Quotes from the Post Game Press Conference Versus Oregon State

Sept. 22, 2007

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Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson:
On the game:
'There's no question it was a great comeback. When you're down like that and we screwed it up and turned it over, and the punt snap over his head, and we weren't on all cylinders. But one thing about it, we kept competing. They were moving the ball on us really in the first half, and we shut them down pretty good in the second half. Then, offensively, we made a lot of big plays in the passing game. They took the run away from us. They're good against the run, other than the one that Ryan broke. I thought we threw the ball and caught it extremely well.'

On QB Rudy Carpenter:
'It was a great effort by Rudy. He scrambled out a number of times and made big plays. The one to Mike Jones for the touchdown was a scramble early that put us back in there. I thought Rudy had a heck of a game. He's a warrior; he's a competitor, I've said this all along. He just fights like heck to give himself a chance to win.'

On the defense:
'We got some big plays, interceptions, and that was just such a key. They got a late hit on them down at the end, which was a huge deal for us, kind of shows you how bad those things can be. We just had guys make plays.'

On coming back from a 19-0 deficit:
'I can't say enough about those players and what they did. Our coaches did a nice job on both sides of the football. In a game that's tight, it's going back and forth, and they had to make a lot of adjustments at halftime and during the game on both sides of the football. They were throwing that bubble screen for 10 yards a shot early, and then we were able to kind of slow it down a little bit. I guarantee you we'll see that from now on. The coaches made darn good adjustments and that really helped.'

On the pass blocking improving through the game:
'We didn't switch up anything. Really I think they got a little tired. You get tired of pass rushing after awhile. What they were doing is they were really widening their ends, and that's what they got their rush, and the middle was pretty solid, so we were able to step up inside, and Rudy was able to throw the football inside.'

On the play of the special teams units:
'It's unbelievable. Weber kicked it really well. Our guys went down and covered those kickoffs every single time. Then we get the onside kick, which it's never over tell it's over, so my stomach was a little tight on that one. We had the bad snap, the one bad snap, which actually that was a good play by Johnson, by taking a knee in there and only giving up two points. I thought our teams, on all sides, punt cover, because Sammie Stroughter is a good return guy, and we were able to get down and cover him.'

On kicking at the end of the fourth quarter:
'It was dumb to even think about going for it. I don't know what I was thinking about. Finally I called time, because I knew it was wrong. I'm thinking if we kick a field goal, even I wasn't a real good mathematician, but I do know that they have to score three times. I think it was an ego thing, where we wanted to get it in the end zone, and I shut those egos down pretty fast.'

On next week's game at Stanford:
'We got to learn to play on the road. We're going to savor this one for at least another few hours. Look at the tape and see where we're at. Stanford can score a lot of points. We've got to become road warriors. We've got two on the road, so we've got to become really good players on the road.'

Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter
On the atmosphere on the sidelines when down 19-0:
'We've been there before, against Colorado we were down 14-0. In both those games the points we gave away were just because of turnovers and we were killing ourselves really. We knew that our defense was going to stop them eventually and we just had to score some points which is really what we did later in the game.'

On his play post interception:
'Interceptions are going to happen, turnovers are going to happen. The interception I had; if I had a split second more to throw it I would have had a touchdown, but I got hit and those things happen. You can do one of two things: you can go in the tank or you can try to bring your team back. Being the leader of the team I have to stay poised and come back. I think it's all just a part of what goes on. I think this is my 22nd start or something like that so you just live and learn.'

On the running game:
'I think coming into the game Oregon State was only giving up about sixty something yards a game rushing so we knew they were going to have a good rushing defense. Part of our plan was to throw the ball. Obviously anytime we can get our run game going we want to do that but we couldn't so we threw it tonight. It's just part of the game. We had made some big plays later in the game in the run but overall it was good.'

On if they changed protection at halftime:
'We didn't change protection we just made sure everyone knew their assignments and knew what they were doing. We weren't exactly sure what they were going to do to us pressure-wise and we saw throughout the first half what they do. We didn't change anything we just made sure the guys knew their assignments and who they had to block. Once we did that we were fine.'

On being comfortable throwing out of the pocket:
'I'm pretty comfortable with it. It's something that's a part of my game. I think it's huge because the defense thinks they have you down and you can make a big play on the run. I think it really kills the defense and overall I feel comfortable doing it.'

On coming back from behind:
'It's good. I think Oregon State when they lost to Cincinnati everyone jumped off their bandwagon. I still think they are a good football team, they beat Utah who last week beat UCLA pretty heavily. College football is a crazy game but coming back, like coming back from the Colorado game 14-0 was going to play a huge dividend coming in the season and this was the first game where that really showed. I think coming back this week is going to be huge again going against the rest of the Pac-10. Every Pac-10 team is good and it's hard to come back from a 19-0 deficit, but we did it and we won pretty convincingly.'

Arizona State LB Robert James
On the defense:
'They got up due to us misaligning. The linebackers went into the right gaps. So we got to the sideline, made the adjustments and came out ready to go.'

Arizona State WR Mike Jones
On the secondary of Oregon State:
'I struggled with it, but I saw a few weaknesses in their coverages and they kept rotating to the right side corner. We just took advantage of the new guy; I think he was a freshman that came in. I'm guessing Rudy saw it and exposed him.'

On the comparison of last seasons Pac 10 play to this season:
'Last year was a different story; we were all young. We didn't really get that much experience, but last year was a lesson. This year we stepped it up and had a plan. We had to get the respect of everyone in the Pac-10.'

On the affect of last year's game:
'For me, I just wiped out last year's game until we had to prepare for it this year. We saw a couple of clips from last year's game and we were just absolutely terrible. I don't know about the defense or anything, but we were absolutely terrible in the rain and the cold. No one made any plays and we had a lot of injuries. This year in the back of our heads we had payback. We showed it tonight.'

Arizona State SS Troy Nolan
On his interception that lead to the score that put them ahead:
'It was real exciting, I knew I had to make a play. I just wanted to make a play for the team just to get us back on top and get our momentum going in our favor.'

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley
On the game:
'There are probably a lot of plays that we'll look at tomorrow and say it could have been different. It didn't have to be like that. We made way too many errors to beat a good football team. We certainly had our opportunity and it was bitterly, bitterly disappointing.

'We had a chance to do something we hadn't done in quite awhile and we let it slip away. It would have been great for our football team but we didn't earn it, they did.'

On what's next:
'We'll go back and go to work. Believe it or not I am really excited to get back to work with this team because I saw some things that I am really looking forward to going to work on with them.'

Oregon State QB Sean Canfield
On the game:'There were a bunch of little things that turned the game and too many turnovers.'

'Early on I don't think they were pressuring us as much as they were later. We just have to play better than that.'

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