Fiesta Bowl Holds Media Day

By: Fiesta Bowl, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: Fiesta Bowl, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
On Monday the Fiesta Bowl held Media Day with members of the Oregon Ducks and K-State Wildcats. Here are the transcripts of some of those interviews with the Ducks.

Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, right, is congratulated on his touchdown by quarterback Marcus Mariota during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. In the background is Oregon's Nick Cody.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

On Monday the Fiesta Bowl held Media Day with members of the Oregon Ducks and K-State Wildcats. Here are the transcripts of some of those interviews with the Ducks.

An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with the interview session now with Coach Kelly. We'll ask Coach Kelly for a few opening comments, then go to questions.
COACH KELLY: We got down here on the night of the 26th, started practice on the 27th. Things have gone extremely well. Our kids have been really focused and understand the task at hand.
It's about trying to improve on this season. We've got one more game against an outstanding Kansas State University team, coached by Bill Snyder, who I think is one of the greatest football coaches in the history of this game. It's an honor to go against him.
We're excited about the opportunity. We had a couple more days of prep as we get ready for it. All hands are on deck and we're excited to go.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Kelly.

Q. (Question regarding the seniors.)
COACH KELLY: It's been an outstanding group. Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, Kenjon Barner, special guys that have done a great job of teaching our young guys how we do things, role models on and off the field. Really a special group that I have a special place in my heart for.
Those guys came in four years ago, and just to watch them grow as individuals, see them towards the end of their career, it's a little bittersweet because you enjoy being around them so much. But I'm so excited about seeing their growth over the last four years. The fun part is we get to be together one more time.

Q. Fourth consecutive BCS bowl. How far has this program come?
COACH KELLY: I don't think we're judged by wins and losses. As a coaching staff, we don't do that. We're proud of that obviously, but the results aren't the end part for us. It's about their growth every day both on the field and off the field. When you see where Dion Jordan was five years ago to where Dion Jordan is now, and Kenjon Barner. It was interesting, I showed our freshmen this year, because seems I think they see a Dion or Kenjon and look at a finished product. I brought them in a room and showed them what they looked like their freshman year. And Dion was playing wide receiver and Kenjon was playing defensive back and they were covering each other on one?on?one drills and falling all over each other.
When you watch them grow to where they are now to Dion being just one of the best defensive players in the country, Kenjon being an All?American at runningback, it's been a great run.
That's what we measure it as. The maturity and growth of the kids, four years ago and now what they're like as they're leaving.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: He is. You'd like to take a little bit of credit. I think we noticed that when he first got here. I've said it before, it took him about a week to figure out what we do on the offensive side of the ball. He's got a lot of special qualities, extremely quick of mind, can deduce things in a real rapid manner. Just got a lot of qualities that I think you look for in a quarterback.
But when you first see somebody, they're not physical qualities, they're those intangible things. It's what shows up all the time.
He never really makes the same mistake twice. He's great at understanding and grasping the reason why and moving forward. The amazing thing he's only a redshirt freshman, so how far can he go. It's been an amazing thing to watch. A really special, young talent.

Q. What does it mean for the players to be here?
COACH KELLY: I don't really care about the critics, what they care or say. I know the feelings our players have. When you get to where we are, get a chance to play one more time, if you've been around this group like I have, it's special.
We kind of made a pact as a group. They've lived up to their end of the bargain, is that every Thanksgiving we'll spend together as a team, every Christmas they're going to spend together with their families, and every New Year's we're going to spend together as a football team.
The experience we've had since our last game, which I think was on the 24th of November, to get to spend six more weeks with these guys, I don't think you can put a price tag on that. That's the fun part for a coaching staff.
We look at this as an opportunity to go out one more time as a team and show the country what we're all about and we're excited about that challenge.

Q. How challenging was it to have that gap in time?
COACH KELLY: We don't look at it as challenging. You know the landscape before you go in. If you look at it as a challenge, you're probably going to make more out of it than what it is. It's been the same since we've been there.
First year, Rose Bowl, second year back here, third year, Rose Bowl, now back here. If you want to play in a big game, you're going to have more time off.
We use our time off wisely. We never practice more than four days in a row. We have a bunch of guys that love playing and practicing football and are excited about it.
We don't look at it as a challenge. This is our schedule. We map it out every summer. Depending on what bowl game we're going to go to, this is what we're going to practice, this is what we're going to do. We have to maximize our time that's been made available to us.

