QUOTES: USC at OSU

QUOTES: USC at OSU

Quotes from the Oregon State players and coaches following their thrilling 33-31 victory over No. 3 USC Nov. 28.

Coach Mike Riley
On the victory - “That is a great win, a big-time win. This was a great win over a great program because that team (Southern Cal) is good. Wasn’t that fun? Those kids just fought like crazy. I’m really proud of our team right now. Our coaches have stayed the course; our team has stayed the course. One of the things we talked about with USC is there have been a lot of teams in tight games with them, but nobody has been able to finish it. Our kids did a great job of never quitting. They’ll never forget the lesson learned from fighting through. The win is a result of a life lesson for these kids — don’t quit and work hard. We’ve had four weeks of a different level of practice. It has to do with the character of the group. They wanted to be better than what we were. And now we still have a lot of football left. I’m looking forward to getting better and better.”

On what he told his team in the fourth quarter - "There have been a lot of teams with pretty tight games with them, but nobody had been able to finish it. I told our players, ‘That will have to be our job in the fourth quarter.’ I didn’t think it would come down quite like that, but our kids did a great job of never quitting.”

On moving forward after the win - “This sport can be humbling. It’s important to stay in the moment and then get ready for another game, but it’s a lot better to be where we are than where we were a month ago.”

On Moore's play - “I’m really proud of Matt. The thing I like is, he’s a competitor. He’s fun to coach because of that. It’s a nice game for that kid to have under his belt for the rest of his life.”

On Moore's pregame speech - “Matt talked about, ‘Just be yourself in this game. Don’t try to reinvent who you are because it’s a so-called big game and SC. Be yourself, work hard, do the things you’ve been doing.’ Pretty good suggestion. I used it in my pregame talk.”

On SC driving late in the fourth - “I told Danny (Langsford, the OSU offensive coordinator), let’s start getting a package together for overtime. You have to have it ready to go. It looked like it was heading that way.”

On second and goal in the second quarter which resulted in a sack on Moore“We called the same play as on first down, but Clinton went the wrong wa. What a killer. We had so many plays like that we worried would just haunt us.”

On the media - "I don't pay any attention to that. I'm saying that truthfully. If I spent a lot of time thinking about that and worrying about that, I'd be wasting a lot of time (instead of doing) stuff that I have to do for this team."

On Stroughter's punt return for a touchdown - “The punt return obviously made a huge impact,"

On Polk's play - “I’m really proud of Clinton. This was a big game for him, and what he did for this team. Every time you go in and produce you earn respect, and show (coaches and teammates) ‘We can rely on this guy.’

On Bernard not playing - "It wasn't even close. (Bernard) couldn't run. He tried to jog (Friday) and he couldn't do it."

Coach Mark Banker
On the defense playing well - “Maybe early on we didn’t play up to our expectations. It was just a matter of this group jelling. Today we saw three tailbacks, six receivers and three tight ends who will all be drafted. They didn’t let that effect them. They believed in themselves as a group, bowed up and got the job done.”

 

QB Matt Moore
On the win and the rest of the season - “It does mean we look at the season different. But that doesn’t mean we have to change anything in practice. We have to keep it steady. And we have to approach the rest of the season that way.”

On the turnovers yielding just 12 points - "Turnovers usually decide the winner and loser, but we needed to get touchdowns," Moore said.

On the last play of the game - “To tell you the truth I was just like, ‘Man, I hope they don’t get this because I really don’t want to go to overtime,’ "

On his performance, the win - “"I got so excited my eyes starrted tearing up. This win was huge. But put aside all my personal pleasure — me being from L.A., a former (UCLA) Bruin, beating the nation’s No. 3 team. It’s nice, but it’s not just about me. It’s about the 100 guys or so on the team. It’s about coach Riley and the coaches; the people I’m surrounded by in the Oregon State program. And the time they put in. People don’t realize the time they put in — same with the players. It is nice for me, but I’m happy for everyone else. It’s a team thing and I’m excited. I’m just stoked. I can’t explain it.”

On his pregame speech that Riley asked him to do - " "I went into his office before we had a team meeting and he said, 'What should I say to the guys?' The only thing I could think of, which was probably stupid because he was probably looking for something different, was 'Make sure we don't turn the ball over. I think he was probably looking for something inspirational, although that stat usually determines who wins."

On Polk's play - "Clinton filled in nicely, and we really didn't miss a beat. We were maybe minus Yvenson's leadership out there, but that was about it."

 

TE Joe Newton
On Bernard not playing and Polk's play
- “Yvenson was a big loss for us. We needed a big game from Clinton to account for that. He stepped up and gave us all we could ask from him.”

On the game - "That's probably the most fun I've ever had in a game in my life. It was a battle all the way to the end, that's why you play. They (the Trojans) have shown all year that they can finish games, and that's what makes teams great. I'm so happy we were able to do that I'm proud we played to win rather than played not to lose."

