Q: Opening Statement
Mike Leach: “I’ll tell you what, on behalf of Washington State, we’re honored to get the chance to go to the Alamo Bowl. I’ve been before and it’s a great bowl. It’s a place that a lot of the members of our team don’t get to get out to very much so we’re excited to be there.”
Q: What will it be like playing in a dome?
Mike Leach: “As long as you all have good footing then we’ll be happy.”
Q: What has Gardner meant to you all?
Mike Leach: “Gardner’s done a tremendous job in terms of just having a presence out there and leading our team. He really just elevates the entire team and his story of how he got here is just really impressive.”
Q: How do you prepare for Iowa State?
Mike Leach: “Well they’re just a good, solid and well-coached team and they have been for a while. And just like a lot of the teams in our conference, it’ll definitely be a challenge.”
Q: How important is it to bring your team and university down to San Antonio and the state of Texas?
Mike Leach: “It’s really exciting, especially when you consider the Alamo and all the history of San Antonio. There’s a lot to do and the best thing is that everything is within walking distance from the hotel. I’ll tell you one thing, anyone who can’t get excited about going to San Antonio isn’t a person that gets excited about very many things”
Q: Opening Statement
Matt Campbell: “Well, first and foremost, thank you. I know behalf of our football program and our university were beyond grateful to be selected. We certainly know the tradition of the Alamo Bowl. We certainly know the reputation and you know, we’re humbled and honored to be able to accept the opportunity to come play at this great bowl game. You know, I think this football team is a team that is really special. It’s been one of the most unique groups of young men that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach. It’s a team that’s really been defined by its ability to overcome adversity and you know, ironically, I think we’re all defined that at the end and this team has really lived that from the start of the season, with its first game getting cancelled and then a little bit of a slow start. Its ability to win seven of its last eight football games and then playing really good football along the way. So we’re really fortunate. We’ve got great player leadership at almost different position group on our football team right now and I think the one thing you would say about this program and this team is we play the game the right way.”
Q: What has putting in true freshman Brock Purdy done for your program?
Matt Campbell: “Yeah, I think he’s (Purdy) had a profound effect on our football program and in a positive way. I think it’s a situation that this young man came in and really earned. He’s a very dynamic football player and a young man that in his high school career had the same effect quite honestly. You know, Brock really rebuilt a high school program at Perry High School in Arizona and then was playing for a state championship in his senior year in the biggest school division. Some of those leadership traits are certainly what we looked at when we started to recruit Brock. We came in with a lot of confidence. And the thing I really appreciate about him is he earned the right to get on the football field. And so, you know, when he did that, for us, it certainly was a spark plug, because he certainly took advantage of his opportunity when it came his way. And really, since that point, our football teams has really taken a huge step forward.”
Q: How do you prepare defensively for Washington State?
Matt Campbell: “We certainly know the mastery behind the offense that Coach Leach and really what his program has always stood for. It’ll be a great challenge for this defense. He is not only a master of the craft but also of knowing how to put his players in the right position to be successful. It will be a great test for us this defense. But this is a defense that has kind of evolved over the last two years to have lots of moving parts to it. Coach Heacock, our defensive coordinator and our staff on that side, have really done a good job and they put our players in the best position to be successful. So certainly a great challenge ahead of us, but also a great opportunity.”
Q: Coach, you were named Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year again. Speak a little bit about the change in culture in Ames over the past three years.
Matt Campbell: “Just really fortunate to have a great coaching staff. You know, I think the biggest thing for us from the time we got to Ames is getting everybody to pull in the same direction. And we’re fortunate to have a great administration and fortunate to have great people within our walls here within our football complex. And, you know, it’s one of the things that I really appreciate about Ames, Iowa, we’ve got an unbelievable fan base that has really been loyal to our athletic programs long before myself, or our coaching staff got here. And we’ve been able to really tie that fan base to the administration and tie everybody in this facility, all moving in the same direction. It’s been really powerful, and, you know, just really grateful to have so many great people around us.