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December 27, 2019

Brady Breeze

Pasadena, California

Q. What is it like for you to be here, the fact you're going to play in this game and the fact that you grew up watching this game?
BRADY BREEZE: I mean, it's surreal. It's something I've always dreamed of since I was a little kid. We've worked so hard to get here. Our practice yesterday, you could just tell that everyone was excited. People are excited to be playing in this game and being in this atmosphere and being in Los Angeles, you know, where most of the people are from, and it's awesome.

It's going to be a really fun game. It just means the world to me, and I know it means the world to my teammates to be in The Granddaddy Of Them All. I mean, this is something I'll never forget. And going to Disneyland yesterday, that was just amazing. I saw some of my friends that played for Wisconsin too, got to meet up with them.

So you can just tell that everyone is here and we're ready to play, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. What kind of conversations have you had with Chad about what playing in this game was like?
BRADY BREEZE: I asked him a little bit about it, you know, when I was younger and stuff, and he was like: It's one of the best games you're ever going to play in. He even compared to the NFL and stuff like that, it's just thing that that you just can't compare because you're playing with your teammates who you've grinded with your whole career in college and stuff, and all your coaches become your friends as you get older.

And he's like, it's something that you'll just -- you'll never forget, you know, playing against -- he played against Penn State back in the 1995. And he said it was just something that he still remembers to this day.

I watched a little clip of it that he showed me. He had a little VHS. I used to watch it when I was a kid and stuff with my cousins. I mean, it's just something that --

Q. So you heave watched that game on VHS?
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, yeah. He put it on his little TV. My little cousin and I would ask for it and stuff.

Q. How old were you at that point?
BRADY BREEZE: I was probably like maybe ten or something like that. Eight or ten. I can't really remember. But, yeah, we'd watch it. And little cousin used to wear his No. 7 Rose Bowl jersey all the time. He'd just randomly wear it. I'd go over to the house, and my little cousin would be wearing his jersey.

It's just something that I'll never forget growing up as a kid, just knowing that he got to play in that game and just dreaming of playing in this game. And now I get to do it and kind of live on, it's just something that's going to be awesome. I'm so excited.

Q. Have you guys had many conversations about just sort of the state of the program of them versus now?
BRADY BREEZE: Not really.

Q. They were obviously kind of perpetual underdogs, and you guys are in a different spot.
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah. He's talked about it a little bit. Like when he had his teammates and stuff, like Alex Molden, Dino Philyaw, like guys like that, he's talked about how they were just kind of underdogs, like Dino was a juco guy that transferred and Alex was a guy that obviously went to the NFL, was just a baller.

And they were just kind of, you know, underdog guys that nobody really expected to win. And even to make it to the Rose Bowl -- like they lost to Hawaii, they lost to -- I think it was Utah. And people thought that they weren't any good, and then they went on and won of bunch of games later in the season, in the Pac-12 Conference, they were Pac-10 at the time, and he said like there's a bunch of guys that came together and grinded through the season.

I mean, it's just something that was pretty cool of my uncle, and have like one or two offers come out of high school, he said like this is just something that, you know, I need to enjoy, enjoy every minute of it. Something you never forget.

Q. What this team went through in '16, would you say this year's team kind of has a similar mentality, maybe the program in the last 10, 15 years has been on a different level? You think this team kind of embraced that sort of mentality?
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, yeah, definitely. You can just tell like our off season workouts, like we're in the summer, we're doing play run, 7-on-7 play run passing stuff. Like, we're out here practicing. Like it wasn't like just kind of jogging around and having fun. No, we were like practicing.

We were like, dude, we've got to go win some games this year. Like this is the year, you know, we got Justin as a senior, coming back, a bunch of guys going back, Troy coming back around we're like, dude, we've got to go win some games this year.

And sure enough, we did. And we had a great season. We're going to play in the Rose Bowl. I mean, you can just tell, these guys are out here having fun. And practice yesterday, like I can't describe it. It was just fun. We were just out there enjoying it, getting stuff done. Guys were flying around, and just like if there were any mistakes made on the field, everyone is, hey, dude, come on, we can't have that.

And this is just like a summer practice -- technically a summer practice, just kind of like get in the flow of things, and guys are out here like flying around and stuff. I mean, it's just cool to see. We're happy to be here.

Q. What's been the biggest thing for you in terms of getting more opportunities the last -- the second half of the season? You've been taking advantage of them. So what do you think the biggest keys to helping you not just earn the opportunities, but actually make the most of them?
BRADY BREEZE: Just go out there and have fun, don't get caught up in all the hype and stuff, don't get caught up in like, oh, I can't make a mistake, I can't do this. Just go out there and have fun and play football like I have been since I was a little kid where I just go out there and just enjoy the moment.

There's memories that I have when I was a kid where I'd point up to my little family in the crowd and stuff, and just enjoy football and play out with your friends and stuff. That and that's what I've been doing.

And I feel like, you know, it's been working for me, like, against Utah. And just trying to have fun, trying to get excited after making a play or whatever, celebrate with my teammates, just enjoy it. Enjoy the game. Because football is not for very long. They call the NFL "Not for Long." You know, so it's just something that I just want to enjoy, however long my career is, I just want to have fun and play football.

