QUOTES: "The defense played lights out"

IT WAS A tale of two halves as Greg Laybourn explained during the post game interview. Mike Riley says he's relieved to finally beat the Bruins and Sean Canfield and Jacquizz Rodgers talk, albeit very little, about the postseason.

Coach Mike Riley

On the game - "I thought UCLA prepared well, but I think our defense just had a special night. The defense was really awesome. I thought UCLA tried some great things, but we were just able to answer. It was very important to run the ball. That was the story for the game on both sides. Jacquizz [Rodgers] had a great game, and so did Sean [Canfield]."

On the game at halftime - "It felt just like last week. It was going to take all three hours and 26 minutes to win it. Luckily, we got it going a little bit and made it more comfortable than that."

On Norm Chow - "Norm tried a number of things. Norm is such a good coach, and he has all this stuff he's attempting to get going, but our defense answered in a lot of ways all the time today. Our defense just had a special night,"

On beating UCLA for the first time as a head coach - "It's nice to not have to talk about that anymore."

On being 0-9 versus UCLA - "I really tried to wipe that out of my mind. Everyone kept saying that this team hasn't beaten UCLA. But I told the team that this 2008 team hasn't played UCLA. I thought the atmosphere was great out there today."

On Canfield under throwing Sammie Stroughter and throwing a pick - "Sean was late with that throw.  That was going to be a big play.  He's not back to his normal strength, but he's coming back. He can play, but he's not as strong as he was or will be. I'm just glad he's playing the level he is right now."

On Canfield's better play in the second half - "He hit some balls that started looking pretty good.  I commend Sean for coming back, keeping his poise and leading this team to a win in the second half."

On Hekker's performance - "They had the edge in the kicking game, but we evened it out. Johnny Hekker did a very good job. I wish we did a better job inside the 10 punting, but he did hit the ball consistently. And that was nice to see. If we can continue to elevate that part of the game, that would be good for the future of this team."

 

QB Sean Canfield

On the game - "We came out a little shaky with that fumble on the goal line. We came out in the second half on track, and that was big. UCLA has been our nemesis for quite some time. Now, Coach Riley can say he has beaten the Bruins."

On the season so far - "Coming into every season, the Rose Bowl and the Pac-10 championship is in the back of everybody's mind. But something Coach Riley preaches is taking things one game at a time. Our team buys into that. It contributes to our success."

On Quizz - "Quizz makes what should be a loss into a 3-yard gain.  He's real smart, especially for a true freshman. Along with Ryan, they're lightning and thunder."

On the fumble on first and goal - "That was on me.  I have to tuck the ball and give it to Quizz. The play clock was running down, and I didn't come out as well as I should have and ran into Joe."

On Laybourn's pick - "When Greg picked that off, I was like, ‘Thank you.' That was a big play."

On the feeling at halftime - "We regrouped  The feeling was, just come out the second half and do what we do. And we did."

On the offensive line - "I only got hit a few times, and UCLA was bringing pressure.  They're a stingy defense with some great talent. What a job by our O-line."

 

RB Jacquizz Rodgers

On the game -  "We just weren't executing in the beginning. But the defense played lights out. To not give up a touchdown, that was big. We knew were beating ourselves in the beginning. In the second half, we put it on ourselves to come out and play hard."

On thinking about the possibility of returning to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 -  "Probably to ourselves.  But as a team, it's one game at a time."

On the offensive line - "Those guys block hard every game for me.  They open up the running lanes. Today was no different. And that was a fast, flowing defense. We had to stick it in there and get what we could get."

On him breaking school and Pac-10 records - "I'm not worrying about records right now.  I'm just worrying about wins."



S Greg Laybourn

On the defense - "The guys up front did a great job.  UCLA had a couple of good runs here and there, but couldn't establish the run game because the front seven was really disruptive. We put them in third-down positions, which gave us the opportunity to pressure them and keep their quarterback uncomfortable the whole game."

On the first half - "We knew we hadn't been playing well and things hadn't gone our way.  But we were really calm at halftime. Everyone was pretty much saying, ‘Just keep doing what we're doing and things will go our way.' "

On his interception - "I'm just glad Slade didn't hit (Craft) a second sooner.  He got great pressure on Craft and made him just throw it up there. I happened to be in good position for the interception."

On the second half - "We didn't blink; we just kept playing, and we got our breaks in the second half."

 

P Johnny Hekker

On Riley talking about playing Ryan Allen - "It was kind of a reality check.  I needed to step up my game. I had been kind of coasting through practices, not working on getting better."

On his performance- "I was just trying to make a play for my team, hang the ball up there and let the gunners get down a make a play."


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