USC Postgame Quotes

    Sept. 28, 2014

    Recap |  Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    USC vs. Oregon State

    Sept. 27, 2014
    Los Angeles Coliseum

    USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
    "Gosh, it was good to play. Coming off a loss like that where you have to sit and wait, it's great to get back out and play again. We knew it would be hard. Oregon State is a good football team; they're physical and they're quarterback is a heck of a player and Mike [Riley] would have them ready to go. I'm proud of these guys after what they had to hear about for the last week. Our D held those guys to 180 yards and held [Sean Mannion] to 123 passing. To do what they did in the run game. I'm proud of what they did. Offensively, we kept hunting and pecking. Cody had some tremendous plays tonight. The Hail Mary, to hit that one, and a big third-down conversion in the fourth. And to keep running the ball. We're not abandoning that. We're going to keep running. It's who we are and it helps our defense. We're still learning and gaining an attitude about it. It's been a hard two weeks for the guys up front. It showed our conditioning. The guys are in great shape, physically and mentally. Su'a made some unbelievable plays tonight with a sack, the pick 6 and tackle for a loss. We weren't perfect, there's plenty of room for improvement, and we need to play better next week. We'll enjoy this, but it's not the end-all be-all. It's great to be 2-0 in conference play."

    On the Hail Mary:
    "Initially I didn't want Oregon State to call timeout and them to have all that clock. We put the offense on the field to make it look like we were going to go and the plan was to run it down to 2 seconds, take the timeout and run the Hail Mary. We've been practicing it all week and you never know when you're going to use it. But when you do use it, you want to make sure you're going to execute it, and it was well done. With Cody buying the time. If we didn't catch it, even if they intercepted it it'd be the end of the half."

    On the keys to containing OSU's offense:
    "It's about doing your job on every snap, being disciplined with your eyes. Oregon is great with a fly sweep All in all, our discipline was really good and we executed the right plays at the right times. All in all I think we had bodies on their receivers. We were tight and we did enough to make them uncomfortable in the pocket."

    On if this was a confidence-booster for the offensive line:
    "It's a chance for coach Drevno to get back in that meeting room with that young O-line and give them a vote of confidence. I was proud of those guys. They bounced back. They're getting better and improving. I think in general as a team, we have to remain hungry and have the mindset of the relentless drive to achieve perfection and not be satisfied with this game. We love that we won, but we can be better. We need to come back tomorrow ready to improve. As a staff we're going to continue to tweak things, and we're going to continue to work with individual players because we have to continue to improve."

    On spreading the offense:
    "I loved that. I think nine different guys caught passes today. We wanted to get Justin [Davis] more involved and split carries with Buck [Allen]. Both ran well. Ajene Harris showed up on a huge third-down catch. All in all, there's a little better flow to what we're doing that way. Nelson [Agholor] needs to catch more than three balls, he's too good, but it was

    QB Cody Kessler
    On the Hail Mary:
    "We want to run the clock down and it was either going to be a touchdown or an interception. Like Sark said, we do practice it two or three times a week in case we get those scenarios. Darreus [Rogers] made a great play. I think that sparked us for the second half and got the crowd pumped up."

    S Su'a Cravens
    On the key to the secondary's success tonight:
    "We were talking about that earlier in the week. I think the coaches are doing a great of calling the right plays at the right time, and everyone is executing. I'm really proud of the DBs.

    On what he saw in his interception:
    "We knew they wanted to get the ball out in the flats, and I just happened to make the play on the ball"

    Oregon State Coach Mike Riley
    "Offensively, we never really established anything. Early on, we ran the ball a little but we never really complemented it with anything down the field of any substance. The coverage was tight and good and the pressure at other times was good. I would say we were probably disrupted. That's probably the best way to put it.

    (On USC's hail mary)
    "It looked like we got too many guys deep down field. It didn't look like we had guys on the goal line but drifted down past it and had nobody in front to make a play."

    (On going into halftime after a play like that)
    "I thought our team was pretty good at the half, knowing they had competed and did some things really well. Even though we weren't doing much on offense, our defense had played good for a long time and at one point the only thing they (the Trojans) had really done is intercept a pass and run it back. Our team had some confidence we could do some stuff.

    "But the story of the game we never really responded by scoring points or controlling the ball and our defense wore out. But I thought we played a lot of good defense and special teams play. But we couldn't put any points on the board and had we done that, our defense could've maintained a better game."

    Oregon State QB Sean Mannion
    "It was a sloppy game on my part. I take full responsibility for our offense performance tonight. I expect more from myself and I'm certainly not satisfied in any way with the way I played and the way our offense played as a whole. But I take full responsibility for that. We did some good things, but turnovers were an issue and I need to clean that up. There are two ways we can take this. The right way or the wrong way. There's nothing we can do about this now but we have eight more games to make the most of it and as an offense and a team we need to collectively take this the right way."

    "They're a good team with great athletes. They're well coached and will play good football. I think for portions of the game we played good football. I thought our offensive line did a good job and were really tough at the line of scrimmage. I thought we ran the ball well. I need to be sharper. I can think of some third down plays when I wasn't as good as I need to be."

    (On USC's defense stopping OSU as the game wore on)
    "I think they adjust just as we do. We just have to get sharper and sharper. The line did a good job. It was a combination of factors. We got behind in the chains when it was second and third and long and it's harder to run. Later in the game, when you're down, you have to try to make something happen. The offense did a lot of good things but I need to be sharper."

    (On USC's interception returned for a score)
    "It was a combination. It was a misread. I shouldn't have gone there in the first place and I left the ball behind. But it was a combination of those two things. I've got to give Ryan credit, it was the next kickoff on the next play to answer."

    Oregon State Safety Ryan Murphy
    (on the hail mary)
    "It personally hurts me because I couldn't complete the half. That's what I'm most upset about. I couldn't be there to help out."

    (On USC's offense converting on third down)
    "It's on us. As our coaches preach, finish, and that includes third downs. All the guys on defense take pride on third downs and they converted a couple later on in the game and that helped shift the momentum.

    Oregon State LB Michael Doctor
    (on the hail mary)
    "It was just a good play by USC. The receiver went up there and made a nice grab. But you have to do better than that. We are better than that... Obviously it makes you down a bit but we knew it was a tale of two halves and had to come back and stop them."