Head Coach Keith Gilbertson

A none-too-happy Keith Gilbertson addressed the media on the sidelines after the Huskies 27-22 loss to the Wildcats. The fans were just finishing up their post-game celebration on the field, as they were unsuccessful at trying to bring down the goalposts. Ahhh, the thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat.

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  • "It was an embarrassing loss – dropped balls, missed chances, punts called back, touchdowns called back, dropped touchdown passes, bad tackling, people in the wrong gaps – a bad, bad performance. After the way we fought out of it the past couple of weeks, this was an embarrassing performance," were Gilbertson's opening remarks on the loss as he addressed the media assembled on the stadium floor.

    When asked if his team could possibly be overlooking a one-win team, even after the Nevada loss, Gilbertson responded, "If we hadn't learned our lesson, we just learned it again."

    The Husky defense has been good against the run, but tonight Mike Bell torched the Dawgs for 222 yards.

    "We had 266 yards rushed on us, that hasn't happened in a long time. We had guys out of their gaps, not in the right place, holding on a play, ball cuts back on you, it was poor execution.

    "It was a poor performance offensively, defensively, and we didn't do anything special on special teams. I really don't have anything else to add," said Gilbertson.

    Coach wasn't any happier with his team's rushing efforts either. "I thought it was awful, it was a poor effort. In the second half, I didn't think we were opening any holes, the backs didn't have a lot of room."

    After Cody Pickett was out the second half of last week's game against Oregon, Gilbertson summed up his quarterback's performance this week as, "So-So."

    When Gilbertson was asked whether it would be a reasonable expectation that the quarterback should have hit Reggie Williams on third and fifteen, which would have won the game, he answered, "Oh, I don't know. The guy was open."

    If any fans were wondering whether Casey Paus should get a shot in this game, you weren't alone. "I thought about it," said Gilbertson of the possible change. "I thought about it in the fourth quarter because we were struggling and not moving the ball, and we just fumbled one on the scramble. But then we took the one drive and scored, and we had a chance to win the game at the end, and we just overthrew the ball."

    On the two procedure penalties the Huskies had on their final drive, Gilbertson thought one was on Reggie Williams, and the other was the tight end picking his hand up because he thought time was still out.

    The Huskies seemed to have played like gang-busters in the first half, but the coach saw it differently. "No we didn't. It starts with us making a drive and a guy gets a 15-yard penalty on the sideline that takes us out of a drive. That's how the game started."

    Gilbertson thought his team played really sloppy in the first half, and relayed that to his team. "I told them they had 30 minutes to correct this because those guys think they can beat us. And we obviously didn't take care of business."

    But the Huskies did move the ball consistently all evening, but that wasn't good enough. "We've got to score points and you can't let them have 50-yard runs. And when you get them down, you've got to keep them down. When you get a chance for a touchdown, you can't drop it in the endzone. We got the ball back after the safety, and we got nothing else out of it." Gilbertson still didn't feel like the team had the momentum because they didn't take advantage of that opportunity.

    The lesson of the game is, "If you don't put teams away, everybody is going to be in the game with you," said a disappointed Gilbertson.

    The post-game speech from the head coach wasn't very pleasant for his team to listen to. "I told them I am damned embarrassed. I told them it was a terrible performance. It was a terrible way for a Husky football team to play."

    When Gilbertson was asked if he could see this coming during last week's practice, he gave an incredulous look and quipped, "If I would've seen this coming, I wouldn't have come." Coach thought his team practiced well last week.

    "We had plenty of chances to win this game and open this game up. And when you don't do that with a team that's been struggling like Arizona, they're going to be in the game."

    Gilbertson said his team knows full well of the possibility of a bowl game with a sixth win. "That why this was such a wasted, wasted opportunity by our team."

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