McClatcher ready to show out for UW, the West spoke Saturday with Washington sophomore receiver Chico McClatcher, who talked about time spent with fellow Federal Way native Kenny Mayne, getting respect and doing his best to show the country that football is also played on the west coast. The No. 4 Huskies travel south to play No. 1 Alabama on New Year’s Eve for the right to compete for a National Championship.

On being the underdog: "It's going to be fun, going into a different area and playing a different team from a different division, but we're excited for the challenge and we can't wait to play against a great Alabama team so we're just going to practice hard and try to execute well."

On not being expected to win by many pundits: "We can't reall y focus on that. Everybody thinks we're the underdog, so we're just going to have to prove that we're not."

On Alabama's secondary: "They're long and lengthy. They move pretty well just like Colorado, so we have to get great separation from them to make plays."

On Colorado and Alabama's defense resembling each other: "Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely, they're just long, tall and play in different areas, but yeah, they're pretty similar."

On playing Colorado helping with getting ready for what Alabama will do: "Definitely did help. They're going to grab, they're going to hold, so we just have create great separation from them."

On being done with finals helping them to focus: "It was pretty good transition. Our coach allowed us to take some time off from football and focus on academics. We're obviously going to get back into motion once we practice so it's been a good schedule so far."

On feeling more fresh from the week off: "We definitely are fresh right now. Having that week off did help a lot. People stayed in for training and icing their bodies so we'll be feeling great come gametime."

On having a chip on their shoulders coming into this game: "Last year, we finished 7-6 or 8-6, but I guess you could say that we have an underdog chip on our shoulder, but we just want to prove to the nation that we can play and be the more physical team."

On this game feeling special vs. a powerhouse like Alabama: "I was pretty excited when I found out we were going to play Alabama, so playing against different people we'll see who wants to play harder and compete harder."

On hanging out with ESPN's Kenny Mayne: "I didn't know he was from Federal Way, so I was pretty excited and on the trip he showed me his areas of Federal Way where he grew up and spent a lot of time and I showed him mine and it was a good experience hanging out with him."

On how much he gets back to Federal Way to hang out with friends and family: "Anytime we have a break or a couple of days off, I'll go down there, it's just a 25-minute ride, but I'll go down there just to hang out with my mom and hang out with my family and friends."

On if these bowl practices feel different than last year: "It kinda does feel a little bit different, but this year it's higher stakes now so we've just got to take it one practice at a time and execute well when it comes to game time."

On when he thought this team had a chance to do something special: "I'll say it was against Stanford, when we really made noise around the country and people have started to respect us now, but it's been a great season so far since that game and people respect us now and we're in the top four playoffs."

On if he's been in Atlanta before: "I've been down there a couple of times, back in my earlier days, when I was a little kid, but it's a cool place to be at."

On his thoughts heading into playing Alabama: "We're feeling pretty confident. We all feel like SEC offenses aren't anything like Pac 12 offenses, so it'll probably be a new look for them and it's definitely going to be a new look for us because their front seven, their DB corps is pretty good, so it's going to be a fun matchup."

On playing in the "hostile" environment: "We have talked about it. It's going to be, most likely, more Alabama fans than Washington fans so it's been like that every (away) game for us this season so we're just going to treat it like a road game and just execute and prepare to win."

On if he feels a different vibe from friends and family: "I did feel a little difference coming back to Federal Way. Everybody's been telling me 'show those Alabama boys how the West Coast does it' so it'll be a fun matchup and my family and friends will all be there and it's going to be a good environment to be at." Top Stories