Quoting Carroll: Emerald Bowl Edition

Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans ended the season with an encouraging 24-13 victory in the Emerald Bowl. Look inside to get the coach's thoughts on the victory over Boston College, Joe McKnight and much more.

Pete Carroll on the Emerald Bowl victory:

"We had an opportunity to play one more time and we needed to do something good and feel good. There was a lot of distraction and a lot of adversity going into this thing, most of it self-inflicted. I am very happy with the way we turned our focus and the way we adjusted. We accomplished a number of things internally by the way we turned our focus."

Pete Carroll on the Emerald Bowl practices:

"I was very proud of the guys. We did something different these couple of weeks and they responded well. We had a great time practicing. They had fun the whole time and enjoyed the process and played like it… The whole preparation felt different and we went about it in a different way. I really credit the assistant coaches and the players for joining in and redirecting. It was time to do that and we did it."

Pete Carroll on his congratulatory phone call from Willie Mays:

"I just told him how much he meant to me as a young kid growing up and all of my friends too. He just was everything and has been my hero. I don't even know how to categorize what he is. I used to watch him so closely and pay attention to how extraordinary and unique he was. I feel like I am twelve when I talk to him. I feel like I am playing little league again."

Pete Carroll on Joe McKnight's absence:

"There wasn't enough time. The University felt that's what had to happen. I'm glad Joe was able to be with us. I feel bad for him, but there wasn't enough time (to clear him to play)."

Pete Carroll on Boston College:

"This is a really good program. (Frank) Spaziani has done a really good job of capturing it, he's doing all of the right stuff. With expectations so low this season he did a great job."

Pete Carroll on USC's approach to the Emerald Bowl:

"We just kind of went retro in a sense. You go back and you try and recreate some approach and mentality that would allow us to get on a little bit different way of looking at things. We went back to the basics of football, back to loving the game for playing tough, hardnosed football. We need to work our way back to where we know we can get to, and we are not there. That was the conclusion coming out if this season."

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com

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