Postgame Quotes

    Nov. 28, 2015

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    USC vs. UCLA

    LA Memorial Coliseum  Los Angeles, Calif.

    Saturday, Nov. 28. 2015


    Opening Statement

    “We talk about faith, family and football as a team and I want to take a quick second to thank the Lord. I cannot tell you how proud I am of this group of men, specifically the seniors and the team as a whole. I think about the seniors and the roller coaster ride they have gone through, for them to be able to call themselves Pac-12 South champions is a victory. I told them that this is Trojan football. This was a total team victory. It was a great defense effort, great ability to run special teams and to run the football. This is how you win championships. I am so proud and am a little bit lost for words.”

    On how proud he is of this team and coaching staff…

    “I am very proud of our players. Players win games. I am proud of this staff, for being the men that they are. If you focus on the players and help them become better football players, you will win games. I am proud of this coaching staff, but players win football games. I thought they played their butts off defensively and I thought they had terrific skill. We stepped up as a big offensive unit. DBs held up really well and the pass rush got to a good quarterback and created some mistakes. We were fortunate to get a couple of interceptions. It was amazing to me, I preached to them to bring the ball to me after turnovers and scores and they did, they brought the ball right to me.”

    On winning time of possession…

    “We had the ball for 40 minutes. The run game was going to be a huge part of trying to establish ourselves as a physical football team and we exhibited that today. The distributive style of ball is what we want to play and we did that today.”

    On if he thinks he’s done enough to become permanent head coach…

    “That is not my job. My job is to watch over this team and win every game we are associated with. We have the opportunity to be Pac-12 champions. That is pretty good stuff. I let the guys whose job it is to speculate, speculate.”

    On taking over the program and leading it to a Pac-12 championship game…/

    “I am so satisfied for the group of men in that room, especially the seniors. This is a relationship we have had for six years and we have gone through the lowest of times to now, the highest of times.”

    On his potential legacy….

    “This was a great opportunity for our seniors to leave their legacy. It has been since 2008 that a USC football player was able to call themselves a champion. For this team to leave their mark and lead their stable back into the light. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them. They are leaving their mark not only now, but for years to come. What they have done for the second half of this season will continue to next season.”

    On the three-headed monster that is the USC running back stable…

    “I really want to point out one, guy, Nico Falah, deserves a lot of credit tonight. He went in there and did a tremendous job. Ronald [Jones II] is the fastball hitter. I can’t say enough about Justin Davis, the way he’s played over the last few weeks, especially down the stretch. For Tre Madden to come out and give everything he’s got with a broken and battered body, speaks volumes of this team. Cody said it, ‘Failure was not an option this week.”

    Cody Kessler, Quarterback

    On finally breaking through and beating UCLA…

    “It’s been three games now. Coach Mora has done a great job with their team. We knew this one was going to be tough. We made a decision either Monday or Tuesday this week that we weren’t losing this game. We rallied behind Coach Helton, he always gets us going. This was a full team effort. I am so proud of the defense and the offensive linemen today, even with Khaliel [Rodgers] getting hurt and Nico [Falah] coming in. We didn’t make any excuses.”

    On his last game in the Coliseum ending this way…

    “It was awesome. Such a great feeling. I was trying to hold it all in, but I lost it back there, trying to hold back the

    tears. It’s the way you want to go out. Obviously we have another game and need another great week of preparation. It was tough walking off that field for the last time, but this is the way I wanted to do it. I am so proud of this team, we could not have done it without Coach Helton.”

    On having a chance to reach the Rose Bowl….

    “One thing Coach Helton has talked about is how do you want to leave your legacy? I have been through everything you can think of since my sophomore year. Big picture it would be amazing, but we have to take it one game at a time. I know that these guys are going to come to work on Monday. It is going to be exciting. Our main focus is the Pac-12 Championship. We don’t want to look ahead. Stanford is a very, very good football team.”

    On how the team decided not to lose this game…

    “I don’t put pressure or stress on myself. You guys make it bigger than it is. Media and fans say, ‘You’ve never done this, you’ve never done that.” Your job is to pump it up. We don’t feel that as a team. It’s just another game. We take it one step at a time and make each other better. We didn’t over emphasize this game or make it bigger than it was.”

    On Coach Helton being a calming force…

    “Coach Helton is one of those guys that you do anything for. I said that before when Coach O was here. That man is special. No matter what happens, if we win 10 games or lose, he is going to stay the same. He is very real. That’s why we love him. I know it’s not my decision what happens with the coach next year, but we want to do everything we can to give him the opportunity to be the permanent head coach.”

    Iman Marshall, CB

    On his play today…

    “I just did my job. I understood I made a lot of mistakes last week and made sure I prepared myself this week. Coach Heyward helped me do my job. I listened to a lot of guys older than me like Cody [Kessler] and Adoree’ [Jackson]. It’s been a learning curve. The whole secondary staff has helped me become the player I am today.”

    Adoree’ Jackson, CB, WR, KR

    On being one win away from the Rose Bowl…

    “We just wanted to worry about the Pac-12 South. Last week we lost, but God blessed us with another opportunity to play for the Rose Bowl. We did our job today. We had Coach Helton, our entire staff and the fans behind us.”