Nov. 17, 2003
Well we are finally at week 12 of our season and as you all know we have not played well the last few weeks and even beforehand. Even the times when we were winning, we weren't probably winning to the capabilities that I think our team really could. We've struggled, particularly these last few weeks. We know how great this week is, this is how you measure yourself up with another team that's playing very well. But we have the capability of being a pretty good football team. We've shown it in spurts and obviously this week, being the game of the magnitude that it is, we're going to need to play our best game and that is what it is going to come down to. It's just like how it was when we had to play against Oklahoma earlier in the year. So there's a lot of work to be done and lots of things that we need to correct. They understand the issues that are involved in this particular game and we're ready to go out fighting and doing the things that we've been doing all season long. So we're going to put together a great week of preparation for this game and we're gonna put our best game together. So with that being said I'd like to open it up for questions.
Karl how do you address what happened the last two years in this rivalry considering the fact that you obviously were not here, yet those last two years really weigh on some of the minds of your veteran players?
We've talked about that you know. Those are things that you have to put on the table in terms of the importance of this game and what it means for this city. What it means for our communities. I think its one of the best rivalries out there and it's a great game to be a part of. It's a game you'll always remember through your years even after you're gone from UCLA. It's your chance to make a mark in history as doing something special. We're going to have that opportunity this week and we're going to put together our best effort in doing so.
Karl what do you recall about the intensity of the rivalry as a player?
It is an intense rivalry. I think what makes it that way is that we're both in the same city. We're both right here and there's no hiding from each other. We all read the same papers and all those different things. It's not necessarily the team that has the best record wins. So you know we're going to prepare likes it's of the utmost importance and their going to understand the tradition and the rivalry and we're going to put it all out there and see where we're at.
What was your favorite moment during your five years as a player?
Mine was just the preparation involved in it. I knew it was what was at stake. I knew when I played I prepared with the utmost importance both mentally and physically. I knew it was going to be a tough battle, it was going to be a 60-minute battle and you have to get yourself in a mindset of being able to execute the things that we prepare in our game plan. So that's what we're trying to coach our kids to do - to come out and do the things that are necessary for us to be productive and to give ourselves those opportunities.
You guys have come off three pretty frustrating weeks going into this game and the energy against Oregon obviously was not at the level collectively I'm sure that you guys wanted. Is the rivalry enough to give you a clean slate and get them to play with that reckless abandon again that you guys pride yourselves on and you are going to need?
Well, we're going to need to step it up period. Obviously the last three weeks have not been the UCLA football that I'm accustomed to and we need to put forth an effort this week that is above and beyond what we've done the last three weeks.
For the complete press conference, please click on the audio link at the top of the page.