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ROSE BOWL GAME: MICHIGAN STATE v STANFORD


December 27, 2013


Tyler Gaffney

Ryan Hewitt

Ty Montgomery


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Q.テつ Ty, looking at Michigan State's corners and the press scheme that they play, can you talk about the match‑ups with what you've seen from Darqueze Dennard and Trae Waynes?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ They're very athletic corners, they're very physical.テつ You can tell they have some experience and they're very patient in their press coverages, so we're going to have to be on point with what we do.

Q.テつ Just to follow up with that, Ty, how often has a guy like you been pressed in the Pac‑12?テつ How often do you see that and how much do you relish that?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ You know, press coverage is something that as a receiver you have to be able to beat, so teams are going to try to press guys to see what they can really do.テつ I get pressed a lot, and I just have to beat it, and as a receiver I kind of do relish being pressed.

Q.テつ Tyler, looking at Michigan State's run defense they do rank No.1 in the country in what they allow.テつ What makes them so effective against the running game and what are some of the challenges that you'll have ahead of you?
TYLER GAFFNEY:テつ They're a big, physical strong defense, and they believe in playing team defense more than I've ever seen‑‑ more than any team we've faced.テつ They don't go away from their scheme.テつ They don't go out of their own jobs.テつ They understand where they fit into the defense, and they're not going to let anything slide by by going out of their own job in the scheme.

Q.テつ Ty, can you talk about the match‑up with Darqueze and the rest of the Michigan State corners?テつ What kind of challenges does that present to you?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ Yeah, individually I haven't really thought about just a match‑up between me and him because it's 11 V 11, whether I've got to block him, whether I've got to beat him on a route, I am going to do what I have to do for the team.

Q.テつ For Ryan, a lot of times as a lead blocker you've got to find a way to get to those linebackers.テつ How hard is it to get to the second level to get your block on the linebackers when your assignment is not maybe a defensive end or helping shift a tackle?テつ How much of a challenge is that against Michigan State to get to the linebackers or the safeties or whoever you have to pick up?
RYAN HEWITT:テつ We'll see.テつ I don't know yet, but again, they do a lot of stunt, a lot of fronts‑‑ not a lot of fronts, but a lot of stunting out of their front, a lot of different blitzes with the linebackers so it'll depend how it all fits as the play happens, but there's going to be a lot of in‑game adjustments and a lot of on‑the‑fly adjustments during the play.テつ Guys are going to pick up my guy and I'm going to have to pick up their guy.テつ That's just how their scheme calls for us to play.テつ It'll be a challenge, but it's one I'm up for.

Q.テつ Ryan, what's it been like having Tyler back this season on the field and just his personality off it?
RYAN HEWITT:テつ Me and Gaff are roommates on the road, so we go back.テつ It's great having a good friend back.テつ And on the field he's a stud.テつ You like blocking for guys that make you look good, and he's one of those type of players.テつ It's been a great experience and a good year, and I hope that I've been able to do a decent enough job where he's had some holes and made some big runs.テつ Statistically speaking I think we've done a decent job.

Q.テつ Tyler, what does this game mean to you as a kid coming from the West Coast?テつ What does playing at home mean to you being the starter?
TYLER GAFFNEY:テつ You grow up watching the Rose Bowl, especially as a West Coast kid.テつ This is the game you want to be in.テつ I'm from SanDiego, so I saw the Holiday Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl first hand.テつ I had never been to the Rose Bowl until last year, so with the fact that I had never been, it was almost something I couldn't imagine being at, and last year I was there as a fan watching these guys win a Rose Bowl championship, and this year it's almost a surreal moment where a year ago today I was just a fan, and now I'm in the game.テつ This is all you can ask for.

Q.テつ Ty, the Michigan State secondary has been pretty impressive all year.テつ Darqueze Dennard is a Thorpe Award winner.テつ Talk about the challenge you face going up against the secondary?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ Like I said, they're physical, they're athletic and they're good football players.テつ You can see they are experienced and they know what they are doing when they're out there, so we've got to be on cue on the outside with what we do, whether we're blocking or whether we're trying to win on a route.

Q.テつ Switching gears, Ty, can you talk about your kick returns and what kind of art and skill that's been for you?テつ How much do you look forward to that, and what do you think some of the reasons are for the success that you've had?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ I do look forward to kick returns.テつ It's one of my favorite parts of the game.テつ But I can for sure tell you that the reason for my success isn't just because of me but it's because of the other 10 guys on the field.テつ When you've got 11 guys running at you trying to take your head off, you've got to be able to trust those other 10 guys that they'll do their jobs, and they do those jobs very well.

