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September 19, 2009
Quotes from UW 16 USC 13
WASHINGTON HEAD COACH Steve Sarkisian
-- On the overall effort of the Huskies:
"Wow. These press conferences keep getting better and better, from the day we get hired to this point. It was a great win, a great win against a very good football team. I'm very proud of our kids; that they just kept battling. Early on in that game, you would have thought we were going to get beat fifty to nothing. They were running the ball up and down the field; we were having a hard time getting out of our own way on offense. Our kids, to our coaches' credit - they kept them in the game. We kept battling. We kept competing. We took care of the football offensively and created turnovers on defense and that turnover battle is something we've been harping on coming into this game the whole time. We executed on special teams. I thought all those phases and key areas that we had emphasized coming into the ball game, we did it the way we wanted to do it. I can't say enough about Nick Holt and our defensive staff and the way our kids played on defense - to be resilient. They could have cashed it in. They kept battling, they kept competing. I don't think it was Jake [Locker]'s best night, but when we needed him, he made his plays. He found a way to stay in the game and I'm just really proud of him. I'm proud of our kids. It's a great moment. It's a great moment for our program. Hopefully it sends a message about where we're headed and what we're trying to do. It was just a great win over an excellent football team."
-- On the adjustments made after the team went down 10-0 in early in the first quarter:
"I think we played. I think our kids were kind of sitting, waiting, looking a little too long and Nick [Holt] stayed aggressive. We didn't back off of our game plan, we stayed aggressive. The kids kind of settled into the speed of the game and the speed and physicality they play with and we responded."
-- On going from 0-15 to beating No. 3 USC in two weeks:
"It's amazing. It's amazing. We've talked a long time about things that we wanted to get accomplished. We said early on that it wasn't going to take us very long and I firmly believe that. I think maybe some people in the world, maybe outside of our own little domain, thought that was just press conference speak. But when you get around our kids, you get around our coaches, I firmly believe that it's not going to take us very long. We've got a very good football team that knows how to prepare and play hard. They're focused. Are we perfect? By no means are we perfect. But we are a team that is willing to put in the time and the effort to do things that get you to a point where you get to battle and you get to compete. And then when you get to that point, if we can just keep doing things right, like we were able to do today, you find a way to win."
-- On Pete Carroll:
"We met up in the locker room. He was great. He's obviously a great coach. It was challenging for us offensively today. They do a tremendous job. They'll be fine, trust me. That team is going to win a lot of games this year."
-- On Erik Folk's development and the end of the game:
"Well hopefully he just continues to grow in a belief of what we do, how we do things and the way we practice. As much as everyone thinks that was just a chip shot field goal for Folk, that's still a field goal that he's never had to kick in his career either. I just thought our guys executed masterfully at the end, not just the scheme part of it, but the execution of working the clock, draining that thing down and making sure that it was our possession and it was the last possession of the game regardless of what happened. And they went out and did it. It was four-minute drills exactly how we do it. It worked out perfectly."
-- On Jake's performance in the final drive of the game:
"I think he just needs to keep playing the way he's been playing. He's played marvelously for us these first three games. I think he'd be the first to tell you that this wasn't his best football game, but that's a tough defense to have your best game against. Hopefully for us, we have more moments like that, but he doesn't need that drive to say that he's a good quarterback or not. He's a tremendous leader, he's a great quarterback and I was proud of him. He just executed in that final drive."
-- On Jermaine Kearse's performance:
"He had a great game. Jermaine is a kid that puts in the time and the effort. I really believe that there's not many guys who work harder than he does, on the field and off the field. That showed up today in some big catches, really big catches."
"I think it was good players making good plays. Jake obviously had to buy time. He kept his vision. I was proud of him. I think maybe earlier in Jake's career, he might have just pulled that ball down and started running, but he kept his vision alive and obviously Jermaine made a great catch on the sidelines."
-- On what happened on the sideline penalty:
"That was on Coach Holt. He was a little fired up today. It was a big penalty when you think about it. They would have been short of the first down and that gave them the first down, so we just gotta find a way - I gotta get a little rubber cord or something on him so I can just pull him back myself."
