What they're saying at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl


What they're saying during preparations for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

On the keys to Stanford's offensive success:

"That Andrew Luck gets to the game on time."

--Stanford's Coby Fleener

"If we're successful running the football, it's going to force them to make an adjustment with their secondary and force them to bring an extra hat in the box, to bring their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage. In time that's going to give pass catchers like Coby the ability to release at the line and get downfield on safeties and linebackers."

--Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton

On Stanford being patient with its running game:

"I liken it to a heavyweight fight. The body blows start to wear on our opponents over the course of the game."

--Pep Hamilton

On Oklahoma State's defensive penchant for creating turnovers:

"I roll over in the middle of the night just thinking about their 42 takeaways."

--Pep Hamilton

"They're very opportunistic. When the ball's in the air, if it's thrown in the wrong spot, they will catch it. The DBs will catch it and will make a play returning it."

--Stanford QB Andrew Luck

"They're just playmakers. That's what makes them dangerous. They can make a game-changing play at any point, so you really have to be focused all the time."

--Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin

On why he decided to return to Stanford:

"No. 1, it inherently felt right. That was a big part of it. Two, I wanted to finish school. And three, I sort of wanted to prolong growing up for another year and live the college experience again, and be with my teammates and learn and grow as a football player before hopefully getting a shot at the next level."

--Andrew Luck

On incorporating three new starting offensive linemen (David Yankey, Sam Schwartzstein, and Cameron Fleming):

"Every year, you're always worried. You get old guys leaving and new guys stepping in. I think it took me a little time to realize we're going to be OK, just the fact that you're so used to old guys and what they did. And then the new guys come in and you realize, yeah, we'll be all right."

--veteran offensive guard David DeCastro

On the Cowboys' challenge of facing Stanford's run-first attack after playing most spread offenses in the Big 12:

"We've been playing basketball on grass for about nine games, and all of a sudden it's going to be smash mouth football; that's hard to simulate."

--Oklahoma St. defensive coordinator Bill Young

On how Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon compares to some of the great receivers that Stanford has faced:

"One, he can run fast for many plays in a row. He can really go and he plays with power and speed. An advantage for us is we played similar receivers, the young man from Cal, explosive with good hands, probably not quite as strong as Justin. The guys from SC are great route runners, quick in and out of breaks. Justin is a combination of all of them."

--Stanford co-defensive coordinator Jason Tarver

On Stanford losing assistant coach Chester McGlockton, who died unexpectly late in the season:

"Chester was an integral part of our staff on defense. Our coaching staff, we do everything together. You will hear Coach Mason and I finish sentences for each other. You have been around us, you know. We do everything together. Chester is an integral part of that. We will miss him, and the guys are very excited to put on display in this game some of the things that Chester taught them."

--Jason Tarver

On facing Oklahoma State:

"It will be interesting because I think we run an offense that they aren't necessarily used to seeing in the Big 12. They've had a little bit of practice against it. But, the same goes for us with our defense. They are similar to Oregon on offense, so I think it will be a good game."

--Coby Fleener

On playing in back-to-back BCS games:

"I think it's huge, but at the same time I don't think we really fully appreciate it right now. It's kind of just like another game. We just happen to be playing Oklahoma State, who is a good football team. Maybe 20 years down the road we'll look back and think we did something pretty cool and pretty special. At this point, it's another week and another game. We just want to enjoy the time with each other."

--Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro

On the friendship between the starting quarterbacks:

"I consider him (Luck) a friend. We were at the Manning Camp for two years and got to spend a lot of time together and hang out. He's smart, he's at Stanford. But I think his ability to lead and the style of offense he plays in, is completely different. They huddle and he's able to exercise his leadership in the huddle; that's kind of hard for me to do in a no-huddle offense. He's got all the tools. In baseball, we describe players as five-tool guys; he's a five-tool quarterback, he's got it all. It'll be fun to see how we stack up with each other."

--Oklahoma St. QB Brandon Weeden

On what people will notice after watching Stanford play for the first time:

"That Andrew (Luck) is really all he's cracked up to be. That he is the best player in the nation and he deserves that title."

--Coby Fleener

— Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online

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