Bob Toledo Press Conference Quotes
I'll talk about the USC game real quick. You look at USC and like I told you last week, they have a good football team. There is a reason they were second in the conference in offense and fourth in defense. The thing that happened in this game is that they didn't make some of the mistakes they've been making to beat themselves in the prior games. They didn't throw any interceptions for example. They did make a field goal in the end and that's something that they've struggled to do.
Offensively, the thing that we wanted to do is we wanted to go into the game and not make mistakes and not lose the game. We did that. We didn't have any penalties on offense and we didn't have any turnovers. When you do that and you make very few mistakes, you usually have a chance to win, particularly offensively. The bad thing is that we didn't do a good job on third-down conversions. We didn't do a good job of converting and when you don't convert, you're off the field and the defense is on. We were 4-of-12 on third-down conversions. We had four drives for touchdowns. We only really had nine possessions in the football game, not counting the draw at the end of the half and of course the last play of the game when we just threw the ball up to try and make a play. We only had 51 offensive plays so it's hard to score a lot of points when that's happening. I remember looking on the field at one point when USC was out there and I looked back and saw Freddie (Mitchell), DeShaun (Foster), (Brian) Poli-Dixon and (Cory) Paus all sitting on the bench. You can't score points when your playmakers are sitting there watching the game. That was probably the most frustrating thing for me.
Defensively, we didn't execute very well. It's plain and simple. We had 17 plays that were really difference makers. Or they had 17 plays if you want to call it that. We just didn't execute. They had some big plays. They had five plays of over 10 yards running the football and they had four plays of over 20 yards throwing the football. They had one play of 19 yards as well. So they actually made about 10 plays that were big plays during the course of the game. (Carson) Palmer without a doubt played his best game of the year. He had career highs for touchdowns and yards passing. We missed 18 tackles during the course of the game. Some of them show up a little bigger then others because they came at rather inopportune times. We had five big penalties and that was probably the thing that was most disturbing as well because I told them that the thing we really wanted to do was beat ourselves. By having the big penalties just before the half and having that pass interference penalty really hurt us. They scored just before halftime when we had a big personal foul. We had a missed tackle. It was third-and-11 and we missed a tackle. They were trying to run the football and if we would've tackled them they would've had to punt. We had a double coverage on the receiver, it was a bracket coverage for the corner and the safety, and he ran right through the brackets and we didn't do a very good job of knocking him off his course and covering him. We score with 1:05 left in the game. We kick the ball and we kick it out of bounds. There is 1:05 left to go and they took the ball down the field for the winning field goal. There was a pass interference call in that as well. They only punted one time so we didn't make them punt very much. We punted times and we didn't punt as good as we normally punt and I think that hurt a little bit field position wise. The worst kick that we had was that last kickoff when we kicked it out of bounds and we gave them 15 yards right off the bat. That's the game.
Like I said, I was extremely disappointed and discouraged after the football game. It was a heck of a football game to watch, but a disappointing one to lose. The one bright thing is that we are going to a bowl game. We'll take this week off and wait to see where we are going. But regardless of where we are going, we'll be very excited to be in that bowl game. I've never been to a bad bowl game so our players and our staff will be looking forward to it.