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ROSE BOWL GAME: MICHIGAN STATE v STANFORD


December 29, 2013


Darqueze Dennard


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Q. (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Great honor and privilege to be with those guys.テつ Thank God for allowing me to have the opportunity to win it and when I won it, it was a great accomplishment for me and for the team.テつ It was a privilege to be the first one to win it at Michigan State and I think there are going to be more recipients at the school.テつ It's an honor and privilege and exciting to win.

Q.テつ Was it something that you set out from the beginning of the season?テつ Was that a goal?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ It actually was.テつ I was sitting at home last year and award shows were going on and I was telling Coach I wanted to be at the award show and win the award.テつ I made up a picture to put in my locker, and I believed and prayed and worked hard and it actually came true.テつ It was an honor and a blessing for me to win it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think it was the off‑season.テつ I put in extra work, a lot of things I worked on.テつ I knew there were plays on the field that I could have made.テつ So I locked in all season, put the work in, put the time in and in the film room and I came out every Saturday and played my game.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think it was the kind of mentality I grew into.テつ Kirk Cousins was saying he did that as a senior and what their class accomplished and what they did, I appointed myself for my teammates this year to do that.テつ I think the big thing was last year we looked too far ahead at games we should have won on the field.テつ I felt like it was my honor and being the senior and the captain of the team to remind us we can't overlook this team, we can't overlook nobody.テつ Everybody is trying to stop our goal.テつ And we came out every week and focused and we gave it all for the team.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I didn't know too much about it, the only game I remember is the Texas USC game where Reggie Busch played and that's the only thing I knew, and that was probably the only thing I knew about it.テつ Being recruited by Coach D. They preached on it, we are going to be in the Rose Bowl game and coming up here and seeing everybody, the guys from Michigan State and the guys from Ohio and seeing what they are all saying about the Rose Bowl and the fans.

Q.テつ It's unique.テつ I don't think people in the south adore the Sugar Bowl the way people adore the Rose Bowl.
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I don't think so either.テつ ACC harps on winning a national championship, and that's the culture.テつ The Sugar Bowl really is like another bowl to them but actually it's a good bowl but I don't think they see it as big as we do, either.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think it is a chance to help the Big Ten but not only the Big Ten, us as a whole.テつ We have to come in and play our game and just like we have been playing the last couple of weeks.テつ We have been playing good football, playing as a team and make it‑‑ not too big of a deal, just what it is and we have to come into the game and just play our game.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, I try to‑‑ (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, this right here is the (Away from mic.)テつ This right here (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ What's that?

Q.テつ Your nickname.テつ I can't remember what it is now.
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ A name I gave myself?

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ No fly zone?

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Actually people think that's just me, but actually it's the secondary.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ How did you come up with it?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Brainstormed it with the guys in the secondary.テつ Just sayin', what's a good name?テつ That's the name we came up with and ran with it.

Q.テつ What year did you do that?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ This past spring.

Q.テつ Has it caught on?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, it has.

Q.テつ How?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think everybody around the country knows about the "no fly zone" and we got tee shirts.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ A printing company, they sell 'em, and I don't know what other web sites, but it's a "no fly zone" shirt.

Q.テつ The one that you guys made is there a picture or‑‑
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Basically we had made the whole defense players shirts to represent our defense and then also‑‑

Q.テつ Spartan dogs?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, that's the name of our defense and on the back of the shirt it says "no fly zone," (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Actually I am enjoying myself.テつ It's a great city, the weather is nice, people are nice.テつ You get to see a lot of people you see on TV.テつ It's a great experience.

Q.テつ I'm looking at that patch on your Jersey it says 2014 Rose Bowl the 100th Rose Bowl.テつ Is that significant to you guys that you're playing in the 100th Rose Bowl in a significant match‑up?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Definitely.テつ We haven't been here in 26 years and it's a great opportunity and privilege to be back on top and to put Michigan State's name to one of the elite groups in college football.テつ We have a great stage in front of us this coming week.
It's a humbling experience to be able to play in the Rose Bowl.

Q.テつ I can guarantee you're going to love it.テつ I got to play in it many years ago you're going to have a blast.テつ A question about the Jim Thorpe Award, do you feel like you are representing your whole team?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I definitely do, the whole defense and the coaching staff.テつ Being the number one defense was a great thing and just the coaching staff and me receiving this award shows how good Coach Barnett is and what type of team we have on defense and bringing this to the secondary, it was a goal that all of us set out and it's an honor and a privilege.

