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January 1, 2011

Tank Carder

Andy Dalton

Gary Patterson


TCU - 21

THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations. If you could make a brief opening statement, we'll get to questions for you.
COACH PATTERSON: Let me just say first about the two young gentlemen that just left here. I think anybody that's been part of the Rose Bowl can understand after you got done watching that ballgame that both teams have a lot of class. They're special team, they have special kids. Their alumni are special.
I said earlier about the fans of Camp Randall and Wisconsin, and I can't even say anymore or anything less than I can about the TCU fans that have followed us here to L.A. and have been part of the Rose Bowl.
On behalf of my players here and all of TCU, I can't even, it's hard for me to believe we even got an opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl let alone say we're the Rose Bowl champs.
We won 21-19, but we're very humble in this situation and understand it took a lot of people to get us to this point. You have to have some people make some great plays, some players make some great plays to be here.
We thank all of you for letting us be here. We had a great time this week. And Gina here was just splendid, and we thank you for anything we can do for you. If you come to Fort Worth, let us know.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Patterson.

Q. Were you surprised on the two-point conversion that they tried to pass instead of run it?
COACH PATTERSON: No. Right now I was just glad we batted it down. They call plays, and I call defenses. So it's one of those situations where I'm sure they had a play in mind that they saw on the goal line that was going to work.
To be honest with you, if you watched the film, the guy was wide open and Tank knocked it down. Sometimes you make some plays that you wish you're glad that you did, and some days like last year we didn't.
We've been in three games now the last three years where we won 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl. We got a punt fake against us, and we lost 17-10. Then today we won 21-19. I don't know why it all happens the way it does, but you've got to learn from it and you've got to move forward.

Q. You had said yesterday that the media would determine in some sense how you guys played and such. You said for 13 years when you had won people said you got lucky. Perhaps you can help us write our story and quantify this victory for us?
COACH PATTERSON: One thing I would say is both sides of the ball, both teams I think played very hard. We knew coming into this ballgame we were going to have to do more than just play base defense. There were times today they pushed us around a little bit. But we found ways to make plays.
Offensively especially in the first half, we didn't get a lot of plays, but we scored. I said coming into this ballgame we were going to have to score points and we weren't going to be able to play from behind. Wisconsin's a very good team, when you have to play from behind they put in John Clay and he bangs at you. They did that in the final drive, and we got fortunate that we were able to run out the clock.
Sometimes it just happens that way.
But as a program for 13 years, like I said yesterday, we've been trying to climb the mountain. Because of the kind of kids we have, and the administration and the people that have been a part of and our fans, today has been the climax of the last ten years and what we've tried to get done. Today we can say that we're the Rose Bowl Championship.

Q. As head coach of little sister's of the poor, I'm wondering what message you have for E. Gordon?
COACH PATTERSON: I don't have any messages for him. I make mistakes every day. So what I'm going to do is know that TCU is 13-0. We've won 44 ballgames, this senior class has in the last four years. And know that at any point in time anybody can beat anybody.
I've been telling people over the last eight years that the parody in college football, and the academic standards, the 85 scholarships that you have to play. On any given day, anybody can beat anybody. If you're one of the Top 10 teams, anyone can claim a chance possibly at a National Championship because everybody's really good.
My hat's off to Wisconsin, the kind of team they have. My hat's off to my team because of what they do. And I'm looking forward now to watching the National Championship Game because I don't have to sweat. I don't have to call the defense. I'm going to sit on my couch and watch it, and not have to do anything else and see what goes on.

Q. You talked before that the TCU offense versus their defense was the story line that people need to really watch?
COACH PATTERSON: I know. I told you guys that. You guys weren't listening (laughing).

Q. In the game, can you talk about the fact you had 12 plays that were ten yards or more? What were you seeing as an offense that you are able to get those big plays?
COACH PATTERSON: One of the things we kind of had, they were not a big blitz team. So we knew we were going to have to take advantage. We did some double move stuff that got us a couple big plays and couple touchdowns in the pass game. We knew that probably this ballgame because they were so physical up front were going to have to use the short passing game to be able to get us first downs, and we were able to do that today.
Andy was tremendous.

