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QUOTES: Arizona State 32, Wisconsin 30
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/15/2013
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Head coach Todd Graham

On beating Wisconsin:
“I am proud of our players. I am so proud of our fans coming out and blacking this thing out. They were rocking all night long. I can tell you it is great, we just beat the defending Big Ten champions but we made so many mistakes. We didn’t play very well. I mean we had huge breakdowns in the kicking game. I thought we played very poorly there, even though Alex Garoutte had a great night and so did Zane Gonzales. This senior class, they have something special. I have seen some things tonight that I haven’t seen since I have been here; character, toughness. They didn’t come in here and run that power or lead zone over us, they ran the speed sweep but obviously we have to do a better job with that. We were putting a lot of stress on our secondary, we wanted them to run to the perimeter, but I am really proud. I think our defense played really, really good. We didn’t give up any cheap, long touchdown runs. We gave up some long runs but I thought the guys played well. We only gave up 15 first downs. Marion Grice had four touchdowns. We had so many opportunities. I thought Jalen [Strong] was awesome. We turned the ball over one time and if we don’t do that we win by two scores.”

On the intensity of the game:
“They were top-four in the country in plays last year but I will tell you this the way our guys battled they got their moneys worth out of me tonight because I coached harder than I have coached in a long time, I think I weigh about 180lb right now.”

On the coaching staff:
“I don’t think it was our best outing as a coaching staff. I think they did some really good things you got to give them credit. They do a great job but our guys found a way to win and I think they were definitely the most physical team on the field and I was just really proud of how they played and proud to be a Sun Devil.”

On the Sun Devil defense:
“I would like to see what they had yardage wise on the power. That is their signature play in Wisconsin for the last 50 years and they could not run that play today and I think it is because of those guys upfront getting off on that football. I do think we controlled the line of scrimmage and then they started running stretch and zone and cutting us and all that stuff, and that is fine but you know, heck, they had five first downs in the first half and we were behind so that was crazy. I think our guys were battling their tails off and I think this was kind of a first game for them because they had a lot of new things that they had not shown and our guys had made good. I thought Osahon Irabor played like a warrior. I thought [Alden] Darby and [Irabor] were solid. Osahon Irabor up front played well. I thought our linebackers played well. Anthony Jones played his best game of his career. I was really proud of him and pointed him out in the locker room.” 

On ASU's tough schedule:
“We looked forward to this schedule and we have just talked about just focusing and winning the next game. We knew that we had to face the defending Big Ten Champion in week two and we can check that one off our list. Now comes the Pac-12 Champion and is that more important, darn right it is! It is 10-times more important. The next two games are both conference games and obviously they are very, very critical to our success and none more than Stanford. I want to really call to all our fans. 'I need you to pack up get on the road and go to Stanford. We need your help there this is going to be the biggest game of the year for us.'”

Quarterback Taylor Kelly

On tough win:
"I thought we played well. We made some critical errors. Holding onto the football is a big one. We have to get better. We have to come to work this week. We have two wins under our belt. Now we’re playing Stanford, a great football team. We have to bring our A game. We have to have a great week of practice."

On the Pac-12 not losing a game today:
“It’s a great conference. We got a lot of powerhouse teams. The Pac-12 is doing their thing on weekends and going to work.”

On second and third quarter adjustments:
“We just have to convert on third downs. We had a lot of dropped balls. We just have to convert on those third downs. At halftime, we made some adjustments and started attacking the run. Marion did a great job tonight.”

On Wisconsin getting tired:
“They were getting tired up front. We were switching it up and kept pounding it down their throat.”

Safety Alden Darby

On final seconds of the game:
“We just jumped on it and I guess time ran out so we won. I was confused back there.”

On the tough win:
“Faith was on our side. God was on our side. We had some mistakes there at the crucial part of the game.”

On big win against Wisconsin, a team that went to the Rose Bowl:
“They’re a great team of course. Big Ten champions and they went to the Rose Bowl. For a win like that, it’s a great win for the university, for the city, for the fans and for our football team.”

On being able to overcome in crucial moments in the game:
“It starts with the leadership. I’ve never played on a team in my life that has so much leadership. The seniors, the underclassmen. We all believe in each other and think we can get it done. When adversity struck, we were prepared for that. We practiced situations like that. We just all pulled together. Nobody had their head held down. We were down and we still expected to win.”

