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December 28, 2010

Gabe Carimi

John Clay

Scott Tolzien


Q. John, everyone keeps raving about how good you look in practice. How good do you feel, how good do you look?
JOHN CLAY: I feel real good. I'm back to 100 percent. I'm out of the brace. You know, I'm just feeling good out there and just ready to be back out there with the guys on the field.

Q. Are you back to 100 percent? Are you comfortable if you go into that game at 100 percent still kind of at No. 3 going into the game?
JOHN CLAY: Yeah. I feel great. Everything happens for a reason. All I can do is put it in God's hands. When I get out there, I just gotta be able to show and put on a show.

Q. Gabe, could you talk a little bit about the running game and why it was so successful despite the fact that you've kind of had some injuries and people came in and the running back, there was three different guys. Why, no matter who's playing on the line or in the back field, it seems like the running game has really gone --
GABE CARIMI: Yeah. First of all, we have a great set of coaches, you know, to have a game plan for us, no matter who's in there.
Secondly, we have an unbelievable running back core through and through, and we have a deep, you know, depth of line men that can really go in there, I mean to speak volumes that we had six Big Ten honorees and we had five spots.

Q. Really a question for all of you, and Scott, we'll start with you. TCU's defense, are they compared to anybody you've seen this year, anything about them that you recognize from other groups?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: No. I said this earlier in the room over there, and you know, it's not the politically correct answer, but I really do see it as a separate deal, and I really have trouble comparing it to any defense we've seen in the Big Ten.
And you know, that's what's made it awesome the last three weeks is it's not a one-week preparation where your head's spinning trying to figure out a new defense. We've had time to try to figure it out, and it's been fun that way, and that's what makes it special.
You don't want to go into every game week seeing the same looks, and we'd be sitting here right now just bored and ready to play the game, but right now there's still things we're figuring out, and it's made it fun in that regard just to continue on with your preparation and try to master what they're doing.
JOHN CLAY: We talked about it in the running back room. It kind of reminded us a little bit of Michigan just because of the big backers they have, the front forward, and then they also have that safety slash will backer that loads up the box, so you know, Michigan kind of runs a little same thing like that, and it reminded us of that.
GABE CARIMI: Yeah. It's not fair to compare them to any one, but there's several different places you could take them from the Big Ten. I mean personally I think their linebackers are a lot like Northwestern's, which have a great core of linebackers, but overall their talent is really high, so it's kind of hard to place them in one category, especially since they run a different defense than anyone else does in the Big Ten.

Q. John, to kind of go back to you, is there any part of you that hopes that TCU just watched the last couple of games, forgot about you, you're laying in the weeds and you're a big X factor on Saturday?
JOHN CLAY: Yeah. I hope so. The guys behind me did a great job when I was out. You know, being able to sit back and watch that, I kind of got lost in the dirt, but you know, I'm kind of glad. And everything's on those guys to bring out their A game and I can just come in there and do what I do best.

Q. Scott, I was talking to Coach Chryst about Montee Ball coming from, got bumped down to the bottom of the depth chart and got back up to the top. You didn't bumped down, but you were at the bottom a couple of years ago. How does it feel for your journey to culminate with a trip to the Rose Bowl?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: It's special. This is I think every college football player's dream is to play in the Rose Bowl, and I think the most rewarding part about it is to be able to do it with these guys.
We finished out last season, and those seniors laid a foundation for us to follow. And on paper we had a lot of talent coming back, but saying that and that's just one thing, and I think we truly embraced the work and the preparation. And in life that's what makes something special is when you work so hard for something with a group of guys and you're able to reach that pinnacle.

Q. Gabe, please don't laugh at me, but when we were talking to JJ, he said they've installed a two-plate rule at the Beef Bowl now as opposed to years passed. Are certain guys disappointed that you can only get two plates tonight at the Beef Bowl?
GABE CARIMI: Yeah. I guess so. We're going to go in there and try to win the competition because I guess there's a pretty good statistic if you win that, you win the Rose Bowl, so might as well try to start improving our chances as soon as possible.

Q. Gabe, Moffitt was asked about the line's athleticism and the line being sometimes thought of as just big, and he said, well, in his case that's probably true, but if you could rate sort of the quickness and athleticism of the rest of the guys.
GABE CARIMI: Excluding Moff, we have a pretty athletic line. (Laughs). No, he's very athletic, too. It's not all about size for us. We do have some size. Obviously our average is huge.
But you know, I'd say we're a very athletic core of linebackers. I wouldn't say any of our guys are unathletic at all. Years previous you could pick maybe one guy out, but it seems like we have a pretty through-and-through core, and not only that, but our back up in Bill Nagy and a lot of guys that are behind us are very athletic that they can come in there.

Q. What about your quarterback's athleticism?
GABE CARIMI: Our quarterback's athleticism? You mean the Scott who runs and won't slide and hurts his shoulder? Yeah. That one? Me and Moff yell at you every time you don't slide, don't we? In game. Slide, Scott!

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