Stanford's trip to the Rose Bowl is a homecoming of sorts for redshirt junior cornerback Terrence Brown. Brown, who grew up about 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, will lead Stanford's much-improved secondary against Wisconsin on New Year's Day.
Cardinal Sports Report chatted briefly with Brown at Saturday's Rose Bowl media day to discuss the upcoming contest.
Cardinal Sports Report: Was the Rose Bowl a pretty big part of your youth?
Terrence Brown: I'm pretty sure like any other football player or anybody from L.A. growing up you always dreamed about playing in the Rose Bowl.
CSR: Talking about Wisconsin, it's a little bit different because they are so run happy. Does knowing that affect the defensive back's preparation at all?
TB: In our defense the defensive backs have to tackle just like anybody else. We just stick to our defensive philosophy of everybody just running to the ball, swimming to the ball, and we'll be fine.
CSR: is there at all a different mindset knowing that this isn't going to be Arizona, you're not going to be facing 50 passes, that more of your work will come in tackling?
TB: It's a bit different. We definitely have to be mentally prepared because it's going to be a physical game. I feel like everybody has prepared over the past week or so and we'll be ready.
CSR: Looking back, what do you think the biggest reason for the defense's improvement this year was?
TB: The biggest reason for the defensive improvement was everybody playing together, I feel like. Not leaving one man on an island, all 11 guys helping each other out. That's what we've been able to do. Especially in the secondary we've been able to assist in everything.
CSR: talk about what you've seen from Wisconsin's passing game, and have any of their receivers caught your eye as well?
TB: They're a great team and they have athletes and they're capable of making plays. We definitely cannot go to sleep, as much of a running team as they are. Montee Ball takes the team downhill, but they'll still be able to open up and try to catch us on our heels.
CSR: Can you talk about what you've seen from some of the younger players in your secondary, specifically the two freshman safeties and Alex Carter?
TB: Ed Reynolds, Jordan Richards, Zach Hoffpauir, Alex Carter, Wayne Lyons, they all showed improvement this year and they've all played to the best of their ability and definitely expecting more of them in the future.
CSR: How hard is to do what Alex did in his first year, learning the scheme and playing DB in the Pac-12?
TB: Of course when you're first touching the field you're going to experience some things that you thought you would never experience, but he's definitely picked up everything. He's learning pretty well and he's playing not as a true freshman, he's growing up.
CSR: Looking back, what was the top moment of the top few moments of the regular season for you?
TB: I have to say the top few moments of the season would probably be the SC game and the Oregon game, when we kind of, I guess so to speak shocked the world, but not to our standard.
CSR: What's this week been like for you guys, between meeting Jeremy Piven at the Improv comedy event last night going to Disneyland, lots of stuff going on for the team?
TB: It's been a great experience. You never downplay anything and we're truly grateful and truly blessed to be in this situation and it's been fun. Disneyland, you're bringing out the inner child of everybody on the team, and the improv club, sharing laughter with your teammates, it's been a fun experience.