Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, January 1, 2014
LOS ANGELES — Michigan State fans from across the nation traveled to see their beloved Spartans play in the 100th Rose Bowl Game on Wednesday. But once the clock hit 0:00 and the scoreboard read 24-20 in favor of MSU, there wasn't anyone with a bigger smile across his face than former Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins.
I caught up with Cousins in the locker room following the Spartans' memorable Rose Bowl victory.
BTN.com: Can you talk about how special it was to be part of this win tonight and what you saw out there with all the support Michigan State had at this game?
Cousins: It was very gratifying to see Coach Dantonio's program win this Rose Bowl. I was grateful to have a front row seat to such a special event. I'm so happy to see these fans get what they rightfully deserve. They have seen their fair share of hearbreak though the years and this is a special team here this year. Coach Dantonio has built a special program here.
BTN.com: You came so close to playing in this game during your time here. Can you take me through what it feels like coming back and how proud you are of seeing these guys complete this journey?
Cousins: I think it gives me a feeling of completion and closure to something that frustrated me for a while that we didn't make it. To see them get here and win it is amazing. I feel like the coaches here have built a program that didn't cut corners, that didn't compromise and that did things the right way. Coach Dantonio has recruited the right type of people in here and has a great coaching staff. As a result of that, I think that this thing is going to last for a long time.
BTN.com: One of the questions that people often ask Mark (Dantonio) is how much pride does he take in having players come back and talk with the players and show constant support for the program even after they leave? When he is asked that question, he always mentions your name in that conversation. Can you talk about what that means to you?
Cousins: It's gratifying. I believe coach has created a program where people want to come back. It's not just a team here, it's a program. There are a lot of past players who were here tonight, which shows you the type of support this program has. We are all Spartans and everyone has carried it with them wherever we go.