Player quotes following the victory over ASU
On the character of this team: That is one of the great things that we have on this team, we always believe we can win even if sometimes it doesn't seem possible. The team chemistry is good and everybody knows that everybody else is always trying as hard as we can. We know we are never going to give up, we are going to keep playing until the end. Even at UCLA when we got beat, guys kept playing until the very end. We just have that never-give-up instinct and luckily it works. We just have to start playing better so we don't have to do that.
On being a student of Tui: Marques was our leader, but everybody on the team was going to try until the end and never give up. Marques just kept that going even more. He tried to instill that we never give up and, no matter what the circumstances, we can try to find a way to win. It just rubbed off on everybody on the team and luckily we still have that.
On his clutch 3rd down scramble: My offensive line gave me great protection. I was just standing back there all alone. They had our receivers covered up well and they dropped back in a zone, and I just had to get out of there. Guys were just chasing each other and I just hoped to get away. When it comes down to the end of the game, you just keep trying to go forward and stay positive. Again, our line gave me great protection, nobody was open and I saw a hole and just took it.
On the game-winning drive: At the end of the game, we were just trying to go right at them. We just ran the ball at them. I knew as soon as we crossed mid-field that we were going to score. John has a great leg and we felt confident. We were just trying to chip away at them with the run game. Again, our line broke holes and Willie ran hard and we got down the field.
On the sore shoulder: It was sore a couple of times when guys landed on it. I was able to shake it off.
On the "use my arm to keep my balance" 9-yard run: It was a basic draw play. I almost got tackled so I put my arm down to try to keep my balance. All 200 pounds of me went on that one arm and I hyper-extended my elbow pretty bad. I picked up the yardage but I honestly thought I dislocated my elbow. It hurt for a second and the doctors worked on it a little bit and it went away and I got back into the game. My coach is always telling me to just make plays and that is what I try to do.
On having a career rushing day: I was told I had 185 yards, that is my career high. I am very excited about that. The offensive line did a great job for me today. They were opening holes left and right. I had the easy part – I just ran through them. Every time I ran the ball, the lanes were just there for me. The line did a great job. They tried to blitz on us and tried different things on us, and the line did a great job adjusting to what they were doing to us.
Before the last drive: Honestly, I am going to tell you this: Coach Neuheisel, before the drive had started, told us, "Okay fellas. We are going to take six minutes off the clock. We are going to score, and we are going to get out of here." That is what he told us. We looked at him and we looked at each other, and said, "Okay, let's do it!" We had about 80 yards to march, and we did it.
On the never-ending comebacks: It is just a will to win. It is like a never-say-die attitude. It is giving me gray hairs and I am only 21 years old. When it comes down to that situation, everybody looks at each other in the huddle and you can tell that we are not going to be denied. I don't know why we like to do it like that, I don't know why we can't hold onto a lead, but it's worked, so why fix it. We just keep winning and I will take it any way that we can get it.
On a higher intensity level: We were fired up. We jumped out to a big lead, something we really haven't done this season. We were quite fired up coming in. There has been a lot of talk in the papers about how we can't run the ball and they were going to out-physical us. So we wanted to show that we can come out and start fast.
On confidence in John Anderson: Oh yah, that is a chip shot for John. I've seen John kick as far as 60-yard field goals. I mean a 20- or 30-yard field goal, I know he will put it through the uprights. I was just hoping that nobody would get through and block it like they did our punt.
John Anderson: Money!
On how it felt, again: It felt just as good as the kick against USC. It is a game-winning field goal, it doesn't matter who it is against, it is just awesome.
On FG attempt when ASU was offsides: Yah, it was right down the middle. That just gave me more confidence for the next one. I didn't get nervous, not at all.
On feeling any pressure: Today is the first game that I had fun the whole game. I don't know if before I was lacking confidence or what, but this game I had fun. This was the first game I made all my kicks. You can't wait until the seventh game of the year to make all of your field goals and extra points. I just went out there thinking if I miss it, I miss it. I just wanted to have fun today and I kicked really well.
