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December 29, 2010

Andy Dalton



Q. It seems like in spite of everything you've done this season, there's a lot of skeptics about how you're going to perform in this game. What do you say to those people?
ANDY DALTON: I think you have to look at the way we've played the last two years, the way we've come out and gotten big wins. I think the way we've prepared and played this season, I think that we've done the same for this game.
I mean, we don't expect to play any different. We expect to go out and play one of our best games.

Q. What are your impressions of Wisconsin's defense?
ANDY DALTON: They're big and physical. They play really hard. They're really disciplined. They're good at what they do. So that's the big thing, that's how they play. That's the way we've been preparing for them.

Q. From a fan relation standpoint, do they remind you of anybody you might have seen?
ANDY DALTON: They have big players kind of like a BYU, Utah type of team. I think they run around pretty well. Utah has some speed. I guess, they're the most comparable teams we played this year.

Q. What are things that you have to do to be successful?
ANDY DALTON: I can't do anything different than I've done this whole year. Just go out and get the guys the ball. We have so many different weapons on this offense.
Go out, be efficient, get the ball in my hands quick, make smart decisions.

Q. Two BCS Bowls the last couple years. Move to the Big East coming in a few. Can you see TCU sort of like a Florida State of the '90s or USC of this last decade where every year they're in a BCS game?
ANDY DALTON: I hope so. I think Coach Patterson has done an outstanding job with this program ever since he's been here. Even since I've been here, I feel like we've gotten better each year. Hopefully that keeps improving.

Q. Can you talk about how the culture has changed, how you've gotten better each year, keep taking another step forward?
ANDY DALTON: We've improved every year. When I was a freshman and sophomore, we had a lot of young guys playing. All the experience that we've had has helped us out. I think the support that we've gotten with Fort Worth, the TCU community, has improved every year. You can see that by the attendance of our games. It's been a lot of fun to be in Fort Worth and see how much they've bought into TCU, too.

Q. (Question regarding the depth behind the seniors.)
ANDY DALTON: What we do in practice every day, the first and second huddle of taking the exact same amount of reps. They're running the exact same plays that the first team is. I think them out there practicing, doing the exact same thing we are, learning from what the first huddle is doing, being able to see it is just going to help them out. Having all these extra practices is going to be big for them.

Q. How has this prep week different than last year's game?
ANDY DALTON: I think we're more focused this year. One thing that we wanted coming into L.A. was to make things tighter, stricter curfew. Our goal is to win the game. Seems last year we were complacent, were happy to be part of the BCS game, be in the Fiesta Bowl. This year we're on a mission to win.

Q. Talk about these offenses. Scored the exact same amount of points on average, two good quarterbacks. Mirror image almost.
ANDY DALTON: If you look at the stats, everything is pretty similar. But I think the style is obviously different. They're more I-formation, run right at you. We're shotgun, throwing it around, running around.
Two different styles, but two pretty good offenses.

Q. How is your elbow?
ANDY DALTON: It's good.

Q. What is having Jeremy and Jimmy been like?
ANDY DALTON: It's nice. To have those guys that have played in a lot of games, they've played ever since I've played, you know, I think we're on the same page for everything. I know when they're coming out of their breaks, when they're doing different things. We've been fortunate to play for four years.
That's helped out.

Q. How quickly do you get that innate sense? How quickly can you learn that as a receiver?
ANDY DALTON: It just depends on how much time you work. For us, we feel like some guys have moved around, some guys started off in the slot, moved out to the side, different things like that.
I feel like I've had a pretty good feel of what everybody's doing for most of my time here.

Q. Did Josh exceed the offensive expectations? He showed promise in the spring, August. Is he exactly where you would expect him to be?
ANDY DALTON: No, he had a lot of potential coming in, to see the way he performed in the spring. Coming out in fall camp, we knew he had a chance to be special. He came out and played really well for us. He helped us out, made some big plays for us. He's one of the best play-makers we have.

