Dan Stevenson TranscriptStevenson on the time off before playing Ohio State:
"It's been nice to relax a little bit, focus on school on school for a little bit, recollect yourself. This training camp mentality is good to kind of get back to that because it gives you so much more time to prepare. It allows you to be here all day and get to know their defense and know their scheme."
On the only thing that people will remember about this season likely is if they win or lose the bowl game:
"This is a must-win game for us. It's going to cap off a great year. This team is just going to build on it. With coach Weis at the helm, this team is just going to get better."
On how often Weis reminds the team of the bowl game drought:
"About every three or four second. He's an amazing motivator. Like I said last week: he'll always find something. He's going to find something to motivate you. That's what he does so well is getting this team ready to play."
On when Weis said to the team in the first meeting ‘things are going to change' and what that meant to him:
"When a new coach comes in, everyone is going to say that, ‘things are going to be different.' The way coach Weis is, I think when he first came people really believed him. He's got the record to back it up. He's got all those Super Bowl rings and that is not a fluke. He knows how to win. Everything we do is so professional now. It's so well done. He's got every little detail always taken care of. When he first came in, I think we listen."
On getting everyone to believe so early:
"Part of it's just belief in him. You've got to put your team before yourself. Put everything you've got into it. What you put is what you get out. From day one he said ‘we're going to be tough, we're going to be nasty and we're going to play with that swagger and good things will happen.' I think a big thing was the leadership we had. We had a lot of great leaders on this team that bought into what he said."
On how the team has put in more this year to get more out of it:
"I really think there's a lot of guys around here that have been hungry, that haven't always had the opportunity to step up and be leaders in their career. It's a big thing that coach Weis said: ‘it's not about me. I'm not playing football. It's about you guys. I'm going to give this team to you guys.' He was big on the leadership committee. He said, ‘we're going to create this thing and I'm going to hand it over to you guys. You guys are going to make it what you want to do with it.' I think when you give kids, who are hungry, the opportunity and the responsibility, they'll take it and run with it."
On how much has Ohio State improved from the beginning of the season to know:
"They're improved a lot, especially their offense. Their offense, it looks like it took them a little bit in the beginning of the season, but they've gotten better week in and week out. Their defense, they've come together even more. They've improved all season long."
On why they lost the two games they did:
"I don't really know. They lost to two of the greatest teams this year. I don't really know if you can say what makes them vulnerable. It's not like they got blown out. They were tough, hard-fought games that went down to the wire."
On how they've had similar seasons with two games that went down to the wire:
"I think it's a great match-up. Obviously the teams picking the bowls know what they're doing by putting us together. We think we've got a great team, and like people said, ‘six points away from being undefeated.' You really can't focus on that. You've just got to look at the opportunity that you have. Two great teams going out there to play on one of the greatest stages of college football."
On if he's thought about this being his last game for ND:
"I'm trying not to think about that. I don't want to think about it. And not just because it's my last time playing football. I think the biggest thing is just this team. Like I said before, the reason I think we're winning this year is because we love each. We really do. Everyone on this team really loves each other. There's not a kid on this team that I wouldn't be there for. I just enjoy being here so much. That's something that I really think we've built this team on, this family thing. Every team says they're real close, but this team is special. It's been a huge difference."
On his NFL future and if he's given that any thought:
"You can't not think about it because you have to start going through the agent process and getting ready for senior games. It's obviously on my mind a little bit, but I'm going to try not to really worry about it until after the Fiesta Bowl. There's too much at hand for me to be selfish."