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December 28, 2010
Q. The tackles you've come up against this year, who's been the toughest you've faced?
WAYNE DANIELS: The best offensive tackle I've faced? Hmm, I'd have to say Matt Reynolds at BYU.
Q. What set him apart from some of the other guys?
WAYNE DANIELS: Just his ability to keep people off of his quarterback and his footwork. He's a good athlete.
Q. How did you do against him that day? Obviously you guys won the game. Did you do a good job against him?
WAYNE DANIELS: No, not really.
Q. Have you studied Wisconsin's offensive line, specifically the tackles? What are some of the things that jumped out on tape?
WAYNE DANIELS: How big they are. They're huge. We all just don't study one person, we study the line as a whole, and we just try to pick up little things that they do when they're going to run certain plays. The thing that's jumped out most to me is the way they finish blocks, they try to finish blocks.
Q. What can you do to kind of negate, I guess, that built-in advantage of being so huge?
WAYNE DANIELS: Play hard like we play every other time. I mean, they're bigger, we just play hard. Play hard, play fast.
Q. Your coach has talked about the fact that you try to make this just like any other Bowl game. Do you like the fact that whatever the outcome is (inaudible).
WAYNE DANIELS: I'm not going to say I don't like it. I don't think anybody would say they don't like it. But I took it as another challenge just like another game. Playing in the Rose Bowl is huge, but all in all, it's just a game.
Q. A couple of guys we talked to at Disneyland the other day talked about the mood in the locker room after last year's Fiesta Bowl. What was it like for you?
WAYNE DANIELS: I would say it hurt to watch our first -- our first time at the BCS to lose a game. I mean, it hurt to lose a game at all. That was our first loss of the year. It was just like a down time for everybody.
Q. You came at the same time as three other players that had gone through this program.
WAYNE DANIELS: Nick Sanders, one of our corners a year ago, we went to high school together. It was fun to play with him. He was part of the reason why I came. We played together for three years of high school and then three years here.
Q. Were you getting any offers from any other schools?
WAYNE DANIELS: I don't remember who offered me, but I had a few. But TCU stood out to me because living in Texas I'm already far away from home. I moved to Texas from Oakland, California, and then I didn't want to go off to another state and then be farther away from my parents.
Q. There were some other players --
WAYNE DANIELS: At my high school?
WAYNE DANIELS: Eddie Jones, plays defensive end at Texas. When we left high school he was a Parade All-American. I kind of played in his shadow when I was in high school.
Q. Kind of along those lines, playing in his shadow, are you guys out of Texas' shadow now given what you've done?
WAYNE DANIELS: No, not really. I mean, Texas is always going to be Texas. It's a state school, so we just go out and play our games, do what we're supposed to do. I feel like we're in Texas' shadow and it'll always be there. It's the big school in Texas.
Q. That said, do you like what you guys have done?
WAYNE DANIELS: I love it. I love it.
Q. When you came to TCU as a freshman, did you think there was enough guys coming in where you could get to the point that you are now?
WAYNE DANIELS: I can say I never thought we'd play in the Rose Bowl, but -- not last year, but the year before that we kind of started putting it together, and like there was a huge jump in the way our team acted together and the way we played together, and then you could kind of tell that we were getting there. Then we had the Fiesta Bowl year, now we have this year.
Q. How does this year compare to last year? What's the big difference?
WAYNE DANIELS: We did it when a lot of people didn't think we could after losing Jerry and Daryl and a few other main guys that were on our defense last year. It just feels good to say that we did it again.
Q. Did they help you your progression?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah, yeah. Playing with Jerry was definitely a learning experience. Daryl, Priest, Steven Coleman, all those guys, they all taught and played, as well, so everybody who played under or next to them learned a great deal about our defense and the way we play it.
Q. Being a California guy, do you feel like maybe you've got a different appreciation of playing in the Rose Bowl than some of your teammates?