Q. (Question regarding K State.)
COACH KELLY: I'm a college football fan. You know who the top teams in the country are. Obviously you can't help as a coach admire what Coach Snyder has done. He had an opportunity when he first got to K State that he created a legacy that I don't think anybody could ever imagine when he first took over that program, what one man could do to a university. Retired for a couple years, then came back and is building upon that legacy.
It's really a special story in college football that will go down, like I said, as one of the top coaches in the history of the game.
Everybody is aware what K State has done since coach took over there. That's the thing for us, what we think is real neat. It's an honor for us to go out and compete against a Bill Snyder coached team.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: I don't know. I mean, I've never looked at it like that. It's a good question. Usually I'm not stumped when someone asks me a question.
We have a model that we talked about, a vision, how we want them to act both on and off the field, how we want to approach practice, how we want to approach things on a daily process, embrace the process. Those guys do that. Everybody in our staff does, too.
I wouldn't say it's my personality, I would say it's our staff's personality.

Q. (Question regarding Kenjon's development.)
COACH KELLY: Obviously in his development, it helped. I think he needed more carries. I think he needed an opportunity to really show. I think we knew as a coaching staff what a great player Kenjon is. We've been blessed at Oregon to have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Unfortunately for that talent, only one of them can carry it on each play.
When you had such a great player like LaMichael James, he was going to get his touches. You throw DeAnthony in there, our quarterbacks, our receivers, our tight ends, it's just sometimes guys, not that they can't do it, but they have to wait their turn.
What you saw out of Kenjon this year is honestly what we expected out of him. Every time he had an opportunity to go in a game, to contribute, he's done it since he was a redshirted freshman.
I think what he did in coming back this year was give him an opportunity to show everybody what a special football player he is.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: I think we look at it as both. Just because when you play in a BCS game, there aren't holes on the other side. Sometimes you may be in a game, it's a little lopsided, like, we're going to score some points, but it's incumbent for our defense to play well. And we've got a shot at this thing. They're so well?coached on both sides of the ball.
Really for us a lot of attention on special teams. They lead the country in returns, do a great job. I think the challenge for our defense going against Collin Klein and that group is a big one for us.
Obviously Arthur Brown, what those guys do on defense is big. Really their return game.
I think all three phases, when you get to this level, you're playing a 4 versus a 5 matchup, whatever their team is now, there's really not a hole in their team. That's what makes the challenge. It's a complete football team.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: Yeah, you do. I think that's what makes every coach crazy because you have so much time to think about it. Recruiting, flying around watching film, in the airport watching tape.
At the end of the day, I think all great teams, when they get to their final game, we're going to do what we do, they're going to do what they do, and we're going to see how the thing works itself out. But you can drive yourself a bit crazy with all that time off and all the different scenario. The good part is, I don't think our players think like us. They're not thinking like we are in their free time. I think every coach kind of feels that way.
In the end, it's going to be us versus them. We're going to be what we've been all year long, they're going to be who they are all year long, we're going to see who wins.

Q. What did you learn from watching the Baylor tape that you'll apply this week?
COACH KELLY: I think on the defensive side, they just missed some tackles. There were certain things, they were there. Schematically, it wasn't that they exploited something from K State where you were like, Wow, we can add that to our arsenal as we prepare for this game. It was just a case on that certain night that Baylor executed a little bit better than K State executed.
When you look at that game, then you look at the totality of the season, there's not one thing that they did drastically different in that game. I think Baylor has a lot of speed, speed in space. They made kids miss tackles. When they missed tackles, they hit some long runs.
Didn't happen the rest of the year. They do a good job of tackling in the open field, they really negate long runs. When you break the game down, sometimes you look at things, it's was a schematic advantage, it wasn't a schematic deal. It was an individual breakdown here or there. That's the difference in a play resulting in a six?yard gain or a 60?yard gain.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: I don't think so. We lost a game to Stanford, but we had another game next week. We had to play Oregon State, we played them up at their place in a really hostile environment. K State had another game to finish. K State played Texas at their place. A nationally ranked team. I think both teams put that away the day after they lost it.

