Washington-Stanford Postgame Quotes

Sept. 27, 2003

Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson

General Comments: 'That is a great team win for us. Stanford has a lot of talented athletes. They are very big and powerful and their quarterback is going to be terrific. Their offensive line is big and strong and their defense is very athletic. For us to have won that game the way we did was just a great team win, especially considering how badly we felt at this time last year. I am pleased. I feel very good about the effort. I think we are in good shape. Once again, we controlled the second half of the game. There were a lot of positive things about today's game. I am very pleased with our balance in terms of numbers. I was pleased with our defense, particularly in the fourth quarter; we got out of every bit of trouble in the fourth quarter. It was not a stylish win, but that is OK with me. A win is still a win. I get the impression that if we don't go out there and score 45 points in the first half, everybody thinks we are having a bad game. The game is four quarters long. Sometimes you play a good game and are tied at halftime and I believe that is fine. We make our adjustments, we go out and play. We are a team that has played hard in the second half for years and years. However, I just don't believe that if we don't go out and pile up the points that we are having a bad game. That's wrong, because that is not what the game is about.'

On Derrick Johnson: 'Derrick missed a mandatory team meeting and therefore he sat out the first half. It was a very similar situation to last week and having Reggie Williams sit out. I am not going to change, they are. Rules are rules. He still came out and had a good game. The play he made was a super play. But again, it was part of an overall good solid team win and I am very pleased with that.'

On Cody Pickett and his game: 'For Cody, he has now fumbled the ball two weeks in a row. He has just got to stop doing that. We are going to keep running the option and make people defend it and he has to hold onto the ball. One of the problems quarterbacks have is that the pads they wear prevent them from feeling the ball next to their body, so that is challenge that we have to overcome. Overall this was just an OK game for him. Once again, I think Cody is capable of playing better. He seemed to go back and forth between good and not so good plays today. I told him it really was one of the strangest games I have seem him have.'

On defense: 'I was pleased with how we tackled. I didn't see a lot of missed tackles. I think our tackles keep improving. The thing we need to do is continue to rush the passer, so that is something for us to work on.'

On Tyler Krambrink: 'Tyler is a great athlete. He's got a great quickness and he is very fast, so he gives us a very quick person on the outside.'

On Terry Johnson: 'Terry is a big force. People are aware of where Terry is now. He's made enough big plays, tackles for loss, sacks and such that everybody knows where 99 is. I think we can start to see more coverage and protection thrown his way.'

On Reggie Williams: 'He had a great day. We are going to keep throwing him the ball. No matter what the other team tries to do, we are going to try to find a way to get him the ball. If we have to move him around then that's what we will do.'

On not having given up points in 4th quarter this season: '(Laughing) Please don't jinx me; don't act like Sports Illustrated. Obviously I that is something I would like to see continue.'

Washington Players

General comments: 'We didn't play as well as we wanted to, all around. Our defense played great today, but our offense can play better. We'll take the win. The first one's crucial, so we're rolling now and hopefully we'll play better next week.'

On how Pickett and Williams continue to produce big yardage plays: 'Reggie just runs good routes. I try to get him the ball and he's a great athlete and makes great plays after that.'

On Alexis' run sparking the offense: 'It was our first score of the game; it got our momentum flowing. Our offensive line played really well and Rich made a great run.'

On changes the team has made since Ohio State game: 'We've practiced hard and tried not to make mistakes, do what we're supposed to do. So far it's been allright. We just have to pick it up a little bit more.'

On running game: 'The line played great and opened up holes for Rich. Rich ran hard and we're just getting better, week by week. We just have to keep getting better.'

TAILBACK Rich Alexis
On performance:
'I've been saying if I get a little crease, then I can take it from there. Today I got a huge crease and all I had to do was run. The touchdown was just an in-between the tackle run. The offensive line did great with their blocking assignments. I saw a hole and just ran for daylight.'

On starting strong with the run: 'We wanted to make a point. We've been improving every week so far in the running game. Just because they have the number one run defense in the nation doesn't mean we can't run the ball. We still have a lot of work to do, but we're improving.'

On getting ready for UCLA: 'We have to go out there and start fast because we're on the road. When we go down there to Pasadena, we're not in our element; we're in somebody else's territory. We have to stay fast, stay focused and stay confident.'

WIDE RECEIVER Reggie Williams
On long touchdown catch and run:
'It was a hitch and go. I got a good ball from Cody and the guy bit real hard. After that it was just me and the end zone.'

On how Pickett and Williams continue to produce big yardage plays: 'He keeps giving me good balls and all I have to do is outrun a couple of DBs and then it's to the house.'

On getting ready for UCLA: 'We just have to keep playing Husky football and have another great, hard week of practice.'

General Comments:
'It was a long and hard game. Those guys fought real hard. It was a game we had to win and we came through. It was great for us as a defense, knowing we played well for four quarters.

On giving up only three second half points: 'Our coaches do us a great job of keeping us motivated throughout the whole game. We just kept at it and didn't get down ourselves. As long as we kept it, we knew we were going to come out on top. We know that we have to play hard until the game is over.

On his performance: 'I'm proud of myself for playing the whole game. I didn't cramp up at all. I have to get better. I have to pick it up and be more consistent. I played better today, but I have to continue to play better.

