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December 31, 2012

Collin Klein


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How did you handle the hype of the Heisman this year?  Was it distracting?  Motivational?
COLLIN KLEIN:  Well, I mean, there was definitely more exposure, a lot more just stuff going around that was there.  You just had to try to stay focused.  What we can control, what we're about, that kind of let everything else disappear.

Q.  How much steak did you eat last night?
COLLIN KLEIN:  I pretty much had all my fillet.  It was really good.

Q.  I saw some pictures that looked pretty awesome on Twitter.
COLLIN KLEIN:  They did it really cool.  The plates that came out just had your meat on it.  It was sizzling hot.  All the sides they put family style and came out and served all the sides.  The plate was so warm, it was like it was really warm.  It was really sweet.  Never seen it done like that before.  Pretty cool.

Q.  Doing a story about the quick starts.  It seems a little definitive.  What is the importance of getting off to a quick start?
COLLIN KLEIN:  Well, I think when you start well or fast, it makes it easier to finish.  It doesn't make it a done deal, but it definitely makes it easier.  There's no doubt.  Rather play ahead than behind.
But as players, especially, even as a coach, you can't mentally put yourself and lock yourself in that box because all of a sudden, if we're down at halftime, to me that doesn't mean a darn thing because we still center to compete and we're going to find a way to win this game.
I think it's a stat that carries some weight because it's very true.  It's much easier to finish when you start well.  But we're going to finish one way or another.  As a player and coach, we can't think about that too much, but it definitely carries some weight.

Q.  Has any of this set in for you or is it still a whirlwind?
COLLIN KLEIN:  It's set in.  It's been great to spend time with teammates and family, just enjoying the journey.

Q.  What has been your focus overall in preparation?  What are you looking at?
COLLIN KLEIN:  I mean, I think a little bit of everything.  There's different parts in each, even individual plays that I need to be attuned to.  It's going to take a good effort across the board.
We're focused on winning the line of scrimmage, playing tough, not turning the ball over, not having penalties.  We can't stall or kick field goals all day.  We have to score touchdowns.
Not one aspect of that is less important than the other.

Q.  I'm getting pictures on Twitter of these fans traveling through snow to get here for tomorrow.  What do you have to say about the K State fans.
COLLIN KLEIN:  Wow, it's truly amazing.  I'm not surprised.  I'm so happy to hear that.  I'm not surprised at all just 'cause I know and I felt the quality of people and the quality of fans that we have here.  They're so unique.  In my five years here, it's been truly special.  I wish I could thank every one of them.

Q.  What has been the weirdest Media Day question so far?
COLLIN KLEIN:  It's been pretty generic.  You haven't put me too much on my toes, unless you've got one coming.

Q.  The usual, Coke or Pepsi, boxers or briefs.
COLLIN KLEIN:  No (laughter).

Q.  Oregon is a team that likes to run.  How do you avoid getting into a track meet with those guys?
COLLIN KLEIN:  It's just, again, doing our thing, making sure we're doing it well.  Obviously that's the game of football, trying to take the other one out of what they like to do.  We both have obviously put a plan in place and it's going to come down to whoever executes that plan the best.

Q.  Their quarterback plays a similar style.  Can you talk about their quarterback on the other side.
COLLIN KLEIN:  I haven't been able to see too much of him.  We spent so much time looking at the defense, I get to see highlights.  Very talented player with an amazing system.  It's going to be a challenge.

Q.  You talked about that defense.  What kind of problems do they pose for you guys?
COLLIN KLEIN:  I mean, across the board, they force a lot of turnovers, fly around, give you a lot of different looks up front and stuff.  It's just a matter of being able to recognize and execute what we call, go from there.

Q.  What would it mean for you to go out with a bowl win for a program that hasn't won a bowl game in a decade?
COLLIN KLEIN:  It would be huge.  We talk about finishing all the time.  We haven't been able to finish the last two years.
To be able to do that is very important to us.

Q.  Has it gotten to you this is your last game?
COLLIN KLEIN:  It has.  It's not an easy thing.  It's one of those things you can't really control.  Just got to make the most of it, make sure that we've prepared, I've prepared, lay it all out there.

Q.  Oregon's defense is pretty good, too.
COLLIN KLEIN:  They play extremely hard, they find the football, create a lot of turnovers.  It's going to come down to whoever executes their plan the best.
Sometimes if there's things you don't know, generally there's things you know.  You go with what you know, generally you'll be all right.  It's just going to take a good, collective effort from all of us.

Q.  Did you dream you'd be here in the Fiesta Bowl?
COLLIN KLEIN:  I learned and understood the value growing up of putting limitations on yourself or what you could accomplish.  Coach Snyder, that's one of our team goals, the exact same thing.
Could I have written it out, told you how this was going to play out?  I couldn't have written it up.  But I'm not surprised at the same time with myself or any of our teammates.

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