Steve Sarkisian Post-Game Quotes - OSU

CORVALLIS - Steve Sarkisian had plenty of questions hurled his way after Washington's 38-21 loss to Oregon State Saturday at Reser Stadium. Why did Keith Price come in the game when he did, and could he have come in earlier? What's up with the defense? How did he feel Nick Montana's day went? Has the team started to lose belief in themselves?

Opening Comment - "The best way to describe that game and how I feel right now is frustrating. It was a frustrating, frustrating game. So many opportunities to make plays and to get off the field defensively, that didn't happen. Some opportunities obviously, offensively to create some big plays that could have potentially swung the game and gotten the momentum back in our favor that didn't happen. I'm frustrated, I'm frustrated for our kids. I'm frustrated for our coaches. I know they really wanted to come out and play hard, perform, do all the things that we asked them to do, and they did that. They tried really hard and maybe in some aspects they tried too hard, I don't know. I know there is a great deal of disappointment, but the reality is that we have to figure it out, we have to figure it out fast, and we have to get ready for the Apple Cup."

On Nick Montana's day - "I think today was a freshman making his first start. There were some moments where he did some nice things, and some other times, not so nice. That was somewhat to be expected. I didn't expect him to come out and just set the world on fire, but I thought he handled himself admirably and will only get better for it."

On bringing Keith Price in - "I thought we needed a spark. We needed something that could kind of spark our team, and it did - quite honestly. We go down and get the touchdown and we get the turnover right there on the kickoff…bang-bang play with Kasen over the middle and credit to Ryan Murphy - that was a heck of a play getting that interception on the goal-line."

On if he thought about bringing Keith in earlier - "No."

On if he went away from Polk too early - "I don't know, I'd have to review the film that way. To Oregon State's credit, they are good coaches too. They hung in there on Chris pretty good and created some opportunities for us I thought down the field. We weren't able to make a couple plays, that I think really could have changed the flow of the game and gotten us back into utilizing Chris even more, which didn't happen."

On if Keith was OK to start - "Everything in my mind comes to the health of the player first. These guys are my kids, and if we could have gotten though this game without using Keith I would have done that. For his health, as he moves forward, as we move into next week and into the off-season and then bowl game and then off-season - I felt like not starting him was the right thing to do, based on the health of Keith Price."

On the defense - "Frustrating. Frustrating. Numerous missed tackles and the inability to get off the field on third down was extremely, extremely frustrating."

On Nick Holt - "I know Nick's frustrated too. At the end of the day, you prepare our players to be in a position to be successful, and unfortunately we weren't successful today. What we have to try figure out - was it scheme, was it fundamentals, was it technique, was it…bottom line did we not make the play when we had an opportunity to make a play? So that's the stuff we have to figure out."

On OSU picking up the blitzes - "I thought we had some pretty good schemes, and they used some max protection to protect him. That created some one-on-one matchups with Wheaton on third down, and credit to Mannion and Wheaton for making the throw and making the catch."

On Justin Glenn - "Justin Glenn got a concussion on the opening kickoff. That was one of the issues with him. (Colin) Tanigawa had a knee sprain - more than likely it looks like an ACL. We're going to get an MRI, but it looks pretty significant that that's what it'll be. And (Will) Shamburger got a stinger. That was the other one."

On if Keith will start next Saturday - "We'll see. I would imagine so. We would like for that to happen, but again we'll see how he looks. I think he came out of it OK. Those moments like that, you put a guy in and the adrenaline is pumping pretty good and you feel really good right at that moment - but we'll see how it responds tomorrow."

On the communication with Keith during the game - "Keith was in the game, he did a nice job. He was locked in; I think he was one of our biggest cheerleaders going on the sidelines. It was an understanding of what was going on within the flow of the game, and when the opportunity was posed to him to go in, our doctors and medical staff really wanted to see him move on the sidelines and see if he was capable of doing it, and they gave the green light - so that's why we put him in."

On Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting distracted on the long incompletion - "I don't know. Austin's a great player, and he's going to make a bunch of big plays for us the next three years. I know that hurts him more than any of us. I feel for him on that one."

On what's going wrong with the defense - "As I said before, that's what we have to figure out. We have to figure out why we don't make the play. And I feel like that was probably the most frustrating thing about today. I thought we had opportunities to make a play, to knock a ball down, to make a tackle - and we didn't make the play, unfortunately. When you rush the passer - sure we'd like to get it to where a guy is free rushing, but they used the protection to be there and we couldn't win a one-on-one pass rush. So there were some things there, but that's what was so frustrating - we couldn't make the play to swing the momentum on the defensive side of the ball. And unfortunately we couldn't do it offensively either. We had some opportunities to make some big plays and they just didn't happen."

On seeing the same mistakes from the same players - "Off the top of my head, remembering some stuff in the game, a little bit…a little bit of that. Part of it is we're trying so dang hard to be right and to be perfect, and you can not play your best in those moments. Your best moments are when you are loose, free and confident. To me, we had some guys that didn't look confident, especially as the game wore on. You're not going to play your best when you're not confident, free, and believing in what you're doing."

On if the scheme was the right one, for the most part - "Now? No. It didn't work. We couldn't get off the field on third down."

On being surprised that the same mistakes are happening this late in the year - "No. This is…these kids are 18, 19 years old…20 years old. When you can make a mistake or two early in the game, miss a couple of tackles, don't catch a couple of balls - those moments can factor in. You have to get to a point where you can build them back up so they believe in themselves and believe in what they are doing."

On what OSU did in their run game - "It's exactly what we thought we were going to get. They utilized the fly stuff pretty good with Wheaton or Rodgers, and they utilized the inside zone game pretty good. We knew that was the stuff that was coming at us."

On what you do for the Apple Cup? Hammer 'em or pump 'em up? - "It's not about hammering them. And that's what I told them in there, and similar to what I've told you guys - I'm as frustrated as anybody about this game, but I'm also frustrated for our players, for our coaches, for our fans - because I think we can be better than this. And that's what's so frustrating. I'm frustrated for our players, because I know they want to do well. They put in the time and effort and they work at it. The point of this is - we have to figure out what we can do to fix that so we can perform better. We have to do it and we have to do it quickly. And one of the bigger challenges is getting up off the mat and not letting this loss harbor for days. Because when that happens you're distracted and we're not focused on the next task at hand. That'll be a real big challenge for us."

On if the team is doubting themselves - "I don't think they are doubting themselves. They are disappointed. They really want to do well. They are disappointed. When you've got guys crying because you lost a football game…to me that hurts. Because there's a lot bigger things in life than a football game, and that's not to diminish the fact that we lost a football game - but for there to be tears over this ball game tells me they really, really care. So I don't think it's about doubting themselves; I think they just really want to do well." Top Stories