Quarterback Andrew Walter's Quotes From Monday's Press Conference
Oct. 25, 2004
On the UCLA game and having the opportunity to win a close game:
'It was a roller coaster ride up and down for the whole game. We just about gave the game away. Personally, I thought I almost gave the game away. It was nice to finally have one of those at home. We've had some of those on the road, North Carolina last year and Oregon a couple of years ago, and to get one of those games in front of your home fans is pretty sweet.'
On his impression of Aaron Rodgers.
'He's a fundamentally sound quarterback. He is someone in which the Cal coaching staff can rely on throws a lot of short passes. He uses timing within the system and he plays awesome. He does everything they ask of him, I'm sure. He's had a great couple of seasons.'
On how he would describe himself as a QB:
'I am someone who can make the big throw when the game is on the line. I was a little inconsistent this last game, but by and large, everything coach asks of me, I'll do. Whatever that is, throwing a block or whatever, anything that need to be done, I'll do it.'
On things that can turn around ASU's inconsistency:
'I think focus has a lot to do with it. It was an emotional game and I think sometimes if you let your emotions get to you, you can tend to lose a little bit of focus. I think guys can retain that when we've done a great job of preparing all week in practice. I assume we'll do the same this week. When we keep emotions in check to a point where it doesn't start affecting guys mentally, I think that is also a big part of being prepared.'
On what USC taught him about preparing for big conference road games:
'It's hard. That game was so bad all around that it's hard to take anything positive away from it. If there was anything, it was experience. I've always said that Cal and USC are the two top teams in the conference and we have to beat one of them if we want to be on their level and climb the ladder.'
On how ASU was able to bounce back from a tough loss to USC:
'I think that everyone in the locker room knew that this game against UCLA was a must-win. Coming off getting waxed and then retuning home to play a team that was very hungry for a win, it was an emotional game for us because we had to defend our home turf. The whole course of the game was up and down because of the turnovers on both sides. All of that leads to a roller coaster feel.'
On the emotions of ASU in a must-win game:
'When we can keep those in check when the game is on the line, we won't bleed IQ points. You bleed out of your cleats. If you can keep your emotions together, then you won't start making those mental mistakes.'
On what he did differently in the final 2 drives of the UCLA game:
'When the game is on the line and you don't have anything to lose, you play a lot differently. We were down by two scores in the fourth quarter and so we sort of had to throw everything in the game plan out the window. The calls ended up being perfect considering UCLA's defensive sets combined with a great effort from Terry [Richardson]. It was guys just stepping up and saying `let's go do it.''
On the touchdown to Derek Hagan to bring ASU within 5 points:
'It looked like they started the play in a Cover 2 shell and dropped a safety right at the snap. It was basically one-on-one with the corner outside and a safety in the middle of the field. Derek made a good route and the pump fake wound up helping the corner make his mind up. He [Hagan] slipped by him and it was just a great timing play.'
On being relaxed in high pressure situations:
'When you're down 21 and 22, and the offense is coming off the bench, it's a matter of feeding off of the guys around me who are making big plays throughout the course of the game. When the game is on the line and everything is stacked up against you, there's a sense of freedom. You have nothing to lose and people already think that you're going to lose , so you might as well just play.'
On handling ASU's tumultuous tailback situation:
'It's a very interesting situation. We've been just like the Bad News Bears, putting whoever we have left back there. Our guys have done a great job of stepping up though. We don't know who is going to be in the backfield from week to week. On Tuesday, when we show up in practice, we find out who it's going to be this week.'
On the comparisons to other great college quarterbacks:
'More so in the past than now, I have been [comparing myself]. Watching guys like Carson Palmer and Kyle Boller, you can see what parts of their game you like and would like to work on yourself. I used to do it more in the past than now because at this point, its moot because I am who I am.'
On getting excited about facing a talented quarterback like Aaron Rodgers:
'Absolutely, its's always a fun thing. Two weeks ago, it wasn't a fun thing, but anytime you play against a guy who gets a lot of attention from the media, it's very fun to play against those guys.'
On his impressions of the Cal defense:
'Cal's defense is awesome. They just don't make mistakes. Statistically, they should have won the game at USC. They're very aggressive. They fly around the field and they hit you and force turnovers as well. And they're playing at home. So, they have a lot going for them.'
On the importance of the UCLA win:
'I think it was very important. To blow a team out, you don't have to show character. When everything is going great, it's easy to be happy and positive. When things are going bad, [to comeback the way we did] shows what a team is made of rather than just blowing a team out. I think in the long run, it helps us out a lot.'
On the wide receivers:
'Within the course of the game, we were just a little bit off. I have great confidence in those guys. Terry [Richardson] is so athletic and does so much. He's somebody who you need to get him the ball. He can make a guy miss on reverses, short passes, whatever. I feel real confident going to those guys. We were a little bit off and we can't do that next week.'
On the difference with this senior class as opposed to past senior classes:
'Our experience and attitude is different, especially coming off of how we performed last season, but it's not just seniors. We have some juniors and sophomores who are helping lead this group. Zach Miller is a freshman and is a leader with his play. Having to go through last year's season with these guys, who are so competitive, it hurt so much. But there are only two ways to go after that: You can work hard in the off season and have guys follow you or you can revert back and have another 4-7 season.'
On Cal's defensive pressure on opposing quarterbacks:
'Cal's defense has an engine that doesn't quit. Their linebackers just fly around the field and get in the backfield, regardless of whether the quarterback is in shotgun. That's what teams like us have done under center and they still come after the quarterback.'