Coach Neuheisel Post-Game Comments

After Washington was drubbed in every category by Oregon State, Head Coach Rick Neuheisel was visibly disappointed as he addressed media members in the post-game area. Here were his comments this evening after the tough loss.

General Comments:

"Congratulations to Oregon State, they played a great ball game on both sides of the ball. We played, unfortunately, not very well. Hopefully, we can get back and fix what's broken. It is hard to assess what all went wrong without the benefit of the videotape, but we just weren't on all cylinders and they were. It was obvious from the outset, on the second play of the game where they hit the long pass on the seam route, that they were ready to play. We expected them to be ready to play. We thought we would answer and we didn't. We are all disappointed. Given what has taken place in the last month of the season, coming back from the loss at UCLA, this is a tough pill to swallow. I anticipate our team, as always, having a great deal of character and being willing to go back and fix all that needs to be fixed in preparation for a very fine Washington State team."

"What this means to our season and post-season is not of concern right now. What is of concern is figuring out exactly why we didn't play better and also fixing the things that plagued us today. And hopefully playing a great game against Washington State."

"I feel badly. As a head coach, you have to have your team ready to go. I knew what we were heading into. It was all that I anticipated and yet we didn't quite match the execution level that Oregon State did. We give them credit, wish them well, and we move on."

On not getting back into the game: If you are behind, you have to hope to come back. We had anticipated a chance to come back in the game. We just couldn't keep them off of the field. There were some third downs that they just stayed alive. I thought we made some mistakes with penalties that we have got to stop. That is maybe the most disappointing thing for me is that we just allowed ourselves to become individuals at times rather than playing as a team. It is too late in the season for that to be happening. I am anxious to address that again. I talked to the team after the game about it and hopefully we learn from this mistake and conduct ourselves the way we want to conduct ourselves.

On Pickett's rough day: He is playing with a separated shoulder. We all seem to forget that given all that he has produced in his brief time as our starting quarterback. Cody has been magnificent, and I can't pin any of this on Cody. And when the game is getting away from you, it is difficult to stay patient and stay into a running game, because certainly I thought there was some running offense out there.

On Pickett's shoulder affecting his play: He would never admit to that. But certainly he did take a hit on it in the first half. And if he is going to play football, he is going to get hit. That is a part of the deal and we have to understand that. We've dodged bullets in this regard and maybe this time it caught us. It wasn't just Cody, it was everybody. We all needed to do better today, myself included. We win as a team, we lose as a team. We look forward to atoning as soon as possible.

On impact of Weathersby's 73-yard interception: It was a huge play. We have a chance to be back in the game and obviously it got their crowd, who was already into it, even more into it. It resulted in another OSU touchdown, and you are talking about a 14-point swing there. It was just unfortunate. I am as disappointed as I can be. I also know that if you are going to get involved in athletic contests, there are going to be days like this. So rather than lament, I am anxious to get back to the drawing board and fix it.

On the effect of the lossIt stinks. We've played well. We came into this game with a chance to really have a wonderful season, maybe an improbable season. We didn't play well at the time it mattered the most. It is just discouraging. But, we are going to rise up. We are going to come back and we are going to play tooth and nail against the Cougars, and we are looking forward to that contest.

On staying focused: I don't believe we were un-focused coming into the game. I think somehow, someway the atmosphere caused us to lose it a little bit. Part of that is being a young team and being in hostile environments. Also part of that is playing a hot team. You have to be able to weather the storm. In the Pac-10, you never get a week off. When you play a hot team, and their crowd gets into it, you have to be able to weather that storm. Arizona State had that same kind of flurry in the second half and we were able to hang on and come back and win the game. This time it happened early in the game and we got so far behind, and it just didn't happen for us today.

On Stevens' comeback: Jerramy has been out eight weeks. It is difficult to count on too much productivity out of a kid that is just getting himself back in there. Certainly his name and what he has accomplished in the past give everybody the idea that everything is great again. The point of the matter is he has to acclimate himself just like anybody else would after that kind of layoff.

On abandoning the running game very early: I trust Keith Gilbertson and Steve Axman emphatically with the play calling. I think they can see what is happening. There were times this season that we threw a bunch and everybody thought it was a great idea. It just wasn't to be today. Rather than point fingers, I think I would just rather look into myself and find out what I could have done better.

On OSU's offense: They had a good plan. There were certain things that they did and took advantage, but they were on all cylinders. They were as hot as you can imagine. When you catch a team as talented as Oregon State, as hot as they can be, with the crowd behind them, they are going to be hard to beat, especially when you aren't playing with your A-game, That is just life in the Pac-10.

On team's effort level: We played hard. Unfortunately, we didn't play intelligently at times. That is something we have to keep addressing as coaches. We have to teach our kids how to play and conduct themselves as great ambassadors of our University and certainly with great intensity. They have to understand when not to take the shots. Obviously, there were penalties that were just killers today.

On possibility of pulling Cody earlier in the game: I am not a quick-trigger guy at that position. I think that guy has earned the right to get himself going. He has made a lot of plays for us. When the game's outcome was pretty much a done deal, I thought it was best to not risk any further shots to his shoulder. So Taylor went in and I thought Taylor did fine. It is unfortunate that he fumbled. It would have been nice to have a few more snaps for him.

On OSU QB Jonathan Smith: He has made a career against Washington. I don't know where that other guy is that plays against some of these other teams. But, hats off to Jonathan. Hopefully, he can continue to play great. It would be great to see them win out and get to a bowl game.

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