Even thought it appears the game hinged on one play, it actually was an accumulation of plays where the Huskies were incapable of stopping BYU when they had a chance. They were in position to make a play on Dennis Pitta a couple of times, but were a hand short. They had BYU's Harvey Unga stacked up a couple of times, but missed tackles and high pad level allowed the Cougars to drive the pile forward for extra yardage.
And in reality, if Unga scores on his fumble in the end zone, no one worries about the end. But for the players' perspective It's a real shame, because the Huskies won the battle of special teams and field position. But they couldn't stop anyone when it counted and couldn't hold their poise when it mattered most.
It'll be interesting to see what Willingham will say about the penalty after the touchdown, as well as the second-half adjustments they tried to make to slow BYU down.
3 Q Thoughts:
Well, this game is becoming increasingly more like whoever's offense blinks first is the one that ends up on the losing end. Neither defense has looked all that sharp, and Washington has given up 96 rush yards through three quarters. So much for BYU not being to run on the road OOC.
UW can control their own destiny by milking the clock and moving the chains. Losing Polk hasn't hurt all that much, as Freeman and Willie Griffin have done a decent job in their stead. Again, a lot depends on how much Tim Lappano wants to open things up, and how much he wants to protect his young charges and put them in safe situations.
Ballman is earning his ride and then some today. He has put BYU in a major hole to start the 4th Q. We'll see if Donatell can muster something up to get the defense off the field.
Quick Halftime Stats:
Rushing: UW 11-25, BYU 14-61
Passing: UW 8-13-0 for 132 and 1 TD. BYU 18-27 for 167-1 with two touchdowns
Total Offense: UW 24-157. BYU 41-228
Rushing: Polk 6-14, Locker 5-11
Passing: 8-13-0 for 132 yards and one touchdown
Receiving: Goodwin 3-61, long of 25. Kearse 1-48-1, Middleton 1-9, Freeman 1-8
Tackles: Harris 7, Foster 6, Williams 6, Forrester 5
Halftime Thoughts - Well, the second quarter might end up being an expensive one for the Huskies. Cody Habben went out early with an apparent knee injury, but came back later before halftime. His replacement, Skyler Fancher, created a great pocket for Locker to throw a 48-yard bomb to frosh Jermaine Kearse, giving UW a temporary 7-point lead.
But Darrion Jones is still out, replaced by Kalani Aldrich. I don't know what his injury is. And Chris Polk went out with an apparent shoulder injury. The Huskies went right in David Freeman's direction, showing they aren't afraid to throw the freshmen right into the mix. And with Kavario Middleton questionable for the rest of the game with a right knee injury, points came costly to UW.
Defensively, unless Ed Donatell finds a way to stop Harvey Unga and the BYU running attack, the Cougars are going to pick UW apart. The best weapon for the Huskies in the first half defensively was BYU WR Austin Collie, who dropped at least two sure catches for big yards. When he did catch a little sideline route near the end of the half, the BYU fans gave him a big ovation. UW continues to use their 3-4 and 4-3 alignments interchanged; they might think about going with just one base defense for a bit to gain some continuity.
Also have to give props out when they are due; Jared Ballman is night and day better than he was at UO. Three kicks for a 48-yard average. Tackling appears to be better too.
Now the dreaded second half adjustments (or lack of adjustments). This will be the acid test to determine if it really is the Huskies' day. I commented to Scott Eklund after UW converted a 3rd and 23 on a tipped pass that fell right in the hands of D'Andre Goodwin that it was probably their day. After all, those are the plays that usually give a good indicator as to who is going to get the breaks and who is going to have the luck fall against them. Who knows what the second half might bring...
First Q Thoughts - Well, that body blow in the form of a Max Hall to Austin Collie bomb early was absorbed and the Huskies tied the score. So 7-7, everything looks like it's back in balance.
Three reasons why not running Jake Locker a lot makes too much sense: 1) It keeps him fresh. 2) It allows the other offensive weapons a chance to get in the flow of the game. 3) It works when things are called for him. And it also works when he calls his own number and the middle of the field is wide open because the other team has to respect your passing game. And a PHENOMENAL downfield block by Kavario Middleton on Locker's touchdown run. He annihilated two would-be BYU tacklers by the five-yard line, enabling Locker to go in untouched.
The key now is to see how Tim Lappano calls the game from here on out. He's been able to get D'Andre Goodwin, Middleton and Chris Polk assimilated. They have a good feeling by having some early success. Hopefully Lappano can capitalize on that by utilizing them in other ways.
