Quotes from Derek Hagan's Monday Press Conference

Sept. 12, 2005

Tempe, Ariz. - On breaking John Jefferson's record:'Right now, it is something great that has been broken because it has stood for many, many years. Obviously, records are made to be broken and maybe in a few years from now, maybe my record will be broken by someone else.'

On recovering from the loss:'It was a tough loss because we know in our minds, after watching the film, that we should have won that game. Now we have to put the game behind us and we are looking ahead to Northwestern. We have to get focused for the next week.'

On the confidence from hanging with the No. 3 team:'A lot of the guys have been talking about how we are a good team. We have a great team and we know that we can compete. We have to come out playing hard and make sure to play four quarters of football. That is what we did on Saturday. We didn't get the outcome that we wanted, but I think that as long as our guys keep their heads on straight, we will have a great season.'

On Northwestern:'We know that they are very inexperienced, but they are going to be ready to play. Obviously, they are going to be up to come down here and play at Sun Devil Stadium, and hopefully we can restart the trend of not losing on our home field. We really feel bad about losing last week, but we have to get ready for this week. Northwestern is another team that we have to play before the Pac-10 schedule rolls around.'

On Sam Keller's performance:'Coming in, we've always known that Sam is a great player. He loves to compete and he comes in every day ready to work. All the work that he does on the practice field bleeds over to what he able to accomplish on the playing field. It shows. He comes out fired up and he puts the ball in the right spots for the receivers to catch the ball. He is just a great competitor and a great all-around player.

'Coming into a big game, it was one of the biggest starts of his career. He came in and just put the ball in perfect spots. It's the best thing that can happen for a receiver. We are out there running routes and when we turn around, the ball is right there. It is just great to know that we have a quarterback that can make plays like that.

'We've worked out with Sam for the past two or three years. Obviously, he was behind Andrew (Walter), waiting his turn. He's finally got his shot and he is showing everyone what he can do. His range of motion is pretty different (from Andrew's), but overall they both put the ball in the right spot when it needed to be there.

'He is very, very confident. He came in and has been working hard since the summer program. He has been in the weight room getting stronger and obviously on the practice field. He has been working on the little things to get better and everything that he has done during the summer is showing on the playing field right now.'

On Dale Robinson and the defense:'Dale is a great player. He is one of those guys that always makes plays. When we are in the film room, we are always watching him. Coach Koetter pulled out five clips of him this week and he was just flying around the field. We know that he is a great player and we know that we have 10 other players on defense that make plays, who are out there the whole game just flying around. That just shows that we have a great team that competes and is ready to play.'

On the final drive against LSU:'It was very surprising that we didn't score. We are always working on situations like that in practice, where we are against the clock with 1:15 to go. In practice, we are usually able to march it down and kick a field goal or score a touchdown, and that's what we were trying to do on Saturday. We expected to march down and score, but unfortunately we got stopped at about the 20 yard line and we couldn't punch it in from there. We just didn't execute. We got down there and we stopped executing. That was our main problem.

'LSU came out for that last series and changed up their coverage on us. They played a little bit of cover 2 man defense and both receivers were pretty doubled up. They left the middle wide open. But it comes down to a lack of execution on that final drive. We were marching and marching, but we got down to the 30-yard line and our offense just stalled from there.'

On the atmosphere in the stadium against LSU:'It was very exciting. When we were out there, we had a whole lot of fun. We just loved competing against LSU. Obviously, they took the lead, and then we took the lead, and then they took the lead, and we took the lead again. It was just a great feeling knowing that we can do so many different things and no one on our team was going to give up.

'It was definitely (an uplifting experience). Not winning the game is pretty hurtful right now, but we have to put that behind us. We have nine more games to go and hopefully we can go 9-0 over these next weeks.'

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