Q. Can you explain your team's ability to score quickly in 90 seconds or less?
COACH KELLY: We got really fast players (smiling). If you give them a crack, you miss a tackle, they can make you pay for it. Our success on the offensive side of the ball is very much personnel driven. We've got some special kids, DeAnthony, Kenjon, Josh Huff, Colt Lyeria, our quarterback, that if you give them a little bit of room, they can make you pay.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: On the defensive side of the ball, I could use Dion on offense, good suggestion (laughter).
I think what we've done in the last four years, and I don't know why, but I think at times our defense gets overlooked. They've been outstanding. You can't win as many games as we've won over the last four years without playing great defense.
I think the amount of points you score really get publicity for the offensive side of the ball. To win three straight conference championships, four straight BCS games, you have to be great on the defensive side of the game.
Dion, Kiko Alonso, with Michael Clay and that group of guys there, they have really been the cornerstone of what we do. I know he's excited to play his last game back in his hometown after coming up to our place five years ago. I know he's going to be ready to play this one.

Q. With all the distractions that are around bowl games, nothing that you're doing, but your name will be thrown around about the NFL job. How do you insulate your team about that?
COACH KELLY: I never said a word to our guys about it. They understand what the task is at hand. I don't think about it. They don't think about it, so...

Q. Against a team that's No. 1 in turnovers, can you talk about discipline.
COACH KELLY: We've never coached, Don't make mistakes. We have a confidence in what we do. We talk about making plays. Obviously there's a certain way to play this game. You obviously can't have what we call SIWs, self?inflicted wounds.
I'm not going to go in and tell our guys, Hey, let's not make mistakes tonight. It's going to be We're going to cut it lose, play with our hair on fire, get after K State.
I'm sure they're going to do the same exact thing and the best team is going to win.
If you go into this afraid, not making mistakes, that's probably the wrong approach to take.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: We hope so. We play from desire to excel, not a fear of failure. We've always coached our players that way. Our coaching staff is extremely positive. Go make plays, don't be afraid. If you're afraid playing this game, you're going to lose.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: I got nothing to do with it, so...
I love our uniforms. They're awesome. I wear the same thing every game. When I see our guys come out of the tunnel, I think, That looks cool.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: No, I'm coaching the Fiesta Bowl. I haven't talked to Dave in a while. Everybody knows what I'm doing. I got a game on Thursday night. That's the way it's always been, so...

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: I think they're building a brand?new like 300, 400 million dollar stadium. I don't think they're lacking for funds. That's probably choice of Coach Snyder that he doesn't want to have that, so...

Q. (Question regarding K State offense.)
COACH KELLY: I've always said that it's not the turnover battle, it's the response after turnover battle. If our defense is fortunate enough to create some turnovers for us, we got to do something with it.
If it's unfortunate and we do turn it over, it's the responsibility of our defense to go out and not let something happen with it.
We've always coached the response after turnover battle more than the turnover battle, so...

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: Great kid. I think he's been three?time scout team Player of the Year for us. I think it was once on offense, once on defense, once on special teams. Just a kid that's totally selfless. Came here. He's legitimately from the North Pole. Tried out for our team. Something about him. Unbelievable competitive nature to him. He just wants to contribute. He's been great. We've asked him to play so many different roles, he's never batted an eye.
He's a kid that loves football, loves being on a team, and is totally selfless. He's a prime example of what we want this program to be about. The fact that he's been voted three times, on three different things, he's like the poster child for it.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH KELLY: He's played in a lot of games. That's the unique thing for us. There's been some times, usually you're so caught up in the game that you're just watching, then we've obviously in some of our games had some leads.

An interview with:

Q. What stands out to you about K State's defense?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Very physical. They run up to the ball. That's about it.

Q. Do they remind you of anybody you've seen this year?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: A couple teams like Stanford. That's about it. Big, physical team. Like I said, as long as we play Oregon football, we'll get the win.

