UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel probably shouldn't have provided USC any bulletin board material ahead of their rivalry matchup on Saturday. In a way, the quote that fired the Trojans up wasn't a direct shot, but it was all USC needed heading into the game. It all seemed simple, and perhaps innocent, enough.
"We have closed the gap more with SC," Neuheisel said. "We've got a chance to win the championship, that's closing the gap. We didn't have that chance in years past."
That's all it took. And thanks to Neuheisel's quote, the postgame press conference in Los Angeles was an instant classic.
First, USC came rolling out of the locker room in these:
And then there were the quotes:
`The gap was really close. You can tell by the score,''USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil
Matt Barkley to Petros: "We heard that someone was trying to close the gap, so we tried to not let that happen."
And even shots at Neuheisel perhaps losing his job.
Marc Tyler on Rick Neuheisel: "I wish their next coach much success."
Finally, Neuheisel's own words:
At what point did you feel like you've got a problem? Neuheisel: "Their first drive."
Words of a broken man. The press conference may have been more fun than the game itself.