Video: Stanford's Shaw, Wilkes confident in Cardinal against Michigan State
Flanked by an army of In-N-Out food trucks in a tent resting in the shadow of the Rose Bowl, the head coaches and a handful of players from Stanford and Michigan State made their final official appearances before the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio at a kickoff luncheon. Featuring interviews with head coaches David Shaw and Mark Dantonio along with five players from each team, the event also honored Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees Lloyd Carr, Orlando Pace and Lynn Swann and was highlighted by an appearance from legendary broadcaster and grand marshal of the 2014 Rose Parade Vin Scully, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.
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Sports media members Steve Hartman and Bonnie Bernstein got some final statements from Shaw and Dantonio with the game just over 24 hours away.
In his interview, Shaw elaborated on the feeling of returning to the Rose Bowl Game for the second straight year and confirmed when asked if it was even sweeter the second time around.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Shaw said. “When you can reach something like this with a phenomenal game and a phenomenal setting, you don’t know when you will be able to come back, so you are always thankful when you can make it back to the Granddaddy of Them All. Thankfully, our seniors led us here.”
In his interview, Dantonio reflected on addressing his team after a brutal 2012 season in which the Spartans lost a number of games by incredibly close margins, but he still accurately predicted to his underclassmen that they would be the ones to break through and win the Big Ten at the team’s annual football banquet last season.
“I just sort of felt like we were very resilient in the way we approached everything that season in 2012,” Dantonio said. “Even after a tough loss, we would come back and play and win the next week, and I just really felt like our chemistry was right and we had a great senior class. I knew that we were special.”
Hartman and Bernstein also used the opportunity to gauge the confidence of the opposing players, starting with Stanford.
“I feel pretty confident that our offense can move the ball (against Michigan State’s defense),” Stanford center Khalil Wilkes said.
A Spartan also expressed his confidence to close out the festivities.
“I just know the guys that come to battle with us every Saturday and everybody clear down the line, along with the coaches are ready and come game time, that’s what it’s all about,” Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard said.