Post-Game Quotes From ASU-Washington State Game

Nov. 15, 2008

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ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the game:
'It was an unbelievable defensive effort. Anytime you shut out anybody, it's special. The defense played great all day with turnovers and great plays. We struggled on offense, the first half in particular, and then we were able to get some things going in the second half to win the football game. But we're piece-mealing a lot of things together on offense right now. [Shawn] Lauvao went down so [Tom] Njunge went back out there. Shawn sprained his ankle, but he should be ready for UCLA, according to the trainer. I thought Dimitri Nance came in and sparked us. It didn't seem like we were breaking tackles in the first half and so we decided to put him in and see what he could do, and I think he sparked things with some of those runs he made.'

On RB Dimitri Nance's impact on the running game:
'He broke tackles and got us into the secondary. That kind of got us going in the run game. It didn't seem like we were breaking [tackles] early in the game and he came in and did it. To me, that was really a big deal as far as us running the football in the second half.'

On DL Lawrence Guy:
'Well, Lawrence Guy is going to be special. The thing he talked to me afterwards about is he doesn't want to go in with the media. So we're going to keep him out of that media room. We don't want him to get too arrogant as a true freshman. But, he's a good football player.'

On Washington State's defense:
'They delayed blitzes a couple times early, which created some problems. We got that fixed and then Rudy [Carpenter] had some time to throw it and guys made some good plays. It's just good to have a win. It's like I've been telling them; we just have to keep crawling out of that hole. Just keep scrapping and getting those fingernails to the side of that hole and see if we can get out of it.'

'Obviously, UCLA is going to be more difficult, but we're playing for something. We got that fourth win and another win at home. My whole thing this week was that the last time we played here at home was not a good deal. We needed to go out and try to give our fans something to cheer about. So we played better, and we have to play better against UCLA.'

On what practice will be like this week:
'It will be a little different. We'll get our younger guys out there more on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those guys that are red-shirting, we'll try to get them involved in our offense and then we'll work on UCLA on Thursday. We have a lot of bumps and bruises so a lot of those veterans won't practice much at all on Tuesday and Wednesday.'

ASU LB Mike Nixon
On what they did at halftime:
'You just have to keep to yourself at halftime. The defense has enough things going on. They moved that first drive on us, and we had corrections to make on our own. The offense, like I've said in the past, is going to pick us up certain games and we have to pick them up certain days. They went in and made their correction just like we have to when we're not playing well. We had faith that they're going to put up points, and anytime you get 31 points you should win the game.'

On Washington State quarterback J.T. Levenseller:
'They ran a little more read zone, kind of the Oregon offense [when Levenseller came in]. But, our offense did a great job of getting the lead, and that forced them to throw, which really isn't a strong suit. I think he would have run the ball a little bit more if they weren't behind.'

ASU QB Rudy Carpenter
On the first half:
'We played terrible in the first half. Like Coach [Erickson] said, we just struggled with consistency and finding our rhythm at certain points in the season, and that's kind of what happened in the first half. Coach made good adjustments at halftime and got us in some positions to make some big plays. Kyle [Williams] made two obviously, and Dimitri [Nance] gave us that spark in the second half that really made a difference. But, first half we struggled.'

On how important this win was:
'I think for us it's a very big deal. Like Coach Erickson said, at this point, we're going to take wins anyway we can get them. So, I think we have a little momentum going on our side. Obviously, when you start winning games, practice becomes a little bit easier and guys get a little healthier. We have two tough games coming up against UCLA and Arizona, so we're playing to get into a bowl game, hopefully. It's good that we're back in the winning column.'

ASU WR Kyle Williams
On what the team is playing for now:
'Partly, it's pride, but I think the other half of it is, like Coach Erickson said, trying to get to a bowl game. We're not far away. We have two more to go, but we're still taking it one step at a time, even though it sounds cliché, we really are. That's what we're looking at.'

On his two touchdowns:
'The second one was just a good throw by Rudy. I just kind had to run a straight line, and he put it there, so you can't really ask for anything more. Also, on the first one, Rudy scrambled and made a nice play, and I just had to do the running yards, but it was all about him putting the ball in the right spot for me to make a play.'

Washington State Head Coach Paul Wulff
On the game:
'I thought we came out and played really good football. We had some opportunities to score points in the first half, we moved the ball and we missed a field goal and then we had a couple key dropped balls that hurt us. I thought our defense played hard. In the second half we came out and Kevin [Lopina] was injured, so J.T. [Levenseller] got an opportunity to play. It seemed like our defense was playing short field this game and our offense playing long field. I thought the field position was an issue throughout the game and it hurt us. I thought the game was a little closer than the score, in terms of how we played. We just made some big mistakes that allowed some points.'

Washington State FS Xavier Hicks
On the defense's play in the first half:
'As a defense this week we prepared to come out, play fast and try to hold the offense as much as we can to get the ball back. We tried to create some turnovers whether it was an interception, fumble or 3-and-out. That's what we really strived for this whole week preparing. I think the first half we did a really good job of playing together as a defense.'

On creating turnovers:
'It's been a struggle to create turnovers, but the positive thing from this game was we were able to get a couple of coverage sacks, so we were able to lock down and let the D-line get to the quarterback a little bit. I felt as a defense we got some pressure on the quarterback, which caused him to scramble outside of the pocket and throw the ball away. I felt it was pretty good. Getting a 3-and-out is just as good as getting a turnover.'

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