Sept. 1, 2008
BY Jonathan Crompton, For SN Today
It's going to be good to finally get out there against a different team, and what a way to start the season--playing against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. It's the only game tonight, and it's on ESPN, so we know the whole country is going to be watching. This is the type of thing you live for: to be able to play in the national spotlight against a big team, in the Rose Bowl--you can't ask for anything more exciting than that.
We'll definitely be a little anxious to get out on the field. But we have a lot of mature guys on this team who know you can't get too high or too low, you just have to go out there and get your mind ready to play.
This is my first year as the starting quarterback, and right now I'm trying to take it day by day--just like everyone else on the team. But in the back of your mind, you do think about, "Oh, first snap in the Rose Bowl, what's going to happen?" But like I said, I'm mentally focused to make sure my teammates are ready. That's the main thing I'm focusing on.
The group of guys we have at every position, offense and defense, certainly makes my transition easier. On the offensive side of the ball, we're really deep--at receiver, running back, tight end and lineman. That helps, because we have so much experience at all those positions. That's only going to make everyone else better on the field.
I've been throwing with the receivers all spring and all summer and all fall camp. We have a good chemistry going, and right now we're all on the same page. So I think it should be a fun time.
This is going to be a big game just because it's the Pac-10 and SEC playing in the Rose Bowl. We're representing our university and the conference at the same time. UCLA is doing the same thing, representing their university and the Pac-10. So it's going to be a good, hard fought battle, and I can't wait to just get out there, play ball and see what happens.
-- As told to Benson Taylor