Washington vs. Wyoming Postgame Notes and Quotes
Sept. 22, 2002
Game Notes o Washington vs. Wyoming
Husky Stadium o September 21, 2002
Cody Pickett's 404 yards passing were the third-most in UW history, trailing his 455 last year vs. Arizona and Cary Conklin's 428 in 1989 vs. Arizona State. Pickett has two of Washington's three 400-yard passing games ever. Pickett also broke the UW school record with 34 completions, breaking the mark of 33, held by Brock Huard (1998 vs. USC) and Tim Cowan (1982 vs. Maryland in the Aloha Bowl).
With 404 yards tonight, Cody Pickett became the first Husky ever to throw for 300 or more yards in three consecutive games. Sonny Sixkiller and Marques Tuiasosopo were the two other UW QBs to throw for 300 in back-to-back games, but neither did it three games in a row. With five career 300-yard passing games, Pickett became the all-time UW leader. Brock Huard formerly held the record with four 300-yard games in his career.
Washington broke the school record with 36 first downs tonight. The former Husky record of 33 first downs was set in 1956 vs. Idaho and tied vs. Stanford in 1999.
The Huskies' victory marked their 16th consecutive home win, the longest home winning streak in the Pac-10 and the third-longest in the nation. Nebraska, which didn't play this weekend, has the nation's longest current home win streak at 24 straight while Miami (Fla.) extended its home streak to 18 games with a win over Boston College today. The modern Husky record for longest home win streak is 17 (1991-1993) while the all-time UW record is 44 (1908-1917).
The Huskies also improved their record at home vs. non-conference foes to 42-5, dating back to the 1981 season.
The win improved the Huskies' all-time record to 4-2 in night games at Husky Stadium. The other wins: 1992 vs. Nebraska, 1999 vs. Oregon and 2000 vs. Oregon State; the two losses: 1985 vs. Oklahoma State and 1998 vs. Arizona.
Washington scored a touchdown on its first possession of today's game, marking the first time this season the Huskies have scored points in the first quarter. The last time the Huskies scored a first-quarter TD was the Washington State game last season and that score came with 0:33 left in the opening period. UW didn't score in the first quarter at Miami, vs. Texas (Holiday Bowl), or in either game this season. The last time that UW scored on its first possession was in last season's Oregon State game.
Washington's four lost fumbles were its sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth turnovers of the season. Wyoming converted the second of those fumbles in to a second-quarter touchdown (Kit Bradshaw's 18-yard run). So far this season, Husky opponents have converted the UW's nine turnovers into points only twice, scoring two touchdowns for 14 total points. By contrast, Washington has converted all six of its opponents' turnovers into points this year, scoring three TDs and three field goals on six turnovers, including tonight's game.
Washington did not punt the ball in tonight's game. Only once in school history have the Huskies played a game without punting: vs. UCLA on Nov. 17, 1962.
Washington commited just one penalty tonight, marking the 14th time in school history the Huskies have had one penalty in a game. Last time was vs. UCLA in 1997.
UW quarterback Cody Pickett moved into ninth place on the Husky career passing yardage list tonight, unseating Husky Hall of Famer Warren Moon and Mark Brunell. With 404 yards today, Pickett now has 3,484, putting him ahead of Moon (1975-77), who threw for 3,277 in his career, and Brunell (3,423 from 1989-1992).
UW junior tailback Rich Alexis smashed his career receiving highs with seven receptions and 55 yards. His previous personal highs were three catches and 31 receiving yards, both at Arizona State in 2000.
With another 100-yard receiving game, sophomore receiver Reggie Williams already ranks tied for fourth in UW history with five 100-yard games in his career. Mario Bailey, Brian Slater and Jerome Pathon each had seven 100-yard receiving days in his career.
Sophomore cornerback Derrick Johnson recorded the first interception of his Husky career when he picked off a pass from Wyoming's Casey Bramlet in the third quarter.
