Postgame Interview: Sam Schwartzstein

C Sam Schwartzstein

Stanford's offensive line returned to form against Notre Dame, keeping Andrew Luck from taking a single sack while dominating the line of scrimmage and opening huge holes for the running game. Center Sam Schwartzstein, a first-year starter, was one of the keys to that effort.

Schwartzstein was also honored as a fourth-year senior during pregame festivities. The Bootleg caught up with him after the game to get his take on the offensive line's performance and his plans for next year.

The Bootleg: What does it mean to you guys to beat a team like Notre Dame?

Sam Schwartzstein: They are a great team—real stout defense, potent offense. Our defense just came out and set the tempo all night. It just means a lot, to send the seniors out on top.

How were you guys able to get a lot of leverage on the line against Notre Dame and generate that rushing attack?

SS: It has to do with the coaching. They game plan all week, and the game plan helps us out with getting in the right play at the right time. The coaches just press it into our minds that we gotta be physical up front—it starts from the strength and conditioning staff all the way up to the head coach, Coach Shaw.

Did you guys hear anything about the Oregon game before the game started?

SS: No, absolutely not. We wanted to focus on one thing and one thing only, and that was beating Notre Dame.

Whose idea was it to have the seniors introduced like that?

SS: Coach Shaw. Everything was Coach Shaw's idea.

What was it like to have that?

SS: It was exciting. I'm a fourth year, so I'm considered a senior from Stanford's standpoint. To run on the field and be recognized along with my teammates was a great feeling.

Do you think you'll be back next year?

SS: Yes.

Have you thought a lot about that decision?

SS: Yeah. It's a great place to be, and I want to continue playing college football with my teammates. It's a great place to be.

Where are you from the standpoint of getting your degree?

SS: I'm very close to it. I going to be doing some graduate work next year, but I'm very close to finishing my degree.

Do you think you guys possibly deserve to play in the national championship game?

SS: I feel like we're one of the best teams in the country, absolutely. If everyone ends up with one loss, it would be great to play there. It's not in our control so I don't worry about it.

Coach Shaw said in his postgame press conference that this senior class is the best in Stanford history. Do you agree with that?

SS: I wasn't around in 1934, so I can't make a ‘best in Stanford history.' I'd say it is one of the best of recent memory, that is true. It's a great class to be a part of.

Do you guys feel like you've accomplished the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

SS: We really wanted to be Pac-12 champs, so we are pretty salty about not being Pac-12 champs. We had a lot of goals we set this season—to hopefully get to a BCS bowl—and we have 11 wins right now.

Do you think Andrew Luck deserves to win the Heisman Trophy?

SS: Yeah, absolutely.

Why?

SS: Because he's the best player in college football.


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