Steven Jackson Quotes from Tuesday's Media Day

Oct. 14, 2003

Corvallis, Ore. - Talk about the state of the team:'So far as a team, we're 5-1 right now and 2-0 in the Pac-10 - that's what is most important. I think we're really starting to gel together. Our offense is really picking it up - we're leading the conference in total offense and that's something that we take pride in. As a team you want to be able to run the ball and throw the ball. Derek (Anderson) is looking really good.'

Talk about this week's game against Washington:'Washington is a tough team. Right now they're in a little slump, but they've got a win in the Pac-10 and they're going to come in here hungry. We know that if we want to advance and have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl, then we have to take each team very seriously - and that's what we're going to do.'

Does last year's loss at Washington (Huskies were on a two-game losing streak) keep this week's game in perspective:'Absolutely. They do a lot of different things on defense and are going to try to stop the run - we know that and we know they are going to put a lot of pressure on Derek (Anderson). That's what they did last year and if I was their defensive coordinator, I would try and do the same thing. We know that we are going to have to pass the ball and protect - I think we're up to the challenge. Our defense has to play sound like they have all season. If we play like we have the last four games, then we should come out on top.'

Talk about the challenge of having defenses focus on you:'I feel like I'm mentally and physically tough, so it's not something that really bothers me. I know it's coming, and that in itself, is saying that I'm doing a great job. I'm totally confident in the guys on the outside and in Derek (Anderson), that they can get the job done. All the guys keep pounding away and I'm just trying to get my yards. I'm not too concerned about it, I know I'm going to get mine. As long as we get a win, that's even better.'

Talk about the offensive line:'Right now the line is doing great. We've been blessed to not have any serious injuries to really hurt us - last year we had two of our tackles go down. The guys up-front are doing an excellent job. When you have your running back ranked one or two in the nation, that says a lot for them and it's a great testament to those guys. I want to make sure everyone knows that it's not Steven Jackson, it's my offensive line and I'm just doing a job. I've been blessed with a talent and I have an easier way to express it with a great offensive line in front of me.'

Talk about how the emergence of the tight ends has taken some heat off you:'Not only their emergence in the blocking game but their emergence in the passing game as well. Over the last couple of weeks they've been getting the ball down the field and when you see those guys making a couple of catches it does a lot to their confidence and makes them want to go out and play even harder. When they are playing harder, they are going to solidify the edge for me to get to the outside like we did against Cal. Those guys have a lot to do with my yards and they help me get to the outside and then all I have to do is turn on the burners. Every time I do get positive yardage I make sure that I thank my whole line.'

Do you have thoughts about the Heisman Trophy in the back of your mind?'Well, dealing with our program you have to put it in the back of your mind because you have to win. As long as we win, then I think my name will be mentioned and it has been mentioned. I've watched a couple of games and have noticed that I've gotten some attention around the nation which is good, but like you said, if I was at USC I probably would have a lot of hype around me right now. But that's something I understood when I signed my letter of intent to Oregon State - I knew that was something I'd have to deal with, I'm not too concerned with it. If I keep putting up the numbers I've been putting up, they can't ignore me for long.'

You're probably going to get some questions about what your status will be at the end of the year - are you answering those questions now?'I'm actually encouraging people to really try to hold off on those questions. I think it could really break the chemistry of the team and I don't really want my teammates wondering if I'm going to be back next year or not. What we have right now is so good, and I don't want the outside distraction to come in and break this up.'

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