Here are the quotes distributed by Arizona State's sports information staff following Saturday's game.
Head Coach Todd Graham
Overall thoughts on the game:“I am so impressed with these guys. Going into this game and coming out of the tunnel Will Sutton stepped out in front of the team and took charge. I normally talk to them at halftime but for the first time some of the leaders kind of pushed me out of the way and took charge of their football team.”
More overall thoughts:“I am just very impressed with our total team performance. What are amazing to me are all the mistakes. We can play a whole lot better than we played tonight and we played really, really well so we have a chance. I am so thankful to all the fans that came out because our home field was awesome. Our student section is always awesome and it was a big night. We have a chance. We have Oregon State coming back in here and obviously Arizona and we have a couple more home games that are going to be big for us. We need people to turn out for us because we have a good football team.”
Never miss a local story.
On the defensive performance:“The inside of our defensive line has been pretty good. I thought we did have an advantage, they were big upfront but I thought we were more explosive and our guys executed it well. We had a plan, we came every play but we came differently than we have been doing with a lot of pressure inside and out. Our players called much of the stunts tonight, which was impressive. We basically had automatic front coverage, so I’m really proud of the way they executed. I thought Will Sutton and Jaxon Hood were solid up inside. I thought Gannon Conway played his best game. We dominated the line of scrimmage and all those guys played exceptionally well inside and I am really proud of them.”
On the matchup with Washington:“That was a great matchup for us. That was a really good football team. That team we beat tonight is a really, really good football team and we didn’t just beat them we dominated them. We let them get back in the game. We gave them some things, turned the football over on a punt when we were ahead 46 to 17. There are lots and lots of corrections we have to make. We gave up a seam pattern on the touchdown where we were exactly where we needed to be, but we just didn’t make the play.”
On the team:“The thing that is exciting about this group is that they want to get better. We are training and coaching them hard. Finally, with about four minutes left in the game I kneeled down in front of them and said guys, we have only given up about 200 total yards of offense, so we have done pretty well. We don’t have to be frustrated because we played pretty well.‘”
On the Washington receivers:“Those receivers were fast. That is the fastest group we have played since USC. That team was just as talented as USC in my opinion so I think it was a whole team effort. We got pressure on the quarterback and like I said once we got back in conference play, I felt like we would start doing that. People don’t realize that we played two of the best offensive lines in the country and that is why you have seen some of the things you have seen and do you see what our potential is. So like I told our guys, we have a week and half or so to prepare for Washington State. We have to focus on two things: our character and our commitment. We have to get better because we can play a whole lot better than we did tonight and we played really, really well and I am really proud of our guys.”
On the disparity in rush yards:“When you have 317 yards rushing and the other team has minus five you have a good chance to win. I am so proud of those guys. We spend a lot of time teaching this week, and you know we have great teachers on this staff. Coach Norvell and Coach Thomsen do a great job with the offense, Coach Ball and Coach Randolph do a great job with defense and working with the special teams.
On ball security:I think we had a 100% ball security other than a fumbled punt, which we cannot do. I am very, very proud of how our guys played and how dominant of a defensive performance this was since I have been here. Are we better than we were last week? There is no doubt. We have five games to go and we have to win all five of them to get six. Then we have to win six to get in the big one and that is what our focus is. We just have to keep them straight in front of us and continue to get better everyday. So proud of our team, proud to be a Sun Devil and it was a great night.”
On Chris Young:“I’m really proud of Chris Young tonight. You know he is from Washington so this was a big, big game for him and he played outstanding and I’m just so proud of him. I know his parents are probably listening he is and I’m just really proud of him. It was big win for him and he was definitely motivated this week.”
Quarterback Taylor Kelly
On what this win means for the team:“We’re getting better each week. The guys are practicing harder than I’ve ever seen and preparing more than I’ve ever seen. Guys are here at 10:30-11:00 p.m. watching film and trying to get better. We trust our coaches. As long as we do our job and do what we’re coached to do, we’re going to have a lot of success. It’s different this year. The guys are a lot closer. It’s going to be a great season. We just have to focus on Washington State this week and be prepared.”
On the offensive line:“They had a great week of practice coming into today. They’re coming in, watching film and coming to practice with great energy. They wanted to come off the football against a great front seven for Washington. They did a great job of protecting me and letting me get the ball to our play-makers.”
On offensive success against conference teams and without receiver Jaelen Strong:“We’re very explosive. We have a lot of weapons at receiver, running back and tight end. It’s hard for defenses to key on one person. If you try to stop one, I’m going to the other one. If they stop the pass, we’re going to run the football. It’s very hard for a defense. Pick your poison with us. It’s hard for a defense to stop everything. We just have a lot of play-makers.”
Wide receiver Kevin Ozier
On receiver Jaelen Strong’s injury and his opportunity to get playing time:“First off, it’s bad that any player gets injured. You know he rolled his ankle, so hopefully he gets back soon. When someone goes down, the next guy has to get in there and step up, and that’s what I did. And I did it to the best of my ability.”
Defensive lineman Gannon Conway
On what went right this game for Gannon and the entire defensive line:“It was a really good week of preparation for us. We came out and really did what we were supposed to do. Did our job, did our one eleventh, and made plays happen. Everybody did. When the play came to them they made the play happen, so I think the preparation in the week is what really allowed us to have a lot of success on defense.”
On what he saw from the other guys, like Carl [Bradford] and Will [Sutton], breaking up passes and getting in the back field: “We were all flying around. We had a really good night and we were just doing what we we’re coached to do, but of course we can get better, so that’s what we are going to work on, especially this bye week. Just getting better every week so we can prepare to ultimately win a championship for our team is our goal.”
On what it was like to go out and dominate a ranked opponent:“It feels great, but we still have hell of a schedule coming up, so this game we’re just going to have to learn from it. We have to get better, so we can prepare to win the whole South, but we’re happy for the win.”
On how the defensive linesman tally changes and what are some of the things the defensive linemen say to each other when they start to get sustained success during the game:“When Will Sutton gets talking he really pumps people up. That’s really what gets the whole defensive line going. I felt like tonight Chris Young was always around there like, ‘hey come on guys let’s get going,’ and that helped the whole line. Those are the kind of things that pumped the whole defense up, so we can really make plays and do what we’re supposed to do”