Monday Football Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 15, 2001

Football Press Conference: October 15, 2001

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel

'We are disappointed about the way things went over the weekend. Give credit where credit is due. They played a fine ball game. They played well and wiped us out, but we'll live to jump back on the horse as they say and ride again. We had a wonderful 12-game winning streak come to an end, and it's important now that we re-focus our attention to the rest of our season beginning with this week with Arizona. We need to fix what broke against UCLA. Most important to me is that we gather our confidence, bring back our swagger, and see if we can't continue to improve and make this season a great one. There is a lot yet to accomplish.'

Q: Not getting off to a good start in the game, did you think you dug a hole you couldn't get out of?

A: 'Well certainly against a talented team like UCLA, you can't turn the ball over in your own end. You can't get a punt blocked for a touchdown and expect to be successful. We had chances in this game. There are certain things we need to address, but I was impressed with the way our kids fought even though we were unable to control the line of scrimmage But you can't have those kind of errors and turn the ball over if you want to be successful.'

Q:What do you have to do to get better?

A: ' I talked before the game about trust as a team. I think we need to do a better job whether it be defensive players holding gaps, or offensive players knowing their blocking assignments. We just have to trust one another to know that we will do our job.'

Q: How do you determine the QB situation?

A: ' It remains to be seen. We've got two QBs who both have played well. Both are a little beat up. We will see who is most healthy for this week. If Cody is healthy then we'll go with Cody. He was our starter. But if not, I feel we can win with Barton.'

Q: Is there any possibility that both Cody and Taylor are not ready this week and you would have to go with Casey Paus?

A: ' There is a possibility, and if Casey is the QB, then we have to find a way to win with him.'

Q: Is it a possibility that you won't know until the last minute?

A: ' We will have to see. I hope that's not the scenario, but we have to wait and see. Certainly we have some beat-up guy. We'll have to see how practice goes this week.'

Q: Does Cody have to practice all week to be able to play on Saturday?

A: ' Unfortunately we have had to play players that didn't practice all week, and it shows in their gameday performance, but it would have to take some practice to play on Saturday.'

Q: How is Pickett doing?

A: ' To hear him tell it, he's great. You definitely admire his confidence, you also heard Barton say he felt great. They both have that competitive zeal you look for in QB.'

Q: How's Pickett's recovery? Has he been throwing the ball?

A: 'He threw a couple of times last week trying to show people his miraculous recovery. He's all but ready. During the game when Baron was hit, Pickett started warming up, saying 'I'm ready.' You admire him as well as all the kids that play through pain. They're warriors. That's why I'm anxious to put this game behind and move forward.'

Q: Would Cody have gone in if Barton were unable to?

A: 'Unlikely -- just because of the outcome of the game. It was a forgone conclusion at that point. We certainly fought and could have gotten back in the game, but we didn't make the big plays.'

Q: Do you think the line lost the battle in trying to stop Foster?

A: ' I think the line did a nice job. Foster is a very good player. He gained more than half of his yards in two carries, so I don't think we are that far away. A lot of teams have injuries. I'm glad we have not used that as a excuse. We're going to keep playing. We are disappointed in the way we finished that game defensively.'

Q: Are there going to be any changes on the offensive line?

A: ' We'd like to have competition at the position, but the bottom line is that there aren't any experienced guys behind them. We said it all along we were going to have some growing pains, and this was a major growing pain, but let's grow from this.'

Q: What do you think of Rich Alexis running? Has he lost what he had a year ago?

A: 'To judge people from a year ago you have to look at what we had. We had a senior-based offensive line a year ago and players were able capitalize on their experience: Hurst, Alexis, Coniff and Tui. It's the same way for UCLA. They're capitalizing on an experienced defensive line. So you can't say Rich forgot how to run. There's just not enough space as were are developing a new offensive line which will hopefully reach the status of last year's line. The only way to do that is to believe in our confidence and work our butts of. We have suffered losses before and we have fought back, so I'm expecting nothing less.'

Q: Will Terry Johnson be back?

A: 'Yes Terry I assume will be back. Acually there were no signifigant injuries this weekend except for the scare of Barton. I hope that some of the players that have been on the shelf are able to return. Kai Ellis is probably questionable at best, but we're getting healthy. In a few weeks we might be able to start talking about Jerramy Stevens' return.'

Quarterback Taylor Barton

Q: What was the issue after the game?

A: 'A combination of a lot of things, the weather, cramping in both calves, a real physical game. UCLA is a physical team.'

Q: Was there a concussion?

A: 'Doctors did not say there was a concussion, they just wanted to make sure they were on the conscientious side of things. I got some medical treatment, and I feel better today and will be ready for this week.'

Q: They (UCLA) take a lot of pride at getting to the QB. Did you hear a lot about that during the game?

A: ' Yes, it's a frustrating situation, USC talked a lot, but when you're winning you can talk back. But in this game all you can really do is jog back to the side line, because all that they were saying was pretty much true. It was a game where you just learn from your mistakes and come back this week focused.'

Q: What about your status for this week?

A: ' I'm going to be ready, maybe not 100%. Not too many guys on the team are, but we're going to suck it up and be ready.'

Q: What on you is not 100%?

A: ' My ankle and foot are a little sore. They got rolled up on. I'm going to get treatment and they'll hopefully be better tomorrow than today.'

Q: Will you be medically ready to play?

A: ' That's a call for our team physician and trainers to make, but I plan on playing this week. I've never missed a college practice and I don't plan to his week.'

Q: Have you ever felt so bad after throwing for over 300 yards?

A: ' There've been games where I've thrown for 17 yards and been ecstatic, because we won. They were games where I've thrown for 450 yards and we lost, so as a QB, any time we lose, I'm not happy.'

Q: Was UCLA the best defense you have ever faced?

A: 'Yes, they had everything. They were big and physical. They flew around, mixed up their game. They play at a level of confidence you don't see too many teams playing.'

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