Washington-San Jose State Postgame Quotes
Oct. 9, 2004
Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson
General Comments: 'That was a good win. Our defense did a lot of good things, keeping them out of the end zone, in light of how explosive we thought they were from what we saw them do in all their games. They have tremendous speed at wide receiver, so to keep them out of the end zone and keep them to 22 passing yards was okay. We are just not throwing the ball well. I think Charles Frederick will be back full speed next week and I think that will give us the lift that we need in our passing game. We just are struggling to get any rhythm or consistency in our catches and passing game. That is frustrating, particularly because you know how much I love to throw the ball. Charles Frederick is still hampered, and we want to get him some plays. He made a nice catch at the end to keep that last drive going.'
On the fourth down-and five decision early in the game: 'Obviously that is not going to be a popular decision, but I really don't care. With the way San Jose State can throw the ball I was not going to give them any chance at the end of the half to have anything but a long field ahead of them. I just wanted to get out of there with the score as it was. I think it was the prudent thing to do.'
On the performance of Kenny James: 'I thought Kenny James had some nice runs and we wanted him to take the game over in the second half. He did a nice job of staying in drives, and that was the difference for us.'
On the quarterbacks: 'Carl Bonnell hurt his groin on the first drive and it just got worse and worse as the game progressed, to the point where it was time to make a change. Casey Paus went in and played well, ran the club well. He really didn't get anything going passing-game wise, but I think he ran some nice plays. I need to see how Carl Bonnell is doing for next week and we need to make some kind of decision as to how to fix our passing gam,e because right now that is where we are getting very little. Isaiah Stanback will get his shot.'
On other injuries: 'Donny Mateaki hurt his foot in the fourth quarter, but the x-rays came back negative.'
On the defense: 'San Jose State started out with great field position, with the two interceptions and the poor kickoff, but our guys went in there and stopped them every time. They played well and got out of drives on fourth downs. To hold San Jose State to six points is a nice day of defense. They can throw it deep and their receivers are very fast and their quarterback can launch it. What concerns me is that their receivers got behind us twice. We tried to get in the way of their receivers and re-route them.'
On importance of this win after the 0-4 start: 'Well, we can take a deep breath for a day, and then you get back onto it and start getting prepared for Oregon State, who had a bye week to prepare for us. It was nice to come in here and have some fun after the game. It is way better than we have felt the previous four weeks.'
On C.J. Wallace: 'CJ is going to be a really good player. I think he still makes some young mistakes, like on the one pass interference, where I don't think he really went for the ball. I think he is a really good, tough tackler.'
INSIDE LINEBACKER Scott White
On the win: 'It feels good. It was a big morale boost going into next week. Obviously we have a long way to go. It feels good to get our first win of the year. We have to build on this and hopefully keep the train rolling. We need to put the shovels away, stop digging, and start building. This was an opportunity for us to get some confidence going into a Pac-10 game at home.'
On not allowing any touchdowns: 'It's important. There were a couple of times where we had to go out and put the fire out. For the most part, we made plays when we had to -- that's really what it all boiled down to today. We didn't have any breakdowns -- it was an overall, collective team effort. You have to seize the moment. There were opportunities for guys to make plays and they made them.'
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Evan Benjamin
On the win: 'This is a big monkey off of our back -- we threw him into Lake Washington.'
On linebackers' performance: 'Joe Lobendahn, Scott White, and me were talking, and we think that we are a really good linebacking corps, but we have to go out there and show to other teams how good we are. Today, we did that. Scott had a great game, Joe was out there making plays, and when we're all going after the ball like that, it makes it easier for guys like C.J. Wallace to come up and make plays. We had a lot of fun out there, especially on the goal-line stand. When the play comes your way, you have to make the play.'
On red zone defense: 'It feels really good when they get in the red zone and we can make a big stop. They got it on the one yard line and we said, `We're not going to let you guys in. We'll hold you to three points, but we're not going to let you in the end zone.' That was a big momentum changer. We got pumped up. We just need to keep it going through this next week.'