BYU is going to let UW hang around, no matter what. UW's defense is starting to feel a little better about themselves once they switched from the opening 4-3 to a more attacking, quicker 3-4 with Alameda Ta'amu and Trenton Tuiasosopo in the game.
Game Time: Game Captains - Trenton Tuiasosopo, Chris Stevens, Paul Homer and Juan Garcia. A very late arriving crowd today, which has become increasingly the norm. BYU just came out in their retro-look jerseys. The Huskytron presentation has a cameraman in the tunnel, watching the Huskies walk through on their way to the front.
They congregate at the mouth of the tunnel and the crowd starts to rise. The siren blares and the team runs onto the field, blanketed by band members on either side, creating a purple aiselway on the Husky Stadium turf.
The Cougars win the toss and take the ball. I'll be back to give my thoughts on the first quarter.
20 minutes before gametime: Just taking a quick scan of the recruits on the sidelines; Scott Garnett and his son are there; Jamaal Kearse is there. I'm sure we'll find out more as the game goes on.
As far as the Huskies go, there have been rumors all week about Jake Locker and his throwing hand, but I saw him throw all week and he's out there again throwing and doing so without any apparent discomfort. The guy is a warrior, so I wouldn't expect anything less.
Both teams have now gone back up through the tunnel. Twenty minutes to gametime and this place is a morgue. The BYU fans are making as much noise as the rest of the stadium combined. I guess it's what's to be expected.
9/4/08 6:48 am
Thursday morning BYU news links...
In the Salt Lake Tribune this morning, Jay Drew posted a story dealing with BYU's non-conference road record the past nine games and it isn't pretty...Road to nowhere
Jason Franchuk of the Provo Daily Herald talked to legendary former BYU coach LaVell Edwards and his assessment of how hard it will be for the Cougars to go undefeated...Undefeated? Even LaVell admits it's a tough task
Week two brings a whole different meaning to 'crunching the numbers'. 44 and 10 don't crunch too well in the ol' purple and gold GPU, so we're looking for a different graphic at the end of the game Saturday as Washington hosts BYU. To see how things shake out numerically, click on the link below.
Mr. Special Teams
Washington backup linebacker Fred Wiggs has found his niche in the Huskies' lineup, but it wasn't easy. It required a position switch, as well as a focus on a part of the game that most people completely overlook - yet it often spells the difference between winning or losing the game. And when it comes to this weekend's game against BYU, Wiggs is preparing to make a difference. To read more on Wiggs - written by Jonathan Martone, click on the link below
Mr. Special Teams
Afternoon Practice Notes
Full pads scrimmage, except for the four walk-on players from yesterday. Also, got confirmation that punter Andrew Lutton has to redshirt per transfer rules, but will have two to play two starting in 2009.
Got to see just a little bit of their 2-minute drill. Lot of stress on tempo and getting things done quickly.
Did not see Brandon Johnson, Mark Armelin or Byron Davenport. Looked like Willie Griffin was wearing a scout team number, most likely to help give the service team a better look by using a 'downhill' runner, similar to what BYU has.
Luke Kravitz led Husky Jacks today.
Willingham Wednesday Notes
On getting back to work Tuesday - "We were a little sluggish to get started, but picked up the pace as we went through the session. It ended up a solid day for us."
On Mike Gottlieb - "He came back and played a majority of practice and felt pretty good with the session he was able to put in. We're very comfortable and delighted with that fact. Based on yesterday I'd say yes (on him playing), but still as we go through the week we'll look at his progress to see how well he can perform."
On Jake Locker - "No obvious effects from the previous ball game yet still not all the way back yet. Hopefully that will come in time."
On Johri Fogerson - "Johri has been a talented athlete and continues to show himself that way. One of the things we like to do if possible is get our best athletes on the field at some point. And the secondary may afford him an opportunity sooner than at running back. We made an adjustment with him and worked him into the defense. There was always the debate about where to play him. Everyone remembers the hit he had in the state championship game as one of the best defensive hits all year. What we're trying to do is find places for our good athletes to get on the field. He would have been three or three-and-a-half at the halfback position. Hopefully now he'll be able to step up and be better than that in our secondary."
On getting him game ready - "All depends on what you do with them. If you give them a couple limited plays, he could play Saturday, but if you are asking him to decipher the entire defensive package that's been put in place, that's probably a little much."
On who made the decision - "I think it's been ongoing since the beginning of camp. I think he's been recruited on both sides the entire time. Everybody wanting the talents of who we think is a talented athlete."
On preparing for a poor tackling team - "I would create as many one-on-ones as possible, to get athletes in space where you could get those one-on-ones and have to make that individual tackle. From our perspective as a team that didn't tackle well, you go to work to improve them. They have some big backs and nifty receivers. That makes it a difficult task every weekend."
