Penn State senior captain Josh Gaines had to play a game of what-ifs following the Nittany Lions' Rose Bowl loss to Southern Cal. Find out what he had to say after the game, right here!
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What is the most disappointing about this game?
The way we started. The way we started. The second half, we came out fighting. If we would have come out like that in the beginning of the first half, it probably would have been a different outcome. So, I'm a little disappointed the way we came out. A little hard adjusting to the speed. We didn't really get adjusted to that really well like I thought we would. It's a tough loss, you know, but at the same time, the guys kept fighting. We hung in there and I'm proud of everybody.
Were you guys having trouble getting defensive pressure on the quarterback?
It wasn't really that much getting pressure, you know... We were closing the pocket, we were beating our guys but Mark Sanchez did a heckuva job stepping upfield and he's definitely an NFL style pro quarterback. He stepped up in the pocket, he avoided the rushes. We were winning the rushes, you know, but he was doing a heckuva job stepping up, you know, the quick passes. He knew we were going to try to go after him. He knew what type of D-Line and linebackers we had and he got the ball out fast. He hit the open receivers.
What's the disappointment level to come out on this stage and get beaten?
You know, it's a tough loss but at the same time, we came out. We came out and played a heckuva second half. The first half, I'm a little upset that we came out as flat like we did but at the same time, the guys kept fighting and hung in there.
Can you put your finger on why you guys came out flat?
I'm not sure right now. It's hard to say. I'm going to have to go back and watch the game but I felt like we were getting it done, especially up front. Guys were winning. Sanchez just did a heckuva job. Man, he's a great quarterback.
Was there a moment in the second quarter when you started to sense the game slipping away?
No, man. We're from Penn State. That's what we do here. We never stop fighting and we showed it in the second half. We came out on fire, put some points up on the board, made a little mistake, left a guy open, it was an error on the defense. But, other than that, I think if that didn't happen, it probably would have been a different second half.
There were some uncharacteristic penalties on both sides of the ball...
A lot of those can be argued. A lot of that stuff can be awkward. There was one penalty they called offsides on us but the tight end fell forward in his stance. It's questionable. A lot of stuff is questionable, you know.