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December 27, 2019

Troy Dye

Pasadena, California

Q. Did you do anything for Christmas?
TROY DYE: Yeah, I spent time with my girlfriend down in Atlanta, so I'm kind of getting readjusted to this time zone, but it's just doing me justice, man. I love California.

Q. Makenzie Dunmore is your girlfriend?
TROY DYE: Yes, sir, Makenzie Dunmore.

Q. I understand you guys are going to have a baby?
TROY DYE: Yeah, a baby boy.

Q. Congratulations.
TROY DYE: Thank you so much.

Q. It's not going to put a crimp in the track season, is it?
TROY DYE: It depends.

Q. When is she due?
TROY DYE: April. So we'll probably be down this track season, but next track season we'll be full go.

Q. Tough it's an Olympic year, though.
TROY DYE: Yeah, but life happens, though, man.

Q. How is the thumb?
TROY DYE: It's going well, man. I can move it. I can do a lot of things with it. Just having good progress, having good doctors, having good treatment staff, we've done a really good job rehabbing it, getting treatment on it. Everything has gone to plan. Just super excited and blessed to be able to move my thumb again because when you get your thumb taken away from you, you take for granted, you don't understand how much you use your dominant hand and thumb on a daily basis, but more appreciative of my thumbs and my hands most definitely, but I'm just happy I'm out of a cast right now and I can move my hand around on a daily basis, but I'll probably be in a cast for a while.

Q. Not able to grab some things.
TROY DYE: Yeah, that was kind of difficult, but at the end of the day I caught a pick, so can't complain too much, but yeah, I'm just blessed to be able to have my hand back.

Q. Is it a bigger pain out of football or in football?
TROY DYE: Oh, out of football most definitely. There's just like basic things like taking a shower, trying to wash your left arm with a cast on and having a little cast sleeve, so difficult. I had to call my girlfriend in to help me wash my back and stuff because I couldn't get there because of my hand. But like tying your shoes, tying your cleats, putting stuff on, taking stuff off, I had to get help taking my jersey off because you can't get it with both -- you have half a hand. It's very difficult, but I worked around it. I used my left hand a lot more now on a daily basis than I did before, but it is what it is. I'm just fortunate to have my right hand back.

Q. Can you write with that left hand?
TROY DYE: A little bit. It looks like total -- you can't barely read it. I felt bad because I was signing some autographs and I was like, man, they will not be able to understand that's my autograph, but it'll be like a real authentic left hand Troy Dye signature that only happened for six days. I can definitely use my left hand for a lot more things than I did previous to that. I try to throw a football, and that's out. Trying to throw stuff is out. I'm just blessed to have my right hand back.

Q. I remember talking to you back at Pac-12 media days and it seemed like you were set on having a fun and successful season. We've seen how much fun you've had this year, but now that you're at a bookend point, are you a reflective guy --
TROY DYE: Man, I'll tell you what, I look back and it was totally worth it coming back for this senior season because there's moments that I've created and there's relationships that I've built over this past 11 months that are unbreakable and there's things that I've done that you can't take back, undefeated at home, winning the Pac-12 Championship, beating Stanford and Washington on the road, SC on the road, it's great to check those things off the bucket list and just keep moving forward and there's one more to go, try to just finish off strong to a strong beginning.

Q. This year with Andy, how different has that been with him now almost a year into it?
TROY DYE: Man, we have a really good relationship because we're both from the same area, so that really started off a good relationship and a good bond because we had stuff to relate to off the field, so it helped us create a better relationship faster, and I think we have a really good relationship where we can talk about anything off the field, on the field, and we can go back and forth with each other and just talk about things for a while, and it just means a lot to me to have a guy like that who's down to earth and he's really open to coaching, he's really open to criticism, he's open to everything, and to see that from the leader of the defense, it just shows that anybody can be coached, and I'm just really open to being coached by him because he's a great guy.

Q. What's the easiest thing that guys from your area can relate to?
TROY DYE: I mean, it's just like talking football, talking about people from the past, talking about just food, places in the area, stuff like that. We can talk to Thomas, we can talk to Coach. There's a bunch of people you can talk to from the IE, and it's just a blast to relate and have that connection, just to know that -- because he's from Corona, I'm from Norco, so to be able to know that we're right there, he went to my rival high school, he went to Corona High School, I went to Norco.

Q. Did you know of him coming up?
TROY DYE: No, not really, not much, but I'm not a really big -- I don't look into the past that much, but it was just cool to relate to him. He knew Tony, he knew my older brother really well, so to be able to relate and talk to him about stuff like that, it meant a lot to me.

