CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR RANDY CLEMENTS: We’re just very thrilled to be here and looking forward to representing the University and our team and trying to get this tenth win of the year for us. SanAntonio as you know is an awesome place to visit and even better place to have a Bowl game. Very fired up about it.
CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR PHILIP MONTGOMERY: We’re excited again to be here. Very fortunate to be here, happy to be here, excited to play Washington. They’re a very good football team. Looking forward to getting on the field with them. Great place, SanAntonio, for not only our football team but for our fans, having a chance to travel and be here and be part of this experience with us.
A lot of them are here all week long kind of making a Christmas vacation out of it. There’s no better way to spend Christmas than with your family kind of on vacation but also with a job to do, and we’re excited about getting on the field and excited to play Washington.
THE MODERATOR: Lanear, talk about Sea World. You said you weren’t really down with messing with dolphins or whales or coasters.
LANEAR SAMPSON: Well, today my job at Sea World, I was the cameraman today. I didn’t ride too many rides. I rode the Steel Eel and basically me and another teammate just walked around and he interviewed people, was filming. So it was fun just seeing the other players, you know, do activities and ride rides and just interview fans and see their perspective on the game and just their perspective of SanAntonio in general.
Q. Lanear, can you just talk about the receiving corps as a whole? There’s a lot of teams that have one or two good receivers. You guys seem to have five or six that can go out there and catch balls. I know Griffin likes that obviously, but just talk about the corps as a whole and how that helps you perform out there.
LANEAR SAMPSON: Our corps is very deep and it’s been deep for a few years. There’s never enough balls for the 15 million receivers we have, and Griff has that problem when we come to him and be like, we’re open, and he’s like, everybody is open all the time. Our receiving corps has depth, and then our leader Kendall Wright is I feel like the best receiving in the nation, and he kind of leads this receiving corps, and you can’t really just key on one player. It’s just good for our offense just having so many receivers as threats.
Q. Terrance, can you talk about this being your last time putting on pads as Baylor and what this last game means to you?
TERRANCE GANAWAY: Means everything to me. I know it means a lot to the teammates that are also seniors. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad to be here. Had a lot of unfortunate events, but I’ve had a lot of great events that got me here, and I think you live long enough, you live and you see life and you experience life. I believe I experienced a little bit of life.
I’m going to miss it, but I’m eager to embrace the future and what all it holds.
Q. Terrance, talk about the Texas Tech game when Robert didn’t come out in the second half and you were the workhorse and the 240 yards.
TERRANCE GANAWAY: You know, the O‑line was the workhorse for the whole game. Robert was running well, Nick had time to throw, and when you’re running through arm tackles, you should be a pretty good back.
I heard a long time ago a great O‑line will make an okay back good. So I think I’m a good back behind a great O‑line, and we’ve been playing really well all year, and I’m excited to see those guys get after some big Washington guys this week. It should be a tough match, but I have full confidence in what they do and how they play, so excited about that game.
Q. Philip, you started all 37 games in your Baylor career. How is it going to feel on Thursday starting your last one and emotions high and all that?
PHILIP BLAKE: It’s going to be emotional because I’ve been with these two coaches here for a long time, and it’s going to be a very emotional game for me being my last and what I’ve gone through and where I came from. I’m kind of excited at the same time.
Q. Robert, has your life changed since you won the Heisman, and do you have any weird stories about what happened to you in New York when you were there?
ROBERT GRIFFIN III: Yeah, life has changed, but the one thing you have to do is make sure it doesn’t change who you are. That’s what I’ve tried to do, just try to be as normal as I possibly can when I can be normal, that’s at practice, hanging out with these guys. They definitely keep me sane.
I think the craziest thing might have been just the professionals out there trying to get autographs. You’d have kids roll up to you in a wheelchair and then you’d sign an autograph for them, ten minutes later they’re running around looking for somebody else to get autographs from. That was probably the weirdest thing.
Q. How about Scarlet Johansson? Any dialogue you guys shared on Letterman?
ROBERT GRIFFIN III: Yeah, actually she walked in, I told her that I thought she was beautiful. She said thank you. It was cool. I didn’t want to ask her for a picture because I’m pretty sure she gets hassled to get pictures all the time, so I tried to respect that, but she’s a cool person.
Q. Robert, following up on that, is it true that you’ve had security in Waco since you’ve got back, and then also, with Matt Barkley’s decision at USC to stay, do you look at that and think, maybe I’ll‑‑ maybe you would want to return, or how far are you into that decision if you’re going to enter the draft or not?
ROBERT GRIFFIN III: As far as the draft goes, I’m still not thinking about that, just trying to focus on what’s in front of me, and that’s this Washington team, playing with these guys, playing with a lot of these seniors for the last time, and that’s crazy.
I’ve had security, but they try to be as in cognito as they possibly can. But life changes, and people are going to want a piece of you when you’re doing great things. It’s a good problem to have.
