Nov. 21, 2009
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel
Opening statement: "Congratulations to Arizona State. For two years this has been a knockdown drag out war. Last year they got the better end with the turnovers, but today was our day to force turnovers. The two touchdowns for the defense were the story. When we got the lead we got conservative and wanted to protect the ball and make them go a long way. I'm proud of our team and the character and effort of the guys is what's most important to me. This sets us up for the biggest game of the year. We'll try to relax and enjoy this win for a few hours and get ready for next week with our cross-town rival."
On Chane Moline's play:
"We've been using him for bits and pieces, big back and goal line stuff, and we decided maybe we should do it on an every down basis. Some will say why we haven't done that the whole time. I don't know why, but we kept looking for the right combination. He was very valuable for us as a fullback. We wanted to give him a chance and give Trevor (Theriot) a chance in his last home game. It was as good a front seven we'll see all year. It was fun to watch us slug it out. It wasn't the prettiest game, but victory was very sweet."
On becoming bowl eligible:
"I made mention to the team that you go through barriers and you set goals. At the outset of the season, I wanted us to get to a bowl. The number six was magic in that regard. When you start November at 3-5 with a five-game losing streak, that's hard to talk about. But we set our minds that we were going to play our best ball and we were fortunate that we knocked off three good football teams. It wasn't easy but it is a major stepping stone. It gives us momentum going into next year. To have success next week would be another barrier to get through given our opponent. It is an exciting challenge for us and we look forward to it. We'll play our best and see what happens."
About lack of offensive scores:
"We had a chance on our first drive and got close on the pass to (Nelson) Rosario. When we got a lead, and with their pass rush, we got conservative on third down. We didn't want to have a fumble, and given (Alterraun) Verner's interception return, I thought three points was good. At 20-7, three points was huge. We didn't want to take any risks."
About the running game:
"Chane (Moline) played well enough in practice to earn it today and we wanted to give him that chance. We though Trevor (Theriot) could do the job at fullback. There were other guys that did well too. Johnathan (Franklin) handled a couple of screen plays well. We need to clean up the holding and the line of scrimmage stuff. We were moving the ball pretty well. It was the minus plays that were disrupting us."
Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson
"We played well enough at times to win this football game. It's really disheartening because we've played so well on defense all year. UCLA ran the ball pretty well."
On UCLA's defense:
"They have good players on defense. I thought that they were as good as anyone in the league all year long."
Arizona State quarterback Samson Szakacsy
"I made some mistakes, and I take responsibility for what I did wrong. It's a learning experience. I wasn't really nervous; I was anxious. I just have to play better. First start, or whatever, I just have to make more plays and make less mistakes. That's what it comes down to.