Q. You talked a little bit about this earlier, but after the first drive when they kind of motored down the field and were physical and you did hold them and didn't let them in the end zone, what was your assessment then, how your defensive front would match up with their offensive front?
COACH PATTERSON: Didn't look real good after the first two drives that they had. I knew we were going to have to tackle, but I told them before the ballgame in the locker room this was going to have to be a 60-minute game. I told them we had prepared all season clear back to when it was 110-115 in two-a-days, and we went at 4:00 in the afternoon.
When we came back to start for Bowl practices, we got back in the weight room, and we went back to things like a rapid-fire series. We were going to speed it up, get ourselves back in condition because we knew the kind of team Wisconsin and we were going to have to play against.
The thing that's been amazing about this group of kids, and I've said it. Usually I'm a fire and brimstone, but they've taught me a lot in the last three years about letting them do their job and letting them take care of the ballgame. When you've got leadership like you have, these two guys to my right, guys are going to step up in special games. There is a lot more back in our locker room that are just as much a part of it.
But I told them we're going to have to play 60 minutes, and this might come down just like Oregon State one of those games where we have to hold on till the end, and that's what happened.

Q. I know you said you look forward to not sweating during the Championship game, but there are three unbeaten teams, wouldn't you like to play it off, have a shot at going the whole way?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, yeah, if that's your indirect way of asking about a playoff. We want our chance, but I think the Rose Bowl was our chance. This was our Bowl game. Until we have a better way of doing it -- but, you know, it's a lot of fun. You have three teams now that are still undefeated in college football.
The end of the next ballgame there are only going to be two undefeated teams. I'm not a voter this time, but I'll be honest with you. I think you have an opportunity, to me, if I was a voter, I'll watch those two teams play and see how my team compares to them. Then I'll have my own National Championship vote if I think we're better.
It won't count, but it seems like a lot of votes don't count anymore, so we'll see how it all goes.

Q. I don't know what kind of impression you get during the course of the game about how well you executed, but you had no turnovers and not a lot of penalties. Didn't seem like you gave them anything. Do you have any sense of how well you played?
COACH PATTERSON: No, because it seemed like they rushed for about 1,500 on yards and threw for over 2,000 in one ballgame. I did know this. If we were going to win, we were going to have to play a ballgame where we didn't do much to hurt ourselves.
Andy did a great job, just like he's done over the last three years, of managing the ballgame and getting the ball in hands. I think he ended up being the leading rusher and leading passer in the ballgame for us, was he not?
So I think a lot of credit goes to him. Staff just did a great job. On defense, what you've got to understand is, we knew that we weren't going to stop them. They have two good of players. On their line every one of them was a Big Ten offensive Player of the Year just about.
We knew we were going to have to contain them and we knew we were going to have to get stops and we were able to do that in this ballgame. It's one of those things where you've just got to find a way to win, and that's what these kids did. That's what they've been doing over the last four years.

Q. You mentioned those thoughts, Coach. It seemed like your blitz packages were fairly successful?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, we knew it was going to go into our favor if we could get them into third down and long situations. We didn't do a very good job in zone coverage, to be honest with you. They got a couple of big first downs.
So I kind of decided we were going to have to come after them and take our chances, and I think we won more than we lost in that category.
But Tolzien is a really good quarterback. He's very efficient, he does his job. We just happened to come up two points ahead, and our guy was better tonight.
But if we had to play them ten times, who knows how it would work out. But tonight he was better.

Q. Coming into the game, if someone had told you would have only run the ball once in the first half and you wouldn't rely very much on Matthew Tucker and you'd rely so much on your quarterback and his arms and feet, would you have been comfortable with that kind of game plan?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, we thought that's what was going to happen. We kind of felt like I was saying earlier they were going to be physical up front. We felt like there were some things that we could do in the passing game that could help us.
Sometimes the medium to short passing game is like a run. Andy did a great job with it, and our guys made some big catches. He had a hard time. I don't know if you guys noticed it, standing up. We slipped quite a bit.
So the biggest thing for us was to find a way to move the ball down the field and make some plays and we were able to do that.

Q. Coach, I know you're being more diplomatic than most coaches.
COACH PATTERSON: No, that's my normal way.

Q. Don't you feel that you'd like some finality to this? You went 13-0 and you're just never going to know because of the way it's set up?
COACH PATTERSON: I think we all look for finality. I think my wife waits for the season to be over so I go back to being Gary instead of Coach P.
But it's like anything else in college football or anything else you have in life. There is a set of rules of how it is, and right now this is the way it is. I've never been a whiner, I've never been somebody that's been out there griping about how it is, and I'm not going to start now.
This is a great stage. The Rose Bowl deserves a lot more than that. Like I said before the ballgame, to us this was a National Championship caliber ballgame.
I mean, I walked out on the field before this game and I've never been here before. To be able to look at those mountains and see everything that went on with the game, everything that was a part of it, all the different people that we met. I mean, I would be doing them injustice by saying anything less than I was glad I was here today.

