Arizona Football Weekly Press Conference

Sept. 24, 2001

Arizona Head Coach John Mackovic Quotes

On the Washington State-Arizona series:'It has been an interesting series for the last several years. The games have been high scoring with lots of action. Is it going to turn into a defensive struggle by any chance? I don' t think that this will be a defensive struggle. They are going to try to score 35 points or more. They are going to run, pass and do everything that they can do to win the game. Knowing that they are going to play that way, we are going to play that way. I'm not certain that we can dominate the line of scrimmage, and I'm not certain that they can dominate the line of scrimmage to the point where either team can control the game and take it into a low-scoring defensive game.'

'Washington State is a team that will try to take control of the game and try to make you play their game. They have so many receivers, and they are running the ball well. Jason Gesser is a veteran who knows the system. He knows where to put the ball, he knows the checks, and he knows what to do. They really have a nice attack.'

On Arizona's 3-0 record:'We are pleased that we have won three games. We have done a lot of good things, but we really haven't dominated anybody for an entire game. Because of that, we can't look as if we are complete. There is still a lot of work to do. We have a lot of bright spots, but there are still areas in every area that we need to improve upon.'

On Arizona's defense:'UNLV had some run plays in the second half that we should have shut off, and they had a couple of pass plays that we can't give them. But, we set out to take Jason Thomas out of the game, and we did that. From a strategy and execution standpoint, we have done well so far this season. This week's game is going to be a big task for us because we play a lot of man coverage, and we will still have to be able to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They are posting remarkable numbers, so the biggest thing for us is to contain and not allow them (Washington State) to get the big plays.'

On the Wildcat offense:'Offensively, we are up near the 500-yard range, and yet there are still things in there that we need to do better. We still have to run the ball better. Against UNLV, we dropped four passes, two of which were in the end zone. We didn't get our timing just right, and that resulted in a fumble.'

On UA's special teams:'We were not very sharp on special teams Saturday night. Ramey Peru had a heck of a night. On four of his five punts, his hang time was over four seconds, and he averaged for over 41 yards per punt. Their punt returner was a really good returner, but he only had 11 yards on four returns for the game. Our punt return unit did a great job, and Clay Hardt made three tackles on punt coverage, which is really good.'

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