Washington-Arizona Postgame Quotes
Nov. 6, 2004
Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson
General Comments: 'The defense and special teams played well enough for us to win the game, but we just cannot get anything going on offense. We can't throw or catch, we run inconsistently, and we get balls batted down. I am going to be afraid to look at our passing percentage. It has just been a great source of frustration in the past weeks. I thought we did some really good things defensively and I think we got some good play from the special teams. We still don't have any concept of punt return, and we're now onto our third punt returner this season. Offensively, it just seems that we don't have anyone who can make a play. I'm not making any excuses, it was just an awful day of offense. I'm very disappointed.'
On using quarterback Isaiah Stanback in the second half: 'We were going to give him a series anyway and we were six for 22 at the time when we made the change. I don't know if it would have been possible to do any worse than that. So we just wanted to make the change and give the guy a chance; see if he could get anything going. We didn't really get anything from him. We ended up with a drop down in there. The day was just a complete frustration offensively. We've tried just about everything that we could try, and it's just been one big source of frustration after another.'
On the running game: 'I think it was better today. We had some really good runs and did some good things.'
On the performance of the defense: 'We played well enough to win the game on defense. I think we did some nice things on special teams, got some good kicks and some return yards. Offensively, we are just stuck in neutral.'
On the last couple of offensive possessions of the first half: 'I had to get into the two-minute offense, and we tried to get it down there to make it 13-9. Then we threw three straight incompletions, and now I'm forced with sticking the defense out there again. So know I'm thinking that we can't keep doing this to our defense, and then the defense gets it back again and again we got nothing out of the offense. So by that time I'm just thinking, 'Let's get out of here because we haven't had a lead going into halftime for quite awhile.''
On the passing game: 'It's not like we didn't throw the ball around today; we took our shots. But the thing you don't want to do is stick your defense out there when they are playing well. It is the offense's job to do something with the football. Offensively, we are just banging our heads against the wall with everything we've tried. We got sacked five times today ... we had some drops, we hit one guy in the hand for an interception. We threw 47 passes today.'
On the fake punt by Sean Douglas: 'We've been working on it. I think we've fake-punted twice this year, and have gotten the first down both times for no points.'
Injury report: 'We lost wide receiver Anthony Russo to an ankle injury. We are running out of receivers.'
QUARTERBACK Casey Paus
General Comments: 'I don't know how to put it or what to say. We can't get the luck of a break at all. I know the guys around here feel real bad. I feel just as bad, or worse, than a lot of them.'
On what Arizona did to frustrate the offense: 'Nothing. It was everything we expected from them, with all the blitzes they were giving us. The twists and the stunts up front were what we expected them to do. We just had some miscommunications and at the same time I wasn't getting the ball to the receivers. When you don't do that you can't do anything.'
TAILBACK Shelton Sampson
On what needs to change: 'Our mindset has got to change. Just the way we come at the game and the way we think about things. I can't really tell you what it is right now. I just know that when we come back on Monday to watch film, we need to have a couple talks and see where everybody is, because we've got to buckle down for these next two games.'
On his 57-yard reception: 'I just saw an opening and I just kept going. I was hoping to get a touchdown, but I didn't have a feel for where the guy was behind me.'
On scoring the team's lone touchdown: 'It wasn't enough. I was looking forward to doing more and helping the team out more, but getting hurt a couple times has kind of messed that up a bit. I'm just trying to get ready for Cal.'
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Evan Benjamin
On turning point in game: 'The fumble return was definitely a turning point. Then they scored right after that again and got a sizeable lead, so that was definitely the turning point. I thought defensively today, we did come out and play well. I thought the offense did too, we just need to execute a little bit better and hold onto the ball.'
On if they felt luck was on their side today: 'Stuff was going our way. We even got a turnover by our special teams. I thought we were making plays. Those special teams plays were big for us to get momentum. We were stopping them on some drives too.'
On final home game vs. Cal and Senior Day: 'I'm excited. This was a tough loss and it told a lot about us, but I think we will come back next week. We can play like we have nothing to lose. If we can't play for our seniors, I don't know who we can play for. I'm going to try my hardest to send them out in style.'
PUNTER Sean Douglas
On his performance: 'There was no wind, which is nice because it's nice to have calm weather when you're kicking. I just got a hold of a couple of them today. I'm always going to be happy with myself when I play well, but it sucks to lose. I'm still happy with my play, just not with the outcome of the game.'
On the fake punt: 'We had been working on it for awhile and trying to figure out the right time to use it. We used it today and it worked out for us. I was hoping it would get the momentum back. When you do a fake anything it seems to give you a lot of momentum, so I was hoping it would give us some momentum.'
CORNERBACK Derrick Johnson
On forced fumble: 'I was coming up, doing my job and I got lucky and made a big hit. I was trying not to miss the tackle and I went and blew him up. I don't know how the ball got loose, I just hit him and the ball came out and I heard the crowd screaming, so I knew I must have done something good. It was in slow motion. It was a good hit, and it got me juiced up.'
On turnovers: 'It's like a one-two punch. We punch them and they punch us back.'
On Senior Day next week: 'I'm closing my career here at the University of Washington and I'm excited to have this opportunity, so I'm going to go out and enjoy my teammates and try to make some plays in Husky Stadium for the last time.'
