Arizona Football Teleconference Quotes

Oct. 5, 2003

Head Coach Mike Hankwitz's Remarks -

On the loss at Washington State:

'After watching the films, I feel even more strongly about some of the things that I felt during the game. I felt like we were in the game until 10 minutes to go in the game, and then obviously, in a one-minute period, we had two critical mistakes that opened up the score. It just reinforced that I thought we did improve, and we did compete. If anything, I am even more encouraged even though it is frustrating to lose. It was a physical game, and we came out a little banged up, but we should be in pretty good shape this week.'

On the defense:

I look at our defense against the last two top-20 teams (TCU and Washington State), and against TCU we gave up 13 points, and one was a cheap play that we made an unnecessary gamble on. Against Washington State, the defense actually gave up 23 points, but we had two busted plays. One, we had a player right in position and just didn't make the play. So, I do believe we are making strides there.

On the offense:

'In looking at our offense (against the last two top-20 teams), we held the ball three minutes more than TCU did in the first half even though at the end of the game they held a decided edge. But, it showed that we have the capability of moving the ball. We closed the gap in the Washington State game, and we had less of a deficit in time of possession. The offense is making strides, as well. Our running backs ran better downhill, and Mike Bell had some good runs in there.'

'Washington State came into that game with 23 straight games of having a sack, and they didn't record a sack against us. It shows that our line is picking up pressure better. Our quarterback is continuing to improve, and he is handling pressure better. Our offense had some opportunities. We are on the verge of making some big plays. I think (Kris) Heavner continues to improve, and with the limited amount of time that he has had, he shows great poise. He made one bad mistake, but that can happen to a lot of good quarterbacks.'

'Washington State has a veteran defense, and they felt like they could blitz and pressure an awful lot. They brought all kinds of pressure at us, but overall, our line handled it well. They did a nice job of adjusting, and I think we will continue to improve. We came off the ball better, so the key is that we continue to make that kind of improvement.'

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