Quotes from Post Game Press Conference

Oct. 13, 2007

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Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the game and coming back from a halftime deficit:
'We went down and kicked that field goal at the end of the half, like we've done so many times. That got us to within four, and then, obviously, in the third quarter we've been playing pretty well. I thought Rudy [Carpenter] played well, made some plays, but we ran the football when we had to, dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. It was a good win. Anytime you got two players like Ryan [Torain] and Mike [Jones] out of the game early, other guys stepped up. Dimitri [Nance], and of course, Keegan [Herring], and our receivers, Chris McGaha made a great play, Kyle [Williams] and Rudy [Burgess]. It was good. Then, defensively, Locker got us there early and made that big play after the turnover, but then after that, in that second half we pretty much controlled their offense. That was big. We got some turnovers that made a difference.'

On the running game success:
'Our offensive front, I thought, did a great job, of course when you run it like that. Coach Olson did a good job of mixing things up in there in the running game. I thought we threw it pretty well, enough to keep them off balance. Once we got ahead, we were just trying to get out of there and get that win. That's one thing about this team; they keep fighting. I don't know how good we are, but I do know that we've won seven games, so we'll take it right now.'

On the injuries to Jones and Torain:
'Well, Mike [Jones] had a concussion, so I assume with that, he should be ready to go by Cal, no question about that. Then, Ryan [Torain] sprained his foot pretty seriously, so I just don't know where he'll be. I don't know if he'll be back for Cal or not. It's nice to have a bye, we can kind of heal up a little bit and rest, get some of the soreness out of us and get ready to play Cal.'

On whether Washington did anything they did not expect:
'No, not really. They came out and ran the football a little bit more, out of two backs and two tights and didn't run as much of that spread option stuff. They did it some, obviously scored on one, but that was really the only difference. On defense, they tried to blitz us early, and we picked it up and got some plays out of it. They then started to just play regular defense. Then, of course, when we got ahead, they came after us, and they blitzed us a couple times. The big run that Keegan hit on the G play, they blitzed us, and he hit it and there was nobody there, obviously, and he took it the distance.'

On containing Huskies QB Jake Locker:
'You don't want to give him any lanes, because if he can step up in lanes and get up inside, he obviously creates a lot of problems. So we were trying to twist, and try to force him to try to get outside, and we were able to do a good job with our defensive ends containing, for the most part. I thought we put a lot of pressure on him. I thought the second half we played really well on defense.'

On the plans for the bye week:
'Our coaches will be out on the road quite a bit this week. We'll give them tomorrow off. They haven't had Sunday off in a long time. We'll come and look at the tape on Monday, and then we'll practice pretty good on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday, we'll have a little scrimmage with our young players, and then they'll have Friday and Saturday off. Then we'll come back Sunday and practice. We're going to spend a lot of time working with our young guys, and put them in a situation where they have a chance to improve. We've got to look at some things, on both sides of the football, that we need to improve on. It's a good time for us. It's nice to be 7-0 when you have it. Those bye weeks, I've been through them, and they're not much fun if you got beat the week before.'

On the home crowd tonight:
'The fans were great tonight. They were out there screaming and yelling. They had four or five penalties where they couldn't hear. When it gets like that in the stadium, when we can get them out here, it's a hard place to play. Hopefully when Cal comes in here it's going to be totally full and make it really tough on them.'

Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter
On starting the season 7-0:
'We are having a lot of fun competing every week. We played some good teams too. We've just been competing. It feels good to be 7-0, especially going into this bye weekend. It will give us a break, get our bodies back together.'

On the play of the running backs:
'I've been saying it for a while. We have three really good backs. I think if we didn't have Ryan Torain, Keegan [Herring] or Dimitri [Nance] would be starting. They could probably start anywhere in the Pac-10 really. It's good for those guys to get a change to play and step up like they did. They made two huge runs for us in the game to really put it away.'

