December 4, 2011
COUSINS: 'WE BELONG IN A BCS BOWL'
INDIANAPOLIS - Emotions were extremely raw following Michigan State's 42-39 loss to Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.
Sometimes, there is no benefit in the repackaging or rephrasing the immediate reactions of another human's words, when spoken from the heart.
Below is an interview with Kirk Cousins in it's original, uncut form as well as the transcription of his thoughts without the addition of our own.
"I don't know how you can get punished for playing, and someone else gets to sit on the couch and get what they want." - Kirk Cousins
When you thought you were going to get the ball back with two minutes to go, did you have the feeling that you guys were going to go down and win it?
"We were having our way with them all game, and we felt like the last drive would have been no different."
Some players seem disappointed, Trenton Robinson seemed more angry than anything else. Where are you right now?
"I don't know if I can say how I feel. It's tough right now...just fell short. It's pretty frustrating. "
What do you make of the entire game today?
"It was a great game. Maybe the best game of the year. In all of college football. I think we belong up there with anyone in the country. I think that we belong in a BCS bowl the way we played tonight."
How were you guys able to fight back, again?
"We have character. We have character; I've been telling that to you all year. We have character and we fight back. We face adversity head on and we bounce back."
When you look at this game 10, 20 years down the road, is it going to be more than just a game?
"I'll just view it as missed opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl. That's the dream, to go to the Rose Bowl. Two years in a row, came inches from being able to go and didn't get there."
What did you think of Keshawn's catch in your final posession?
"I don't know. Obviously they reviewed it and said it wasn't a catch. i don't know."
How long will it take to digest this, process what just happened on the field?
"I don't know. I don't know. We'll see. We got to get back on the field and get ready for the next game."
When the goal is so singular like this, is the fall hard?
"This is as tough a game as I've ever lost. To come that close to the Rose Bowl, you feel like you played very, very well and are deserving of much greater than probably what we'll receive. It's tough. Two years in a row I think we belong in the Rose Bowl for a lot of reasons and didn't get there."
Does it feel almost unfair to win twenty-some games in two years and feel this crummy?
"I guess life's not fair. We're certainly experiencing that right now and last year as well."
Is there anything you want to say that our questions can't access?
"No, I don't have much to say right now. I'm hurting just like the rest of the guys on the team. We got to bounce back and we will bounce back because that's the way we operate at Michigan State and we'll play hard no matter what bowl game we get."
Does this hurt as deep as anything you've felt?
"In terms of athletics, I've never felt hurt more after a game than this game."
Tougher because you felt it was snatched away?
"Thought we played our hearts out. Played a great game. We won the regular season Big Ten outright. Won it last year. Didn't end up in the Rose Bowl. It's tough."
Is there a part of you that wishes this game didn't have to have been played?
"I know people like to make money and it's about money. This game brought in whatever number of million dollars to the Big Ten Conference, upwards of 20 million. Someone's getting that money, not me, but someone's getting that money."
Did you prove anything in defeat?
"I think we proved we belong with any team in the country. Wisconsin's probably going to be a top 10 team and go to the Rose Bowl. Obviously the way we've played them now twice, we belong right there with em. We're always trying to prove people wrong. People can think what they want. We played our hearts out tonight."
There's some talk that Michigan now gets that BCS? You want to make a case for State?
Do you have to make a case for State?
"Michigan sat at home on the couch tonight and watch this. We played. We played our hearts out. We played the game. You saw it. I don't know how you can get punished for playing and someone else get's to sit on the couch and get what they want. Guess that's the way the system is. Guess it's a broken system."
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