Quotes from Arizona State Quarterback Rudy Carpenter

Sept. 17, 2007

On opening Pac-10 play:
'Game one, Pac-10, it's a big one for us, especially since Oregon State beat us last year. We have a lot to prove this week. Opener of the Pac 10 season, it's for real now.'

On Oregon State:
'Well, they dominated us last year. They have a pretty good liner backing core and up front they're pretty physical. I think it's going to be the toughest challenge for our offense so far this year and we have to have a good week of practice so we can be up for that challenge.'

On the state of the team:
'Well, we're 3-0 and I think the biggest difference between this year and last year is we were 3-0 but we weren't playing very good on either side of the ball and this year I think we've played well on defense and on offense to a certain extent. I do believe that once get Ryan Torain and Brent Miller back healthy we can be a lot better. This week was also Rudy Burgess first week back in so that's going help the team as well. But, I am happy where we are and where we will hopefully be on Saturday.'

On the running game:
'Well, anytime you can get 160+ yards, or whatever we're getting, makes the pass game a lot easier for me and the wide. You force the defense to play certain coverages and do certain things. It just makes it a lot easier and one it takes all the pressure off of making big plays and even more importantly defense has done a good job of keeping us ahead in the game and not letting them score. So we don't have to throw the ball deep down field to try and make big plays, so therefore we can let the running game do the work for us, which is where our strength is right now.'

On the protection:
'Oh, yeah I only got sacked once, and that was my fault, I should have thrown the ball away, but I only got hit 2 or 3 times. It was good this week; I kind of wish every week was like that.'

On the team compared to the rest of the Pac-10:
'I see it the same as coach, and everybody else. It's really hard to tell. Everyone is pretty even it seems and everyone can really be anyone at any given week. It's just a crazy game. Oregon State beats Utah and UCLA is supposed to be better than everyone and they lose to Utah. It's weird and different, but that's what makes it fun though. You got to be ready to play every single week and we can do that by starting with Oregon State this week.'

On Rudy Burgess:
'That was Rudy's first touchdown since the Insight Bowl and I think everybody remembers how good he was. He went to the Sun Bowl and the Insight Bowl. He's such a good player and contributor on our team and we haven't had him so to get him back. It was a huge difference. I'm not sure how many catches and yards he had, but I know it was a good amount and he made a good play on touchdown catch, but that's just going to make our team more dynamic and more explosive on offense and also a little more experience. Once the season progresses that experience is really going to help our receiving core.'

On his receiving core:
'Yeah, and those guys are playing real well. Kyle [Williams] is an unbelievable player, Mike Jones has made some good plays this year and the guy really who I think is the guy is Chris McGaha. We haven't really gotten him involved like we should and that's my part on giving him the ball. But now we have Rudy Burgess and I think we have a really good wide receiving core and it's a group of guys who can make a lot of plays and are smart. The difference between this year and last year is that they are actually making those plays like the catch Kyle had against Colorado and Mike Jones had some big catches on third down, which are huge for us. Those guys are really good; I just got to give them the ball more.'

On the similarities between ASU and Oregon St.'s defense:
'Yeah, but the personal is still different, which makes it different. Unlike last week, those guys do a lot of the same things as last year. But obviously it's a lot easier because we can go against our defense and practice so the looks will be similar and they'll have more carry over.'

On the coverage:
'I think that's what I've been able to do really well: getting out of passing plays and getting into running plays. Now it's just the next step for me. Just like the two interceptions I saw coverage and knew coverage, I just made a bad decision every time. I think that's just a part of experience and getting better as a quarterback and continue doing a good job.'

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