Steven Jackson Meets The Press

Oct. 21, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

IS THE LOSS (TO WASHINGTON) STILL LINGERING, OR HAVE YOU MOVED ON TO GETTING READY FOR WASHINGTON STATE?

'Well, in the game of football, you have to have a short memory, no matter how good your last game was or how bad it was. You have to be able to prepare for your next opponent, so the loss is pretty much out of my mind right now. I'm just focused on Washington State - they have a great team, so you can't stay in the past when you have a great team like this ahead of you.'

WASHINGTON STATE IS NUMBER-ONE IN THE LEAGUE IN MOST OF THE DEFENSIVE CATEGORIES, INCLUDING RUSH DEFENSE. GIVE US YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THEIR DEFENSE.

'Actually, I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, but I've been able to catch some games they played earlier this year and they have a pretty tenacious defense. They play a pretty good, solid game and they've been known to stop the run so far this year. So that's going to be a great test for me and our offense. We've got to be able to bounce back from last week.'

DO YOU SEE THIS AS A BOUNCE-BACK GAME FOR YOURSELF, TOO?

'I'd love to have a better game than (what I did against) Washington. Then again, it just let's you know that I'm human and we all do have bad games and unfortunately, it was (last) week. We've got to be able to bounce back against (Washington State), and I think that would be great for my confidence and for our offense.'

NO QUESTION IT WAS A COLLECTIVE EFFORT - THE LINE HAD ITS PROBLEMS KEEPING (WASHINGTON) OFF YOU. THIS IS A DEAL WHERE EVERYBODY'S GOT TO LOOK WITHIN THEMSELVES, I WOULD THINK.

'Absolutely. This is one of those things where we're going to see what the team's made of. We were able to bounce back from our loss in Fresno, and I think we can do the same thing. Hopefully, we can go on a five-game winning streak and close out the season in great form.'

YOU GUYS ARE STILL IN A POSITION WHERE, IF YOU WIN OUT, YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY MOREOR LESS. SOMEBODY'S GOING TO LOSE ALONG THE WAY.

'Absolutely. Someone has to lose. That's how we're feeling right now; if we can win out and goon a tear throughout the conference, we do control our own destiny and the Rose Bowl is still within our grasp. All we have to do is go out and perform week-in and week-out.'

COACH RILEY TALKED ABOUT HOW THE TEAM STARTED SO STRONG IN PRACTICE ON MONDAY THAT HE WAS CONCERNED THAT THE TEAM MAY HAVE LEFT IT ALL OUT THERE ON THE FIELD EARLY IN THE WEEK. DID YOU SENSE THAT AT ALL, OR WERE YOU GUYS READY TO PLAY?

'I thought we were ready to play. We had a great week of practice - you just can't simulate what those guys had up front. They had a great defensive line, not to mention coach (former Oregon State assistant Dan Cozzetto) Cozzetto over there helping them out. Some of those things you just can't simulate in practice. We had a great week of practice and I thought we were going to come out with a win, but unfortunately, we didn't, so who knows?'

YOU MENTIONED THAT AFTER THE ONE LOSS YOU DID HAVE (AT FRESNO STATE), YOU BOUNCED BACK AND WON FOUR IN A ROW. AFTER A GAME LIKE THIS, DOES THE CONFIDENCE TAKE A HIT AT ALL, OR ARE YOU ABLE TO MOVE PAST IT PRETTY QUICKLY?

'No. The confidence is nothing that's going to leave me - it's in my veins. It runs through me. You've got to expect that if teams prepare for you week-in and week-out with eight guys in the box, someone's going to be successful. It just so happened that it was Washington this time. We know that (our opponents) are going to come at us with eight guys in the box, and you've just got to be able to step up and perform. That's what we didn't do, we didn't perform up to our capabilities. I think this was a wake-up call for us.'

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT PLAYING AT WASHINGTON STATE? IT MIGHT BE PRETTY GOOD WEATHER THIS TIME AROUND - IT'S NOT ALWAYS NICE THERE.

'Well, my understanding is that it's going to be 40 degrees, so that's not good weather to me. They have a rowdy crowd, so it's something that reminds me of Oregon State. They have a great offense and a great defense, and they're just a great team overall. They play the game in all three phases, and they play it pretty well. So it's going to be a big test for us, but I think if we do what we can, we'll come out with a win, which would be big for us.'

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