Postgame Quotes

Sept. 6, 2003

General Comments: 'It felt better then a couple of weeks ago. I saw some improvement in some things and there are still some things I think we obviously need some work on. It feels good to have a win for these kids and it doesn't feel bad for me either. I am just anxious to get back to work next week and work on continuing to improve. That will be a huge emphasis for us. I thought we were pretty balanced offensively, although I didn't think Cody Pickett was as accurate as he has been and I think he threw a couple of balls that were really not like him. I don't think it was anything serious and obviously at the end of the game, he warmed up. I was also pleased with our kickers. They kicked the ball well in the end zone a couple of times. There were a lot of good things that happened today. The things that will concern me are that we didn't get out of drives in the first half at all. Indiana's offensive coordinator, Al Borges, did a great job. Indiana has changed quite a bit from how they played a week ago, when they tried to run the ball a lot, to using more formations against us and we just didn't get it done. So, we've got some work to do on defense and I am not as pleased with pass rush as I hoped I'd be at this time. I am thrilled to win a game. In terms of our health, we have some concerns, but nothing too serious and we have two weeks to get healthy.'

On the running game: 'It was better. When we were at Ohio State, we were not directed, but today we got helmets on people and I thought all three backs made good runs.'

On Cody Pickett and his game: 'He said his chest was tight for the first quarter and he didn't know what it was. But it loosened up at halftime and he threw the ball very well. But for a long time he really had nothing on the ball. He came back saying his chest felt much better in the second half and he was fine.'

On halftime talk with team: 'I told the guys that the team that wants to win the most will do it, because it was just like starting over. If we really want to win the most, show somebody. That was about it. We made a couple of adjustments defensively

On catching Indiana off-guard: 'We were going to attempt a field goal and then there was an injured player on the field. I was paying attention to the wind and I felt that it was going to be difficult to kick into the wind. So I changed my mind to punt. It was not a move to try to deceive anybody.'

On Shelton Sampson: 'He is skilled and talented guy. Sometimes he can miss the inside lanes, and he can not fumble the ball. But he does give us some explosiveness back there. He is very fast and I am expecting to him just get better and better.'

On Isaiah Stanback: 'He is a very good player and we used him many different positions. When we got a lead I wanted to get him some reps at quarterback. I wanted to give him a real good feel of running that option. He is going to be a very exciting player and he will be every explosive for us. He's got a good arm, so I am excited about his skills. He is a terrific athlete, so I want to get him on the field.'

On Zach Tuiasosopo: 'He is our best fullback. He was excited to play and we were excited to have him back. That situation is behind him and I felt he deserved to play, and after this week I feel he deserves to start. He certainly didn't like what happened to him in terms of his punishment and he's not proud of what happened, but we're moving on. Enough said.'

Washington Players

On offensive changes at halftime: 'In the first half, Indiana played well. They have some good players. We had more chances in the second half. We came out and played well. We were doing good things in the first half as well. In the second half we just came out and didn't make our individual mistakes like we did in the first half.'

On the running game helping the passing game: 'You have to be balanced. The offensive line played really, really well today, I don't even think I got hit. They pass-protected well and opened up big holes, and our running backs ran hard. Now, we just have to get more consistent. If we can do that every game we'll be a good team.'

On bye week: 'We have to work on everything. We have to get healthy; we have to get better at everything.'

RUNNING BACK Shelton Sampson
On performance:
'It was cool. I just wanted to go out there and have some fun. I love playing football; I just wanted to go out there and play my hardest. I kept telling all the other players, 'It's Saturday and we don't have anything else to do, why don't we just go out there and play ball and have some fun?'

On offensive line: 'The offensive line did a really good job. I don't think they understand how good they are. They're doing a good job every time they go up there; they just need some confidence. I think this game was a confidence builder.'

On touchdown runs: 'I was just blessed. I saw it and I went with it. I was telling myself the whole time when I was on the sideline to just run with faith, to have faith that the holes are going to open and have faith that every time that I get the ball that I'll run my hardest.'

WIDE RECEIVER Reggie Williams
On first home game and first win of the season:
'I felt really good. We were finally able to come home in front of our home crowd and give them a show.'

On his 70-yard touchdown catch: 'It was a slant route. I got a good block from E.T. (Frederick) and there was nothing but space, so I just tried to get to the end zone as fast as I could.'

On the running game helping the passing game: 'It helps a lot. It makes the defense be honest, so they can't just drop into coverage. Our running game's going to be great.'

On getting the first win:
'It feels good to get our first win. We still have a lot to improve upon though. We have a bye week coming up and we will have to fine-tune some things.'

On the tie score at halftime and the adjustments during: 'We corrected a few things and it helped us play better in the second half. The defense has to set the tone, though. We have to make more plays in the future and that will help us set the tone for the offense.'

