Three for Three with Reggie Carter:

On a potential 4-0 start:
“I’m sure if we do win, people will start talking a little bit better about us, but I’d rather them not. So far, they’ve been talking bad about us, and we’ve been doing well. Keep treating us like dirt, and we’ll just keep playing football.”

On losing a game in the last 10 seconds:
“It sits with you, it sits with you a while. I know it happened to me when I was a freshman against Notre Dame. I guess you kind of use that as fuel to feed your fire, but it’s a new year, and regardless of how mad you are, you still have to come out and play the game.”

On Toby Gerhart:
“I’m happy he’s getting pub. He’s the best back in the Pac-10. The greatest. I hope that everybody believes that. I’m looking forward to playing him this week to show what I can do against the greatest back ever.”

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Leftovers

Bob Palcic on Nick Ekbatani:
“I told him today that I was thinking of him primarily as a guard, but since he has experience at tackle, that if someone were to get injured, he’d be a possibility. Nick coming back will only make us better. I’m used to having a seven-eight man rotation. You want a backup center, a backup guard, and a swing tackle. If I have eight guys, I usually feel pretty comfortable in that situation.”

Aaron Hester on his recovery from a fractured fibula:
I’m just happy to be walking again without pain. I lost the crutches yesterday; as soon as I got my X-ray results back, they texted me and said there were really good results. I just left my crutches right where they were. Wherever they were, I just left them and started walking.”

Reggie Carter on the bye week practice:
“We don’t have a game to prepare for, so right now it’s more execution, technique. We can slow it down a little bit, work on technique a little bit. Once the season starts, you kind of lose out on that opportunity to work on technique because your game planning.”

Reggie Carter on his performance in the Kansas State game:
“After watching game film, I had an OK game, but there were times where I could have been more physical with offensive linemen, played the ball a little better inside out. I can’t overrun plays; I need to play fast but play the ball inside out. That will be my emphasis this week, working to be crisp with my hands and with my footwork.”

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Three for Three with Reggie Carter: Pt. 5

On if the Prince injury should have been called a helmet-to-helmet penalty:
“I play linebacker, so I hope they never throw that flag. The hardest part of your equipment is a piece of steal, your facemask. I’m leading with my facemask every time. If you catch me, you catch me. But it didn’t look like it was that bad of a hit.”

On UCLA’s quarterback health issues:
“Wow, they do go down every year. I think this year we’re a close team, were tight, we tell the offense regardless of who’s back there, we’re going to play our game. We should be fine, we’re not going to let them score too many points.”

On confidence with Prince gone:
“If they don’t score, regardless how many picks our quarterback throws, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if it will give us something more; maybe it’ll be motivation, more fuel to the fire. Maybe we have to play great now because our quarterback is down.”

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Three for Three with Reggie Carter: Pt. 4

On the exciting of winning at Tennessee:
“Last year was just exciting because it was overtime, a big victory. This year I think we were just flat out underdogs, I was watching ESPN earlier and Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and even Santonio Holmes, they all picked us to lose. They think it’s impossible to win in that environment, and we have trouble winning on the road. To win that game and to win that way in Tennessee in front of 100,000 people, it was great.”

On his surprise that Tennessee stuck with the pass:
“The run wasn’t going to work. We refused to let that work. Really, I told the d we have to force them to throw. We’re going to make the quarterback beat us. No disrespect to him, but I didn’t think he could beat us at all. I just didn’t think he could do it.”

On penalties hurting the defense:
“It was San Diego State right back over again. Tennessee’s first drive, get over the field, make it third down, and then penalty. It’s like we’re hurting ourselves early in the game. We have to find ways to stop doing that. I don’t know if guys are anxious or it’s anxiety or nervousness. I still believe we could have had a third-and-out in the first series of both games. We need to come out strong. Tennessee didn’t hit us in the mouth like SDSU did.”

