Washington vs. Michigan Game Notes
Today's attendance of 74,080 is the seventh largest in Husky Stadium history. The largest ever home crowd at Washington was 76,125 vs. Army in 1995 (Band Day). Last season's top crowd was 74,157 vs. Miami.
With his 134 receiving yards, true freshman receiver Reggie Williams set a new UW freshman record for receiving yards in a game. The record previously belonged to Jason Shelley, who posted 117 yards against Stanford in 1992.
Reggie Williams' 134 receiving yards were the most by a Husky receiver since Andre DeSaussure caught seven passes for 167 yards and two scores vs. Oregon State (Oct. 24, 1998). Additionally, Williams' 74-yard catch in the third quarter is tied for the 13th-longest reception in Washington history and is the second-longest non-scoring catch ever by a Husky. The longest non-scoring reception was by Andre Riley vs. Purdue in 1989. Last year, the UW's longest pass reception was only 59 yards (Marques Tuiasosopo to Jerramy Stevens).
The last time that Washington blocked a field goal was in the Arizona game last year when Sean Keel's last-second try was blocked by Larry Tripplett.
Several Huskies made their first career starts today -- two on defense and seven on offense. The two defenders making their first college starts were OLB Kai Ellis and CB Roc Alexander. The seven new offensive starters were T Khalif Barnes, T Todd Bachert, G Nick Newton, G Elliott Zajac, QB Cody Pickett, WR Reggie Williams and TE Kevin Ware. Additionally, WR Paul Arnold, previously a starter at TB, made his first start as a wideout.
Additionally, 13 Huskies saw their first-ever collegiate action, whether as a starter or not: Barnes, Ellis, Reggie Williams, Sam Cunningham, Tim Galloway, Terry Johnson, Joseph Lobendahn, Derek McLaughlin, Zach Tuiasosopo, Dan Dicks, Jeremy Adams, Ryan Brooks, Junior Coffin and Charles Frederick.
Roc Alexander's first-quarter interception of John Navarre was the first pick of Alexander's career.
Prior to today, the last time the Huskies had a punt blocked was last season vs. Miami when Markese Fitzgerald blocked one for Miami. The last time the Huskies surrendered a safety was also last year, vs. Arizona State when the Huskies were called for holding in the endzone.
The last time the Huskies were held without a touchdown at halftime was in last season's game at Oregon (Sept. 30, 2000). In that game, the Huskies managed only three points in the first half in a 23-16 loss.
The last time the Huskies failed to score an offensive touchdown in a game was November 7, 1992 when Arizona defeated Washington 16-3.
The last time Washington was held to under 100 yards rushing for a game was in the 1999 Holiday Bowl when Kansas State held the Huskies to only 75 ground yards.
Under Rick Neuheisel's tenure Washington has come from behind in 14 of its 19 wins. Of those 14 come from behind wins, Washington has trailed in the fourth quarter and won nine times.
The last time Washington had an opposing player with 10 or more receptions was October 9, 1999 when Imani Percoats of Oregon State had 11 receptions. The last time Washington had an opposing player with over 100 yards receiving was November 11 of last year when Brian Poli-Dixon of UCLA had 165 yards. Washington won both games.
Washington scored 14 points in the fourth quarter before its offense ever took a snap from scrimmage.
John Anderson converted three field goals for the third time in his career (Oct. 20, 1999 vs. Stanford, Oct. 21, 2000 vs. California).
Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel
General Remarks: 'Michigan is a proud program to watch. They play with great pride and integrity. We knew going into the ballgame that we needed to play a very consistent, non-flashy, error-free game. Michigan made us do exactly that. I was extremely excited, given all the young faces on our offense, that we did not turn the ball over. I was extremely excited that we hardly had any penalties on our offense. It was really a great way of playing and trying to keep ourselves in the ballgame and hope for having a chance in the fourth quarter. Low and behold, our formula worked again. A great effort by Omare Lowe to block the field goal and Roc Alexander, once he got that hop it was over because he is the fastest kid on our team. The crowd got into it, which is the case here at Husky Stadium. I am just elated with the victory. I am sure we will find all kinds of things that we can fix. I am really, really proud of the way our coaches coached and the way the team played. Congratulations to Michigan. I think they are going to have a great season. I am really looking forward to getting our team healthy and venture down south. Our opponent waiting is a quality one.'
