Quotes from Derek Hagan's Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 7, 2005

On the team's play last week:

'It helps to be playing as a team during all fourth quarters. Our offense kept marching and marching but we couldn't put the ball in. The defense made some really big stops which helped us out a lot. Their field goal kickers missed two, but they were pretty long.'

On facing UCLA off its first loss of the season:

'Every week is tough. Obviously, they're mad and they're going to really come out this week and try to get another victory under their belt. But we're playing like we were the first five games of the season. We're on a two game winning streak and we're looking forward to UCLA and playing in the Rose Bowl this weekend.'

On not having a win in California:

'We just have to look at it as any other game. We've got to come out, play hard and play four quarters of ball. We talked about it yesterday how no one on the team has won in California. This is my final year and I would love to go down and get a victory in the Rose Bowl.'

On almost breaking the Pac-10 record:

'I don't think about that during the game. I'm just out there running and doing everything I can do to help the team win. I don't even realize it until after the game when someone comes up to me and tells me how close I am. I think it's just a great opportunity for me to be that close to the record. I don't think about it that much; I'm just out their playing for the team.

'It doesn't matter where I break it at. It'd be nice to break it at home but obviously if its in the Rose Bowl, it'll be the same thing, just me running out there and trying to make plays.'

On finally being off losing streak:

'I think it's just the mental part of the game. We were on a three game losing streak and we didn't like it that much. The team was down and we just weren't playing well together. These last couple games we've really come together and have focused on the little things to just try and make sure we do everything the right way. That's what we're doing right now, just taking it one step at a time, one play at a time. Sometimes we're going to do some good things and sometimes some bad things, but bad things happen and we've just have to keep fighting through it.'

On Rudy Carpenter's progression:

'He just keeps getting better and better. We love to put the ball in the air. We love to throw the ball. We have 4 or 5 good receivers that can get open at any time and make plays. All Rudy has to do is take his time and let the ball loose and we'll go get it. We always tell him that every play, wherever you put the ball at, we'll go get it.

'He's got a lot of confidence, great receivers and a good offensive line to help him get the job done. He knows what he needs to get done and he just needs to take his time and execute.'

On facing UCLA's ranked pass defense:

'I think our offense is balanced right now. We ran the ball pretty well last week, except when we got in the red zone. As long as we establish the run first and bring the UCLA safeties down, maybe we can hit them over the top with some big plays.'

On having the O-line back:

'That's really big for us. That's our experienced O-line. The guys we've got in there are not that experienced. They're mostly first year and second year guys with only a couple of starts under their belt. Grayling Love and Andrew Carnahan are coming back and they're the leaders. You don't have to tell them too much about what the defense is doing. It'll be great having those guys back in there.'

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