WAYNE DANIELS: No, not -- when I first started playing football I didn't really -- when I lived in California I didn't watch football, I just wanted to play basketball like everybody else. But when I moved to Texas I started playing football, and then I started watching. Yeah, I feel like this is going to be a lot of fun.
Q. At what age did you move to Texas?
WAYNE DANIELS: I was a freshman in high school.
Q. How tough was that?
WAYNE DANIELS: It was definitely different, definitely different. I moved out to Oakland, California, and I moved straight to Kilgore, Texas. So I went from basically city straight to the country of east Texas. It was a little different, but all in all, I'd say it worked out well.
Q. Playing in the shadows, did you anticipate this was going to be a year that you'd be able to emerge from some of the secondary roles you had in high school and maybe last year?
WAYNE DANIELS: No, I really don't think much of it. People make a big deal out of me playing in the shadows, but I just play. I just love to play. You can say whatever you'd like as long as I get to play. I don't really think about that.
Q. What's been the difference for you this year? Has it just been opportunity with other guys now gone to the NFL, or what's been the reason for your jump do you think in your production and profile?
WAYNE DANIELS: I don't know. I mean, we all get out there and we just want to win.
Q. Yeah, but you did it last year, too. This is how you've always played.
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah, yeah. I think the difference in like us playing with NFL guys last year to now is when we were playing with those NFL guys, everything was a competition. I think our biggest thing this year was to keep everything going, keep the same competition going. Not only are we competing against another team, we're competing against one another. I think that's the biggest difference from last year to now.
Q. That competition brought out the best in you do you think?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah. Yeah, competing with that guy, Tank, Cory, T.J., Tanner. All 11 of us get out there and we just basically compete with one another. I would say that's a high level of competition.
Q. What about the notion that some people would say you guys do statistically have this great defense but you're not playing in the SEC, you're not playing in the Big Ten. Does that motivate you guys at all in a game like this to show people that it's legit?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah, I don't think it -- our players, I don't think it matters what conference you play in. You play good defense, you play good defense. But other than that, that's all I can say about that. I play, so I don't really know the difference between an SEC school, Big Ten school, Pac-10 school. We just go out and we play for TCU. That's all we do.
Q. What makes TCU's defense unique besides the stats?
WAYNE DANIELS: We play hard. We play really hard. We're intense. We're fast. That's all I really -- that's what I think. I think we're intense, fast, and we play hard.
Q. Will you be matched up against --
WAYNE DANIELS: Gabe?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yes, sir.
Q. What have you seen on film and what do you kind of anticipate from that?
WAYNE DANIELS: We're going to have to play. We're going to play -- I feel like we're going to have a really good competition. He won the Outland Trophy, am I correct?
WAYNE DANIELS: I can't make a big deal out of it. As a whole their whole line is pretty good. They do a lot of things well. They finish blocks, they get on you. So we're going to have to battle.
Q. For you from an evaluation standpoint, do you see this also as an opportunity to show guys at the next level what you can do against an elite left tackle?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah. (Laughter.)
Q. How comfortable is this running game, if at all, to any teams you've played this year?
WAYNE DANIELS: They do a lot of things similar to UNLV and San Diego State. They run a lot of power plays, they run a lot of zone plays. What they run is similar to a lot of teams we play, it's just they're a lot bigger, a little more physical.
Q. Going back to the left tackle Carimi, what most impressed you about him? What makes him unique from other players in his position from what you can see?
WAYNE DANIELS: His size. I've seen a lot of big guys. I've gone against a lot of big guys. But Gabe is by far the tallest, the biggest. He has good footwork. I have yet to see him back down from a challenge.
Q. Regarding Tank, what makes him special to this defense, not just in terms of what he does on the field but what he does possibly in a leadership role?
WAYNE DANIELS: Tank is a main part of our defense. He's staring at me right now because he knows I'm talking about him.
