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January 1, 2021

Peyton Ramsey

Orlando, Florida, USA

Camping World Stadium

Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern Wildcats 35, Auburn Tigers 19

Q. Great game. What do you see going into next year and what are you looking to improve in your game going forward, whatever you choose?

PEYTON RAMSEY: I think it's always an emphasis on deep-ball accuracy, I think, and anticipation more than anything. I think the older you get, the more experience you get, [you understand] defenses and different coverages and being able to throw your receivers out of breaks before they are even turning. I think that's going to continue to be a point of emphasis as I continue forward.

Q. Coming into this game after the season that you had from the Big Ten West championship to playing in the Citrus Bowl what was your mindset in the moments before the game? And can you take me through that 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and what you saw in the play and how you were able to take advantage of the gaps in the defense and score?

PEYTON RAMSEY: Yeah, our mindset -- we were excited. We were excited to play another game and a Big Ten bowl game. More than anything, we had a blast in Bowl prep and continuing to be together. Like I said, another opportunity to play big-time Bowl game.

The 30-yard run was a pressure look that we had seen a couple times earlier in the year [against] Iowa, the guy that tried to flush me out to the left a little bit and there was a spy sitting there waiting for me. But this time they didn't spy me so I was able to get in the open field and get in the end zone and play with that safety a little bit.

More than anything, I stepped out of the pocket, saw some green grass and took off running.

Q. In the fourth quarter, you guys really turned it up another notch, two touchdowns, and started to put the game away. What do you think changed on those two drives that really got you guys flowing really well?

PEYTON RAMSEY: I don't know that anything really changed in terms of us schematically. I think we just asserted our will, asserted our dominance and played Big Ten football and continued to execute. Man, those dudes up front, they played so hard. They played so well today. Our offensive line, Cam, ran so hard and kind of put them away there in the fourth quarter.

So all credit to those guys up front. They asserted their dominance and said it's go-time and nothing is going to stop us from getting in the end zone.

Q. You set a season-high in passing yards and seems like you were throwing a little deeper today, more aggressive, taking shots. Coming into this game, did you think that was something you were going to have a chance to do?

PEYTON RAMSEY: Yeah, I think we were just taking advantage of the matchups that were given. We rarely ever going into a game saying we are going to throw deep; we're going to throw short. It's just taking what the defense gives you, taking advantage of those matchups and our guys did a really good job of getting open today.

Q. You hit eight different receivers. We know about the relationship you have with those guys as seniors, but it might be too early to know whether you're returning for another year, but do you think based on your relationships with them, you would potentially coordinate whether you came back in them or would they play an influence in that?

PEYTON RAMSEY: You know, I don't know. I think at some point, you have to make a decision for yourself. I am very high on some of those young guys, to your point. Bryce Kirtz I think is going to be a phenomenal player, I really do. You see Wayne Dennis coming into his own, and then Braeden had a couple catches today.

You know, too early to make that call, but I'm really high on those young guys and I think they are going to be really good players.

Q. What have your impressions of Mike Hankwitz been this season?

PEYTON RAMSEY: He's been awesome. Playing against him, I know how great of a coordinator he is when I was at Indiana, but I think more than anything, just the kind of guy he is, the kind of person; the buy-in that the entire defense has to his systems, his schemes, the way he teaches and coaches. It's been a joy to spend time around one of the legends of the game, and truly, truly a special and an honor to see him, and a cool way to send him out, there's no doubt about that.

Q. You completed passes to eight receivers and five of those set career-high in receiving yards. What does it mean to help them set those benchmarks in one of your best games of the season? And also, during that stretch of the third quarter right before you guys went off on your scoring tear at the end, what was your mentality like that helped you get back?

PEYTON RAMSEY: To your first question, those veteran guys, I can't say enough about Ramaud, Riley and John and what they have meant to me and how special those guys are. Again, those young receivers who have stepped up and made plays when their number was called is a really cool thing to see. Any time young guys can come in, especially in a big-time game, and make plays, it's such a fun thing to see.

Your second question was about the scoring drive in the third quarter I think, and like I said earlier, it was just about asserting our dominance and more of a mindset than anything. You can see those big guys up front just creating a new line of scrimmage, so it was very cool. I just stood back there and handed the ball off.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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