Jeff Samardzija TranscriptSamardzija on if he thinks he would've had as great a season if Rhema McKnight had not been injured this year:
"It's hard to tell. I don't have a crystal ball or anything. Obviously if you look at mathematically, with three guys running around out there, things are going to be different. You never know. It's the whole team mentality—you've got to pick up the slack when slack is out there."
On if it's nice to know that they have a veteran guy like McKnight coming back next season:
"Yeah, it's going to be great telling the same stories about Rhema that I tell about (Maurice Stovall). I don't think there's any two other guys out of anyone that plays football would rather have with them, have lockers next two, and run around on the field with every day. They're two great guys."
On if this week is tough to prepare for with Thanksgiving during the week:
"I don't think so. I think it's a little bit nice because teachers are pushing too hard in classes because they know they're going to be doing that after Thanksgiving break. That's kind of helping out, and we know we have all day Thursday with no classes to get ready. It's a long flight across country, but overall I think its a little less stress than I think some other road trips."
On if the financial impact of this game enters in their minds:
"We don't sniff a dime so it's not about money for us. Coach Weis has even said it himself. He doesn't care either. He doesn't care about anything but his team going out there and playing good and winning the football game. It starts with Stanford. The most important game of the season of the game is Stanford."
On being one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff award:
"It's obviously a great honor. I don't keep too much up to date on what's going on around the country with the other guys, who the other receivers are. I'm trying to do what I do and keep in touch with the guys on the team and see what they're doing. I know that (Maurice Stovall) is having a great year. I'm just trying to do what I can for the guys I'm playing with, and sometimes things just kind of work out."
On how easy a target Brady Quinn is to pick on:
"He can be pretty easy at time. He's the type of guy who's easy to get, but you don't really want to get him too much because he's such a good and nice guy that you feel bad. A guy like (Zbikowski) I can make fun of all day long and not lose any sleep about it."
On if Zbikowski could pound Samardzija in a fight:
"No. Zibby's 5-10 or whatever. It's not even close. We scrummed yesterday. No, I'm not scared at all."
On Stanford's defensive backs:
"They're very experienced. I think we've played against a couple of the guys in the secondary a few times now. They've got speed out there. They've got a couple of big guys in the secondary that are 6-0 and up. They're going to come out with a lot of experience and they're going to be playing hard. They're 5-5 and they're trying to get to a bowl. I can speak from their position. We've been in the same position where there's that one game that defines whether you're going to a bowl game or not, and I know we tried to react, so I kind of have an idea of how they're feeling. We understand they're hungry, and they have a lot of talent on that team. They're going to come out, they're not just going to lay anything out for us, they're going to give us their best game of the season."
On being ranked in the top 10 in the country in third down conversions:
"I think it says a lot. I think it says a lot about focus and direction of the team. I think when your led in the right direction to be able to mentally approach the game the right way and understand that third downs are that important, I think it says a lot. I think that this team understands that getting into third-and-short, and converting third downs is a big part of having success on offense."