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December 29, 2018
Q. It's been 18 years since Washington has been to the Rose Bowl. What do you think it is about this specific team and group of guys that got this program back to this game?
JORDAN MILLER: It means, we've been here for four years and we have like one theme the whole time, just working hard is going to pay off. I think Jake said the same thing. It's going to fall where it falls and this season, it's been hard. It's been a grinder, but we kept working hard even after every loss and everything like that, and we knew that things would work out the way it did if we -- we can control what we can control.
Q. Guys yesterday kept saying "resiliency." Would that be the word you would use to describe the culture in that locker room?
JORDAN MILLER: For sure. We never really blinked, no matter what happens. We knew that we were going to go out and play hard every week and that's what we did and we knew that that would get us where we wanted to be at.
Q. Can you talk about the challenges that Haskins presence to your defense?
JORDAN MILLER: I mean, he's a good quarterback. He's patient. He can get the ball into small spaces. He's confident with the ball so we know he's going to try to fit it in no matter what. He's a big guy and hard to take down and he can move around and he has weapons around him. There's a lot of things.
Q. How does playing in the Pac 12 get you guys ready to play?
JORDAN MILLER: I feel like it gets us prepared because there's a lot of offenses that throw a lot of different things at us.
Also, it's really diverse and it's real competitive throughout the whole conference.
Q. What does it mean for you to be here?
JORDAN MILLER: It means a lot. Being from California, being from down here, you hear all the stories and all that about this game and I'm really excited to get a chance to play in one myself.
Q. Did it ever bug you, family or friends --
JORDAN MILLER: Only thing that bugged me more than that was how many tickets I had to try to find for this game. It's been real hard.
Q. Talk about Jake. What type of leadership does he bring?
JORDAN MILLER: That's Jake's best quality is his leadership and his resiliency, like they were saying earlier. He wants to win more than anybody else on this team. He wants to win so much and he drives so hard for it and it's contagious, everyone really follows that and he's such a great leader, such a great teammate and I've been blessed to have him for the last four years.
Q. How would you describe the season? Did you think it would be possible?
JORDAN MILLER: That's what I like about my team is we never really blinked after adversity or anything like that. We knew that's part of life and that's part of football and we just kind of kept going as hard as we could and kept trying to control with a we can control and we can win these games in front of us and we're just blessed to be in this position.
Q. The secondary, how do you feel --
JORDAN MILLER: We feel good. We have the best coach I think in the country. He really stresses discipline and being perfect to assignments and he recruits good guys. I kind of noticed that since I got here, our secondary has definitely been a strength of our team and our defense and he puts us to a high standard. Like we can't make mistakes and all that.
Q. Talk about the challenge of facing Haskins, a guy who can sling it pretty good.
JORDAN MILLER: He can definitely sling it. He can put the ball anywhere on the field. He's confident and patient, and he can also run a little bit and the weapons around him are real good. So it's going to present a challenge to our defense.
Q. What's so good about him?
JORDAN MILLER: He has the "It" factor. He completes a lot of passes. He's smart with it and he has strength.
Q. You face a lot of passing quarterbacks in the Pac 12. Does that better help prepare you for someone like Haskins?
JORDAN MILLER: I think so. This year we used to think that a lot of teams would test us down the field and a lot of teams didn't, but there have been a handful of teams tried to Wazzu, a couple teams tried to, Utah, and I know that Ohio State will. So I'm pretty excited to see what will happen. I definitely think the Pac 12 did set us well to go against a passing team like this.
Q. What's the strength of the secondary?
JORDAN MILLER: How we bring everyone to the ball. I feel like we all close in on the ball real well and eliminate chances for yards after much can as and I think that's what we do pretty well as a unit for sure.
Q. Is in your time here, how have you seen everything grow?
JORDAN MILLER: The biggest thing I could say about seeing us grow is seeing us improve as a unit and that becoming the standard.
So like when we get better at something as a team, we no longer let -- we don't want to slip below that standard. Like Coach Peterson says, the best you've ever done and all that, but we have really taken that to heart. If get good at something, you're not going to get no worse at it. You've got to continue to build that and build that.
Like after my sophomore year, getting into the Playoff, that's what we expected, and I feel like that just helps the culture grow and that's what we've been doing.
Q. The secondary, especially, across the board, when you see the guys that signed on signing day, coming and starting their careers, what do you see for them?
JORDAN MILLER: I see them coming in and being coached by one of the best coaches in the country. I know that Coach Lake could build almost anybody into being a great football player, so imagine what he can do with these great recruits that signed. I feel like it's only up for them from here.
Q. You've had some time to look at Ohio State. What stands out about the offense?
JORDAN MILLER: They don't have any weaknesses. I know they pass the ball a lot but they run the ball real good, too. They have, unlike Wazzu, who had a little scheme that they did against everybody, they do a game plan for defenses so they will bring something new to the table for us. They have a good quarterback who is basically the key to their offense but they also have other weapons.
Q. I know you said you liked the challenge. These receivers, what really stands out about them and what makes them so tough?
JORDAN MILLER: They have guys that are good with the ball in their hands and they have guys that are pretty tall and make plays on the ball but they also have guys that are pretty fast.
