December 28, 2012
DREW TERRELL:Â Well, I think we were kind of surprised when he got the nod as well.Â It kind of came out of nowhere.Â Coming out of camp, he was the third string guy, and he was able to make some plays in practice throughout the season.
Then in both the Cal and Colorado game, it gave coaches confidence in him.Â And he stepped in and played incredibly well.Â He had beaten four straight ranked teams, and he showed incredible poise and confidence in himself that permeates across the rest of us.
We have incredible confidence in him now.Â He's getting better with his command of the offense and being really a student of the playbook.Â You know, the way he's played has really inspired us as a group.Â Like I said, we have a lot of confidence in him now and going forward.
Q.Â What was the turning point?Â He came in like the third series?
DREW TERRELL:Â Of the Colorado game?
Q.Â He had like four straight touchdowns, and then was it like whoa, we have a new starting quarterback?
DREW TERRELL:Â I think it was the fourth quarter.Â He had been in for a while.Â And a lot of us didn't notice he was still in the game.Â And we were like is Hogan still out there?Â He's playing really well.Â We put up, I think it was like 48 points.Â It was like we're playing pretty well.
Then Coach Shaw made the announcement to us on the Monday following the game, and a lot of us were surprised.Â We have a quarterback change in the middle of the season.Â But it's been positive for our football team, and we've been able to progress and move forward.Â He's done an incredible job.
Q.Â Does he look like a different player?
DREW TERRELL:Â Oh, definitely.Â Definitely.Â You know, during camp he was really unsure of himself.Â This offense and in this game of college football, if you don't have confidence in yourself, you're not going to be able to succeed.Â It was like he was out there thinking too much, letting the mental side of things get to him.
But when the lights come on and it's game day, he goes out there and he's a baller.Â He just plays the game.Â That's one of the things that, you know, a lot of us admire about him.Â His ability to block out all the mental components of the game and play the way he knows how to.
Q.Â Is it a surprise when they announced on Monday, and at one point it goes from surprise to he's our guy and we're going to ride with him the whole way?
DREW TERRELL:Â Well, the surprise is only initial.Â Once the announcement is said and it's done, then you have to readjust and say, yeah, this is going to be our quarterback for the long haul.Â We've got to, like you said, ride with them to the end.Â Whoever our quarterback is, that's what we're going to do, because we're teammates and that's what it takes to win is to gel with guys and get a rapport.Â Same thing with Kevin.Â We were surprised initially, a few of us.Â Then once after that meeting, it was like let's go do this.
Q.Â Is it Kulabafi?Â Is that the rap name?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, yeah.
Q.Â What is that?Â What is the story about that?
DREW TERRELL:Â It's his altar ego I don't know.Â I don't know where the name came from.Â I'm one short of everything that has to do with Kulabafi.Â I know it's supposed to be a brand and his kind of altar ego.Â It's funny.Â It's built up a lot of notoriety.Â It's been pretty funny to watch it progress.Â But it's fun, something he has fun with.Â But beyond that, I don't know where it came from or what it is.
Q.Â Have you seen the YouTube videos?Â I know Stanford produced it.Â He's got the shades and the leopard print jacket, yeah?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, the shades and the leopard print jacket, yeah.Â Yeah, I've seen them.
Q.Â Can you rap?
DREW TERRELL:Â Oh, yeah.Â Yeah.Â Stepfan, we call him ST, but, yeah, he can definitely put some verses out there.Â He has a way with words.Â He's done that since freshman year, even in high school making videos.Â Some of us are featured in some of the videos.Â It's been a lot of fun.Â It's a way to get away from football and just have fun with each other and that type of thing.
Q.Â Are you in any of the videos?
DREW TERRELL:Â I'm in one video from our freshman year.Â I think when we first got to Stanford.Â We're in San Francisco and we're dancing around acting like fools.Â But it's been fun.
Q.Â So is he significantly different from the real Stepfan Taylor?Â Or if it's his altar ego?
DREW TERRELL:Â The biggest difference is he's more‑‑ Kulabafi is more out there and outgoing.Â You have to know to the outside world.Â All of his friends know who Stepfan is.Â But everybody else thinks he's reserved, calm and collected, yes, sir, no, sir type of guy.Â And he has the altar ego Kulabafi that lets everybody else know that he's a goofy guy and has a really outgoing personality.Â He's a funny guy and likes to play jokes and stuff.
Q.Â It's something he turns on the weekend when you guys go out?
DREW TERRELL:Â Kind of something like that.Â But Kulabafi can come out on the football field as well.
Q.Â What about him as a running back, what stands out?Â Lot of people say Montee Ball and Taylor are similar.Â Are they that similar?
DREW TERRELL:Â I haven't watched Ball play that much.Â The thing about Stepfan is his feet are always moving.Â He keeps his legs moving.Â He's really quick in short spaces and he's able to avoid people in his vision.Â He's incredible from the back field being able to see cut back lanes and have a feel for where he's supposed to go.Â And he has an explosion a lot of people don't know about once he gets to the second level.Â He plays like he's running.Â Like he really doesn't want to get tackled.Â He really doesn't want to get hit.Â He's almost afraid to get hit.Â We know he's not.
