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December 27, 2019

Quintez Cephus

Pasadena, California

Q. A lot of guys in your position, in today's college football landscape -- kind of become critical of guys in your position, to play in this game. Why was it an easy decision for you to not sit this one out?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Yes, it was easy. We have so much invested. And we owe it to each other and our teammates to just -- it wasn't even a question.

Q. What does it say about this team that as far as I know nobody -- and the guys that make up the squad that no one sit this one out?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Just the loyalty and respect that we have for each other, guys who it didn't cross their minds that they were going to come out here and finish this thing off right. We still kind of have a bad taste in our mouth and we want to go out and have another opportunity to play with each other.

Q. Have you given any more thought to what you want to do next season, or is it going to be something you sit down and think about after this game?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: It will be definitely something I think about after the game.

Q. What kind of things are you weighing when it comes to that decision whether you want to achieve here academically or on the field or professionally?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: You know, one of the things that means a lot to me is getting my degree. Nobody in my household did it, and I would be the first. So that's something, just talking to my family and weighing the pros and cons and seeing what's real and that's really it.

Q. Are you going to graduate this spring?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: That is a possibility.

Q. What are you majoring in?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Personal finance.

Q. You guys have won five straight bowl games -- you haven't been a part of all of them. What do you think makes a successful bowl team and you have so much time off. How are you able to regather yourself and get up for this game, coming off a devastating loss of the Big Ten?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: I think Coach Chryst does a great job of getting guys back in, locked in. Like you said, we've kind of come off a couple losses and the Big Ten Championship, and guys are really eager to get back and get back to have another opportunity to win a game.

And it's a beautiful thing to come out as champions and leave a mark on your season. And I think guys take that very seriously. So just Coach Chryst and then a combination of the type of teammates that we have here, the players and just the mindset that we take going into bowl games.

Q. How has this all been going for you guys?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: It's perfect. Just being out here in California is, it's a beautiful place. We're really enjoying it.

Q. You see these guys on tape, (indiscernible). Their outside corners in particular, (indiscernible), those guys, what makes them a unique challenge?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: I think they are very athletic guys. They're consistent in their technique and you know what you're going to get. I mean, we've studied tape and you know what technique you're going to see and they do a good job in that technique trying to get on top of guys. And it's going to be a great challenge for us.

Q. Every opponent is going to try to take you away, that's obviously part of the game plan. How have you been able to be successful and productive because everybody knows they have to limit you, you're by far the team's leading receiver. Yet, you've managed to be productive a lot of times. How are you able to do that?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: I just try to just keep a level head and just take the game a play at a time and try to be the best I can be on every play. And then Coach Chryst trusting that I can get the job done, and Jack Coan, our quarterback, still trusting in our preparation and not letting the outside noise kind of throw us off. I think we both do a great job of just knowing what we want to get to in the game and executing it no matter what the situation is.

Q. Do teams cover you differently on third down or in the red zone, in those spots, because I know it's kind of a tough sled in the red zone in general for all receivers, but you don't have as much production there as some people may expect?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Sometimes we see -- throughout the game, once you catch a couple of balls, teams start to go to zone, some cover-3, or we see in the Big Ten we see a lot of cover-2, where the corner over the top and the safety helps, or you see that single high safety shading over a little bit.

But it kind of -- I remember having Troy Fumagalli, a tight end, and teams would bracket him kind of when I just came in and started being productive, like my sophomore year. So we have other great receivers if teams want to take me away. I think my teammates have to -- we all look at it as an opportunity because somebody has to be singled up and it's just finding the matchups.

Q. Have you talked to any of the guys who played in the Rose Bowl from Wisconsin, for any advice?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: I haven't. The last time we came here --

Q. '13 -- '11, '12 and '13, Paul Chryst might have been an assistant at least a couple of those years?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Coach Rudolph and our strength coach, Kolodziej, some of the guys have been here, but none of the players that I know. I haven't talked to them about it.

Q. Many years ago (inaudible) was going into Hall of Fame. I had to escort him around. And being with (indiscernible) in front of Wisconsin fans, the guy walks on water. I hung with Mr. Alvarez for a day, and that was like being with Hollywood royalty. It was, like, full on body armor, and he was getting swarmed. People were, like, excuse me, we're trying to take a picture -- like get out of the way.

Q. Ready for the big time?

Q. What are your thoughts on preparation for this big game?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: We are getting ready -- we're practicing, and I mean that's the reason why we're here, to play the game. And guys are just having that mindset, kind of getting our minds right.

We're enjoying LA. I think it's all a part of it being here, taking advantage of this opportunity that we have being in the Rose Bowl. And just seeing, watching film, studying the film and seeing what type of techniques we're going to get. And just preparing throughout this week and executing plays and knowing where we're going to get to when we're going to get to it, I think is all going to help us in our preparation.

Q. Talk about as far as LA, what do you like? What has the experience been thus far? Have you been here before?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Yes, sir, I've been out here last year for New Year's. And I mean it hasn't been like this. I think we were sitting in traffic a lot of the times. But we would get escorted around throughout the day. And just seeing the mountains and the hills and stuff, thinking about some of my favorite artists, my rap music artists and Nipsey Hussle, just being here and knowing Tupac and kind of just taking it in, seeing the Hollywood sign, and getting to go to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. It's just a great experience for me.

Q. What do you look forward to beyond that, as far as other festivities you're going to partake in? Like you're going to Lawry's tomorrow.
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: We're going to go to the Beef Bowl. I hear a lot of guys talking about that a lot. I'm excited to go there and go bowling and just kind of enjoy the things that make the Rose Bowl so special.

Q. Who is your inspiration in life?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: My inspiration in life? It was my dad, it has been my dad. My dad passed a couple years ago.

Q. You're playing not only for yourself but you're playing for his legacy?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: Yes, sir, I am.

Q. What will you have to do to come out victorious on Rose Bowl day?
QUINTEZ CEPHUS: We will have to defend very well. And I think for our offense we have to execute, be great on third down, be great in the red zone, finish drives, try to get touchdowns instead of field goals. And just knowing what techniques we're going to see and trying to execute against those guys. They've got a fast back end, their defense. And just getting separation from those guys and giving Jack the best target we can.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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