Q. This question is for both Terrance Ganaway and Philip Blake. If you guys could talk about Robert gets a ton of the attention, but you led the Big 12 in rushing this year. Could you guys talk about specifically the year that you’ve had? Do you think you’re underappreciated around the country, and Philip, just what it’s been like to block for him and how good he’s been this year?
TERRANCE GANAWAY: I was hoping that Phil would go first, lead off of him. But I guess I’ll be the lead blocker on this one.
Philip and I and all those other receivers that rarely ever get mentioned in the headlines or anything like that, it doesn’t bother us any bit because we’re winning, and at the end of the day, it’s all about Baylor and us winning a game together.
I think Robert’s acceptance speech pretty much summed up how we thought of each other as a team. It was all about Baylor, Waco, coaches, team, family. That’s how we play. You can’t be selfish. There’s no Cain and Abel here. It’s all cheering on our teammates, you’re ready to go out there and fight and win a game every day.
I don’t think we’re underappreciated, and it really doesn’t matter. As long as Washington respects us and we give respect when respect is due, then we’re good to go.
PHILIP BLAKE: I think he said everything that needs to be said, but blocking for these two guys, it’s been a good year. I don’t know.
Q. Robert, could you just talk about the confidence you guys are playing with right now as an offense? Just seems like you can’t do much wrong right now.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III: Yeah, we haven’t had perfect games by no means, but we’ve definitely been clicking on offense, and that’s a product‑‑ it’s a byproduct of hard work. We work hard in practice. We take pride in that. We go out every day and we give it our all. It’s got us to where we are today. We don’t apologize for what we do. You’re not going to score unless you’re trying to score is what Coach told me the other day. He keeps coming up with all these great quotes. I’ve got to write them down so I can remember.
But it’s been great, so I’m glad these guys could be a part of everything that we’ve done this year, and I’m glad I could share it with them.
Q. Coaches, you’re playing a team that’s played Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley. When you go into that aspect as far as their defense, does that make you respect them more, that they’ve played two high profile quarterbacks or is it just the same as any other game?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY: They played some good opponents, done well against all of them. We feel like from an offensive standpoint we’re a little bit different. We use our quarterback sometimes in a few different ways, but we have great respect for what they’ve done as a team and also as a defense, and we’re just excited to get on the field and see how we match up.
THE MODERATOR: Can you talk about what this game means to the program?
RANDY CLEMENTS: Well, it’s been a goal of ours from day one, you know, ever since last year. We weren’t really excited about the way that the season ended last year, so we set that in our mindset and were working hard in the off season and just progressed step by step towards every game this season, had some ups and downs, but our guys have really come together and played well down the stretch. Hopefully we have a little momentum and a little confidence going into this game. We certainly feel that way in the locker room. When you get in the bowl games, it’s pretty exciting playing a team you really don’t have any history with, and you talk about the other athletes that they played, it’s just a chance to measure up, to see where you stand. We’re excited about that.
Q. Coach Clements and Robert, what different things have you seen from defenses to try and slow you down? Have you seen everything possible that they could throw at you and what has been the most effective?
RANDY CLEMENTS: We’ve seen a pretty mixed bag, going especially down the stretch. We usually don’t get too excited about what we see on film throughout the week when we’ve had a little more time to prepare for this game. But it makes you be a little bit cautious in game planning because you may not see what you’ve been seeing from a particular defense, and that’s kind of been the case with the last few teams we’ve played certainly.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III: Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of like what Coach is saying. We’ve seen a lot of different looks, and that’s just the name of the game. People are going to try to adjust to stop you. I think our team has done a great job every week, every time we play a game of take what’s given. You see what’s on the film so you know their base defense is, and whatever they go out there and do to you, you just have to adjust on the fly. Life is about adjustments, and we’ve done a lot of great adjusting throughout the season.
Q. This is for both coaches: In looking I see that Washington’s defense as far as past defense is at a historical low. They rank, I think, 114th nationally in pass defense. Do those numbers kind of lie? Do you think they might be better than the numbers might give them credit for?
RANDY CLEMENTS: I’ll let Coach Montgomery handle the back end portion of it. I coach the offensive line and from looking at those guys they’re very capable, they’re physical, they charge hard up field, and we’re in for a big challenge in this game. I really don’t look at the stats. Coach Montgomery can probably tell you a little bit more about the whole scheme of things.
PHILLIP MONTGOMERY: From a stats point, we don’t really pay attention to that. Just from the simple fact, we don’t have a lot of history with a lot of teams that they’ve played so you don’t know how you match up as far as from a skill standpoint from their guys to our guys.
I know when we flip on the tape, they’re not giving up a lot of explosive plays. Their passing yards have kind of been dink and dunk. A few run‑after catches but not the explosive things where you’re just seeing the ball thrown down the field. I think it’s a little bit skewed in that sense. I think you said they were 114. I think they’re a much better pass defense than probably what that stat shows.
Their secondary guys are very athletic, flip their hips, do a great job at the line of scrimmage, do a great job in the coverage and they change their coverage quite a bit. They’ll do a good job, they’ll keep us honest, and we’ve just got to execute and take what they give us.