Post-BCS selection: Terrence Stephens

Though it normally doesn't get as much attention as the rest of Stanford's defense, the defensive line was critical to the Cardinal's success this season. Anchoring that line is first-year starter Terrence Stephens, a junior defensive tackle who has recorded 40 tackles this season.

The Bootleg got Stephens' first impression of the Fiesta Bowl matchup with Oklahoma State after practice on Monday, as well as some perspective on Stanford's 11-1 regular season campaign.

The Bootleg: What was your first reaction when you heard about the Fiesta Bowl?

Terrence Stephens: It's a great bowl. We're definitely fortunate to be in the position that we are two years in a row, to be BCS-bowl bound. You gotta be grateful for every opportunity to prove yourself against top opponents. It's truly a blessing. We need to go out there and just have a great month of practice and get healthy.

Did you watch Oklahoma State's game on Saturday? What were your impressions of that team?

TS: They're a great team, like any other team. You look at a team like Oklahoma State and you realize that look, now you have to turn it up a little bit. They're a great team—you should never play down to an opponent's skill level. On the contrary, you're playing up to their skill level. They're a great team and we have to play a complete game.

How do you think Oklahoma State's offense compares to some of the other teams you've faced?

TS: They have a little bit of everybody. They're a fantastic offense—fast speed like Oregon, they have great skill players like Notre Dame and USC. I just think they have the components of everybody.

What's the toughest offense you've faced this year?

TS: I'd say physically it'd be USC. Physically, they were just kind of smashmouth coming off the ball. Obviously it was a great game—it came down to the wire.

Did you do any kind of preparation last week? While the bowl matchups weren't set, a lot of people were projecting that Stanford would be in the Fiesta Bowl opposite the Big 12 champion.

TS: We were projected to be in the Fiesta Bowl, so we already had film prepared. We watched film and we came out here, we did some mini-practices and got some runs in. We're always trying to work.

Can you talk about the impact Coach McGlockton had on you?

TS: There's not enough words to explain the impact that Coach McGlockton had on me. He was a role model, he was like a dad to me. Losing him has been very tough for the past couple of days, and it will be tough for the next couple of days and so on and so forth. But I think that you can't dwell on something that has a purpose. You can't question God's plan, because there's just so much that he has in store for all of us. At the end of the day, I have to just look at the impact that Coach Chester had on me and try to impact someone else in the same way.

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