Rose Bowl Media Quotes

Dec. 29, 2000

Keith Gilbertson, UW Offensive Coordinator

'We've had an exciting year on offense. We're not pretty, we're a lot like a rodeo ride. You geton and stay on as long as you can, and when it's over we hope we have morepoints than the other guys, and we've been able to do that 10 times.We've had a great season. We have some tremendous young people tocoach. If we have one thing going for us is that we have toughness and we have character. We're probably not the most skilled offense to come and play in the Rose Bowl, but we battle, fight and scratch for every inch andthat's the way we play.'

(On the game's two quarterbacks)
'Both these guys have had outstandingcareers. If you look at their numbers and what they've done for theirteams, how their teams have won and excelled, it's easy to see. Andthey're both great college football players, so it's easy to see (thembeing compared). There's no secret that running the football is what's got us here. We did it well and in a lot of different ways, that's how wedecided this group should play the last few years, and it's a good wayto play. We've won a lot of games and scored a lot of points, held theball for a long time and that's important in our league.'

'We go into every game thinking we're going to run our non-option runs,that we'll run our option game and that we'll throw the football withsome dropback and some play action. We go in with the same plan. It's probably wise against Purdue to run the ball more to keep it away from their offense, but you still have to do it and it's easier said thandone. They have an athletic, quick defense, they are the Big Tenchampions and have beaten the likes of Ohio State and Michigan, so tojust sit here and say we're going to hold the ball and run and keep itaway, that's lip service. You still have to go out and do it against areal good defense.

(On the distractions of the Rose Bowl)
'Most of our plan was in before we got here, taking a page from the NFL people when they have two weeks toprepare for the Super Bowl, they do most of the plan and situation workbefore they get to the Super Bowl and then just touch upon certainpoints, given all the distractions, media attention and all the socialevents you're involved in, it just makes good sense. Our style of playis so different than the rest of the Pac-10, we end up changing the plan two or three series into the game. We go out and run some stuff and see how we play it, mostly because we don't have a common opponent to seehow they play us.'

(On being the underdog)
'I don't really know what the line is and Idon't pay attention to it. I've been concerned about getting ready forPurdue's defense and getting our guys ready to go. They're the Big TenChampions, a great opponent and they have to be pretty good to be here. And if they don't think we're real good, we've been hearing that allseason. To hear that again is not a surprise. A lot of people inWashington picked Washington State to beat us the last game of theseason. We just show up, do our thing and don't worry about whatanybodythinks.'

Marques Tuiasosopo, UW quarterback

(On his relationship with UW Coach Rick Neuheisel)
'Coach Neuheisel is a great guy. Not only do I have agreat relationship with him, but he has a great relationship with all of his players. A lot of our players have respect for him and that's thereason we've been so successful. Not only our relationship with him but our relationship with the staff he brought in. It starts from the topdown. He loves to have fun, but he loves to push us. He one of themostintense guys that I've known and that kind of surprised us when he first came (to Washington). You hear a lot of things about coaches and whatthey do, but he's kept the intensity of Washington football and pusheditto the level where the OE90, OE91, OE92 teams were. He's a quarterbackandhe has a lot to say about what I'm doing out there. I get a lot ofadvice out on the field. He's played that position and he's been inthose situations I've been in. It's been a great tool to bettermyself.'

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'The Rose Bowl experience has beenawesome. It's the reason why I came to Washington, to win games and go to RoseBowls. It's an honor and extreme pleasure. We've had a lot of greatexperiences, but like we've said, we don't want to shoot our guns off to early. We want to make sure we come out in the game and have a goodshow. We're getting excited with a couple days left, but it's been oneof the best times of my life.'

(On game focus)
'One thing Coach Neuheisel and his staff wanted to dowasnot change anything from what we've been doing all year long. Wehaven'tclose any practices all year, so this isn't anything new for us. Weunderstand being in the Rose Bowl that a lot of people want to know what the Huskies are doing and we don't have a problem with sharing that.Thecoaches do a good job of making sure when we're on the field that wehaveto get ready to play.'

