and want to finish it the right way. I know Coach Sumlin has said it, the seniors, we're not going to have to worry about us.

It's our last game and we're going to go out there and give it everything we have and those other guys have rallied around us and I think are excited to play. Again we went eight straight days, had a few days off and have had two fantastic practices the last couple of days.

Everybody is excited. Everybody has their juices throwing a little bit, and it's going to be a fun one tomorrow night.

Q. What have they done well down the stretch that you've seen on film?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I think they just have some confidence going. You know, obviously schematically, they are not doing much different than they were in the beginning. But they have gotten rolling a little bit and kind of all the parts are piecing together and sticking together at the right time. And so you know, they are probably going to come out tomorrow and hopefully continue that streak for them. But we are going to do everything that we can to stop them.

Q. They got their confidence rolling at the end. On the other side, you guys kind of started hot and fizzled out a little bit. How did that differ for you guys, trying to get the confidence back?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I think we remained pretty confident. We battled the ups and downs of this season, towards the back end like you were saying. We had a lot of injuries and things like that, but we are motivated. We are ready to play this game and there's a lot that comes with it being a nine-win team instead of an eight-win team. So we definitely have motivation.

Q. I know you're graduating but what can a win in the Bowl game do for the team next year and moving on to the next season?
TREVOR KNIGHT: Any time you win your Bowl game, it kind of propels you into the next season and even the off-season. It gives you a little confidence and sets the tone for the next year.

Coach Sumlin was saying a little bit, we had the opportunity to get our young guys a lot of work during Bowl practices, so it's kind of the start of their competition next year. A win would be big for the program but also big for next year's team.

Q. How much better is this team now than they were when you guys walked off the field against LSU?
TREVOR KNIGHT: I wouldn't say we are necessarily a better team. I think we are ready to play better than that night. We are the same team from week one, that we were not ranked all the way to No. 4 in the country and have battled some adversity through the back stretch but we are the same team, same guys, same motivation and excited to go play really, really well tomorrow night.

Q. How about from a health standpoint?
TREVOR KNIGHT: From a health standpoint, we've come a long way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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