Q.テつ A lot of people that have studied football looking at this game say this is an "old school" game, bring your hard hat and get ready for some football, defense against defense, is that the way you look at it?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ It definitely is.テつ They pride themselves on the run and we do as well.テつ It's going to be a man's game out there.テつ Pretty much like you said, the hard hats and the lunch pails will be there, it's going to be a good game, one of those old, old school, smash mouth football games.

Q.テつ Wait a minute you're a corner, you don't want to get in run support do you?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I do, that's actually fun, me coming out there and helping the front 7 because they helped me out a lot this year so this is my opportunity to help them.テつ It's going to be fun to be able to come up and stop the run.テつ No DB on our staff just wants to cover, we want to be a complete player and do everything and it's an opportunity to show everybody we can do that.

Q.テつ You have seen all the Stanford receivers and the guys that have made plays.テつ Who in particular do you have your eye on in terms of you have to be on your game to cover this guy?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ All of 'em.テつ All of those guys do a really good job.テつ Ty Montgomery, he's dynamic.テつ He has a chance to take it all the way.テつ People think he's slow but watching the film, he can run.テつ They got a lot of players out there and we have to bring our "A" game.

Q.テつ Have you ever seen a team with this many formations?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think they bring in a couple of guys and at the end of the day they pretty much like us, do what they gotta do.テつ They basically, to win the game, they're not going to say anything, they're going to lineup and hit you in the mouth.

Q.テつ In preparation for this game you guys are out here in California you went to the beach, how many pieces of prime rib, the Jim Thorpe a Award winner knock down last night?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I gotta stay lean and mean.テつ Those guys do a pretty good job, so I just ate one prime rib.テつ I gotta stay lean and fast, I can't gain too much weight.テつ I don't want those guys running by me.

Q.テつ Who knocked down the most last night?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I keep hearing Shawn Kamm, but he can eat!

Q.テつ Enjoy your time out here, best of luck.
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ Gaffney, the running back, what's your impressions of him and how are you going to stop him?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ He's a good player.テつ He don't‑‑ people don't realize he can get the job done.テつ He runs with power, he can take a pass.テつ He has a stiff arm, he's a tough runner, runner, a good running back.

Q.テつ Have you played against any guys that you would compare him to?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ In the Big Ten we see guys like that.テつ He could come play in the Big Ten.テつ A lot of guys in the Big Ten do the same thing as well.

Q.テつ What are things that Stanford does that you haven't gone up against much?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I would say we haven't gone up too much against heavy sets when they bring in 7 to 8 linemen, but we're looking forward to the challenge.
I think we're ready for it.テつ There is nothing we're not ready for.テつ I think we will be ready to play on Wednesday.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ We do a lot of things on our defense and we try to confuse the quarterback and the offensive linemen as well as everybody else.テつ It's just the way we play the game.テつ We want to confuse the other team and we don't want them to know what we're doin'.テつ I guess we will continue on with that.

Q.テつ I wanted to know from Stanford's perspective, what would you say the strength of your secondary is?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Everything.テつ We can cover, we run to the ball, we make plays when they're there to make.テつ I think our secondary is probably the most complete secondary in the nation.

Q.テつ I noticed watching film is you guys are missiles coming out of the secondary.テつ Can you talk about pass coverage and the way that you stop the running game?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Like I said before, we're complete players all of us on the back end, we're complete players.テつ We want to cover the pass and when we come down, we're trying to deliver a blow just like a lineman delivers a blow.テつ It's an opportunity to make plays and help our team out.

Q.テつ You mentioned Ty Montgomery, he's Stanford's most explosive weapon.テつ Is there any concern by you guys with regard to the depth of their wide receivers?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ They have a lot of good wide receivers.テつ They use them a lot in the red zone.テつ I heard he was a basketball player.テつ The other guys, they got a nice group of receivers that do a lot of good things.テつ They can all rundown the field as well so they have a great group that can do a lot of good things and they have been doing it throughout the year.