On Reggie Williams: 'Last night I had some of the seniors get up and talk about their first play. It was uncanny how many remembered vividly their first play. It was also uncanny how few of them had that first play go well. So much is going on, you are trying to take in all the sights and sounds and it is unbelievable that you are actually there. To be in this kind of arena and this kind of a game, it kind of takes your breath away. Reggie dropped the first two passes thrown to him. I thought he was dynamic in the second half.'
On Omare Lowe: 'I did not notice that he was struggling early, maybe the films will give me that impression. He has been a quality player for us and has assumed a leadership role. For him to come through in the capacity that he did and be able to pick the pass off was great. It was a one-on-one play, he was by himself and I thought he just did great.'
On Jerramy Stevens: 'Publicly, there is a lot of question about his character for those that do not know him. I feel comfortable, that even though Jerramy has made mistakes, he has realized that he is accountable for his actions. He needs to make some great decisions. We have some things going on internally to help him.'
On What Needs To Be Improved Upon: 'There are three things that need to be improved upon concerning our offense. Number one is the red zone offense. A year ago we had a great identity in the red zone. It was uncanny how many plays we ran in the red zone. But we were more experienced and had a more experienced quarterback. Number two, we have to do a much better job at tackling. We did not tackle well. I do not know if it was fatigue or not, but it was our first game. Finally, number three is our punting. The punting team must do a better job. We gave up too many yards in returns.'
On Cody Pickett: 'Cody's first start was outstanding. The first two balls he threw were to Reggie Williams and he dropped them both. They were right on the money, but he stayed focused. We ran an option early in the game where one of their linebackers kicked him in the teeth and he was able to shake that off and get right back. I was really impressed with him. I think we have a really good player there that is going to get better and better.'
Washington Player Quotes
(On second half performance): 'I gave up a lot of receptions in the first half and I was exhausted but I just wanted to make a play and see what happens.'
(On blocked field goal): 'Earlier in the game I came off the edge and I just missed it. They had just gone on a long drive and I was kind of tired but I ran over to the sidelines and I told coach Hauck 'Block right! Block right!' He gave me a little smile and said, 'Alright, block right.' It was fourth and one so I didn't want to jump off sides. When they snapped the ball I came off the corner and I dove and got a bruise on my arm to show for it but it was worth it.'
QUARTERBACK CODY PICKETT
(On the offense): 'We just didn't execute like we wanted to on offense. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. We have another week to prepare and hopefully we will be ready for next week. 'Our biggest deal was don't make mistakes. We are a young offense and we had to give the defense a chance to go out there and make some plays. It is a game of field position so our biggest goal was to not turn the ball over and we didn't do that. I felt comfortable when the game started really. There was all of the hype and anxiety and you just want to go but when you get out there it's just football. I feel good, I made some mistakes but we got the win and you can't ask for anything more.'
(On Reggie Williams): 'He's good. At first he had some jitters, but all of us had jitters, and in the end he went out there and showed us what he can do.'
KICKER JOHN ANDERSON
(On his performance): 'I thought I played pretty good. My kickoffs were great and three-for-four is acceptable. I would have liked go four-for-four but I just missed that one a bit left.'
(On beating the Wolverines): 'It's Michigan, you can't beat a team bigger than Michigan. They are one of the most storied programs in history'.
(On going home to Miami): 'It's going to be fun. The Hurricanes are a great team and I am going home. This is the game that I have had marked on my calendar ever since I came to Washington and I am just excited to get down there and play them.'
CORNERBACK ROC ALEXANDER
(On the victory): 'This win is a big win for us because it is the first game and we were playing a very tough, very physical team and this momentum should help us out next week with Miami.'
(On returning the blocked field goal for a touchdown): 'It was very big for me. This is the first touchdown I have ever scored in a game. I was happy and it was fun I am just glad that I could go out there and do my thing.'
STRONG SAFETY GREG CAROTHERS
(On Omare Lowe): 'The fourth quarter is ours and Omare showed it. He came out in the fourth quarter and played really hard even though they (Michigan) made a lot of catches against him in the first half. He pretty much turned the fourth quarter around by himself'.
(On the nature of the team): 'I think that it is the nature of this team to fight to the end. Regardless of what happens in the end we are going to keep on fighting.'
Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr
General Remarks: ' We asserted some control of the game. We had done a great job of protecting the kicking game all day long. In the second half our offense had gotten on track. We were running the ball fairly well. John Navarre, after a shaky first half, the end of the second quarter led us on a big drive for a touchdown, and got better as the game went on. I told the team after the game that it is disappointing to lose a game, but to give the game away is the most disappointing. I am proud of our football team. There was no quit in the team and we will leave here with our heads high and hopefully we can build on this. We proved today that these guys can come into a tough arena and play with all the things that went on there. We are tremendously disappointed because we expected to win and we could have won but we didn't. We have got to hang together and stay together. I like this team and I like our kids. We expect to win at Michigan. Washington is a good football team and their kids played hard. I am not taking anything away from them, give them credit. It is hard to lose.'
