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ROSE BOWL GAME PRESENTED BY VIZIO: OREGON v WISCONSIN


December 29, 2011


Kenjon Barner

LaMichael James

Carson York


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Kenjon Barner, LaMichael James and Carson York.  Questions?

Q.  Mike, first of all for you, everyone's seen that picture from Disneyland.  What was going through your mind at that moment on Space Mountain?  And, Kenjon and Carson, can you also talk about that picture and your reaction to it?
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  Actually, it's Kenjon's fault.  He think it was funny.  Actually, we both thought it was funny.  It still is a funny deal.
We didn't really know that it was going to blow up like that.  But it really did.  The media, it does what it does, right?
CARSON YORK:  I hope his face doesn't look like that when we're missing blocks.  I don't know.  (Laughter).
KENJON BARNER:  It's like you said, it was all fun and games.  Just creating memories.  But neither one of us or anyone that was in our small group had any idea that it would go as far as it did.

Q.  Guys, if you could talk about last night for a second and Mark doing what he did, and if there's a guy on the team that's an Eagle Scout and going to step up and help save someone's life, it's got to be Mark Asper, right?
KENJON BARNER:  With Mark, it's not surprising, that's just who Mark is.  Mark is the most caring, loving guy I've ever met.  So for it to be Mark Asper in that situation, it's not surprising at all.
CARSON YORK:  I was on the other side of the room, but my roommate texted me, said something along the lines Mark Asper just saved somebody's life and then kept eating his dinner like it was no big deal.
So I don't know, it's like, it's the guy Mark is.  I think I was telling Kim, our trainer, about it, and I hadn't said who did it, and she guessed Mark.
So I think it's just who he is, and he's got little kids so he has to know how to do the Heimlich.
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  I think with him being 6'7", 400 pounds, that helped, too.

Q.  All three of you, talk about playing against the Wisconsin linebackers.  You're all going to face them in your part of your guys' games, talk about what they bring and how you're going to defeat them.
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  Well, I think they have really good linebackers.  I think No. 44 is really good.  He gets off blocks really well.  And me and Kenjon, we'll have to deliver the linebackers to Carson really good.  Or we're going to be stuck in the backfield.  I'm really excited about the matchup.
KENJON BARNER:  They're big.  They're physical guys.  But I would say that it's nothing that we haven't seen before from going from way back to Ohio State to Auburn, to LSU.  Even Stanford.  Big, physical guys.
And it's something that we've seen.¬† It's something that we've been‑‑ we've been tested against, and I think we fare pretty well in most cases.
CARSON YORK:  Yeah, I think the big "D" line, their job's sort of to keep us off the linebackers.  Linebackers make plays.  So we've got to get these guys some space to run.  We've got to neutralize the backers.
As LaMichael said, No. 44 is all over the place making plays.  Sort of joked he's sort of the human incarnate of a badger.  He just constantly keeps going, getting in, making plays.  If he's not making plays, disrupting stuff.  Sort of plays like the way our guys on defense do.  Sort of max effort, max speed all the time.  And it's going to be a challenge to sort of get him out of the way.

Q.  LaMichael, have you gotten to watch Montee Ball at all?  And if you have, what you've seen, how would you maybe compare, contrast him to yourself?
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  You know, he's probably 215 pounds and I'm like 190.  So there's a huge difference.  He runs in the I.  I run in the spread.
I don't really think there's a comparison between the two.  He's a great player, though.  He's really nifty, from being a bigger guy, running out of the I.  And I just think we're very different players.  But he has 40 touchdowns.  I think he's one of the best running backs in the country right now.

Q.  For all three of you guys, the third quarter seems to be offensively your best quarter.  You come out after halftime and hit the team really quick.  Why do you think that is, first of all, and is it something that you take pride in or consciously try to do in all the games is make a quick hit after halftime?
CARSON YORK:  I think it's partially a credit to our coaches.  We come out of the locker room and make adjustments.  And we go on to execute those adjustments.  There's sometimes plays we haven't practiced all week, we want to go try and use and stuff like that, or just different ways of blocking something or stuff like that.
And they always seem to all of a sudden start working.  So credit to Coach Helfrich and Coach Kelly and Coach Greatwood and all the guys on offense for the things we can take advantage of, to put us in a position to be successful.
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  I think the tempo helps.  When you're playing fast the whole game, you're going for halftime, I think those guys come out, they're a little bit tired.  That's when things start to open up for us.  You notice it in the beginning of the games, everyone's flying around.  A lot of energy.  But come time second half, those guys are a little tired.  I think it works to our benefit.
KENJON BARNER:  Definitely I would say that tempo, along with our coaches.  And like you said, first quarter everybody's flying around.  Second half, you know, big guys get, tend to be a little bit more winded and we're able to capitalize on maybe mental mistakes they make.
CARSON YORK:  The amount of reps we get off in practice and stuff help train our bodies and legs to be able to deal with the stress of playing the whole football game.  And so sort of the tempo we have in practice does sort of conditions not only our cardio and stuff, but our bodies and legs, sort of continue to handle the abuse as the game goes on hopefully better than our opponents.

