Washington-Oregon State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 9, 2002

Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel

General Comments: 'Given the circumstances surrounding this game, we are obviously excited to get a win. There were some big plays in some places, but for the most part it was an all-out effort and it showed what I've been saying about this team for a long time, that we give effort. We have guys that do that. It's a good thing to come to work everyday and have guys who are fighting back. This puts us at 5-5 on our way to Eugene. I know Oregon is very, very tough, especially at home. I know we have to continue to work and strive to improve and we look forward to the game next week in our second game against a Northwest opponent.'

On what this game meant to the seniors today: 'I'm excited for the seniors. They are guys who have been on all rungs of the emotional ladder. They been to the very top, and they have been to the lower rungs given coaching changes and difficulties in their senior year and so forth. This group of guys, I wish all of them had happy endings. I know it's not always possible to make that happen. They'll be better men for it.'

On the defense and turnover in the game today: 'We've been talking about turnovers for a long time. Today was the day that we got our share of them. If I'm not mistaken, we did not turn the ball over. That always helps bring victory.'

On an improvement in the secondary today: 'Our secondary certainly played better. As I've said, our secondary has improved in the course of the last few weeks. It's difficult to get up here and talk about improvement and have that be your storyline. I think our players are doing some good things. Nate Robinson has given us a real spark. Sims gets better every week. We had a healthy Greg Carothers today. Chris Massey obviously made a big play. We are who we are, but we will keep trying.'

On Derrick Johnson's interception for a TD: 'There was a wide receiver who kind of gave him an elbow right at the top of the route and that gave him space. The ball was thrown perfectly. It was a big touchdown.'

On Derek McLaughlin: 'Derek might be a microcosm of us. We try and try and try and it isn't working, and then all of a sudden he kicked that ball that ended up down along the goal line. It was just very exciting to see him get one like that. When you play a position such as a kicker or a punter, there is not a lot of fun. If you're not getting it done, everybody in the world knows it is you that is not getting it done. He's had a lot to deal with and I've been proud of the way he has handled it. I sat him for the first part of the game and John Anderson did not fare much better. That is not what John does on weekly basis, plus with the conditions being so windy, there were some technical things that needed to be done and I decided to give Derek another shot. I thought he did pretty well.'

On if he said anything different before the game today given the spark the team started the game with: 'When those comments are made about the spark, it is often based on the results. Because we had some success, everyone thinks we were more ready to play today. I don't know that I buy into the fact that we weren't ready to play in each of the other games.'

On taking advantage of opportunitites today: 'We talked about how to approach field position in the game. We got the two touchdowns and the interceptions, the field position kind of swung in our favor. We really had a nice drive at the end of the first half. To start the second half, that was what we've been looking for.'

Husky Players

On the win:
'It feels good to get that win back on our side, to get back to .500, and get that bad taste out of our mouth of losing three in a row. We were trying to play hard and get going fast. Our DB's were definitely due for a big game and it was a great one they pulled out today.'

On last game for the seniors: 'It feels good. Those guys have worked really hard to get us young guys in line. We try to give them what they need. They rallied really hard today and we're proud of the seniors. They've helped us out a lot.'

On losing the punting job:
'It's been a long week. Coach Neuheisel told me I wasn't starting this week, so that kind of took the wind out of my sails. At the same time, you really want to do well and I tried to be as supportive as I could this whole week for John.'

On his 57-yard punt: 'I wish I could tell you I planned that, but I really didn't. At first when I kicked it I just didn't want it to go in the end zone because I knew it was going to carry pretty far with the wind going the way that it was. Wilbur was down there really quick and picked it up and it was more of a coverage thing than anything else, so kudos to the coverage team.'

On the week of practice: 'I think that this week we were a lot more aggressive in practice. By just watching the guys, I mean, the helmets were on all practice, they were bouncing around, no one was walking on the field. When the coach talked, everyone listened. It's the little things that happen that make everything good.'

On 52 yard field goal:
'It's just a great feeling. I'm glad we kicked it when we did. Those clouds came in and the wind started picking up. It was a good opportunity to go in there. It was a big kick that put us up two touchdowns and I hit it real well.'

On punting and Derek McLaughlin: 'It was alright. It was so windy out there; it was a tough situation. I'm so happy for Derek; this week we tried to light a little fire under him to get him out there wanting to compete again and it worked. He played really well today and I was really happy for him.'

On two touchdown performance:
'That feels really good to get two touchdowns. The running backs have been going through so much crap this year and we're still working on it, trying to get a proven back, but it's great to get back in the win column. It felt really good to get back in the game, I was very excited. I had a great week of practice; it felt like it was my freshman year again. I was glad I could go out there and produce a positive for my team.'

On defense inspiring the offense: 'They started it off for us. They gave us a great spark. They did something good and we wanted to go out there and try to outdo them.'

On defensive back performance:
'We're just trying to send a message. We're a younger team trying to get better. We just went out there, played, and had fun. That was the first game I've played where I've had real fun this year.'

On interception: 'The whole game Derrick and Chris Massey had a pick apiece, then Derrick had two, so I was like, 'I have to get me one'. When I finally got one I felt like I was on offense again, trying to get to the house. I didn't get anywhere, but I got a pick, so I'm happy with that.'

On Oregon State talking during the game:
'They were doing some of that, but I'm not a big talker myself, so I wasn't worried about it. I was just going with the game plan, just go out and play.'

