Bob Toledo Weekly Press Conference
Oct. 30, 2000
Let me kind of recap the Arizona game. It was a heck of football game for us. No. 1, we beat a top-25 team and No. 2, we beat them on the road. So get that monkey off my back. As you well know the ones that we're there, we played very hard and overcame adversity. I thought it was just a great team effort, offensively, defensively and special team. Our special teams played extremely well. The thing that was kind of nice was that a lot of guys contributed. There were a lot of hurt players there that didn't practice a lot that played. And then there were a lot of guys that haven't played very much or haven't played at all. I looked up one time and saw Stephen Sua at one end and Steve Morgan a defensive tackle at the other end. I looked up and saw Kory Lombard who was a walk-on before this year when I gave him a scholarship and then I saw Saia Makakaufaki. Well three of those guys have played 25-30 snaps this year. One of them, Saia Makakaufaki, had not played a down this year. So when I say a lot of guys contributed, those are the type of things I'm talking about. I thought we did a super job on third downs and that was something I tried to emphasize to the team during the week and Friday night in our meeting. We were 9-of-19 and they were 2-of-11. Our playmakers made plays. We made a lot of big plays on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. The players made the big plays. We've been suspect in execution over the year, but we have never been suspect of heart. I thought we gave a great, great effort and I think we've given a great effort all year. That's why it was really important to win that football game. We came up short in triple overtime, losing by seven points to Cal. We came up short at the end by six points to Oregon State. I think if we would've come up short again in this game I don't know what I would've told the football team because they are giving me a great effort. They gave a great effort again and they came up on the right end this time.
Friday night I was talking about six-second football. All you have to do is give your best effort for six seconds. I wrote on the board that we are going to have 75 plays and we had 74. I said that we are going to have six punts and six punt returns, six kickoffs and six kickoff returns, and that's exactly what we had. I'm not here to say I'm a profit, but the point I was trying to make for example is for a kid like Ryan Smith. I said, Ryan the reason you are making this trip is for special teams. You're going to be on six punt returns and each one of those is going to take six seconds so you're going to have to give us 36 seconds of your life. I tell you what the kids did it. The kids that had to play 74 snaps, they had to give us seven-and-a-half minutes of football. When you break it down in those terms, that's not much football to be played. It really got down to the fourth and four play. It's fourth and four and Arizona calls timeout. We had put together a little video the night before of some great hits. Kind of our theme for the week was 'Hit.' We knew it was going to be a physical game and we knew we had some hurt guys so we had to hit. We did some things on great hits over the last few years. We took the last part of the video and took some great hits from the Arizona game the last few years and we played the song from Excalibur, the Gladiator song is what we call it. I have an award each Monday called the Gladiator Award and it's for the guy that plays the best, the hardest and all those kinds of things. What's interesting is that it's fourth and four and I have the team off to the side and we're talking about, hey guys, this is it. I talked about quitting down. Some guys can play five or six plays, some guys 10 plays before they quit, either mentally of physically. They either don't give you effort or they're not very focused, whatever. They great players can go longer but there is a period during the game when you can't have a quitting down. That's when 11 guys have got to give their very best effort. It's fourth and four, and I bring them over there and I tell them that this is what we talked about last night. This is a down where everybody has got to give their very best effort, not one guy can have a quitting down either physically or mentally. At that time our defensive guys are all behind us and they're yelling and screaming too. I can hear (Ricky) Manning, (Marques) Anderson and (Jason) Bell, all these guys just yelling. Well at that time (Arizona's) band strikes up and they play that Gladiator song and our guys went wild. And of course we make the conversion on fourth and four. It was a great job of protection, a nice throw, a great catch and a great run after the catch by Freddie (Mitchell) for 19 yards. Then of course two plays later we're in the end zone on a heck of a run by Cory Paus. Just the whole effort of our football team is something that I'm extremely proud of and I'm just glad that we won the football game. We took one play from each player and this week I'm giving a team Gladiator Award.
We have Stanford this week and I'm not going to say too much right now. It's a homecoming game. What I try to do each homecoming game is pay a tribute to Red Sanders and we'll come out and run the Serpentine Huddle the first play. A lot of the old timers like that and they tell me to do it so we'll continue to do it. I look at Stanford and they're an awful lot like us. They're a good football team. They're a dangerous football team. They're a team that has been inconsistent at times. They've lost some very tough games right at the end. These are two very similar football teams. Right now, we're a beat-up football team but we're a beat-up team with a huge hard thank goodness.
As far as guys that are out, (Kenyon) Coleman is out still. (Ken) Kocher is out. (Ryan) McCann is out. Jason Stephens pulled his hamstring in the game so he's out. Guys that are questionable are still Matt Ball, (Asi) Faoa, (Sean) Phillips, (Matt) Stanley and (Dennis) Link. We also have some other guys that we dinged up during the course of the game and we'll see how they are today.
Is there any possibility of Coleman returning?
I tell you, I think it's going to be very difficult. He hasn't been out there yet. He's not going to be able to play this week and there's only two weeks after that. I think it's very difficult for him to return at this point but we're not ruling it out by any means.
I don't know where this win might rank on your list, but I'd have to think that it would rank up there somewhere wouldn't you think?
It's a real good win considering what happened. Because again, they're a good football team and to beat a good football team at their place after two very tough losses, yeah that was a big win.
Was that win good for the defense in terms of moral and confidence?
Yeah, I think it really helped. It helped in that we've played hard all the time and now we have something to show for it. They did a good job stopping the run except for really two plays and one pass play. They did a nice job. They caused some turnovers. I think the thing that makes it nice again is that a lot of guys played. A lot of guys played.
For Coach Toledo's complete press conference, please click on the audio link located at the top of this page.