Tyrone Willingham Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 6, 2001

Stanford, Calif. -

On Kerry Carter's Injury:
'Shoulder separation, and will probably be out three weeks. We are not sure on our rotation and won't set one until the end of the week.'

On Simba Hodari:
'Simba is doing very well and is now back in the Bay Area as of last night. He will be resting and recovering.'

On keeping players motivated:
'I really believe that you don't have to tell them a lot. We have great men and many of them are competitive, and for them they will be motivated for the next ball game. The loss that we suffered was one that gave us two losses because it eliminated certain things from our goals, but it does not eliminate a bowl game. It also does not eliminate an excellent season from both an individual and team standpoint. People will see that and be motivated without me saying anything.'

On Randy Fasani practicing this week:
'He is starting to approach that window when we look at him, so I can't say anything today. We will just start to see. I originally said four to six weeks and we are starting to close on somewhere close to that third and fourth week.'

On Matt Leonard:
'Last week we said he was questionable and it still is questionable, but we will see day-to-day how it goes and how he progresses.'

On Ryan Fernandez:
'Ryan was a game day decision, so I think it still puts him in that same day-to-day category.'

On Austin Lee:
'I think medial collateral and out probably three weeks.'

On the tough four-game stretch:
'Those teams that we faced were some of the finest in the country. When you play this style of football it is going to be physical and aggressive, so you are going to lose some along the way. We have to do what some football teams do this time of year - you have to suck it up and the next guy in line has to step it up and play great football. Right now we are reflecting just on our injuries, but if you go around the conference you will find that other people are having the same problems. Every team is going through the same struggle right now.'

On the next four games, that the worst is over and maybe a softer schedule:
'There should not be that perception, because really this is the most difficult part of our schedule. Some people will find that hard to believe and psychologically it is a very easy trap to fall into. Like I have said since the beginning of the year, from top to bottom this is a great conference. It does not matter who you are playing, but they can play. When you look at Arizona right now, their quarterback it getting hot and starting to play very well. They have got if not the top back, one of the top backs in the conference and the defensive scheme that they use has always been confusing. This is not the soft part of our schedule. We will suffer a worse fate than we did last weekend if we fall into that trap. This will be another challenge.'

On Colin Branch being the starting safety:
' I would anticipate that Colin will step up and occupy the spot played by Simba.'

On the Arizona defense:
'They have done a great job with that scheme and made it almost patented. That program has done a great job with that and the school has a great deal of confidence in it. It is a great scheme and it stretches you.'

On finishing the season strong:
'What matters right now is that I have a group of seniors that I would love to send out of here with an outstanding record. I think they would love to leave the program with an outstanding record and feel like they made a contribution in helping our program step up to the next level. This football game is important to me right now and the next games to follow this season.'

On playing in Tucson:
'Any place is a tough place to play, but usually that means the team is tough as well. Arizona plays well at home.'

On playing without Simba:
'He is one of our senior leaders, and you miss leadership and quality of play that comes with the leadership. He also brings experience to the table. There is no question, we will miss his communication, leadership and his skill of play. But hopefully that is what you expect from a second guy, someone that has learn from him and having that senior in front of him. Colin is ready to step up and play.'

On Brian Allen feeling pressure due to Carter's injury:
'You do not want to see anybody leave the lineup, but both Kerry and Brian would love to have the opportunity to put their hands on the ball more. From one standpoint you don't want to see your teammate not in the lineup, but at the same time somebody gets five more carries and maybe they want to do something from those five carries. So that may be exciting and energizing for Brian.'

On what you lose from Austin Lee:
'Austin Lee has been one of the most consistent players week in and week out in our system. Not only has he been consistent in his play, but consistent in his leadership. He is making plays, his plays don't show up in terms of sacks but he knocked down three balls last week that made an incredible difference. He has been a good player for us and anytime you lose a good player and a leader it is a tremendous blow.'

On playing Arizona:
'This football game will be hard and difficult to win. You have to prepare very well to play well, and if you do that then we have a chance. If we don't, then we reduce our chances of having success.'

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