Insight Bowl Quotes

Coach Dirk Koetter, and players Rudy Carpenter, Jamar Williams and Derek Hagan comment about the game.

Opening statement by Coach Koetter:

"Obviously we're real excited the way it (the game) turned out. It was a little iffy in the first half, but these guys rallied the troops in the second half. I'm really proud of the way our guys competed and hung in there. To battle the flu…we had a bunch of guys go down again tonight – Dale Robinson was reduced to just a shadow of himself. He has a real bad thigh bruise that he hasn't able to overcome. We lost Stephen Berg, our starting guard, really early in the game. You could see (Andrew) Carnahan limping around on that foot. It has been broken the whole second half of the year and he has been playing on it. We lost (Maurice) London to a concussion, Kyle Caldwell was out the whole second half…"

On Rutgers' Play:

"Rutgers had us off-balance in the second half with their shifts and motions. We were screwed up about half the time and we didn't tackled them very well. Jamar (Williams) did a good job of taking charge. Derek (Hagan) in a leadership role…the skinny guy here to my left (Rudy Carpenter), this guy was the man again tonight. He hurt his shoulder in the first quarter. This is one though dude right here."

On the Insight Bowl experience in Chase Field:

"What a cool venue for a bowl game. This location is really neat. The fans are loud as heck, the atmosphere, the field…this was a real fun game. On behalf of all of us (the ASU football team), our hats off to Rutgers. They played a hell of a ball game. They're well coached, they played hard…that was fun game to be a part of."

On Derek Hagan and his contributions to the program:

"It's been well documented that Derek wasn't the most highly recruited guy in the world. He's one of those diamonds in the rough. In recruiting, you can never measure what's in a guy's heart. It took a flu bug to knock himself out of practice for the first time in four years. If you could hear Derek on the sidelines in the first half, when we were getting our butts kicked…here's a guy that broke all the (Pac-10 and school) records, his future is relatively secured, and he's going up and down the sidelines talking to walk-ons onto to every other player and me, saying ‘Hang in there. Keep on playing hard.' I always appreciate that about Derek. He wants the ball in his hands, but he's humble enough to know…they rolled the coverage to him tonight so Matt Miller, Terry Richardson and Jamaal (Lewis) on the other side were getting a lot of single coverage. I wish we had four more years of Derek or four more players like Derek."

On the significance of scoring late in the first half

"Maybe if we didn't get that, we would gave gotten booed twice as loud as they were booing us. Boy, I tell you that was an ugly first half. Rudy Carpenter – what a stud that guy is. First question, as we were walking down the hallway on the way back (to the locker room): ‘So, we're going no huddle all second half, right coach?' Because we went down (on the last drive of the first half) with that no huddle and made it look easy. We do work on no huddle offense all the time, and that was obviously a big part of the game getting it down under two scores. Let's face it: we were lucky to be down one score at halftime. They embarrassed us the first half. But, that's why you have two halves."

On the impact the halftime adjustments had on the game's outcome

"Halftime adjustments are overrated. We made zero adjustments. We told our players ‘We're getting our ass kicked. Plain and simple. Show up. We have to tackle somebody, we have to get organized on defense…' Offensively, we knew that front four can bring it and they did. Our game plan was fine. They couldn't stop us in the bunch formation all night. We knew we could run it. We knew we could throw it. But we were beating ourselves. We had penalties, we had that fumble on 3rd and 1. When you get in a game that's back and forth, and you lose serve first, it can get away from you in a hurry."

On the legacy the 19 departing seniors are leaving

"I told those guys that we're real close to being a BCS team. People that have followed us through out the year know we're a few plays away from instead of being Insight Bowl champs to be playing next week. I'm very appreciative to all the things the Insight Bowl does for us and for college football, but that's not our goal. We weren't close a few years ago (to being a BCS team). We weren't even in the ballpark. Now we are in the ballpark and that's thanks in large to those 19 seniors. I think if those guys haven't learned anything else – in football, as in life is that if you get knocked down, you gotta get up. I'm real proud of these guys academically and on the field. Many people in this room are probably ASU alumnus, and if you're an alumni and you're gonna have those 19 guys join your ranks…we're all gonna be proud of those 19 guys. I think those guys will make good decisions in their life. We're gonna miss them all. But come Martin Luther King Day, about 75 of those guys there (in the locker room) will report to the theater at 6:00 PM the day before the second semester starts and we'll start this thing all over again."

Rudy Carpenter (Insight Bowl Offensive MVP):

On his injury "I got hit a lot and that's just part of the position. I didn't want to walk away with a loss from this game. My shoulder is all right and it will get better."

On feeling good before the game

"In our last practice before the game, I thought we had a good practice offensively. Before the game getting off the bus, I told the coaches that if this was a basketball game I was gonna score fifty tonight. I'm happy it worked out this way."

Jamar Williams (Insight Bowl Defensive MVP):

On adjusting on defense "They were shifting a lot and doing a lot of things we haven't seen on film. I just took upon myself to relax everybody, make sure we're in the right formation and make the right calls."

On leaving ASU on a high note

"It's great having back-to-back bowl victories. This hasn't been done in twenty some years. It was a great fun turnout. It's a great feeling to go out this way."

Derek Hagan

"It's just great to go out with a victory. Jamar and I have been here for four seasons and it has been great. We have so many memories. It's just a wonderful feeling, especially with everything we have gone through. As far as the team coming back next year, those guys are gonna be ready. Now it's time for T-Rich (Terry Richardson) to step up and be the man at wide receiver. He's definitely ready for that role."

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