Tyrone Willingham Monday Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 10, 2005

On intensity of rivalry game:
'Well, when you talk about the intensity, it always depends on who you are speaking to. There is a certain segment of our fans who believe that this is the most important rivalry that we have, there is another group that believe Washington State is the most important rivalry that we have. So, I have kind of split myself accordingly. This week, this is the most important rivalry that we have.'

On Isaiah Stanback:
'I have been very, very pleased with the play that we have received from Isaiah. He has dedicated himself to being a good quarterback, and I think so far, he is moving in that direction. Of course, neither he nor I, is completely satisfied with all he has done, because the things we want most are victories.'

On Stanback being a multi-threat quarterback:
'I think that he is still learning and growing. With his talents it is a rare skill to be able to do both of those well, to know the right time to run, and the right time to throw. But he think he is coming along very well in that area, when he masters that he has the chance to be very special.'

On Johnny Durocher:
'I think Johnny has done very well, Johnny has been under very difficult circumstances, with the way we, or should I say I, managed to get him back into the line-up. But, I think he has handled himself very mature, and he is preparing himself to be our number two.'

On whether he is surprised at Oregon's success:
'No, because when we started the season, Oregon was one of the teams that I thought would be at the top. Clearly, everyone thought USC would be the leading team, but after that, you could probably put a hat over a couple of teams, and Oregon was one of those teams.'

On spread-option attack of Oregon:
'I haven't seen much of it. There is something interesting things that they are doing. I think Coach Crowton has done a marvelous job of blending in the spread, and still putting together his rushing attack, so they have done a very good job with it.'

On Jonathan Stewart:
'The first thing is, forget about state boundaries first, he is a good player. You always want to keep the good or great players on your team, rather than somebody else's team. That gives you a plus. There should be a wonderful pride and identity with what I call the `state university. ` So, we want to have that kind of connection with the high school coaches, the high school players. It is just a good thing to keep those good players that are in the state, right here.'

On what recruits say about the Oregon rivalry:
'They say it is very intense, and `Coach win that game.''

On optimism after first half of season:
'Well, you are talking to the wrong person. My glass is always half full, in fact it is always three-quarters full to be very honest about it. Each of those, for us, has been hopefully a learning experience. The great thing about that is that the guys are starting to master the mentality that it takes. Now, it is never mastered until you get it done. And to be very honest about it, it is always a continuing process. I happened to catch a glimpse of the golf yesterday, and I think it was John Daly who missed a three-footer. Now, I know he has made three-footers to win tournaments before. So, therefore, it is an ongoing process. This thing about closing somebody out, you do that every week. It is not about, once you do it once you have it mastered, this is about something you have do every day, it is like a discipline, a habit. What we need to do is acquire the habit. The best teams will let one slip away in that particular time span. But, usually good teams win more than they lose, and that is where we have to get ourselves.'

On injuries:
'We'll find out today, I think the obvious questions are the status of Macklin, and the status of Toledo. There were some bumps and bruises that we have, how will they return, Hopoi will be one of those. We'll start to see how well the week has served us. But, I think for the most part, I felt like we got better.'

On status of Joe Toledo:
'Right now, I would say he is probable.'

On whether team watched Oregon vs. Arizona State together:
'No, I let our team do our own thing. We don't try to gather them in one mass and have them watch the game. But, we encourage them that there is an opportunity to see your opponent, to get a little better feel for them. Hopefully our guys did that, and I think they did.'

On leaders of the Pac-10:
'I think, right now, that they have shown themselves to be our top three. You have got UCLA, USC, and with a victory over Arizona State, Oregon at the top.'

On J.R. Hasty:
'Still the same, but he continues to do exciting things, so at any moment that status could change.'

On recruiting Jonathan Stewart:
'You are never sure, until the young man is on campus. I think we had him up unofficially, if I am correct, in the recruiting process. I'm not sure if we got him there officially. So, therefore it is very difficult to believe you have a shot at him, but if you can get him to visit officially, you believe you have a shot at him. So, we were hoping, but it didn't work out.'

On recruiting process:
'The process of identifying players can come to you in a lot of forms. There are internet services around the country that specialize in listing athletes, you might do that, or it might come from alumni in the area that say you have an outstanding prospect in the area that you should take a look at. Then, usually, you contact the school and the coach to kind of secure their academic and athletic information. Then, hopefully, we have a chance to see them play, either in person, or through video. Then you evaluate that play, and see if it warrants an offer or official visit. Then from there you hope the signing process takes place.'

On amount of recruits visited during bye-week:
'We haven't sat down and counted all of the guys that we saw. But you can imagine that on a given day we saw, out of two full days, probably five to six or maybe ten, depending on the school. Then you games that you are able to watch, maybe one or two games.'

On high school relations suffering:
'I think it has been a little longer than a couple of years. In coach James' was here I would say it was probably a pretty strong relationship among the coaches as far as identifying with the program. I would say that it has probably suffered just a little bit. Hopefully, we can go in and start to rekindle some of those. I think with the exposure of Washington athletes, and high school football, around the country, coaches are taking a lot more pride in the level of football that they play.'

On developing relationships with high school coaches:
'We try to offer them as many opportunities as possible to get close and get to know our program. So that they can get comfortable with who we are as coaches, our clinic,etc.'

On spread offense:
'When you say spread, I think that immediately identifies what is taking place. It is about spreading the field. If you put an offense in a ten-yard box and half to defend it, it is easier than defending an offense in a 53-yard box and have to defend it. When you look at it from that standpoint, not only the skill level of the personnel, but the area you have to defend, it really stresses defense.'

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