USC-Utah Postgame Quotes

    Oct. 26, 2013

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    USC Head Coach Ed Orgeron

    "Outstanding performance by our players, an outstanding mindset throughout the week. Great job by the assistant coaches, pulling together and fighting through adversity. I'm really pleased how we played today. I thought the kicking of Andre Hediari was crucial in this game, we were able to get points. We had some new guys step up. Dion was hurt at halftime, put his uniform on and went back and played for the team. Its' a happy locker room and I'm happy for them. Outstanding performance."

    On Dion Bailey coming back to play despite injury:

    "We knew that at the nickel position we only had one guy to play. He knew that and he told us he wanted to play. It just goes to show the commitment these guys have for each other. He went out there and it was awesome."

    On two freshman with two interceptions (Su'a Cravens and Leon McQuay III):

    "When we recruited both of those guys we signed two of the best safeties in America. Leon is a great example of someone who steps up. He's been working hard and solving problems."

    On Cody Kessler's good game:

    "He has competitive spirit. He's a leader and you can see what he's doing on. The guys believe in him and we believe in him and we love having him around."

    On how close Andre Heidari was to losing his job:

    "It was very close all week. We wanted the competition to be open. Coach Baxter did a tremendous job. He tracked all that they did. We went back over it. We were ready to put in another kicker if we needed too, but he did great. I think it was more about a mindset and competition. He was disappointed. Coach Baxter worked on the swing. I thought he made some improvements. I think it was more about a mindset and the competition level helped him."

    On walkons contributing today:

    "Tremendous. We were able to execute and go out there and run our offense. We put 11 on the field and it doesn't matter. They had that mindset."

    On Bailey coming back from injury:

    "I will say this, him coming up to play shows that these guys believe in each other and are willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. One team, one heartbeat. I think that was a great example of a family bonding together."

    On the injuries on the roster:

    "We weren't going to blink. We weren't going to use it as an excuse. The words `Step up' and `Compete' were talked about. We believe in you and we're going to compete and play."

    On evaluating himself as a head coach:

    "I knew the way we practice that the guys would perform well. It's my third game, obviously I feel comfortable in that role, but I'm looking to improve and eliminating mistakes."

    On the offense's inability to score touchdowns:

    "We're going to watch the film and fix it. Our goal today was to win the game as a team whatever it took. When we watch the film there will be things to fix, but I have complete confidence in Clay Helton and this team."

    On fewer penalties today:

    "We addressed it as a team. It wasn't in a tough way, it was believing in the technique."

    QB Cody Kessler

    On playing with limited scholarship players:

    "I'm so proud of my guys. They played awesome. I think this quote that Coach O put up, it is what it is and we're going to put 11 out on the field and fight, no matter who it is. Chris Williams came in and played amazing. Shane Sullivan played great, it's unfortunate that he got hurt. Nate (Guertler) had to go to tight end, which he's never done before. I'm proud of these guys. They worked hard and bought into the system."

    On being considered a veteran on the offense due to the injuries:

    "I was forced into that leadership position and to take control. It's been awesome. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a great supporting cast. I feel like they really do follow when I lead. The rest are leaders and I follow them. It's awesome to have that camaraderie. Same with the defense, coming off the field to have them encourage me to get a touchdown they instill that confidence that you need to be a fulltime leader on this team."

    On Andre Heidari:

    "Andre is money. He's a great kicker and unfortunately he missed some kicks last week but he's one of the best kickers in the nation in my opinion. Sometimes it gets to his head, but I have 100 percent confidence in him. When he is on and focused and locked in and he kicks, he's spot on. It was awesome."

    On feeling comfortable despite injuries:

    "It's not ideal to have guys go down. It's hard to get timing down. I'm very proud of how hard these guys work. In the tight end situation they stepped up and did great things. Those guys are just team players, family guys, it's awesome to know you have guys who put the team before themselves. I think we made some big strides today to pull out the win."

    On if they were prepared for Nelson Agholor to play:

    "He didn't practice all week. He was on and off taking it day to day. We didn't know for sure and he came out and said "Coach, I'm ready to go." They fight so much. I'm so proud of them. "

    MLB Hayes Pullard

    On Dion Bailey suiting up for the second half:

    "Dion has been out all week nobody was next. He's one of the captains. It shows great character to come back and make great plays in the second half."

    On putting pressure on Utah's quarterback:

    "We just want to affect the quarterback, no matter who was playing. We didn't know who would play but we just wanted to execute the plan that the coaches put out there."

    On the defense stepping up:

    "We had emphasized all week on getting back to our dominant selves. We wanted to give up nothing, and wanted to transfer that on the field on Saturdays."

