Head Coach Rick Neuheisel Quotes

When Coach Rick Neuheisel faced the media after tonight's 34-24 defeat to the UCLA Bruins, he insisted that his team has not given up.

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  • He stressed that he wasn't disappointed in the effort, but something must be done to stop this team from shooting itself in the foot.

    General Comments: Well ... here we are again. It is very disappointing to come up short in a game that I think we played really hard in. There were some obvious mistakes, some things that we have done better earlier in the season than tonight, but the effort was there. As long as there is effort, there is reason for optimism. I still remain optimistic that we will play better as we head into the final weeks of our season. The kids have not given up, nor will they. We will continue to be resilient and try to improve as a football team so the little things don't continue to haunt us. I am not disappointed with the effort. I am disappointed that we are still struggling in the execution part. We've got to settle down and put a full game together and find a way to get a victory.

    On RB Chris Singleton: I told him that he played really well. Given this was his first opportunity to get that kind of playing time, I thought he did some good things. I had Kenny James ready to go, but I thought Chris was doing a good job, and I'm still trying to save Kenny's redshirt with just three weeks left in the season.

    On Cody Pickett: He was frustrated that there were a couple of things that happened during the game where he was wondering about the communication. We had a player go into the game and not verbalize the call correctly one time. He wants to do so well and to play so well. When things aren't going well and he can feel the frustration, I was just trying to get him to relax. When he is in a rhythm, he is outstanding. When things get going, it is more difficult to function as effectively.

    On interception just before half: We were down by 10 points at the time. We were in field-goal range so we took a shot for the endzone. The last thing we told Cody was no interceptions and no sacks. He saw a rotation in the coverage and thought he would get his tight end backside, and he lofted it and it carried too far and they were there to pick it off. Obviously, we wanted those three points.

    On other interceptions: The first one was just unfortunate. Cody actually had a guy open and the ball got tipped at the line of scrimmage. That resulted in a touchdown for them. On the third one, he got fooled by a safety. He thought it was a cover-two and put too much air on the ball thinking he had all kinds of space and the safety came over the top and made the interception. The last one was fourth and five, I'll have to look at the film to see why he threw it where he did, but I thought we had Pat Reddick again.

    On going for FG being down 13 points: There were 13 minutes left and I didn't feel like we could come away with nothing there. We needed to get the momentum back. I thought that we would have opportunities, and we did. We had our chances, so I'm not disappointed in my choice. Looking backwards, had it been fourth-and-one, I would have gone for it. But five yards is probably too much to ask with 13 minutes to go.

    On Punter Derek McLaughlin: Derek is a young man trying hard. Obviously, for most of the night he did well, but that last punt was a killer. We had a chance to pin them down there – it was either that or a 60-yard field goal – and we ended up with a four-yard punt. That can't happen. It was an inopportune time to shank one. With that difference in field position, maybe we have an opportunity to try for a field goal when we get the ball back.

    On success of UCLA TE Mike Seidman: One of the things that happened is Jimmy Newell got hurt, so we had to move another guy into that position to do some covering on him. It is difficult to assess right now because I'm not sure who was responsible on each of those completions. We knew he was a good player and most of the coverages we called were designed to take him away.

    On OL Elliott Zajac: He hasn't been well all season. He has been playing on one leg. As much as he would love to come in and fight, it isn't great for him and the team, so we are trying to rest him. Maybe he will be ready next week, he and I are going to talk again on Monday.

    On the "swinging gate" play: We had worked on it. Coach Toledo has run that play a number of times in his career. Unfortunately, it is always done on the sideline away from our bench because they want our team to be looking at our sideline for the call. That is exactly what happened – they got us on that one.

    On UCLA QB Drew Olson: They weren't going to let him have too many chances to make mistakes. Drew Olson is a good player.

    On looking forward: There is always hope and optimism unless you give up. There is no give up here. We played a good team that made fewer mistakes than we did. We fought our way back in, 27-24, and we take a sack. We've got to throw the ball away or you have to block them. The end result is we are out of range to kick a possible tying field goal. I am encouraged by the effort; the effort is good. But in my business, it is all about results. We now need to play cleaner football. Pressing with some young, inexperienced players, you end up with mistakes that turn very costly.

    On what was said to team: I told them I can't take away the disappointment, I can't make it feel better, but I can tell you that the effort was there. Now we have to fix the things that hurt us and kept us from winning. Everybody has to come back even though we risk the disappointment that accompanies not getting results, but we have to risk it again at an increased effort level next week. We will keep trying, but there is no guarantee of success next week. We are going to keep fighting, that is all I know. There is no other solution. We realize we are in the situation where this season will not be a banner year for the University of Washington, but it can be a banner year in the lives of everybody on this team if we keep fighting.
    Injuries: Jimmy Newell hurt his knee on the first series of downs and was out for the rest of the game. So we had to play Evan Benjamin and James Sims because Greg Carothers was hurt. Aaron Butler sustained a neck injury but I'm not sure what the final prognosis is. They did not think it was a critical injury.

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