I think Tank plays a role just like everybody else in our defense, especially being a leader. He talks when he needs to talk. He says what he has to say. None of us really sugar coat anything, so when there's something that needs to be said, Tank is probably the one to say it.
He's a good leader. When he talks, people listen. So that's the -- that's why I think Tank is a leader and a great character to have on the football team.
Q. How odd is it, strange is it, for TCU to be here? Do you have that kind of feeling? It's different than most of our previous Bowl match-ups.
WAYNE DANIELS: No, it's not. I don't think it's odd or strange. I think it's an exciting time for us. We worked hard to be here. We play like everybody else, so I don't think it's odd our strange at all.
Q. You're a defense that's pretty stingy. It must be a real pride thing to keep the offense down and how you've been able to keep some opponents down to not even a touchdown in some games.
WAYNE DANIELS: Their offense is really good. They're really good at what they do. The run, run, run, run, run and then the play action, all we can do as a defense is go out and play the way we know how to play. We're not going to do anything special, we're just going to play the way we know how to play.
Q. What are two or three things that you and the defensive line have to do to be successful against Wisconsin?
WAYNE DANIELS: We're going to have to tackle well, we have to maintain our gaps and we have to play leverage. Coach Bumpas has done a good job of trying to get us to do that in practice, Coach P. I think the biggest part to me is tackling well. They run, run, run, run, run. Another main point to me is we can't allow YAC yards, yards after contact. We can't do that.
Q. Of all their running backs, and they've got several, who most concerns you, or are they all equally dangerous.
WAYNE DANIELS: They're all equally dangerous. John Clay, the big guy, he's the bruiser I would say, the big man. And then James White and the other guy, they're their speed guys. They all run equally well in between the tackles, though. None of the three are scared just to get up in there. They do what they do, and they do it well.
Q. Is it hard to adjust to the different speeds, like you have one guy, one tackle, one play, and then a completely different tackle?
WAYNE DANIELS: I don't really know. We'll have to see. I mean, I'm not going to -- I'm sure there will be a big difference between a 250-pound guy and a 210-pound guy.
Q. Is clay unlike anybody you've seen, or is this Wisconsin team different?
WAYNE DANIELS: The only difference is I've never seen a team that big, this big as a whole. There have been teams who had big tackles or big guards, a big center. I've never seen a team this big as a whole.
Q. Have you given some thought on how you think this game might play out, great defense, potentially explosive offense?
WAYNE DANIELS: No, I haven't. They're going to play -- well, they know and we know they're going to play their game on offense and we're going to play our game on defense, but I think it's going to be a battle personally. I think we're going to have to -- both teams, if they want it, we're going to have to go get it.
Q. What's it like going against a guy like Carimi, Outland Trophy, everybody says he's going to be a first-round pick? Is it exciting?
WAYNE DANIELS: Yeah, I'm excited, but I mean, we're about to go play a football game, so you can't -- I don't really put more thought into it than I do any other game. He'll be the best tackle I've played against since I've been in college.
Q. How much thought, this whole undefeated scenario, does that even factor in or is that part of your thinking, that we can do something pretty remarkable here?
WAYNE DANIELS: Undefeated, I mean, it's a great accomplishment for all of us. I think as a team we all think about it a little bit. But I would say we're into a one-game season now. We're 0 and 0.
Q. What's the secret to your defense staying consistent year after year?
WAYNE DANIELS: The guys that are stepping in to play aren't just wanting to play. They want to play, and they want to play up to the level of everybody else. So you don't necessarily plug people in, you find people who want to play and play well.
Q. (On position changes:)
WAYNE DANIELS: I honestly don't know how Coach P does that. But I don't think I've ever seen him miss with a position change since I've been at TCU. I don't think I've ever seen him miss.
Q. Does that give guys confidence when they are switched over, that hey, this has worked before?
WAYNE DANIELS: I'm sure it does. The most recent is Matt Henderson. He came in this year as a safety and ended up playing defensive end.
End of FastScripts