On the defense:
'We had a good game. We played well for the whole game today. In the second half we were stronger and fortunately in the first we played well, too. In the past we had trouble starting strong and putting together four quarters. So I feel it was a real good game for us as a defense.'

On another strong second half: 'We know it isn't over yet at halftime, so we prepare ourselves for a dogfight in the second half. We are trying to get to the Rose Bowl so we have to go out there and win in the second half.'

On his performance: 'I played my best game of the year today. I'm proud of myself. I know I have to lead the defense and make all the tackles that I can make.'

CORNERBACK Derrick Johnson
Feelings about the defense's play:
'I'm very excited about the way our defense is playing. Our defense has a lot of experience and character. We bond and gel very well. I'm excited about how we are playing as a cohesive team. The experience and enthusiasm of our secondary is really starting to show. We are in the right spots at the right times and we are making few mistakes out there.'

On the last series and the interception: 'On that last series, I told our defense that we had to tighten up. I told our line that if we got pressure they would throw us the ball. Then a few plays later they threw us the ball and we were excited. I played outside of Luke Powell on that play and he broke on the pass and I broke with him at the same time. I saw the ball coming and jumped in front of him and made the interception.'

Stanford Head Coach Buddy Teevens

General Comments: 'It was a good Washington football team. I thought our guys competed hard. We did some things we had talked about not doing. We allowed a couple of big plays, which certainly hurt. We turned the ball over a couple of times, which hurt. There were some untimely penalties. They were not foolish penalties. They were effort penalties, by and large, but they cost us and came at very inopportune times. I was pleased with the effort of our players across the board. I thought they competed the first through the fourth quarters. We talked about playing all 60 minutes and I thought they did. We just didn't convert when we needed to and they did a nice job. It was a tough ballgame, which we knew it would be. You have to give credit to Washington for coming away with the win.'

On playing against Washington's running game: 'We were very impressed with Washington last week. It was a nice challenge for our guys. I thought we responded well. We knew it would be a physical game and that they would try to run the football. They did some nice things but I thought we did some nice things on occasion as well.'

On Trent Edwards: '(His play was) up and down a little bit. I have to watch the tape and see. I thought he made some real good decisions and some good throws. There are some things that he'll probably learn from - with some pressures they applied, some coverage decisions and where we are going on occasion. It's an ongoing educational process for a young guy but he continues to show poise given what he's seeing for the first time. Obviously, he can throw the football.'

On the swinging gate play: 'It was just a little something they hadn't seen before to spread their defense and see what their response was. We were 50-percent on that. We hit one for an eight or nine yard gain and came up empty on the next one. It was just a little bit of a wrinkle and we will continue to apply those the rest of the year.'

On Washington's performance: 'They played hard. They are a well coached football team. I have a lot of respect for Cody Pickett. (Reggie) Williams is what I thought he would be - he's a talented athlete. The running game - they pushed it pretty good with a couple of players. (Terry) Johnson is a tough guy to block. They were very physical in the linebacker slot but really didn't do anything that was any different then what we had anticipated.'

On Stanford's pass protection: 'I was pleased with the offensive line. They continue to do a good job - we played a lot of young players. I thought they held together pretty well. We had some pressure but we didn't have a whole lot of sacks. We need to do that through the course of the year and we'll have success.'

Stanford Players

On performance against a ranked team on the road: 'We're definitely disappointed that we gave up a lot of opportunities. This is one we wanted, and we let it slip away there at the end.'

On tight ends involvement in offense: 'That was one of our focuses this season. With the different defenses that we were facing we weren't able to get too involved before. This is probably the first game that we thought would really be a factor. We were open a few times and we were able to hit each other every now and then. It was something that we really wanted to be able to do. '

On Stanford losing stamina: 'That was really the complete opposite. We saw them wearing down, particularly in the first half going into halftime. Penalties just came off of results of playing hard, they weren't really fatigue penalties.'

On quarterback Trent Edwards' performance: 'He had a very good day except there at the end. We were trying to make a play happen and unfortunately it went the other way. He was finding all of the open receivers and the o-line gave him enough time. When you're trying to make a play it can go either way.'

On guarding Reggie Williams:
'I think that he is a really big, physical receiver as far as once he gets the ball. It's interesting to watch guys on film that you hear all of the media hype about. Sometimes they're not as much as you expected. He was just another guy; I didn't think anything special about him. His size is special, but we gave a big play up and it will go on his stats, but it wasn't a great play by him.'

On blown coverage on Williams' long TD catch: 'It was off a double move with a slant and go and it was set up well. The safety wasn't supposed to help on that, it was one on one coverage.'

On learning experience:
'We have the talent to compete with a top-20 team. We went to a difficult place to play and got our noses in there and got physical with them. Unfortunately we just didn't come out on top. I think that some of the bad plays we had we can look over in films and make the corrections. We can't make those same mistakes again. That's how you bounce back and learn from it.'

On Derrick Johnson's interception:
'Luke Powell was the intended receiver. The corner timed it well and it was my fault as well. I've been taught all week not to throw it across the field and I just forced it a little bit. It went the other way, unfortunately.'

On losing a close game: 'It's extremely disappointing, given the fact that we were in the game for so long. If it was a blowout then it would be less depressing. We were in the game for 55 minutes there and it really hurts a lot. We have to take it one step at a time and learn from our mistakes. We can become better players from this experience. We just didn't make plays down the stretch.'

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