Player Quotes - UCLA

It was a big night for the defense, especially three of the outgoing seniors -- LB Mason Foster, LB Victor Aieywa and S Nate Williams -- on Senior Night, but it was junior CB Quinton Richardson who stole the show and broke the back for the Bruins as the Huskies sailed to a 24-7 win Thursday night...

LB Mason Foster

On this being his last game at Husky Stadium: "It was real emotional. It was tough leaving Husky Nation, but at the same time I think we played great and it's something I will never forget."

On going out with the win: "It feels great. We worked hard all week in practice; we had a great week of practice, coaches had a great scheme offense and defense and we got a great look from the service team so all around the whole team did great this week and it showed in the game."

On the gameplan to stop the run: "Just being physical and imposing our will against them and force them to pass. I felt like our defensive line did a great job all game and that frees us up to make plays."

On the defense scoring a touchdown: "We pride ourselves in forcing turnovers so getting turnovers like that and scoring one is great. Quinton Richardson had a great game and it showed because he had a great week of practice too."


QB Jake Locker

On his Husky career: "It's been a great experience for me. I've enjoyed every minute of it and made a lot of really, really good memories in that stadium and ones that I will hold on to for the rest of my life."

On going out with a win in on senior night: "It happened last year for our seniors, but unfortunately we weren't playing for anything, but I still think you saw the same thing – guys giving it their best, doing everything they could to make sure that that was a special game and a special moment for those guys and I think you saw that today."

On playing this week with his rib injury: "I felt really good and (Sarkisian) knew I would be honest with him. We have a really good, open relationship and I truly don't believe he would have let be out there all week practicing letting me think I was going to play without that intention."

On getting to a bowl: "You can't look at it as two games, you have to look at it as if we don't win the first one, then the second one doesn't matter what happens, so we really have to hone in what we're doing this week, how we're going to attack this Cal football team and do it to the best of our ability."

On getting that first contact: "I told myself that if I couldn't play my kind of game, if I had to be conscious of changing how I play, I wouldn't play. I was going to play the way I always do and if something happens, it happens. I feel fortunate not to be too banged up and we'll just go from there."


S Nate Williams

On getting the turnovers: "Once we calmed down, we did our job. We had like three or four, but we could have had like five or six but people were dropping picks, but we won that area and our special teams were solid and when you win that battle, like coach Sarkisian says the game will turn out in your favor."

On still needing to do work: "Even though we won, you can't be satisfied because if you stop working hard, you stop getting better. We still have two more weeks and Cal plays great at home so, we're going to have the next two days off, so I guess the 48 hour rule is in effect for this one and we're going to come back and watch the film and see what we need to fix."

On Richardson's Pick 6: "We'd been waiting for one all year and once he got that pick six we really felt the crowd and we went out and stopped them again on the next drive and our offense was doing well keeping us off the field and I think that's when we started to feel like if we kept doing our thing we'd be alright."

On his personal foul penalty: "I can't call it, I have to watch the film. I only felt my forearm and I don't think I hit him with my head, but the refs called it so I guess it's good I'm not in the NFL yet because I'd have a pretty hefty fine."

On Senior Night: "It was a wonderful experience to break out the all-black uniforms and to beat a pretty good team in UCLA is a great experience. Over these past couple years, you know I've had a long journey including the 0-12 years, but I'm happy where I am and it was a great way to send the seniors out."


S Victor Aiyewa

On tonight: "The blackout theme was a magnificent idea by coach Sark. It kind of just played over into the rest of the game. We just played with that kind of emotion, and played fast and just played out of our minds.

On UCLA's offense: "We knew pretty much what they were going to do. I think it was just all about who wanted it most. And I think tonight, we just wanted it a little bit more than UCLA, so we came out victorious."

On a bowl game: "We never gave up on the dream of a bowl game. So we're just going to keep playing and keep fighting and see how the season turns out."


RB Chris Polk

On seven straight runs coming into the second half: "We knew we were going to run the ball, but I had no clue that we were going to just keep running like that. So, that was really just a dream for me."

On the philosophy coming into the second half: "Just run smash mouth. We run how we know how to run. Just run straight and we have no reason but to fall forward."

On why the running game was working: "We watched film and they knew their overflow so we knew backside cutbacks were really wide so that's why we kept running inside tracks and little outside zones, because we knew that we had the backside…so that really worked out for us."

On nervousness being down 7-0: "Oh there's never nervousness because it's a four quarter football game. What's going on in the first half doesn't determine the outcome after the game. You just keep giving 100 percent effort and just do what you need to do then the game should go in your favor."

On the blackout theme: "It's cool. I wish we'd wear it more than once, but we'd wear anything as long as we come out compete and win and get to a bowl game."

On the defense: "The defense, they really stepped up, they gave us energy. I'm really proud of the defense, they really showed up tonight."

On the life this win injects back into the season: "This puts back a lot of life because we had some guys slipping away like ‘oh man, this again', but this reassured us that what we're doing is right and that we should believe in our coaches and believe in our philosophies and just do what we're coached to do."

