Postgame Quotes from Washington State at #20/20 Arizona State

Nov. 13, 2004

Recap | Final Stats | Notes

Arizona State Head Coach Dirk Koetter
On the game...
'There were so many sidebars tonight. I can't do justice to the retiring of the Pat Tillman jersey and put his name and number up on the wall. He is a true American hero. It's such an honor for our players and coaches to wear the same uniform that he once wore. Couple that with our 13 seniors playing their final game on Frank Kush Field. We really went out and dominated the game. We got off to such a great start. When it comes so easy like that sometimes you're disappointed that you can't finish it off better. This team is unique in many ways. This team has usually found a way to get it done. I'm very proud of our guys and they did some great things tonight.'

On Andrew Walter...
'Andrew (Walter) was very sharp early. Washington State's plan was to try to blitz him and he made some beautiful throws. We finally found a team that challenged us to throw the deep post route and we love to throw the deep post route. We made some plays on it tonight and protected Andrew pretty well. We're going to miss that guy. There's no question about that. We do have nine starters coming back on this offensive unit so I think we're still going to be an explosive team next year too.'

On the defense...
'That's three weeks in a row I think our defense has played really well. Especially the first defense because they only really gave up a couple of plays. We're just not a very deep team. When we went to our subs in the fourth quarter it wasn't a pretty sight. But that's how you get your guys experience. Washington State didn't stop playing and I give them credit for that. I think we totally dominated the game and just didn't do a very good job of putting it away.'

On Washington State...
'In our preparation we knew that they were going to come after us. When you bring seven blitzers you're going to get a chance to make some big plays. You're going to look bad at times because of the blitz and you're going to look good at times because of the blitz. Washington State is in a situation where their starting quarterback is knocked out for the season and they are playing with a redshirt freshman. I think Alex Brink has a real future in this league but the Pac-10 is a league dominated by big time quarterbacks and they're going to have to wait until Brink can get a little bit more experience.'

On this senior class...
'I think Drew Hodgdon said it best. This senior class really did a nice job of seizing their opportunity. It's one thing to talk about it and it's another to do it.'

On giving a game ball to the Tillman family...
'After the game the Tillman family was in the locker room and we presented them with a game ball. It was just a small gesture on our part. I'm just so honored for our small part in paying tribute to a true American hero.'

ASU QB Andrew Walter
On the emotions of the night with the remembrance of Pat Tillman and being senior night...
'It was a challenge. This was one of the hardest games of my career to keep focused. Everything involved, including my last game at Sun Devil Stadium, honoring an American hero like Pat Tillman and trying to get a win and stay undefeated at home. There were so many things. Washington State was trying to win tonight to get to a bowl game and just so many things I had to keep in check. I'm glad that we were able to do that to some extent, but it was just a very hard day.'

On giving autographs to kids and trying to live his last moments at home...
'I tried to sign a few autographs and stay on the field as long as possible. I went back onto the field and did a double take, too. It was a sad day, but when you put it into perspective, me playing my last game at Sun Devil Stadium, or honoring a fallen hero like Pat Tillman, it is not even close.'

On the offense clicking...
'We came out to the field fired up. We wanted to do well, but we knew they were going to give up some big plays, especially because they try to heat us up with the blitz and so some of those we were able to protect and get the ball out that created big plays. We knew we had the capabilities to hit some big plays and the first few minutes of the game really helped us out.'

On why he came back to ASU for his senior year...
'I said the biggest reason for me to come back was to leave the football program in better hands than what I came into it. We accomplished that this season, being undefeated at home. This is very special and definitely the reason I came back.'

On the numbers he has produced...
'Personally, no, I never care about the numbers. At the end of the day I have said, if you get the win you might as well get everything. It was nice to get the records, but it doesn't even come close to me wanting to win. To me, it's all about the wins but if we get the win, a record is sure nice to get as well.'

