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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL AT THE CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL: CLEMSON VS OKLAHOMA

December 29, 2015

Baker Mayfield

Miami Gardens, Florida

Q. What was your first impression of Coach Stoops when you first met him?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I mean, my first impression, I went up to him and introduced myself, so he was a little surprised. But I mean, he was who I expected he was. Very professional, I mean, he knew what he was doing, and everything he said, it looked like the guys were paying attention and he took it to heart.

Q. Is there anything you feel like you've learned about him most?
BAKER MAYFIELD: He's a competitor. Obviously he loves winning, and he's going to push his guys and his coaching staff to get the job done. I mean, I appreciate that.

Q. He's been at Oklahoma for so long. What's his stature like amongst high school guys now? He's been there almost 20 years now.
BAKER MAYFIELD: Yeah, he's kind of a legend. It's an Oklahoma team that I grew up watching and I was always a fan, so then to be able to play for him is kind of a big deal for me. Obviously he's been very successful, and we're trying to continue that for him. He's great at what he does. There's no doubt about that.

Q. What's been the most memorable part of this year for you personally?
BAKER MAYFIELD: Just the ride with the team. It's been fun. I mean, it's been ups and downs, a lot of adversity throughout the beginning of the year, so I've enjoyed the ride.

Q. You had a great season at Texas Tech. We all know that. But you burst onto the national scene after that Tennessee game. Talk about the ride. Try to encapsulate that for you. What is the ride? What's it felt like?
BAKER MAYFIELD: It's been a lot of fun, like I said. We've had a lot of success. Obviously had one slip-up against Texas, but other than that, we've gone to work and enjoyed every second of it, every second of practice, and all the workouts and everything that comes with it. I mean, it really has been fun, and that's a credit to the coaching staff and the guys on the team to make it enjoyable because you have to do it -- with how much work you put in, you can't dread going out to practice, and we do a good job of going out there and enjoying every second.

Q. From an athleticism perspective and moxie perspective, everybody wants to say Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel. I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but what do you think about that comparison?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I can see the comparison on the field and the competitiveness. That's a guy that he loves to win, and I watched him in high school. I watched him play in high school and college, so I can see the comparison, the scrambling a little bit, and he's a competitor, and I like to compete, as well.

Q. You obviously love the game. What's the best part about football for you?
BAKER MAYFIELD: Enjoying those wins with the guys. I mean, when you get to enjoy the work you put in and the success you have after it with your teammates, there's nothing like that.

Q. How big is the chip on your shoulder?
BAKER MAYFIELD: It's a pretty big-sized boulder.

Q. Why?
BAKER MAYFIELD: Along the way it's just kind of built up. I use it as fuel, and it's not like it's a negative thing. I use it as positive energy for me, so it works, and so whatever I can add onto it, I will.

Q. Because of the way you sort of react to those things, do you create some of that stuff in your mind?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I do. I do. It's about how you take in all the influence on the outside. Like I said, I use it as positive influence for me, but I do kind of create an extra energy.

Q. Along those lines, you've mentioned TCU a little bit yesterday, and Gary Patterson had some comments in response to that. Did you see that?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I'm not paying attention to that. This week is all about the Orange Bowl. Media asked me a question about my recruiting process and I answered it, and I was honest. Today is all about the Orange Bowl and playing a good opponent.

Q. One of the things that Coach Stoops talks about with your personality is that you're just true to yourself, don't try to do anything different. I'm curious, when your teammates, when they first got to know you and got to know your personality, did it kind of take anybody by surprise?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I think it did. I don't really hold back. I'm very blunt. I'm honest. But they could tell by the way I carried myself that it was real. It wasn't fake. It wasn't just some persona that I was trying to put on. They could tell it was real, and they enjoy that. You always want somebody that's going to be real and honest with you.

Q. It seems like, and I've been to a couple of your practices, it seems like you and Striker or you and Tapper, you just kind of seem to have a lot of back and forth.
BAKER MAYFIELD: Oh, yeah.

Q. That keeps the practice pretty lively?
BAKER MAYFIELD: It does. We try and keep it energetic, and when you go good on good with those guys, it's pretty exciting. They're very talented players, and they talk a lot, so you've got to talk right back to them. Got to keep them honest. We make it fun, and like I said, you've got to keep it enjoyable, and that's one of those aspects of it.

Q. What concerns you most about the Clemson defense?
BAKER MAYFIELD: I mean, they're very talented up front and Coach Venables does a good job of getting those guys in positions to make plays and getting their talent in spots where they can change the game. Their front seven is a big part of their game.

Q. Is it their speed or because they have guys that can run through guys?
BAKER MAYFIELD: Oh, yeah, obviously it's an undefeated team. They wouldn't be there without that defense. They're talented. They're fast. I mean, we'll see. We have some pretty fast guys, too. There's no doubt about that. I think it's going to be a good match-up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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