Football Media Day Press Conference Quotes (8/1/01)
Aug. 2, 2001
PAC-10 FOOTBALL MEDIA DAY PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Wednesday, August 1, 2001 * Sheraton Gateway Hotel at Los Angeles Airport
Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen
'This is going to be a big year for the Pac-10, not only in football but basketball as well. In March we have our men's basketball tournament here at the Staples Center nearby. I'd also like to welcome our partners this year from the Rose Bowl, the national championship game, and from the Fiesta Bowl.'
California Coach Tom Holmoe
'We're going into a really big year for the Cal Bears. Everybody will be looking at Cal this season to see how we're going to do and realistically to determine my future with the team. With that in mind, it's a darn good team I'm going into the season with. One of the players that's going to be a big factor is (senior linebacker) Scott Fujita. (Quarterback) Kyle Boller is another. The time is now for this program, this administration and this coach.'
California linebacker Scott Fujita
'Here we are 31 days prior to kickoff, and we return practically every starter. You can't replace a guy like (defensive end) Andre Carter, but we had a lot of guys step up in the spring this year. We return 16 starters, so it's very exciting looking at this season. As far as defense, we're set in stone. And we have a group of offensive players that are ready to compete day-in and day-out.'
Washington State Coach Mike Price
'Philosophically, it's been three years since we've had a winning season. Winning is fun and the Cougs need to start having some fun again. Losing three overtime games last year was tough, so we're looking to get back on track. We have the best offensive line, the most talented and the strongest, since I've been at Washington State. We'll be able to run the football at Washington State this year.'
Washington State running back Dave Minnich
'Our wide receivers are better than a lot of people think. I'm really excited about our offensive line, because almost everyone is back. And if anyone knows how hard our defense is on me, they would understand. I'm just looking forward to the season.'
USC Coach Pete Carroll
'What has guided us and directed our work since we arrived at USC is this coming together as a team. We're ready, we're in very good shape, we're leaner and have lost hundreds of pounds. I'm very excited about the offensive side of the ball, especially Coach Norm Chow and the experience he brings to the team.'
USC cornerback Antuan Simmons
'I think it will take time (to return to form prior to illness). I just have to go out and compete every day in practice and learn from my mistakes. The game was much slower to me when I was playing, now everything is much quicker, so I am still trying to get used to that.'
Arizona Coach John Mackovic
'I'm excited to be back. The opportunity at the University of Arizona was not one that I had anticipated. But when the opportunity did present itself, I knew immediately that it was the right fit. (On being picked ninth in the Pac-10 poll) Been there, done that. It's not the first time I've had a team that's been picked at the bottom of the barrel, and it's not a bad thing. It gives you the chance to surprise people and prove them wrong.'
Arizona strong safety Brandon Nash
'I'm really excited about the season and having a brand new coach. I'm just excited to get started. We have a lot to prove, looking at the preseason polls, and we hope to turn a few heads.'
Arizona State Coach Dirk Koetter
'When you're a new coach you have that honeymoon period, and everyone's treated me so well since January first. I am very impressed with our players and the buy-in factor with what we've tried to get done this summer. Nobody has higher expectations for this program, and that starts right here with me.'
Arizona State offensive lineman Scott Peters
'I'm extremely proud of how we've handled ourselves this summer. We had close to 100 percent attendance, which is a first since I've been here. We've tried to outwork everyone else in the country, which has pretty much been our attitude. We're stronger and faster, so we're looking forward to starting camp in 12 days.'
UCLA Coach Bob Toledo
'Looking at last season, nine of our 11 games were decided by seven points, so we could have had a great season. The team that's come back is probably the most experienced that I've had, so I feel very good about our team from that standpoint. The injuries last year made us play a lot of younger players that now have much more experience.'
UCLA tailback DeShaun Foster
'I'm healthy and doing well. We have 24 seniors and a lot of team unity. We're just looking forward to playing at home on January third.'
Stanford Coach Tyrone Willingham
'I am excited and as always guarded about the things I say about our team and our program. There are still a lot of things I do not know about our program, and will find out during two-a-days. I liken it to a NASCAR race. There are a lot of good teams in the Conference, and we're hoping to let some of those teams pull us along and hopefully when the race is done we can finish near the front.'
Stanford free safety Tank Williams
'We've been working very hard, conditioning-wise and strength-wise, being as tough as the Pac-10 is. We have a lot of leaders who are stepping up to replace the departed leaders. Randy Fasani has stepped up. Coy Wire and Marcus Hoover have stopped up and taken on the leadership roles.'
Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti
'We're very excited obviously. The preseason prediction (No. 1 in the Pac-10 media poll) I hope definitely comes true, so thank you. Our players certainly understand that we have to go out and earn that every week. Offensively I certainly think we have the chance to be a very special team. We're excited about the (Heisman) campaign for Joey.'
Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington
(About the Hesiman campaign) 'I'm excited. I would be lying if I said otherwise. It's a neat experience. How many times do you get the chance to see yourself 12 stories high in downtown Manhattan? As far as added pressure, I don't think it's possible to have more pressure than the pressure I place on my self.'
Oregon State Coach Dennis Erickson
'It's an exciting time for all of us and we're excited about what lies ahead. We lost a lot of talented players, but we have a lot of talent coming back, starting with Ken Simonton. The young guns will have to step up in our program, too. That's a real key. We've got key leadership. The parity in this league is unbelievable.'
Oregon State tailback Ken Simonton
'This is why I came back. We've got the talent and the chance to do it again. It's going to take us working hard together to get there. (On the Hesiman race) Anyone playing the game -- quarterbacks, DBs, running backs -- has the chance to win the Heisman. My main focus is us and the team, but it's good to be in contention for a piece of the pie.'
Washington Coach Rick Neuheisel
'We are thrilled with the way things went last season, so now we have the challenge of defending our co-championship and finding a way to be in the race again in November. The kids have met every challenge since I've been here. My parting line is that we're going to be a great team, eventually. It's my job to make sure that eventually gets here in a hurry.'
Washington nose tackle Larry Tripplett
'Curtis (Williams) is part of the Husky family, so he is never going to be forgotten. He'll always be in our prayers and on our minds. (On forgoing the NFL draft) Being a senior, I feel like I'm completing my college career. The last game, the last home game, those are all things that everyone should experience, in my opinion.'