Being named the Offensive Player of the Game for the Rose Bowl last year was great. It was amazing, but just like I had no desire to make it about me in interviews after the game, I’m not going to do that here. I would have been just as happy if Nick had been the MVP.
Every game, every win is about the team-and that one certainly was.
I have to give our defense credit for how they played too. Yeah, our offense played great in that. But defense wins championships. The D gave us two big stops in overtime; they were big, and we needed them. The score was high, but we couldn’t have done it without the defense.
The first half was a little rough, but we got it together in the second.
That’s just how the game of football goes sometimes. Football is a game of ups and downs and adversity. What matters most is how you respond.
It would have been easier to quit after that fumble. But I still had a lot of confidence. Coach told me I was going back in, so I had to be ready to go. People have asked me how I got over making that fumble. It didn’t take anything to bounce back from it. The game was still going on.
I just had to go back out there and keep playing.
It felt good to win that one; it felt good to be Rose Bowl champs. We had some tough games over the last four years, but that one really mattered. We couldn’t give up and we didn’t. Games like that prove you have to fight; fight until the clock says zero; fight until the end.
And we did.