Quoting Carroll: Saturday Practice

With the Rose Bowl just days away the Trojans were back out at Howard Jones Field on Saturday putting the final touches on the game plan. Kevin Carden caught up with USC Head Coach Pete Carroll after practice to get the coaches thoughts on the Rose Bowl, UCLA's hiring of Rick Neuheisel, and much more.

Pete Carroll on UCLA's hiring of Rick Neuheisel:

"We have been waiting for the smoke to come out of the Vatican here and it finally did. I think it's a terrific choice. Rick has been a very successful college coach and he has won a lot of football games. He obviously has a great familiarity with this university (UCLA) and their history and all of that. Which I think can be really valuable to them as they put it together and I think his experience in the NFL will also be beneficial to him. So they got a really good football coach and I'm sure they should be really excited about that."

Pete Carroll on Neuheisel's recruiting ability:

"He's always been a really good recruiter. I think his time up in Washington he proved that he could recruit and battle against the tops in this conference. They were an excellent program when he left there and I don't think there is any doubt that he's got a lot of energy for it. He's a real competitive guy and I think he will do a great job."

Pete Carroll on the Rose Bowl:

"We have had a great preparation. The guys have had a ball doing it. We have practiced beautifully and had fun at all the events and so this feels really comfortable to us."

Pete Carroll on facing a dual-threat quarterback like Juice Williams:

"That style of runner that can make you breakdown on running plays and also in the passing game makes it as challenging as you can possibly make it for a defensive football team. The option is back in college football now. It changes a lot from other team's styles. We fortunately have played against it a number of times this year and so we feel like we have a good thought about how to get it done and how to keep them in check."

Pete Carroll on Illinois offensive players:

"These are really good football players. (Rashard) Mendenhall he's a terrific player and Arrelious Benn is a really fine football player. He's just a freshman and Juice (Williams) gives you all of the problems. So they have got a really good attack and we are going to have to play great football to slow them down."

Pete Carroll on Trojans playing their best football at the end of the season:

"We did play really good football down the stretch here and our guys really got to playing the kind of football that we are capable of. We had to get healthy again. We suffered through the injuries and weren't as sharp in the middle part of the season. We stayed strong but weren't able to overcome it enough to get the wins. I feel like we have hit our stride here in the later part of the season but I would like to see us top it off with a real nice win here."

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