On fans/last game...
'Tonight was a fitting tribute to our fans. We didn't have to sit through a nail biter. We started fast with three touchdowns and got up on them early. This game was sort of a farewell. I talked to Drew before the game and we really wanted to send a message and get up fast so we can sit fourth quarter. We accomplished that and it was a fitting tribute to our fans from the support they have given us and now the football program is going in the right direction.'

ASU WR Terry Richardson
On emotion of final home game...
'It wasn't just another football game; we wanted to come out strong. The emotions really set in when the game started. We never forgot what we were playing for and what we were trying to prove tonight. It was an honor playing in tonight's game. Playing for the seniors and for Pat Tillman, it was a special night.'

On challenges and emotions of going 6-0...
'Tonight, by itself, is just an honor and then when you add that on top of everything else, it feels good. Going undefeated at home feels great and I think that is a good place for us to be. It's a good starting point. It is something for us to build off of. It doesn't happen all the time and I think it is a good thing for the program.'

ASU WR Derek Hagan
On explosiveness of the offense...
'We came out on fire tonight. It all started with Andrew (Walter) hooking up with Matt Miller and then with Terry Richardson. Once Matt scored that first touchdown, we knew we were going to be on a roll. We put up 21 points in the first quarter and then we slowed down a little bit, but we kept fighting.'

On Hakim Hill...
'I thought that Hakim ran great tonight. He ran the ball hard and hit the holes well. He did what he had to do, whether it was running the ball or blocking. He came in knowing what his job was and we executed with him in there. That takes a lot of pressure off of Andrew (Walter), when you can get the run established. Hakim came in and did a great job.'

On challenges and pressure of going 6-0...
'It feels great. Going 6-0, undefeated, at home. We only have two losses and now we are looking forward to going down to Tucson to take on the Wildcats.'

ASU P Chris MacDonald
On the conversion of fake punt...
'It was hard to think about what I had to do because Coach Koetter called the play after we got on the field. I had a lot of confidence in Lee (Burghgraef) making the catch because he is a great tight end. I didn't have to make any reads and didn't have to think about a whole lot. I just had to throw the ball and it was a done deal. It was icing on the cake.'

On having more responsibility...
'When I get a chance to do something more for the team I take it as a great opportunity. As a specialist there is only so much you can do. When I am asked to do something extra I want to get it done.'

On chasing Michael Bumpus...
'It wasn't great because I didn't actually catch him. You can ask Jessie Ainsworth about who the better athlete is. I was just thinking about moving my legs, but as I chased him it felt like he was pulling away. Then I dove for his legs and he gave me a few high steps.'

ASU DE Kyle Caldwell
On the emotions of the final home game and Tillman tribute...
'Tonight was a great example of going out there and getting it done with it being senior night and the Pat Tillman dedication.'

On pressuring the QB...
'We knew they had a new young quarterback [Alex Brink], and that they were going to run some boots to give him more time. The defensive line really put some good pressure on him.'

On his interception in the first quarter...
'It is the defensive end's job to cover the back, so that was an assignment I should make. It was a fun play.'

On being 6-0 at home...
'It is a great honor. A great day to do it on being senior night and the dedication of Pat Tillman. You could not ask for a better way to end your season at home. Our work is not done for us, we have two more big games to go. We are defiantly going to have to prepare.'

Receiving credit around the area and the country...
'I don't even worry about credit, we are going out there and having fun and that is my main concern. I don't care about rankings or anything along those lines.'

ASU WR Matt Miller
On exploiting the defense...
'We knew if the safeties would take one step forward we were able to get pass them and Andrew [Walter] was able to throw the deep ball.'

On the game play of Andrew Walter...
'The receivers were on the bench saying ''Drew is on', which means we will be able to throw the ball deep. He threw it well.'

On the defense playing with a lead...
'It is very nice. A lot of people were saying if we keep scoring points like that we would be able to get some of the secondary players in the game, which made them excited. We just got to keep it up and win the next game against U of A.'


Washington State Head Coach Bill Doba
'I've been better. They outplayed us. Their kicking game was better. We missed a short field goal and they punted the ball well. I guess there is a reason that they won eight games this year. I was scared to death of [Andrew Walter] coming into the game and unfortunately he didn't prove me wrong. He just threw the ball on the money. They had guys open and when they were, he put it there. He's a good player.'

