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December 26, 2017

Saquon Barkley

Glendale, Arizona

SAQUON BARKLEY: It's been amazing. Obviously it's different from State College, Pennsylvania. A little warmer. But it's been a fun experience. Obviously we just got here a couple of days ago, but got to explore a little bit, see the town a little bit. And the resort we're staying at is beautiful. So it's been an awesome time so far.

Q. The arrival date, it's nice to be out here because you're away from the early signing period, you can practice and focus on the game. How have you guys gone about that the first few days?
SAQUON BARKLEY: The first day we got here, obviously we just got here and got situated, got everything in our hotel, like our room, stuff like that. The next day we practiced, had a light practice. I was able to, like I said, go out and explore the town and stuff. And then for Christmas we had off. We only had meetings a little bit.

And obviously kind of sucks not being home for Christmas, but I think we did a great job of being together as a team and eating breakfast together and having an amazing dinner that the hotel put together for us.

So we've kind of been relaxed, but today we kind of crank it up, we get on our normal schedule. Our Tuesday practices are pretty fun and we get to go compete and bang heads a little bit.

Q. (Inaudible)?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah, it's a lot different, especially this time of year. It's not as hot as I thought it was going to be. But it's perfect for me. I don't like it too hot. I don't like it too cold and this is just perfect temperature for me.

Q. (Indiscernible) you guys played in this game?
SAQUON BARKLEY: It's amazing. Especially representing blue and white. We have a lot of history with this bowl game. I think we're like 6-0 in this bowl game. I'm pretty sure we won a national championship in this bowl game.

So it's an honor to represent those that came before us and to represent the guys that's going to come after us and to be able to play in such a prestigious bowl like the Fiesta Bowl.

Q. Being 6-0 in the bowl, does that give you a chip on your shoulder to not be the team that puts that blemish in there?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I wouldn't say it gives a chip on the shoulder. Obviously we know there's some history with this game, but you can't let that fuel you or you can't let that motivate you because then you're kind of taking yourself out of the game plan and out of the moment.

And whatever happened in the past is in the past and that's kind of how we go about just our season with games we lost or games we won. You can't get too high or too low on it. Can't get too focused on it and we can't get too focused on the record here that we're 6-0 and that we haven't lost in this bowl game because if we start worrying about stuff like that then we're not focused on ourselves.

We have to focus on coming out going against Washington, and they have a great defense, a great front seven. Their safety play is amazing. They can hit. They come down and they hit pretty well. So we've just got to focus on ourselves and focus on the game plan and focus on attacking the Washington defense.

Q. When you look at their defense, top ranked rush defense in the nation, how do you approach that? And is that kind of a fun challenge for you?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yes, it's a fun challenge. The same way you approach that is the same way you approach every other game, especially in the Big Ten. I think in the Big Ten we're well known for rush defense. Going against like Ohio State and Michigan and Michigan State and those teams week in, week out, I think they helped us prepare for this moment.

And like I say, their front seven is really good. Their "D" linemen are really good. I'm pretty sure you guys are all aware of Vita Vea and stuff like that. But we approach it watching the game plan and seeing how they attack it and how they attack running backs different.

I talked to Bryce Love out in Atlanta and see how he attacked them. And continue to watch film and get a good feel for them and when it comes to game time you just have to execute.

Q. What advice did Bryce give you?
SAQUON BARKLEY: It wasn't really advice, because me and him are, our offensive styles are completely different. So even when you watch the game you can't really watch how they attack them because the personnel is different. We have completely different personnel.

So I just asked him how he attacked the defense. What was his mindset? Was it more speed? Was it more power? And if you watch the game, he uses a lot more speed. And he had a really good game, had success against that defense.

So I wouldn't say it was advice but he did give me some tips and some things to help me come into this game that I'll definitely pass along to the other running backs.

Q. As for the game prep, did you go over some of the Big Ten games to try to pick out things to prepare for Washington?
SAQUON BARKLEY: For me, after the season, obviously once we found out what our bowl game was after the season, I kind of go back and watch every single run that I had this season -- see the good things I did, see the bad things I did and the things I need to improve on and see how defenses attacked me and attacked our running game because some teams had success stopping our run game. So if it worked, if it worked why not try it again?

And then compared to how Washington plays and watched their game films and obviously they played a lot of games too, but not every team played the same type of personnel we played so you have to watch it for the personnel and watch how they attack people and watch how they attack players.

Sew I guess you can say I did use a couple of Big Ten games to get me ready for this game, but I was more just kind of just watching myself and watching our run game and watching our pass block and seeing my flaws and seeing what I need to improve on because this game, you put it all out there on film so they have every single game. And you could see different ways they're probably going to attack you.

Q. Have the Fiesta Bowl people been treating you right? What's your experience been like so far?
SAQUON BARKLEY: It's been amazing. It's been amazing. Like I said, Arizona, the weather is a lot different than State College. And we're staying at an amazing resort. And I don't know, it's just a different feel. When you're flying over here, I was actually able to look out and see the mountains. We were like flying over mountains and that was a cool experience.

I've never been to Arizona. So just so far it's been amazing and I'm thankful for the Fiesta committee for allowing us to come out here and allowing us to enjoy our time.

Q. (Inaudible) who in today's game do you look up to?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I'm a big believer in trying to stay true to yourself, and so I watch a lot of backs and I try to take part of their games and add it to mine. But I never try to be like another back. And there's so many backs that you can say, that's playing right now, that are having an impact on the game.

But a guy that sticks out to me would be Le'Veon Bell. I love the way he plays the game. And Todd Gurley, Todd Gurley also. I think the other day he was the second player to have 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a long time.

Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell, those are two backs, they're not just downhill runners and only do one thing, or they're only coming in on third down; they're every single down back. They catch the ball at the backfield, they block, they run.

And as a running back that's what you want to be, you want to be an every-down back. You don't want to come off the field and be able to have impact on your team in different ways. I think those backs do.

Obviously I don't try to be like Todd Gurley or Le'Veon, but I do watch their film and games and try to add pieces and parts of their games and put it to mine.

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