Post Game Quotes

Nov. 27, 2004

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USC Coach Pete Carroll
'It was a big-time night for us. It was especially fun for the seniors who were part of that first recruiting class. This is special. They've been part of the whole ride. We wanted to win for them.'

(on Notre Dame)
'Notre Dame had a great game-plan. They hung 10 on us but we kept fighting and we had to shift some things. But after that, it was all about energy.'

(on the Coliseum crowd)
'The Coliseum was just great tonight and it's been that way the whole year. The fans have been just great. We've always wanted to build a home-field advantage and the fans have really stepped up.'

(on Matt Leinart)
'Matt played great tonight. He made some great throws and had some great protection. We had guys running down the field and he found them. He just made another statement tonight. He's done it all.'

USC QB Matt Leinart
'We knew it would be a dog fight from the get go. We just had to keep executing. We showed we can make some big plays, especially tonight with Reggie and Dwayne.'

(on Steve Smith's return)
'Steve had a great practice week. He was a big spark with some key plays and key catches. He worked so hard to get back and I'm proud of him.'

(on first-half struggles)
'It took a bit to get going, especially against such a good defense. We just kept pounding and we knew things would open up eventually.'

USC DL Shaun Cody
(on what it meant for the seniors and himself)'This was a special time for me and the seniors here. To win that game in our last year at the Coliseum and going against a huge rival like Notre Dame, even my mom and dad were crying afterward. It's been a great time.'

USC RB Reggie Bush
(on Matt Leinart getting hot)'We could tell it was coming and we'd seen it before. We could sense it as he got into his rhythm. He was on fire.'

Notre Dame Head Coach TY Willingham
'It was not until seven minutes left in the second half that the tide really started to turn. Our inability to execute and make big plays really cost us.'

'We did not find a way to make big plays and they did. It was our inability in all areas to make big plays and sustain drives.'

'That's what makes USC such an explosive team... the ability to generate big plays. They made big plays in the passing game.'

'Was the fake punt inappropriate? No way. We play the game of football and that is part of it.'

'We have to make the plays. We had opportunities and we did not live up to them. I do think we ran the ball pretty decently and (punter/kicker) D.J. Fitzpatrick executed our kicking game very well tonight.'

(Regarding plays made in third quarter drive that resulted in a missed field goal...)
'No. 1, you always think that the intended plays will work and that's why you implement them.'

(On USC Quarterback Matt Leinart...)
'Obviously I think he played an excellent ball game. What he was so strong at was that he did not turn the ball over. In the beginning we let him off the hook.'

(On USC...)
'They are No. 1 for a reason. They demonstrated tonight that if you take something away from them, like their running game, they will find some other way of getting past you.'

(What did SC do to slow the offense?)
'The came at us with a little more zone blitz pressure in the second half. We did not sustain and they continued to execute.'