Steve Sarkisian Post-Game Quotes - Arizona

TUCSON - Steve Sarkisian was pretty frank in assessing Washington's 52-17 loss Saturday night on the road at Arizona; it stunk. Not only did he addressed some issues of trust with quarterback Keith Price, he also talked about the psyche of the team and how important it is they believe they can beat the man in front of them. Seems simple enough, but Sark thinks it's at the core of their problems.

On the game - "Extremely disappointed…envisioned a much different outcome, that's for sure." 

On the offense - "We had a lot of opportunities to make a lot of plays tonight, and we didn't make 'em. We've got to figure out why that's happening…if it's anxiety that we get to make plays or whatever that is, because we had plenty of chances - that's for sure. And we're not making 'em. We're just not making 'em right now. We've had chances and we'll continue to have chances. I think at some point we have to understand that when you're in one-on-one settings as a football team in general, you have to have confidence in yourself that you can win one-on-one battles - whether it's tackling, blocking, covering, running routes…you have to believe that you can win one-on-one - you have to believe you can beat the man across from you. And right now that appears to be in question to me. 

"We make the tackle, but the runner falls forward for another three or four more yards and it's a gain of seven on first and 10. We get to one-on-one settings on the outside and we don't cover guys that I really thought we could come in here and cover. We get the protection, we get the route, we don't get the throw. We get the protection, they cover us pretty good - we can't make the play. We get the route, we get ready to make the throw, we get beat one-on-one up front…so we're going to have to look at some things schematically offensively to try to give our guys confidence to believe that they can make plays. And then we obviously have to address some things defensively and our ability to stop the running game and then cover guys when we're in one-on-one settings when we dedicate ourselves to stopping the run." 

On talking to Keith for a long time at the end of the third quarter - "I just want him to believe me. I want him to believe me. I want him to take the information and the things that I'm giving him and trust me that what I'm telling him is the truth, and believe in what I'm asking of him to do and go out and do his best to try and do that. And if it doesn't work - as I told him - I'll be the first one to say, 'Keith, I was wrong. I'm sorry. I should have done a better job for you', but we can't get to that point if there's some doubt there. So that's what we we're talking about." 

On what's getting in the way of the trust? - "I'm not sure. That's what I'm going to be thinking about here for the next four hours until we get home." 

On if he thought about giving Keith some time on the sidelines instead of playing - "I think some of this stuff you have to fight your way through it. I think he'll do that. I know we need to do that as a team. We need to lock arms, we need to come together and count on one another and believe in one another and battle and fight through this." 

On his thoughts going into halftime and thinking they were back in the game - "I really did. We get the score at the end of the first half, we get the turnover coming out of halftime and we didn't execute that first play when Keith fumbled…not close at all. That's frustrating, because we knew what play we were coming out to start the second half with and it was just from the start…we forgot to motion the guy, we don't use the proper protection, and then ultimately we don't throw the football away and we turn the ball over…again." 

On being concerned about the team's confidence - "I'm concerned. Any time you lose it's hard. Any time you've lot multiple games it's hard. I've always believed that as much as winning is contagious unfortunately so is losing. When things can get hard, doubt creeps in. We're going to have to do a great job, starting with the staff and the leaders of this team, of coming together and making sure our belief is right in one another. And then the guys next to us, that we can do this. That is as much - or more - than anything is going to be huge this week. 

"Schemes are schemes, and we have to get those fixed. But our psyche and our mentality and our approach to the game is critical." 

On the big pass plays in the first half - "We got beat one-on-one. The double move there, the first touchdown in the far corner, we're in three-deep coverage and we get beat on a double move. It's hard to explain that. The other two we were essentially in man coverage with slot receivers and we got beat one-on-one. 

"That's the stuff I'm talking about, because I think we're capable of covering those guys, but we have to believe we're capable of covering them." 