Q. With you preparing for this game with the long layoff, Coach Kelly said he didn't think it was too much of a distraction. Do you feel like it is at all?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Not at all. I feel like we prepared really well. We was in Eugene, had some pretty good practices. Came out here and had some great practices. I feel like our team is dialed in and ready to go.

Q. Your second BCS bowl. How are you feeling this time around?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I'm feeling pretty good about it. Just out there waiting to have fun, celebrate with my team.

Q. Did you notice anything different with the guys. People were saying the team has been here before, national championship game. Do you notice with the guys being more comfortable this time?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Yeah, I feel like everyone is just focused, dialed in, like I said, ready to go, ready to play some more Oregon football.

Q. You've had enough time to wind down and relax?

Q. Is there any specific guy on K State's defense who coach has preached to look out a little more than someone else?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Arthur Brown, he's a great, good player. Out there, very physical player. Runs to the ball a lot. I feel like he likes to have fun out there.

Q. Can you talk about possibly the difference in the Big 12, the film you've seen, than the PAC?12's defense?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I don't really see no differences.
Everyone just out there having fun, running to the ball, making plays.

Q. What do you know about K State?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I don't really know too much about K State. They're a pretty good team, very physical, very disciplined, like to run to the ball on defense. I just feel like they're a pretty good team.

Q. Everybody talks about your speed. Is that going to be an advantage in this game?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I think the advantage of us is going to be out there having fun, celebrating as a team, just playing Oregon offense.

Q. What is the philosophy on that offense? Coach talks about no fear of failure, just excel.
DeANTHONY THOMAS: It's just the way we prepare for big games, how we prepare and practice. You're just out there having fun, all being on the same page.

Q. Both teams were in contention for national titles. Lost. Was it difficult getting away from the disappointment?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Things happen. We're in another BCS game. Like I say, we just want to get the win.

Q. Something to prove against something you may have faced in the national championship?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Right. Like I say, K State is a great team. They're very physical, very disciplined. They're a great team. Like I say, we just play Oregon football, shooting the win.

Q. The uniforms, hard to keep track of what you're going to wear?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Not at all. It doesn't really matter to me as long as we out there getting wins. It's not even the uniform, it's the players in the uniforms out there making plays, running to the ball on defense, on offense making plays.

Q. Players like them?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Yes, we like 'em.

Q. I want to ask you if you have any New Year's resolutions?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I have a couple. Just staying healthy, being a great team player, just being successful. That's about it.

Q. You been having a good week, having fun so far?

Q. Who ate the most last night?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I'm not sure. A lot of players got down last night (laughter).

Q. Things are heating up here. The sense of urgency. We talk about the month off. How do you get rid of that rust?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I feel like all the rust is off now. We all getting back to it, just having fun.
I feel like we had some pretty good practices out in Eugene and out here. I feel like our team is ready for this big game.

Q. What scares you the most about their defense?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I'm not a very scared person, I'm very confident. K State is very physical, very disciplined team. Like I said, as long as we play well on offense, we shooting the win.

Q. Any players on the defense that jump off the tape that you've been looking at?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: They have some pretty good inside linebackers that like to run the ball, very physical. We got a lot of speed on this team, make them miss in space, celebrate on this team.

Q. You've had a big year. You and Kenjon have become close. Is it bittersweet knowing this is the last game you will play with somebody you know as a brother?
ReplaceName: Yes, it is. I'm happy for him. I want him to go do is thing, wherever he go. Right now we have a new generation of runningbacks right now. Everyone is young. I feel like we have a lot of accomplish. I feel like we're going to have fun last year.

Q. In your second year of playing, how do you think you've evolved throughout the season?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I just feel like I've been staying dialed in, having fun, being a team player.

Q. A lot of talk about the NFL openings, Chip's name is there. Is it a distraction to players? How do you feel about whatever happens moving forward?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I mean, it's not really distracting. Our main focus is just winning this game right now and just celebrating as a team.

Q. What does he mean to the program?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I feel like he means everything to this program. He's been here for a while. This is my second year with him. Being in meetings with him every day, it's been great. I learned a lot from him. I feel like he's one of the best coaches I've ever had.
It's his decision. Like I say, he has a family to take care of and stuff like that. That's his decision.

