Arizona Football Teleconference Quotes

Sept. 23, 2001

Arizona Head Coach John Mackovic

On the UNLV game:'We wanted to get off to a good start on offense. We scored on our first possession, and there were so many variations in what we were doing. I have never had a team with 333 offensive yards in the first half. We had a big first-half explosion, and even then, we still missed a couple of scoring opportunities.'

'I am glad that we moved the ball around as much as we did. We wanted to move the ball around (to different receivers) and have them (UNLV) play everybody. It's not all by design because a lot of times it is Jason Johnson's ability to find the open man and get him the ball. We like to spread it around to so many different receivers so no one can gang up on Bobby Wade, Malosi Leonard or Andrae Thurman.'

'We just did a good job of containing (quarterback) Jason Thomas. He was looking to scramble, but our defense made him ineffective in the game. I am proud and excited about the way the defense is playing. They hit hard, and they fly to the ball. Our coaches do a good job of getting a read on the other teams, and the defense knows what to do to put us in a position to win the game.'

On UNLV in the fourth quarter:'They switched quarterbacks in the second half because it appeared that (Jason) Thomas was frustrated. In the second half, they tried to control the ball more, they ran more, and they took the air out of the ball.'

On junior quarterback Jason Johnson:'He understands what we're doing, and he is easily coached. He knows when to take the deep throw, and he is so much better at doing that since we first started. He finds the open receivers, delivers the ball, and he has taken some hits in the pocket after releasing the ball. When he had some pressure (against UNLV), he was able to more around and avoid being sacked. He did a good job of picking up the receiver and making some big plays.'

On sophomore quarterback Cliff Watkins:'Cliff did a good job. He looked in the right places, and we thought that it was a good opportunity for him to play and get some reps. We wanted to give him a chance and see how he picked up some things.'

On senior wide receiver Malosi Leonard:'Malosi is tied with Bobby Wade, with 14 catches each. He runs good routes, he is smart, and he just likes to compete. I know that Jason (Johnson) has a lot of confidence in him, and he is in the right places where we need him to be.'

On next week's game against Washington State:'Our defensive attack has been exactly what we needed to get control of each game. This week, however, it is going to be much more difficult because we are expecting a different kind of offensive attack from Washington State.'

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