Q. Do you think he's got that Jimmy Young type of career ahead of him?
ANDY DALTON: Oh, he definitely does. He's going to have some big games ahead of him and he's just a freshman.

Q. What perceptions did you have when you first heard you were playing Wisconsin? Have there been any surprises to you?
ANDY DALTON: There haven't been very many surprises. I knew coming in they were a great team. You see that they'd scored 70 points a couple times in the year, were averaging, what, 43-point wins last couple games. So we knew they were going to be really good.
Watching film, you can see why they've won so many games. You know them being in the Big Ten, they're going to be a big team, hard-nosed football, running the ball, play-action, all that stuff. They play really good defense.
I wasn't surprised by anything watching them on film.

Q. Every team comes with a preconceived notion that they're slow, every Bowl game they've gone to, they're a slow Big Ten team, there's a gap in terms of speed. Have you seen that?
ANDY DALTON: No, I haven't. They've got guys that are running around pretty well. Up front they're really physical and play really hard. So, you know, I definitely wouldn't say they're a slow team (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
ANDY DALTON: Well, we have had that tag just because of the conference that we're in. You know, I think we've made the most of it. That's all we can do. All we have sought out to do is control what we can control, not worry about any of the other stuff.
I think what we've done the past two years has shown people we may be in a non-AQ conference, but we're still playing really good football.

Q. Odds makers, you're the underdog.
ANDY DALTON: We go out and take each game the same. We feel like we have to go out and play our best game and be efficient, just do what we do. We'll let the rest of it take care of itself.

Q. When you're aware of how explosive their offense is, does that play on your mind at all, We've got to score points?
ANDY DALTON: Definitely, because the way they run the ball, the things that they do. They could have the ball for a long time. We know we have to take advantage of every opportunity we have.
Hopefully we can go and score a lot of points.

Q. More so than a typical week, game?
ANDY DALTON: I think so. Especially for this game. We want to go out and play well, play the best that we've played all year. We just have to go and play like we're capable of playing.

Q. Is that partly because you didn't do it in the Bowl game last year?
ANDY DALTON: There's a lot of that. The way that Bowl game went last year, we didn't play very well, especially offensively. We're going out. We all have that in the back of our mind, want to prove to people we can play in a Bowl game, a big game.

Q. Was that in the back of your mind February, March, April?
ANDY DALTON: For sure. It was a big motivation for us, the off-season, summer, fall, even going into this year. We knew things didn't go the way we wanted them to the end of last season. That's been our drive and motivation this last year.

Q. Where else were you looking when you went to TCU?
ANDY DALTON: I had offers from UTEP and Memphis. So I had been up to TCU a lot, wanted to stay close to home, stay in Texas. It was a perfect fit for me.

Q. (Question regarding recruiting.)
ANDY DALTON: I mean, I think a lot of recruiting is what happens your junior year in high school. I split time my junior year, didn't have that much of an opportunity to play. I think a lot of guys get overlooked. Doesn't mean you don't have talent.

Q. (Question regarding Wisconsin's quarterback.)
ANDY DALTON: I really haven't watched him play enough. I know he's efficient. He led the nation in completion percentage, so that's pretty good. He's completing over 70% of his balls. He's been playing really well this year.

Q. Do you ever go back and look at video of you when you started as a freshman?
ANDY DALTON: I usually do that on breaks and stuff like that. I haven't done it much during the season. I'm more focused on what's going on right now.
I looked back at it and kind of go like, What was I doing (laughter)? I feel like the game has completely changed for me just with all the experience I've had. All the games I've been able to play has helped me out.

Q. Did you feel back then you knew what you were doing?
ANDY DALTON: I think as the season progressed I got more comfortable. I still think back to the first play of my career, looking out the defense, just seeing a big blur, not really knowing what they're doing (laughter).
But I was able to complete my first pass the first play of my career. I guess it all worked out. And we won.

