Player Quotes - USC

The Washington Huskies lost to USC 26-20 on Saturday, but that almost seems like a small part of the much larger story. Listening to the Husky players talk about it, the range of emotions varied from anger, frustration to acceptance of a job 99.9 percent done. But that tenth is going to burn for some time.

Linebacker Dan Howell:

On the game: "We fought until the until the last second, but unfortunately time ran out. I would call that a fight. A fight 'til the end."

On what he'll take from the game: "There's never satisfaction in losing, but the simple fact that we faught our butts off until the very end, that's a good feeling. We didn't leave anything out there."

On Washington's final offensive drive: "I was praying, to be honest. From the moment that we stopped them and they kicked that field goal, I was praying that our offense could move it down the field...and they did. But we just didn't have enough time to finish the drive. I was confident and sure that we were going to put it in and we were going to win."
Receiver Sonny Shackelford:

On what was called at the end of the game: "Obviously we were going to take a shot into the end zone, but it didn't happen."

On how the team is going to react to the loss: "We're going to go back to Seattle and go back to work."

On how he's taking the loss personally: "I'm not feeling to happy about it, because if the play had come to me in the end zone, I believe I would have caught it. They say that big players make big plays in big games, and I wanted to make a play - but we never got that opportunity."

On what was going on at the end of the game: "There was a whole bunch of confusion. The refs were all talking and everyone on the sidelines was was crazy. But when it got snapped, we started running, but the refs stopped it."

On the referees' huddle before the final play was whistled in: "I thought we were going to go back to five seconds because that's what the referees were talking about. I was standing right next to them. But it didn't happen."

On the after-effects of the game: "I feel like we showed the world we could play. We played our hearts out today. We played until literally the last second. So now we have to go back to Seattle and regroup."
Defensive End Greyson Gunheim:

On trying to get up to bat balls down: "You definitely want the ball so you do have to move and go as fast as you can. If I have to jump, I just have to go."

On the blocked punt: "We had a communication error. We had something called going out there, but they lined up in a way we didn't like so we got out of that. It was loud at that point so someone didn't hear it."

On the differences between the 2005 and 2006 USC teams: "They are a good team. I think the difference is us. We came into this game with an attitude of winning, whereas last year we came in with the attitude of 'I hope we don't get blown out'. They are still a very good team, we just came in with a whole different attitude."

On the mood in the locker room: "It's quiet. We were planning on winning the game on that last drive. It feels like it was taken from us, so we have to bounce back and come back from it and get another W."

On the positives UW will take from the loss: "It's always good to come in and play teams that are No. 3 in the nation and compete with them. You want to knock them off the top. We've been playing good this season and I think guys are starting to get that confidence in them that we're a good team. Fourth quarter rolls around and we're only down three points. It just gets your confidence and everything up."

On whether or not UW has their 'swagger' back: "The 4-1 start was USC the game we did, we should have probably won...sure, we have swagger, but we need to let this go and look back at this as something we can improve on. It shows us how good we are."

On whether or not the USC game is going to piss some people off or is it going to cause some people to hang their heads: "I think it's going to piss some people off. When you go down is when you lose by a big margin or you were outplayed, and that didn't happen. I think we played as hard as we possibly could and it came down to the wire. We feel like we should have won, and when you didn't when you think you should have, it's going to piss you off a little bit. It's going to give guys that little extra boost of energy because they aren't going to want to lose again."
Linebacker Scott White:

On what this game does for UW: "I think it puts people on notice that this team is for real. If there's one positive you can take from today, it lets everyone in the league and everyone in the country know that Washington is a team to be reckoned with."

On the differences between the 2005 and 2006 USC teams: "They were different in spots because of some injuries, but for the most part they are just as good. Their coaching staff is great, they always come in prepared."

On taking anything away from the game, like a moral victory: "It's a loss. It hurts. We can sit here and go back and look at a lot of plays and go 'coulda,woulda,shoulda' but we lost the game and it's going to hurt. We're 2-1 in Pac-10 play and we have to come out ready for Oregon State."

On the Steve Smith touchdown off the fake punt in the first quarter: "I don't know what happened, I don't know where he came from." (White doesn't play on that part of special teams)

On being tough-minded: "I knew that throughout training camp. This team was a lot more mentally tough and cohesive. This team is not just a front-running team anymore. We are going to play hard through thick and thin."
Cornerback Roy Lewis:

On his own play during the game: "I had a couple of opportunities that I had a chance to capitalize on and I didn't. There isn't a lot more that needs to be said about that. I had chances to make big plays for my team and I don't think I came through when the time called."

On how the defense feels after the game: "We feel great. They only scored one legitimate touchdown. One they had on a fake field goal that was just formation recognition and our defense can play for anybody. We fought to the end, and to see that happen, it's just a heartbreaker. But we have to move on, get better and get ready for the next game."

On the fake field goal and touchdown for USC: "I was on the short side of the field. We didn't recognize the formation. We thought he came in from the sideline. He caught us by surprise. It was a quick strike."

