Washington vs. UCLA Postgame Notes and Quotes
Nov. 12, 2000
Winning implications: With the win, Washington beat the Bruins for the first time since 1997 ... the Bruins had been the only team in the Pac-10 with a winning streak vs. Washington of over one game ... Washington closed the gap in the all-time series between the two schools at 28-30-2 ... the Dawgs have now won six straight games, its longest win streak since 1996 when the UW won six straight games to end the regular season under head coach Jim Lambright (the Huskies lost in the Holiday Bowl that season to Colorado (33-21)).
The win capped a perfect 6-0 home season for the Huskies, their first perfect home record since 1996 and 12th overall ... UW is 18-11-1 all-time vs. UCLA at Husky Stadium ... Washington has won 56 of its last 68 games at Husky Stadium with one tie ... UW is 37-7-1 at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 teams since 1990.
The Huskies have trailed in eight of nine victories this season and have had to come from behind in 13 of 16 wins under coach Rick Neuheisel ... Washington is 13-0 under Neuheisel when winning the time of possession battle (38:39-21:21) and has won that battle in seven of nine games this season.
With its 349 yards rushing, Washington has rushed for 200 yards in a game 53 times since 1990, carrying a 48-4-1 record in those contests ... since 1995, the UW is 23-1-1 when rushing for 200 yards or more.
The Huskies totaled a season-high 349 yards rushing ... the 349 rushing yards is the most allowed by UCLA in 2000 since its 23-20 win over Michigan when the Wolverines had 263 yards on 46 carries ... last time the UW had more than 300 yards rushing was in 1999 versus Stanford (368 net yards).
With Rich Alexis' tying a career-high with 127 yards rushing, the UCLA game marks the fourth contest this season that the Huskies have had a player run for at least a 100 yards (also Oregon State, Arizona State and Arizona) ... this is the third time in 2000 that Alexis has rushed for over 100 yards, following a 107-yard performance versus Oregon State and a career-high 127 yards versus Arizona State ... Washington also is 149-34-3 when a Husky player rushes for at least 100 yards in a game.
With his 127 yards rushing on 21 carries versus UCLA, UW freshman tailback Rich Alexis set a Husky record for most rushing yards in a season by a true freshman with 604 total yards ... Alexis passed teammate junior Willie Hurst, who was the UW's top runner in 1998 as a freshman with 538 yards.
With Washington's touchdown in the first quarter, it marked the 226th consecutive time the Huskies have not been shutout ... the UW touchdown, the UCLA Bruins have trailed in the first quarter in all 10 games this season.
The Huskies' drive for a touchdown on its first possession of the game was the first time the UW has scored on its opening drive this season ... Of the other nine opening drives, the Huskies have punted eight times and fumbled once versus Arizona State.
UW freshman Greg Carothers recorded his first career interception in the second quarter ... it was just Washington's fifth interception of the season and Carothers is only the third Husky player to have one this season, joining strong safety Hakim Akbar and cornerback Omare Lowe, who both have two apiece.
With his 12-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter, UCLA's DeShaun Foster moved into sole possession of the number four spot on the Bruins' all-time touchdown list with 29 ... Foster had been tied with former standout J.J. Stokes with 28 entering the game.
UW tailback Willie Hurst's 62-yard scamper in the third quarter was the Huskies' longest run which did not result in a touchdown this season ... the previous mark was a 46-yarder by Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo versus Arizona last week.
With his first reception of the game at 11:18 in the first quarter, Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens set a UW record for most receptions by a tight end in a season with 42, passing former record-holder Dave Williams, who had 38 in 1965 ... Stevens finished the game with four receptions for 80 yards, bringing his season totals up to 42 receptions for 594 yards ... Stevens also moved up in the career receptions by a tight end with 64 to fourth overall, passing Williams (62).
Despite allowing two turnovers today, the Huskies did not allow the Bruins to convert any into points ... for the season, the UW has turned the ball over 26 times, but opponents have scored only five touchdowns and four field goals for 47 points.
Marques' marks: With his 111 yards passing and 69 yards rushing against the Bruins, Husky quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo moved from seventh on the single-season total offense list in 2000 to fifth with 2,356 yards ... Tuiasosopo passed Sonny Sixkiller's 2,268 yards in 1970 and Billy Joe Hobert's 2,327 yards in 1991 ... Tuiasosopo's 6,691 career total offense yards is 21st-most in Pac-10 history, passing WSU's Tim Rosenbach (6,690) and Stanford's Todd Husak (6,668).
