Football News, Notes and Quotes

Head Coach Bob Toledo, running back DeShaun Foster and quarterback Cory Paus answer questions, along with an injury update, news, and impressive stats...

STANDOUT STATS:

Individual:

-- DeShaun Foster, 1st in the Pac-10 in rushing, 11th in the NCAA (128.0)

-- Cory Paus, 5th in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, 19th in the NCAA (145.3)

-- Chris Griffith, Field Goals, 3rd in Pac-10, 13th in NCAA (1.8)

-- Nate Fikse, Punting, 2nd in Pac-10, 25th in NCAA (44.2); Net Punting, 1st in Pac-10 (38.0)

-- Robert Thomas, Tackles, 3rd in Pac-10 (9.8); Tackles for Loss, 1st in Pac-10 (3.3); Sacks,2nd in Pac-10 (1.0).

Team:

-- Total Defense, 1st in Pac-10, 14th in NCAA (271.5)

-- Scoring Defense, 1st in Pac-10, 8th in NCAA (11.75)

-- Passing Defense, 1st in Pac-10, 12th in NCAA (151.5)

-- Pass Efficiency Defense, 1st in Pac-10, 2nd in NCAA (76.3 rating)

-- Opposing Offenses are 4 of 31 on third-down conversions.

-- Rushing Offense, 1st in Pac-10 (199.0)

NOTES:

-- With the bye week, UCLA will practice through Thursday of this week and then take off Friday through Sunday.

-- DeShaun Foster was named Offensive Pac-10 Player of the Week.

-- The UCLA/Washington game will be at 12:30 and televised by ABC.

-- November 17th the UCLA/USC game will be at 3:30 p.m. and televised by Fox Sports Net.

INJURY UPDATE:

Cody Joyce – concussion; "doubtful" for Washington.

Chris Kluwe – most likely out for year. Recovering from knee operation.

Ken Kocher – "questionable'; sprained knee.

Tab Perry – concussion. Probable.

Mike Saffer – limited practice this week.

Matt Stanley – high ankle sprain; "doubtful."

Robert Thomas – concussion. Will take it easy this week but is probable.

Mike Seidman – hip pointer. Will take it easy this week but probable.


DeShaun Foster comments…

What are your thoughts on your chances for the Heisman?

"We're winning and playing well, so hopefully I can stay in the race. But I'm not getting my hopes up."

Do you watch the defense play now?

"It's fun to watch the defense. You've got to – three plays and they're off the field. It's cool to watch."

Is the team staying focused, and is there a possibility of getting over-confident?

"We know you can't let up, and have to stay keep focused. Keep fighting, keep driving. There's a goal at the end of the tunnel and we have to try to get there. Maybe if last year didn't happen we could get over-confident, but not this year, no. We are in the same boat almost as we were last year, and then it went downhill from there. So it's always in the back of our minds, so we don't want to let up and we want to keep going. We don't have to talk about it. We all know. Last year we went 3-0 and then finished 6-6. We got over-confident last year, everyone knows it, we just know now you have to stay focused, take it week by week."


Cory Paus comments…

Why was the offense so successful against Oregon State?

"We were able to put it together. Our offense played better than we did the week before, and the defense played like they had, and we did a good job of executing the game plan. We also didn't fumble the ball seven times. That's a big reason why we sustained some drives."

How is the team preventing fromg etting over-confident?

"The coaches keep us from getting over-confident. That's a little bit of their job, to make sure it doesn't get to our heads and that we don't slip up. It's also our job as well, so we make sure that doesn't happen.

With all the attention, we all realize that all we have to do is lose, and it's gone. So we have to take it, appreciate it, but know it could all be gone in a second."

What do you think you need to personally improve?

"Short passes. That's the universal question. I'm sure I'll hear about it all week. But I haven't thrown an interception. I definitely have a lot to build on. I'm not playing that bad. I want to complete every pass. And sometimes I feel like I should complete every pass. And one day I will. Until that happens I can never be completely satisfied. I've never really had a hard time throwing any pass. But I've just been off a little bit on the short ones. But at least I'm not off on the big ones. It's been keeping me going, and allowed me to put up okay numbers and get the team some scores."

When did you start throwing the deep ball so well?

"I really started throwing the deep ball really well last spring, and I've been building on that ever since. But I've always had good touch, and that's what a deep ball is. Put some touch on it."

Is coach Toledo tough on quarterbacks?

