PC "It's great to get a win. These are tough games, these teams are good and they get up for us so it was a special win for us to bounce back with a young team. We were able to battle after being backed up the whole first half to tie it up at half and then they score right away in the third quarter, I just loved the way our guys hung in there and it was very reminiscent of the way we played last year. The way we responded, the way we finished the game, the attitude and personality on the sideline was all similar and I'm very excited about that."
PP "What is it about your ability to adjust at halftime? All last year you showed the ability to adjust well, what is it all about?"
PC "I don't know (laughing). I wish it wasn't like this. I give them credit, they did a good job in the first half. Once they showed us their stuff it was just a matter of taking care of business. I wish we could know what they're going to do from the start and we could play the whole game like that but it doesn't work that way. I loved the way we were able to take control of the game in the 2nd half and just hammer the football. LenDale made a fantastic statement and you saw our team with a real attitude at running back. Hershel's done a fine job, he's done everything he can, but there's a difference with a big load getting up in there. That's half of the "bruise brothers" right there and we've been waiting to see that. I was disappointed we didn't get in the flow enough in the Cal game to see that but here we found it. We knew what we were going to do during the week and it was good to see. The offensive line was on last week and it was just a matter of getting things in rhythm which we were able to do today."
PM "How about the defense holding ASU to 61 net yards rushing, that has to make you feel good."
PC "Yeah, that's real. They had done a good job early on of getting it going but in the second half you could just see it. Even when they scored that touchdown in the third quarter drive we stopped the run the way we wanted to and things worked out pretty good from there. It was real encouraging and from then on it was just a matter of taking advantage of our opportunities. We had a chance for a couple interceptions, we should've had a few more turnovers, and the rush really picked up. Cody had a fantastic game, he played really well last week too. He's finally back to full speed and you can see it right now on the practice field."
PM "It seemed like the physicalness of play for the Trojans was raised during the game."
PC "Our guys started to get a feel for where the ball was going to go, the secondary was back there knocking the heck out of guys, we tackled much more convincingly, I think it was all part of the overall football team. The way we were handling the ball on offense, the way we got after it on defense, it's really the kind of feeling you want to see from your football team."
PM "What about the quarterback decision? You had Matt Leinart go out, you went with Matt Cassel, how would you assess his performance in that situation?"
PC "Well, he threw a touchdown pass, didn't he? You guys saw it on TV. That was a terrible one to miss, yeah maybe he was out at the one yard line but that was a great little takeoff up the sidelines and it's too bad he didn't get the benefit from that. I thought Matt handled himself well, you know how hard that is Paul to come in out of nowhere and try to play in a tough, physical football game. I thought he did a fine job. It was great that Brandon got to get in as well. This was a game that you start thinking "is John David gonna be the guy, are we gonna go to him?" and it just depended on how banged up Matt was. It was a pretty courageous performance by Matt to come back, that's exactly what you hope your quarterback gets a chance to do. Matt's doing the things you want a leader to do."
PA "Last week there weren't a lot of smiles around the practice field, how do you keep the anger and emotion going? That's obviously what this team needs to play well."
PC "We had two quarters of really crap football in the last 11 or 12 games so I'm really not going to look back on that and wonder which team is gonna show up. I know who our team is and I know we can play like this. Now that we've proven it to ourselves on the road now we need to come back home to the Coliseum and get all jacked up to play in front of our fans against Stanford."
PA "Talk about Danny Urquhart and how you felt he played taking over for Lofa Tatupu?"
PC "Well, he's a very physical kid. He's so much bigger than the other linebackers and he really brings it. I thought that showed up more in the second half and he started finding the football real well, he was involved in almost every single tackle. He did a good job when we really needed it. Lofa is a great void, he doesn't just play well but he also commands everybody in the huddle and controls the whole defense so there's a lot that we lost when he went out. I thought Champ did a good job in taking that over and Danny did a good job of doing what we needed him to do."
PA "It's a matter of staying alive every week now. John McKay used to say how amazing it was how much smart he got from week to week depending on if the team won or lost, you're a smart guy again."
PC "John knew what he was talking about. We didn't get any smarter, it may look that way but we're gonna take it any way we can."