Moving on Up: UCLA quarterback Cory Paus moved up on the Bruins career passing yardage list from 11th to 8th with 3,131 yards ... Paus also moved from 12th to seventh on the career completions list with 208 passing up former quarterback's Rick Neuheisel (198), Larry Zeno (199) and Rick Bashore (201) ... Bruin split end Brian Poli-Dixon and flanker Freddie Mitchell both made moves on the UCLA all-time receiving lists as both are now tied for career receptions with 106 (9th) ... Mitchell moved from 10th to ninth in career receiving yards (1,825) and Poli-Dixon went from 15th to 11th with 1,609 career receiving yards just passing former Husky coach and UCLA great Karl Dorrell.
UCLA split end Brian Poli-Dixon had a career high 165 yards receiving on eight catches (tied a season-high) ... his previous career high was 130 yards vs. Miami in 1998.
Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
GENERAL REMARKS: 'We're elated with the victory. It finishes off a perfect home season, which is just fabulous. It was a dogfight. We got it done quicker this time. We got it done it the third rather than the fourth like we usually do. Although we didn't score any points in the fourth quarter, we still utilized the clock real well. I'm very proud of mine team. 9-1 is remarkable given the balance in this league. We'll be fired up for the rest of the day, but we understand that we've got a huge challenge ahead of us in traveling to Pullman to play a very spirited Washington State team. It will be a huge game as it always is given that it's Apple Cup. We're going to get some rest in the next 24 hours and then were are going to get to work and hopefully play our best game.'
ON THE RUNNING GAME: 'It was what we wanted to do. We wanted to have ball control today and control most of the clock. We had 38 minutes, my goal was 35. One way to stop a team that has big performers is to keep them on the sideline. We were able to get that accomplished, so I'm very excited about that.'
ON WILLIE HURST: 'Willie's run was like a shot in the arm when you needed it the most. When you're down 21-14, your anxious to get going and we got going right from the get go in the first play of the second half. Unfortunately at the conclusion of the run, he broke his collarbone. It was his clavicle. I don't know how long that takes to heal, but hopefully he'll return in time for a bowl game.'
ON RICH ALEXIS: 'Rich hurt his shoulder too, but it didn't seem to be as serious. For Rich to come back, it was huge. You've got to remember that he hasn't played much football. But for him to come back in there and be a physical runner like he was, that was a sign of what I think are great things to come. He's a remarkable player.'
ON BRAXTON CLEMAN: 'I told Braxton Cleman you never know when your opportunities coming, but here's yours. And he made some huge plays. He played as hard as he possibly could.'
ON THE OFFENSE: 'We thought it was an opportunity for us to find out exactly what they were planning to do in the front, certainly the injuries that they sustained were well publicized. But we didn't need to not throw the ball, I think we were excited about the ability to run and run effectively. So the throwing game took a back seat.'
ON PAT CONNIFF: 'It's difficult to talk about Pat and not talk about all the seniors. Pat has been remarkable. He and Marques have a long relationship. I thought Pat was one of our best players coming into the year and unfortunately he's had to deal with a couple of injuries this year. He's a bonafide tough guy. He wants to play, he wants to finish with his teammates. He's been a real hero. My favorite play of Pat Conniff's was at the Holiday Bowl last year. No one had scored in the third quarter. Pat bulled their linebacker, Seminole, and Shaw was able to get into the end zone. I'll always be fond of Pat and what he's contributed to our program.'
ON THE FAST START: 'Since our team hasn't had many fast starts, I think that when we go down the field and score a touch down, I'm almost wondering if our guys think, well maybe this is our night to blow somebody out. I think when we do that we might be letting our guard down just a little bit. We're so used to coming from behind. We talked about that at half time. I said we're back to our comfort zone so let's go out there and get them.'
ON THE DEFENSE: 'You try to mix things up when you've got so many play weapons. And you can't just let them throw the ball down the field, but yet you can't blitz all the time. We were able to put some pressure on the quarterback. I thought he did a great job.
Washington Player Quotes
QUARTERBACK MARQUES TUIASOSOPO
On success of the running game: 'Our offensive line played great. All week long we have been told that we have to play physical and they did a good job up front. They took the challenge of being physical and opened up big holes for our backs to make the most of those holes and they did. When you have guys like Willie Hurst, Braxton Cleman, Rich Alexis and Pat Conniff they are going to get the job done.'
On his last home game: 'It still hasn't hit me yet. It was really hard before the game. The guys were really emotional but I fought hard to keep back the emotion so it didn't detract from my performance. This was what we wanted to do. We wanted to end it right ad we talked about it all week long about controlling the emotion. We have played teams in the past that have been too emotional on a senior day and it affected their performance.'
