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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