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2011 Pac-12 Media Day: Best Quotes (South 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. We took a look at the North Division earlier today, and now it's time for the South:


Q. There was a lot made last year about motivating your team to play under the sanctions and no Bowl game and stuff like that. How do you find your experience this time around in the last year of your major sanctions?

COACH KIFFIN: I think weekly it doesn't matter that much. There is a lot of build-up before the season about no Bowl games and talk about it. But once you get going, you're in practices and you're walking down that Coliseum and getting ready to play, I really don't think they think much about that. Matt can talk more about that.

As I mentioned before, our guys come to USC to get a degree from a private university and to go to the NFL. That's still there for them, so none of that has changed.

MATT BARKLEY: Yeah, we're not thinking about the negative aspects of the season. We have so much going for us this year, so much talent and the special teams with the character and leadership that we have on this team. We're taking it one game at a time. Not worrying about that time right now. When it comes, we'll deal with it. But as of now Minnesota is on the game plan. That's our schedule. One game at a time, one week at a time, and that's what we're doing.


Q. I know it's always overflowing. But I'm wondering, what do the Bruins have to do to get the fans excited to go into the Rose Bowl? Is it just a one number total --

COACH NEUHEISEL: Beat Houston. Yeah, because we play the next week against San Jose State. So if we can go on the road and beat Houston and do so in an impressive way, look like we're well-coached and a sound, fundamental football team, I think they'll come out the next week and be excited.

If we can find a way to win that one, the next one's against Texas. It can happen that fast. It doesn't take long to win back your constituency. They just want to know there is reason for your optimism. So, we just got to come out of the gate ready to play.

Q. How do you see the quarterback battle playing out going into camp?

COACH NEUHEISEL: Well, I'm anxious to see it played out at all. I do have an announcement to make with respect to Brett Hundley. Brett Hundley's going to undergo knee surgery on Wednesday. He's got a torn meniscus that will keep him out for three to maybe four weeks. Hopefully we'll have him for the second half of camp.

He hurt it playing basketball. But he'll be back before long, and I'm excited that he's had as much work as he's had prior to that, so that we at least know what we have when he does return to help.

But Kevin Prince is going to be back fully ready to go. He didn't participate in spring because of the rehabilitation of his knee that was surgically repaired last fall. So he and Richard Brehaut, Nick Crissman and Darius Bell are going to fight and scratch, and ultimately what we have to do is play the position well.

It makes no differences the name on the back of the jersey to me. What makes the difference to me is that the guy has all the intangibles that are necessary to play it well. One, intelligence, knows the situation, knows what is required of this particular situation. Two, has the ability to throw it to guys in the same colored jersey accurately, and, three, the team loves him and follows him.

Those are the kind of things that you need at that position, and our conference is full of them. It's time for UCLA to have that guy as well.

Q. Who do you expect to get the first reps going into fall camp, or first day of practice?

COACH NEUHEISEL: Who lines up with the first team?

Q. Yeah.

COACH NEUHEISEL: We'll flip a coin. How's that?

No, I think Kevin Prince will. I think Kevin Prince deserves it. He was the starter when he got hurt, and he'll get the first snap, and he needs more work because he didn't get spring football. But Richard will be right there. It will be a battle.


Q. You seem to be the most emotional coach during games on the sideline?

COACH STOOPS: I disagree with that 100 percent.

Q. Well, you're the most amusing figure on the sideline. What is your reaction when you see photos or replays of yourself during games when you're totally into your craft?

COACH STOOPS: I'm like, that's not me. That's a different person. Nick will say it.

These guys are used to it. They don't even really acknowledge it much. They see it pretty much 365, 24/7. It's part of who I am. Sometimes I think it gets misportrayed. They don't see all the good things. My players know that and that is the great thing about being around these guys, and that's what I respect about these guys. Like I say, nobody sees all the good things. They want to make fun of you doing all these crazy other things, So I don't worry about it too much.

More quotes after the break

Arizona State

Q. How do you think the officials have administered the excessive celebration rule the past couple of years, and what do you think of the change in the rule where they take touchdowns away?

COACH ERICKSON: Well, if they want to stop the excessive celebration, this is the rule that will do it, I guarantee you that. It's something that you've got to talk to your players about. Because now it's going to cost you a touchdown. It very easily could cost you a game.

I was looking at our USC game the other day when USC blocked that PAT and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. Well, he leaped from the 5-yard line into the end zone. They gave him an excessive penalty for that. This year's rule they wouldn't have gotten the two points.

So the rule really can have a tremendous effect on what's going on. Your players have got to know. I just want to make sure it's clear to our players what they can and can't do. To me that's a gray area. How are they going to call that? To me you just tell them don't do anything. Just get in the end zone, hand the ball off, back to the official, and go to the bench. I mean, that's basically what we're going to talk about.

It takes some of the emotion out of the game of football. Football has to be fun. You've got to have some emotion in it.

With this rule, they've pretty much taken it all out on. I'm not against it, but I just want to see
how they call it, I think, is the biggest thing that we're all going to see how they call it, I think, is the biggest thing that we're all going to deal with. How are they going to make the call?


Q. The teams from your division are going to miss a couple of the teams from the other division each year, and you get to skip Oregon and Stanford this year. How much of an advantage is that for you?

COACH WHITTINGHAM: If you base it on last year, it's a big advantage. Every year brings new challenges. Every year is its own entity. Who are going to be the overachieving teams this year and the teams that emerge and come to the forefront and vice versa. So it remains to be seen.

But certainly based on last year, if you had to structure your schedule, that's how you'd like to structure it.


Q. After you signed on the dotted line, what did you tell athletic director Mike Bohn about playing 13 straight games with no break?

COACH EMBREE: You know, that's one of the things about coming from the NFL. I think last year in Washington we didn't get our bye until -- I think we played nine or ten straight. So you factor that in with preseason and all of that, you get used to it. We'll just have to be smart how we practice towards the end of the season.

But what it really does is it creates a lot of opportunity for our young players because we're going to have to play everybody that we can that's not red shirting to give us a chance in these games.

So for them, they should be excited about it. I just told him I was glad he didn't put the Packers on the schedule.