Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 20, 2000

Bruce Snyder Quotes
Weekly Press Conference (11/20/00)

On Extra Week Of Rest/Preparation:
'As (Arizona head coach) Dick (Tomey) was just mentioning, we've had the two weeks they've been really good for the squad. We really had a tremendously tired football team a week ago. Tired, heavy legged, emotionally tired. The way we planned the week as of right now, we're right on target. We had a practice and conditioning yesterday. We'll go in pads today and pads tomorrow, the only two days in pads leading into the game. I think we'll have a really good grasp of the game plan going into today, we just now need to polish it and get it timed up for the next two days.

'We're relatively healthy. I think the only person that I see right now that is still limping a little bit -- I wish he weren't -- is Justin Taplin. The others, we've just lost for the season and weren't going to play anyway. But Justin is the one guy we were hopeful of playing that still is limping a little bit. Machtier Clay has been practicing and he's one of the key guys that we got back. Jeff Krohn who did not finish the game the last time we played has been declared healthy, and he's taken a lot of snaps. So it is a game that if there's a chance to be healthy, you will be. Because it's that big a game, it's that emotional of a game. It's a game really centered around players making plays. This is really the highlight for a player in terms of the season.'

On Trick-Plays/Taking Risks:
'My thinking is there's still percentages you need to play, to give the yourself, the players the best chance (to win). You don't want to be so flippant about the play calling that you don't give them a chance to win. But the fact that you have extra time in the film room and on the practice field, you tend to be a little more creative (with) a chance to polish some stuff. So they'll have some trick plays for us and we'll have a couple for them, too.'

On `Getting-Up' For Arizona:
'As I mentioned, we were really, really emotionally drained after our tenth game of the season (at Stanford). I would echo, too, what Dick (Tomey) said. I was extremely proud of the nine games. I think we really used a lot of energy and a lot of passion and preparation in those nine games. The tenth one was just a very difficult game for any of us to be proud of. But the objective for the week was to get back, to get them back hungry to play. And I think one way you become hungry to play is don't play them for a while, don't hit them for a while. That desire to hit comes back and your legs bounce back. So, again, based on practice I'm comfortable with where we are.'

On Possible Distraction/Impact Of Coaching Controversy:
'One of the first things I mentioned to the team, and I think I mentioned that a moment ago, it is a player's game. If you think back through (some of the ASU vs. UA contests) . . . the first thing you think of probably is not a coach. It's a Michael Haynes, or Kevin Galbreath, John Jefferson, or whatever. Players. Last year, Tood Heap, Rich Williams. So I think the focus will be on the players, and I think the players should understand that. There will be some heroes coming out of this game and we should appreciate them for that.'

On Arizona Head Coach Dick Tomey's Comments That With A Few Breaks, Snyder Could Be Coach-of-the-Year:
'That's dealing in would-have, could-have, should-have's. I appreciate him saying it, but it doesn't mean anything because it's not going to get to that. We just have to deal with what's ahead of us which is four of five days here of getting ready to play. And that's been my focus and the staff's focus.'

On Tailback Rotation Against Arizona:
'I've played a lot of tailbacks over the years. I think the UA defense is a very quick defense, stunting, looping, speed defense. They run to the ball, they don't shuffle to the ball, they run. I think with that in mind, the player that we have at tailback right now that probably has the most quickness to offset that is Tom Pace, and he is healthy. I think that if we get into a game later on where maybe the speed isn't quite the same, it would seem to me that a Michael Williams or a Davaren (Hightower) now can be a little more effective.'

On Emotion of UA vs. ASU Rivalry:
'I've got some great memories obviously, from the clinic Keith Poole put on in '96. My gosh. That was a clinic for a receiver. Kevin Galbreath's run that I mentioned. That was my first time to Tucson as a Sun Devil. Certainly last year's game, where I think Ryan Kealy was spectacular with Todd (Heap) and Rich Williams. It's a game that is really intense. The USC-UCLA (rivalry) is intense, the Cal-Stanford is intense, Oregon-Oregon State is intense, but none of them are more intense than this one. It has a special feel to it, and a good feel: a special one. I've enjoyed every one of them.'

Does Extra Week Off Add To the Rivalry:
'I think it does. It gives everybody more chance to handicap it, and talk about the what-ifs and so forth in the game plan. There's a part of me though, particularly if you're on any sort of a roll, you'd like to just roll right into it and play it. But I think certainly this year, we really needed it. As a team we really needed it to get our legs. I felt really left out on Saturday sitting there watching everyone else play. I don't like that. So I guess there are some ups and downs to it. But it is what it is. It gives us a chance to be a little more exposed in terms of the traditional game.'

On Arizona quarterback Ortege Jenkins:
'He's got a great arm. I mean he can really throw deep. He throws the go-route as well as anybody. (He's) really good at that route, and the post route, pretty good at the post-corner. The other part about it, is they have some designed runs for him and then they have some breakdown runs, where the play breaks down and he runs. I think you can kind of live with, not that we can beat them by doing this, I think you can kind of live with (keeping him in the pocket). Don't let him out running. Keep him in the pocket. But he's a veteran player, gosh he's played a lot of snaps. He's played in this game before. He's a real veteran player and I can tell by Dick's (Tomey) voice how much he cares about the kid. So he must have some really strong ingredients that he carries to the team away from that game itself. I think, however, one they've been able to run Farmer and Leo Mills and those guys, that has really helped their offense. When they run Ortege (Jenkins) is better, Bobby Wade is better. I think that's really a key.'

Is Deep Threat Reason Jenkins Is Dangerous, Considering Lower Pass Completion Percentage?:
'When you throw deep your percentages are going to be down. When you recall us earlier on (in the season) when we were for a stretch -- two or three games -- a deep-ball team our percentage was in the 30s somewhere. You're just not going to do that (complete at a high-percentage). That's why the West Coast Offense, where you throw the intermediate to short route, you get 50, 60, 70 percent completions, because you should. But the one thing about that short pass, you keep it in front of you. I hate that ball going over our heads. So this guy (Jenkins) scares me from that standpoint.'

On Team's Mindset Going Into This Game:
'We were, to be very honest, I believe the UA game was a very distant, distant thought as we climbed on the bus and on the plane to come home (from Stanford). That was a game that was really the only game this year where we could not answer the call. And I think we were really submerged with those thoughts. That's why I thought it was really critical to get away from football. I think, had we come out and practiced hard Monday and Tuesday of last week, that would have been an egregious error. I think that would have been bad. They're now bouncing back. We ran conditioning (drills) yesterday with a lot of bounce, and they're focusing in on this game.'

On Motivation To Qualify For Bowl Game:
'I was listening to (Adam) Archuleta the other day at a luncheon. He's a man of few words . . . But he stood up and he said college football is the best thing going, in his opinion, and he does not want it to end. And if he could play one more game (he'd be happy), and think he speaks for a lot of them. That's why you want to (play in a bowl game). There's no other meaning to it. Brian Forth doesn't play a great deal, but he said, `I don't have many more times to put on my helmet,' because he knows he's not going to have any kind of (professional) career (He said,) `I'm not going to put on my helmet many more times.' He wants to play as long as he can play and I think that's really the key issue here for the guys who have been loyal and tough, and good Sun Devils. It's important to do our very best not to make the Tucson game the last one.'

Is There Extra Personal Importance Going Into Last Sun Devil Game?
'I'm a ball coach, I've coached for 38 years and I want to coach in as many games I can coach in. So I'm like Archuleta. I want to keep coaching.'

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