Q. Is that a mentality Chad helped you with, too, given the fact that he played?
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah. I mean, he just said just keep working. There's something he told me, like as old as you get -- like he was -- I think he was 30 something by the time when he told me this. He's like, you know, I'm getting kind of old, but I'm still training. He's like, you're always going to be training your whole life. He's like, you just got to be training right now.

So I can remember when I was in the 5th grade, I'd just be like doing a hundred push-ups every day, just because like, I don't know, that was the mentality he imparted. If you want to be elite, you've got to train every day.

And I haven't -- I mean, I haven't trained every day. I'm not just going to lie like that, you know, but I've had a mentality where it's like I have to train like an underdog. Since I was a kid. Like when I was in high school and I had all the offers or whatever, it wasn't like I was just going to hang out and just sit around; I was out there having fun and trying to get better, trying to be the best player I could be.

And now that I'm here, you know, standing in the weight room after, coming in early and stuff, just trying to do the little extra stuff that get me ahead, because I'm not a got that guy that's six-five that's just freaky athletic. Obviously, I'm a normal guy that just loves playing the game and plays with passion.

Q. Have you heard from Chad much the last --
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, yeah, we've talked a lot. Like I went down to Medford for Christmas and stuff. My grandma made a little cake that said Rose Bowl 2020. Because when Chad was going to the Rose Bowl, they had a little party. She made a cake for Chad that says 19195 Rose Bowl.

So we did kind of all the old tradition stuff. She made the cake the exact same, the exact same design and everything. So it's kind of cool having the old the memories from my family coming back. Also something that we've all been waiting for, and it's pretty cool.

Q. So Chad's your mom's brother?
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, my mom's brother.

Q. Was she an athlete?
BRADY BREEZE: She played in high school and stuff. But my aunt ran track here. Yeah, Julie White at the time. Julie Smith now. Yeah, she ran track here. Coach Rad was -- I think it was his first year. He got to coach her, yeah. So when I came in as a freshman, she said, hey, you've got to say hi to Coach Rad for me. So that was cool to be coached by two generations.

Q. Did he remember her?

Q. What's the best piece of advice you got from your uncle for the Rose Bowl?
BRADY BREEZE: He just told me just to enjoy it all. He's like, these are memories that are going to last you a lifetime. He remembers going to the steakhouse and stuff, Lawry's steakhouse. He's like, dude, I remember all that stuff. I remember going to Disneyland. He's like, these are things that you would remember forever. Just go out there, enjoy it, go work hard during practice and stuff and go try and win the game.

At the end of the day, you're going to remember the game. Like that's the think you're going to remember the most. You're going to remember the score, so go win that thing. And that's really what I'm trying to do.

Q. Seems like the nostalgia of this game is important, but when does it hit like you have a game to play? Has that hit yet for you?
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, that hit. That hit when we were practicing last week. Just kind of like, wow, we've been preparing to play in the Rose Bowl, we're getting all this Rose Bowl gear. It's like, wow, dude, you know, here we go. This is going to be fun. And, I mean, I can't -- I can't even describe how excited we are. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. You're talking about the mentality of practice too. It's not just you that's hyped about this game. And every single snap, it sounds like, whether it's in practice or in this game, you guys are ready to go. How would you describe the team's mentality?
BRADY BREEZE: I mean, we're just excited. I guess we're the underdogs or whatever, but that doesn't matter to us. We just want to go out there and have fun. A lot of people doubted us when we lost to Auburn, when we lost to Arizona State. People thought we weren't a good team.

And, you know, we just tried to prove everyone wrong. Like last year everyone felt like our season was kind of a bust. This year we wanted to come out and show them what we're made of. That's been our mentality all year, is just go out there and have fun. Have that underdog mentality. Don't take anything lightly. And that's what we're doing.

Practice and stuff, it's just been awesome. You can just tell. Justin is locked in. Like -- but he's enjoying it too. Like he knows this is his last week of college practice, so he's going to go out there and have fun and just enjoy the times with his buddies and stuff.

Because these are your best friends. Like we literally spend almost every single day together. So he's becoming best friends and we're out here playing football and you're competing for Rose Bowl title. So it's something that we're really excited about.

Q. You brought up fun, other players have brought up having fun. How much of you -- has that just been the biggest difference from this year to other years of guys are just enjoying playing this season more than --
BRADY BREEZE: Yeah, that's something I that really focused on too. Like coming into spring ball, I was like -- I was thinking I was fourth string safety on the depth chart or whatever, but I was like, you know, what, I'm just going to go out here in spring ball and have fun and try to earn the starting spot. But I'm just going to go out and make sure I enjoy it this year, and that's what I did. Just worked super hard on special teams and kind of started moving up the depth chart.

And then obviously now I'm starting in the Rose Bowl, so it's something that having fun helps you a lot. It helps you relax. It helps you just enjoy the thing. Helps you honestly stay more focused. And I feel like that's helped us as a team and stuff, it's just enjoying the little things, enjoying the bowl practices. It's going to be fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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