Oct. 18, 2008
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel
(opening statement) "Congratulations to Stanford for a hard-fought game. They were, as I thought they would be, very physical and very tough at the line of scrimmage. Coach Harbaugh has done a great job with that team. It was not an accident that they were 3-1 [in Pac-10 play] headed into this game. They have a chance to make some noise as their conference season continues."
"There are a lot of things that have to be addressed on both sides of the ball. But, for at least the next few hours, we're going to focus on the resiliency of the young men we have the privilege to coach, the ability to weather the storm and being able to make plays when they had to make plays. You take away all of the fans and excitement, it may not be as pretty as it is right now. Between now and Tuesday, we've got to figure out way to fix a lot of these things. There is a lot of work to be done as we try and become a better football team.
(on how this game ranks in the season) "It's almost a duplicate of the Tennessee game, in the case of being down by four and coming down the field at the end. It's got to be on par with that.
(on potentially replacing Kevin Craft) "There was a point in the game where I did consider it, and sometimes it gets the better of me because I'm an old quarterback and an old quarterback coach. There are times when I see what is happening on defense, and I know what he should do as a quarterback and his eyes are on the other side or he's not seeing well, and I get emotional when that happens. I want him to focus on what takes place and answer why he didn't do what the play was called for. He is a coach's son - this isn't for TV. It's not personal. It's about getting him back in the present and knowing what is expected of him in each particular play. We had two seniors [at quarterback], and here he is being thrust into these very high pressured situations - for our world - and he is responding. We've got to have each guy having their own personal and private board meeting on how to execute. We work hard and the kids try. But with our execution, we've got to be more critical of ourselves so we don't stub our toes and have these things happen more often.
(on when he thought of a quarterback switch) "The fumble - they had a three-man rush, and it led to the 14-3 lead for Stanford. I understand we're struggling in protection and sometimes you are going to take a sack, but you have to cover the ball. It was probably a little irrational on my part - but the kid, God bless him, he responded. His resiliency is one of the reasons why we're standing here with a victory. Norm calmed me down, and I know it was at a point late in the half, and he was the guy with all the two-minute reps. We scored three points and that turned out to be pretty important."
(on practicing two-minute drills) "I think there is a comfort in it because we practice it a lot. Sometimes during fall camp, in lieu of conditioning, we did two-minute drills because I knew these games would be close. That showed up in the Tennessee final, and certainly we've had some nice drives at the end of halves, like today. Those two drives netted us 10 points. It's a comfort zone, and we practice it a lot."
(on the performance Cory Harkey and Nelson Rosario) "Harkey was terrific when we needed him to be. Rosario, we've known all along is a gifted guy. Unfortunately for both of those athletes, they have been nipped by injuries and they're progress has been slowed. Cory Harkey will be a dynamite tight end. He had a high ankle sprain, making it hard for him to move around and run at full speed. Both of those kids will be cornerstones as we build the program back up." (on Kevin Craft's mobility) "I thought it was a great plan by Norm to get him out on the edges a little more not only because he threw the ball better moving, but he also made some plays with his legs. No question he is effective doing that. We need to find out how to do that more consistently.
(on going for a two-point conversion in the second quarter) "Still too early, in my thought. Still too many possessions in the game. If you don't get it, it's 14-12 and a touchdown and an extra-point by then makes it a two possession game. You want to keep that thing in the balance."
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh
"We've had quite a few of these types of ball games since I've been coach, and we've almost always been on the winning side. It stings a little more to be on the losing side. There was a lot of great effort in this game, a lot of great play. We just have to get back to practice this week."
(On UCLA's winning drive) "UCLA really kept their poise and composure, and that's as hard to do as anything going (87) yards to score the TD. A couple of their guys made some incredible plays. Craft made some nice plays, and they had some great catches. Penalties played a part in it as well, but I give them a lot of credit."
(On calling the time out prior to UCLA's winning touchdown) "I wanted to give our guys a blow to look at the formation and just rest. I thought they were a little mentally tired."