Washington's eight sacks tonight were most by a Husky team since the Huskies had 13 vs. Cal in 1998. Washington finished tonight's game with 13 sacks on the season. Last year, the Huskies compiled 20 sacks all of last season.
Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
General Comments: 'There are a lot of things to be excited about, given the events of the evening. I thought for much of evening our defense did really well. It certainly showed we had some great athletes on the offensive side of the ball. I think any time you don't punt one time in a ball game, you know you're going to be excited about the way you move the ball. We can be so much better, though, and I'm eager to go about doing the work that will hopefully make us a more complete team, a more efficient team.
'I am really chomping at the bit to get back to work to find a way to eliminate some of the mistakes that are plaguing us. I take full responsibility. The kids are doing what we ask them to at practice; we need to practice better. The coaching staff and I are going to work diligently to make sure that we do more to ensure that when we get to game day we don't shoot ourselves in the foot. Wyoming gave a spirited battle. I don't think they ever backed down, I don't think they ever blinked. I thought they came out and played very hard. Vic Koenning is doing a great job with the program and has got them ready to play. I wish them a lot of success through the remainder of their season. I'm looking forward to next week when we play Idaho. It'll be another important game for us as we ready ourselves for what promises to be a very competitive Pac-10.'
On Washington's five fumbles during tonight's game: 'I'm very concerned. It's not the first time it has happened. We squandered lots of scoring opportunities. It seems like they're happening at the worst possible places, when we're right in there going to score. We mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half. There are a lot of things we need to fix - and will fix - so we don't have those things become nightmares when we get into conference play.'
On Cody Pickett's perfomance: 'Cody was terrific, other than the fumble on the option. I thought he played really, really well. I thought he played within himself. I don't think he forced many balls. He's getting better. I took him aside and told him that in order for us to be a great team, he has to be a great player. He is a great talent. Now he has to become a great manager, a guy who knows when to take the shots, when not to take the shots. Keith Gilbertson's a great play caller, but there were at least 10 plays tonight where the play didn't work, but Cody made it work. He just created and he had some talented guys make plays.'
WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WILLIAMS
On Cody Pickett: 'I think he played excellent. Anytime a quarterback can throw for 400 yards, it is special. He just hits the open man every day, on every play.'
On the bye week: 'It helped us out a lot. It allowed some guys to get their legs back and get healthy again. As a team, I think we needed that time to recoup.'
WIDE RECEIVER PAUL ARNOLD
On his touchdown reception: 'It was just a backside route. When I caught the ball I didn't feel anybody around me and I thought, 'I can score a touchdown.' Then I just turned around and forced my way in there.'
On dragging the defender into the endzone: 'First of all, it felt good to finally score a touchdown - it has been awhile since I had one. I knew that I had a chance to score, so I broke a tackle and fought my way in there.'
On the defense: 'We definitely had some bright moments, but we also have some things that we need to go work on. Our goal was to get a win and we got that. Now we need to get back to practice and continue to improve.'
CORNERBACK DERRICK JOHNSON
On his interception: 'I was in the right place at the right time. We were running a lot of man coverage, a lot of crossing and dragging routes that sprung me all over the place. I was able to make some key tackles.'
On playing at night: 'It kind of took me back to high school, playing under the lights. Night games are always fun because you don't get a lot of them, so when you do get them, you cherish them and play harder for them.'
QUARTERBACK CODY PICKETT
On scoring early: 'We came out and got it going early - that was a big thing for us on offense. We came out and scored on our first drive, that was our goal.'
On playing the week after the bye: 'We had healthy bodies - some guys were kind of banged up [after the previous two games]. It's nice to be healthy again, and to take a week and watch college football makes you hunger to go a little bit more.'
On what the Huskies need to improve: 'We can't be so careless with the ball, that was kind of frustrating. We moved so well as an offense, got all kinds of yards, but didn't have that many points because we fumbled the ball so many times. That's something we definitely have to fix.'
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER MARQUIS COOPER
On his three sacks: 'On the first, I shook the tackle. The second time, I was chasing the quarterback from the back, and on the third one he was running over and I hit him. I'm pretty happy.'