Q.テつ What concerns you the most about Kevin Hogan?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ My concern is he has a lot of confidence.テつ They have some good players but I think the main thing is sometimes he will let the ball go and even though you think you got it covered it's in there and he has a lot of good receivers.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ We haven't actually played anybody with extra linemen before but it's pretty much like Big Ten football to us.テつ They like to rush, pride themselves on hard work and effort and they are determined not to let you get the ball and we have to lock on and this is an opportunity to show that we can play with anybody on the field and we have a big challenge ahead of us.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Wow, a big reason why we're here.テつ We've got to keep moving.テつ (Away from mic.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Nobody can take his leadership role so we are all trying to pitch in and fill in as best we can.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I don't know.

Q.テつ Everyone is talking about your match‑up covering Stanford's wide receivers.テつ Talk about how you get off blocks and attacking the run game?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Giving off blocks?

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I feel like we pretty good at it.テつ We work on it a lot.テつ Coach D. is a defensive back guy, he prides himself on tackling and we have been doing that throughout the year.テつ They are all big receiver and they can block and we have to continue to do what we're doing.

Q.テつ On that note, Stanford likes to run the ball on the outside.テつ Do you feel like you have a good group of safeties behind you and that allows you to be more aggressive with regard to the running game?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, those guys do a great job.テつ It allows me to just play my game.テつ When I have opportunities to make plays I'm going to make 'em.

Q.テつ What's the toughest route to cover?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I'm not going to tell you that.テつ I don't think any of them are too hard to cover if you lock into the play.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I can play anything.

Q.テつ You don't have a preference?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I don't have a preference.

Q.テつ What's the feeling like when you press a guy and he can't get by?テつ How does that make you feel?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ It's a great feeling knowing I did my job and pretty much killed my read away.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Ty Montgomery is a great player, so are the other players.テつ They have a deep group of receivers that make a lot of plays for them.テつ Great opportunity for me to be out there and be challenged by those guys.テつ Me and the rest of the secondary are looking forward to it.テつ It's just a great opportunity.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Pretty much.テつ There was adversity, losing a great player, nobody can replace, but we have to take over the leadership roles and the rest of the guys have helped to fill in.テつ We have to play with that mind‑set and it's just more adversity we have to go through and we are looking forward to the game.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I think it's the bond we have with each other.テつ We love each other and we need to take care of each other.テつ We have fun with each other and that allows us to be better on the field.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Got to have that to play this game, man.テつ A lot of people can't play that game.テつ You have to have the mind‑set every time you step on the field this is a job, this is a business, this is what you gotta do to get to your goal and that's what we did this year.
Every guy put the work in all season.テつ This is the stuff we have been going through, the adversity, everything, we put everything on the line every Saturday and it came down to this great result and it's just a great feeling.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Football is football.テつ Can't go around that.テつ We all have experience and we know how to play the game, been playing for eight years at least, so I mean, it's just another phase, it's on a big stage and it's an opportunity for our team to show case our talent and everybody knows that Michigan State is one of the elite football programs that should be mentioned every time you talk about college football.
It's another opportunity for us to go out there and play.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Yeah, I actually kinda love that, they call it the clear zone.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Just a great accomplishment.テつ Everybody knows we are the underdogs and probably the underdog in this game as well and it doesn't matter because at the end of the day you have to play the game.テつ We all got a chance to play and we go out there every day and play for each other and that's all we can do is pull everything into it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ It's a pleasure, man.テつ It's truly a blessing.テつ I thank God every day for the opportunity he gave me in my life.テつ I think it's crazy!

Q.テつ Was that extra motivation for you going into the year, being overlooked?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ It definitely was.テつ I always play with a chip on my shoulder.テつ I always play like I was overlooked and I continue to play that way.テつ I never forget where I come from and just knowing the things I know now, me putting in the hard work and believing in God, really just putting the time and the effort in, I know everything will work out.

Q.テつ How much was your grandfather an influence in your life?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Big influence, they mean everything to me along with my mom and the rest of my family.テつ Those two motivate me to this day. テつJust knowing what they did growing up and the jobs they worked in the factories and the salt mines, and everything, they motivated me and told me I had to go a different route because they didn't want me to be that kind of worker and that motivated me.テつ As a person it motivated me as well, helping me and trusting in God and praying all the time and putting in the hard work, everything works out.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ Hard work and family.テつ That's pretty much what I got out of him.

Q.テつ What do you expect in this game, and are you nervous?
DARQUEZE DENNARD:テつ I'm not nervous at all.テつ I don't think any player here is nervous.テつ We are ready for the opportunity.テつ It's another stage for us to come out here and play the game that we love and an opportunity and privilege to represent our team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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