Q. When you look back on the season, what are you going to remember the most?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Fall camp. Everyone just getting ready for our big season that we got coming up, just having fun together.

Q. You're obviously a really young team. What can you say from this season?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Just staying together, bonding, staying on the same page.

Q. What do you think of these jerseys, different colors depending on how you shift in the light?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: The jersey is whatever to me. We just like to go out there and have fun.

Q. Is that maybe a representation of the two different programs? K State is pretty old school. Oregon has these space suits they wear. Oregon plays fast. K State plays old school ball.
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Not at all. I just feel like the Oregon team is very disciplined, just like to have fun out there. We come together as a team, we're family on this team.

Q. What does K State do well defensively?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: I'm not even sure. I'm just focused on just making big plays on our team, celebrating as a team and having fun.

Q. To win this game, what do the Ducks need to do?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Play Oregon football.

Q. Which is what?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Fast, hard, finish. That's about it.

Q. Everybody knows about the offense. We all know you line it up, great thing to watch. What about the D? You practice against these guys every day. Maybe they don't get as much attention. What makes them deserve more attention?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Man, just practicing every day against 'em, our defense is great to me. Everyone is running to the ball. They all play hard. They all finish every time.
Our defense is great. I feel like they have a lot to accomplish.

Q. Are they as fast as the offense?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: It's pretty intense in practice. Even the linemen are out there running down runningbacks, linebackers on every play, Kiko, Alonso, Michael Clay, Terrance Mitchell. They all out there running to the ball and having fun.

Q. You won 51?to?something every time you played. How enjoyable is it to be part of an offense like that?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: It's great to have a lot of talent on our offense, everyone bonding as a team.

Q. When you're in the huddle, are you thinking you're going to score?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: We don't huddle that much. We out there, we just like to have fun and make plays as a team.

Q. How sharp do you have to be with the solid offense you're running? Do you notice a sense of panic in the defense sometimes?
DeANTHONY THOMAS: Yeah, I see them huffing and puffing sometimes.

An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You guys are signaling in fast. What have you done to study or practice communication?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Just being able to understand. I think the biggest thing is once the play is done, paying attention to what is going on. That's one thing I really have to focus on.
Sometimes in high school you're able to throw a pass, watch it, see what happens. Now after I throw a pass, I need to get my eyes to where they need to be.

Q. Is it mentally draining to go as fast as you do?
MARCUS MARIOTA: That's hard to say. There's been points in time we've been going so fast, but really I think it's so fun to play in there. You're prepared with what you're doing.

Q. What are you better at right now in this point of the season?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Definitely just communicating with these guys up front, the whole offense, being able to communicate what I'm seeing, being able to understand what those guys up front are seeing.
For everybody to be able to continue on the same page, we should be all right.

Q. At what point in the season did you feel your offense started to trust you, that you weren't a freshman any more?
MARCUS MARIOTA: I think after the first drive against Arkansas State. To be able to go through that, to be able to really just go through specifically that third down, it was third and 13, being able to convert it, really gained confidence in myself. I could see it within the guys itself.

Q. Your first week coming in, finally here in the limelight. I want to talk to you about the expectations.
MARCUS MARIOTA: To be able to feel comfortable and feel confidence will push us to new heights. I think confidence, being able to be comfortable really involves everybody. It's been fun to be able to go through all these experiences, find myself, find this comfort level.

Q. Looking back on the season, Coach Kelly says you fix things quickly and take the wins and losses to hearts. In what ways have you seen yourself grow?
MARCUS MARIOTA: From I think specifically after the Stanford loss, how that all happened, handling that with the team, it's really helped me grow, not only as an athlete, but as a person.
Adversity always comes. To stand up and say that didn't kill me, it's been able to make me better as a human.

Q. Giving you time in this game is going to help you. What do you think is going to be the X factor for you?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Communication. To be able to be on the same page with the offensive line and the receivers as well. Be able to communicate, we'll be able to put ourselves in good situations, that's going to be pivotal.