On Moore's performance - "Best performance I've ever seen Matt put together. I'm proud of the way he played. We won and he stayed cool under pressure and made unbelievable throws all day long. So many great plays, I can't even count them. I think he answered a lot of his doubters today."

On preparing for USC - “I think we were ready for them. I don’t think we were in awe of them, but obviously we respected them. They are a very good team. They had, who knows how many Pac-10 wins? We definitely respected them, but we knew we could play with them.”

On the last play of the game - "At the end with USC going for itI couldn't even breathe. I was concerned there for my heart for a few minutes."

 

S Sabby Piscitelli
On defeating USC after being blown out by Cal and Boise State - “Our season is long and you have to face adversity some time in your season. It doesn’t matter who you are, but how you handle adversity in a season is huge. And we bounced back.”

On Polk's play - “I told Clinton all week it was his time to shine. He’s such a great player, and he really showed it. SC, that’s no walk in the park. He really stepped up.”

On Bernard not playing - “Yve is one of the toughest players I’ve been around. But seeing his facial expressions throughout the week — he’s one of my best friends — I knew it was going to be a long shot. I didn’t want him to try if he wasn’t at least 70 percent, and don’t know if he was but if he was he would have (played). It was hard for him to soak that up."

On Moore's play - “He’s a stud. I think he’s faced the most adversity of any individual player at Oregon State. And I’ve been watching this kid in practice for two years, and I tell everybody he’s a great player. He made some rookie mistakes (last year) but he showed his leadership and athletic ability today. He took over that offense and made some great plays.”

On the game coming down to the last play - "We expected that from a team like SC. We knew they weren’t going to lay down. They are SC for a reason. They got great athletes and we know that. We had to play all four quarters. As a defense we didn’t break stride. We gave up a few mental plays, but that’s going to happen in a game like that. It was good for us to bounce back and not blink. That's what you practice for, day in and day out, that's why you go through double days, spring drills, that's why you work out all year around. That's when big players step up and make plays, and I think our whole defense was big players today. That's what everybody plays the game for. Eight seconds left, a team like SC. It's your house, they gotta score and you gotta stop 'em. They're at your house, and they've got to score, and you've got to stop them. That's when big players step up and make big plays. It was intense."

On finishing the game - “It feels real great to finish a game like this. We were in a similar situation a couple years ago, and that left a bad taste. This time we finished. I feel it was really big for us to finish. A lot of USC’s games this season came down to the end, and we knew it. Our coaches did a great job of preparing us for this. They told us not to be surprised if we were ahead at the end with USC with the ball.”

 

RB Clinton Polk
On his first start in orange and black
- "I was very nervous at first. After the first series, I felt like I got my feet wet and I just went from there. I threw up (on the sidelines) after my first series, but after throwing up I think was ready. I just got my feet wet, and went from there. (Teammates and coaches) were in my ear, letting me know I was ready. They made me believe. They were a big part of me out there.”

On USC's defense - “They brought it, they brought it. I took a shot last week versus Arizona that was pretty crucial, but I thought (USC) brought it pretty well. I just had to stay on my toes and bring it back.”

On signing with OSU instead of New Mexico - “It’s worth it. New Mexico gave me grief for not signing, they told me they’ll watch me on the sidelines. But I guess they didn’t see me on the sidelines today."

On what his performance means to him - “This let’s me know I can do it, gives me more confidence and motivation. Regardless of what my role is, I know I can do it.”

On rushing for 100 yards - "I didn't even know I had 100 yards rushing. I thought I had something like 30."

 

LB Alan Darlin
On the game - "Everybody had faith in our team and I think that really helped us in this victory. We knew we had to attack and finish, and that’s exactly what we did. We have to play with an attitude. The bottom line is, we’ve been having a ton of fun out there.”

On Van Orsow tipping the pass - “I saw Jeff tip it. We knew we had the game, that there would be no overtime. It was just a great heads-up play. I guess they figured they would go over the top to one of their playmakers."

On the fans - “We love our fans and we love it when they love us too. We definitely felt the positive energy coming from the crowd. That was great and I hope it continues.”

 

RB Yvenson Bernard
On Polk's performance - "It just shows you we've got players. Clinton did a great job. That's a big step for him. Everybody doubted we could run the ball, and he came in and did his thing. He didn't care. Right now, Clinton has that spot, to be honest. He did a great job, and I've got to work hard to get that back."

 

WR Sammie Stroughter
On his 70-yard punt return for a touchdown - “A great job by the punt return team. G-Law (Gerard Lawson) had a great block. He set it all up. And then Daniel Drayton had a great block on the punter. I cut it up and saw only daylight.”

On the win - "We're on a high right now. We’ve been through a lot of adversity and it’s a great burden off our shoulders, but we can't be satisfied."

On the Friday's chapel - "We had chapel and coach Riley gave a great illustration. It was David and Goliath and we just kept saying, 'Chop off their head." It was ordained before I was born. The Lord had this day written already."

On Moore's play - "Matt Moore is the leader and a warrior. We're going to stay with him for life."

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