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Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

LSU Post Game Quotes

HEAD COACH NICK SABAN
Opening statement:
“First of all I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone. Certainly we didn’t do our share to make it a happy one for the people who have supported us so well all year that we certainly appreciate and thank. But I will say this, I was really proud of the way our players played in the game today. I think the turnovers and the three big plays that Roy Williams made were a big difference in the game. I thought our players did a great job of coming out and moving the ball in the first half. We didn’t score quite as many points that we would have liked to at that time. They had a couple of big plays and then three turnovers caught up with us; one gave them seven points and two were in areas where we were in ready to score and that changed the field position. It’s just like a turnover to try a fake punt that was just a punt alert. We weren’t supposed to run against that particular look. We made a mental error and we got stopped.
“I was really proud of our players. I think they competed in the game. They played hard; they played with a lot of toughness. You have to give the University of Texas and their players a lot of credit because they never folded ever. We got after them early. They were in a tough situation and persevered. I am really proud of our players representing LSU, LSU’s football program, themselves and their families on this trip. The people at the Cotton Bowl and this venue have been nothing but a first class event. We are happy to have this opportunity and to be a part of it.”
On the disappointment of not scoring a touchdown on the first drive:
“We really took the tempo and moved the ball well then we got bogged down and had to settle for a field goal. I think it would’ve helped our momentum if we were able to score. That was disappointing. Then the next series we got the ball taken out of our hands and they ran it back. We were the ball well that particular drive. We ended up having two great drives and they only had three offensive plays and we’re behind 7-3.”
On Texas’ Roy Williams:
“I said to the players coming in that he was the best receiver we’ve played against all year. The first two times we didn’t double him in the game and roll up and have someone over the top of him he scored touchdowns. One was on a blitz the other we were playing cover one with a man free. We missed a couple of tackles on him but he made two great plays. On the reverse I thought we had some people in position to make plays, but they just didn’t tackle that drive on the ground. They guy is an outstanding player but he also has toughness and competes the whole game. He might be the best football player we have seen all year.”
On Texas’ fumble return for a touchdown:
“What I was really proud of is that it didn’t faze our players. We played through it, which I think says a lot about their character. We came back and put together a long scoring drive. We had bad field position and we came out and a put a drive together to go back ahead 10-7. It was what I alluded to in saying that as well as we played in the beginning of the game, we didn’t score enough points. That includes the fact that they took the ball out of our hands and it was an easy score for them.”
On Michael Clayton playing both ways:
“I think he got tired in the game. I think there is no question about that. It probably did take something away from the game. I think he did an outstanding job though. He made some great plays especially in the first half. He started cramping toward the end of the game and I don’t know exactly how many plays he played on defense but he did an outstanding job while he was in there. There is nothing that he did on defense to hurt us.”
On Marcus Randall:
“Marcus played extremely well in the beginning of the game. I think we’ve played extremely well. Texas does an outstanding job on loose play downs of affecting the quarterback with a lot of their zone blitzes and pressures. It affected Marcus a little bit two ways. I think he was confused at times and threw the ball to the wrong side of the formation a few times as well he got hit a few times. I think it also affected him having to get an IV at half time because he was cramping up. That affected him a little bit in terms of how he felt.”
On this senior class:
“I had a little bit of a tough time in the locker room. We have a real good senior bunch. They’ve really done a lot for this program in three years. They are some good character people. They’ve played a lot of good football here. It’s going to be the hardest bunch for me to let go.”
LB BRADIE JAMES (#11)
On Roy Williams:

“He’s the best player I have played against this year. My hat’s off to him. We played around, we joked when I ran him down on the sidelines because you know he has hazel eyes and he’s kind of scary when you look at him. He said ‘ yeah I’m back baby.’”
On leaving the LSU program:
“ We set the foundation for the guys that have been here for four and five years. We’re trying to bring that winning tradition to LSU, a nationally recognized team. Coming into the game all we wanted to do was to play for 60 minutes and not give up. If we played hard the intangibles would take care of themselves. Ultimately you try to win every game but one team has to win and one team has to lose.”
WR MICHAEL CLAYTON (#14)
On Roy Williams:

“ He’s going to be one of the premiere receivers in the future. He’s real physical. He just used everything he had. I wish the best for Roy.”
On playing both ways:
“ I was very excited. When I came here to LSU I was going to go both ways and play basketball. When I came in he (Nick Saban) put me at DB for a couple of plays then I just switched back to receiver. I did a good job and I hope it will follow into next season.”
SS NORMAN LEJEUNE (#36)
On Michael Clayton playing at DB:

“ This guy was making back to back catches (on offense), then we go on defense and he’s in the defensive back field trying to get the play and he’s making plays. I was laughing because he’s a receiver and he was hitting harder than some of our defensive players on our side. It was a good experience to have Mike in the backfield. I think he’ll be a slash player next year. He’s going to do a great job.”
Quarterback Marcus Randall
(On their quick start) “We came out trying to get things rolling early, and we did that. We moved the ball on them three drives in a row. After the second half we just couldn’t get things rolling the way we did in the first half. Coming out in the first half I felt real comfortable. Everything was working the way we wanted to. We were well prepared for the game.”
(On why they struggled in the second half)“It was a lack of execution on our part. We stopped making plays like we were in the first half.”
(On why they didn’t go to wide receiver Michael Clayton more in the second half.) “I’m not really sure. He was playing both ways and I think he was getting a little tired so we had to try to go to our other weapons.”
(On his 76 yard run.) “Coach made that call. It was a draw play all the way. I saw the hole and Rob Sale made a good block for me on their linebacker. I just took off running.”
Running Back LaBrandon Toefield
(On how Texas’ fumble return for a touchdown affected the team.) “Everybody still had a positive attitude. We knew it wasn’t going to be a perfect game. We had come out over that and overcome that adversity and we did for a little while. We kept competing and playing hard. We just didn’t capitalize when we had the chances to so.”
(On LSU’s ability to run the ball today.) “I thought we did a good job. Their front four and their linebackers are very good. I thought we did a good job moving the ball on them. We just didn’t capitalize in the red zone when we needed to.”
Cornerback Cory Webster
(On how Texas fumble return for a touchdown affected the team.) “Coach was telling us not to get down. No matter what goes on, we needed to stop their offense every time no mater what the situation was.”
(On Roy Williams.) “We had a couple of breakdowns that helped him get loose. On the first pass play we didn’t make the right reads with him and we were a little lackadaisical with our fundamentals. Coach had told us a lot of bowl games teams don’t tackle well and that’s what happened to us. We didn’t tackle real well and that caused a couple of his big plays.”
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