On it being mental with Keith, or fundamentals? - "I'm going to have to look at the film a little bit more from the fundamentals standpoint. I just know off of being on the field with him and the way I've seen him before on game days and what it looked like tonight - he's got some doubt in his mind right now. It's hard to play quarterback when you have doubt in your mind." 

Is he physically OK? It looked like he took a shot to the knee. - "Yeah I think he took one; I don't think it's a serious one. But I think he did take one." 

On leaving Keith in the game at the end - "I just feel like there's something to be said about battling and competing and sometimes that's some of the best ways to fight your way through kind of the funk that you're in. I felt like, to be fair to his teammates and to him, to have him out there battling and competing with them for the entire 60 minutes was important." 

On how you get trust back within the team - "I don't know if it's amongst our entire team. One thing that's critical for us is to believe in ourselves - individually. Then you playing a more confident brand and style of football. I think that right now we're playing a not-as-confident brand in ourselves, and in turn that shows. You don't cover as confidently; you don't tackle as confidently; you don't block as confidently; you don't run the route as confidently; you don't catch it as confidently; you don't throw it as confidently. 

"We need to get back to believing in ourselves because we can be a pretty dang good football team if we believe that and prepare that way and if we just go play that way. That's the task, you know? It's a challenging one, but one that's part of it. It's part of the adversity that teams get faced with and we'll see how we respond to it." 

Can he fall back on situations where he's dealt with similar adversity? - "I don't know that off the top of my head. I'll probably be better to answer that one on Sunday or Monday when I get a chance to assess it all and see overall what are some more of the glaring issues. It's disappointing. It's really disappointing because we're better than this. We're better than that, I know that." 

On getting Austin open - "I thought we had a great game plan throwing the ball for he and for Kasen…from the first play of the game Kasen's open by about 20 yards. We had some stuff that we really believed in; just didn't hit it as often as I thought we would." 

On when the doubting or lack of trust began and why the inability to fix it up to now? - "I don't know. I don't know if it's been going on so long. I thought we battled extremely well last week versus SC, especially in the second half. Again, I don't want to overblow that this is an entire team issue with the trust thing; I think this is a little bit more isolated with Keith and me and what we're doing. I don't want to go there that our entire team doesn't believe that we can't win and we can't be good; I don't think that's necessarily the case. 

"What I want to make sure is that they understand that in football - after everything is done, when the game plan is put in, the call is made and you get lined up right - ultimately the team that defeats the man across from them of the 11 one-on-ones that take place? The team that wins more of those on a particular play is going to win that play. And tonight we didn't win very many of those one-on-one battles. They blocked us better than we blocked them; they tackled us better than we tackled them; when they got one-one-one they beat our guys in one-on-one match ups. 

"And so I don't think that should have been the case. I wouldn't have thought that coming into the game. I think that I would have felt pretty good about us in those one-on-one situations. The issue with the trust and the belief I think is more within - "I can beat that guy" - and be confident in beating that guy. I think doubt starts to creep in when you get beat, when the guy across from you beats you once, and maybe beats you twice. Now you start to play a little more conservative or a little bit more hesitant and maybe not as confident and I thought that started to spread throughout our team tonight in this individual game." 

On if Keith seeing guys in front of him getting beat means he's looking for shorter routes? - "No. We threw it down the field; we just missed. We missed. We threw it down there. We missed. He couldn't see a couple of things we thought were there; if he couldn't see it, you can't see it. But we threw it. We just didn't connect. And when they did they connected on it for the most part." 

On the pass protection - "Early on I thought it was okay. When you get in the obvious passing situations it's a lot easier to pin your ears back and rush the passer. It was good to have Ben Riva back and playing. I think he'll only get better as he gets into more football shape." 

On UA's punt return for a touchdown - "I'd have to look…I'm going to have to look at the film. The kid made a pretty good return. I know it wasn't a great punt, which has been an issue of ours from the beginning of the season." 

On the penalties - "I don't agree with the penalties, quite honestly. Half of them I don't agree with. The offsides on the fourth-and-one their guy jumped and they called it on us. I don't quite understand it." 


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