Post-Game Quotes From ASU-UCLA Game
Nov. 28, 2008
ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the game:
'I'll talk about the defense first. I've never seen anything like it in my many years of coaching. I've never seen four touchdowns scored on defense and such total control of the game. It's unbelievable. You go from maybe getting that thing tied up to Troy [Nolan] gets that interception and takes it in there. You just can't say enough about the defensive coaches and the players and what they did in that football game. Offensively, it was awful; what else can I tell you? We had opportunities to make some plays, never did it, never got any momentum, no rhythm. It wasn't a good effort, but then again we won, and that's the bottom line.'
On the crowd reaction to ASU's defense:
'Well there was nobody clapping louder than our offense. That's the way it should have been. It's like I said, all the years I've been doing this, I've never seen anything like it. They made big plays, we were getting a little tired and Troy [Nolan] makes that interception. You have to build a program around your defense. I said that when I first took the job here. We're not there yet, believe me, and we're playing a really good offensive team next week at Arizona. Obviously UCLA hasn't moved the ball up and down the field on anybody, but to do that, it was a special night.'
On their defensive strategy:
'We put a lot of pressure. There were eight guys that rotated in there, unfortunately Jonathan English tore an ACL there in the third quarter, and he was playing very well. But we ran a bunch of guys in and out of there. It was just a great effort and our coverage was good for the most part.'
On where the team goes from here offensively:
'We've got one game left in our season and hopefully a bowl game. There are times we played fairly well in the last three weeks. We didn't play well tonight, we just didn't have any rhythm, and there's nothing you really can do. You just have to go back to work, get your game plan ready for Arizona and play better against them next Saturday. That's all you can do. There's nothing that will change.'
On the senior class:
'We had our team meeting last night and I went through all the seniors. I talked to them about what they've contributed. All of them have contributed one way or the other. It's amazing. There are about five junior college players in there; it wasn't a huge freshman class that lasted here by any means. But the guys that did last here had a tremendous impact on this program.'
On becoming a better team:
'That's what football is all about. If we can continue to get better on defense then we can become a dominant program. Obviously, we have to get better offensively, but all we can do is come in tomorrow morning, look at the tape, see what we can do and get a plan to have some success against Arizona and win the football game.'
ASU QB Rudy Carpenter
On the offense struggling in tonight's game:
'We played pretty bad, pretty poorly. We haven't played very well on offense all year. The defense played great, that's how we got the win.'
ASU DT Paul `Unga
On the team's defensive performance:
'I have never been a part of a performance like that. Coach [Dennis Erickson] told us it was an NCAA record, four defensive touchdowns. I'm glad to be a part of it.'
On his touchdown:
'I don't know who picked up the ball, but Mike Nixon hit it out of his hands, I was running on the other side, I didn't hear the whistle blowing and I picked up the ball and started walking. They told me to run and I went in for a touchdown. I never thought I would get in the end zone, but I have always wanted to. When I saw the opportunity, I took advantage of it.'
ASU S Troy Nolan
On his touchdown return:
'I was thinking about it all week; I wanted to make a big play, an interception maybe, but I didn't think it wouldn't be a 100-yard return. It was a highlight, put a stamp on my career. I was man-to-man, I looked up to see the quarterback, broke on him and I tipped it to myself.'
On the team's defensive performance tonight:
'I have not been a part of a defense like this. My junior college was pretty good defense, but never four defensive touchdowns.'
UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
On ASU's defense scoring four touchdowns:
'It was demoralizing. We were trying to keep the team together. We said we're going to stick together, and I think the defensive players and staff are doing that.'
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