Washington vs. UCLA Postgame Quotes
Nov. 2, 2002
Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
General Comments: 'There were some obvious mistakes and things that we have done better earlier in the season than we did tonight. But the effort was there and as long as there is effort there is reason for optimism. I still remain optimistic that we will play better as we head into the final weeks of our season. The kids have not given up, nor will they, and we will continue to be resilient and continue to try and improve as a football team so the little things don't continue to haunt us in trying to gain victory. Congratulations to UCLA.'
On what he told Chris Singleton after the game: 'I told him that he played really well given his first opportunity to have that kind of playing time. I thought he did some really good things.'
On Cody Pickett being off-target today: 'He's had a wonderful season, but the bottom line is you have to win games. I know he'll be disappointed. We had our chances, we just didn't connect when we absolutely had to.'
On not going for a touchdown inside the five yard line in the 4th: 'I didn't think we could afford to come up with nothing right there. We needed to get the momentum back. I thought we'd have opportunities and we did. We had chances. The way the thing worked out, I'm not disappointed in my choice. Looking backwards, had it been fourth and one, had Pat caught that ball, it looked like he had a chance to, and if we had been on the one yard line, I would have gone for it. Five yards was probably just too much to ask with about 13 minutes to go.'
On Derek McLaughlin's performance: 'Derek is a young kid trying hard. For most of the night he did really well. That last punt was a killer. You have a chance to pin them down in there. It was that or a 60-yard field goal. The punt netted four yards. It can't happen. In truth, I think we ended up getting a drive started at the 12 yard line when we got it back and we ended up all the way out to the 30 or 35. So you're making 25 yards if you pin them down and you get the ball at your 40 or 50, that's 20 yards. It just was an inopportune time to shank one.'
On Cody Pickett's interceptions: 'We're down by 10 points at the time and we were in field goal range and the thought was take a shot at the end zone. The last thing I said to him was no sacks or no interceptions. He saw a rotation in the coverage and thought he'd get the tight end's backside, and you just can't put air on that kind of throw. You've just got to strike one in there. He just lost it and it carried too far and they were there to pick it off. The first one was just unfortunate. We actually had a guy open that tipped it at the line of scrimmage and they made a play and it and it resulted in a touchdown for them. The second one was the one at the end of the half. The third one, he got fooled by a safety. He thought it was cover two and he put too much air on the ball thinking he had all kinds of space and the safety read him and came over the top and made the interception. And then the last one was fourth down and five. I'll have to look at the film to see why he threw it where he did. I thought we had Pat Reddick again, but I've played that position and it is a difficult one to sit there and place a lot of blame. He's a tremendous competitor and he'll improve and he'll learn from these mistake, as painful as they are.'
On Cody Pickett's frustration during the game: 'He was frustrated that there were a couple things that happened during the game where he was wondering about the communication. He wants to play so well and please and do all that stuff. He is just a competitive guy and all I am trying to do is get him to relax. When he is in that kind of rhythm, he is outstanding. When things get going, as is the case with most human beings, it's more difficult to function as effectively.'
On the running game and secondary injuries: 'Part of the things that we do are by necessity, given that Rich Alexis was hurt tonight, and Braxton Cleman got hurt again. I had Kenny James ready to go, but I thought Chris Singleton was doing a good job. With just three weeks to go, it just didn't seem like a fair solution to just put him (Kenny James) in there. Jimmy Newell hurt his knee in the first series of downs and was out for the rest of the game, so we were running James Sims because Greg Carothers was hurt. That's who we are, that's who we have. Nate Robinson was playing hard and playing well. Derrick Johnson is fighting and Chris Massey is fighting. That is what we have. We are working our way through it.'
QUARTERBACK CODY PICKETT
On his interceptions: 'I turned the ball over too many times. I can't throw picks if we want to win in the Pac-10. It was a frustrating night. There is nowhere to go but up. We have to get back to work on Monday and keep playing hard.'
On the touchdown pass to Paul: 'It was just a little hitch and he made a great play for the ball. It was a definite momentum changer and a great play by Paul.'
TAILBACK CHRIS SINGLETON
On where the team goes from here: 'We just have to get back to the drawing board. We are a bunch of tough people and we have just got to go back and fix what is broken. I felt I played okay, I did my job.'
On the offense's performance: 'We had breakdowns, vital mistakes, and we have got to get them worked out.'
On maintaining hope throughout the game: 'We always have hope. We always thought the game was ours, but it didn't go our way.'
WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WILLIAMS
On getting over the loss: 'We just have to get back to the way we practiced last week. We had a good intense practice and we need to start over Monday, practice hard on and go hard for the seniors in their last game in Husky Stadium.'
On Paul's touchdown: 'Once I saw him shake that first guy I knew he was taking it to the house. He is one of the fastest guys on the team and I knew that nobody would catch him. After that I knew we just needed three more points and we would be in it.'
On thinking the team was going to win: 'The whole game I felt we were going to win. Especially after Paul's play, I thought we had the momentum and we were going to go score, but it didn't happen.'
LINEBACKER MARQUIS COOPER
On getting ready for next week: 'We have to come back with fire in our butt. Get back to winning some games again, come to practice on Monday and get fired up and ready for the next game.'
On end of the game: 'We were in the game the whole way until the last score they had. We thought we were going to come back and win. We were driving good, stopping them. Then that pick, and the game was over.'
OFFENSIVE TACKLE KHALIF BARNES
On team's effort: 'Everyone's effort was way up from the last game. I thought we flew around, we were out there getting after people. That's something we haven't had in a long time.'
On looking ahead: 'If we come back on Monday with that same intensity, we'll be just fine. We turned the ball over way too many times tonight. Anytime you turn the ball over four times, chances are that you're going to lose.'