Q. What does this victory mean to Texas Christian's football program?
COACH PATTERSON: I don't know if you can measure it. What did Boise State beating Oklahoma a few years back, what did it mean to their program? I can say this: I think we've proven we can come on a big stage and we can win, and we have good enough players to be able to do that.
Lot of times in the State of Texas, and I can talk for this, sometimes we're thought of because we weren't an automatic qualifying school, because we weren't in the Big 12 or in one of those conferences that we didn't have as good of players.
Today we proved we have just as good of players as anybody else in the country. And I've been saying that for a while.

Q. On the two-point conversion, and this is for the players as well, were you surprised that they came lined out in the shotgun considering they had just run the ball pretty successfully the entire drive on the way down?
COACH PATTERSON: Somebody asked me that earlier. But obviously they saw something in our red zone and goal line defense that they felt like they had something that was going to be an easy play. We were fortunate -- Tank, are you the one that knocked it down? We were lucky Tank was in the game, knocked the ball down and we were able to go do the things.
Because the safety -- and this is going to really make them mad and they're going to watch the film -- we called the blitz where we brought the linebacker and safety off the edge, and that's why it knocked it down. The back side safety was supposed to be covering the number three guy that was wide open. He thought it was a bullet, and we were bringing both linebackers.
So sometimes things are just meant to be because he was wide open. They had the right play called, and I can promise you, if you go back and look at the film, we just made a play, and sometimes that's what happens.

Q. How did Andy's performance tonight compare to what he's done in his career? And I don't necessarily mean statistically for a single game, but in terms of what he did given the situation, given the energy and this sort of thing?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, the one thing I can say to you is I knew it was very important to him after last year. He was very hard on himself after the Fiesta Bowl a year ago. And I'm very proud of the way he came back, and I'm happy for him because he had to live for a year with he didn't get it done in the Fiesta Bowl.
For him to come back and manage the game and score two more points for us to win the Rose Bowl, I think that says it all. The guy has won 44 ballgames. He's the winningest quarterback, active quarterback in college football.
Like I said earlier, he's my Heisman candidate. He's my Davey O'Brien candidate. He's all of that, because that's what he means to TCU and that's what he means to Fort Worth.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations.
COACH PATTERSON: Thank you, Rose Bowl. We're very honored to be a part of your great tradition.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes.

Q. Tank, if you could walk us through what you saw unfolding as it unfolded on the two-point conversion?
TANK CARDER: On the last play, I figured it was going to be a run. I guess Coach P. saw something else, but they had been effectively running the ball for three or four yards the whole game. Fortunately they got a shotgun, and Coach P. called a blitz. I went to go blitz and got blocked and couldn't get through the hole.
So I just stopped, backed up, saw him cock his arm back and I jumped, and that was the end of it.

Q. I noticed right away you seemed to be picking apart the middle of the field on some seam routes. Was that something you saw on game film or did it just kind of happen during the game? Can you go through that?
ANDY DALTON: No, it's something that we saw. We had the right play called for the right coverage; and so we were able to execute, and that's what we did. Coming into this game we wanted to be efficient throwing the ball and execute well. I felt like I got the ball out of my hands quick to our guys and our guys made some big plays.

Q. Can you talk about the pace in the first quarter? I think a lot of people were surprised at the back and forth and how quickly things took off on both offenses. Was that a surprise or a game plan that you wanted to come out that fast?
ANDY DALTON: Well, you always want to start the game fast. I think we only got the ball three times in the first half. Felt like we hadn't played going into halftime. We scored twice and then went three-and-out, and we were watching the rest of the time.
We knew we had to take advantage of our opportunities because Wisconsin's got such a great run on offense, and they can run the clock. So that's kind of the attitude we took in the second half. We have to take advantage, keep moving the ball, and we were able to get the win off of that.

Q. How was their physicality? Was it advertised and how did you hold up against it and how did you keep from getting worn down considering the time of possession?
ANDY DALTON: It was definitely what we expected it to be. Guys were big. They averaged 330 pounds, I think it was. Our D-line was about 40 pounds less than that average, so it definitely took a wear on us.
But throughout the game we figured out how big they were and got used to it, and started weathering the blows they were giving us.

Q. Where were you coming from on the two-pointer on the blitz? Do you on that certain play, on that blitz, do you get blocked that often?
TANK CARDER: I was coming from the left side, so it was a wide dogs blitz. I guess sometimes I get through it, it just depends on how the blocking scheme of the O-line goes. Sometimes it gets through and sometimes you don't. Unfortunately that time I didn't, and I jumped up and swatted it away. From what everyone was saying, the guy was wide open so.

