Arizona Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 3, 2003

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Mike Hankwitz's REMARKS

ON THE WASHINGTON HUSKIES:

'Washington has been up and down. They lost early to Ohio State, and then they lost to Nevada, where they turned the ball over a number of times. The UCLA game was a tale of two games because in the first half, they appeared to be dominating the game, but in the second half, UCLA came back and won handily. They are playing better as of late, and they are a very talented team. They are a team that has been playing better over the last couple of weeks.'

'They have the leading receiver in the Pac-10 in Reggie Williams, and he is one of the top receivers in the country. Then, they have (Charles) Frederick on the other side, and between Williams and Frederick, that is a pretty strong 1-2 punch because Williams is so good that if you try to double-team him, the other guy has the speed to take it to the house.'

'(Cody) Pickett did not play in the second half because he had headaches, nausea and some memory loss. It will probably depend upon how fast he recovers. But, (Casey) Paus came in during a tight game, and they won going away with him. So, it doesn't appear that they are going to drop off significantly (if Pickett does not play). Pickett is a veteran, especially for a guy who has thrown for that many yards in his career. He is a tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar quarterback.'

'It will be a great challenge. We have to be able to control the passing game and not let them get the running game going. I think our players will be really excited about this week because the last two times we have been at home, TCU and UCLA, we have played our best games. With Homecoming, it should be a big crowd, and our players will feed off of that.'

ON HOW TO DEFEND UW WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WILLIAMS:

'You are never going to take him away totally, but you really have to control and not let him get big plays on you. They know they have a great receiver, and they are moving him around to try to keep people from overloading coverage one way or the other. They are going to a lot of empty sets where they have five wideouts to spread the field and keep you from putting somebody on him and bumping the heck out of him and taking away his release. Also, by moving him around, it is hard to shift your coverage to wherever he is because they can still throw to other guys like (Charles) Frederick in single routes. (Cody) Pickett is very experienced in getting the ball to people.'

ON THE LOSS TO OREGON STATE:

'After watching our video of the Oregon State game, I really thought that our kids went up there and played hard. We didn't go up there just to show up. We went up there to play with effort, but unfortunately, we didn't play and execute as well as we are capable of doing. That is something that we have to continue to learn; it isn't just enough to go out and play hard. You have to do it effectively if you want to win. We went up there and stopped an excellent running back (Steven Jackson) and controlled an excellent running back. If you had told me that we could control him like that and get beaten like that, I would not have thought that could happen.

'We are young enough that maybe we overemphasize a certain area at times. We stopped the run, but we didn't execute nearly as well against the pass as we are capable of doing. We have to learn that if we are going to take away one of their strengths, we can't let the other phase just beat us. Unfortunately, that's what happened; we made too many mistakes in coverage, and we didn't play aggressively enough at times. They certainly threw the ball much more effectively, and they had excellent receivers. We should have been in a position to contest the plays that they were able to make, and that was frustrating.'

'The thing about our players is that they kept playing, and they played much better in the second half. It wasn't all in the fourth quarter, either. I told them (at halftime) that it doesn't get much tougher than that because we went out there and played hard, but we were still getting beat. We have to learn from it and keep pushing. They did come out and play harder in the second half. We have to build on some of that. Sometimes when we're young, it's like we have to re-learn things, and sometimes that is frustrating, but we are going to keep pushing. We give effort in the game, and we practice hard, but we have to learn to practice a little harder and be more effective to where we are able to utilize our effort in the games more effectively.'

ON SOPHOMORE HALFBACK Mike Bell:

'Mike Bell continues to run well. He gets better each week, and for him to rush for a better average than Steven Jackson is a real tribute to our offensive line and Mike Bell. Mike had 97 of his yards in three quarters when they still had their starters in, so it wasn't like he got them all in the fourth quarter. He will continue to get better. He is running tough, and he is still learning. There are still some times that he could make better cuts, and I think he will do that.'

ON TRUE FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK Kris Heavner:

'Kris (Heavner) was trying to do too much, and he was trying to win the game by himself. He was trying to make the perfect throw all of the time. He wasn't as reactive or as instinctive in throwing the ball like he had been, but he played better in the second half.'

ON THE RECEIVING CORPS:

'Ricky Williams had a couple of catches that he dropped that would have been tough catches. But, he will continue to move and start to make those catches. For his first time playing a lot, he has been our most consistent. (Biren) Ealy is getting better, and Steve Fleming had three or four catches, and he is blocking better all of the time.'

ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE:

'Our line, after losing two starters, has had to adjust, and I think they did a pretty good job overall. We had a chance to score 30, and we should have scored 30, but we only came up with 23.'

ON THE KICKING GAME:

'(Danny) Baugher punted well, and our kick coverage was much better.'

ON TRUE FRESHMAN SAFETY Marcus Hollingsworth's PERFORMANCE AT KICK RETURNER:

'I think he has a knack. He is a tough, hard-nosed guy, and he showed some good running skills. We will give him a chance to do that some more.'

ON LAST WEEK'S EVENTS:

'It was an unusual week. In 33 years of coaching, I don't think I've ever been anywhere where we lost five guys who started in a week. When you're young, your players don't always know how to cope with that. They're probably wondering what is going to happen or wondering what is next. It is hard for young people to block that out and not think about it even though you know you have to keep forging ahead.'

'You have to just keep pushing ahead. Sometimes, the players kid me about the quotes I use, but I believe they have a lot of credence. You can't let what you don't have prevent you from using what you do have. We have enough; let's take what we have and keep building on it. Let's not worry about what we don't have or who we don't have. Let's take the guys we have and get them to be as good as they can be and learn to compete and make the best of what we have. Let's put stuff behind us and change the focus to us and what we're doing. You can't dwell on it. During the season, you are going to lose guys to injuries, but you don't expect to lose four or five in a week. You have to take what you've got, go to work and go play.'

ON THE TEAM'S OUTLOOK FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON:

'I think we are making great progress in a lot of areas, but they just don't always show up on the scoreboard. When you are trying to get a program into a winning situation, there are certain things you have to do throughout you program off the field in academics and the weight room and on the field. We are making major strides in those areas, and we are going to keep pushing because if we build on those areas, we have a chance to win some games here at the end. This program is heading in the right direction to be on solid foundation for next year.'

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