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2011 Pac-12 Media Day: Best Quotes (North Division)

Instead of reading through boring transcripts (We're looking at you, Jeff Tedford), I will post the best/most important quotes from each school. First, we start with the North Division:


Q. How much of the blueprint do you want to continue to follow from the final month of last year into the bowl game, relying on him and playing the defense?

COACH SARKISIAN: I love that blueprint. I think that when you're running the football and you're playing sound defense, you give yourself a chance in the fourth quarter to win games, and that's all you can ask for. This conference is so talented and so well-coached, that if we can just be in fourth quarters with games with a chance.

Washington State

Q. How difficult has it gotten since the Pacific Northwest -- you could probably put Oregon in there, but also Oregon State and even Washington -- with the improvement of those teams, how has it affected your recruiting?

COACH WULFF: You know, I don't know that it's affected it a whole lot. We've gone about our business of trying to recruit the type of person with the right DNA. When I say that, I mean from the neck up. We're looking for kids that have the great passion for the game, love the game, tough, they're a great person, and have that attitude and work ethic. Lot of time from the neck down, he might not be the most flashy guy all the time, but they're productive and great football players and they can help you build a team.

That's what we've been trying to do. We go after guys that fit our profile and sometimes may not, but that's who we are and what we're building.

Q. I talked to Jeff Tuel this summer and asked him about the lack of respect among the other teams when you're playing a Pac-12 opponent. It seemed like he was legitimately angry kind of recalling the experiences and stuff like that. Did you sense there was an improvement in the respect from your opponents last year? How does that play in the locker room in terms of generating a little fire?

JARED KARSTETTER: Yeah, I think we were more competitive especially the end of last year. Any sort of lack of respect that we feel as a team, I think that we just use that as motivation to go out there on game day and compete and prove ourselves.


Q. Regardless what the findings may yield, there have been some recruits and I've read reports that express concerns about potential sanctions and stuff like that. To what extent has that become an issue that you've had to address in recruiting?

COACH KELLY: I haven't had to address it with the recruits right now. We're coming off back-to-back Pac-10 championships as we move into a brand-new league with a brand-new television contract, it's a bright future for us. We had a berth in the Rose Bowl, we had a berth in the National Championship Game. And I understand from the kids we've talked to, our recruit something going very, very well.

More quotes after the break

Oregon State

Q. Coach, with Oregon being the projected favorite in the Pac-12 North, what is it going to take for you guys to actually win the division yourselves?

COACH RILEY: Well, I think that one of the great things for all of you and for all the fans is that this is going to be a truly unique year with the divisions in our league. We're not going to play every team anymore, but we're going to compete within our division to get to that championship game.

The other part of it is probably the same as always, is you're going to have to play well every week. I've been in the conference a long time now, 11 years, and I've seen the competition rise to where every week is like the Super Bowl. So I think it's going to be really, really competitive.

We've added two great schools and programs to our conference, so it's going to get even more so that way. It should be just a really, really interesting year. We're heading into a little bit of uncharted waters, so it's going to be something that we're going to have to compete and get better all the time and take it one game at a time.

Q. How much of an opportunity is there for Storm Woods and Malcolm Agnew to maybe get some significant playing time early?

COACH RILEY: Well, we've kind of said from the beginning after we signed Malcolm Agnew and Storm Woods that they would enter into the competition for the running back position.

It's kind of the same way we looked at it when Jacquizz entered the ranks a couple of years ago. We don't have right now a No. 1 back that's going to replace Jacquizz right now today. We have a number of guys, I thought, that had very good spring practices. I think if we're going to look at that group, it might be a little bit like running back by committee. And I don't mean that in a negative sense.

I think we have some guys that might be more suited to being a third down back, like a Jovan Stevenson, Malcolm Marable, then we have some first and ten type backs like Ryan McCants, Jordan Jenkins, or we might have a guy emerge through fall camp.

But I think it's important for us to let these guys play as we get going, and then we'll determine that as it goes, and as we add Malcolm and Storm to the mix and see where they might fit in and be able to help us right away.

Q. What is Joe Halahuni's situation right now?

COACH RILEY: Joe had surgery in April, and they anticipate him being ready probably into our fall camp some time. Joe's feeling good. He's doing well with his rehab. I think that at a best case scenario, he'll be practicing the last couple of weeks of fall camp, then we'll see about game ready after that.

That is at the one thing people talk about rehab and when a guy's ready. There is a difference in being deemed healthy and going to practice, then actually being ready to play in a game and getting all that stuff behind you so that you feel comfortable doing that.

I think that's where we'll be with Joe. I think we were like that with James. I think we're like that with Jordan Bishop and Jordan Jenkins a little bit.


Q. Can you characterize your
relationship with Will Lyles and the recruiting service he has. Does it concern you at this point, and have you reevaluated the financial relationship with him?

COACH TEDFORD: Not at all. I'm not concerned one bit. We deal with probably four or five recruiting service per year. I wouldn't know Lyles if he was in this room right now. That's what he did. He provided us a service be it a list of prospects and game tape and things like that, and that's what we use all our recruiting services for.

I think there are over 250 schools in the Houston area, and the reason we use those services is to make sure that we can be efficient with our time and our resources. I have no concern whatsoever about it.

We have the videos, we have the prospect list, and so I have absolutely no concern about it.


Q. Do you plan on for sure going pro after this year, because you'll have another year left?

ANDREW LUCK: No, I'm doing this as my last college football season and approaching it like such.

Q. Did you ever have a point in the off-season where you thought for a second or third time about your decision to come back? And how good or how much better can you and the team be this year?

ANDREW LUCK: First, I didn't really think about the decision after I made it. I've been very happy. I haven't had any regrets. I love being able to represent Stanford University. I'm looking forward to doing that on the field this year.

Secondly, I think you always can get better. You can always improve. I think this team has a lot of key leaders at positions that need leadership. Some great O-linemen, linebackers, secondary guys. So I think we can constantly improve and we'll see where we go from there.

There you have it. Next, we will take a look at the top quotes from the South Division.