On cutting down of the number of sacks:
'It is something that we have been continuously working on. Everybody, it is all of us collectively as a unit. I need to get time to throw it, whether it is getting the ball out quicker or getting protected longer or running shorter routes, Whatever it may be. We got blitzed a lot tonight too. But when we blitzed we were able to make plays. When we do that, it really stops them from blitzing as much. That is really one of the biggest things we need to keep on doing.'

On running the ball more in the second half:
'At half time we were saying we can throw the ball against these guys. [It was] whatever we want to do. All of a sudden, we hit two big run plays. We felt they were getting tired. I think their best defensive lineman was out of the game. I think that really made a difference too when he got hurt. I thought our team responded real well tonight. We lost Mike Jones and Ryan Torain. Those are two of our best players on offense and I thought our guys really stepped up and played real well. I'm really happy about that.'

On performing well in the third and fourth quarters:
'I think, and I've been saying it all year, the coaching staff is doing a great job at halftime making adjustments for us. They are giving us a chance to be in the right situation at the right time. And on top of that, I think guys just believe a little bit more, especially when things are going well for us. The next couple weeks we have some really good teams we are going to be playing. That is really when we are going to have to respond.'

On the bye week:
'It is a really good time to have that bye week because we have played now for seven straight weeks. We have guys that are sore and banged up and tired. We need as long as we can get to prepare for Cal because they are such a good team.'

Arizona State RB Keegan Herring
On making big plays:
'Dimitri [Nance] and I just got together and said, 'We have to hold it down for Torain.' He is a big back that's out. We don't know for how long. He said, 'Ok lets do it.' And the next thing I know we are doing it.'

On the offensive line:
'Oh man, I think I might marry one of them to tell you the truth. They are doing great out there. Every game they are stepping it up a little bit more. They are doing a heck of a job and I just appreciate what they are doing because we can't get to the end zone with out them.'

On starting the season 7-0:
'We just take it one day at a time, like Coach Erickson said. We have a bye week and we have to keep practicing hard. Teams are going to try to get us now because we are undefeated. It is going to be hard. We just have to go out there and play hard. We are 7-0 right now.'

On the chances of being 8-0:
'We have to have a bye week first and go to Cal. We just have to play it play by play. We have to do our best and try to go home with a victory.'

On ranked teams losing:
'That is one thing we talked about in the locker room. We are 7-0. We are undefeated in the Pac-10. A lot of teams are getting beat. USC got beat. Cal got beat. It could happen to anyone. We have to stay on our feet and play hard nosed football.'

Arizona State LB Mike Nixon
On the Washington quarterback:
'Their offense revolved around him and we knew we needed to take him out and make him throw it. Bottom line is he's a red shirt freshman. We knew he could run so we had to take what he does best away. It worked out.'

On the first half:
'In the first half it was just a couple plays that hurt us. It wasn't them being better than us or him being better than our defenders, we just needed to go out and execute in the second half.'

Arizona State SS Josh Barrett
On the Washington quarterback
'His biggest threat that we saw on video was his ability to run. We were doing a good job of really containing him. He had that one good run in the first half, but other than that he played hard and I think we played hard as well.'

On the second half
'I want to attribute that to our coaching staff and our leaders as well. We were in the locker room and really had a mindset that no matter what the score is the game is not over. There's always another half to play. We really have to prove ourselves, that's what great teams do. They step up in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. Our coaches have been echoing that all year.'

Arizona State LB Robert James
On the second half
'We never quit, we never think we're off the game. We've been doing this for seven games. We're getting in the groove of competing and trying to go out there and win. We know that game is not over and we're going to play all four quarters. Our coaches do a good job of preparing us and having us in good condition.'

On the Washington quarterback
'My role was basically to spy on the quarterback. The game plan was pretty easy for us to contain him. He was fast. We watched him on film and he's a good quarterback. He can run and we thought if we could take his run away and force him to throw we would have a good chance of winning this game.'

Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
On the game plan:
'I think what we were trying to do all night was put pressure on ASU, try to find a way to create plays and make plays, stop them and they popped a couple big runs on us. They stretched us on some of our gaps; I think we missed a tackle or two, which allowed them to have big plays.'

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