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QUOTES: Arizona State 62, USC 41
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/28/2013
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Arizona State head coach Todd Graham

On USC's offensive looks:
"They had a heck of a game plan. A lot of new stuff we had not seen. We gave up three touchdowns there late that stressed me out, we don't need to be doing that."

On the offensive line:
"Our offensive line brought it. They flat got after it and dominated the line of scrimmage. For the first time since I have been here, tempo destroyed the other team. That other defense is one of the best defenses in the nation. They are pretty dang good and our guy just put up 612 yards of offense on them and 62 points. I am really proud of guys our kids deserve all the credit. They got after it. I am particularly proud of our offensive line."

"Kody (Kobensky), Fink (Evan Finkenberg), Jamil (Douglas), Sulka (Tyler), the whole group. I challenged them and I said we have got to come off the football and knock these guys off the ball. We felt like we could. But, that team against the run and the numbers they had put up to this point, we went out and totally dominated them offensively. Coach Norvell had a masterful plan and I am really proud of my staff as well."

On the fan support tonight:
"Our fans were awesome tonight. Absolutely incredible. I hope they were entertained, I think they were. Big time win and I am proud for our seniors. For the rest of their life they know they took care of it at home. We are undefeated at home. I told our band that I wished they would come out every game because we are undefeated with them watching us. It was a great, great night to be a Sun Devil."

On Taylor Kelly's performance:
"Phenomenal. One of the things we wanted him to do is with a team like that, and the way they ran on defense, is utilize Taylor's legs with the read zone package in. He did some great things there. Just really proud of our guys and how they brought it.

On special teams play:
"Alex Garoutte coming in there and rugby kicking it for us. We did a great in kickoff coverage. Alex did a great job kicking the ball there. We did a good job in the return game. Marion got the ball out with some decent returns tonight. I am really proud of them."

On Marion Grice:
"Wow, that guy scores a lot of touchdowns. I am glad he is on our team."

On the defensive performance:
"The big thing that was exciting defensively is getting those turnovers. Alden Darby was outstanding. They had a good plan. They had some things that we had not seen. They were doing a lot of motion and movement that they had not done. They had us on our heels in the first quarter. I mean on our heels big time. We were just trying to figure out what was going on."

On Jaxon Hood's absence:
"It was really hard. We had Gannon (Conway) down there and it hurt us too much at the end so we moved Gannon back in the middle of the game. Davon (Coleman), who hadn't practiced at nose tackle all week, was put down there. That kind of settled us down. Guys made great adjustments. They were doing a lot of audible-ing and checking, but our guys did a great job at halftime picking up some things. We did some things at halftime that we hadn't done. It was a great night. I am just proud of my players and proud of our fans. I am just really proud to be a Sun Devil tonight." 

On the adjustments defensively in the second half:
"What we were doing was showing our blitz too early. When they checked the play, we should check the play. We weren't doing that in the first half. Once we started doing that in the second half, then we were able to knock it down."

On the challenge of USC offense:
"They hurt us schematically worse than anyone else we have played. Thats our fault we have to be better prepared."

On red zone offense:
"That was big for us to get in the red zone and score touchdowns. Our offensive line was controlling the line of scrimmage. The number one reason why we were so successful in the red zone was tempo. In the first half we were rolling."

Quarterback Taylor Kelly

On sheer domination of USC:
“It started off with these five (Koebensky, Finkenberg, Douglas, Sulka, Teofilo).  They came to work all week and they didn’t allow a sack tonight.  They’re doing a great job. They’re starting to come together.  I believe in these guys.  We’re going to keep working, establish our running game, and then our offense starts going.”

On taking advantage of seam routes:
“They were starting to bracket Jaelen (Strong).  We just thought we could hurt them down the seams.  Chris Coyle did a great job of getting open.  Same with D.J. (Foster)—using his speed to get open and take it to the house.”

On having to beat USC in Pac-12 South play:
“It’s huge.  We have to win the South in order to achieve our goal, and USC is a big competitor there.  They’re always a great team and they have a bunch of great athletes, so it’s a big game and a lot of our guys are from there so it was a high emotion game.”

On ASU offense getting on a roll:
“The fourth quarter is our quarter.  We own that quarter, both offensively and defensively.  We have to just keep pounding that ball and get that tempo going.  When we do that, it’s hard for teams to keep up with us.”

On Jaelen Strong:
“We’re taught to give him a chance, to give him an opportunity.  I have a great feeling with him.  I can just put a ball up for him and he goes and makes a great play.”

On whether ASU’s “A-game” has yet to be seen:
“Definitely.  We have some mental mistakes, turnovers, and little things.  We have to stay focused throughout the whole game, all four quarters.  It’s tough for a football team, but that’s what we have to do to achieve our goals and to be perfect.”

Safety Alden Darby

On the team’s morale after this game:
“Of course it’s a boost of confidence.  It just shows us that if we go to work all week long in practice and don’t have any mental mistakes, the result will be like tonight, every night.”

On bouncing back from last week:
“This week we all challenged ourselves in the secondary.  We really picked it up.  Last week we had too many lineman errors, too many mental mistakes, and critical errors in the secondary.  So this week, we really challenged ourselves in practice not to have any critical errors and mental breakdowns.  And tonight, our linemen were on point.”

