Matt Masifilo is a defensive end, a mechanical engineering major and a Hawaii native — which means there's never a dull moment.
The Stanford senior talked to The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson about his unique background as well as some Xs and Os leading up to the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State.
People in Oklahoma know about the Stanford offense, but what should they know about the defense?
We run a very aggressive, disciplined defense that up front likes to get off the ball and get in the backfield. We have very physical linebackers. We have our secondary that brings the attitude to our defense.
Doesn't every secondary do that?
Exactly. They bring the juice, and it gets everyone going.
So, what do you guys on the line bring?
We bring the dirty work. That's how we've structured it from camp. The D linemen hold the shovels, then the linebackers have the toolbox and the secondary has the hard hats. It's just the hierarchical order of labor in a construction site. You have the cheap, hardworking labor up front, then the middlemen, then the boss of the office.
You've faced great offenses in the Pac-12, but what's the biggest challenge specific to OSU?
They're just a very explosive offense and also very powerful, too, especially up front. They're probably the best offensive line that we'll face all year. It's just a matter of not letting them engulf us up front.
You're from Hawaii. Any other Hawaiians on the squad?
No, but there is a guy coming in next year. The status quo is one guy at a time. (Laughs.)
As a Hawaiian, do you try to expose your teammates to anything unique or different?