Pat Conniff, UW Fullback

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'Being here upsthe ante. It's been our goal, now we have to button down the hatches,get ready to go and bring home a 'w.'

Jerramy Stevens, UW Tight End

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'The RoseBowl has been something I've been looking forward to all my life. Thebiggest thing for me and the rest of the team is that we don't shoot off our guns too early, that we don't get too excited and are ready to playthe game.'

Elliot Silvers, UW Offensive Tackle

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'Duringthe regular season gets to be routine, whereas the Rose Bowl has a lotofextra activities and a lot more media attention. At times it can get alittle distracting, but you have to focus that much more and when itgetsclose to game time you have to focus. It's easy for players to getdistracted with all this extra attention, so there's that much morepreparation that goes into this game.'

Brock Spack, Purdue Defensive Coordinator

'It's obviously quite anhonorto be here. I grew up in Illinois, playing football since I was sevenyears old and I finally get here 31 years later. It's always been agoalto play in the Rose Bowl or coach in it and to be here with my almamater it's quite a thrill and we've really enjoyed ourselves.'

(On containing Marques Tuiasosopo)
'As their quarterback goes, Washingtongoes, which is similar to us. He's a great player who can throw theballand he's a threat running the ball. What's tough as a coach preparingfor them is once the offense breaks down, he's still capable of making a play. It's hard to account for that. We're not a big team, so we'llneed to use our speed and athleticism to run him down. We've faced some very good quarterbacks in our league. He reminds me of Rashard Casey of Penn State, very athletic. This guy has a little different game and hethrows the ball well.'

(On his expectations for Purdue's defense this year)
'Going into theseason I was very nervous because we were relying on some young playerscoming into the program. We didn't know how they would react to playing at this level. They're a good group mentally, very bright, and that has helped us. We start five freshmen on our defense and nine in ourtwo-deep. In order to do that we tried to keep things simple and seehowmuch they could handle mentally. Our offense can cause some problems,that helped us learn things in two-a-days. These guys deserve all thecredit, they've done a great job all year. The one thing we've had this year is the team speed. It's a fast Purdue defense and we're very happy with the way they've played.'

Chris Clopton, Purdue Cornerback

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'Thereare some distractions, but we're having a lot of fun. Every time we step on that practice field, we understand why we're down here. I doubt ourteam is distracted once we step on the field.'

(On containing the UW offense)
'We know they'll make some big plays, but we have to stay patient and poised and contain them the best we can.They have a lot of weapons on that team, so it's up to us to play our'A' game and be ready to give it all we have.'

Joe Odom, Purdue Middle Linebacker

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'Ourpreparation for this game isn't much different than what we do at home. We serious on the practice field, we watch tape, we don't think of themas being a better team. We approach every game as big, just one moregame we have to win, but there's a lot more on the line this time.'

'Seeing Tuiasosopo on tape, I've noticed he doesn't make a lot ofmistakes. If we can cause him to make a mistake and turn the footballover to our offense and let them do their job, that's the plan.'

Akin Ayodele, Purdue Defensive End

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'L.A.definitely has a lot more distractions than West Lafayette does. Asplayers we've done a good job of not getting distracted. I feel likeI'mat home with all the Purdue support and the people in L.A. wishing uswell. We've done a good job of separating having fun and being seriousat practice.'

'To have a chance to win this game, we have to be disciplined. Theyhavea great option game and they can throw the ball. He can make thingshappen and make big plays. We have to contain and keep him in thepocket.'

Stuart Schweigert, Purdue Free Safety

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
'The coaches told us to have fun, but during the two hours we're with them,it's all football. We've prepared about the same as any game. As longas we keep doing that, we'll be all right.'

'One of the keys, especially for our defensive backfield, is to makesurewe're on our keys, read the option right so they don't throw an optionpass. The main thing for me is read the tackles and guards and makesurewe know it's pass first or make sure it's run.'

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