Q. How are you balancing the sense of urgency and being here?
MARCUS MARIOTA: Some of the older guys have been here. Watch what they're doing. Still business, but sometimes you want to enjoy it. These older guys have done a good job of making sure we're prepared and enjoy what's going on.

Q. We were here two years ago and didn't talk to you. How much different is it this time around?
MARCUS MARIOTA: It's a lot different. From last year, to watch what happened has made me prepared.

Q. Was it kind of cool to walk by and see you're on a table rather than in the peanut gallery kind of thing?

MARCUS MARIOTA: It's a little surreal, being able to sit up here and have the cameras in my face. It's surreal, but puts things in perspective.

An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is Collin Klein the most difficult matchup that you've had at quarterback this year that you've seen?
DION JORDAN: Probably. I mean, he is a Heisman candidate. It is what it is, though. These guys want to bring it. He didn't get to where he is now without working hard.
We've seen it. We've watched it on film. We understand he's going to have his handprints all over this game.

Q. Do you feel your defense gets overlooked because of how good your offense is?
DION JORDAN: I don't. Our numbers speak for themselves. We rose to the occasion. This year we had to come up big for the offensive line. But we make sure we take care of each other. That's what it takes to win big football games.

Q. One of the things a lot of people talk about is the uniform differences. Who decides what uniforms you guys wear?
DION JORDAN: Usually we have Coach Kelly ask the head coaches from other sports, like tennis, golf, basketball teams, and they usually come up with the combination for the week. They also have an assortment of uniforms also. It's great to have the option to wear whatever you want to that week.

Q. Do you ever get any input as far as what you're wearing?
DION JORDAN: Not really. As players, it doesn't mean much to us. We still have to play the game. If you look nice, go out and get beat...
We focus on what we have to do on the field.

Q. K State has worn the same uniforms they've worn for 20 years. Do you think it would be boring?
DION JORDAN: No, that's tradition. That's college football. No, I don't think so at all. I don't really think they care much about what we wear either.

Q. What I found interesting talking to your family, around the time you had the accident, she was getting herself right, and you both got stronger together. How much did that mean to you?
DION JORDAN: It meant a lot, like I said. My family, they mean a lot to me. My aunt, she was my angel, like I told her. When her sister couldn't be there, she made sure she was. It's great to have family that truly love and care about you.
Anytime you have somebody that's going to be there for you, my mom, she never left me one day in the hospital.

Q. She camped out there?
DION JORDAN: She stayed with me. That was actually my first time ever having to be in the hospital, so it was rough. It was tough for both of us. She stayed there with me.
I made sure, like I said, when I'm off the field, I'm doing things that represent myself and my family, that I'm mature about it. I take care of business.

Q. She was saying even in the hospital she learned a lot about you. She didn't know through other people that came to visit you, tell stories she hadn't heard. Felt like she didn't learn enough early on. Do you remember that at all and what was that like?
DION JORDAN: Like I say, when I'm away, I try to hold myself accountable and take care of myself and do the right thing. I treat people the way I want them to treat me.
I had a lot of love, people from all cities, around the state, they came and supported me. Schools. There were just a lot of people. I feel like they showed their love for me.
That's the way my mom is. She's the same type of person. I'm surprised that she's surprised. That's just the way we are.

Q. How hard is that when you're a middle schooler and you have to switch homes and go with your aunt?
DION JORDAN: It's tough, you know. Only child that had to go through the divorce in the family, being separated from the family. It was tough, you know. I understood at a young age it was the best decision for my mother and my siblings also.
I had to be a man about the situation at a young age and had to really understand. I felt like my aunt, she just took us in and we all grew together.

Q. At that age were you able to understand your mom's problem?
DION JORDAN: Yeah, I understood. I had to accept what was happening. Just as a young guy, just be able to take the situation and make the most of it. I did. I found a way to play sports, football, basketball or track. I was busy. It was crazy. I was busy all the time.
It is how it works. Being that young, having problems with your family and things like that, trying to stay focused, it's hard work. But my aunt, she kept us on track.
I don't complain a lot about anything. I make the most of my situations.

Q. Is that the way you grew up or is that the way your personality is?
DION JORDAN: I guess it's probably my personality. My mom is the same way. She's the same type of person.

