Tyrone Willingham Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 18, 2001

Stanford, Calif. -

On what is scary about Arizona State:
'Tradition is what scares you about Arizona State. They have always been a good and explosive football team, and this team looks very much along those lines. Defensively, they probably have one of the most exciting young players in the country in their defensive end Terrell Suggs. He is really a phenomenal athlete with great speed and great explosiveness. When you look at them on offense, they are a multi-attack team that likes to spread the ball and go deep. They have players that can make plays and their quarterback in his first ballgame had roughly 270-yards passing and four touchdowns. That is a great night. They are an explosive team and anytime you play a team like that, it is frightening.'

On the effect of the long lay-off between games:
'We tried to treat it similar to a bye week. Not quite the same, but we did some things that were similar to that. We are not sure exactly what the effects will be.'

On plans for a special event before Saturday's game:
'What we have decided to do and we hope this is both respectful and appropriate, is to have both teams on the field for the playing of the National Anthem and a moment of silence. This is something not done very often in college football, you often see it in professional football but not in college. We hope that it is a proper way to respect those who have had the tragedies of the past week.'

On scouting ASU with new coaches:
'When you approach this team, that is what you are dealing with. You are seeing things and unfortunately we don't have two games to look at film to see if they have created a pattern. We have one game and they were very much in control. When you are in control of a ballgame, you usually decide not to use most of the offensive or defensive tools. We assumed that they are stock piling a lot of things that they might use in our ballgame.'

On playing this Saturday:
'I am comfortable with us starting to play games again. That is probably the proper way to say that.'

On having two weeks off to mend injuries:
'I hope it helped everyone. Specifically, Brett Pierce coming out of the first game with an ankle injury, hopefully the time has allowed him to get closer in being ready to play. We will start to gauge his progress day-by-day to see if he will be ready for this weekend. Also at the tight end position Darin Naatjes, who missed our first game, hopefully the rest will allow him to be ready closer to game time.'

On ASU's defensive alignment:
'The issue is one of identification. When you have identification problems, that means you have an opportunity to create confusion. When you create confusion, you create advantages for your defense in terms of unblocked situations. The defense is really designed for offences to really hesitate and slow down just a step. So far it seems to be really effective in doing that.'

On the difference between Boston College and ASU's offense:
'When you approach it from a team standpoint, what we said a couple weeks ago was that we had to prepare for a physical game. This opportunity will be almost a total adjustment, or what you would call a speed adjustment, in many cases. Please understand that this has always been a physical football team at Arizona State. They also have the weapons to be very explosive. They will throw the ball deep, at many different points, and often. It imposes a different threat in terms of preparation.'

On getting Teyo Johnson involved earlier in the game:
'That always goes as the game is going. I think you always have certain things, but you are not sure based on defense and coverage at that time. What we try to get our offense to do it is take advantage of what they give you and don't force the action. There will hopefully be options for not only Teyo, but for Luke Powell, Ryan Wells, Caleb Bowman and all of our receivers.'

On what to expect from his team in Pac-10 play:
'In some years we have almost opened the season with a Pac-10 game. What we have got to do is be as consistent as we can be within our structure, and hopefully prepare them as best as we can. You have to hope with our years of experience in coaching that we can get a solid game plan prepared for someone you don't know much about and have your guys ready to play the best they can.'

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