Player Quotes - UCLA

Since 1995, the Huskies haven't beaten UCLA in the Rose Bowl and on Saturday they suffered what might be their most frustrating loss a 24-23 setback to a bad Bruins team. Here's what several players and defensive coordinator Nick Holt had to say following the game...

CB Desmond Trufant

On another tough loss: "It's very tough. I don't know how many times we've been in this situation, but it hurts."

On the lack of pass defense: "Sometimes the team plays better than you that play, but we've just got to do a better job of covering and pressuring the quarterback and making the plays when we have a chance to."

On the turnovers: "That was our goal, to get at least five turnovers in the game, we did some good things in the game, but we just have to work on finishing games."

On the soft coverage: "Sometimes it's just that type of coverage. We use ‘bail-technique' and we just leave a cushion, but we've just got to do a better job of covering receivers and blasting them and being tighter so we can make plays when we have a shot at it."


S Nate Williams

On this loss being tough to swallow: "We were up on them for a while. We just kept playing hard and everything, but we just have to play hard the whole game and everything will be alright. Our effort was great, our effort was amazing but we've got to keep doing things the whole game."

On the pass defense as a whole: "I don't know what happened today. I've been saying it all year, if we do our job and our one job only, not worrying about what the other safety or the other linebacker is doing, things will be okay."

On grasping the system: "We're a young team still. I think once we get the experience of playing on the road and the adversity that comes with it we'll be alright."


Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt

On things UCLA did different: "They completed two (passes) when we had a five-man rush on wheel-routes. Sometimes when you have max protection and man-to-man coverage you have to win your routes and in the third quarter or the last series of the fourth quarter we got the ball back for the offense, but overall I thought our effort was excellent today."

On if the defense did their job: "Obviously when you give up more than what you get and you lose the game, obviously we didn't get the goal of winning the ball game. Whenever you get five turnovers you that's an excellent job. I thought we played the run really well, we were physical. We had a lot of new guys out there and they played their hearts out and as a coach that's all you can ask for."

On the mentality of the coaches right now: "You've got to be positive. It's frustrating because you're disappointed as a coach, you're pissed off and all the stuff that happens, but you have to remember you're the role model for the kids, and sometimes I'm not a great role model, and they're going to respond how you respond as a coaching staff."

On the defense as a whole: "You would hope that one of your D-linemen can break free and get a little bit of a pass-rush regardless of how many they keep in to protect. A couple of times Daniel (Te'o-Nesheim) did that, but we need other guys to do what Daniel does. We also need guys in the coverage to come up with a play, break on the ball and knock it out. It shows you some of the athleticism overall a step slow here or there or you have some young guys who haven't played a lot of ball back there in the secondary. It's a combination of a lot of things, but it's nothing you can't get better at."

On Jason Wells: "He played well I though. It's good to have him back in there. He's a good football player and I'm just happy for him that he's contributing his last year. He's had a lot of adversity and I'm really proud of him for staying focused and staying positive. He had a pick and he showed up on some things and I'm really happy for him as a player because he got to be part of this."


RB Chris Polk

On him still thinking a bowl game is possible: "It's possible. We just have to work on our game. The plays inside the red zone and how we execute down there, we just need to keep working hard."

On the blocking for him: "We knew what plays would work for us and how to react, so if you run to one side they'd do what they can to stop it and then I could cut back and that's what I did."


LB Mason Foster

On what Donald Butler means to the defense: "He's always played like that to me. As a defense we feed off his energy. When guys like myself miss a play he's right in there to make the play, so he's a leader for us out there."

On the defense believing in themselves: "We still believe in things. We know we can go out and get it done, but we just make a mistake here or a mistake there, but we just have to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities when they come up."

On Butler's hit on Kevin Prince: "It looked like to me (Prince) was trying to cut back and that Donald made a great play and tackle."

On the younger guys playing defense: "It's not frustrating at all. Cort (Dennison) made a lot of plays and Desmond Trufant always makes plays. Our defensive linemen, the young guys, are working hard and they can make plays."

On possibly being bowl-eligible: "I think we can still get there. I believe we can do it. We just have to keep working hard and believing in ourselves and what we're doing."


LB Donald Butler

On the hit on Prince: "I was just trying to make a play on the ball. It was nothing intentional. From my standpoint it like he didn't slide and he was trying to run me over. As a defensive player you're taught to make the tackle and that's what I did."

On another tough loss: "It hurts. It hurts a lot, but we've got a game next week against Oregon State that we have to get ready for."

On what UCLA did today: "I thought they would run it more, but other than a couple of plays we held them from that standpoint."


QB Jake Locker

On the last throw: "I saw single-coverage so I thought I gave him a chance and left the ball inside too much. He made to big catches today and over the past few weeks he's made a lot of great plays and I have a lot of confidence in him."

On the mood of the team: "It's not like we came in here and got blown out. There's a lot of things to work on and improve upon and get focused on next week."

On not finishing the game: "We've had a lot of games this year that we have finished and we've been on the other side of some of these games. It's just something that will be a growing pain for us and obviously it hurts now, but we'll fight through it."

On not converting the turnovers: "It was really frustrating, honestly. It was the difference in the game."

On the ‘Wildcat' in the first half: "It was something we've worked on and thought we could use at different points. I think it could be called at any time in the game."


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