An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever seen a back more shifty than you?
KENJON BARNER: DeAnthony Thomas (laughter).

Q. Do you have a name for the reflective color of your jerseys yet?
KENJON BARNER: I don't think so.

Q. Where does it rank in the other 50 you've worn?
KENJON BARNER: This one is special. This is a uniform we wore against USC, so it's special for me.

Q. Does experience play into it as much as people might think?
KENJON BARNER: It definitely helps because you know what to expect. We've been here on the BCS Stage four years in a row now. We've become accustomed to the bowl season, what not to expect, what to do, so it helps.

Q. We hear so much about Collin Klein. What about John Hubert, what have you seen from him?
KENJON BARNER: He's a physical runner. He has a mindset where he doesn't believe he can be tackled. As a runningback, you have to have that.

Q. Kenjon, four BCS bowls, you've been here before, you know the routine. Back to the season, the way Chip runs the season. When you get to a bowl week, some teams get big?eyed excited.
KENJON BARNER: It's having been in four BCS games, you have an understanding of all the lights, the media, the craziness that goes on with a bowl week. You have an understanding of that. You don't really get distracted by it.

Q. Preparation, it's the Fiesta Bowl, but it's just another opponent. I see you approaching this game, breaking down Kansas State the way you would any season long.
KENJON BARNER: That's exactly it. I feel you can't make any game bigger than the other. Everybody knows the importance of this game, but this is just another opponent. You prepare the same way you prepare all season.

Q. You and LaMichael were very close. Did you have a chance to talk with him before the game?
KENJON BARNER: I was actually talking to him yesterday night after the game. He's trying to make it out here. Hopefully he can.

Q. As you look at that uniform, that's the last time you'll be wearing a Ducks uniform. The focus is on the game, but at what point will you allow yourself to sit back and think about your career?
KENJON BARNER: What time do we play on Thursday?

Q. 6:00.
KENJON BARNER: Game will be over about 9:00, 9:30. So about 10:00, 10:30, I'll start thinking about that (laughter).
I have no time to worry about that. I have to focus on this game.

Q. It's that Chip Kelly attitude, isn't it?
KENJON BARNER: It definitely is.

Q. Are you guys doing anything tonight?
KENJON BARNER: Not tonight. It was last night. It was delicious.

Q. A question about the uniforms. What is it like rolling out with all the different uniforms you have?
KENJON BARNER: It's a lot of fun. It's the unknown that makes it exciting. We never know what we're going to wear.

Q. How does it work that you don't get any kind of input?
KENJON BARNER: I don't know how it works, but it does.

Q. You have no idea who chooses them or what?

Q. Is that a cool thing every week?
KENJON BARNER: Be surprised. Absolutely.

Q. K State, they're wearing the same uniforms they've worn since the early '90s. Do you think that would be boring at all?
KENJON BARNER: That's their tradition. That's what they do.
If I was there, it wouldn't be boring.

Q. What does Kansas State do defensively that has made them so solid this year?
KENJON BARNER: Cause turnovers. They turn them into points, whether it's with their offense or defense. They do a great job of breaking up passes.

Q. Is there something offensively you can game plan for? Do you try to hold the ball a little bit tighter?
KENJON BARNER: You have to be aware of the ball at all times. They're going out there trying to strip you. When it comes to turnovers from the offensive standpoint, I think it's all mental. You have to be mentally prepared.

Q. Bottom line is, on game day, Oregon needs to do what to win?
KENJON BARNER: Play Oregon football.

Q. Which is what?
KENJON BARNER: Fast, hard and finish.

Q. Is that something you talk about every day?
KENJON BARNER: Something we know.

Q. Tell me about yourself. What do you do for fun?
KENJON BARNER: I like to wakeboard, wakesurf, bowl, hang out with my guys.

Q. Do you enjoy things like skateboarding?
KENJON BARNER: I enjoy wakeboarding.

Q. What is it like being Kenjon, getting the ball, running for 60 and 70 yards every time?
KENJON BARNER: It's a great feeling.

Q. You sound like you're relaxed, but at the same time, tense. Is that true?


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