Q. As you take the whole season and what you've accomplished, 13-0 as we stand here, Rose Bowl Championship. The questions guys like me asking all season, do you belong on this stage -- how do you feel about what this team has proven not you individually, but this whole team has proven with this win tonight?
ANDY DALTON: This is what we sought out to do. Even from what happened last year, we felt like we were on a big stage but we were playing Boise, and we didn't play very well.
So this whole off-season, summer workouts, fall camp, the whole season our goal was to get back to a game like this.
We never thought we'd end up in the Rose Bowl just because of the ties it has with it. But there's not a better game out there. We came out here just to see the stadium early on in the week, you could feel the tradition, feel the history. It kind of hits you when you watch the Rose Bowl game and you're seeing all the things that happened and all the different games that have been played and the great games that have been played. It's a dream come true. It's what we sought out to do, and we worked really hard for it.

Q. You're a quarterback that likes to run the ball. I'm just curious, have you always been a running quarterback? Can you talk a little bit about that, please?
ANDY DALTON: Coming out of high school, I think I ran the ball maybe two or three times the whole year. So it's something I had to get used to. I guess I ran the ball throughout my time here.
But I think just with getting experience and understanding the offense and knowing when I could run the ball and knowing when to make different reads made me a better runner throughout the years.

Q. It seemed that you were running a lot of play action that seemed to get Wisconsin's defense a little confused. How much did that play action in the first quarter open up the field for you and your teammates?
ANDY DALTON: Yeah, it was big for us. We knew coming into the game that their I's were big on the inside and watching the run. So we knew the play action we'd eliminate some of the guys and get our inside receivers free. So we took advantage of it early on in the game.

Q. When you knocked that conversion pass down, you sort of stood there for a second. What was going through your head? Did you know exactly what that meant?
TANK CARDER: That was a funny thing because I was talking to Tejay after the game. I was like, after I blocked it down it didn't seem like that big of a play until it sunk in. Because it was definitely -- they needed two points, and I swatted it and stopped them from getting two points. It didn't sink in until five minutes after I did it. It was like, yeah, all right.

Q. You've done just about everything you can do in a college career, but considering the way the Fiesta Bowl went last season and people made a big deal out of it. Is there any unburdening that you won this game. You personally played about as well as you could be asked?
ANDY DALTON: That was a big motivation for me. I felt like I didn't play very well in the game last year. So to come out and win this game and execute well on offense, we didn't have any turnovers, the penalties were to a minimum. I think as an offense on the whole we came out and played well.

Q. Can you talk about what you were thinking on the two sacks and hearing the reaction of the crowd, some of the oohs, and ahh's, and what kind of lift that gave you guys?
TANK CARDER: I felt like it gave us a lift. Whenever I sacked them on the third down, I felt like it changed the momentum of the game. It got back in the hands and it took them down to the middle of the field.
It felt good for the guys to be playing together like that. Not just that play, but the whole game like that.

Q. Can you talk about everybody from Coach Patterson , it seems like everybody on your team is being politically correct about where you guys would stand in the National Championship picture. Why are you guys not lobbying to say you deserve a share of it or piece of it? You guys don't seem to be doing that?
ANDY DALTON: I think the way the system is, it didn't give us the opportunity to play in the game. It didn't do any of that. But we did everything we were capable of doing. We sought out at the beginning of the season, you look at our pyramid in our team room. It says to go undefeated, play in a BCS game. On top of that is a National Championship, but I think all we can do is control what we can control.
I guess it's just the way the system is. But I think my time here at TCU, we never thought we'd have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl, and we got that opportunity today and got a big win.

Q. What do you think this victory means for the Texas Christian football program?
TANK CARDER: It definitely means a lot. All the critics don't feel like the non-AQ teams should have a shot. But I feel that TCU has proven that we can play with the best of them. Definitely taking this win back to Fort Worth, it feels a little better knowing that the non-AQ teams can play with the best of them.
Wisconsin is a Big Ten team. They're really good, and I feel like we came in here and made a statement today.
ANDY DALTON: I think we showed that these teams can play with anybody. I think to win the Rose Bowl means just a tremendous thing for this program. To see where we've come throughout just my time at TCU, it's been a major blessing. We've been surrounded by so many great players, great coaches. Coach Patterson has done an outstanding job with the program. I can see that this program will get better and better each year.

Q. So after you guys gave up the few points that you did in the first quarter, was that something that kind of lit a fire under you guys, Tank?
TANK CARDER: I feel like we efficiently held them. On the first drive, we held them to a field goal. Those two field goals that we held them obviously won the game for us. That was something we pride ourselves on. Our defense, we can bend, but we don't break.
When we made them kick the field goals I think that helped us out a lot throughout the long stretch of the game. And Coach P. said that early in the week. He said all we have to do is hold them to field goals. They're going to drive the ball down the field. They're going to have long drives. As long as we hold them to field goals, we felt we could win the game.

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