Postgame Inteview: Corey Gatewood

One of the more surprising stars of the Big Game was Corey Gatewood, a fifth-year senior from Massachusetts. Gatewood recently moved from wide receiver to defensive back, but has handled the transition very well, bolstering a shaky Stanford secondary that has had a tough time containing some of the conference's better receivers.

The Bootleg caught up with Corey Gatewood after the Big Game, getting his perspective on Stanford's victory and details on his move to the defensive side of the football.

The Bootleg: When did you first transition over to playing defense full time?

Corey Gatewood: I came over the week we played USC. It's been a pretty smooth transition thus far. Delano [Howell] and Mike [Thomas], they've helped me make a smooth transition from offense to defense.

Any issues in learning the playbook?

CG: I played cornerback a couple years back, so it's been a lot of carryover. It's been not as bad as it would be for someone else.

How would you assess the defense's performance tonight?

CG: I think the defense played great when we needed to play great. When we needed big stops, we got a couple of three-and-outs, and Coach Mason put us in the right calls and we were able to make some plays.

Can you talk about what you guys did to contain Keenan Allen? He had six catches for 97 yards in the first quarter, then nothing after that.

CG: Coach Mason just drew up a nice game plan, just made sure we came down and played tight coverage on him, and we were able to execute it.

Can you talk a little bit about that last drive that California had? They went down and scored the touchdown, but basically used up all their time in the process.

CG: We just tried to keep everything in front of us and play with good leverage on the receivers, and keep the quarterback in the box. We were able to make some plays and get off the field [sic].

On that drive, to what degree were you thinking more of keeping them in-bounds and keeping them in front of you, versus getting that stop and getting off the field?

CG: That's job No. 1, to keep them inbounds and keep the clock ticking. We were able to do that, as well as making some big tackles, and make it a little long for them to get down the field and use the clock up. I think we did a good job with that.

You cycled in for Johnson Bademosi later in the game. Are there any issues there that you're aware of?

CG: I'm not sure whether he's hurt or not. I just got subbed in and I tried to make some plays out there.

Do you think you're going to play on offense again this year, or is it just defense all the way?

CG: I'm not sure, they keep me in the dark about that. I'm just going to play wherever they put me.

Looking ahead to Notre Dame a little bit, if you guys win that game, do you think you deserve to play in a BCS bowl?

CG: As long as we take care of business, I feel like we are a good team and I think we should be playing in a BCS bowl.

As a guy who's been on this team for a while, what does it mean to you to be able to hold on to the Axe?

CG: Going out as a senior with the Axe and this being our rivalry game, that's the way every senior would want to go out.

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