DEFENSIVE END Manase Hopoi
On defensive performance: 'We knew going into today that they were going to run a max protection, gap protection, or slide protection. We just went outside of them. When I saw them slide down, I knew it was slide protection, so I keyed on the running back and tried to penetrate to stop the run. We tried to get some penetration and pressure to make them make some bad decisions. There's a couple of things that I think we can get better at, like stopping the run and stopping big plays. Overall, I think we played great. We stopped the option, and we played better on short-yardage.'
On Oregon State next week: 'We are going to try to be Northwest Champions again. We need good offense and great defense like we had today.'
QUARTERBACK Casey Paus
On how the first win feels: 'It feels good. The biggest thing is the guys up front. They were blocking their butts off. They were playing a phenomenal game today, and Kenny was hitting those holes the best I've ever seen him do it. Once we get that momentum going, it sparks everyone else on the team, especially the offense. Everyone was feeding off that and we had a great game today.'
On designed running plays for Paus: 'It just goes right back to the line again. They were doing a great job. I have no problem running the ball. A win's all that matters. If we've got to run the ball and we're getting 250 yards a game, I have no problem with that. It feels good to see those guys do well and I know it boosts their confidence.'
On where the team goes from here: 'We've got a rivalry game coming up against a Northwest team so we've got to have a great week of practice. The snowball's starting to roll and we've got to keep it going.'
On limiting mistakes in the second half: 'If you make the fewest mistakes you're going to win.'
TAILBACK Kenny James
On his strong performance: 'It feels good, but it's not all about me. It takes all 11 of us out there on that field to accomplish that. Most of that was from the line. They came out and opened up some big holes in the second half and I just went out and used my God-given talent and made some plays. The line went out and blocked and they opened up some great holes.'
On the second-half running attack: 'We wanted to take control in the second half. At halftime, the coaches came in and told the running backs that it's up to us to determine how we're going to go in the second half. We, as a whole team, wanted to go out there and get a victory, so we went out there and ran the ball, the line opened up some holes and James (Sims) and I did a good job running through and breaking tackles.'
On his 52-yard touchdown run: 'It was just a basic running play where the line opened up a big hole and I just ran through it untouched. That was just the basics of the play.'
On how the win helps the team's morale: 'It will help a lot. We've got to come out next week and practice hard to prepare for Oregon State then come and do the same thing next week. Don't make simple errors and simple mistakes and overcome adversity and go out and get a victory.'
CENTER Brad Vanneman
On the offense's strong second half: 'We came out with the ball and finally put something together. We had a good first drive and then a good end of the third quarter, and really all of the fourth quarter. I don't know what we were doing wrong in the second quarter. I think they slanted a little and caught us off-guard. But as far as us running the ball, I'm relatively happy.'
On if the O-line wore down San Jose State or if it was scheme adjustments: 'I think it was a little bit of both. I think we wore them down a little bit. We did a good job running the ball, wore them down, and we made some adjustments as to how we were going to block some things, like the play that got Kenny a touchdown. So it was a combination of us being in good shape and being able to wear defenses down, and our coaches adjusting plays for how they were slanting. We picked everything up. We did pretty well, I thought.'
On the different mood in the locker room following the win: 'It's been a long time coming. I can't express how good this feels, compared to coming in here and being solemn and having to have a stern face on. We played well. We won the game. I'm not going to call it a full game because we only passed for 54 yards. That's pretty pathetic. But we won. It's black and white with no gray. We won and I'm happy about it.'
On how the team hopes to build on the win: 'It's a sigh of relief to finally get this off our back. To be able to come in on Monday and watch film and not be sad about watching it ... We'll have a little more spring in our step now than we did before. We've got an Oregon State team coming off a bye week and they'll be ready to go. They had it handed to them a little but by Cal but they're definitely going to be a challenge. It's our next goal. Hopefully this will start the ball rolling for us.'