But the way he moves and dodges people, it's just really quick.Â His legs are always moving like he's playing tag.Â Like he's playing a game of tag when we're 8 years old, trying to dip and dodge any way he can.
Q.Â I was wondering what your recollection was of the Tuesday afternoon, practice not very good?
DREW TERRELL:Â Who do we play the following week?Â Was it Cal?Â Tuesday?
Q.Â The story I heard was that it was a little bit of a hangover.Â I think Shaw was expressing that in practice.
DREW TERRELL:Â I remember there being a sleight hangover after the game because there was such a disappointing loss.Â We were in it to the fourth quarter, and to get that win in South Bend would have been huge for this football team, obviously.Â I remember the disappointment on the plane ride home on Monday.Â I don't know how we lost that game.Â But we let it slip away.Â We couldn't survive our mistakes.
But I feel like around Tuesday and Wednesday of that transition, because we were playing Cal, and that's our rivalry, it was a big game week, and we kind of had a rejuvenated focus to beat them because it's our rival, and it means so much to the area, to a lot of the guys on the team.
Q.Â Do you remember any of the players huddling up together in the locker room at all?Â After practice you say we've got to get locked in.
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, Sam Schwartzstein was one of the guys that said we need to redirect our focus.Â But, you know, this is a mature football team.Â We have a lot of guys on the team that are leaders without having to say anything.Â You can look in the eyes of guys like Stepfan Taylor and know that we need to redirect this thing and focus on what's important.Â That's our next contest.
So a lot of guys on this team, it was just a shifted focus.Â We need to get back on track here.Â It was our second loss of the season, and a lot of us remember going down to that sun bowl in El Paso our freshman year, and we vowed to ourselves that we didn't want to go back to that.Â We had become accustomed to this BCS lifestyle, if you will.
As seniors, we really didn't want to go out with anything less than the Pac‑12 Championship and playing in a game of this magnitude.
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, that's not the best place for a bowl game.
Q.Â You have better turf?
DREW TERRELL: Â Yeah, the turf was fine.Â The stadium was nice.Â The UTEP Stadium.Â It's kind of interesting how it's built into a mountain.Â So that concept was cool.Â But just being in that area, seeing Juarez across the way, which is one of the crime capitals of the world, and we'd much rather be in a BCS Bowl.
Q.Â I think most people would agree with you.Â I know you guys have scored two special teams victories this year.Â You had one against Duke.Â How important do you think that might be in this game?Â Because everyone talks about what is so similar to what they'd like to do.
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, that's definitely where we like to get our edge.Â We get a lot of excitement from making special teams plays.Â We kind of feed off the energy of those.Â I think that excitement kind of permeates across the sideline and across the stadium.Â Our fans really feed off of it.Â And that energy that comes from special teams plays is not something that's just hyped and talked about.
I remember after the Duke game when we were able to make that big play, that for the rest of the game we were just rolling.Â Didn't seem like we could be stopped on offense or defense.Â I think that energy that comes out of those plays is real.Â It definitely shifts the game.Â When you're able to get a tackle inside the 20, inside the 15 on kickoff or kick return back or punt return back or block a punt or a kick or whatever it is.
I think those plays are huge in football games.Â Often times you don't realize it at the time, but you look back on those plays later or the next day watching film, and you're like, man, that play was huge.Â So I think in this game, they're going to be especially important.
DREW TERRELL:Â A force fumble and kickoff, yeah.
Q.Â (Indiscernible) Zach Ertz said he'll never forget it.
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, it was, to be honest with you, as a senior, it gives me chills thinking about it.Â Because to see where Notre Dame has come, they're in the National Championship Game, and us being so close, so close to a victory, a lot of people argued that Stepfan crossed the goal line.Â Of course, that's really controversial.
But after that game, like I was talking about we had been to the Sun Bowl before, and kind of some of those lower tiered bowls, but we had become accustomed to playing in big games.Â It was just something that after that game, we were like, we can't let an opportunity slip away.Â Especially for us seniors.Â As a senior class, you never want to be the one that takes a decline.Â So after that game, the hangover was strong.Â It was strong.Â On the plane ride home, nobody was talking.Â Monday was bad.Â Tuesday for the first half of practice, people were just like, man, what's going on?
But then we kind of flipped a switch.Â It was a big game.Â We were playing Cal, and we decided that we, the guys on the field, were going to be the ones that dictated how the rest of the season went.Â And I think we did a great job of responding and refocusing our energy and everything.Â It's worked out to this point.
Q.Â A couple of guys were talking about that.Â Just so I have it accurate.Â Sunday is an off day for you normally?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah.
Q.Â Do you practice on Monday or is it Tuesday?
DREW TERRELL:Â We have practice on Monday.Â It's like a light practice.
