The Bootleg talked with Ty Montgomery after the game about his transition into a starting role and the atmosphere of his first Big Game.
The Bootleg: With this being your first Big Game, what does it mean to you to be a part of this rivalry and to get this win over California?
Ty Montgomery: It feels great; especially with this being my first Big Game, it feels really good.
How much were the field conditions a factor, especially on the pick that Andrew threw—what happened on that play?
TM: I just slipped—I didn’t stand my frame as much as I should have done. There are no excuses. We’ve talked about it all week, so you can’t really blame it on the field.
You’ve come into your own over the past couple of weeks, and now you’re basically starting in Chris Owusu’s place. How’s that transition been for you?
TM: It’s been good. Chris has been helping me out a lot—he’s taught me a lot of things. All the other receivers have taught me a lot, and the coaches have been really supportive.
Did you expect to be in this position when the season started?
TM: Not at all. I really didn’t at all. I expected just to learn as much as I can. If I played, I didn’t expect to be starting, especially not this late in the season in these games, against these teams that we’re playing.
Are you still going to be returning kickoffs on a regular basis?
TM: As far as I know, yes.
Earlier in the season, Coach Shaw said that they put some limitations on you and now those limitations are off. What’s the difference there from your perspective?
TM: I’m seeing a lot more and they have a lot more confidence in calling certain plays that they want to call when I’m in the game.
Can to talk a little bit about the last drive you guys had, the one that went down the field and killed the clock? What was the mentality on that drive, and how were you able to get more than seven and a half minutes burned off the clock?
TM: Just finish the game. That was the only thing that was on my mind—just finish the game. We finish the drive and we finish the game.
A lot of teams above you guys went down. Was that at the back of your mind at all during the game?
TM: No, not at all. I couldn’t be worried about that at that point in time. You never know what the BCS is going to be like and how it’s going to end up, so it’s nothing for me to worry about.
Do you think if you guys beat Notre Dame next week, you deserve to go to a BCS bowl?
TM: I don’t know. I have no idea. I can’t speak on that.
Looking ahead next week to Notre Dame, it’s another rivalry game for you guys. What’s your perspective on that rivalry, as a freshman?
TM: It’s just the next game. I don’t want put too much pressure on myself or too much stress on myself, knowing it’s a big rivalry game. It’s just the next game to me.
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