On Washington State: 'I don't care what their record is. This is the Apple Cup and everything else aside this will be a war. It is a fun game to play in. As long as we are focused we should be okay.'
On passing reads: 'I was looking downfield and if it wasn't there I was able to dump it off. We were able to run bootlegs and Jerramy was able to escape the linebacker and get open and I hit him and picked up some big yardage.'
TAILBACK WILLIE HURST (Taken from the training room)
On the play in which the injury occurred: 'It happened on the long run. When I got down the sideline and moved into the open I stiff armed the guy and got him off of me. Then I backed up and another guy tackled me and I fell directly on my shoulder and that fractured my collar bone.'
On the frustration of the injury: 'It is a little frustrating but it is also part of the game. You know getting injured is a risk you take everytime you suit up every week. I played hard and played well for three games after waiting for my chance so that is very satisfying. I know my hard work did not go to waste and it paid off. We got a win against a team that had our number and that is what matters.
On the success of the running game: 'All week we have been talking about playing a physical game. The finesse game was not going to get it done today. UCLA has taken it to us the last few years and we knew hard-nosed, smash-mouth football was going to get it done today.'
On the revenge factor: 'The coaches try to put that out of our mind but it is in the back of everyone's mind because they put us out of the Rose Bowl last year. We had it right in our hands, we only had to win our last two games, and they beat us. This is a very sweet victory for us.'
TAILBACK RICH ALEXIS
On the running game being in control: 'The offensive line today, like everyday, came out and gave us a good push and opened up the holes and the running backs wanted to do our part and take it upon ourselves to make big plays.'
On coming back in after being hurt: 'At this point in the season you just have to suck it up. I wanted to do something nice for the seniors too. When I came out in the second half I just felt like at this point in the season you have to do whatever it takes, even if you are a little banged up.'
LINEBACKER ANTHONY KELLEY
On the forced fumble in the fourth quarter: 'It was a called play. The coaches told me to push up the field and spin to the left. I thought that I had lost him at first, but I stuck my hand out and grabbed him and knocked the ball loose. I grabbed it and the next thing I knew everyone is falling on me and I got the wind knocked out of me.'
On the seniors' last game: 'It was our goal all year to send our seniors off right. We're all brothers and we love each other and we want to finish the season off strong for them.'
On the Washington State game: 'We're not going to WSU lightly. We have a healthy respect for them. We know they are going to be a hard-nosed team, but we are just going to play our defense and hopefully we will come out of there with a win.'
SAFETY GREG CAROTHERS
On the interception in the end zone: 'I thought they were going to run so I backed up, read the quarterback's eyes and he short-armed it. Fortunately it came right to me and I lucked out.'
On big hits: 'All of our safeties like to hit and that's what I am out there to do. I just go out there and try to hit as hard as I can and let people know that I'm there. That's what really makes it fun and that's why I play the game.'
UCLA Head Coach Bob Toledo
GENERAL REMARKS: 'That was a classic college football game between two teams that played hard for 60 minutes. My hat goes off to Washington who did a good job and won the game. We started the game and spotted them 14 points and then they had some turnovers and we battled back. We had a big turnover with the interception going in. We didn't get any points out of that. We took the lead at half and I felt like we were playing well enough to win. Then we came out second half and they started fast. They ran a draw play for a long-gainer and scored. One of the touchdowns should have been a field goal and we were offside. Penalties hurt us, missed tackles hurt us, we had (Marques) Tuiasosopo corralled a few times and didn't tackle him or some of the running backs. Offensively, too many three down and outs. We didn't sustain any drives except for our last one with a two-minute drill. So, we really didn't move the ball very well. That is a credit to Washington, they stopped us and we didn't execute very well.'
ON THE WASHINGTON OFFENSIVE LINE: 'I think, more than them being overwhelming, on some of their base plays we were fine, but we missed tackles. We don't have enough defensive lineman right now and we wore down the second half. They had the ball a lot. The option play hurt us and made some long runs. Tuiasosopo made some nice runs. It was just a combination of all those things that really hurt us.'
ON UCLA WR FREDDIE MITCHELL: 'They didn't really do anything to minimize him, we just weren't getting him the ball. We didn't have the ball enough to get it to him. We couldn't make first downs.'