On thoughts before game-winning kick: Well, I wasn't thinking about fishing. I walked out and slapped everybody's hands. A lot of times you see kickers over by themselves shaking in the corner and I don't want to be like that. My teammates are the guys who kill themselves for 59 minutes and 53 seconds, and I want them to be a part of it. They are the ones that got us there. I just did my job to win the game.
Bullseye! I knew it was good right when it left my foot. I crushed it! That might have been the best ball I kicked all year. There was a center ring on the net right in the middle of the goal post. I kicked it, I went for it, I looked up and saw that it was about 10-15 feet above that ring, and I thought, "Oh man, that was hammered."
On Pickett's performance: That was a gutty performance. That is the only word to describe the way Cody is playing. Cody's got skills, he's big, strong and quick. I wish he would make the decision on that option pitch a little quicker, but he's a very gifted guy. A tough competitor with a great arm. He just has a great feel for this game.
On Willie's performance: I thought Willie was nearly as good as he has ever been in our three years together, and he's had some big games.
On Fourth Quarter Stresses: It's a cardiac care kit every week with us. We were ahead 24-7 at one time and then ASU scored I think on four possessions in a row. Heck, a blocked punt, two streaks. But every time that has happened, we have responded on offense. I am really proud of our guys. They have responded every time.
On advising Ax on play-calling: Steve Axman took the lead in calling plays tonight because I hadn't been there in three days. Between series, we visited about the stuff that we thought we had. Basically, I told Ax, "Here are the plays that I think you've got." He called them and I thought Steve was really great. He was right on and I thought he did a great job. He is a real veteran guy, he has done this for years. Between the two of us, we have probably seen a million kickoffs. The two of us work really well together and we've had a lot of fun at it.
On recent health concerns: I don't know if it was scary, there was just something wrong. I had to get it checked out. I just had some kind of spasm. I've had back spasms and muscle spasms, but I've never had a heart spasm (laughing). They gave me a clean bill of health and said, "Go get ‘em! But try not to have a close game every weekend." I told the doctors that I would try.
On ASU QB Jeff Krohn: He's a pretty good quarterback. I felt like he threw some good balls in there. On a couple of them, we had good coverage and he just threw a good ball. A good ball and a good catch beats good coverage.
No surprises from ASU: They did everything that we practiced for all week. It was just a matter of executing and getting up to game speed. It was a little faster than what we had in practice, but luckily we came out with the win.
On dealing with a red-hot Krohn: If you get frustrated, then you get out of your game. You can't let a play stick in your head, you have to move on. Especially as a corner, you are going to give up touchdowns now and then, it is just a matter of how you react after you give up a touchdown.
On being a veteran at Sun Devil Stadium: It is a great stadium. We were lucky to be playing a night game. I don't know if I can handle that heat during the day, but at night it feels great. It was in the 70's, the grass was cut real short, and it is a fast field. It is just a great atmosphere to play in.
Thoughts with 0:50 remaining: Actually, I was thinking we would have to go back out on the field again. But we got that first down on the penalty, and were able to run out the clock. There was a lot of nail biting. But, if we had to go back out there and do it, I am sure we would have been able to do it. I'm just looking forward to my dinner, getting on that plane and going home.
"It was just another Husky victory we had to pull out late in the game. It is always a blessing to get a win. Not everybody can win, somebody has to lose and thank God it wasn't us. He gave us strength before the game and all through the game. I have a busted finger and there are a lot of guys on the team dinged up, but we pulled it out and I thank God for it. I just know we bring it back home to the "Dub" next week and Coach Neuheisel said we are tied for first in the Pac-10. Just as every week, we are going to have everybody gunning for us. Stanford is next week and we look forward getting after them just like they do us."
On doubting a comeback: No, I'm never nervous. The fellas on the team have too much heart to think that we won't come back. Everybody held hands on the sidelines and I knew John was going to put it through the uprights just like he did when they jumped offsides. They had the penalty and I knew he was going to make it again. The only time I get nervous is like when the offense is driving and we are nowhere near a field goal.
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