"Yeah. But it's good. He understands where I'm at, I understand where he is, where he came from. I can handle it."


Bob Toledo comments…

On one of the things that the OSU win meant…

"I think we proved to a lot of people that we are a physical football team."

On what the coaches will emphasize during the bye in practice…

"One thing that we need to emphasize this week is special teams. We have to improve that area. I want a little more effort on special teams. We give an opportunity to some guys that aren't starters to play and it's important that they do a better job when they get that opportunity and I'll address that to the team today. But the theme this week is get better. Work on fundamentals and get better."

On how good the defense is compared to others he's had…

"It's the best group we've had since I've been here as a head coach or assistant. At Texas A&M we had some good wrecking crews, as they call them. But tell you what, I think it's very favorable to those teams. They're physical, they're athletic, and we have quality depth. It's as good as any team I've been around. If we had this defense the last few years, the record would be a little different."

On what he wants to improve offensively…

"We have to get better throwing the football. I'm getting back to routine plays. We need to make the routine throw and catch. W'ere missing two or three of those a game. You can't miss any of those. Coaches always strive for perfection and that's what I'm trying to do right now. You have to make routine plays and then big plays will happen."

On the focus of the team…

"I think you can tell by practice – when guys practice hard and focus and concentrate, it's gives you a pretty good feeling that they're just looking at one game at a time. I'm not concerned at this point we're going to be over-confident or looking ahead, or listening to all the great things people are saying about us. It's easy to jump on the bandwagon. Three of the next four teams that we play, as of right now, are undefeated. So we have a tough challenge ahead of us. There are some good football teams in this conference. If you're not ready to play, any of them could beat us."

On the concussions…

"Anytime you get a concussion you have to be concerned. But we have a week off. If I had to play this week I'd be concerned. The next couple of days they'll run around a little bit and their head will clear and I think they'll be fine. Bu they're not going to hit anyone this week if hey had a concussion.

On getting off a rhythm because of the bye week…

"When you're playing well, you want to keep playing. Bu from an injury standpoint, it gives us a chance to rest up a little bit. Btu we're not that beat up. We could go play another game right now and be in pretty good shape. Bu when you have a game, a bye, a game, and then a bye, it's hard to get jumpstarted. But we'll be okay."

On Marcus Reese…

"He's considered a starter. He's one of the top linebackers for us. He'd start fo rmost people in the country."

On being hard on quarterbacks…

"I've always been hard on quarterbacks. I expect a lot of them. I'm hard on Cory Paus right now. He knows that. But I tell you what, he's not throwing the stupid pass that gets intercepted. He's making good decisions at the line of scrimmage, I just want him to be better in situations where there's a routine play to be made. I think he's hard on himself. That's what makes good quarterbacks. I think I do it in a good way. They know I'm trying to make them the best that they can be."

On what Paus could work on to help complete the short passes…

"He's a bit of an arm thrower. He doesn't always step to where he's throwing. Fundamentally he needs to improve on some things. He knows it, he's been told it, he's been told on the video, and he'll be told again today. You just can't throw with your arm, you have to throw with your body, throw with your legs."

On considering taking Paus out during the Oregon State game…

"There was probably a time when my coaches called down and said he's 2 of 10, he's 0 for 7. At that point I was considering it. Then he came out of it, he made some big plays at the end of the half. Sometimes you need to pull a quarterbck off the field a little bit, let him look a little bit, and then put him back in. he just has to understand he has to start faster and make routine plays. But let's not get in a quarterback controversy. He's our quarterback. We're 4-0, he hasn't thrown an interception, he's one of the leading passers in the nation. But there was a point when I thought we'd sit him down, let him look for a series, put him back in. To call him down a little bit.

On the improving pass coverage…

"We're getting better. Phil Snow thinks we're getting better in the secondary. Plus, I've played quarterback. when people are hitting you in the mouth, it's a little harder to throw the football. We're getting some hits on the quarterback."

On praising your players…

"Coaches are ngative by nature, because they're always trying to be perfect. But nobody is ever going to play the perfect game. But you as a coach you want perfection. So when you expect it, you're going to be negative, because you're harping on the negative things. They're expected to do the right things, when they don't do it well, and don't do it right, you get on them. That's why it's important when they do well, you should praise them. The problem with some coaches, they have a problem with praising or being positive. Like with our defense, I praised them, but I also let our second and third guys know that they let down a lot of people giving up that shutout."


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