ASU Quarterback Andrew Walter's Quotes From Monday's Press Conference
Oct. 11, 2004
Senior quarterback Andrew Walter
On the bye week
'I like it a lot, especially when you are beat up. Everyone was enjoying it; it was a chance to see family and what not, so I took full advantage. But it doesn't really mess with the day-to-day routine too much.'
On Being 5-0 and loving life
'It was nice, but now we face reality and face the No. 1 team in the nation. The bye week was great and I loved life during that, but now, reality sets in. We have a great opportunity and a tremendous challenge at the same time.'
On watching Aaron Rodgers and importance of getting the ball in the end zone against USC
'Aaron Rodgers showed everyone how efficient you can be. I guess they didn't really stretch the field or anything, but he was extremely efficient. He had a great game, but they didn't capitalize when they got in the redzone and that hurt them a lot'
On feeling and emotions playing the No. 1 team in the nation
'This is awesome. It is a lot different from last year because we weren't playing very good football then. We stuck in the game with them last year for about three quarters and then they decided they were done messing around and closed the door. Last year was different and we are playing much better football than that. But, USC is the No.1 team in the nation. It is going to be a tremendous opportunity for us in front of a sellout at the Coliseum. We have to make sure that we prepare because they are not going to give us an inch.'
On encouragement of watching Virginia Tech and Stanford games and their ability to move the ball
'Every week when you look back there are opportunities to make plays. So far in the five games we have played this season I know that there have been plenty of opportunities for us to make plays and we didn't. If we play USC that way, where we don't capitalize on opportunities, then we won't win. That is just how it is. Every chance that we get, we have to take advantage. Unfortunately, they are not the No. 1 team in the nation because they give up plays. You have to earn every inch and hopefully we will get a couple chances.'
On playing in the Coliseum
'It is a great place to play. The Olympics were there, all the history that is there and the great athletes that have dressed in those locker rooms even aside from football. There have been a lot of sporting events held there. When they flip on the Olympic torch in the fourth quarter it reminds you of all the history and tradition that has been built there. But, it is just like if you go to South Bend and play Notre Dame, you can't play their history, you aren't playing the four horsemen. You just have to play that team. You just have to put the other stuff out of your mind.'
On USC's defense
'They are extremely good at what they do. Coach Carroll is a great coach. He calls an unbelievable game, he mixes it up, does a lot of different stuff so you have to make sure you study and know what you are doing. They will expose you if you don't. On offense as a whole we have to be able to recognize coverages, not just me personally, but everybody. We have to be able to do that because like I said they will expose you if you aren't ready mentally.'
On USC's defensive line and challenge for offensive line
'I think they are the most athletic defensive line, by far, that we could face all year. I know Patterson, their nose, is extremely athletic especially for someone as big as he is. It will be a great challenge. He is a run stopper and he gets in there and hits the quarterback. He does it all. It will probably be the biggest challenge that our offensive line will face. I know they will answer the bell but it will be interesting to see what happens.'
On difference in noise level between Coliseum and Autzen Stadium
'Well, 90,00 is a big number. The Coliseum is a more open stadium. But with 90,000 people yelling against you, I am sure we will hear it.'
On redzone conversion
'We have been able to just finish off drives. Jesse (Ainsworth) has been great hitting field goals when we aren't able to capitalize. I think that the guys' focus picks up a little in the redzone. On the whole as an offense, I think we just narrow the focus.'
On pressure of big game against USC
'Any pressure that I ever have, I put on myself. We don't really pay much attention to what people say because if we did we would be 0-5 right now. It doesn't matter to me what they say. Of course, personally, I want to play great. But, once game time comes you have to put everything outside of what you are doing at that time out of your head. Out of sight, out of mind and just focus on the game. It is a great opportunity. As a senior quarterback that is what you want and we have that this Saturday.'
On the USC secondary
'Their coach calls an unbelievable game. He puts them in great situations to make plays. Their safeties, when they are up in run support, they hit people. They are very smart; they play very hard of course. They are not No. 1 because they make mistakes, they don't make mistakes. So every opportunity, if they ever give you one, you have to take advantage. Because of their linebackers and defensive line who get to the ball so fast, their secondary never really has to cover that much. But that doesn't mean that they aren't good.'
On the offense over the first five games
'We haven't been as consistent as I would have liked. We have had some bumpy times, some ups and downs. We haven't started a few games as well as I would have liked. I would like to think that our best games are in front of us. As an offense, we haven't hit our stride. Thankfully, we have a great defense that has helped us out. Hopefully our best days are yet to come.'
On Matt Leinart
'He is a National Championship quarterback. He has a ring on his finger, Pac-10 and national title. He plays with great poise. He is someone who puts the ball in great spots so his receivers can make the play. He had an unbelievable year last year. He has followed up with some receivers that maybe don't have as much experience as in the past, but he has still been able to do it. He is somebody who if you give him an inch he will take a mile. He is a very, very good quarterback.'