Here’s Pete Carroll’s press conference quotes.
COACH PETE CARROLL: First off, just put last week to rest. We were very pleased to come back and get a chance to play at the Coliseum. Starting the Oregon task here with Oregon State and felt fortunate to get the game won and a lot of good things happened and we come out of the game with a few injury issues but once we head back up here to play in the state of Oregon, we have a tremendous match upcoming up.
Oregon has really rallied in great fashion and is playing great football, and they have presented a tremendous amount of problems for us on offense with their offense, such varied attack with such a goodlooking running quarterback, great style about him, LaMichael James is really on fire right now, so it’s a very tough attack for us to deal with.
Defensively, they have been very effective and they have been very aggressive giving people problems, numbers are in great shape, stats, all that kind of stuff. Really have been kind of on the attack since the Cal game, they have really been effective, more so than earlier in the year.
So we have problems in all directions. Very good special team teams, as well and then we are playing in Halloween up in Eugene, so this is a great task for us and we are going to have to put together a terrific plan on both sides of the ball and on special teams to match up. It’s by far the biggest game we get to play this week and it’s a huge championship match up for us and couldn’t ask for more build up. We have been on the road a lot, and that gives us a sense of confidence that we know that we can go into a crazy situation and that’s exactly where we are headed.
Hopefully we will bank on our experiences and be able to play good football and perform at a high level and see if we can get ourselves another win and a game that we can be proud of.
Q. The matchup, describe your thoughts on how far this Oregon game can go to determining the Pac 10 champion?
COACH PETE CARROLL: I don’t have that I thought about that other than this week. This is a huge matchup for us and I think the team that wins the conference is going to have to win out. You know, I think you’re going to have to do that. It’s going to be amazingly challenging throughout the schedule.
They look great, and so we have got to try to get this win and then next week it starts all over again. So this won’t be any bigger than any other win in the conference but it’s an enormous challenge for us, and you know, we always focus like it’s the only game in the world right now and that’s how we are going about it.
Q. How different are they?
COACH PETE CARROLL: They have done some things defensively that are different. I don’t know why that’s come about. You know, maybe that’s just transitioning through their personnel and times and stuff like that. I don’t know if he had something to do with that or not. But they are a little bit different defensively but offensively they are doing the same stuff so that’s what he was in charge of. So it looks very similar.
Q. LaMichael James…can you compare him to Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers?
COACH PETE CARROLL: They are different. They are totally different style of guys I think. He’s really fast and can get out on the run. I don’t know what his time, it’s in the 100, but this guy is a 10.5 guy, so great breakaway speed, much like you’ve got the best…but they are both smallertype guys.
They are different. Rodgers is a very unique style runner and he’s got a real power about him that jumps out at you as well as the speed and quickness and all the rest of the stuff. He’s just different I think. The guy, LaMichael is averaging 6.9 per carry so he is obviously had tremendous games, a lot of big, long break out plays where he’s leaving guys in the dust. So there’s huge problems with both guys and facing them.
Q. How does (Oregon QB) Jeremiah Masoli compare to Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor?
COACH PETE CARROLL: They are so different staturewise, so I don’t see the comparison. But I think that they are similar in their effect they have on the game is very similar. They both run tough, and they are hard to tackle and effective. They are not the guys that you are going to see dropping back and living in the pocket throwing the football.
They are going to be moving around and on the perimeter. Jeremiah Masoli makes a lot of really quick decisions to utilize his perimeter passing game. It’s really unusual and unique that (Terrelle) Pryor doesn’t do much at all. I think that you’re dealing with the guys as runners first. That’s what we have to deal with I think in that regard, they are very similar but they couldn’t look more different on the field stat yourwise.
COACH PETE CARROLL: We already practiced in the rain last week or two weeks ago for Notre Dame and that was about a sloppy mess as you can get. We are going to use that and we are not going to turn the sprinklers on this week. We had really good outings Tuesday and Wednesday to mess with it. It can’t be any worse than that. Their field will be much better than the field we practiced on being artificial.
Q. Does the rain help you guys, slow them down at all?
COACH PETE CARROLL: I don’t think it helps us any more than it helps them. I think it’s wet both sides.
Q. Oregon is plus five on the turnover ratio; do you see on the film what they are doing aggressively
COACH PETE CARROLL: No, they just had a lot of mistakes slowing, a lot of picks. They have just had everything going their way. They have been on the attack defensively and it’s caused problems. And their numbers are in good shape there. You know, for an offense that does handle the ball and does a lot of stuff, with it, they still take care of it pretty well. And that’s a huge factor. They have had a lot of big plays.
I think they scored, I don’t know, four or six times on things and is it six times or four times? Yeah, six times on returns and that’s a huge factor. That makes winning a whole lot more available to you, and so we can’t let that happen. We can’t that be part of the game or it won’t even be hard on them. It will be too easy.
Q. What’s your evaluation of the defense the second half, both this past week and against Notre Dame?
COACH PETE CARROLL: My evaluation is that we haven’t done very well. We have been really susceptible to them throwing out the football. Being out ahead didn’t help us any. We didn’t play well with the lead when the teams threw the football a bunch.