On maintaining belief the last three weeks: "The last three weeks, yeah it was hard because no one likes to lose. I didn't come here to lose, I can't stand losing, that's just the worst feeling in the world, but losing is also a good thing because it gives you a motivation to get that much better."

On how many carries he'd want in a perfect world: "Perfect world, I'd say like 30. 30. I just want to win. Whatever my team needs me to do, I'll do."

On the importance of being persistent with the running game: "Yeah, because if we're persistent with the run we're going to open up the pass beause the more we keep pounding the ball, it's going to get those linebackers to suck up on playaction so it gets D'Andre (Goodwin), Devin (Aguilar) and Jermaine (Kearse) open downfield. Once we get that going, we'll be unstoppable."

On Sark becoming "Ground Steve": "I don't know, but I'd like it. But I'm just a player, I just run plays, I don't get to call them. I'm just going to do what it takes. Whatever he says I'm going to do."

On Quinton Richardson's interception: "Yeah, that was a real game changer. That really sparked new life into us because we felt like some of the calls they called on us were cheating, so when that happened cheaters never prosper came to my mind. That just reassured us that we're supposed to win this game."

On maturing since last year: "It would have been harder for me to take because like, I want the ball all the time. But now I understand the philosophy of why we do certain things we do, like why we rotate between me and Jesse, to get two backs going so defenses don't know what we're going to do, how we're going to do it and how to key in on us. So I just have a better overall understanding of the game."

On why that is: "Since last year, just growing up, maturing. I've really been, instead of just going out there and playing the game, I've really been like coming to understand. Watching extra film, talking to coaches, seeing what they're seeing. I understand why we call what we call when we call it. It just comes with overall growing up and just playing the game."

On getting into a rhythm as a running back: "If you get into a groove, that builds up your confidence. Like my long run, that really built up my confidence. At halftime, I thought to myself like, yeah, I'm just going to just go out there and just run and just run as hard as I can and there's nothing they can do to stop me and that really showed up today."

On why the light went on to start talking to coaches and watching extra film: "Overall I just wanted to get better. I felt like I wasn't really playing up to my expectations; I'm my toughest critic. People say I do good, but I really don't think there's ever been a game that I was actually proud of myself, so that's just me wanting to get better."

On not being satisfied with breaking the freshman rushing record last year: "That wasn't enough for me. I wanted to break the freshman record and have a bowl victory. If it was up to me I wanted like 1600 yards last year. But that's just me."


CB Quinton Richardson

On the defense: "Just perfect play calling by our coaches. Coach Holt did one heck of a job game planning for them. It was just up to us to execute our position, and our play. He put us into great position and we just had to do our half."

On the defense come together like tonight: "I have. We have come together all along this season, I guess this was just the first time everybody has really noticed. I just think our defense did a good job."

On the interception: "The ball is coming in slow motion, and it's a defensive call when I just have to be patient and try to play two receivers—lucky enough, the quarterback didn't see me, I just stepped up and made the play—and had to do the second part and score."

On how well the defense stood up against UCLA's run: "Just running defensive wise, we did a tremendous job, from our D-line, to linebackers to our safeties. Mason had 14 tackles, just phenomenal—he does it week in and week out. And it was just imperative that we stayed consistent with it. Our coaches really harped on their running game, and their good running backs and they have a good O-line, so we just had to step up and execute."

After UCLA's first drive: "Nothing, we just went out there and kept playing football. You can't harp on it, it's a part of football, people are going to score. You just have to step up and not let them score again."

On Mason Foster setting the tone: "He's a wonderful guy to play with. I've enjoyed playing with him these past three years. It's going to be sad to see him go. So I just took it upon myself to make sure he leaves with a bang on his last home game."

On his big hit in the opening play: "It just set it all off. That was the spark that we needed, so we just build on that."

On Mason's leadership: "Oh he's just a great guy on and off the field. He's been there for me through Freshmen year. I came in with him, and I wish I could leave with him. But this is his last year, and my red-shirt Junior year, so I have one more year left. But he's just a great guy on and off the field. He coaches the younger guys up, and even helps me out, and I'm a corner. He helps me out on tackling—so he's just a wonderful guy to have."


LB Cort Dennison

On why the defense was able to shut UCLA down tonight: "We had a simple gameplan coming into this and I think our guys did a good job of just focusing and realizing what they were running, they weren't running too many plays, and we did a good job of stopping them."

On guys doing their assignments: "Yeah, we got in tune on that first run. Some of the guys were trying to do too much and we settled down and everything that we had to do we took care of and we did a good job from there on out."

On his interception: "It was a cover 2 and I have the deep middle of the field and I was guarding two guys and I looked back and the quarterback threw the ball and I saw where he was throwing it and I just tried to make a play."

On being deep in coverage: "Yeah, I have the whole deep middle of the field so I'm supposed to be as deep as their deepest guy."

On how important this win is for setting up the rest of the year: "It's extremely important. It's a great building block for our program. It shows, especially on defense, the things we can do on defense. I think we did a great job of that tonight. Now we just need to focus on Cal and do everything we can to get a victory down there."


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