Arizona head coach John Mackovic
On the Oregon State Beavers:
"Defensively, they play hard, tough and physical up front, and they have some good inside guys. Their secondary has one of the best corners in the country in Dennis Weathersby, and he probably will play Bobby (Wade) one on one, so we will have to do a better job of moving the ball around this week."
On redshirt freshman quarterback Nic Costa:
"We really haven't played Nic very much, and he had three weeks where he was injured. He has a better grasp of what we're doing and where we're going, and I think he could go into a game and execute almost all of the offense. He has improved his throwing motion, and he has a very strong arm, and when he throws the ball, it has a lot of zip."
On the running game:
"There isn't anything that we haven't tried. We have focused on running hard right at them, we have focused on trying to go around them, we have focused on trapping them and doing different things. The hardest thing for young backs is to know how the plays really operate because the game operates at a much different speed than what they see in practice. The scout team guys never get off the blocks quite like the real guys."
On junior cornerback Michael Jolivette:
"Michael will run this week, and I believe that he will want to play immediately. He has a new brace, and if there is any way that he can get on the field, he definitely will contribute. He's a tough guy, he's smart, and he knows football."
OSU Head Coach Dennis Erickson
|(On Arizona) "They're a football team that's kind of like we were a week ago - a team that hasn't had a victory in the Pac-10, but has played pretty darn well and has some darn good football players. We looked at them last week, and I'm sure some of you watched their game Saturday night against Washington State where they had a tremendous chance to win that football game and played extremely hard on both sides of the football - particularly defensively, against a high-powered attack like Washington State's. They held them down quite a bit and forced them to do some things they didn't want to do. They're a football team that has played very well defensively, particularly the last couple of outings against Washington State and Stanford.|
(On Arizona linebacker Jason Briggs, particularly against Washington State) "Lance Briggs is one of the better linebackers in our league and in the country. In the defensive scheme they use, they pretty much free him up. They've got the linemen covered; he plays a little deeper than most backers and runs to the football. He's made more tackles than anybody in our league for the last couple-three years, and he's the guy who is the heart and soul of their defensive football team, there's no question about that. We've got to find ways to block him, different ways to block him, because of the scheme that they have. You've got to do some things as far as bringing receivers in on him, tight ends in on him. The thing about him, regardless, he makes his plays. He's going to make his tackles; he's just an outstanding football player. In their scheme, he's the key to their scheme, particularly in the running game."
(On Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson) "He's been around
football all his life. His grandfather (Frosty Westering) has been the head
coach for many years at PLU (Pacific Lutheran) up in Tacoma, one of the great
coaches of all time. He's been around football all his life, so he's very smart;
he understands the game really, really well. He knows when to get rid of the
football, he's got a very good arm, he's very athletic and moves around and
gives himself a second chance. You look at him and you look at Carson Palmer
(of Southern California), you look at Kyle Boller (of California), you look
at Cody Pickett (of Washington), and Jason Fife (of Oregon) - those guys are
all very similar in a lot of ways. The thing I like about him at quarterback
is, he doesn't make a lot of mistakes; he understands the game pretty well."
(Are you concerned with OSU quarterback Derek Anderson's completion percentage?) "I don't know that it's a concern. We've got to get better at that. It's a concern when you lose, of course; when you win, it's not a concern. We've