You know, the first halves of those games, the passing game and the mix of the pass and run was not a big issue for us. We were in great command I thought. But when the teams decided they needed to throw the football to win, they did very well, and I think a lot has to do with the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks that we just played were fantastic throwers. They showed that.
You know, so we have to make our plays. You’ve got to make your stops when you get your chances and that also has to do with when you’re ahead, you have to turn the football over and get it back to your offense because they are trying hard throwing it, and that didn’t happen either one of those two games so, it made it difficult.
Q. You mentioned some injury issues. Anything?
COACH PETE CARROLL: Well, Anthony McCoy is hobbled. We don’t know if he’s going to make it or not. We won’t know until the end of the week. Stanley (Havili) is trying to make it back and he practiced yesterday but we won’t know on him, either. So we’ll have to wait it out. See what happens. Drew McAllister got hurt in practice yesterday, pulled a hip flexor so, have to see where he is, too. A couple guys are nicked. Some guys are getting stronger, guys like Christian Tupou and those guys are coming back, they should be at full speed by this weekend. Jordan Campbell is coming back.
So we have a couple guys back as we lose a couple. But it’s a big deal to lose Anthony. He’s been a big factor in these games, and hopefully he’ll be able to make it.
COACH PETE CARROLL: He’s a big timer. They like to use him in a lot of different ways. They like to get the ball downfield to him. He’s a good catch and run guy, good blocker. He’s really a prototype tight end. He’s a feature part and is the leading receiver, 27 catches, and he had a big game against Cal, kind of took over in that game, and he’s been a big factor since. So they have got their weapons. They have got some great weapons.
Q. Talking about the familiarity with other coaches and their familiarity with you, do you
COACH PETE CARROLL: And to be somewhat restricted and just to make sure we knew what we were doing. And since we have gained our opportunities with Matt Barkley playing and we understand what he can do and what he can’t do, I think he’s using the whole package really well.
Q. What is it like playing at Oregon?
COACH PETE CARROLL: It’s a great crowd. It really is a great crowd. They have a good attitude about supporting their team. That’s a good way of putting it. Yeah, they have a good attitude of the way they support their team. They are very out spoken, and all that, and of course, they do a great job of orchestrating the game environment and all of that.
You know, the noise is one aspect, but you can feel the intensity of their crowd and they do a good job.
Q. Quick reference to his side, speed
COACH PETE CARROLL: I hope so. I think he’s finding all of the environments. He’s got a good base about him. He’s not a guy that is going to slip and fall a lot because I don’t think he’s got a real wide stance about him. He’s low to the ground and all that. He’ll be fine. Joe (McKnight) has been fine in the weather. He grew up playing in a mess in New Orleans and all that. He likes it like that. I think our guys will be fine.
Q. Going to be back on kick returns
COACH PETE CARROLL: He’ll be involved during the week. We’ll see how that develops. He has not returned kickoffs in practice until this week, so he’s going to be part of it, and like to get him back there and get him active, yeah. We’ll see how that works out during the week.
Q. Damian Williams has taken two back in the last three games, when you look at the film, what is he doing well?
COACH PETE CARROLL: He’s really hard to tackle. He’s just got a neck. He’s got a real sense about making the guys that are in his mind he made a great jump at Cal, I don’t know if y’all saw it, but he made a great cut to leave the guy near the sidelines as he was breaking do you know the sidelines, just can’t even touch him, and he has ways of making people miss or making them miss the tackle, even. He’s done that well. When he caught the ball at Notre Dame on the little outside screen, it was in my mind, he was going to score as soon as he caught it. There was just too much field for him and too many options. Bryce made a nice block for him but they didn’t touch him there, either.
He’s hard to get away from and better than most guys at doing that. That is what makes him a great punt returner and we are just warmed up with it. I hope we’ll continue to be really explosive there. Guys are working really hard on that team and they believe in him and know he can take it to the house. I think this is about I far the best we have been in that area and the most explosive in years. So it will be exciting to see if we can get something going there, again.
Q. Do you think the activity was fair when they suspended the referee?
COACH PETE CARROLL: I haven’t kept track of how they handle those situations. For them to single one guy or a crew of guys, I was surprised at that because a lot of other guys could have seen the same thing. But they are doing their business, I don’t even know what the criterion is for doing that. So you know, it is an expression that they are taking pride in it working hard at it and trying to figure it out. Whether it’s the right decision or not, I don’t know.
Q. Your track record in big time games is pretty unparalleled. Is there one reason that you think your teams do well in these big games?
COACH PETE CARROLL: No. I don’t know that there’s one reason. You know, we love these opportunities and these situations. I think we take them on what real good attitude that gives you a chance to perform well. Love being in these settings, and every one of these road challenges have been enormous for us and the guys have really looked forward to it and haven’t felt like we are at a disadvantage because we are going on the road.
So hopefully we will be in that mindset again and we will prepare accordingly and if you do that, then you have a really good chance to play well. The crowd is a factor, in particular fashion, when they are doing well. You know, and when the other team is doing really well, and kicking your butt, the crowd goes nuts. We have to play up to a level that doesn’t allow for that kind of excitement, and hopefully we will be able to do that.
Once they catch fire, though, it can be you know it can be more of a factor. So we have done well over the years. We have kept games close and played solidly and finished well, and so hopefully we’ll be able to do that again.