Husky Head Coach Rick Neuheisel

Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel was fairly upbeat given that his team had just dropped a heart-wrenching 47-43 decision to the Texas Longhorns. Here is what the Husky headman had to say about this evening's Holiday Bowl in the post game media room.

"I am very proud of the way we played. Certainly, there have been questions about our football team after the game in Miami. We came out and played aggressively and, through much of the game, played well. Unfortunately, we could not stop Texas in the fourth quarter. You can't win very many games when you give up four touchdowns in the fourth quarter."

"We end the season 8-4. We certainly have lots of things we are going to fix and address as soon as we get back. We will continue what has been a great recruiting season so far. I think that any recruit that was watching the game will be excited about joining the Washington program because they see the kids play hard and it's good, hard-hitting football. Hopefully, we will still land a top, top class."

"Congratulations to Mack Brown. He is a great guy and he has a great program. Eleven wins is an outstanding season and, certainly, the way they won tonight, I give them a lot of credit."

On the Seniors: "They have had a really nice career. They have accomplished a great deal. Most of them have had a great deal of adversity throughout their four- and five-year stints here at Washington. It would have been a wonderful, wonderful feeling for them to go out with a 9-3 record and a victory over Texas."

On Jerramy Stevens: "Jerramy played well. It's one of those ‘what-ifs.' If he had been healthy all year … but he just wasn't. That was one of those things we have dealt with through the year, but it was fun to have him back healthy. He wasn't perfect tonight, but he played really well."

On Willie Hurst: "I've grown really fond of Willie. He's a gamer. He comes up with big plays. I am never going to let him – well, I don't get to coach him anymore – but he is never going to get to throw a half-back pass again. He can't even hit the water when he is throwing it out of a boat (laughs). But, he is a wonderful competitor and he just scored with too much time left."

On the secondary: "We were in position to make plays. We were standing next to guys, we just didn't make plays on the ball. Give Texas credit, they've got a great receiving group and Major put it in places where they could make plays, and they made them all. We just acted as though the ball wasn't there. It is exasperating, but I am not going to fault the effort."

On the Longhorn QB: "Major Applewhite was as advertised."

On the failed two-point conversion: "It didn't really play a big role. The truth of the matter is it forced Texas to go for two, and they missed. So it was a wash. With three minutes left in the third quarter, I was thinking if we can make it a 21-point lead, then three touchdowns would tie us. You don't imagine, at least at that point of the game, that there are going to be that many more possessions. But they decided they weren't going to run the ball anymore and they showcased their quarterback, and he was up to the task. It really didn't turn out to be a pivotal decision. Once they kicked the field goal to make it a 16-point game, it was no longer an issue.

On scoring too early: "As you are strategizing the end of the game, certainly with the way Texas had been moving the ball, what we would have liked to do is score with much less time left. When he threw the ball down the field and made the play inside the five-yard line, now we've got to use our time outs to try to get a chance to come back. It's just a very disappointing loss, but I'm not going to fault the effort."

On fourth quarter meltdown: "Certainly, the defense was on the field a lot. We had two or three drives in a row where we went three-and-out. That is pivotal. Sometimes with a big lead you just try to move the clock. We had success throwing the ball, but we ended up in some second-and-long and third-and-long situations where we just let them get back into the game. As an offense, we really had Texas on the ropes. We were moving the ball up and down the field. Give them credit, they got off the mat and got back in the game and found a way to win it. It is very uncharacteristic for us to give up that kind of lead in the fourth quarter."

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