Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: Longtime relationship with SMU head coach June Jones)
"It's funny how small this world is when you think about it. It doesn't seem to matter when you get into these games, when you look over there's usually somebody you know. I suspect a lot of people in Hawai'i are having fun with that. June is not a lot different than he was back then. He has tremendous confidence in himself and what he's doing. It's not in a way that comes across cocky, but just confident and self deprecating. He is a fascinating personality because he's not a guy who lights up the room, but yet he's still a magnet for people."
(Ref.: Senior LB Stephen Anderson)
"He is a guy in the mike linebacker position. Football is like a lot of games, we talk about the quarterback, the fullback, the middle linebacker and the safety. He (Stephen Anderson) is in a position where he has a lot of opportunities, and if he is not productive, we are not having a good day. He is the right guy. He has great football instincts. He is quick, he is strong, and not especially fast or big, but has great instincts and a great passion for the game. His teammates feed off his energy and his passion.
"At West Point we have a lot of bright players and sometimes it gets to feel like you are practicing in the library because no one is making any noise, but when you get Anderson in the middle, you know you are playing football.
"He sees the game. Over the years the guys who have been especially productive at that position are former running backs because they see the game the same way. He obviously sees the game as a runner back does."
(Ref.: Running the option)
"Couple of those guys who played on the offense were defensive linemen who moved over. We talked like they are a veteran group, and none have more than two years on offense. They are relatively young guys."
Senior LB Steve Anderson
(Ref.: Bowl experience thus far)
"It's been a great week. The biggest thing is that we wanted to make sure to have fun and take in the experience. It's something us seniors haven't experienced. We've been joking around with the younger guys saying hopefully they get four years of this. Thursday will be the final chapter of a lot of our college careers. It's going to be a great experience to feel a victory."
(Ref.: Balancing the experience and preparing to win)
"All week we've been talking about caring to win. It's not hard to enjoy yourself with your brothers here. Meeting new people, getting gifts and all of that is great, but at the end of the day, we care more about winning than anything else."
(Ref.: Matching up with SMU's offense)
"They are great at getting the ball out quick. Their quarterback is a good quarterback and knows what defensive coverage teams are in. At the same time, their running backs have rushed for 1,400 yards in 12 games. They are a balanced attack."
(Ref.: What he needs to do as a linebacker to be successful)
"I just have to do what I've been doing all year, take what comes to me. I like the position because it allows me to attack the running back when it's a run and I get to play the quarterback and read him. I like playing games with the quarterback a bit, hiding our coverages and what stunts we're in. I just have to make the plays when they come to me."
(Ref.: This year's senior class)
"West Point is leaders amongst leaders and one thing a leader refuses to do is loose. A lot of guys in my senior class were at the Prep School where we went 8-2. We said we would bring winning football back eventually to Army. We made a pact then. This season has allowed us to feel we brought a winning season back with a 6-6 record going on a 7-6 mark, and it would be a great ending for a class that through determination and commitment to one another and the program made this happen."
(Ref.: How tough is it to be a captain on a team full of leaders)
"It is tough. Not something a lot of teams have to deal with. I am a leader amongst leaders. You have to let your strengths come out. I have strengths , I have weaknesses. Where my weaknesses are in certain areas, I find leaders who have strengths in those areas and we build off each other and work together. This is as close a brotherhood that you are going to find. The ability for us to understand I might be the formal leader, but I need everybody to buy into what we are trying to do here and get a successful program.
Senior C Zach Peterson
(Ref.: Being in tough games late in the season)
"We've had some tough games the last month or so, but the most important thing is for us to do what we do - that's play hard and fast."
(Ref.: Pressure on the line to run the ball and control the clock)
"That's our game, controlling the ball and the time of possession. We understand the responsibility that comes with that."
(Ref.: Accomplishments as a senior class)
"It's special, but at the same time we want to finish the mission and go out on a win in the bowl game. We're happy to be here, but it won't feel right unless we get the win."
2LT OT Jason Johnson
(Ref.: Senior class' goals)
"We set our goal to win a bowl game, not to get to a bowl game but to win a bowl game. There is a great camaraderie on the senior class, and the bowl game is just a culminating event for the senior class. . We have been working hard. During summertime training we got every rep in we could. The seniors have done a great job leading by example for the underclass too."
(Ref.: Being Commissioned a second lieutenant in December)
"I graduated on Dec. 17 with a degree in Management. My little brother pinned the bars on me. I won't be going back to the Academy after the bowl game, as I am going off to Ft. Benning, Ga. After six months there, I will be doing some Airborne School and Ranger School hopefully, and after that I will be heading off to Ft. Bragg, N.C."