On Marlon Wood being out there for kick returns in the second half: "I want to be out there. I want to make as many plays for the team as possible. It was just that my number was not called as often at the return spot."

On Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett leaving the game with injuries: "They didn't matter to us. We were going to line up against whoever was out there - Jarrett, Steve Smith or the rest of the receivers - we were still going to play as aggressive and as physical as we had all game."
Running Back Kenny James:

On the end of the game: "We work on the two-minute drill every day at practice. A lot of things were happening at the time and somehow we didn't manage the clock right. I thought we did a great job of fighting and we showed everybody what kind of team we can be. Everybody might look at it and say it was close, but we want that victory. We didn't get and we have to learn how to finish."

: On what was going on with the referees at the end: "I really couldn't hear what the referees were talking about. I was really focused on our job and getting in the end zone and getting the game won. I thought more time would be added, maybe three or four seconds. We played a great game and this is going to stick with us for a long time but we need to bounce back and get ready for Oregon State."

On the touchdown pass: "It was one we've been working on all year but we haven't been able to call it until today. Isaiah made a great throw."
Center Juan Garcia:

On the end of the game: "The last snap, we were at the line of scrimmage and all I can hear is the referees arguing about whether there's going to be five or six seconds left on the clock. The next thing I know, the ref took off running, the whistle blew and that was the end of the game. It was frustrating, because throughout the whole (frigging) game the ref was like, 'Give me some time' and then he goes off blowing the whistle. I'm not trying to make any excuses. I wouldn't have minded if we lost on the last play of the game, just give us a chance..."

On the final snap: "Soon as I heard the whistle, I snapped the ball. Then I looked up and saw no time left, so I figured there was some sort of penalty. Just the way it played out, it was frustrating. If they hadn't of been arguing about the five seconds we would have been on the ball. But they were over there's a frustrating situation to be in."

On whether or not he could have gotten a clean snap off with only two seconds left: "Yes, I could have got it off quick. They did everything too fast. I'm not here to make excuses, but I'm frustrated. Even with the new rule (for change of possession) they've given us plenty of time."

On the referees at the end of the game: "That's the thing that frustrated me. They were arguing how many seconds were left on the clock, and then he didn't give us a warning."

On the communication he had with UW QB Isaiah Stanback right before the last play "We talked about it. I told him that as soon as I hear the whistle I was going to snap the ball."

On his low snapping all day long: "I don't know. Maybe I was trying too hard."
Quarterback Isaiah Stanback:

On the feeling in the locker room "We lost. Disappointment. We had opportunities, but we didn't take advantage. We were close at the end."

On the plays at the end of the game: "I'm not going to speak on it, because I don't want to say the wrong thing."

On how he felt the offense did against USC: "I thought we moved the ball pretty good. We had a couple of good runs, but we didn't have the running game the way we wanted it to be. We completed some key third downs in the first half. We were pretty confident."

On being banged up: "I'm not going to speak on my health, I'll let coach to that."

On what he'll take from the game: "It's an opportunity. That's all you want when you're on offense. A big game in the opponent's are in control, whether you win or not. It's a learning experience. It's motivation. Based on how the guys came back after the Oklahoma loss, guys were not angry at anybody but ourselves and they were motivated to get ready for the next opponent. Guys are going to be back tomorrow and working out."

On whether or not the team has the respect of others: "The only way you do that is by winning games."

On whether or not this game felt better than 2005: "We haven't been in that situation in a long time because we're a lot more confident than we've ever been. So yes, in that sense, it's a lot different. We've come a long ways. It's really like two totally different teams."

On what he saw on the other side: "USC's defense, they aren't going to allow you the big play. They are one of those types of defenses that's going to try and keep everything in front of them and with defenses like that you have to take what they give you."

"I'm the On whether or not USC was able to control him: "I'm kind of a person that feels like I can't be stopped, but in this day and age defenses can always scheme against you and can at least control you. I felt like we were pretty good today moving the ball."

On the tone in the locker room: "Just angry. I'm not going to have an opportunity like that - to play USC in their house with a chance to win the game - it's gone. Guys are just mad. We had an opportunity we didn't take full advantage of and it didn't go our way."

On where this game stood for him: "This is probably the biggest defeat for myself. This is a pretty big game and I thought we had an opportunity to beat 'em.

On having a certain toughness: "That's something we know we have. Other people on the outside may think we have that now, but we've always known that we have it and it's a matter of going out and doing it every week."

On improving from USC 2004 to now: "It crossed my mind. That was kind of the start to my career as a quarterback, so it would have been nice to get a win, but it didn't happen. I have to take care of the rest of the season."

On how the crowd affects his game: "I really don't hear the crowd. I'm kind of zoned out when I'm in the game. They don't play a factor, at least for myself. Coach Willingham provides a lot more noise than we'll ever face in practice."

On being ready for Oregon State: "I'll be ready for the next game. I got hit a couple times, but I'm going to do my best to bounce back." Top Stories