Presser Quotes: Mike Rallis

Mike Rallis fielded questions after Tuesday's press conference. He discussed the start of school, the play of the Gopher defense against USC and his desire to get a win on Saturday.

Outside linebacker Mike Rallis on the moral victory gained by the defense against USC:

You never want to take moral victories away from a game. I know a lot of people around the community are saying, ‘good job' and ‘good effort' but we weren't working hard all off season to just give a good effort. We always want to get that ‘W.' But the defense stuck together. I'm proud of the defense for sticking together. We gave great effort in the second half. That's something you can really build on. I think guys, if they weren't believing before, they are starting to believe we can be a good team around here.

On staying calm despite playing from behind:

It wasn't so much on the sideline or after the game, it wasn't so much here we go again, chaos or panic or anything like that. Everybody stayed pretty calm, just listen to our coaches and continue to try and get better during the game. That's the same attitude we are going to take into this game.

On first game nerves:

I think we just finally settled in. We had some first game jitters: USC's got some great athletes out there so they were bound to hit a couple plays but we stuck in there and got into the flow of the game and really just dug out cleats into the ground and made a stand.

On the improved defense in the second half of the USC game:

The big difference was we didn't give up any big plays. In the first half we gave up a couple big plays. In the first game of the season you never know what the offense is going to come out in. There was a little bit of surprises. That first drive is always a tough one but after that we just kind of settled in there and realized what they were going to do and just trusted our technique and stopped them.

On school starting this week:

It's always nice when you can just focus on football like that but we got a lot of veterans on this team. We've been through it before and it's just something you just got to be able to manage your time and focus on school then when you come over here you just focus on football.

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