Like I said, they are pretty diverse across the board. There's no one thing that they are known for. They have everything and that's good. They have their balance. So it's going to be exciting.
Q. How much personality of the defensive backs is shaped from Coach Lake and his competitiveness?
JORDAN MILLER: I mean, he's so competitive, and I feel like that's just how he expects us to be. We're built to be competitive just like him. We show it maybe in a different way than he does but I do feel like we bring all that competitive to the field that he has in the room.
Q. How does he show it?
JORDAN MILLER: I don't know on the field if you watch him, he'll be jumping up and down and stuff like that, but he's just like that in the defensive team room and meeting room. That's just the way he is. At least for me personally if I mess up well on the field or do well on the field, first thing I think -- oh, no, you know, something like that, that's how I'll be field goal.
Q. I know how competitive you are with each other. Does that come from him?
JORDAN MILLER: That's him but also us. We're like a family. We're brothers. As much as we want everyone to do well we want to outdo each other at the same time. We want each other to be so good that it raises the standard of the room.
Q. Talking about the competitiveness, Coach Lake told us the incentives for the DBs in practice --
JORDAN MILLER: Oh, yeah.
Q. Anything going into this one?
JORDAN MILLER: It's not like the same as how Wazzu, to get a certain amount of pass break-ups. It's more like being assignment perfect and being like locked in, and I felt like our Bowl practices have been real good on the DB -- well, DB-wise and defensive-wise, we've been very locked in, just making a lot of plays and Coach Lake has been really commending us for it.
Q. And then talking about your competitiveness, who have you got as the favorite for the best -- (indiscernible.)
JORDAN MILLER: So I'm going to need two in this game to tie Byron, so I think I'm going to get three. Honestly I don't know, it can go any way.
Q. Next year without you?
JORDAN MILLER: Next year, Elijah, hands down. It's not even going to be close.
Q. Do you feel responsibility to represent the Pac 12 and do them proud this Bowl season? It's a conference that doesn't get a lot of respect nationwide.
JORDAN MILLER: I would say, not responsibility, but it would be a great thing to do to show well for the Pac 12. It's not the first thing I'm thinking about.
Obviously the first thing I'm thinking about is winning the game for our school, but yeah, on the back burner, yeah, I would love to go in and represent the Pac 12 well and get a win for them. We are disrespected sometimes.
Q. To you, what are the keys to the game in the first quarter?
JORDAN MILLER: In the first quarter?
Q. Do you have to start out strong, or are you thinking it's going to be 60 minutes?
JORDAN MILLER: It's definitely going to be a 60-minute game but the first quarter if we are to start fast, our team does well when our offense gets points on the board first and the defense, it takes the pressure off and forces the other offense to throw the ball more and they can't be as balanced and that will be well for us.
But if that doesn't happen, I do still think we will -- a 60-minute game will be well for us, too. Keep playing and keep grinding and that's how we want it.
Q. What's your favorite moment of being here in southern California?
JORDAN MILLER: So far?
Q. Yeah, so far.
JORDAN MILLER: Roscoe's was real good. We went the other day. I'm probably going to go again tonight and I might go another time, I don't know. It was pretty good.
Q. The waffles taste like they have too much cinnamon.
JORDAN MILLER: I liked it. I liked it, yeah. Because B-Murph, he talks about this place called Lola's in Arizona last year we went when we played against Penn State. I liked it. They had some good stuff but this is way better to me, but I'm biased. Everyone has different taste buds, so I can appreciate what he likes, too.
Q. How far from here did you grow up?
JORDAN MILLER: Where are we at exactly? Downtown L.A.? I'm probably two hours and a half, maybe an hour -- maybe two hours and a half exactly with no traffic.
Q. You're pretty familiar with L.A.?
JORDAN MILLER: Not at all. I tried to go to the store the other day, and I walked a little too far away and I was like, where am I right now. This doesn't look like the hotel. It looked a little different, you know what I'm saying. It didn't look like a place I should be walking at nighttime.
Q. Good to be at home?
JORDAN MILLER: Yeah, Christmas was great with the family and now I get to be here in L.A. It's exciting. I'm happy to be here.
Q. Tell me about the ticket situation.
JORDAN MILLER: The maximum extra you could buy was six, and I still needed two more. I just wanted my brother to come see me and he did, and that's all that matters.
Q. You were at the Rose Bowl a couple months ago. How much different is it?
JORDAN MILLER: It's way different. That game was low energy. UCLA played well, and that was a fun game but it's notes same as this.
Q. Your last game as a Husky, are you going to try to steal your helmet, your pads?
JORDAN MILLER: I'm not going to try. I'm going to steal all that stuff (Laughter). Not going to see it again. I'm taking it right with me in my bag.
Q. Does it seem kind of weird?
JORDAN MILLER: It's weird. It's pretty surreal. I feel like it will be really real after when the game is all said and done. Right now I'm thinking about Ohio State.
Q. Favorite Disneyland moment?
JORDAN MILLER: I've been to Disneyland a million times. I'm not going to lie, my favorite moment was getting on the shuttle to back to the hotel.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports