Keith Gilbertson Press Conference
Nov. 15, 2004
On four-o-clock start time: 'I really haven't known anything else. When I was coaching on the Palouse, we would start at seven, so four-o-clock is early for me. I have no problem with playing at four-o-clock.'
On staff reaction to last couple weeks: 'I think there's a relief in knowing the exact situation. I don't know if there was much mystery about what was going to happen. The only thing that hadn't happened was the official word been said and I felt at the time we were going to get some kind of commitment to stay or it was time to move on and make a change. I personally, in some ways, was glad that the announcement was made. I wouldn't want it made over Thanksgiving vacation when I wouldn't get to see my players because they were out of town and not get to talk to them. I think it's better to get all of your cards on the table and show the hand that you are playing.'
On injury struggles: 'We're going to have our banquet in the training room this year. This has been an abnormal, crazy year. We probably lost nine or 10 starters off a team that is pretty young and doesn't have a great deal of depth yet, so that's a significant blow for us and it seems that week after week we lose somebody who is real crucial to us in having success. It's happened, but it's football, so I'm not going to sit around and complain about it. It's part of the deal I guess. You have those years in your career. This is my first, so it's too bad that it happened to us and hopefully in the future this won't happen to Washington teams.'
On last year's Apple Cup: 'I don't know if it was much of a relief. It was quite a struggle in how the job came on me and all the other things buzzing around here with the Pac-10 and the NCAA. There was a very serious ethics violation on my part that lasted a long time and got to be a grueling, senseless thing for my family and myself. It was nice to win that game and it felt good for last years seniors. It was a crazy game in front of a packed crazy stadium.'
On next season: 'Well I haven't given any thought to it, but I am going to suck every last minute out of this place since this is my last week here. I want to enjoy this thing and then I will worry about next week next week. I haven't really thought about what I am going to do, but I have a couple of things that I know that I have to do. One of those is to get used to seeing my wife more, she has to see more of me too.'
On favorite Apple Cup memories: 'I remember the Jim Southerland, Jim Owens era when the Huskies could throw it all over the field and the Cougars could throw it all over the field, those were just some great games. Those were just some classic games. When I was a kid I would go out in the neighborhood or the yard with some of my friends and one guy would be Hugh Campbell, one guy was Schloredt, somebody would be George Reed and I always got to be the center. There were just a lot of good memories, and just coaching them they are great games. There are a lot of great players on both side and it is always great competition. I think the thing that jumps out at you is when you watch your team or the other team for 10 or 11 weeks, every once in awhile when the game starts, you are seeing two different teams then what you have been watching. I have always thought there was great intensity and the speed of the game picked it up, those are the things that I have always remembered about the rivalry of this game.'
On importance of this Apple Cup: 'It is always important to win every game. Since we have only been able to win one, it would be a huge thing for these guys to accomplish.'
On records of teams affecting the game: 'I don't think the records will have any affect on this game. Once both teams step on the field, they will go after each other and play hard with good competition.'
On preparing for the Apple Cup: 'Number one, there will be so many kids that our guys know on the other team and I don't think that you get that in any other game during the season. I don't know if they get on the phone and give each other the business on their cell phones, but I would hope that our guys don't shoot their mouth off in any way. Just the fact that our guys know so many players on their team, I think makes it kind of a unique week and I think there are a lot of these kinds of media things that are going on. At the grade schools you don't get to be anything other then a Husky or Cougar this week and the junior highs and high schools will have their jerseys on. I think that this is the biggest game in the state of Washington every year. All of those kinds of things really add to it.'
On best line with Bill Doba this morning: 'Line? We were both crying. Nobody was exchanging one liners, but we talk every week and he is a good friend and a fine man....he's a good coach.'
On coaching rivalries: 'I think that there is a lot more chardonnay stocked up at the big game as opposed to this one. They are both great rivalries and they are both good games. When I was at Idaho, the Boise State versus Idaho games were a wild horse ride. That was the one game in the Big Sky that made you feel like it was a big time deal. I got to coach in a lot of these Apple Cups and the Cal-Stanford game, a lot of games are intense and you remember them forever. This is special because I grew up in the state of Washington and I have family that were Huskies and some family that were Cougars. My wife is from Washington State, so those kinds of things have always added to it. Your neighbors will come over some time this week and there will be crimson and gray stuff all over the outside of our house, so we will have to find out who did that and go put purple and gold stuff on someone's house. These kinds of things go on all of the time and it makes it fun and special.'