San Jose State Coach Fitz Hill
General Comments: 'This is a game of emotions and obviously we let one slip away today. We should have come out with a win and that's what's disappointing. This defense came back from last week and played extremely well, and put us in an opportunity to win the game. There were a couple of plays that could have changed the momentum of the football game. The official said, 'Six inches to the goal line,' and we know Dale (Rogers) can do that, but we put the ball on the ground. So, those types of things are momentum killers for a young team like ours. And when you don't get that point, and you put your defense out there, it gives them an opportunity to get the momentum and that's not very good when you're looking for momentum and looking for confidence. It didn't matter if they were Pac-10 schools or whatever, the fact of the matter is, we had a chance to win the football game and we did not. We're 2-3 right now and we have an open week to get all of our guys healthy. We look forward to competing for a WAC Championship, which we have a chance to do.'
On troubles from the red zone: 'If you look at it from the sideline, it's one play here and a block missed there. We are missing some executions and we have to do a better job of coaching. Our kids are definitely giving the effort. We were like 10-for-10 in the red zone in the past. Today I didn't want to play it close, I wanted to win. I thought our kids needed that. We didn't come up here for a moral victory, we came up here for an opportunity to win the football game, which is why I elected to go for it. We probably could have kicked a few field goals but that wasn't what I felt we needed at this juncture of the season. After last week, our kids just wanted to play to win. We had our chance and we can learn a lot from this.
On a lack of execution: 'The offensive execution -- you think back about a couple of opportunities that slipped away that we went backwards. That's preparation, and I'm responsible for that. For the last two years we haven't played well on the road, and we've got to look really long and hard at that to make sure that I am doing everything possible to execute on the road. That's something I was really thinking about out there. To be on the three or four and then to go backwards, that's something you can't allow to happen. That's what's most disappointing. We get a turnover and have a chance to put it in and one guy misses a block or something else. But the effort is there and that's something we coach hard on. We did not have the execution offensively that we needed. At SMU, at Washington, I need to make sure as a coach that we are doing all of the things we have to do from the time we leave -- hotel time, preparation -- to execution. We have to improve our execution. If you get an opportunity you've got to cash in. We didn't cash in.'
On the designed sneak: 'That was the same one we called last week. I called it again with Dale and Dale wanted to score and it just dropped out of his hands.'
On SJSU victimizing itself: 'That's what I'm talking about with preparation. It's a mental focus that we have to get that we don't get away from home. That's my fault. That's my responsibility. You would think being on the road that you would have less distractions but getting on the plane and doing those types of things, we've got to cure it. It's an ill that I make sure that we diagnose and we remedy.'
San Jose State Players
TAILBACK TYSON THOMPSON
On being stopped in the red zone: 'I don't know what Washington was doing, but on the offensive side, we had some key plays that we were not able to capitalize on.'
On offensive struggles: 'We are just frustrated with our effort. At times we should have made some plays, but the 70-point game was something that doesn't happen very often. We work hard at practice and give our all, but things just didn't work out for us today.'
SAFETY BRIAN NUNEZ
On Washington's good day on the ground: 'It wasn't that we couldn't stop them, there were just a couple of big plays that were critical and we just couldn't hold them.'
On Kenny James: 'James is a good back and he runs hard. We knew he was good coming into the game and we knew what he was capable of doing. He had a pretty good second half against us today.'
On his interception: 'We were running a cover-four and the wide receiver ran a post. I just made a lucky break on the ball and got the interception.'
On defensive stamina: 'I don't think that they wore us down, there were just a few critical plays in the game that we didn't execute on. Those plays ended up being the deciding factor.'
On defensive improvement: 'I am so proud of every one of those guys on defense, because all of our guys were battling the whole game and you really can't ask for anything else from them. Unfortunately, there were a few plays that the plays just didn't got our way. It was a tough loss, but we have to prepare for Hawaii in two weeks.'
QUARTERBACK DALE ROGERS
On fumbling the snap at the goal line: 'The offensive line was trying to get a jump on the defense and the ball hit my hands. I should have held on to it.'
On red zone struggles: 'It all comes down to execution and doing the plays the way that we practiced them. We had a couple of penalties and a couple of missed assignments, and you can't score when you are going backwards. You would rather get seven instead of three.'
On finding passing rhythm: 'I felt comfortable back there and everybody did a pretty decent job of protecting me. I think that the Huskies did a good job of protecting the deep ball. There were a couple of deep balls where pass interference was called and those could have been big catches. We had a good running game established, so we stuck to it.'