"I think so. I think some of our games have been a little rocky. But at 4-0 I think we have to be respected. We're coming out and getting things done, whether they be early or late in the game, but we're coming out with a W. I think they respect that."
Have the players starting thinking about the Pac-10 championship?
"Actually we were just talking about it after the game. We just have to take one game at a time. Right now we're looking at Stanford Saturday. And then after that we'll look at ahead to who's ever next. We just want to take it one game at a time and really focus on what we have to do."
Do you think Stanford will blitz?
"I think so, yes. Coach Dorrell has told me that he worked with their defensive coordinator, and that they probably will blitz a lot. It's something we have to be ready for. We'll probably put in a good package for the blitz pick-up."
Some are calling the Washington State-USC game the Pac-10 title game. How do you take that?
"Me personally, it's fine. They can say it's the Pac-10 title game. We can't control what the other teams do and how the other games turn out. People can blow it up as big as they want. In the end, it all comes down to who has the most wins. I don't think we look at it as anything bad."
You don't consider it a slight? "Honestly I don't think we look at it. We're focusing on ourselves and sharpening our skills, and fundamentals, and knowing what we have to do to win and accomplish our goal. Like I said before, I really do think we've surprised some people and with that, gain their respect."
Have you surprised yourself with what the team has done?
I wouldn't say surprise. Well, I don't know. At the beginning of the season, nobody knew how it was going to be because we had the new coaching staff. With the way Coach Dorrell has run this ship, it's all worked out according to his plan. Once everyone started believing and working toward the same goal I think it's something we earned."
What can you say about your first half performance compared to your second half performance in the ASU game?
"The first half we came out slinging. We really moved the ball well. Craig Bragg, with all the catches he had, helped us out a lot. And then the second half, Maurice Drew was running the ball well and our passing game was kind of slowing down a little bit. We had some new protections in that we had to work some stuff out with. Why not run the ball with Maurice? He was tearing people apart. He did a great job. We ran the ball more obviously in the second half because it was effective. If we can do that and wear down their defensive line, because I thought they were tired, give it to Maurice every time. And we had the lead."
Did they change the game plan because you started instead of Drew Olson?
"I think no matter who started they were going to go with this game plan. It was a good plan. We had a lot of nice things to do. We didn't get to some of them because of situations and field position we were in. But I don't think the game plan changed at all."
What do the coaches do at halftime to get the team to play so much better in the second half?
"First of all it's definitely nice to know we come out explosive in the second half. I think a lot of us don't want to just be a second-half team, but want to start that fire at the beginning of the game. It's definitely nice to know that we come out with intensity in the second half. The coaches make some halftime adjustments as any coach would, give us a motivational speech and we got out there. It's not anything special. It's an attitude that these guys have that we need to turn on a little earlier."
What do you think of your performance now that you watched it on film?
"I think I did allright. There were a couple of passes that I missed that I'm kind of upset with myself about. I thought I should have hit a couple of guys. But I thought I did okay. For next week, first of all, what's a big thing with Coach Axman – I was throwing the ball high. That's just fundamental stuff. I think it's from being out of the game. It's easy to play catch with somebody and hit them in the chest every time. But when you have guys flying and buzzing around, and I think my fundamentals were a little off. But as far as the progression and the reading, that was all good. Stepping up was a good thing. I tried to step up a couple of times and got hit. I just need to be a little quicker, I think. Those are some things I noticed watching the film last night."
Do you think you held the ball too long at times?
"Yeah, I did. I know I held the ball too long one time. Some of the other times are questionable. I'm not putting any blame on anybody. It's too hard to say. If I could have stepped up. You can't really say, ‘If I would have done this, or he would have done that.' You can't do that. But I definitely think I held the ball too long once or twice."
Did you feel physically 100%?
"I took off for that little run, if you want to call it that. I didn't feel any pain or anything. The only thing I noticed on the film is that I didn't feel is that the brace kind of alters my running. I don't feel like I've lost a step, though. I feel 100%."
Will you be playing without the brace?
"I don't know. It's up to the doctors. It's a sense of security. It's nice to have that protection. I'll probably wear something over it the whole year, a sleeve or something. But the brace, the big brace, is kind of pain, but a lot of people said it's worth it to wear it that know more than I do."
So there is no physical reason for the coaches not to call a roll out for you?
"No. And we specifically went over that. I told the coaches that I don't want to hold the offense back at all. You can call anything in the playbook and I'll be ready to run it, and I'll be capable of running it." You used the shotgun extensively in high school. Would you like to run out of hit more often?
"I think so. I mentioned that to Coach Axman, too. He said a couple of plays we were going to run the shotgun in, but we never got to it. They weren't really in the playbook this week anyways. Maybe somewhere down the line."
Do you think opposing defenses are knowing what you're doing on offense and getting in a groove against you?
"I guess you can say that. After seven or eight games any defense, just watching film, is going to see tendencies. But I think defenses can see what's going on. But I think we change it up a lot. Or we could. The screens and everything. I think our line, with the way we're coming around, last week we had a new protection in, but if we stick to our base protection everything will be cool. Either way the defense is bringing guys from everywhere. People are going to start doing that. They have it figured out. But everybody's like that."
Do you think the offense will put in plays that go against tendencies in the future?
"Yeah, we've thrown in some different stuff but we haven't ran it. Maybe they're saving it for down the line somewhere. But there are definitely some changes in the offense. It's normal stuff but different than what we've usually been doing."
Were you surprised by Maurice Drew's performance?
"Yeah. It's bad to say I'm surprised because I had all the confidence in him in the world. But I think he shocked everybody. He was unbelievable. For a guy that is underlooked because of his height, which doesn't mean anything in football, especially at running back, he just came out and did awesome. On that 83-yard run, he ran by everybody. They had two angles on him and he ran past everybody. He spins, hits, he'll run you over. He's a great player."
What was your opinion of Kevin Brown's performance?
"He did well. There was one time when he jumped offside. He was a little nervous. I'm calling the plays in the huddle and he's asking me questions. ‘Settle down, dude, it's just a football game.' He did well. I'm sure he had a few mistakes. Everybody did. But the guy's a true freshman that was playing on defense and came over to offense. He did well."
Are you looking forward to facing Stanford with a full game under your belt?
"I do look forward to playing Stanford. We watched a little on them last night. I've heard that they come with a lot of blitzes. Their coordinator likes to blitz a lot and come from a lot of places. We just have to be ready, and ready to pick up the blitz. I have a buddy that plays for them."
Do you and former Hart quarterback Kyle Matter have a gentlemen's bet over this game?
"I wouldn't call it a gentlemen's bet. That's an NCAA violation. We talk about it. We have fun with it. We were really good friends in high school. The funny thing is, when we talk on the phone we really don't talk about football, because that's the only thing we ever do. It's more about girls, and stuff like that."
Is there an unofficial Hart Quarterback Club?
"There is. Both Kyles and I, we talk a lot. I actually talked to Kyle Boller Wednesday night. I talked to Kyle (Matter) this weekend. It was nice to walk into Hart with those guys playing before me, and David Neill. They kind of set the stage. Then after high school, with the success that Boller and Matter have had. I was really good friends with Kyle Matter in high school. And we work out during the summer. And to work out with guys like that is awesome. We definitely keep in touch and hang out a lot."