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March 21, 2014

David Taylor


(Penn State) (36-0)

Q.  David, looking ahead tomorrow night, you're facing a guy‑‑ the only guy that's not allowed you to score bonus points.  Talk about that last time you wrestled him and why was he able to cut the gap.
DAVID TAYLOR:  Tyler's obviously a very tough opponent.  He's had a lot of success.  He's strong, hard to score on.  He's done a pretty good job of limiting my offense.
They've got a good game plan.  And kind of comes down to me getting my offense going on my feet.  He wants a close match.  Obviously I want a match that's not so close.
So we've gotta go out, shake hands, gotta go wrestle.

Q.  David, talk about your opponent in the semis, Monk.  He's from a different part of the country.  I don't know how many times you've wrestled him, but he went out there and he at least‑‑ he made a good showing.  Talk about how that match went.
DAVID TAYLOR:  Yeah, he's pretty tough.  I haven't had a chance to wrestle him.  He was in my weight last year as well.  I knew he's got some funky stuff.  He's pretty good on top with that cradle.
And he wrestled‑‑ he built up off his base once or twice, but‑‑ I'm just kidding.  But he was tough.  He was strong and squirrelly in some of those positions, and I had to fight in there to get that extra point for our team.
It's the national semifinals.  Guys are coming to wrestle.  This is the National Tournament.  Guys aren't going to lay down and take it easy.  They're going to fight and they're going try and win the matches.
That's what I enjoy, and that's what the fans enjoy as well.

Q.  This is your fourth Final.  Talk about the highs and lows obviously and just getting here.  Obviously you don't take it for granted, but any different feelings going into your fourth one?
DAVID TAYLOR:  Yeah, this tournament's been a little different than I can remember.  And not that I've been nervous, but each match has meant a little bit more to me just because they're the last ones.
When I was a freshman, Troy Letters, who is one of our assistant coaches, he told me seize the moment.  I don't think I understood what he meant by that, maybe not really until today.  Even my freshman year when I went out there and I got beat, I knew I still had three more left.  I wanted the sophomore, which is obviously‑‑ when you talk about highs and lows, that's obviously the high for me.
Last year fell a little bit short, and now it's seize the moment time.  This is the last one for me.
So right now I have about 24 hours to be ready to go for my last match.

Q.  David, last year they held your match to the last one, and Caldwell just sat here and said it would be real cool if they did that with you again this year.  Any thoughts about if the NCAA decided that Caldwell‑Taylor would be the last match?
DAVID TAYLOR:  I think there's definitely‑‑ it's an honor to be the last match.  I think that means people think it's going to be a good one, which means that there's some pretty good wrestling that's about to happen.  It would be pretty special if two years they mixed the weights up and I was the last one.  It was pretty cool last year being the last one.  I did it a few times in high school.
It's for the NCAA fans to decide.  If they decide to do that, that would be great.  I know it's going to be a good match.  You have two competitors, two four‑time All‑Americans.  We're going to go out, we're going to wrestle hard.  And it's going to be both our last matches and there's going to be some points on the board, and it's going to be fun for the fans to watch.

Q.  Have you been inspired at all these last couple of days seeing what James English has been able to do?  And you see him every day in the room, and he said when he came off the mat a couple minutes ago that this season has really been a struggle for him being that he's been hurt all his career and this season again, too.  Can you kind of describe what you've seen out of him throughout the season in terms of how he's been able to kind of keep at it?
DAVID TAYLOR:  Absolutely.  When you talk about a guy who lives his life the right way and has had some very unfortunate things happen to him, James English is the first guy that comes to my mind.  He works unbelievably hard.  He doesn't take‑‑ we talk about warming up for practice.  He doesn't cut a corner.  He runs every edge of the room.
He makes every ounce of practice that he can possibly get and he puts in there.  And he's been a guy who has been there as long as I've been there.
He's just wanting to get in the lineup so bad.  This year I know it was a matter of getting healthy.  He really wanted to be in there.  The coaches gave him a chance.  He got in the lineup, got sixth at Big Tens, got in the NCAA Tournament, an All‑American.  That's pretty special.
I was very happy to see him get his hand raised there in the blood round, because there's a lot of blood and sweat that he has put into this sport to get his hand raised and be top eight in the country.
And he's not done.  He wants to keep going.  And all of our guys on the back side of the bracket, they want to keep going and keep scoring points, and hopefully that's what separates us at the end of the day.

Q.  How special is it for you to be at least tied now in the record for pins at Penn State?  And was it a little frustrating not being able to turn him tonight?
DAVID TAYLOR:  I don't know.  It's something that it's been in the back of my mind a little bit this year, but at the same time getting the hand raised tomorrow night is what's been my number one priority.
Obviously this is the best match.  It would have been great if I could have got a pin.  But getting an extra point for our team, getting my hand raised, and getting in tomorrow night is what's important, especially this year when anything can happen at any given time, just like any other year.  Any wrestling guy has got some tricks up their sleeve.  Sometimes you've got to stay a little solid with them.
And tonight when I had a comfortable lead, I stayed solid and I got that takedown at the end, and I'm pretty happy with it.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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