SAFETY EVAN BENJAMIN
On defensive performance: 'I thought our defense stepped up real well today. We knew we wanted to stop the third down and we did. We did a good job stopping the run against a good running back.'
UCLA Head Coach Bob Toledo
General Comments: 'That was a good football game. I was very pleased with our defense, they did a great job of getting four turnovers. We had too many penalties, which hurt us. I thought our kids battled at the end. We started to run out of players. We had a bunch of guys getting hurt and we ended up playing some guys that hadn't played very much for us. We just had a bunch of guys that got nicked up at the end. I told them that if you're going to be a good football team you've got to win in November and you've got to win on the road. We haven't won a lot in November lately and we haven't finished strong, but now we have two wins in a row. We're not looking at anything but Arizona at this point. Offensively, I thought we did some good things. We missed some key passes that really hurt us, but we had some guys open and just overthrew them. We didn't get to the ball. I thought our kids did a good job at the kicking game and Nate had a great punt, that last punt.'
On not playing Moore at QB: 'I said I was going to try to. It didn't work out. We were talking about it but it just didn't work out. I already talked to him in there and said I was sorry I couldn't get him in the game. They're both very good, both throwing the ball very well in warm-ups, and I expected to play them both but the game got close and the end there again and we couldn't get him in. They were so close in practice and I decided that because Drew was injured, he didn't deserve to not be able to start. I also told Matt that because we pulled him off of a red-shirt that we would like to play him and he understood that. I said, ,I don't know when we're going to get you in or if we'll get you in, but we'll try and we're going to need you both down the stretch.' They're both great kids, both good friends and they just want to win. They're both in there hugging each other and everything so it's a great team atmosphere. The chemistry is really good.'
On the QB's performance: 'I think he did pretty good. He missed a couple of passes but he made a couple of passes, too. He made a couple of little mistakes that he learned about but that's a freshman. I thought for a freshman coming into Husky Stadium and coming away with a win and performing as well as he did, I was very pleased. He was a little nervous early and then he settled down a little bit. I thought Drew did a nice job and Matt will have his day too. They are both very good quarterbacks.'
On the impact of the Husky fans: 'It was so loud down there. It's extremely loud and you can't have an appreciation for it unless your right down there doing it. They've got great fans here in Seattle. They're always number one in attendance, we're usually number two and they've got great fans that know when to make noise. The thing that you can't do is give them energy and we gave them energy at the end. It's third and 20 and we let them complete a big ball so we gave them some energy.'
On the four takeaways: 'We had four takeaways, they had no takeaways and that was big. I think we had four sacks. We had balance, we ran and passed the ball about the same. They threw the ball for an awful lot of yards but they didn't establish any kind of run game and I think that helped us.
On running the ball: I think we have a pretty good offensive line and I think our H-back and full back did a nice job. Tyler Ebell makes guys miss. He's a good back. 'I was pleased that we ran the ball the way we did. Ebell's a good short runner in that he doesn't get it square. He makes you kind of miss and he gets glancing blows. The only problem is he's 170 pounds. You can't carry people too far when you're in a confined area but he's a tough little guy and he'll make every yard that he possibly can.'
DEFENSIVE END MAT BALL
On making three sacks, and the importance of the third one sealing the game: 'I was getting good pressure using the rip trying to shorten the edge, and he kind of popped out my way. I just jumped at his legs and was fortunate enough to get the sack.'
On playing with team: 'It's like we're all brothers. There are no superstars on the team, no huge egos. We're just a bunch of brothers having fun out there.'
On winning on the road: 'It was a big win on the road. Every time you come into Husky Stadium, you've got to be ready to play your best game, so it was a huge game. We just keep on trucking.'
TAILBACK TYLER EBELL
On not having to return punts in today's game: 'It was a big load off my shoulders, and Craig [Bragg] did a great job. He's always been a solid punt returner.'
On playing against the Washington run defense: 'Their defense was really good, especially up front, but our offensive line was doing a good job on them. I don't know how many yards I ended up with.'
On the play of freshman quarterback Drew Olson: 'He's very confident in his game and he knows what he can do. He didn't come in shaky or anything. He was really stepping up for a true freshman.'
On the youth of this team: 'We have good chemistry on this team. No quitters are on this team and its a good thing. We fight until the end. It's good to have a lot of young guys, the more experience we get as young guys, the better we're going to be in the future.'
OFFENSIVE TACKLE MIKE SAFFER
On freshman running back Tyler Ebell: 'He's doing awesome. You know I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's just not enough you can say about Tyler. He gets the ball, he hits the holes hard; he runs non-stop. He doesn't shy away from hits, he runs hard, it just makes it a pleasure to be blocking for him. He's a little guy, but you wouldn't know it by the way he runs. He comes off people trying to tackle him, he sheds people off, he runs full speed every time he gets the ball. There is just not enough you can say about him. He's working his butt off. I don't know how many carries he got today, but I know it was a lot.'
On blocking for such a young, inexperienced quarterback, and helping out by establishing a running game: 'I think it was really important. One of the things we focused on coming into this game was the fact that they were the number one rush defense in the Pac-10. We felt we could gash some plays on them, and I think in the first half we did that. They started wising up to it a little bit, dropping the safety down into the box, and you can't block nine people, so they started stopping us on that, but that opened up some other things so we're happy about that.'
On being on the O-line and his feelings on the type of push they were getting: 'We were getting a good push. We felt like these are a lot of the guys we played against last year when we ran for 300 yards, and we felt like we could do it again. They were playing tough. I think in the first half if you really look at it, we were getting a real good drive on the ball, and like I said, in the second half the safety was making a lot of those stops in the hole. It made them a little vulnerable to some other stuff, and we hit some nice passes because of it.'