Q.テつ Tyler and Ryan, watching film of Michigan State's defense, how important is Max Bullough to that defense from what you've seen, including pre‑snap and the things that he does in that way?
TYLER GAFFNEY:テつ You know, he's the heart and soul of their defense, the captain, the leader.テつ He's a big, physical, very, very experienced player.テつ I think he's their longest starting active streak during this time.テつ You know, it's going to be hurtful for them to not have him, but we've got to expect that there's going to be a guy that replaces exactly what he does.テつ We're going to prepare for his type of player.
RYAN HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I agree with what Gaff said.テつ As he alluded to, he's a very smart player, kind of lines the defense up, makes the checks when they need to make checks.テつ He runs the defense.テつ As Gaff said, he's the heart and soul of the defense.テつ I think it'll be a tough loss for them.テつ But at the same time it'll probably be something that kind of fuels them, and we've got to pick it up because we lost a brother so we can't let them diminish our play by any sense.テつ There will be a guy that steps up as Gaff said.テつ It's going to be, it's the Rose Bowl.テつ Guys go down with injuries, guys miss games, so there will be someone that steps up.

Q.テつ What have any of the former players told you about what this game means to you guys or means to the university?
TYLER GAFFNEY:テつ So I can tell you that since I wasn't here last year I can experience exactly what you asked.テつ I asked them all about it after the game.テつ As a West Coast team, this is the big daddy.テつ This is what you play for.テつ This is what a college football player dreams of being in.テつ I think if you told any team that they'd be in the Rose Bowl at the end of the season, they'd take that and they'd be more than happy to be a part of it.

Q.テつ Ryan, Michigan State's physicality, the coaches have talked about the challenge and how they want to embrace playing Stanford because Stanford is known as being such a physical squad.テつ What about your challenge looking at Michigan State, a team that prides themselves on out‑physicaling people, beating people down?
RYAN HEWITT:テつ Yeah, you know, I think they are physical.テつ I think people kind of downplay the physicality of the Pac‑12 as a conference, but all that has done is prepare us for a team like Michigan State.テつ We expect the utmost physicality.テつ We expect the most physical team we've played.テつ They are arguably the most elite team we've played.テつ We expect a physical bout.テつ It's the Rose Bowl.テつ It's going to give them even extra motivation to be physical and to stop the run and stuff fullbacks and guards and pulling tackles and the whole.テつ It will be a good match‑up, and it's hard to answer questions like that before the game because you don't really know.テつ But again, we'll know after.

Q.テつ Was it similar to Wisconsin, because Wisconsin kind of has the same mantra?テつ Do you think it's almost a little bit been there, done that, having played a Wisconsin team, while different scheme‑wise also prides themselves on that style of Big Ten football?
RYAN HEWITT:テつ No, I wouldn't say it's a been there done that thing, but I think Wisconsin is a different experience, a notch on the belt to use as an advantage, and our team can use that as an advantage.テつ We played Wisconsin, and again, that's a physical team, and we expect the same out of Michigan State, and like I said, we won't really know until game day.

Q.テつ Ty, can you talk about when we think about Stanford, we think about power run game, we think about giant tight ends, we think about max protect.テつ You're the receiver, you're not at Oregon or Arizona State where they're going to throw the ball 45 times.テつ How is it you embrace your role as a receiver on what you know is a run‑first team?
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ People might not think I'm being genuine when I say this answer, but I enjoy every aspect of the game, not just passing.テつ I enjoy running, I enjoy special teams, I enjoy blocking for guys like Tyler Gaffney, Ryan Hewitt, Kevin Hogan, whoever it is running the ball, I enjoy blocking down the field and another receiver catches the ball just because I really love and enjoy the game of football, and I love all these guys around me.テつ So it makes it easier to block down the field for guys like Tyler Gaffney, Ryan Hewitt and whoever else has the ball in their hands.

Q.テつ The Nerd Patrol thing, where did that come from, and it seems so different‑‑ you think of Stanford as an intellectual, top‑flight, great football team, and then you're putting on these glasses and acting like nerds.テつ Where did that come from?
TYLER GAFFNEY:テつ Nerd Nation.テつ That's just something we, I guess, throughout the years have come up with about Stanford's community.テつ We embrace what we do.テつ Everyone else considers us we're just school guys that happen to play football.テつ You know, nerds.
We've embraced that aspect, but it's more than that when it comes‑‑ everyone at Stanford has their niche.テつ They have their reason they're at Stanford, they have their reason that they're successful, and guys on this team, there's countless guys on this team that football‑‑ if football doesn't work out for them at the next level, they're going to be very successful in what they do, whether it's running a company, a CEO or whatnot.テつ They're going to be successful, and I think as a whole Nerd Nation, just really embraces that as our team will embrace being a nerd and being successful at it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
TY MONTGOMERY:テつ Yeah, I'll be a nerd as long as I can be nerds with these guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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