Bruce Snyder's Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 16, 2000

On Saturday's loss to Washington:'That was really a disappointing loss Saturday night. It meant so much to the team. In grading out and looking in detail about how the game unfolded, we feel as a staff, that was a great week of preparation. We were emotionally ready to play, and we wanted the game badly. From all of those things, I feel really good.'

'It was a game of defense and missed opportunities on offense. I thought their defense played really well. I thought our defense played really well. We both made some errors in the kicking game and on offense, and it was a matter of not capitalizing when we had a chance. Particularly in the first half, we could have come out of there with 10 to 17 points, but we didn't get that.'

'We were relatively healthy coming out. Terrell Suggs might be the one player from the game that might not travel to Washington State. We don't know. It's a pretty severe contusion or bruise to his chest and rib cage. We may get Danny Masaniai back, although that may be a bit of a stretch, but there's still a chance. If we were to have those two, we would pretty much be at full strength.'

'The quarterback situation, we bounced around a bit. The idea was that it was Griff's (Griffin Goodman) game. He had come off of a really productive game in terms of throwing deep in the previous game. We also saw in practice some of the things that we had selected Jeff Krohn in the first place for. My idea was to at least give Jeff some work in the first half, maybe only a drive or a series. As the game was unfolding, we were just not producing offensively, so it was a game decision to see whether Jeff could generate more offense. As it turned out we didn't score many points no matter what, but I don't put it all on the quarterback. I think the fact we have been bouncing around at the quarterback position all season kind of surfaced a bit in this game. It was obvious that maybe we missed some opportunities that a more veteran quarterback wouldn't have missed.'

'The attitude is great. There was no bickering, and it easily could have been that way when the defense was getting the ball turned over, and the offense wasn't producing, and the kicking game struggled at times. Our kicking game made some big plays too. I think our mental outlook is really good right now. Our offense line is as healthy as it's been. We got out of that game completely healthy. Michael Williams is gradually getting back to where his ankle doesn't fatigue as much. There are a lot of really good things, but a sad outcome obviously. We're real disappointed in that. I believe we'll bounce back fine.'

On the mistakes and turnovers the team has made:'Last year, it was all them. We decided we wanted to match it, I guess. Michael Williams hasn't fumbled. (Justin)Taplin is really possessed by wanting to make plays. If you notice him on punt returns, he's very aggressive. He's going to catch everything. He's going to try to make something out of it. The guy just got his hand on the ball.'

'The blocked punt might be my biggest concern because it's the second week in a row that we've had one blocked. Nick Murphy has done a marvelous job of not allowing returns. The ball is high, has good distance, and our coverage is terrific. My thinking now is they are (Washington State) coming after us. They're going to see whether we've solved our problem. That's a major concern this week. In terms of all the turnovers, it's frustrating.'

'In all areas of a football player, I would rather have the problem of pulling in on the reigns than having to kick some one in the fanny to get them going. I'd rather have this in a team than the easy fair catch, or let it bounce, or pull off a block when it could have been a legal block. I think the game was made for the real aggressive guy, so I'd rather have that.'

On the quarterback position:'After reviewing everything and having a staff meeting, my decision is that Jeff will get a lot of the work this week. Maybe he'll start to pick up where he left off three or four games ago. There has been a bit of turmoil at that position. It is so difficult to have much continuity. I thought Jeff went in there and tried his very best. He was not as sharp as I think he could be. We're going to go with Jeff. Griff has been tremendously supportive. He's going to be ready to play. That's just the way we are going to go.'

On the running game:'We played Tom Pace some. We wanted to get (Davaren) Hightower in too. I think Hightower ended up with 25 plays. None of the running game was really going, and that's frustrating to me because that would really help the quarterbacks if we could run the ball better than we're doing. When Tom went in, it didn't change the game much. I thought his quickness might change the tempo for us in terms of the running game. This is not a negative about everybody else, but I believe the strength of our team are the wide receivers. That's what is scaring people right now defensively. We made a fairly conscience decision in the second half that we've got to try to get the ball to the wideouts. They're the ones who are going to put points on the board. It didn't happen, but that was the logic. So Hightower is a terrific receiver out of the backfield, so it gave us a chance to work him more.'

On the quarterback situation:'First of all I want the best player playing, and right now we've decided that it's Jeff. In this case I would want Jeff to start every game for the remainder of the season. That's what I would rather have.

'You would think the more controlled passing attack you have, you would have a higher percentage of completions. I want a higher percent because it gives you more first downs and it keeps the defense off the field. One of the things we really do well is run through defenses. Our wide receivers run through the secondary. I don't know if we were going to score much by control passing this game though. That's hindsight. My objective isn't to just have a high percentage of passing. I know that would help it, but those wideouts, I think, are capable of home runs. That's what the last couple of weeks have proven, but certainly not Saturday.'

On whether or not Washington State's performance vs. Arizona is scary for the Sun Devils going into this Saturday's game in Pullman:'I think it's extremely scary because Mike (Price) had said all along that he felt that this team was getting better. They moved the ball against a really good Arizona defense in Tucson. Arizona couldn't catch (Jason) Gesser, he's very elusive. They've got big wide receivers. That's scary for us and a challenge for our defense. And we're a very fast defense but we've also missed some quarterbacks in the open field trying to catch them. But that's going to be the biggest challenge of the day. If you want to see a matchup it will be a real good Arizona State defense against what I think is a really good Washington State offense.'

On WSU quarterback Jason Gesser:'He's not an imposing guy, not like Leaf and Bledsoe and some of the former quarterbacks they've had. He's kind of a 'normal' sized guy, 6-1, 200 pounds. He is really elusive. We're going to have to be very disciplined about staying on our receivers. He's better than Marquis (Tuiasosopo) in terms of getting away from the rush. I think if he does that much we're going to get tired chasing him, so fatigue in the fourth quarter will be an issue. Gesser has a good arm, and he looks like he loves competing. The most common comparison is with Jake Plummer. If he gets out and runs 13 or 15 yards it's really discouraging. All of our challenges will be centered around that quarterback.'

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