On big kickoff return: 'The wedge gave me a hole, but it was going to close quick, so I said, 'If I get it I'm going to take it'. It was there so I took it. Wilbur was directing me inside because he didn't see the guy coming from behind me because he was trying to block the kicker. It was a good run, next time I'll get a little farther.'

On not making mistakes:
'Today, I was trying to stay patient, trying to take what they gave me. When it's third and long, you want to make a play, but if you don't have it, play the field position game.'

On Northwest rivalries:
'I had one pick and he had one touchdown, so I was telling everyone that I had to get it back. I was able to make a play and get it back. On the play, the quarterback was scrambling and decided to throw the ball back across the field. I was happy, my eyes got wide and I was like, 'I'm getting this one and taking it to the house.''

Oregon State Head Coach Dennis Erickson

General Comments: 'You can't turn the ball over five times. We turn it over five times and they don't turn it over any, two for touchdowns. It's a struggle and then we have some critical penalties at the start of the third quarter; they were stupid. You're just not going to win ball games when you do that.

On his level of disappointment: 'I'm really disappointed. I thought we had an opportunity coming in. I knew Washington was going to be ready to play. They've been hammered a little bit, but I've been there, done that. I know exactly how they felt and I knew they would come out and play as good as they could and we had to come out and play good and we didn't. When you do the things we did as far as turnovers, you've got a problem. That's what the game turned into, turnovers.'

On Derek Anderson's turnovers: 'I think he just made some bad throws. There was some miscommunication and he made some bad decisions. He threw it right to those guys twice for touchdowns and you can't have that happen. Before you know it, you're down 24-10.'

On decision not to change quarterbacks: 'It goes through everyone's mind, obviously but that wouldn't have made any difference in my opinion or else I would have done it.'

On the OSU defense: 'I though we played good on defense, as we have most of the year. We gave up some on that last drive of the first half which was a real critical drive. They got down there and then ended up having the momentum at half time, and on a drive at the beginning of the third quarter when we had all of those penalties. Other than that, I thought we played pretty decent.'

On Steven Jackson's performance: 'Steven Jackson's as good a football player at that position as there is in this league. He played extremely well.'

On third quarter penalties: 'We had two penalties in the third quarter. One was a roughing penalty when we stopped them on third down and the other was in the endzone. You can't have those. Those are just like turnovers, you just can't have that happen.'

On Derek's confidence: 'I think anytime you throw interceptions, sure, your confidence gets shaken. He came back and made a couple of decent throws after that. Any time that happens your confidence is going to get shaken. Every young quarterback I've seen has been through that. I really believe he'll battle back.'

On how today wasn't the worst game he's seen: 'I threw six one time when I was playing. A couple of them were pitches they intercepted.'

Oregon State Players

On the OSU defense giving up 27 points:
'You never go into a game expecting that. You go into a game looking for a shutout. It's kind of disheartening, but we've just got to keep on grinding.'

On how tough it is to play on the road in the Pac-10: 'It's extremely tough, especially at a place like this with 70,000 fans. We've got to get focused for the next two games and, like I said, keep grinding.'

On losing three times to UW in the last four years: 'We were just hurting ourselves today. We played hard and we played tough; you can't question that. Everyone out there gave 100 percent.'

On UW's motivation coming into the game: 'Of course they had motivation, it's also their senior day as well.'

Is UW still the benchmark for Northwest football: 'I wouldn't say that. I think it's shifting ... all the teams in the Pac-10 in the Northwest right now are pretty tough.'

On defending UW's air attack: 'We only gave up two plays in the first half and it was our fault. It was a mishap on the covers but the whole defense played tough. We had a good game today but we just gave them a couple plays. Of course you can't do that in Pac-10, especially on the road.

On the feeling of Washington scoring on back-to-back possessions:
'That kind of eats at you but you've got to go line up and keep playing the best you can. As a player, you have to get in that mentality that you've got to figure it out right now or get our own turnover. As a player you have the mentality, 'we got to three and out.' Unfortunately, we didn't get any turnovers. We played good off of a couple turnovers. Unfortunately, some of them went to the house. You've just got to line it up and play the next play.'

On Washington's defense: 'I'll give credit where credit is due. UW's defense and secondary has been tested all year and they stepped up and played a good game today. Mahdavi had a good play against us, and the secondary just did good.

On the rest of the season: 'We're going down to Stanford. Every Pac-10 team we play is a quality opponent. You've got to come out and play your best fotball. We definitely need that win down there at Stanford to go to a bowl game and then we've go Oregon at home. We're not losing to the Ducks at home.'

On UW's interceptions:
'They didn't blitz us a whole lot and they kept an extra DB back there. Some of the throws weren't very good; things happen like that. You make a wrong read and a guy steps in front of it and takes it away. I was surprised to see five interceptions; I'm always surprised about that.'

Did you think that they would pass rush more? 'We thought we'd get what a lot of the other teams have done to us, pressure the quarteback, but they didn't really do that too much.'

On UW's Derrick Johnson 'He's just another player out there competing. We don't study the DBs that much, we focus on the front seven. He's just another guy trying to win it, so you've got to applaud him for that.'

Did you say anything to Anderson after his interceptions? 'That's one of those things where, if things go really good or things go really bad, you just don't talk to a guy. It's like if a pitcher has a no hitter going in the ninth, you don't say a thing to him. It's kind of that deal, just let him go, let him handle it they way he's going to handle it. Not that I'm going to say he's going to fix his problem, whatever it was. I just tell him I'm with him, and I'm just going to keep blocking. That's all I do.'

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