Post-Game Quotes from ASU's Territorial Cup Victory

Dec. 1, 2007

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Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the win:
'It was a great defensive effort. We made plays all through the game defensively and got turnovers. Offensively, we weren't as efficient as we needed to be, obviously in the red zone. We get the ball first and goal at the 1 and kick. Those field goals ended up helping us there is the end. I'm disappointed in that, but it's the end of the year. I'm not going to get into that stuff. This football team has won 10 football games. To me, it doesn't make any difference if it's 20-17 or 55-52. You've got to give credit to these players and what they've done. Nobody's going to remember the score tomorrow, other than the press. I'm just so proud of what they've done since I came here December 18 or 19, whenever I took this job. For them to do what we ask and to end up 10-2, sharing the Pac-10 championship, it's an amazing accomplishment by my coaches and my players.'

On the defense tonight:
'We kept things underneath us, for the most part. They got one there at the end, but we kept everything underneath us. I thought we tackled well. We got some turnovers. We were able to get some pressure on them. We changed things up. Coach Bray and the defensive staff did a nice job. We didn't have a lot of penalties and we didn't have a lot of turnovers. I think we had one turnover, that's all. They turned it over, and that was the difference in the game. You've got to give Coach Stoops and his staff credit. They did a nice job against us defensively, but as you look, we had some opportunities offensively to put this game away, and we ended up having to get an onside kick.'

On CB Justin Tryon's play tonight matched up with UA WR Mike Thomas:
'He did a great job. He came up, he put him on him, he'd bump and run, he was in his face. Omar [Bolden] did a good job too, but JT was the guy. He was in his face, so they had to make perfect throws. During the game there, a lot of times the ball was a little overthrown or underthrown, or thrown out of bounds. That's because he was covering him so well. We were playing a little bit of man and some zone, and he ended up holding the ball some and we ended up getting sacks. JT, he had a great game.'

On his first season at ASU:
'We had a plan of what we had to do in the off-season and a plan of what we needed to do in the spring, and they followed the plan. They did exactly what we wanted them to do. They gave great effort. They did things that we asked them to do. Then we started winning some games, and they started to believe that the gray-haired old man had a little bit of knowledge about what was going on. But they bought in, and they just believe. They believe in each other; they believe in the coaching staff and it's made a big difference. Obviously we've won a lot of close games at the end, and that says a lot for their character.'

On the upcoming bowl game:
'It's going to be huge for us. We don't know what bowl game we're going to play in, obviously. What I usually do the first week or two of bowl practice is to give those young guys turns. It's almost like a spring football. Those young guys get better and better all the time. It's huge to have that.'

Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter
On the rivalry with U of A:
'I love keeping U of A out of a bowl game. I love doing it every single year. U of A is our biggest rival obviously. Going into every year, it is that game we look forward to every year. It always seems to be these games are so sloppy and weird. When it comes down to it, we are just happy to get the win.'

On assessing his performance:
'To be honest, I was very disappointed with the way I played tonight. I didn't play very well, especially when we got down to the goal line. We had some chances to score and I just didn't do it.'

On the offense:
'The whole offense played well. The running back played well, the linemen played well, the tight ends and the receivers played well. I think we did a good job. Everyone did a great job. I just wished I could have helped us out a little more.'

On Chris McGaha:
'Chris McGaha is ridiculous. He makes some of the most ridiculous catches ever. It was an unbelievable catch. Chris is going to have two more years here. Chris is going to go down as one of the best ASU receivers ever. He is a great player.'

On the emotion of the game:
'There is a lot of hatred and a lot of words, before and after the game. During the game. It's a rivalry game. That's what makes it fun. It is stressful too because you want to win this game so bad. You feel like every play is like the national championship. I think we did a good job doing what we had to do to get a win tonight.'

On the mistakes of the game
'I think everyone gets wound up and gets so energetic. I know I did tonight. Instead of just playing and relaxing and doing what you are supposed to do, you tend to make a lot more mistakes. Most times it comes down to the teams who make the fewest mistakes in a rivalry game and that's what we did tonight. We didn't turn the ball over. That was a big part of the game too.'

On coming back from behind:
'I don't really know what it is. It seems like we have to be down, I guess. I wish it wasn't like that. I think it just shows we have guys who are very resilient and who have a lot of heart. They played very hard tonight with the circumstances. Those are things you can't really teach or coach. It was a good effort.'

On the coaching statff:
'This coaching staff is unbelievable. They came in here from day one they only said one word and that was win. They preached winning and they said they were going to do whatever it takes to win, through the off season, through the regular season. We are Co-Pac-10 Champs. We have ten wins. It is pretty incredible. We have a chance to get eleven.'

Arizona State WR Tyrice Thompson
On his first touchdown catch:
'I didn't know he was going to throw it but I tell Rudy [Carpenter] all the time that if he puts it in the air I'll go get it. I do it all the time in practice. I believe if you work hard in practice, you do it in the game. And that's what happened. He threw it in the air and I got it.'

On the blocked field goal:
'I was so impress by [Marquardt]. That was a big arm. It was like a big bear claw that took the ball out of the air. It is not about me. I just wanted the field goal to get blocked. I just wanted the field goal to get blocked. That's all of our jobs. Not just mine.'

On changing his position through out his career:
'It tells you what type of player I am. Whatever you tell me to do, I'm going to do it. You want me to play defense, I'll play defense. You want me to play offense, I'll play offense. They gave me an opportunity to do great things and I seized it once again. I'm a hard worker and all my teammates are hard workers. That's not just me that's my whole team.'

Arizona State DT Michael Marquardt
On his last game at Sun Devil Stadium:
'It is a great feeling. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how Rudy Carpenter got out his pads so quick and up here. It is a tremendous feeling to be able to end on this note and in Sun Devil Stadium as a senior. It is overwhelming and it's great to celebrate with all my teammates and our fans.'

On the emotion of the rivalry game:
'There is a huge relationship [between ASU and U of A]. We are rivals. In the trenches, there are a lot of things that take place that a lot of you guys don't know about. It is scary place. There are a lot of words and cheap shots. I have to hand it to our guys who played in the trenches this game. A lot of the plays were carried on their shoulders.'

UA Head Coach Mike Stoops
On the loss:
'As a team we're disappointed we didn't play better and certainly Arizona State had a lot to do with that. Their defense was excellent. They kept our offense from getting any rhythm throughout game and that was really was the difference. They did what they could to ice the game and get themselves in a leading position. It just seemed like we couldn't make a play. They made them all.'

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