Cornerback Osahon Irabor

On tonight’s ending:
“The way it ended like that, we were trying to get a stop on defense, trying to bear down for the team.  Wow, I just used a U of A reference – go Devils!  That was a crazy ending, I’m happy it ended the way it did.”

On ASU’s last meeting with Wisconsin:
“I remember that game like it was yesterday.  We should’ve won that game, but didn’t.  It’s senior year – a new program, a new attitude to stick together as a team.  There was no quit on either sides of the ball.  I’m just really proud of my guys, and proud of the way we kept battling till the last second and just kept fighting.”

On ASU’s defense overall tonight:
“I think we did a good job, especially in the first half.  We had a lot of miscommunications though.  We have to do a better job of communicating as a defense.  That usually happens early in the season – guys are still trying to figure everything out.  I think we could’ve played better, if we had communicated better.”

On what they expected from Wisconsin tonight:
“Coach Graham is a genius.  He does a great job of scouting the opponent and working on executing our game plan.  Everything we saw today, we expected.”

On going forward from here:
“You never like to look ahead, but we know what’s ahead on our schedule.  We know what’s coming up next week – the Pac-12 champions.  We definitely have to play better if we want to win that game.  We have to watch the film tomorrow, put this game behind us, get ready for the next opponent, and just focus on ourselves and get better as a team.”

On moving forward from here after a win like tonight’s:
“I think it’s huge for us as a program to show that we’re here to play with the big boys, that we’re ready for any challenge, and that we’re going to rise to any occasion that comes in front of us.  It was a huge performance by our front seven.  I think our defensive line and our line backers did a great job.”

On Wisconsin’s last drive:
“As a defense, we’re just worried about field position.  We’re just trying to make sure that they can’t kick an easy field goal – that’d be a shame to lose a game like that.  We were thinking about attacking and getting second and long.  Then coming on third down, getting third and long.  We were just thinking ‘bring pressure as a defense,’ which is what we always do.”

Wide receiver Jaelen Strong

On the key touchdown drive that retook the momentum of the game:
“Taylor [Kelly] did a great job trusting me three-straight times, just giving me a chance.  I went up and made the play. It starts with Taylor. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have made those plays.”

On getting up to speed and learning the offense:
“I’m still not where I need to be, I have a lot of work to do. In practice, we’re working on getting me to where I should be. It’s taking a little bit longer than I expected, but Coach Alexander and Coach Norvell are doing a great job of getting me up to pace.”

On the receivers tonight:
“It all starts with being poised. We had some adversity in the beginning of the game. At halftime we talked about those key drops. I think we had too many drops out there – the game wouldn’t have been close if we had caught all those passes.  But we held our heads high – short-term memory, just work on the next play. That’s what we did.”

Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen

On the game:
“I don’t have a lot to say, I’m proud of my kids and they played hard. ASU is a good team. It is a shame that it went down that way. If there is 18 seconds left we teach the kids to spike it and of course he slipped but that is what we practice. We were worried we would have a kickoff our way.”

"I was very proud of them; I am unbelievable proud of the football program, they kept battles on both sides. These kids were resilient. Its emotional for me to be in a position with my kids to play that hard and then they lose."

"It hurts it’s a close game. The senior class will have a hard time absorbing that. We will get on the plane and take some deep breaths and get ready for the Big Ten. The key is to not let ASU beat you twice."

"We have to be respectful to our opponent, which we absolutely do. I can handle the other stuff, I’m a big boy and that’s my job to deal with all the other things on the side and what I think is right. It is hard to lose a game like that and well move forward and take care of our business. The lesson is don’t let ASU beat you twice."

On Arizona State:
"My kids played that hard, their quarterback has come a long way and played very well. It was a big challenge for us. They got good wide receivers; they got good skill all over the place. Both teams were full of skill and it was a very big challenge for us on the defensive side."

On ASU's defense:
"They play hard and are an aggressive defense. They gave us a lot of different looks, and they changed their looks up a bit without question and there was an adjustment we had to make."

On what he said to the team:
"I told the kids at the beginning of the year the difference between a good team and a bad team is 10 plays and we missed one of those opportunities in the game today. But it wasn’t just the last three plays, there were a lot of opportunities where somebody makes a play and some where somebody doesn’t make a play." 

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