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September 14, 2011EAST LANSING - Kirk Cousins has thrown for 5,263 yards, completed 422 passes with 38 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions since throwing his first pick of the 2009 season at the 1:10 mark of the fourth quarter in his first career road start at Notre Dame.
But during the 20 minutes or so the three-year senior captain was available for questions after practice on Tuesday, Cousins answered more questions about that interception than any other topic.
"When you are running a two-minute drill during your first start on the road in a place like that, you are going to learn some things and certainly I did that," explained Cousins. "I have made many more mistakes since then. I have made many more great plays since then. That is part of playing quarterback.
"Tony Romo is an eight-year veteran in the NFL and the other night he threw an interception that lost the game. It happens, it is part of playing football, and it happens to the best of us. The important thing is that you get back up and that you get better and that you learn from it."
Michigan State's senior quarterback has gotten up, gotten better, and done everything in his power to learn from past mistakes over the course of the 24 games he has started Spartans his last trip to Notre Dame Stadium.
"I think I've come a long way," Cousins explained. "We won 11 games last year, we won a Big Ten championship, and had the most wins in school history. I remember coach Dantonio saying after that game that 'Kirk will rise again.' I believe that he was right. I don't believe that interception is what defined me that year or the year after. I think it is important that no matter what happens in athletics, whether it's a failure or success, that you stay level-headed and even-keel and just keep working. We are hoping for better result than '09 this week. We will work hard to make sure we can get it."
Cousins is not looking to revise the past. He is focused on leading his team to victory.
"I am just excited as a competitor," explained Cousins. "I am someone who wants to go back there and get a better result. I think the focus has to be that I can't do it alone. It is about team, about 11 guys working together as one unit. I can't try and do too much by myself. I am going to rely on my teammates."
Video: Cousins on ND, player development and more
Click the video below to watch Cousins touch upon a number of topics related to this weekend's game.
The Spartan senior discusses the ongoing development of the O-line and the potential benefit of facing a 3-4 defense for the second consecutive week.
Cousins also shares his thoughts on the emergence of senior fullback Todd Anderson and the return of Bennie Fowler to Michigan State's rotation at wide receiver.