On what they need to work on before next week: 'They have good running backs and good receivers and a great quarterback. Altogether, we are going to have to hit those guys and swarm to the ball. They have a lot of playmakers on offense.'
DEFENSIVE TACKLE Manase Hopoi
On Arizona's offensive scheme: 'They were trying to do a lot of stretch and cut-back, so we tried to eliminate the cut-back. He tried to do the same thing that UCLA did, try to find a seam and let him hit it. We tried to eliminate that seam and they had a couple of good runs, but I think we did well.'
On improvements for next week: 'We need to work on getting up field. They have three good running backs over there, so we have to keep on penetrating. As long as people are penetrating, it puts on pressure and gives them no lanes to go to.'
Arizona Coach Mike Stoops
General Comments: 'We're obviously very excited about being able to come up here and get a win and show some progress. It wasn't easy but I was really proud of the way our kids hung in there and made some plays there in the third quarter to reverse some of the momentum. I thought we had a lot of momentum early on in the game and lost it. We came out and did everything right and then a couple of turnovers and two personal fouls led to 10 points in the kicking game. We hurt ourselves at times early on in the game and we settled down and played better in the second half. Defensively, I thought we played well all day. We had good pressure, good coverage, played the run game and played the option. I thought everything looked pretty good. We misplayed a screen pass that they got 65 yards in one play but besides that, I like our mechanics defensively. Our position most of the night was pretty good. Offensively, we continue to struggle in some areas and make things more difficult than they probably have to be, but if we get better at throwing the ball, we are going to be the program that we want to be. We just have to continue to work and get better. I'm not discouraged in what we are doing. I think our execution needs to be better in some areas. That's just something we have to get better at. It's kind of been our Achilles' heel all year.. I'm really proud of our guys sticking together. They prepared well and came up here with a commitment to win. You've got to start somewhere. That's something we probably could not have done 12 months ago but I'm proud of the guys and the way that they've hung in there all year long and really keep playing for us. That's all you can ask.'
On Wilrey Fontenot's fumble return: 'Wilrey's been coming out good. He's been close all year and to finally get one, I was really proud of him. Wilrey's played better every year and every week. The last three weeks he's really gained some confidence on the field. I thought Antoine Cason played well. He continues to play extremely well as a freshman and comes up with big plays. Defensively, I just think we are playing good. We are making people work and we are playing a more solid defense with more consistency. We are understanding our teams better and our position has been better so I think we continue to show some improvement defensively.'
On how the team feels about the win: 'I think the guys are relieved more than anything. We've done some good things throughout the year. We should be a lot better and they understand that. That's how it is and we're just here trying to build program and they are trying to lay a foundation. It's pretty simple. We just keep playing hard and do what you're taught to do. I think they have great confidence in the people coaching them at that's a credit to them that they keep working. Everything seems to be getting better. I'm happy with our effort and our preparation. I think it's been fabulous.'
On if a weight has been lifted because of the win: 'I don't know. I'm excited and happy but I'm not going to stand on my head or anything. It's progress and you've got to start somewhere. You just keep moving forward and stay steady. We are excited and the kids are happy to see their hard work pay off. We still have two games left and we are going to try to keep playing hard and hopefully some more good things will happen to us.'
FREE SAFETY DARRELL BROOKS
On Stanback's hit: 'He didn't say anything. That is just part of the game, and that's okay.'
On winning: 'This is a big win; we definitely don't want to be at the bottom of the Pac-10. This is a motivational booster going into the last two games. It is something for the team to be happy about.'
On turnovers: 'We were all over the ball. We got our hands on the ball and that is what coach was talking about all week. When the ball is in the air, it is as much our ball as it is theirs. We need to get more confident going in with the system as the season progresses. We are young in some aspects and we just need to be confident in ourselves and move on.'
CORNERBACK WILREY FONTENOT
On turnovers: 'I made mistake by hitting the kicker, and that led to a touchdown. I knew that I needed to make a play to make up for it.'
On win: 'It propels us to get better. A win feels good. Our confidence will be a lot higher going into next week.'
On leading early: 'Getting out ahead of a team early gives your defense a lot of confidence. The challenge was up to us to hold the lead.'
RUNNING BACK MIKE BELL
On turnovers: 'When you have this many turnovers, it is rare that you win the game.'
On win: 'It felt good to get that first Pac-10 win. It was a lot more fun to play because everyone was happy and feeling good.'
On touchdown run: 'The recieving and offensive line did a great job blocking. I did my thing when I got in the open field. It is good when we are on the same page and play more consistent.'
QUARTERBACK RICHARD KOVALCHECK
On Washington's defense: 'They brought some heat and I think they brought some zone blitzing a lot. They came after us and I thought they were a good defense. They have some good linebackers.'
On fourth-quarter turnaround: 'I thought that was huge because we haven't come out strong in the fourth quarter all season. The touchdown was good because it got everybody up and got everybody in that tempo to win the game.'
On early lead: 'That just helped us realize that we are here to win this game. It just get's everybody going.'
On defensive play: 'The defense won this game; they played awesome all day long. They are what kept us in the game. Wilrey's pick up was big and gave us the lead. He scored that touchdown to give us the lead and turned the game around.'
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