On the time in the pocket that Andrew Walter had...
'We were blitzing and trying to put pressure on him, but he did a nice job. Their offensive line picked up on our blitzes, and we thought we had a couple schemes that might work. We got to him a couple of times, but you can't sack a guy when he takes a timed drop on play-action and gets a five-step drop. He just threw it in there. The biggest thing was that he threw it to them and their receivers made some good cuts. We didn't do a good job in the secondary of covering them. We had a couple missed assignments and just got in the hole. We got behind early and there will be better days.'

On ASU's offensive line picking up blitzes...
'They were slide protecting and you have to guess which way they are going to slide it. We were trying to come off bringing four to the weak side and fit on the running back. They guessed right more than we did, or, we guessed wrong, I should say. Credit to them, I thought they played well

On seniors...
'I just said sorry because we didn't get that winning season for them, but they have the chance to do something that we haven't done in a long time around here and that's beat Washington. We still have one to play for and it will be our bowl game. We've come close in a lot of ball games and gotten beat three times. This was one of them along with Oregon State and USC. I have to give my guys credit. They kept battling and we just didn't quit.'

On 21-14...
'I thought we had a chance. Of course, we got stuck on a punt return. We didn't have a sustained drive on offense like we did last week, at least not early in the game. I think that you have to have that sustained march down field to really to set your offense up. We were scrambling all night. We got behind early and kept scrambling the rest of the night.'

On the seniors and their last Apple Cup...
'Again, it's a tight-knit bunch full of camaraderie. Winning is everything I guess but they are still a team and if you've ever participated with a bunch of guys where you bleed and sweat, you can't put a value on it, as the ad says, `It's priceless.' There will be memories of wins and losses, but it would sure be nice if they could go out with a win over the Huskies.'

WSU QB Alex Brink
On beginning behind...
'It's a tough situation for a team to go down by seven, fourteen right off the back. We struggled as we obviously do when we get behind. It was a tough situation.

'I think in some ways it throws your game plan off. At the same time, we tried to stick with what we were doing in the first half and it kind of got a way from us.

On bringing it back to within a touchdown after the big first quarter deficit...
'Once we got within a touchdown, we really felt like we could make a comeback and make a run at it. But we just didn't make the plays when we needed to and weren't able to sustain it.'

On the lack of the running game...
'It comes back to the inconsistencies on offense. If I missed a throw or we had a drop or a missed block, something like that, those things just tend to jump up and bite us at the worst times.

On not making a bowl game this season...
'The Apple Cup is our bowl game and we need to go out and get that. These seniors have not won one of those so we are going to go out, play as hard as we can, and get the job done.'

WSU SB Michael Bumpus
On punt return...
'It was a max-protect, so I knew I was going to have some time. I got the ball, and made the first guy miss. I forgot who it was, but I picked up a good block on number 89. I was kind of disappointed the kicker caught me. I knew it was the kicker, so I knew he really didn't want to tackle me. I just waited for him to go at my feet, I anticipated it so I could get a little hop out of it. I thought it was a whole different game after that. We had momentum on our side, unfortunately we couldn't carry it over for the rest of the game.'

On problems...
'I am not sure. They made plays. It is hard to stop a team when they have guys out there making plays. We made some plays, but not enough. That is what football is. Who is going to make plays?'

On Jason Hill's record TD catch...
'J-Hill (Jason Hill) is a great receiver. I am happy he got to break the record. I wish he could have broken it in a game we would have won. It is kind of bittersweet. He works hard in practice, and he plays to the end. That is an example. We were down by like 30 points, and he was still playing hard. He caught three or four passes in a row, and got that touchdown.'

On fumbles...
'I get on myself, because I know I am better than that. I don't know what it is. You go over fundamentals and everything in practice, look the ball in, possession first. Once I got back, my teammates calmed me down, and I felt like I could take one back.'

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