On how the defense can improve: 'We (the defensive line) have to stay in our gaps and try not to do everything on each play. We have to trust each other by staying in our assignments. If we do those things, we should be more successful in the future.'

General Comments:
'I'm not satisfied with our defense yet. I think our defense let the team down. We have to be more proactive.'

His thoughts on getting better: 'We have to go harder and make more plays. We also have to eliminate our mistakes. Indiana scored off of our mistakes in the first half. We have to take a step higher every game.'

His thoughts on his play: 'I was sluggish in the first half and I think it will show on film after watching the second half. I knew I had to be more of a factor and after halftime I made more plays. I have to lead by example and make plays.'

General Comments:
'Offensively, I thought they (Indiana) played well. We have seen Al Borges (Indiana's Offensive Coordinator) before and he is a good coach. He tries to trick you a lot. We have to come out harder and do the little things, though.'

On his interception: 'We were in cover-two, and I came up because I thought they were running a draw. Then I dropped back into a zone to defend the pass and the ball just came right to me.'

Indiana Head Coach Gerry DiNardo

On the officiating: 'My first problem was that the official came in and kept talking about my opponent as 'The Huskies' - 'The Huskies this, the Huskies that.' I don't ever remember playing away with the away officials. For instance, when we played Kentucky at Kentucky, we had Big 10 officials. This year we play Kentucky in Bloomington, we have SEC officials. That's the industry. That's the standard way. How we came here with Pac-10 officials, I have no idea. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find this situation anywhere else in major college football. So I was upset. I knew I was in trouble when the guy kept saying, 'The Huskies are doing this and the Huskies are doing that.' I've never heard the head official talk about the opponent with their nickname.'

On the penalty in the third quarter, when trying to get the team off field: 'I think that is intent to deceive. I don't think that is college football. There was no stoppage of play. They lost control of the game, in my opinion. It was unfair. We were trying to get our players off the field.'

On first half performance: 'We played well but we didn't play well enough to win the first half. We played well enough to tie the first half. We lost both halves of the game. We talked about it at halftime. We still weren't playing well enough to win the game. Obviously, we were tied at halftime so we still weren't playing well enough.'

On going for it on fourth down, trailing 7-0: 'I'm accustomed to doing that. I did it last year at Kentucky. I've done it at Vanderbilt and LSU. That's my style. I like our odds in that situation. It's good strategy.'

On the Washington defense in the second half: 'They pressured us some in the first half and then they used the same blitz in the second half. Perhaps the difference was they had control of the down-distance situation. Obviously, the down and distance favored them more. They had us behind in down and distance whereas the down and distance was more balanced in the first half. I don't think they made any major adjustments.'

On the lateral call that resulted in a fumble: 'I thought it was a good call. I think it was a lateral. I felt like we could have responded a little bit better and jumped on the ball. Maybe that's something I should have covered earlier and more thoroughly. I don't blame our team but I think it was a good call. I think it was a lateral. I just wish we would have scrambled for the ball a little bit more. We probably need to cover that again.'

On Indiana's performance vs. last week's: 'I felt that the first half of today's game was the best half out of the four halves we've played.'

Indiana Players

On Indiana's defense performance: 'We knew that they were going to try to run the ball down on us, so the first thing we wanted to do is stop the run and then get pressure on the quarterback. It felt good in the first half, we fought really hard and we stuck with it, but in the second half a couple things fell apart on us.'

On the 70-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Williams: 'It broke our back, but we still need to learn how to finish the game. Once we get that down it will boost our morale.'

On Cody Pickett and Reggie Williams: 'Those guys are really good athletes. I have a lot of respect for them, and we just have to contend with what they're doing and someday we'll shine too.'

On the start of the game:
'We did a good job protecting the quarterback. I felt like I came out throwing hot. The energy dominos from the offense to the defense. At the beginning we were moving the ball, we were efficient, we were being smart defensively. It trickled down from that and it got things going; we just have to be able to keep that momentum. We take away from today that we have room to improve. We're a young team and we just have to continue to improve and get better. There's absolutely no reason for losing. We can look back and say that we played well in the first half, but that doesn't mean anything. We lost the football game and we need to get back to work.'

On Washington's secondary: 'I think they did a good job. In the first half we had them off balance a little bit, but in the second half they came back and played solid defense.'

On Indiana's running game: 'Offensively we had a lot of momentum in the first half and we had them on their heels. Defensively they made good adjustments and a couple of mistakes here or there, and we lost the momentum. Then things just started going downhill for us.'

On momentum change after long touchdown pass:
'We just wanted to keep fighting and we didn't want to give up at all. We were just trying to fight our way back into the game. They just were making too many big plays, and they picked up their level.'

On his overall performance guarding All-American Reggie Williams:
'I was trying to be aggressive early and that helped me out a lot. I thought that I was pretty successful guarding him today. He was definitely one of the better receivers [I have covered]. It just didn't go our way today.'

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