Quotes from Rudy Carpenter's Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 19, 2007

On Coach Erickson's big game experience:
'Coach Erickson talks about it all the time, how he has been able to be a part of big games like, national championships, BCS games and games where highly ranked opponents are playing each other and the magnitude, intensity and emotion of those games. He wants us to be able to have those same experiences in our college years and it has been a lot of fun so far. We've played in situations where we can do that. We experienced it at Oregon and we are going to experience it this weekend playing USC, so it is going to be a lot of fun for us. It's even better knowing that you have a coach who has been there and done that in all of those situations. We really rely on him and count on him to prepare us for those situations.'

On the Arizona vs. Oregon game and Dennis Dickson's injury:
'It helps us out that they lost, I guess, but Dennis Dickson's injury is unfortunate. He was having a great season and I felt good for Dennis because he was a little bit like me last year. He struggled a little bit and if you were down, it was good to see another player come back in and have such a great year like he is having. I feel good for him on the season he had, but it is just unfortunate that he got hurt, because he was probably going to win the Heisman Trophy. It's just one of those things that is part of the game.'

On playing USC four years ago:
'When we were playing USC my true freshmen year, we were still undefeated at that time. We were having a great season and the USC game was going to be a big win for us. We were at USC that year and guys were real pumped up, real emotional, tense and animated. As for me, it's the same, every single week is the same; it's just a game for me.'

On USC' defensive front:
'Up front, they are very good. They have a good defensive line, based with Cederic Elis and Lawrence Jackson, who are both very good players and then obviously the local kid from here, Emerson Griffin is another great player for them who plays a lot. I don't think we have seen a front like them really all year, because they are so good on defensive line and their line backing corps. I think potentially all three of those linebackers could be All-Americans. Then, two of the four up front could be All-Americans, so it is going to be a huge week for our offensive line and a huge challenge for those guys to see how well we can protect and run the ball against probably the best defensive line in the country.'

On how his emotions motivate the team:
'It's just kind of how I play. I love to play football and I love to win; I'm very competitive. I think sometimes guys on my team can see the fire and emotion in me a little bit and they feed off that. I think when you play that position, you're obviously a leader no matter what, whether or not you want to be. I enjoy being a leader and that is just the way I choose to lead and it is fortunate for me that it just comes natural. I think the players feed off of it a little bit.'

On watching tape and being surprised from how he reacted:
'Yeah, I am all the time. They make fun of me a little bit, the coaches do and Danny Sullivan. I don't know if you all remember playing Oregon and I threw an interception and I jumped up in the air then rolled on the ground, then got up and tried to make the tackle, but got mad and kind of threw a temper tantrum. I just can't help it though. They get mad about it but, it is just stuff I can't really control. I enjoy it though, and I enjoy watching it too.'

On his emotions before the game:
'I'm very quiet before a game starts. I think once the first snap hits and we start playing and going up and down the field it is just competitiveness. It is just one of those things that comes out of me; it is hard to explain.'

On what he usually does on Thanksgiving Day:
'Usually everyone from my family comes over and they cook the Thanksgiving meal. Usually everyone gets mad at me because I pick at all the food before it's ready. I just watch football, the two games that are on TV every year. I enjoy spending time with my family and getting a chance to see them. This is the first Thanksgiving since I've been here that my whole family will be out here and I'll get a chance to spend some time with them Wednesday before the game and obviously Thursday and Friday, so I look forward to that.'

On playing a big game on Thanksgiving:
'It's one of those things where you watch all the games on TV and kind of hope and wish to have a chance to play in a big game like that. Fortunately for us we're going to have a chance to be the national game on TV that day and play in front of the United States. It's going to be a lot of fun and we look forward to it.'

On how he feels about this week's game in relation to the Oregon game:
'To be honest I haven't really thought about it. Coach Erickson does a great job keeping us focused on the task at hand and what we are trying to do. Really I've just been trying to get back to practice so I really haven't had a chance to think about the implications of this game. I've just been thinking about getting out to practice.'

On being back at practice yesterday:
'It was good to be back at practice. I felt kind of worthless last week not doing anything so it feels good to play football again and be with my teammates and throw the ball around.'

On the difference between the relationship with his receivers this season versus last year:
'I think that everyone is a year older. Everyone has had ten games now plus camp and spring ball to be with each other. Everyone had some experience last year playing and knew what it was like. We're all getting a feel for the game a little bit better and a feel for each other throughout the course of the season. Guys are playing great and will continue to play great.'

On the number of friends he has on USC's team:
'Well this week I don't have any. Next week I'll probably have a couple. I played with a couple kids in high school, pretty much their whole recruiting class was my year. We playing in the same All-Star games together and a couple kids on the team that we played on the same high school team together.'

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