"We got warned about it early on. When you've got coaches like we've got - we're very intense, we're very excited, we're enthusiastic - we've got to have a little give and take. I don't want our guys standing back five yards just waiting. We want to coach - this is the way we coach in practice, that's the way we're going to do it in the game. We've just got to be smart. We need to be smarter. What happened was the official bumped into him. That's why the flag was thrown."
-- On what he told the team when they were down 10-0 early:
"We just brought them together and let them know that `Hey, it's 10-0, big deal. That's why we play four quarters, that's why there's 60 minutes.' You don't win the game in the first quarter. It's about continuing to compete. I think our kids are learning that. They're understanding that from the LSU game now to this. They're understanding the value of `Well we jumped on LSU early, does that mean we're going to win? No.' We got jumped on today. That doesn't mean we're going to lose. What we did learn is that in the fourth quarter, if you just keep doing things right, you give yourself an opportunity to win the game. I think we learned that between the LSU game and this game."
-- On what makes this win over USC special for him:
"I think the biggest thing that makes it special for me is I know how good those coaches are for SC. I know how good of a head coach Pete is, I know how good of a defensive coordinator he is, I know what those guys do and how they get their team prepared. So for me, there's a satisfaction in knowing how good they are, to go up and be able to play toe-to-toe and find a way to win at the end. For me, that's very satisfying because I know how good of coaches they are."
QB Jake Locker
-- On the moment:
"It kind of brings all of the reasons I came hear together. It's the tradition, the style of football and the winning attitude that I signed up for. To win a game like this is amazing and I can't really explain the feeling."
-- On going from 0-12 to beating No. 2 USC:
"I have said from the begining of last season that we had the talent to win football games, but we just found a way to lose them. It was the opposite of that tonight. We didn't play our best football, we made a lot of mistakes and left a lot of things out there. But we found a way to win a game."
"This is a great football team we played against and I have nothing but respect for them. I fully expect them to go undefeated the rest of the year. So, to be able and win a game against a team that's that good is very exciting."
-- On the third and 15 completion to Kearse:
It wasn't a play we had in the game plan and coach just called it up for that situation. I think you have seen it all year, when we are in those third and long situations he's not shy about calling a play that gives us a chance to get a first down and keep the chains moving. I appreciate that and I think the other guys do too."
-- On the celebration:
"It was crazy and I was out celebrating on the field. It actually got to the point that I was celebrating so much I had to get out of the middle because I wasn't feeling like I could breath in there. After that I tried to find my family and found my mom, my dad, my sister and girlfriend and was able to give them a hug, kiss and tell them I love them. I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for them so it's always great to celebrate things like that with them."
-- On the drive to win the game:
"I don't know what it means to me, but I know it means a whole to this team and this football program."
CB Quinton Richardson
-- On guaranteeing a win over USC:
"I was just saying that our coaches expect us to win. But all in all we played a great team today and we appreciate them coming out here today and we appreciate the opportunity to play in the Pac-10. Now we get to enjoy the win and just try to get used to this feeling."
-- On thinking they could win:
"As a team we felt like we could do it. We just had to talk with our pads tonight and really show them on our own."
-- On trash talking on the field:
"The guys were cool and I talked and shook hands with all of them. It's just about playing the game and sometimes we get emotional."
CB Desmond Trufant
-- On the whole experience as a freshman:
"I mean it was the best feeling I have ever had in my sports career. We have been working so hard since day one, in summer workouts and throughout camp, and now it's all paying off."
-- On playing so much as a freshman:
"I didn't expect it that much coming in because I'm a freshman. I was just going to work hard and try to get any playing time I could. They just gave me the opportunity and I was trying to do my best."
-- On his pass interference call:
"It might have been a penalty but that is just part of the game. I was just playing hard and we won so it's all good."
-- On the atmosphere:
"I try to just focus and approach every game the same no matter who it is. But I have been dreaming about this moment my whole life, so yeah, at some point I'm sure I thought about it all, but you just need to stay focused on your technique."
-- On the quality of USC:
"It's SC so they are going to have great players at every position. You have to approach every play with the mindset that you can't mess up. They are good players and we just battled hard."