ON THE 46 YD. MISSED FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT BY CHRIS GRIFFITH ON FOURTH AND ONE: 'I wanted to get some points on the board. I thought it was early enough and he has been kicking the ball really good. His foot kicked the ground first and that's why he missed it. I just wanted some points.'
ON UCLA QUARTERBACK CORY PAUS: 'He's been pressured like that most of the year. He's got to learn to get rid of the football. He's got to learn to throw the football away and not throw interceptions. That's just inexperience and hopefully he'll learn
QUARTERBACK CORY PAUS
General comments: 'The Huskies really didn't do anything that I was surprised by. I never had a doubt we wouldn't get back in the game. I lost the game. As coach always says, so goes the quarterback, so goes the Bruins. When we play good we win, when we play bad we lose. I didn't feel any more pressure in this game than I normally do with other teams. I just made some bad decisions. When things go wrong we need to put up points. We were not playing good football. We were playing the number six team in the country and this game shouldn't have come down to the end of the game. I played my worst game as a quarterback and they (the Huskies) only won by seven points. I thought we could win this game in the last 27 seconds of the last series. We can't let the other team knock it out of our hands.
On Freddie Mitchell: 'He needed a couple more passes that he could have had, but I was looking to him as much as I normally do. He didn't have his best game though.'
On the crowd: 'A couple of times I wasn't audible, but not too many. This is one of the loudest stadiums in the Pac-10. The crowd didn't have anything to do with us not playing well.'
WIDE RECEIVER BRIAN POLI-DIXON
General comments: 'Defensively, the Huskies did a lot to stop our running. We gave it all we had. We made a lot of good plays. We were really close in this game. We had the potential to turn this game over to us and we didn't execute. We just kept trying to make big plays.'
Feeling of team after halftime: 'We came out strong in the third quarter. There was no point in the game when I didn't think we couldn't have won.'
STRONG SAFETY MARQUES ANDERSON
On Husky Offense: 'They came out really intense, and used the run to set up the pass. We tried to contain Tuiasosopo, but he kept getting in under our defense, and picking up yards. The 95-yard drive to start the second half wore us out. It demoralized us, and made it hard to recover. However, we came back and played hard.'
On Jerramy Stevens: 'Stevens worked hard to get open. He would go down and sit in the seam, and make catches. He's a big target.'
On Husky option offense: 'They have it running like a machine. We tried to stop it, and couldn't do it. We couldn't contain them when they got to the outside.'
On Cory Paus: 'One player cannot win or lose a game. He played his heart out. We just fell a bit short.
RUNNING BACK DESHAUN FOSTER
On UCLA offense: 'We did OK executing, but we should have done more. As a team we followed the game plan really well. We used the run to set up the pass.'
UW defense: 'They have a good defense. They played hard, but they didn't throw anything at us that we were not expecting. The bottom line is that we did not execute. It was one player, but a whole team effort. We win as a team, and lose as a team.'that. That interception in the end of the game, he should have just thrown it out of the back of the endzone. I just tell him to pick up your weapons and move on. You can't make a play every time. They've got good players too and you've just got to sometimes concede and get rid of it and take another snap rather than try to make a play that's not there. He's a talented kid, he's got good movement in the pocket and he maintains vision down the field and that's why he makes a lot of big plays. He's got to learn to not get sacked when it's crucial crunch time.'
ON WASHINGTON TE JERRAMY STEVENS: 'He's gotten open against a lot of people, he's the leading receiver in the Pac-10 as a tight end. He's got a real height advantage at 6'7' and they isolated us a couple of times and did a nice job. He's been catching a lot of balls against a lot of teams. You can't just stop the tight end, they've got (Todd) Elstrom, they've got Tuiasosopo, they've got those running backs. When you are playing against the option, you can't be doubling tight ends.'
ON THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON: 'We're 6-4, we're bowl eligible, we're being a very competitive team. If you look at the scores of our games, with exception to the Oregon game, it's eight, six, seven points, close football games. We very easily could be 9-1 right now with a little bit better execution.'
ON THE UCLA OFFENSE: 'I think when our offense struggles, it affects the defense more. If you can't move the ball and are three downs and out, a team like Washington wears you down in an area where you are already hurting. Our defensive line is banged up pretty good and I put a little on the offense.'
ON WASHINGTON QUARTERBACK MARQUES TUIASOSOPO: 'Anytime you are playing an option football team, you can't be blitzing all the time. You've got to be more disciplined. I thought we did a good job on the option pass, covering receivers downfield. There was nobody wide open and that usually happens on option teams. We broke down at times. That is one of the reasons people run the option, it creates a lot of problems for the defense.'