Post-Apple Cup Quotes from Rick Neuheisel

Amid the celebrating seniors and with the Apple Cup trophy being presented by Governor Gary Locke, Head Coach Rick Neuheisel addressed the media after the unbelievable victory over the #3 Cougars while sporting a t-shirt that read "Rick is a Dick" on the back.

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  • General Comments: Congratulations to Washington State. They had an excellent season. They played valiantly tonight. I know they are disappointed, anytime you lose in three overtimes, it is heart wrenching. They will come out and play really well in their final game and they would be a great representative for our conference in the Rose Bowl.

    I am really proud of my football team. We have been criticized throughout the season, which is a byproduct of not playing well. People tend to take criticism in one of two ways. One is to hide under a shelter, look to deflect it, and point at other people; two is to keep coming back to work and work to improve. Fortunately, we took the latter course. I am very pleased that we did. Our hard work has paid off. It wasn't a pretty win. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot of times today, but I know Washington State would say the same thing. It was just a hard-fought game as most real intense rivalries are. Again, I wish Mike Price and his group the best. But tonight, I am really proud of the Washington Husky 2002 version and look forward to getting to play one more time.

    On the last play of game: It looked to me like it was an interception. The ball was caught by Kai Ellis and then he fell down and I don't know if somebody took it out of his hands. But that was from my vantage point and I am on the field. I haven't seen any television accounts. But he did throw it backwards and that is what they eventually ruled, that it was a backwards pass, thereby a fumble and we ended up with the ball, so the game was over. It was like the same controversy with Cody, which they ruled was a double pass. Cody said it slipped out of his hand, which happened on a number of occasions tonight and I don't know why, and it fell on a shoulder pad of one of the offensive linemen. He got it back and rolled out and threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Ware. We saw a little of everything in this game.

    On K John Anderson: I told him early in the game, and I did not have any idea that I would mean it as much as I did, that you are going to have your chances now you've got to come back. God bless him, he did. He is a tough kid. This is a neat way for him to go out as a Husky.

    On Jason Gesser's injury: I was disappointed because he is such a big-time player. You hate to see teams lose their catalyst. I wanted to see if we could beat them with their guns in there. But, we have a lot of injuries too. That is just a part of football.

    On being down ten points: It is not a time to panic, it is a time to make sure you go out an play within yourself. We got into our clock offense. We had the big play to Reggie down the sidelines. Cody sometimes on long passes tries to lead guys and oftentimes guys never have a chance to make the catch. But Reggie made an unbelievable play to give us a chance to get a touchdown when Paul Arnold caught the slant.

    On winning the Northwest Championship: It is terrific. It is really all we had to play for. I told the team in the midst of our slump that we had a chance to write our epitaph, that nobody else was going to write it. It can be an unbelievable memory for all of us about how you deal with adversity because adversity hits everybody. It isn't so much how you got into it as what you do about it. I am really proud of the way we responded. With the schedule, all we had left was the Northwest championship, so we went out and checked them off.

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