Okwo, Osaisai Arizona Post-Game

On a day of great statistical sorrow for Stanford Football, there were a couple of playmaking bright spots. Senior inside linebacker Michael Okwo raced around once again and notched 13 tackles. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Wopamo Osaisai had another strong day of defense and special teams, including an electrifying 72-yard interception return. Both spoke after the Arizona loss in the locker room.

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Wopamo Osaisai

Wopamo, when you intercepted it, were you thinking touchdown right away?  You were 70-plus yards away from the endzone...

"Yeah.  As soon as I caught the ball, I wanted to go make a touchdown.  I felt like if I am capable of scoring, then I need to get to the endzone.  I need to help the team in whatever way possible."

Can you talk about the way that interception played out?  What did you see and how did you react to the ball?

"We were blitzing and playing a 'cover three.'  I had to midpoint both of the receivers because they were running down the field.  Once I saw the quarterback threw the ball, I could tell the receiver wasn't going to be able to catch it.  I just got into a position to catch the ball and get to the endzone."

Did you notice any of the blocks on your way to the endzone?

"No, I don't really pay attention.  My main focus is getting to the endzone.  I trust my teammates to block for me, but I'm running to the endzone.  That's my number one priority."

When is the last time you scored a touchdown?

"High school."

As a defense, did it take some air out of your tires when they barreled down the field on that first possession?

"I don't know.  I don't really think about that.  My main focus is just trying to stop the offense by any means necessary, when I'm playing defense.  I'm not thinking about whether I'm fatigued or not.  I'm simply focusing on executing my assignment on whatever play it is."

Also on punt coverage, you are doing a nice job of that.  Do you think that you are able to make a difference in the field position right now?

"I don't know.  Like I said, I'm just trying to execute my responsibilities.  I'm trying to help my team in whatever way possible - from punt to defense and any sort of play at all.  That's my main focus.  I don't think about the stats during the game because I have something else to focus on: trying to get a victory.  After the game is over, then you can reflect on that."

This team is not a rushing team.  Arizona had negative rushing yards for three consecutive games coming in.  Were you surprised that they were able to run as effectively as they did today?

"As I said, I'm not paying attention to the stats, so I'm not looking at that.  It's unfortunate that they were able to rush as effectively as they did, and it's unfortunate that we weren't able to stop them.  I hope for the future that won't be the same thing."

0-7 is a test of true character for any team.  What do you see from your teammates right now at this point in the season?

"When the game is over, I won't know until tomorrow when we meet again.  Hopefully our morale is still strong and we can keep fighting for our first victory of the season."

The interception for a touchdown could be a huge momentum change.  Did you see that in the defense after you made that play?

"I don't know - we played with confidence the entire game.  I felt we went out there and played with more confidence, but that's about it.  The main thing is focusing on our assignments that we are trying to execute to the best of our abilities."

Senior inside linebacker Michael Okwo

What did Arizona do on offense that made it difficult to stop them running the ball?  You guys had made progress the last couple games before this.

"I think they came out with a lot of enthusiasm and the will to win.  I think their running backs ran really hard.  They ran harder than any backfield we have seen so far this year.  I think they came out with with a lot of enthusiasm for the game, and I think that was their winning edge."

Do you think that you guys did maybe not come out with that enthusiasm you expected today?

"We came out with more of a poise.  We didn't want to get too excited for this game, since it was Homecoming and there was a lot of talk surrounding us.  We tried to stay calm, yet also play hard obviously.  That's what you have to do as a defense - you have to take it to them.  Obviously they hadn't had as much success running the ball.  That sort of took us by surprise.  We have to tip our hats to them.  They did a good job."


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