USC Postgame Quotes
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
“I thought we made it difficult on ourselves early in the football game field-position wise. We made a really bad decision on that fake field-goal thing and it kind of turned on us for a while. Once we got going, we just took control. We took control up front, I don’t think there was any question that we could run the football any time we wanted. All of the stuff that we hoped to do on the line of scrimmage we got done. When that happened, I thought Stefon Johnson really (maxed) out. He had a lot of space. He averaged 13 yards a carry and C.J. (Gable) averaged 17 yards a carry, which are crazy numbers. We really felt good about what we were doing, we didn’t have to throw the football at all. I thought when we needed to get our surge, to really get control, in the second half the defense rose up and came up with a couple of huge plays and took the game over and the game was done. We had the opportunity to play a lot of guys so we did that, and it didn’t end up feeling so good because we couldn’t slow down their passing game, but I’m not worried about that. This game was clear that we had command of it, and I loved that we played the way we did today."
On playing in a hostile environment
“We handled the setting, this is a great crowd, this is a fantastic setting to be in, there’s no doubt about it. The fact that it was like that and that we had to face that situation and take total command of the game and really quiet the crowd down was what we hoped to do, so we accomplished a tremendous amount just in that itself, regardless of what the score was. I’m thrilled that we scored a bunch of points and ran the football. It was easy for John David (Booty) tonight. I’m a little disappointed that we dropped a couple balls, but other than that I thought for the most part we did what we needed to do. We had to adjust a little bit, they were moving the ball well early, and then the guys rallied around and everything worked out fine. I thought we had the game in command once the offensive line started to surge and the defense answered, so it was a heck of a day.”
“I didn’t know if we could or not, but that’s the way we had hoped to play. We really had two fantastic weeks of run defense. We really made a big deal out of it and emphasized the heck out of it with respect to all that they had done in their two games, and I was really thrilled that we were able to get that done. That’s a big marker for us. There was a bunch of yards piled up in the passing game but I thought that’s a big step for us to take. That’s the kind of run defense we’re going to count on.”
On USC's success running the ball
“We had some time on the field to talk to the guys (after the injury in the second quarter), and we told them we’re going to run the ball every play, until something changes and it’s up to them. We ripped off about a 20-yarder and then bang-bang we’re in the endzone four or five plays later. It was a tremendous response by them. We knew we had a chance to do that from that point on. We’re very, very pleased about that."