On winning six straight against WSU: 'I think that in 1999 and 2000 we had the best football players at that time. Since then I think that it has been pretty even. Obviously in the last two years we have just been lucky, I will be honest with you. We had the triple over time thing and the pass whether it was backwards or not... I don't know. John Anderson was kicking field goals from Coal Fax and we were very lucky to win that game. Last year it was the same thing, they turned the ball over and we got the throw to Corey Williams that was not far from Erick Coleman batting it out...so then what do you do. I would just say for some of those years I think that we had a very good team and we were first or second in our conference. They were probably building for what became a great stretch for them and we had some incredible luck for a couple of years.'
On playmakers: 'I would think that you are going to have to rely on Kenny James, as he is going to have to make some big plays for us and hold on to the ball. When we do throw it, I think that Casey is going to have to be real careful that it is a ball that our guys can get to and that it is not turnover fest. Our punt team has been very disappointing here in the last couple of game and they are going to have to play better.'
On defense: 'Well defensively, obviously we are struggling without Joe Lobendahn because he was the guy that was holding everything together. We would hope that Manase and Jordan White-Frisbee would give Tim Galloway a chance to get to the ball. With their wide receivers, our corners are going to have to play well. They seem like with Jordan, Harvey, and Hill they can put a lot of receivers on the field and a lot of speed on the field, so we are going to have to cover them.'
On WSU coaches: 'Pullman is kind of like Idaho because you are not in the city. You really have to like the college town and the college atmosphere, but you are not going to be surrounding by the restaurants, ballets, symphonies and those kinds of things. You have to make your own fun and those guys are that way and they have all enjoyed their time there in a smaller town. I think they all fit in very well and they like that collegiate atmosphere and I think that they sold it well. They all really fit there, it was a real good fit for all of those guys to coach at Washington State.'
On officiating for game against California: 'I have some things that I am going to bring to the attention of the league sometime. There are some things that really bother me and there were definitely some things that I wasn't pleased with that I think needs to be brought to the attention of the league and then I will move on.'
On Casey Paus: 'I thought that he played pretty well on Saturday other then that one throw that he had down the middle that was low. I thought that he had some good throws and it was the best that we had looked throwing the ball against the defense. A lot of guys caught balls and we spread it around, so I thought that he had a pretty good day throwing the ball. He practiced the best last week so he was the one playing in the game. We felt like it was a throwing game that needed to set up whatever running we could get. He looked the best during the week doing that.'
On California: 'Cal is really talented. I think that Cal is any easy place to recruit and I think that if you look at the classes that I was able to recruit while I was there, I think that they were all star studded. There were a lot of first round kids in their and a lot of kids that went on to play in the NFL. There was quite a list of guys. I thought they were all high rated guys, but I never thought Cal was bad for recruiting. The other thing about California is that you are right in the middle of all that town and you have access to everything. I thought they were also good about bring junior college guys up. If you look at Jeff (Tedford's) team, I think he brought in nine a couple of years ago. That is a pretty big number and I think that would be almost impossible for us to try and get a class like that here at Washington. I think that it is a prestigious University and I think that a lot of parents felt good about their children getting a degree of California. USC and UCLA are also going to get their guys, but when I was in Cal I never felt like there was anybody that I couldn't recruit.'
On junior college recruits: 'Well we don't have a PE program here and a lot of those junior college kids have PE credits. Now the rule is that you have to have an `X' number of hours towards your degree and when you don't offer that degree they will have all of those hours in PE that won't cut it at places that don't actually offer that degree. Some places will have other things that they can transfer into, but we just don't happen to have that. I think that is always an issue here for us.'
On week of preparation: 'We are in here early on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at around 6:30. Thursday night we will go home for dinner with our families, but then Friday we are traveling. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are late as we will get in here early and stay here late. It hasn't changed for years.'
On helping other coaches: 'If there is somebody that has something in place, you definitely get on the phone and you talk to head coach at that school and tell them about the individual. You recommend him and tell them why you hired them or why somebody else hired them. You just try to build a case for them. I think there are also some guys on your staff that know so many people that they can move and the others you have to help.'