Q.Â Because yesterday the guys were saying that the bad practice was the first full padded one on Tuesday?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, on Tuesday, yeah.Â Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually our up‑tempo, full‑padded, physical practices.
Q.Â Their punt coverage team (Indiscernible)?
DREW TERRELL:Â They have guys that can get out and run.Â They're definitely a well‑disciplined unit.Â That is something that you look for when you're studying opponents is do guys stay in their lanes do they get out well?Â They're definitely protection first based, so they're much more worried about preventing a block than getting out and defending a return.Â But we're going to go into it with our game plan and expect to execute when the time presents itself.Â It should be good.
We think special teams is an area we can certainly influence the game, and that's worked throughout the season with our kickoff team getting tackles inside the 15, inside the 20.Â Our punt return unit doing pretty well.Â Kickoff return doing well.
We think that in our room we think that special teams is something that can really influence the game.Â Kind of an unsung component of the game that we feel we can make an impact on weekly.
Q.Â What do you see from Kevin Hogan?Â Is there anything that he's really improving on since he started?
DREW TERRELL:Â He's definitely improving on his command of the offense and his knowledge of the offense overall.Â I think coming out of camp not many of us expected him to be the guy just because he was so unsure of the offense and of himself.Â At this level if you don't have complete confidence in what you're doing in yourself, it's going to turn around and bite you.Â But each game we've seen him progress and get more comfortable with what he's doing.
You know, it's a play quarterback in the Pac‑12 and with a team of this magnitude, it's incredibly difficult.Â I think a lot of people don't realize how much pressure and mental side of things can affect someone.Â And he's done an incredible job with that.Â Considering he's a young guy, a freshman that's been able to grow and progress week to week has been surprising.
Q.Â It's funny this game will have two quarterbacks, each making just their fifth start.Â It's amazing.
DREW TERRELL:Â Oh, yeah, definitely.
Q.Â Of course, in Kevin's case, he really turned the season around for you guys.Â I was wondering what's he been like during this ride?Â He just stays pretty cool and collected, I guess?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, he's a really cool, calm, collected guy.Â He's definitely provided a spark with his legs and the energy that he brings on game day.Â With Kevin, we just say he's a baller.Â He's the guy that goes on game day.Â Even if he doesn't know when to kill it or the proper read or whatever, he's going out to play football.Â It's something that a lot of us admire about him.Â He plays like you're in the backyard, 8 years old, playing Pop Warner or whatever.Â He goes out there and plays football.Â The game comes to him.Â He's able to make plays.Â On game day, he does everything right.Â So it's been really good for our football team.
Q.Â Do you like the fact that if the play breaks down, he'll make something happen?Â It seems that nothing is going to faze him.Â It seems that that's been a big part of what has been your success?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, I mean, our offensive coordinator calls him a runner, because he's naturally gifted with running the football and creating plays off the run.Â You know, at the beginning of the year, we got him on a couple of boots.Â Like in the Cal game and Colorado game, he was just kind of getting his feet wet, and he was able to make some plays out of that.Â You know, we have incredible confidence in what he can do if the pocket breaks down, because that's going to happen at this level.Â He's made some incredible plays.
We think back to the play against Oregon State where he escaped to the left and flicked it out to Stepfan.Â It was an incredible play.Â One of the best plays of our season.Â His ability to keep that play alive and keep things going helped us get a win in that game, which started his streak of kind of four consecutive wins against ranked opponents.
Q.Â How fast is he?
DREW TERRELL:Â He's definitely fast.Â I don't think he's faster than the other skill guys, but I don't know.
Q.Â Is everybody just expecting strength against strength?Â It seems like it could be decided by, say a guy like yourself or somebody who maybe people don't necessarily anticipate being able to make the big play.Â Is that kind of what you have to be ready for that?Â How do you prepare when everybody's talking about ground attacks?
DREW TERRELL:Â Yeah, well, I feel like I've been playing in the shadows my whole career here.Â So it's not something that's new to me.Â The focus is of course going to be on the running game and the power attacks of both teams.Â I'm the kind of guy that I just have to be ready for my opportunities and when they present themselves, I have to take advantage of them.
You know, it's going to be fun.Â It's going to be a great stage, and it's definitely something that we're aware of going into the game.Â The receiving corps has to make some big plays, and special teams as well has to make some big plays, and I think we're prepared for that.
Q.Â What do you think of Wisconsin's secondary?
DREW TERRELL:Â They're a solid group.Â They're really physical.Â They're accustomed to playing a style of offense that we like to play, so we know they're going to be aggressive in the run game and they're going to be a physical group.Â We're just going to have to be correct and exact with all of our things as a receiving corps, route running, catching the football.Â Doing all the things technically sound to be able to separate ourselves and make plays.Â That will ultimately be the big difference.
DREW TERRELL:Â 10 and 14 are similar in the way that they played.Â You can tell that they're definitely system guys that understand it well.Â They definitely played really similar, and like I said, they're physical guys and they know how to play football in the Big Ten.Â We're looking for an exciting football game.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports