Toby Gerhart and the Vikings host Green Bay today. A win puts Minnesota in the playoffs for the first time in Gerhart's three years in the NFL. A loss most likely eliminates the Vikings from playoff contention, but it also comes with a silver lining for the former Stanford star.
"If we're out of the playoffs, I'm going to head out there for the Rose Bowl," Gerhart said.
Earlier this week I had a few minutes to chat with Gerhart, who is promoting the VIZIO Fandemonium sweepstakes. (Stanford is trailing Wisconsin, so start making some noise on Twitter and Instagram with #VIZIOStanford for a chance to win awesome daily prizes, including TVs and more.)
How much have you followed Stanford football this season?
I watch most of the games. This year it kind of got screwy with the Pac-12 network, but I watched every game for the most part. I think they’re a great team. They play well rounded football. Stepfan Taylor has had a heck of a year breaking all the records. Kevin Hogan stepped in making plays with his legs and his arms. The biggest improvement since I’ve been there is the defense. It's one of the top defenses in the nation and I’ve tweeted before games about the party in the backfield. They're just a well rounded team and I think that’s a reflection of Coach Shaw.
What do you remember about Shaw from your days on the Farm?
He was definitely a great coach. He just has great coaching lineage with his father. You could just see the football intelligence that he had. He was the opposite of Harbaugh, who was a yeller and a screamer. He can get fired up and when he does it's impactful.
What do you remember about the Sun Bowl?
It was huge. It was our first bowl game in I don’t know how many years and it just felt like the rebirth of Stanford football. It was a special experience to be a part of that team.
Any predictions for the Rose Bowl?
We’re going to win, obviously. I'll say 28-17. Montee Ball might get lucky and break one here or there.
At the beginning of the season, it looked like you'd be the guy in Minnesota. Now Adrian Peterson has a chance to set the single-season rushing record. What's this season been like for you?
It's been interesting. All signs were pointing to me kind of getting the load at the beginning of the season. I had a fantasy team for the first time this year and I remember checking after the first week and seeing the most dropped player was me. I got all these texts and tweets of people saying, 'I can’t believe I drafted you.' I'm thinking, 'It’s not my fault, the guy came back better than ever!' I try to prepare every year with a chance to be the guy. For me, it’s tough, I want to be on the field as much as possible. At the same time, I’m witnessing history and I’m learning from one of the best of all time. We complement each other well on the field and off the field. We're also one win away from going to the playoffs.