Tostitos Bowl Press Conference - Oregon Offense
Fiesta Bowl News Conference
Oregon University Offensive Coordinator and Players
Phoenix Airport Marriott - Saturday, December 29, 2001
Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford
On what to expect from Colorado's defense:
'It's really going to have to be a feeling-out process in the game on what approach they're going to take. They have two different approaches if you look at their Texas games. The first game was kind of laid back. They just played normal defense, and the next game they really came out very aggressively. So we're going to have to see what approach they're going to take. They're very solid. Their defensive front is very strong, their backers run pretty well and their secondary does a very nice job. They're solid all the way around defensively.'
On whether layoff affects offense more than defense:
'I would say so. Defense is more of a reaction-type thing where offense is handling the football, timing and that type of thing. We've had a lot of practice but game situations are different than practices. It seems like a long time since we played but our kids have been doing a nice job of practicing, of focusing on what needs to be done and they've executed in practice. Timing looks pretty good, but I don't know if you ever get full-full speed in practice like a game where everybody's adrenaline is going, and everything gets cranked up a notch. I think our guys have played together enough that we'll be fine as far as timing goes.'
On the performance of the Oregon offensive line:
'It's huge. When we've talked about what they've had to do, offensively. Besides running the football, we need to protect the passer. Our guys have done a great job up front. My hat's off to our players in the way they have prepared because we go in with a lot of offense they have to learn against different schemes that we're going to see defensively. They coaches do a great job of preparing the players.'
On attitude of the rest of the offense with Harrington getting so much attention:
'The best thing about all these offensive guys is how unselfish they are. It doesn't matter if we're handing the ball off 40 or 50 times a game and Joey throws for 170 yards as long as we win.'
Quarterback Joey Harrington
The prospect of possibly being national co-champions:
'We would be 11-1, we're sole Pac-10 champions, and we would be rated at least #2. We also would be the only Pac-10 team to win its last two bowl games. Going into this season, we realized that we had the potential to be a top team. It doesn't get much better than this. We are just enjoying the moment because how many times do you have to perform on the national stage.'
How Joey approaches a game:
'I may not be the most talented quarterback, but I try to make the plays I have to and not get too greedy. I try to create energy when I go into a game, but at the same time keep focused and stay within our game plan. We have talented backs and an offensive line that plays extremely well together. We take pride in not turning the ball over, which is usually the key to any game. We've only had 11 turnovers all season, the best in the country. Coach Tedford makes sure we have options in the plays we run. We have the knowledge and make smart decisions and have had considerable experience in playing in pressure situations. While I prefer to take a lead, we're a strong comeback team.'
Wide Receiver Keenan Howry
On whether Oregon is on a national level or just having a great season:
'I think we have built a good foundation - starting with the coaching staff that develops great players. We also have great seniors on this team who are team leaders. They have helped the other players develop. Next year, I believe the seniors will step-up to the challenge and continue this tradition and legacy. I think next year we can be at the Fiesta Bowl (designated National Championship bowl game).'
On Oregon's offensive threat - on the ground and in the air:
'We have a good combination - a strong running and passing game. Our game plan for this game is not really different than the regular season - Play smart football by running the ball and establish the passing game. Don't forget - we have two thousand- yard backs which takes away the pressure on the passing game.'
On Keenan's relationship with QB Joey Harrington:
'It is a special relationship - we have been playing together for three years. This includes numerous practices and film sessions. We have established a unique chemistry on the field, which generates big plays. Next year I will miss Joey. He plays with such heart and intensity which motivates the team. He is a great quarterback, and it has been rewarding to catch touchdown passes from him.I believe he will be playing on Sunday next year.'
Offensive Tackle Jim Adams
On Colorado's offensive line:
'They are a big strong line that has been successful throughout the season. I believe this game will showcase both offensive lines.Both teams need to establish a running game. This should make for an exciting game.'
On Oregon's attitude and personality as a team:
'We have really come together as a team throughout this season. This has created an apparent level of momentum and confidence within the team. Also, we set high goals and did not loose sight of those goals - even after we experienced a loss. As a team, we realize that dedication and hard work generate wins and the opportunity to play in a bowl game. We are here at the Fiesta Bowl ready to play, and this just may be a national championship game. Many people think that Colorado is the top team of the country. We would like to prove otherwise. Oregon is also a top team that has a great football program. Once we step on the field New Year's Day, we will be ready to play and do our best to win.'