Postgame quotes: 2002 Nebraska vs. Arizona State football
Quarterback Jammal Lord
On his performance
It was a win, and so that counts. I played OK, but you can always get better. I’m just happy with the win. More than anything, that’s really what I wanted tonight.
Center John Garrison
On the offense
For our opening game, I thought we did a great job. The guys that were young and didn’t have much experience did a good job. We didn’t have any major problems. It was exciting to see what Jammal did out there. He kind of lights up the field with some of the things he does.
On the offensive line
I don’t think there were any major breakdowns. There wasn’t a time when we gave up multiple sacks like we did in the Pigskin Classic last year. I think we did a pretty good job of maintaining the pocket, and whenever it did break down, Jammal found his way out of trouble.
Rush End Chris Kelsay
On the defense
With all of the criticism the last couple of years that we haven’t been getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback, the defensive line needed to step up. We really concenctrated on getting the job done. We put pressure on their quarterbacks, and that’s what we wanted to come out and do. That’s what we’ve been thinking about doing all of this time during the offseason.
On the chemistry of the defense
I knew during the spring that we had a unified bunch. Everyone clicks, and we are hitting on all cylinders. We’ve got a bunch of young guys out here doing what they love to do and doing it with the people they love. So our performance didn’t surprise me at all.
Defensive back Fabian Washington
On his interception
It meant a lot to me. It was my college debut, and I just read the quarterback, and got to where I needed to be.
Linebacker Demorrio Williams
On his Nebraska debut
“I felt great out there. This defense has great chemistry, and it showed. We started well and came out and got the things done that we needed to get done. From that point on, it was just fun.
ARIZONA STATE COACH DIRK KOETTER
ON THE GAME
I thought we competed very well until some things piled up on us in the fourth quarter. We made some horrible decisions to start the second half. We should have never tried to bring that kickoff out, and that was a very bad decision that put us in the hole early. Chad (Christensen) made a couple of bad decisions early in the half to get us in the hole. You are not going to beat teams like Nebraska getting two punts blocked. We deteriorated a bit there in the second half, that’s what Nebraska prides itself on. That’s what they do to teams – we talked about that at halftime. Even though we did a lot of things better, we still have plenty of things to improve on.
ON QUARTERBACK CHAD CHRISTENSEN
Chad did some really good things, especially early. As the game wore on, I thought Chad started looking to run first and throw second. I thought he got spooked a little bit, so we brought Andrew (Walter) in. He did some good things and some not so good things. We gave Andy Goodenough a shot at the end. We are going to have to get better quarterback play out of all of our quarterbacks if we are going to go where we want to go with this team. We are going to have to play better. I am not at all disappointed with the way Chad competed and in the way he ran the team and the guts and determination he showed. I am not disappointed in that at all.
ON NEBRASKA’S DEFENSE
The main thing they did that we didn’t expect was on third and long, they brought in that dime package and they played the odd defense. They confused us having nine guys standing up at the line of scrimmage and running some cross blitzes. We didn’t prepare for that. We’d never seen them do that. That’s the part that they added. They played a little bit more zone and they played a lot less bump and run coverage than we expected them to play.
ON NU RUSH END CHRIS KELSAY
We were a little bit outmanned there. Our right tackles Adrian Ayala and Damien Niko, going against their fine all-American defensive end Chris Kelsay. I thought those guys competed well, but we tried to protect our tackles as best as we could. But a couple times we didn’t. We left our tackles on an island, and Kelsay made us pay.
ON NEBRASKA’S ABILITY TO WEAR DOWN THE OPPOSING TEAM
I think for the most part, we played hard. Nebraska does a great job of wearing you down. I looked out there the third series of the game, and they had their second offensive line out there. We have, like, seven offensive linemen ready to play right now. Nebraska does do a good job of trying to wear you down like that, and they did that to us in the second half.
ARIZONA STATE PLAYER QUOTES
QUARTERBACK CHAD CHRISTENSEN
On the Offensive performance tonight
“We started off too slow tonight, and you can’t do that against the eighth-ranked team in the nation. For the most part, we competed well with Nebraska. We had the two block punts and the another bad punt which led to that stretch in the third quarter when Nebraska opened the game up. But as the game went along, the offensive line started playing better and moving the ball. We just need to build on that for next week”
RUNNING BACK MIKE WILLIAMS
On Playing at Nebraska
“I thought offensively, we came out a little slow tonight, which left a lot of pressure on our defense. They played a very good game, and at times we put them in a no-win situation. We gave Nebraska the ball a couple of times inside our 20-yard line. You have to give Nebraska credit – they came out ready to play on special teams tonight and we didn’t. There were just a couple of breakdowns that we felt really decided to game.”
DEFENSIVE END TERRELL SUGGS
On Playing Nebraska
“Our biggest problem was we got to relax at half time. We were very excited in the locker room at halftime. We just got too comfortable. We maybe became a little too fired up at halftime. In the third quarter we didn’t do the little things, like special teams, that we needed to do to compete. We feel three plays changed the way the game went. All we can do is build on this. This game prepared us for the rest of the season with the type of teams we are going to face in the Pac-10.
On Jammal Lord
“He’s a very big and athletic quarterback with a lot of good moves. He had a great first start, rushing for over a hundred yards. That’s good for him, but bad for us.”