Pete Carroll - USC Head Coach
"Two years ago when we were here (for the Orange Bowl), there was a newness to it. We had finally accomplished something. The older guys had helped us to a great season and we played a terrific team. This year is similar in that it's a great opportunity against a great opponent."
Asked if playing for the BCS title feels different than last year's Rose Bowl
"We were playing for the title in our minds last year. But this year there's an added dimension. It's the biggest match-up and I'm excited to see if there's a difference."
Asked opinion of the BCS state of affairs
"I've been pretty clear. I'd love to see a playoff, though this does feel a little like a playoff. Maybe something that would encompass the teams battling at the end of the year. But I'm aware that there's a process involved before anything like that would happen. But I'm not hopeful for that."
"I'm not concerned at all. It's very clear why we're here."
Coach Carroll also said Fred Davis was the only player to not make the trip. Asked why, he said,
"He didn't get back in time."
Matt Leinart - USC QB
"Last time I was here, I didn't play. Things have changed the last two years. I've had a different role on the team and I enjoy being in the role as a leader."
"A lot of people had us No. 1 at the start of the year, but didn't think we'd go undefeated. It says a lot about the kind of team we have."
Asked about differences from this year to 2002
"I was third string. Hanging out. Doing the things Carson (Palmer) wasn't doing. I did all the fun things last time. This year is different."
Asked what he learned from Carson Palmer
"I've said it often. It was how he carried himself. Not really with football, but off the field. With all of the adversity he had and the success. He handled himself so well in the tough times and when he won. I still talk to him a lot."
Asked about Reggie Bush
"Having Reggie is a big advantage. Anywhere we line him up, guys have to account for him. In the slot, at running back, wherever. If he's outside, we've got LenDale White in the backfield and we can still run. He really brings a lot."
Shaun Cody - USC DL
"I think it's an advantage that we were just here in 2002. We've done all of the activities and are familiar with the things to do. It helps guys keep focus. This is a great place with a lot of things to do, but always have to remember what we've done so far this season to get to this point and remember what we're here to do."
quotes courtesy orangebowl.org
On Wednesday the Trojans will practice from noon-1:30pm at Nova Southeastern University (practices are closed to public) and then will take part in a Beach Party on Ft. Lauderdale Beach from 2:00-5:00pm.