On having to beat USC in Pac-12 South play:
“In order to win the South, you have to beat USC.  No question about it.  No matter what they lacked in previous games, no matter what weaknesses they’ve shown, in order to win the South you have to beat USC.  A lot of us are from SoCal, so the switch just goes on and doesn’t go off when we play those guys.  The main thing is, we want to challenge each other this week, and have that same switch against any other team for the rest of the season, not just when we play against USC.”

On 28 points in the third quarter:
“It feels good.  I love when I’m on the sideline and I see the offense get rolling—it gets my hyped.  We have an explosive offense.  When I see the O-line picking up key blocks, receivers making key catches, and TK (Taylor Kelly) running the ball, I just get excited on the sideline.  It gives us momentum on defense, to know that our offense can’t be stopped.  It feels good to see our offense rolling like that.” 

On whether ASU’s “A-game” has yet to be seen:
“Our A-game has not been shown yet.  We’ve had moments and spurts where we show our A-game, but we still have some mistakes to correct.  Our A-game has yet to be shown, but we’ll get there.”

Lineman Evan Finkenberg

On having something to prove tonight:
“This whole season we were trying to push our running game.  This week we were really hammering the ball, doing a lot more inside runs, a lot of different technique stuff.  When you start getting that push in the front five, all of a sudden our offense opens up really well and the receivers start getting better looks, and things start going a little faster for us.”

Center Kody Koebensky

On sheer domination of USC:
“I love beating those guys.  They’re a very talented team—well coached, they have great technique.  It’s always fun coming out and playing at a high level against those guys.”

On the offensive line’s communication tonight:
“Communication was huge.  We saw a lot of different looks tonight—they brought a lot of different linebackers and some secondary guys.  As O-line, we were on the same page all night.  As a unit, we saw things very well tonight, and Taylor did too.  The whole offense did a good job seeing where that pressure was coming from.”

Lineman Jamil Douglas

On putting up 62 points against USC’s defense:
“I think it says that we’re an explosive offense.  There’s been a lot of talk about our running game.  I think we did a good job with the whole offense, showing that we can run the ball as well as pass the ball because we had a lot of passing yards too.  I think it just shows that we’re an explosive offense.”

 

USC head coach Lane Kiffin

Opening Statement:
“Unfortunately, a disastrous third quarter for us was a big part of the game. The first half seemed to go back and forth—two critical turnovers for us in the first half. We had a dropped pass on the post route going out, and it ended up being an interception for them and a big play. In the third quarter we went down the field and scored, and then it went downhill from there. What I talk about all the time: assume nothing, because you never know how the game is going to go. You’ll never assume there’s going to be 100 points with these two defenses and close to 1000 yards. Unfortunately we didn’t play very  good defense today—gave up a bunch of explosive plays, a bunch of back-shoulder throws, and we only created one turnover. Offensively, we gave the ball over four times, and you’re not going to win games with a -3 turnover margin on the road. The bye (week) is coming at a good time. We are, obviously as you can see, an extremely beat up team, so we’ll need guys to step up and play like some guys did in the second half.”

On Marqise Lee’s injury:
“Obviously it didn’t look very good. It didn’t sound very good or look very good, so that’s all I got for you.”

On what part of Marqise Lee’s body was injured:
“His knee.”

On his message in the locker room:
“We have a bye week coming up and we have to get healthy; get some guys back hopefully. As you can tell we’re really down to the low 50s in scholarship players now with us, so hopefully we can get some guys back healthy, and some walk-ons have to enhance their role and play for us.”

On being on the hot seat:
“I’m fine with that. I have been dealing with that for 12 months. That’s fine. That’s the last thing I’m worried about. We have to find a way to coach better and play better and get our backups ready.”

On their chances to win the Pac-12 South:
“I’m not worried about that. We can’t control way down there. We can just go back to work, go back to practice, and get better, take care of the ball better and get more turnovers, because that was a big part of the game today.”

USC Quarterback Cody Kessler

On the game:
"This one hurts. I mean I feel that our offense played a pretty good game. There were definitely mistakes and turnovers that were there but we still should have put some more points up on the board. ASU is a great offensive team. They put up 62 [points] but we could have easily put up 62 if we didn't make the mistakes that we did. At the end of the day I'm proud of how our guys fought. We showed heart. There were guys in there that weren't giving up and we were down 20 to 30 points in a quarter. They fought as hard as they could and we bonded."

On bouncing back: 
"I think we need to go back and watch this film. I think the guys on this team that really do care and can turn this thing around. It's going to be hard I'm not going to lie, but with the character and leadership that we have we can do it."

USC Linebacker Devon Kennard

On the offense: 
"We just didn’t execute. They scored 62. We know we have a great defense. There are things that we need to change but we just have to get back to work."

On the defense:
"I think we did fine in the first half but in the second half it seemed like they were tipping us."

On Taylor Kelly and ASU's offense:
"They are really good players. They did a good job of taking out a lot of our plays. We didn’t get any sacks today and that’s something we are going to look at. We had a challenge today but we just have to be consistent. If we would have made less mistakes in the first half maybe the game would have ended differently." 

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