Q. Did your role change much when he came in?
TROY DYE: No, not really. I think I just have the same role, just trying to lead all the young guys and try to continue to show them that no matter what happens you've got to keep moving forward because it's life. I've had three, four different coaches, three, four different staffs. A lot of stuff can change no matter what. Like you think everything is going good or bad, everything changes. You've just got to keep moving forward, and I think me and the rest of the team, Brady, (inaudible), Gary, all the other guys, all the older guys did a great job of leading the younger guys and showing them that you can do this and playing fast and just keep moving forward.

Q. Obviously looking at his career, he kind of did similar stuff to you. How much do you know about his career?
TROY DYE: Man, I heard he was a baller at Boise State. I know he was a baller at Corona because he always talks smack to me about back in the day when he would beat up on Norco and stuff like that. But I beat the brakes off of Corona so I can't even be mad about him. But yeah, he was a baller because one of our trainers, Travis Harrison, was there at the time when Coach Ellis was there, and he always said, yeah, Coach Ellis was the guy. He was really legit and true. Coach Ellis will bring it up here and there, but he doesn't have to talk about it much, but he'll talk a little smack here and there like I did this here and there, but you can tell by the way he carries himself that he was a really good player because the way he coaches you can tell that he tries to relate to you on a player level and he tries to coach you that way, like the way you want to be coached, and it just means a lot to me.

Q. I feel like you've had your best year this season, but if you look at the stats they're all down. Is that a product of this defense, or is it just every -- you don't have to be like the one dude?
TROY DYE: Yeah, I mean, I think this year, it's a lot more of selfishlessness football because a lot of guys are playing their 1/11th, myself included. No one is trying to be a super hero out there, no one is trying to be superman, make every play. Everyone just works inside the scheme, does their job. I think that shows value because we have one of the best defenses in the nation.

It doesn't matter what my stats look like, as long as we're winning games I don't really care. I'm a team guy. Like you said, I think I'm probably going to have one of my best years, but the stats don't show that, but I don't really care what the stats say because at the end of the day, what are we, 11-2, 12-2, whatever it is. Shoot, we only lost two games. If you told me that my freshman year I would have told you you were crazy.

Q. That freshman year did you feel like you had to be Superman out there?
TROY DYE: Oh, yeah, most definitely. I feel like most of the time I had to make all the plays, I had to make tackles because guys were coming through different ways, and if I didn't make a tackle it was going to be bad. But that's just what happens, and when certain plays happen. I'm just super blessed to be on this defense because we have a lot of talented guys, a lot of talented young guys, and I'm super excited for the future of this team because we've got guys like KT, got incoming defensive linemen like the G-force guys, Brandon Dorlus, Kristian Williams, Keyon, you've got a bunch of young guys who are really talented and are going to carry this team a long way for the next couple years.

Q. You mentioned leadership and that being an important part of what you do. People talk about your halftime speech at the Cal game. What do you remember about that?
TROY DYE: Well, what happened at the halftime speech at the Cal game, it stays inside with the halftime speech at the Cal game. But I think it was one-dimensional for the program and for what we needed to do that game and for the rest of the season. But what I said stays inside that, stays inside those walls because what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.

Q. Was it emotion or was it the words, or what do you think moved people?
TROY DYE: I really don't know what it was. I think it was the timing, and I think what was said was the right words at the right time, and it was what needed to be heard. But I'm not going to get up and talk and say nonsense and just holler. I'm going to speak what needs to be said, and if it needs to be said, I'm going to say it. I love these guys with all my heart, so if I need to say something, I'll say it, and I know they'll listen because I've been here for a while, and it just means a lot to have that relationship with these guys on the team.

Q. Can I ask you about 2016, reflect back on that? You were pushed into a situation as a freshman of kind of being a voice of the team. When you think back to that now, not just games but also some of the comments you made after some games, I'm not trying to light a fire, but when you think back to that now --
TROY DYE: Man, I just think -- there's a lot I think about with that 2016 team. I think it built the foundation for this senior class. I think without that year, we don't have the passion, the aggression, that edge that we have now because I mean, we were getting our face kicked in for the majority of the season. If you look at that Washington game, if you look at the Stanford game, you look at the SC game, all those games we played, it was just a bloodbath out there, and we weren't the ones doing the killing, we were the ones getting killed. I think that really kind of set the standard for us to look back at like, okay, we can't do that again where we let a lot of people down, we let the alumni down, we let the fans down, we let a lot of people on the team down, we let Oregon down. We have to reflect on that and just keep moving forward.

