Quotes From Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference
Nov. 24, 2008
On his feelings going into his final home game:
'It's pretty weird. I've played a lot of games here. I've spent the last five years of my life here. It's a little sad for me that it's the last time I'm going to play here, but hopefully we can end on a good note. I'm just thinking about it as a very important game for us to win. Obviously we're playing one-week seasons right now, to stay alive for the postseason. Hopefully all the seniors that we have on our team can play with a little bit more emotion this week and find a way to pull out a victory.'
On his streak of 41 consecutive starts:
'I'm proud of it, to be honest with you. I'm proud of it because it's something that's hard to do. I never thought I would have started 40-something games before I came to school here. I'm also proud of the fact that I've been able to stay healthy enough to play, and when I haven't been healthy enough, I've still tried to play.'
On how the seniors have handled the season:
'I think it's been hard for us. I think this group of seniors has gone through a lot. We had to go through some up-and-down seasons when Coach [Dirk] Koetter was here, and then obviously last year we had a 10-win season. We thought we were a part of what was getting everything turned around to being 10-game winners every year. Obviously that didn't happen, but I think the group of seniors on this team has done a pretty good job. I think for some reason people questioned our leadership because we lost six in a row, but we did a good job of staying positive and trying to help all those young guys that we have playing, just staying upbeat and trying to find a way to just get a win, which is what we did against Washington. Fortunately, we're still in a situation where we can get into a bowl game.'
On what he expects the reception will be like for him on Senior Day:
'I have no idea. I've asked myself that question a couple of times within this last week. I can't really worry about that or control that. I hope it's good. I know that I feel like I've tried to be a good Sun Devil, the best I can be, and I hope people will at least respect that.'
On UCLA's defense:
'I think they are one of the better defenses in the Pac-10. I really do. I think their front four is good, with Brigham Harwell and Brian Price, probably two of the better defensive tackles in college football. They have a solid linebacker corps, both their corners are pretty good and both their safeties are pretty good. They struggled a little bit early in the year, and as the year has gone on, they've gotten a lot better. They've been playing good defense. They were 3-3 with Oregon State at halftime. They've been playing some close games, including against Oregon; they held that offense to minimal points early in the game. We're going to have our hands full with them. We've just got to keep a positive attitude.'
On the steady contributions of Paul Fanaika and Shawn Lauvao on the offensive line:
'I think both those guys have played well all year. Football is the ultimate team sport, and it's a hard thing to do when you're playing a guard position, or any position, when you're trying to help guys who haven't had a chance to play as much. You're helping them make line calls, you're helping them to make sure they're blocking the right guys, and sometimes when you're doing that, you tend to make mistakes, but Paul and Shawn have done a great job all year of being able to do their job and help the other guys. We've started eight or nine different guys this year, so it's pretty difficult. We kind of expect that from Paul, because he's a fifth-year senior and he's played a lot. Shawn has done a great job too, because he's played two positions, which is extremely hard at the offensive line position, especially when you're playing tackle and you've never played tackle before, that's hard. The footwork and the technique are so different.'
On if playing quarterback seemed easy when he first took over as the starter in 2005:
'I never honestly would have thought it would be how it is. In 2005, I don't think anybody knew who I was, no one cared what I was going to do, so I just dropped back, saw a coverage and threw it up to someone like Derek Hagan, Matt Miller, or even Zach [Miller]. Those guys made a lot of plays for me to help me look good. It's a lot different when you lose a lot of guys and things happen. I never thought it would have been this difficult, because after that season, I didn't understand why everybody is not good. I didn't understand what the big deal was. I remember the Washington game, my first start, I was extremely nervous in the hotel, and after the game, I thought, `why was I nervous? That was probably the easiest thing I've ever done in my life.' But, obviously, things haven't gone that way the rest of my career here.'
On if he has thought about what the Senior Day experience will be like Friday:
'I have. I've thought about it a lot. It was something that before I was looking forward to a lot. I thought it was cool and I couldn't wait for that to be me, but now I wish I had a couple of more games. It's a little awkward to think that I'm coming into the two final weeks of practice and two final games. It's pretty weird, kind of sad for me, but I'm glad that my family will be there. I'll have a lot more family than usual, so that will be good too.'