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Three for Three with Reggie Carter: Pt. 3

On penalties hurting the defense:
“It was San Diego State right back over again. Tennessee’s first drive, get over the field, make it third down, and then penalty. It’s like we’re hurting ourselves early in the game. We have to find ways to stop doing that. I don’t know if guys are anxious or it’s anxiety or nervousness. I still believe we could have had a third-and-out in the first series of both games. We need to come out strong. Tennessee didn’t hit us in the mouth like SDSU did.”

On Akeem Ayers:
“Akeem is a great athlete, probably better than I am, and it’s a little different because now he’s out of control, he’s trying to make a play. When I was younger and I was trying to make every play, I wouldn’t get the penalty, but I wouldn’t make the play. Rather than do my job, I tried to do everything. He’s just got to settle down and relax and plays will come to him. We kind of have a competition in making tackles, and he’s behind right now, so he’s anxious to make a play. When you’re chasing it, it’s not going to come to you.”

On David Carter:
“He did great, we probably give him trouble every day about being big and not meeting the standard of his size. He got in there and did a great job. If he can continue to get better, he’ll definitely see a lot more time.”

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Three for Three with Reggie Carter: Pt. 2

On watching film of Kansas State’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette:
“I just watched it this morning. They could have won that game. I thought they did win until I saw the score. They played a pretty good game, but whether they won or lost, I remember beating Tennessee last year and then losing 59-0 to BYU the next week. Regardless how they played, we need to approach every game like it’s the Super Bowl.”

On if 59-0 is still on UCLA’s mind:
“Not really, but it is a little bit. We want to make sure guys were having fun, but Sunday, I let them know, ‘We won, it’s time to get ready for Kansas State.’ Last year, we beat Tennessee and we went to BYU and got embarrassed. We’re happy we’re 2-0, but we’re not satisfied. Our goal is to get to 3-0, not 2-1.”

On the defense having room to improve:
“Yes, we’re like wine; we get better with time. After game two, we’ll get better week by week.”

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Three for Three with Reggie Carter: Pt. 1

On Kevin Prince’s injury:
“It hurt my feelings. It really hurt my feelings. I asked him if I could play still. He said, no they had to wire his mouth shut. I said just don’t get hit. I told him we’d hold it down for him until he got back.”

On the defensive performance:
“We played a tough and strong game, but had a few mental errors. It’s still game two and there’s room to get better. But 208 yards of total offense you can’t be too mad. After watching Tennessee’s first game and they had 380 yards rushing, for us to hold them to 208 total yards in Tennessee, in front of 102,000 people, it was great.”

On defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough’s game plan:
It was big. He had us watching tape and schemed them up great. He was confident that they would stick to their game plan. Everybody did their job. They kind of came out and gave us what we expected, and we played to it.

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Four for Four with Reggie Carter

On the emotions of the win:
“Everyone’s screaming at us, I’m walking off the field, I’m shaking hands, and I’m walking toward the tunnel, and I said, ‘damn, I think I’m about to start crying.’ Sure enough, tears start coming. Damn, I can’t help it. I’m always emotional, I was crying before the game. Afterwards … when so many people say you can’t do it, and it’s like 100,000 versus probably 100, you just get emotional. This was such a good victory, a hard-fought victory; we fought all the way to the end.”

On crying:
“Don’t think these are tears of sorrow or sadness. We’re definitely excited. We’re going to have a good time on our way home.”

On the final drive:
“They were driving a little bit on us, and they made some adjustments, found some cut-back gaps, and I just told everybody, ‘It’s time to play with your heart; grab your heart, and remember what you’re here for. Play hard, there’s about three minutes left in this game and we can win it for our team. Let’s do it.’”

On the goal-line stop:
“The goal line, that fourth down play, I don’t know who made that tackle. I know the tackle tried to block down on me, I pushed him down, and I couldn’t get my body back into position. I just threw my whole face at him, my whole head at him. I think he kicked me in the back of the head, but I know I stopped him enough for people around me to make that play.”

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