Wyoming Head Coach Vic Koenning
General Comments: 'It was probably what we thought, maybe worse as far as every time it seemed like we had a play, something happened and we weren't able to capitalize on that. I think the defense did a good job hanging in there, gaining turnovers. I only saw one of those that was actually the ball not being stripped out. The pitch that hit him in the hands, that was lucky. The rest of the time, the ball was just getting stripped out and it's something we've been trying to work on and get better at.'
On the comparison between Washington and Tennessee: 'That's really apples and oranges. I don't know if Tennessee can compare. They are really two different types of teams. I thought going into the game that it was pretty close in the quarterback position but the guy tonight was awesome. Believe it or not, we have double coverage on a ton of those receivers and they were better than us. It was obviously a pretty awesome spectacle of throwing the football.'
On the amount of players injured: 'We go into the game with John Wilson out with an emergency-type situation with a cast. Shane Powell, another linebacker with a badly sprained ankle. Herman White goes out in the first quarter with the MCL. We're playing with hurt guys out there and Jacque Finn goes out on the first play of the game and he's been our leading tackler. Casey Adams, one of our best couple of pass rushers, he's playing with a cast and then they call a foul on him for using his club. I don't know how you cover without shooting your arm. I know we've averaged not more than five penalties a game over the last two years and it seemed like we had 10 in the first half. Anything I say, though, will sound like sour grapes.
On missed chances: 'We have to play better on offense. We ran the ball again pretty effectively tonight. It seemed like we had more rushing yards than it said on that deal but I think we were losing yards on the sacks so that was negating some of the stuff. We've got to cut loose the football. Guys are open and we're not throwing the ball. That's not what we're supposed to do. We'll go back and take a hard look at what we're doing there and how we're doing it. We went into the season going to be a really good three-step throwing team but we're holding onto the football. We started off the season not doing that and we just got worse and worse as the season progressed and we're taking sacks. We have to get better and not do that anymore. I thought we did run the ball pretty well, running-back wise. We have one 30- or 40-yard run down the line taken away from us because a guy made a holding call.'
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ADAM GOLDBERG
On school-record losing streak: 'I was recruited on a Wyoming Cowboy football tradition that was associated with eight-game winning seasons, bowl game appearances, things like that. If you told me a few years ago we'd be a part of this, no way. Every team has it's trials and tribulations, and this is ours. Going into this bye week it's our time to focus on getting a big win which will give us momentum going into the conference. We're out of options, you know. There are no pre-conference schemes like, 'get three wins before getting into the conference.' All those things are out the door. We have no choice but to spend these two weeks working hard, getting a win, and getting momentum going into the conference.'
On not having momentum on offense: 'The offense was a clear example of inertia tonight; we couldn't get it started. When we could get it started, we were rolling. The three-and-out is a terrible feeling for an offense, and we did that way too much as an offense tonight. For this team to be more successful on offense, above and beyond scoring, we need to run more plays and get the defense off the field. If they don't have the ball they don't score. Offensively, kudos to our defense and we need to do a better job to keep them off the field for longer periods of time.'
On the abundance of penalties: 'You go to a different conference to play, and they play by a different standard of rules. I don't want to cop out and blame it on the difference in officiating; a lot of those penalties were legit, and I can't explain them. Thinking like an optimist, I like to think those penalties are people trying to make things happen. I can tell you, as an offensive lineman, that on a holding penalty you're either protecting your quarterback or trying to give the running back someplace to run. Those are effort penalties. As long as they look like that on the film, I'll take them.'
LINEBACKER TYLER GOTTSCHALK
On the Husky offense: 'We knew we could come out and really stop the run if we came and smashed them in the mouth. They're a good team, but they're not a real physical team. We like to consider ourselves a little more physical than they were. We knew we were going to have to shut down the pass, because our goal was to shut down the run so they had to pass - well, that kind of backfired on us tonight, because if you shut down the run you got to defend the pass.'