Arizona Football Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 9, 2002

On the Utah Utes:

'After you play one week, then take a week off, and then you come back, it's almost like another opening game. We have to get back to work today because Utah is a tough team.'

'Utah is a very good football team. They're sound offensively, defensively and in the kicking game. They are physically demanding on both sides of the ball, and they're hard-nosed. They have a veteran staff, and they really know who they are, and they do not compromise on how they want to play the game. They have shown that they can score points, and they have a veteran quarterback who is able to make the plays.'

'Lance Rice is a good, solid player. He has had no turnovers, and he throws the ball well. He doesn't make many mistakes, and he handles the ball well. He directs the team, and he throws the ball where it needs to be thrown. They will test our secondary much better than NAU because Utah protects the passer better, so they will hold the ball longer.'

'Utah's running game is as good as Stanford was last year. They come right at you. They run at the line of scrimmage, and they come hard. That's where they are very strong.'

'Defensively, Utah is the best zone-blitz team that I have seen in a long time. They coordinate their fronts and their coverages very well. They have a veteran defensive line, and the four guys up front line up and go. They have lots of experience, they have a very active defense, and they don't give up many yards rushing. We really have to block those blitzes.'

'Utah can blitz the run, and they have good run stoppers, so we have to do a good job of blocking those players. It's going to be tough sledding. These guys really do it (zone-blitz defense) well.'

On UA quarterback Jason Johnson:

'The key for Jason is being able to understand what you can and can't do against the zone-blitz. We have to be judicious this week in our routes and protections and try not to put Jason at too much risk.'

On the Wildcat secondary:

'We definitely are deeper in the secondary, and we have more players who can play compared to last year. I thought Darrell (Brooks) would be a good player, but we just had to find him the best spot. He gives us a lot of flexibility. When David Hinton got hurt and couldn't finish the NAU game, Gary Love came in and got some playing time.'

On starting whip linebacker Matt Molina:

'Matt played well and had a good first game, which was very encouraging. Joe (Siofele) will continue to cross-train at defensive end and whip linebacker while Andre Torrey is out, so Matt is going to get more time.'

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