Bob Toledo's Press Conference Quotes
Oct. 23, 2000
Let me start by kind of reviewing the conference a little bit. You look at Oregon State vs. Washington a couple of weeks ago, it was a heck of a football game and Washington wins by three points. You look at Washington vs. Cal the other day. Cal was ahead going into the last part of the game and Washington wins. You look at Arizona State vs. Washington State a couple of weeks ago, that game goes into triple-overtime. You look at Arizona State vs. Washington State and that game goes into overtime. Stanford vs. USC, that game is decided in the last four seconds. Oregon vs. Arizona was a tough football game. Our game two weeks ago against Cal went into triple-overtime. You look at our game this week and it goes down to the last play. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, yes the conference is back. The conference is back. It is a very tough football conference top to bottom. Again, I want to emphasize that on any given Saturday anybody can win. It usually just comes down to the team that plays just a little bit better ends up winning the football game. That's kind of what happened Saturday night. Oregon State is a good football team and I think you all realize that now. They are 6-1 and they have some good players that can do some good things. Everybody has good players now. But obviously it was a very disappointing and an extremely frustrating football game for me to lose. I thought it was a game we could've and probably should have won and it didn't happen. That's what always bothers you as a football coach. You're dealing with young people and sometimes they make you feel real good and sometimes they make you feel real bad.
The last 10 minutes of that football game really killed us, as you well know. They actually score on their last five possessions so that's a real tribute to Oregon State. The thing I liked about our football team is that we never gave up, we played very hard and we never quit until the last play of the game. I think that's a real tribute to this football team. We scored in our two-minute drill, which was a good drill. We got an on-side kick that was perfectly executed and then we had a chance going down to the end and didn't get it done. We took it down to fourth down and obviously Cory (Paus) was caught in the grass there. But we did have a chance.
Again, everybody looks at the third down efficiency. Defensively, as we all know, they were 12-of-18 (Oregon State offense). We couldn't get them off the field. Sixty-seven percent of the time they were on the field which meant 33% of the time we were on the field. They had 90 plays for 604 yards. On the other side of the coin, we 2-for-11. So we couldn't stay on the field. We were off the field 82% of the time. We only had 64 plays. If you look at the game it was a game of third downs. We fumbled, they fumbled. We deflected a pass, intercepted it and ran it back for a touchdown. They had the ball, got hit and the ball went flying out into the air for the best hook-and-lateral I've ever seen. They worked months on it I'm sure. So all of those things are kind of a trade off and it really came down to third downs. They scored 37 points in the second half and I know that wasn't because of any adjustments they made it was just that they executed really well in the second half. They were allowing 289 yards a game. They were second in our conference in defense. We had 435 yards so it's not like we didn't play some pretty good offense and score some points. Our tailback carried the ball 27 times. So the two tailbacks carried the ball less than DeShaun (Foster) did in the first couple of games. As I mentioned, in the first couple of games we had the ball 80-something snaps. We didn't have a lot of snaps. Fourteen of those 27 times we gained four or more yards. One of our goals as a rushing team is to have four or more yards 50% of the time. If you do that, you are efficient running the football. The problem is that we didn't make any long runs. I think our longest run was about 15 yards. We had three quarterback sacks. One was an offensive lineman's fault, one was the quarterback's fault and the last one he just got caught in the grass when he got rid of the football.
Cory Paus is playing extremely well right now. He's a very accurate passer, he's got a strong arm, he has a very good understanding of the offense and he's continuing to grow each and everyday. If he stays healthy he will be outstanding for us.
The third-and-21 play, I know you guys want to ask about that. That was their draw play that just kind of broke the camel's back right there. We put in our dime defense. We had four rushers. We had a three-deep, zone defense. It wasn't man-to-man. We were rushing our ends up the field, we twisted our two tackles and they both got blocked and actually fell to the ground. Then our linebacker got walled off and when they came on the backside there was a pretty good hole there and our safety was the only guy that had a chance. Our corner was playing three deep and he was running off of the wide receiver. The safety took an angle and he was playing kind of deep because it was third and 21. By the time he made the tackle the guy had run 21 yards. So it wasn't something that we were going to maximum defend or we were playing prevent defense. It was an old, traditional three-deep zone with dime people in there. So we just didn't make a good play. If you ask Bobby Field right now if he'd like that call back, yes he would and so would I. I thought it was a great call at the time, but it didn't work so it was a bad call. The thing that really hurts us was when they got the short yardage and we had a couple safeties get a little too close to the line of scrimmage. Again, part of that is just discipline. They are not told to get that close to the line of scrimmage. They should not be any closer than five or six yards in that situation. One of them was about one yard from the line of scrimmage and it should've been a four-yard gain which ended up being a long touchdown run that put the game away basically. Again, that's the discipline or execution part of the defense if you want to call it that.
Arizona is a good football team. They are a solid football team. They have a great defensive scheme that creates problems. They get a lot of sacks, which means your rushing yards go down. The key thing in this game is to try not to get sacked and stay out of long-yardage situations. And of course we're on the road again.
As far as injuries, Matt Ball has a broken hand and we're going to see if he can play with a cast on. Ken Kocher has a knee sprain. He got high-lowed, stood up and chop-blocked by the guard. He's out two to four weeks. Jermaine Lewis actually re-injured his ankle in pre-game warmups and sprained it again. He's very doubtful. Robert Thomas sprained his foot and he's very questionable. He wasn't in there towards the end very much and Dennis Link, a redshirt freshman, took his place. Dennis was in there when they broke that long run. Rusty Williams has a bad foot if you want to call it that. He has a bad shoulder that kind of popped out on him, but he keeps playing and he's a very tough guy. But he's questionable. Sean Phillips is still not going to play. Anthony Fletcher is back and he'll play. Jason Bell has a hamstring problem but he'll play. Asi Faoa, he's go the ankle sprain and I still don't think he's going to be back. Jason Stephens has a hamstring and he's very questionable. Kenyon Coleman, I know you'll ask about him, he hasn't even started running with us yet so I think it's very doubtful that he'll even return this year. Ryan McCann, the shoulder is not responding and it appears he is going to need surgery when the season is over. And Matt Stanley's shoulder was re-injured again. So I'm not saying this to make excuses, I'm saying it to let you know that we are not the same football team that beat Alabama and Michigan right now. We're a little bit beat up and banged up, particularly on defense.