On Marquise Walker: 'Marquise is an outstanding football player. He is a senior and has been around and in a lot of big games. He has great hands. The route he ran for the first touchdown at the end of the first half is a textbook move. A great move to the inside. Marquise, since early in his career, has been an outstanding special teams player and has blocked some other punts besides this one. He blocked it so well but it went out of the end zone.'
On John Navarre: 'John made some great throws. I felt we protected the passer outside of the firstinterception. He was nervous. He made a bad throw but he made a lot of great throws.'
On Defense: 'Our defense was tremendous. They did a great job against the rush. You couldn't ask a defense to play any better than they did today.'
On Blocked Field Goal: 'They brought the rush off our left side and there is always a situation where every guy has to protect the inside. It's a zone protection where every guy has to protect a gap and we just didn't get it sealed.'
On Noise Level: ' I think they can be proud because they came into a very difficult place to play. You can't make big mistakes, blocked kicks have a way of getting you beat. We each blocked a kick, we got two points and they got a touchdown and that is the difference.'
On the Blitz: ' We have a young line. We took a lot of sacks. We took one instead of throwing aninterception. Then we kicked a field goal. We were a better football team than we were a week ago in terms of the competition.'
On Larry Foote: 'He is an emotional guy who has a tremendous will to win. He played hard like all of the guys on defense.'
Michigan Player Quotes
QUARTERBACK JOHN NAVARRE
(On keeping the game under control): 'When we came out for the second half, we knew we had to step it up on offense. It's a shame when something wrong happens and it hurts when you are trying to do things right to win the game.'
(On the second half): 'I knew the defense was playing outstanding. We had to pick it up and do our share. The momentum was just right for us before the second half. The Huskies weren't really stopping us on offense in the first half, so we wanted to come out strong. '
(On protection from the offensive line): 'The team looked at some film during the week and corrected some things. They did a great job and I commend them.'
(On relationship with Marquis Walker on the field): 'He always gets open and I look to him as the go to guy. He always gets things done. He played great.'
(On fourth quarter): 'It hurts with two quick scores. Stuff like that happens. There are a lot of plays I would like to take back. We will look at the film, correct things, and just move on. There is a whole season ahead of us. As the game moved on the in the second half, we felt confident. I knew I just had to step back, calm down, and play football as I have been all week. The Huskies are going to be solid all year. But losing one or two big plays will plague us all year.'
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JAKE FRYSINGER
(On being frustrated to lose after giving it his all): 'It is always hard to lose like that. We just have to move forward, learn from our mistakes, and just keep playing.'
(On what learned about potential for defense): 'We can play with anybody. Besides the two plays, the whole team showed sparks of playing good on both sides of the ball. We are not walking out with our heads hanging.'
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN SHANTEE ORR
(On defense): 'We showed how hard we can play together. We held the Huskies to only nine points on offense. A few plays late in the game hurt us, but overall we are a really good team and we just have to keep working.'
(On losing momentum so quickly): 'It is stunning to anyone to lose momentum so quickly. You are high, you are jacked, and then one play can hurt that. No one gave up until the end though. We are a tough team. We kept the mistakes at a minimum. It we can do that, then we can win all of our games.'
STRONG SAFETY JULIUS CURRY
(On positives of the game): 'Defense did a real good job today. When you get points on the board, the defense has to keep the offense from scoring and they did that.'
(On crowd): 'I didn't really hear the crown until the fourth quarter. I've heard louder stadiums. We have to take the game under our wing and move forward.'
(On Reggie Williams): 'He did a good job and he is going to have a good career. As a freshman, he did what he had to do to help his team win.'
WIDE RECEIVER MARQUIS WALKER
(On setting school record of fifteen rceptions): 'Tough didn't get to celebrate school record. But I would rather catch one for ten and get a W. In the fourth quarter, we didn't really show up like we should have. The Huskies were a good team. Now we have to worry about who we play next.'
(On John Navarre): 'He really had to get his flow on. This was his first game starting for the whole season and his first game on the road. Towards the end, he was getting better and he will continue to improve.'
(On what worked on for this year): 'I worked on being a leader. Knowing what to expect and to help the younger guys play strong.'