Q.  For all three guys, I know you guys always want to win every game.  With the last two Bowl games, do you guys have a feeling of:  We really want to win this one, based on the last couple of years?
KENJON BARNER:  I'd say we have that feeling in each of the past two Bowl games.  If you don't have that feeling showing up to the Bowl game, really what are you doing there?
But in this Bowl game, we don't really worry about the past.  Two completely different teams from the previous years, different leaders, and I believe it's a team with a different attitude.  And can't really worry about the past.  Can't let the past affect your future.
CARSON YORK:  I think the people in Oregon, our fans, deserve a Bowl win.  I think we've been able to give them a lot but we haven't been able to give them that.
On top of that, I'd really like a ring on it that says champion rather than just participant.  Exactly what Kenjon said, you know, ready to go get this one.

Q.¬† You have such a rhythm‑based offense, and I was wondering, if you feel there's an inherent disadvantage in having the kind of time off you have between the end of the season and the Bowl game, and also the idea that people have that all that time gives other teams a chance to prepare more adequately for what you guys do?
KENJON BARNER:  I think when you're playing in big games, you have so many timeouts, I think that really messes it up, too.  I think that comes into a factor.  I feel if we get the rhythm going on each drive, I think we'll be okay, instead of going three and out.
CARSON YORK:¬† I think the way we've gone through Bowl prep this year has been a little different.¬† And should be‑‑ sort of help keep our rhythm, sort of kept going over the way we normally practice for a game each week and we get in this rhythm all season where you do the same thing all Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, sort of repeat that pattern a couple of times.
And hopefully that will sort of keep our bodies and minds sort of at the task at hand.  And I mean it's just sort of an annoying little fact that we struggled in Bowl games, or games at times to prepare, but I think we're ready to shake that one, too.

Q.  LaMichael, how interesting are the huddles being the highest scoring team in the land?  Are there guys literally lobbying for the ball saying it's my turn?  Are there debates in the huddle about who gets the ball and that kind of stuff, because it seems you've got so many weapons?
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  Never.  This is a team effort.  Nobody cares who gets the ball or accolades in the game or touchdowns.  That stuff doesn't matter.  As long as we score.
Coach Kelly does a great job of putting all of our athletes in situations to excel.  I think Kenjon can speak on that as well.  It really doesn't matter.  I'm Kenjon's biggest supporter, De'Anthony, Darron, Josh, L.T., it doesn't matter.  Some of the offensive line, they tell us we don't know even who scores half the time.  It doesn't matter; it's a team effort.
CARSON YORK:  What huddle?
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  Good point.

Q.¬† LaMichael, this game's being painted as two high‑powered offenses that seems like everybody's going to score every time they touch the ball.¬† Is that exciting?¬† Is that pressure?¬† How do you view it where one defensive stop could be the difference in this type of game?
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  I think of it as we have a lot of great weapons on our team.  It's kind of fun, just watching those guys go out there and excel.  One stop, it does come down to that sometimes.  But hopefully our athletes can get into the open field and make something happen in this game.

Q.  Carson, talk about Hroniss and starting as a redshirt freshman all year and playing the center like that the captain of the O line and just how good a job he's done.
CARSON YORK:  He's an awesome kid.  He sort of has what I don't have, has the ability to sort of take whatever comes at him, shake it off, where I get too focused on details, stuff like that.
I think he's well suited for his job.  And I think there's been moments that for the first couple of games where maybe guys were trying to do too much and help him out and there was, everybody had their own moment where try to say something to him, he sort of said I got it.  And as the season progressed, you know, he is getting really good at what we do in our system and sort of what Jordan perfected before him, getting everybody on the same page really, really quickly.
And I think first he's just an awesome kid able to deal the stuff that comes at him.¬† And I wouldn't‑‑ there's no one I would rather have next to me throughout the whole season.

Q.¬† As the game gets closer, we're still a few days out, as the game gets closer, does your excitement level amp up a bit, or do you try to keep yourselves even‑keeled, maybe all three of you can answer that?
KENJON BARNER:¬† For me personally, I don't get excited until I step on the field on game day. ¬†But I think as a team, as well as the coaching staff, they keep us well‑composed.¬† They don't let us get too high and they definitely keep us from getting too low.
I think we find a happy medium and we ride that wave until we get to game time and then we explode.
LaMICHAEL JAMES:  For me, I'm just me.  I'm always excited no matter, today, tomorrow, the game, I'm going to continue being the same person when the ball is kicked off.  Sometimes Kenjon says I'm a little immature because I'm always playing half the time and laughing, even during the game.  And I think you just go out there and have fun.  You have to live life out there.
CARSON YORK:¬† Yeah, I think right now we're just trying to appreciate the experience again.¬† And then when we go to practice it's all business, and we're going to take care and get better.¬† And everybody's‑‑ practice as hard as they can because that's how we win games.¬† Then when we get a little closer to the game maybe the night before, nerves start going a little bit.
As soon as you smack your head into somebody else's, you're just playing football again, and excited to go get that done.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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