Q. Is J.J. Watt a guy you need to know where he's at every play?
ANDY DALTON: Yes, you do. He's made a lot of plays. He plays really well. He plays really hard, runs around. He's a big, physical guy. I mean, we'll know where he is.

Q. How much faith do you have in your offensive line? Marcus said he didn't know what chipping was till a couple of weeks ago.
ANDY DALTON: They've played outstanding this whole year. I've got so much faith in them. I'm not expecting anything different. They're going to go out and play really well. They've prepared really hard for this game.

Q. (No microphone.)
ANDY DALTON: I definitely wouldn't say it's the identity of this offense. I think the runningbacks get a lot of credit, the way we've ran the ball. I mean, we're not throwing the ball 50 times a game. When we do throw the ball, we've been pretty efficient with it, done a great job.
So, you know, I'd say we're a balanced offense.

Q. When you look at the Fiesta Bowl, hindsight is 20/20, did you give up on the run?
ANDY DALTON: I don't think so. We had a good game plan coming in. Just throwing the ball we had some mistakes all over the place. It seemed like every play, somebody was busting something. I think that's kind of the way, how the game turned out.

Q. I remember during the game, the technical problem between the booth and the guys on the field. Did it change at all the way the offense flowed and operated?
ANDY DALTON: I think we pressed at that point. When the headsets went out, I guess we had to wait on the guy calling plays to come down. Once everybody heard that, everybody was kind of not really freaking out, but kind of like, What's going on? The sidelines was kind of crazy at that point.
But I think we settled down at some parts after that. But I think it definitely changed kind of the way things were going.

Q. Took him forever to get down.
ANDY DALTON: It took a while for him.

Q. (No microphone.)
ANDY DALTON: I don't think so. I think we prepared. There's a lot of things that we weren't expecting in that game, even just with crowd noise. We didn't think we'd have to use a silent snap count. In the game we started using a silent snap count. We hadn't practiced it at all.
We're ready for little things like that.

Q. ever use a silent snap count?
ANDY DALTON: Yes, we had. We used it during the season. We weren't expecting to use it in the game.

Q. Are you expecting to use this game?
ANDY DALTON: We've prepared for it.

Q. Are you prepared for Wisconsin to have six in the box, what they've been successful at?
ANDY DALTON: I think we've got a good game plan. We've watched a ton of film. Preparing for a month. Hopefully we'll be ready for anything.

Q. Do you enjoy getting a month to prepare or do you wish you could just play the game?
ANDY DALTON: I guess it's all part of it. It's kind of nice to be in a routine playing each week. But it gives you a lot of time to get ready for them, see everything that they do.

Q. Do you feel like you're much more ready for them than you would be for another team during the season?
ANDY DALTON: I think so just because of all the film you're able to watch, get ready for.

Q. Do you enjoy watching film?
ANDY DALTON: I do. It's fun to see the different things, to see a team that you don't usually get to watch play. We always see teams in the Mountain West, all that. To watch some of the Big Ten offenses play, as well as watching Wisconsin defense.

Q. Do you pay much attention to any other quarterbacks in history?
ANDY DALTON: I really haven't. I haven't paid much attention. I haven't really focused on it. I don't even know all of them.

Q. How is your relationship with the young guys?
ANDY DALTON: I think the thing I've been able to do is just tell them little things of what to expect at different times. Even like coming into two-a-days at the beginning of the year, be patient with it. You know it's going to be tough. I remember my freshman two-a-days going, What in the world? Spending all day, every day up here, not getting any time to yourself.
But, I mean, just giving them little things. It's kind of weird to think they've still got another four years here. I've got, what, three more days, four more days. I've tried to talk to them a little bit and let them know what to expect.
I graduated two weekends ago.

Q. That had to feel pretty good?
ANDY DALTON: Oh, yeah. Nice to get it over with.

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