Quotes from Quarterback Rudy Carpenter's Monday Press Conference

Sept. 24, 2007

'Tim (Healey, voice of the Sun Devils) first of all, I don't know if you guys heard my interview on the radio, I just want to apologize for that. I really did not mean to do that. I really do apologize. I won't do that again. I apologize.'

On the importance of getting a Pac-10 win in California:
'To be honest with you, I think that the lack of success in California is something everybody else really talks about, I haven't really thought about it until you just mentioned it. Every game is really important to us to try to get a win and that's really all we've been thinking about. Coach has been stressing just one game at a time and this week it's just number five. We're really more worried about that than where we are playing or who we are playing. I think that's where he's going with; it's a business trip. We're playing in the same stadium where we're going to do all the same things we do except fly two hours. That's the only difference, so that's what we're trying to treat it as.'

On his performance in last week's game against Oregon State:
'I was happy we got the victory and after I watched the film I thought I played pretty well. I was a little disappointed in the fumble that we had, I guess they called it a fumble, because that was just a bad decision on my part. Those are the types of things I really want to get better at and I've been trying to get better at all year. When I make mistakes like that it really does bother me, but I think overall I though I played well, especially against a good defense like Oregon State. I think just how the game started, 19-0, we had to find a way to come back. That was the thing I was most proud of, was just to find a way to come back, whether it was running the ball, throwing the ball, and just trying to make plays, that was the thing I was most happy about. Obviously I wish I could just stand back there and be up 21-nothing, instead of down 19-nothing and throw the ball and run it; it would be a lot easier, but I was happy we came back and we fought.'

On making plays on the pocket:
'I used to complain about being on a terrible high school team when I was younger, but I really do believe that was one of the best things that ever happened, because it taught me a lot on how to make plays and how to get out of things and it's really just instincts, I don't know how to do it and I don't know how I do it, but it's just one of those things that kind of just happens. I'm glad I'm able to do it. It's fun sometimes too when you can get out there. It's not always fun getting hit like that, but it's fun when you can help your team out.'

On the development of the receiving core
'Well, these guys, they played with me a lot last year, when our other guys went down and they've been around me for a while. I think they know that when I'm back there the play is not over until the whistle is blown and they've done a great job staying alive and coming back to the ball and trying to find where I am and try to get open for me to make some plays. So, I don't have to run and take the extra hits. I'm sure you guys remember the play when the ball was hit out of my hand and it got fumbled, and I picked it up and threw it down field to Tyrice [Thompson]. He was tracking me the whole way trying to find where I was and he made a great play on the ball which was a big play in the game. A lot of the big plays came off broken plays and you know our receivers did a great job helping me out, staying alive, and it's really one thing we've talked about a lot and we practice and practice too, because it's something we have to practice.'

On Mike Jones and the rest of the receivers
'I think that what that group has done, I think what they did a little bit more than last year and years past, is they've really been coachable. They've really taken Coach Yarbor and Coach Erickson's coaching and then used it in practice, which carries over to the game. I think the other thing to, is we talk and we meet a lot and they understand what I'm looking for and what I'm trying to do in certain situations. I think more than anything we're just all on the same page, where as last year, everyone had their own agenda. This year we're all on the same page and just trying to win games. I told everybody that if we all work hard together and get on the same page, everyone is going to get catches and everyone is going to score. I think so far, Mike Jones, Rudy Burgess, Kerry Taylor, Kyle Williams, they've all had touchdown catches. I think Chris McGaha is the only one who still needs one, but that's pretty good so far for four games.'

On the running game:
'I think the first three games that's what everyone talked about was how good our running game was and how our pass game needed to come along. That's why football is an interesting sport. It's different. The run game is going to be something we need. We've got a good group of backs along with Ryan [Torain], Keegan [Herring] and Dimitri [Nance]. It's going to set up our pass. I think Oregon State did a good job shutting down our run but that's what their game plan was. And when teams do that we need to do what we did on Saturday and beat them with the pass. I think we definitely have to stay with the run game because I think that's one of the best parts of our team right now. Ryan [Torain] is a great player. It's only going to make our pass game better too.'

On slow starts:
'Obviously we'd like to start out a lot faster and score points on our first drive; second drive if we can. I think wins are more important and I think you take things from every game. From this game we were down 19 nothing from a good Pac-10 opponent and we fought back and played hard and we won. So obviously it's a good thing. Against a USC or a Cal or Oregon I don't think we can come back from a 19-0 deficit. We came back from a 21-0 deficit against USC last year and we didn't win. I think that's the difference between teams.'

On the biggest motivator
'I think everyone wants to come back; everyone wants to play hard. For me, after I threw that interception, I still felt like we could throw the ball. I threw the interception and came back to the sideline and said to myself I'm still going to try to take the game over. That's how we're going to win because we weren't running the ball. I'm going to take it over myself. Once I told myself that I started playing and we started playing well. I don't think there's one person that is the main motivator. I think we all want to do well and win.'

On the difference between this year's and last year's teams:
'I think that's hard to tell. I know last year when we were down we didn't come back at all. This year we've been down twice and have come back. That's just the difference in the mentality. I think that's the biggest difference in me too. Last year when we were down I tried to make too many big plays; I tried to get it all back in one play. This year I've been able to stay poised a little bit and know that there's still a lot of time and game left and not hit the panic button.'

On adjustments made during the game:
'There are two things that we've done; we've done a two-minute drill or no huddle. I don't know what it is but every time we're in those situations we've put points on the board. Whether it's a field goal or a touchdown, the offense just starts clicking and we start playing better. In the third quarter, I think our coaches do a great job of making adjustments at halftime and figuring out what they're doing on defense. We usually come out right away and put up some points.'

On the 2005 Stanford game:
'I'll always remember that game even though we lost. I threw a couple of passes against Temple and Oregon State and Northwestern. The first pass I ever threw in a game that really mattered was intercepted for a touchdown. I'll always remember that. We were down 45-7 and we came back and the final score was 45-35. It was fun for me because it was the first time I got the chance to play and do really well. Obviously we still lost but that's definitely where it all started for me. It's going to be fun going back there this year and hopefully we can get a W.'

On this week's game:
'I think the coaching change is probably the biggest difference in their team. I know the personnel haven't changed a whole lot. They've played pretty well. They beat San Jose St. pretty handily and I know they played Oregon tough last week. So this is a game that we're going to have to be prepared for. It's going to be a tough one for us. I think Coach Harbaugh has done a good job. They've got a bunch of good players on that team. Especially on offense, they've got a good quarterback and a good group of wide receivers. We better be ready.'

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