December 31, 2021
Miami Gardens, Florida, USA
Hard Rock Stadium
Georgia 34, Michigan 11
Q. James, I imagine you're not thinking about your childhood or whatever as you're catching passes and running into the end zone, but just tell me what it's like to have this kind of game here on this kind of stage.
JAMES COOK: I mean, just playing in Miami where I grew up at, it just felt different really, like just playing in front of my fans. I just really wanted to give my team that edge and get that monkey off our back, what we had, that last taste in our mouth. Just kind of doing it for my team, for real, for real.
Q. What did Kirby tell you about the Gatorade bath?
JAMES COOK: I'm not sure really. At that point I was just like, forget it. I didn't really know what was going on for real, for real.
Q. Just kind of wondering how much friends and family were maybe here for you, and then obviously your older brother had a similar game like this against Michigan in the Orange Bowl. I'm curious if you talked to him at all in the lead-up to this game or even since the game has ended, maybe texting with him?
JAMES COOK: Not yet, but I mean, he kind of talked to me, just kind of saying this is the last ride and go lay it on the line for my brothers, and that's what I did today in front of friends and family. All my family supported me today. They had like a big tailgate party out there, so they was out there supporting me. I had to do it for them and my brothers on the field.
Q. Take me inside your mindset; how is this game different when you're playing where you grew up in front of all these friends and family, and specifically you catch this touchdown down here, what goes through your mind in that moment knowing you made a play like that on this kind of stage in this place?
JAMES COOK: It just feels great, just knowing I did something special for my team. It's really -- I mean, it's really not all about me at this point. It's just about me getting the victory for my teammates and leading us to a National Championship the best way I can and doing my part.
Q. The way you got off to the start tonight, was that important to put everything in the past?
JAMES COOK: I mean, we've been moved on from that. I mean, we've had that chip on our shoulder where we get out there to play somebody else, we're just going to get that taste out of our mouth, and that's what we did today. I told the guys, every time we go out there, we've got to score every drive and don't leave no points on the field because that'll get you beat like it did against Alabama. We've got to just keep staying intact and keep getting better on Monday.
Q. Are you jealous that Kenny got to throw that pass? How did that work out in practice? Is he good at that?
JAMES COOK: I mean, this whole week he didn't throw a good pass this whole week, so when it came to the game and Coach Monken called that, I was like, hold on, I know he ain't going to call this and he didn't throw a good pass all week. And he threw it. That was a good pass. He threw it. I was stunned, but I didn't know if he was going to even call it. When he called it and Kenny -- that was a good throw. I give it up to him. Great throw.
Q. Can you just describe the way Stetson performed tonight, some of the big plays he made in the passing game? And whether you and maybe some of your other teammates heard some of the negativity surrounding him and if that was an extra source of motivation for you all on offense?
JAMES COOK: I mean, as a leader, as Stetson as a leader on our offense, he doesn't let that negativity go to his head, for real. Like he said, he ain't got no social media, he carry a flip phone around, and he stay off social media, and he just let the noise go over his head and play football. That's what I love about him.
I mean, I kind of tell him during the game, just kind of stay in there, don't make bad decisions, use your feet, just do all the little things that will help you get out of situations that you can't fix.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports