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QUOTES: Arizona State 54, Colorado 13
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 10/12/2013
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Head coach Todd Graham

On tonight’s win and more players seeing playing time:
“A lot of people talk about how after five games we’re going to have a let down, but I feel good about the maturity of our team.  They came out and we dominated all three phases.  One of the things we’re doing when those twos are in there is we’re coaching them hard because that’s the future.” 

On preparing for this game and looking ahead to next week:
“When we looked at the film, obviously the people we were playing were very, very good.  I think we played two of the best offensive lines in the country in Stanford and Notre Dame.  They were two of the best I’ve played against in a while, and when we looked at the film, I talked to the guys about being mature enough to handle that.  

“Colorado is in a rebuilding stage.  Coach MacIntyre is doing a good job with his guys.  Obviously we should dominate them, but there are lots of corrections to be made too.  We should have scored touchdowns in the red zone—we had the ball first and goal on the five, we’ve got to punch the thing in.  There are lots of things we can do to get better.”

“After the game, there was nothing but talk of Washington.  We have a heck of a football team coming in here next week and we’ve already had six ball games.  We checked one off tonight—that’s 2-0 in the Pac-12 South, 2-1 overall.  Our guys are focused on Washington.  I’m really proud of our guys and how they played.  I thought we had a very strong performance.”

On the team:
“I think our guys are maturing.  This is a special group of seniors.  We have a special group of leaders, and we have a good chance.  We just have to get better every week.  We played a great football team coming in here, lost two very tough games back to back.  I think it’ll be a big challenge for us.  Obviously, next week is a must win.”

On ASU’s success this season: 
“You’ll notice there’s a common denominator in every game we win—we rush efficiently with the football.  If you look back on the last 50 years in football, you can’t win consistently if you don’t run the football.  It was good that we were able to establish that tonight.” 

Quarterback Taylor Kelly

On being a favorite against Colorado
“It’s great for our team to build confidence. We competed well this week and we didn’t take Colorado lightly. They’re a great football team and a great program. We handled our business tonight and now we have Washington next week.”

On first TD pass to WR Jaelen Strong
“With the defense that we saw and the covers that we ran, we had a clear out with D.J. and an under with Jaelen. It was great for him to catch that and use his speed and athleticism.”

On trying to be successful on the road
“We just got to be more focused on the road. The traveling, going on airplanes, and being in a new environment is hard for our team to experience. We’re doing a better job of it and our maturity level is there.”

On recent road games against tough opponents
"We had a four or five game stretch where we played tough opponents week in and week out. We were a lot better team last year at this point facing those competitions each week. Our team is growing mentally and in maturity from those games. We have a big game this week. We got to put this win behind us and focus on Washington tomorrow.”

Defensive end Carl Bradford

On being a favorite against Colorado
“For me, it was a big confidence booster. At the beginning of the year, I kind of slacked off on my sacks. This game, I tried to come out and take full advantage of the opponent, and I think I did that very well.” 

On trying to be successful on the road
“We don’t lose at home. We have to take that intensity onto other opponents’ fields and make that our home as well, no matter where we go. We just have to have that same mentality.” 

On defensive approach 
“I think it started this week in practice. Our guys were focused. We came out really prepared. We knew we needed to step up and play our Sun Devil defense.”

Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre

Opening Statement:
“First of all, Arizona State is a good football team. I thought Todd Graham and the team did a good job and made a lot of plays on us. We didn’t execute nearly as well as we would like in the first half, and gave them a short field a few times. It kind of got out of hand there early.”

On why he put in Sefo Liufau:
“I felt like it was the right time.”

On how Sefo Liufau played:
“I’ll get back and watch the tape, and I know he had a couple mistakes, but to me he looked pretty calm—looked like he made some big third down plays, looked like he made some big throws, didn’t look like it was too big for him. On the naked eye, I thought it was good, but he had a couple turnovers we didn’t need to have.”

On anticipating Sefo Liufau to be the starter from this point on:
“Yeah. He has to play well though.”

On how he would like to look at the rest of the year:
“The way I would like to look at the rest of the year is we took a redshirt off of a guy who is very talented, who we think is very bright, and who is an excellent leader. We feel like we are hopefully able to play him for the rest of the year if he plays well, and we feel like he was ready to start playing if Connor (Wood) didn’t go as well as we’d like.”

“Connor has done some good things for us and I really, really like him but he hasn’t had a winning grade in the last four games now, so I thought it was time to make a little bit of a change there, just like I would at any position because we’ve made changes at other positions, not just quarterback. Connor is a phenomenal young man; he’s done some things where he has good talent, so we kept giving him opportunities where he had good talent. There will come a time when he’ll have to come back in and do it again, so he has to be ready.”

On how he’s getting his players through this season:
“I’m keeping my head up. We’re going to keep persevering. I’ve said that since my first press conference. It’s about perseverance. Perseverance builds character, and character builds hope, and when you have hope, eventually it happens. It’s going to happen. This was tough tonight, there’s no doubt about that. The young men, I told them in the locker room—we have to keep battling, we have to keep fighting, and we have to keep working. The one thing I told them, and I truly believe this, is that they have to give me their effort, but they also have to give me their heart. Sometimes you get in these things and you can give effort, but you don’t always give heart. It’s kind of like you put your heart out there, you get it stomped on and it hurts, but you have to keep putting your heart out there and you have to keep putting in your effort. I see them doing that, and I did see progress this week in practice, I promise you I did. I was hoping that we would play a little better and we didn’t, but I have seen progress.”

Quarterback Sefo Liufau

On the possibility of playing tonight:
“I didn’t get any indication before the game. Conner was our starter and we were with him all week. I just have to be ready every week as well.”

On his performance:
“I left a lot of plays out there and I didn’t take care of the ball. I made mistakes with the safety and a fumble, and that hurts the team a lot. Even though I didn’t know I was going in, it’s still unacceptable.”

On his nerves:
I wouldn’t say nervous, but the first couple of plays did go really quickly. After the first drive everything slowed down.”

On the problems with getting the ball to receiver Paul Richardson:
We have to take what they give us, Coach wants completions.”

On the possibility of starting now that the redshirt is off:
“I expect the coaches to make the best decision possible.”

On the possibility of being back on the sideline:
No, I wouldn’t be disappointed at all. The coaches and staff know what they’re doing and know what they want.”

On his first experience overall:
“I learned that I need to take care of the ball more, that really hurt us.”

Outside linebacker Addison Gillam

On what slowed the team down:
“We didn’t have gas and we didn’t follow through with our responsibilities.”

On the ASU offense:
“They’re explosive and a fast team. Those guys make plays, and catch you on your mistakes and capitalize on that.”

On being outmatched throughout the conference:
I think we match up physically to the guys in the conference, we just have to be in the right place.”

Wide Receiver Nelson Spruce

On quarterback Sefo Liufau’s performance:
“He handled himself very well. He was calm and was making good throws. He put together a good drive. He held his composure well even though it was his first game.”

On the beginning of the game and how quickly it got out of hand:
“Yeah, it did. We talked about starting fast against power teams like this, and we didn’t do that. After that it hard to recover I think.”

 

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