-- On post game celebration:
"It was crazy, there were fans everywhere jumping around, we couldn't move, we were getting stepped on but it was a great experience
-- On game speed:
"Practice is very intense and very hard and we go full speed every play. That makes game time easier and really slows everything down for me. I don't have to think as much and I can just play."
S Nate Williams
-- On USC's ability to run the ball to open the game:
"That's all part of the game. One drive you will be able to hold them to a three and out, and another drive you will be gashed for long runs. We just kept ourself level headed and did what we needed to get stops."
-- On making adjustments:
"No we really didn't, we just stuck with the things we believed in and the things we had been working on all week in practice."
-- On forcing so many turnovers:
"It's a mentality, it's our practice habits, it's an attitude, it's everything. Coach Sark and coach Holt always tells us that who ever wins the turnover margin is usually going to win the game. We hit our mark today, the defensive line got pressure on the quarterback and with the strip attempts we were just on our game today."
-- On giving up so many passing yards against Idaho then shutting down USC's passing attack:
"I think last week we kind of played down to the level of our competition. That's never a good thing but I think it happened last week. Obviously with all of the hype around this game we were kind of jittery at first. I think that's why we didn't look to good on defense at first. But we just came to the sideline, calmed down, went through our adjustments and went out there and played ball like we know how to."
-- On coach's connection to USC gave them extra motivation:
"We take it one week at a time, one game at a time. We play for, the players that are on the field. We know about all of the ties to USC, but if we were to worry about that we wouldn't worry about what was happening on the field. So, we just kept ourselves level all day and played like we know how to."
WR Jermaine Kearse
-- On making two catches late in the game:
"It was important for all of us to focus on that last drive. The coaches were just telling us to relax and play how we normally do. Coach Dougherty told all of receivers to just relax and they really calmed us down."
-- On the 3 and 15 play call:
"There was some miscommunication in the huddle and Jake called the play. We ran it and I just had to make a play."
-- On the play on the sideline to get UW into field goal range:
"I was supposed to run the seam route and I got caught up with the defender. Then I saw Jake get flushed out towards my left and I just tried to get into an open spot. Jake threw a perfect pass right over the defenders head and it landed right in my hands."
-- On knocking over Jake Locker with a chest bump:
"I think I did, I was pretty excited. He's strong though but I was pumped."
-- On Jake's trust of Kearse to throw up the jump ball:
"I think the more I do it during the games the more he trusts me. It's a good thing for both of us, but all of our receivers have the ability to do that. I think Jake trusts all of his receivers to make the play and he will throw it up there for us all."
-- On Locker's final drive being a turning point in his career:
"It tells me that he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Not a lot of quarterbacks can do what he did today. He's just a tremendous athlete and can make a lot of things happen."
LB Donald Butler
-- On tackle to end the first half and not allow USC to kick a FG:
"Honestly it's not about the plays you make, but the plays you don't make. So the one that really sticks out to me was the dropped pick in the first half. I should have made that play. But that tackle was a good play and they weren't able to get the three points they wanted.
-- Did it carry over into the second half?
"Oh yeah, for them to be driving right before the half and them not make the play was huge."
-- On being the biggest moment in his sports career:
"Not at all, hands down this is the most crazy day I've ever experienced. Like I was telling the other guys, I'm going to be telling this to my children and grandchildren. I will be talking about today for a long time."
-- On the turnovers:
"When we went in at half time coach said 'this is a close game and a fight, but we need the ball, we need turnovers.' So, we just put an emphasis on getting the ball and strip attempts. It all starts in practice."
-- On USC's reaction to the turnovers:
"You could see their heads down and a little bit of bickering back and forth. But it's SC so they don't tend to show too much emotion, they just carry that swag - which they've earned, which they've earned."
-- On not letting down against Stanford:
"After we watch the film on Monday this game is behind us. We need to prepare the same way every single week. That is getting after it and hustling and always respecting our opponents."
-- On being the leader of the defense:
"I think that comes with being the middle linebacker. I go hard and try to be there for my teammates. If they need something I want to be there to make a play."
-- On what this win earned them:
"Respect! That is what our coaches preach going into every game. We need to earn the respect of our opponents because respect is never given. I think we did that today."
DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
-- On USC:
"I thought they were an excellent team. Their offensive line is always very good and very athletic. Their offensive line plays so well together and I think it showed in the early parts of the game. We just tried to stay in our gaps and get upfield. I think that our linebackers played great today."