Q. Was there a part of you like, I'm a freshman, why do I have to be the guy to say this stuff?
TROY DYE: Yeah, most definitely because when you come into a program like Oregon you don't think that you have to step up into a big leadership role like I had to, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It's life, and stuff changes, and things happen. I'm just fortunate to be able to play this game and play where I'm at. I don't take anything for granted, and I'm just super blessed to meet the guys on that team and have those relationships. I made bonds that year that I'll have for the rest of my life.

But yeah, it was a tough year for sure.

Q. How much of the way you played against USC or against UC Davis bought you the credibility to step into that role right away?
TROY DYE: I think because when I first got in, it was hard to believe I was a quiet guy, that I didn't say much --

Q. But you were?
TROY DYE: Yeah, exactly. I was a quiet guy, didn't say much. I just kind of stayed to myself, kind of just stayed in the shadows, didn't do much, like I just tried to do my work in the spring, tried to just lift hard in the winter and just when it came to fall camp I worked my butt off and when they gave me the opportunity to go out there and play against UC Davis I took my opportunity and I ran with it because I realized if you don't play well they have guys behind you to replace you.

I always talk about that first play that I had when I came off the edge and hearing my dude took my sack, and it was just like, man, if you don't get to the ball, somebody else will, they'll take your money. I love Henry, but that just showed me how college ball is supposed to be played at full speed and play with all your heart, and I think that set the standard for me, and I've played all the way since then.

Q. Could you be more vocal after that, immediately after that game?
TROY DYE: Yeah, most definitely because guys knew that I was able to play at this level, and I think when it comes to this level, the guys aren't trying to hear what you're trying to say, they want to see what you can do because everyone was the man at their high school, everybody did everything at their high school, so when you get here you have to really go out on the field and prove that you're that elite, that you can do that at this level, and when you look at guys like Kayvon and Mykael Wright, DJ James and Jamal Hill, all those young guys who stepped up this year on the defense and stepped up big, I mean, they can get up in front of the defense and say something because they have that credibility because they have that it factor because they came and applied their skills to the team and they showed that they can play at this level. I think I had the same impact.

Q. Did anybody push back that year, like hey, rookie, dial it back, some of the comments you made postgame?
TROY DYE: No, I don't think I got any of that backlash. I think I got more, hey, man, keep doing your thing, keep pushing forward, we like what you're doing. But no, I got a lot of love and support from everybody on that team.

Q. A lot of the seniors were --
TROY DYE: Yeah, no, all the seniors were really good guys. I built great relationships. They taught me a lot of great things, and I don't think without them I'd be the same person I am today.

Q. Obviously you took a lot of lumps in games, but what were the biggest steps you took in terms of changing the mindset and the weight of this season?
TROY DYE: I just think it was after the Oregon State game when we kind of knew everything was going to get a really good shake-up, and I kind of was just like, man, I can't do this anymore, I can't put the coaching staff, I can't put other people's jobs in jeopardy, I have to change this --

Q. You felt some personal responsibility?
TROY DYE: Yeah, I definitely felt responsible for what happened because we're the ones on the field -- the players were the ones out there actually applying the scheme and doing the stuff that reflects on the coaching staff. I felt that it was our fault that what happened happened because at the end of the day we're the ones out there fighting, doing stuff, and I took a lot of ownership of that, and I really felt bad about what went down that year.

Q. So the personal investment you felt wasn't just the competitive nature of winning and losing games but it was to the people?
TROY DYE: Yeah, because it was about building relationships and extending legacies, and I felt we let down the alumni base, we let down all the guys that came before us that set the standard, all the guys from the 2000 teams to the 2010 teams to the National Championship teams to all those guys who laid the foundation for us that everybody watched Oregon football playing, and I felt we let all those guys down and we let the alumni down, we let the fan base down, and I promised myself we'd never do that again.

Q. I know it was a while ago when camp started, but when Cameron comes in as a highly rated guy, was there a moment or a play you remember that kind of solidified in your mind that this guy has got a chance to do something this season?
TROY DYE: Man, I think it was when we were doing some conditioning and he was running like a gazelle, and I was like, man, that kid is going to be special because when you can run really well, you can practice well, you have good cardio, you are bound to make it, because the Pac-12 is a fast conference and you need to have that, and I just saw that in him. You can tell when someone has got a special attribute and he definitely has those, and you've seen it on the tape, he's a very good athlete, he's a very good player, he's a very smart player, as well, and I think that's what really helps in this game is being smart and the way he understands the scheme. He knows what's coming next from the film, and I think that's just a tribute to him. He takes time, spends the extra 10 minutes afterwards, spend the extra time on the practice field after practice getting the extra hand placements and extra footwork, come out early in the pre-practice and get some extra work in. When a young guy is doing that at 18 years old, you can tell they'll have a really good career because if you're starting off young like that with that work ethic it'll last for the rest of your life.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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