    DE Leonard Williams

    On Dion Bailey suiting up for the second half:

    "I felt like he's a team player. You see a guy go down and he wanted to step up and be a leader of the team. He is accountable to the players along with Coach O."

    On putting pressure on Utah's quarterback:

    "I feel like we didn't get after the quarterback as much as we could against Notre Dame, so we wanted to come out and put pressure on him."

    On the physicality of the game today:

    "Notre Dame is very physical up front. It helped me prepare for the physical teams coming up. I've been working on double-team all week. It helps to play a physical team before another physical team."

    Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham

    "If you're looking for a positive, the defense played really well. If you're looking for another positive, the defense played really well. That's about it. We struggled on offense obviously. Really the key to our game was, as it's been in most of our losses, was turnovers. It's tough to overcome. Not impossible, but tough. We have to do some soul searching offensively and figure out the deficiencies and get them corrected. We have no throwing game and the running game wasn't a whole lot better. We have to get rid of the turnovers because that's hurting us. The bottom line is if we play offense like that, it's hard to win games.

    (Is he getting tired of seeing the offense like that)

    "It's not fun. Am I tired of it? Yea, I am. We've got to get better. We have to keep working and trying to find answers."

    (How well was Travis Wilson today)

    "He was out there, so he was fine. If you're out there playing, you're fine."

    "A lot of credit goes to USC's defense. That's the No. 1 defense in the conference for a good reason. They have a lot to do with our deficiencies. I'm not trying to paint the picture that they don't deserve credit. They took the ball away and were the ones that made things happen with their defense.

    "There's a big question what we'll do at quarterback. We have the week off to try to figure things out. Got Arizona State at our place next. Another top 25 team, so we have our work cut out for us."

    "The thing we lacked the last four years at QB, the consistency and continuity, has shown up the last two weeks. We were pretty good the first six weeks, but two weeks of not very good production there. The coaches have to get it fixed."

    "We should've scored a touchdown instead of a field goal (on opening drive). It was pleasant to get a field goal, but field goals don't win games typically. We have to get touchdowns."

    Utah LB Trevor Reilly

    "It was a defensive battle. In the first half, defensively we gave up one play on a pass in cover 2 when a corner route caught us. Other than that defensively I thought we played well.

    "I don't really think so much about our turnovers but our lack of causing turnovers. It could have been the difference in the game if we had got a strip fumble or a pick or if we could've scored. That was the big difference. We didn't get enough turnovers.

    "Our main goal has changed to we just want to make it to a bowl game. We have to win at least two of four. We want to win all four. We have a bye and need to get ready for Oregon State.

    Utah LB Jared Norris

    "We didn't get any takeaways ourselves. Any time you play and there are takeaways, you have to get some yourself. We forced a fumble on that one play but didn't come up with it. It doesn't matter. We're all one unit. It doesn't matter if the offense is playing bad or the defense is playing bad. The other side has to make up for it.

    "We're coming up short in a couple areas. We've been working the same. The mentality coming in was that we honestly that we would win today. No doubt about it. But the outcome obviously wasn't what we were playing for, but you just have to keep playing.

    Utah QB Travis Wilson

    (On if his finger affected his performance today)

    "Everything is good. I thought I was throwing well all week but I wasn't making throws today. And I definitely put this whole game on myself.

    (On if today's struggles was due to USC's defense or Utah's offense)

    "I think it was more our offense. I wasn't playing well and I needed to make better throws and decisions and having this many interceptions is not going to help us win football games.

    (On how good his throwing hand was)

    "I'd say it was probably 80%, it's still bugging me a little bit, but it's not an excuse. I should've still made the throws I needed to.

    "I was glad I got to come back home and play in this stadium, but didn't play well enough to win.

    (If coaches said anything when they took him out at the end of the first half)

    "I pretty much did it to myself. I can't turn over the ball if we're going to win the game. I've got to make sure I make smarter decisions.

    "I was felt I was reading everything well, but on some throws I wasn't hitting the target and not making smart decisions.

    (On not scoring a TD for the first time since 2010).

    "It's really frustrating. Our offense worked super hard throughout the whole week and to not score is a huge let down. It's something we have to get corrected."

    Utah QB Adam Shulz

    (On not scoring a TD for the first time since 2010).

    "It's extremely frustrating. We work way too hard not to score a touchdown. I think it was a lack of execution.

    "In our offense, a lot of it is on our shoulders and if we don't perform well, we can't operate.

    "It's not a good feeling (to lose). The good thing is we are all together and united. I don't see us breaking apart.

    "I want to credit USC's defense. That's a good defense and we knew that. They knew what they were doing and were executing."