-- On the change in the running game of USC in the first quarter compared to the rest of the game:
"I think that after the first couple of drives we realized that we just need to stop hesitating and go."
OG Ben Ossai
-- On being 1-0 in the Pac-10:
"How long has it been since we have been 1-0 in the Pac-10? How long has it been since we have beaten a top-10 team? Words cannot explain how I feel right now."
-- On beating the number three team in the country:
"I have never beaten the number three team in the country. I am not really sure how I am supposed to feel. But this is the best feeling in the world."
-- The feeling in the huddle on the last drive:
"We all just knew that we had to win. We knew we had to do anything and everything to win the game."
DT Alameda Ta'amu
-- On beating the number three team in the country:
"It was a great game, but as you can see, it is the best feeling in the world right now. I am speechless."
-- On creating a gameplan for a team with a four running back rotation:
"Coach always says out-hit and out-hustle and that is what we tried to do all day today. Eventually it worked."
-- On the feeling of the defense going into the fourth quarter:
"Just praying, just giving thanks to God."
USC HEAD COACH Pete Carroll
-- On Coach Sarkisian and Coach Holt:
"When you really like people you want good things to happen so I'm happy for them in that regard."
-- On his team's performance:
"When you play football like this, your chances of winning are so difficult. It goes right to me. For us to go out there and turn the football over like that, we fumbled many more times than we lost it, to be penalized on numerous occasions, change the field position. Really, we didn't get any better from last week. That's me. I'm not doing a good enough job of making points of how we win. If you look back at the games that we have lost over time, it's always turnovers, and usually there's penalties to accompany it. And that's what it was today. I think it was three times going in inside the thirty that we gave the football up. That's how you lose a football game. To their credit, that didn't occur for them. They held onto the football. They did a nice job. When they needed it Jake made great plays, their defense was capable of hanging in there. Even when you look at the yardage, it's heavily in our favor yardage wise, but this is how it happens. Turnovers and penalties will always have the chance to beat you and that's what this game is about. The other side of it, looking at it, we're not real good right now. We weren't real good last week either, to tell you the truth. We won a game and we got a great victory on the road but we didn't do a whole lot different than we did this week."
-- On Jake Locker:
"I think the difference in this game was Jake. I thought he was able to come up and make the plays when they really needed it in the last drive. The great scramble pass on the third down and long that he hit. We're sitting on the route waiting for the route to be thrown and he still made it. That's a great player. He didn't surprise me a bit. I thought we kept him under wraps for a while but when he had to have it he made it. That's what a great player does."
-- On going forward as a team:
"We've got to get back together. Getting winning and get right and do things the way we need to do them to be a good football team. Right now, we've got a long way to go."
-- On Corp:
"We didn't throw the ball very well today. It was obvious. We threw the ball for 110 yards and couldn't get the ball down the field. We rarely get in that situation."
QB Aaron Corp
-- On his own performance:
"Well, you know, we turned the ball over too much and I contributed to that. When you turn the ball over and you don't get any, you're not going to win. Any time you have turnovers it kills your momentum."
-- On if he got in rhythm:
"You know, I wish I had some stuff back. I didn't play well by my standards."
RB Stafon Johnson
-- On the game:
"We just beat ourselves. When you turn the ball over three or four times you ask to lose the football game. It doesn't matter what the stats say or what the score says, when you turn it over three or four times this is what happens. It started from when I turned the ball over, and I take full credit for that and I'll live with my mistakes."
-- On if sticking with the running game would have helped:
"I mean, you gotta hold on to the football. You never know what could happen if you don't hold on to the football. I mean, like I said, if you turn the ball over three or four times, that's what happens."
TE Anthony McCoy
-- On the game:
"They came out doing what we thought they were going to do, they just came to play today. Well, we made some mistakes. We got a lot to work on Monday, we're gonna watch where we went wrong and we're gonna clean it up and get ready for next game."
-- On the familiar coaching staff on the Husky sideline:
"They looked real similar to our offense and defense. Like I said before, they came out to play, and it shows. Our offense didn't come to play today and their defense did, and they came out with the victory."