On new guys on special teams and extra reps - "You hope special teams is a place to do that but you have to get the best player on the field. The opportunity is nice, but you can't afford to have the opportunity if it weakens your football team."
On special teams helping position players - "It gives you game experience. And the fundamentals you use in special teams can be used at another position. All those things are transferable."
On BYU being a more traditional offense - "I don't see them as being a traditional offensive team in a sense. They don't do as much of the option with spread package. But they will do a lot of things out of the spread look and spread concept. That back of theirs is very capable of being a receiver. They have a great comfort with their system, which is based on the more traditional aspects of passing the football."
On seeing two very dissimilar systems back-to-back - "I don't think some aspects are that dissimilar. The option aspect is; there's great variance there. But some of the passing standpoints, we're going to see some similar routes to what we saw last week. Backs will be utilized to some degree, so we have to be well-prepared for that. It's going to be a critical element to pattern-read and make sure we understand exactly where they are going to take the ball within their given formations."
On who they are similar too - "We might be a little bit along that line to some degree. You'll still see us do some things out of the two-backfield or I-backfield set, which is more your traditional run game. We do a little more option because of our quarterback. I don't think they see their guy as an option runner."
On Max Hall - "He's just very solid, very good. I like the fact that he understands his system and knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball when you show your hand and show what you're doing. He knows quickly, without any hesitation, where to take the football. That's what makes him very dangerous. He's very confident. He's not as big as a Rudy Carpenter, but when you talk about him as a drop-back guy, yes - there would be some similarities there."
On coming back after the loss - "They were a little hurt, a little beat. And I think that's where some of the sluggishness came in at, just trying to get that out of their system and get back to being on the field. I think there was a little bit of that there."
On anger - "I think there's some. But I think the biggest thing was trying that taste out of their mouths, get that thing off their back and get back to working and get back to being what we thought we could be."
On maybe the OL being angrier than most - "Always the case."
On Byron Davenport - "He's day-to-day, week-to-week. He hasn't yet fully made the progress yet to be fully worked back in the lineup."
On Jason Wells - "As you know, any play cancels his ability to redshirt, so you're thinking along those lines right now."
On Johri's move hinting at a redshirt for Wells - "No. That was independent of that."
On Mark Armelin - "He just has his foot, it'll probably be a couple of weeks on that."
Ed Donatell Notes
On going from one offensive style to another - "That's one of the neat things about college football is switching gears. If you like challenges, it's great stuff."
On BYU being more of a pro-style offense - "Problem is, they look too much like a pro team. The way they play, they are efficient. And they have a system. They have nice balance built into it. They have an excellent player at the running back position that can run and catch the football. And they've got a guy that can get the ball to him. No question the tight end is outstanding, and the quarterback has two fine receivers that he gets the ball to and one that he really leans on when he needs something. And then there's the thing about the way they structure their system, they always have experience on the offensive line. They don't get the guy knocked down a lot because of their experience."
On it being like a west coast system - "There are definitely some similarities that they 've held over the years. That's what makes them good. They've held together the integrity of their offensive principles. They've stood the test of time."
On getting better - "We're building something here. When you see the diversity of the opponents, in some ways you start again. You're going from option principles to more of a pro style, I-formation, split-back, drop-back passing game. We'll need every minute again."
On what happened Saturday - "We came out .... and the quickness of their tempo, they made a big play. We didn't tackle well on a couple of plays. Our guys were in position and didn't make the tackles and their guys made plays. It was rolling at a pretty good tempo. Our guys settled down in that ball game. In the fourth quarter we didn't finish up at all. But it was a game. It just went the other way. But I like best that we got jolted early and then they stayed the course and settled down. It's a sophisticated offense. They do a nice job. But 14-10 in the first half, you feel like you're playing football. First drive the third quarter you stop them and then we had a short field and they scored. And then it didn't get great from then on."
On staying positive - "This doesn't challenge me one bit (staying positive). It's not even close. We just started. We're teaching. And every time something doesn't go right, it's a great opportunity to teach. And sometimes you've got a couple of things on your plate, but they are opportunities to teach. You can take it one way or another as a coach. I can teach something out of that, or that went bad. And I choose to say, let's teach. And if I tell it to that guy correctly, he'll do it for me. And that's what I always use."
On tackling - "We tackle in practice. It's one of the things that's always on your mind for a first game. We don't fire at each other that much during camp, nobody does. And it's not like you have pre-season games. You have a couple of scrimmages, which are indicators. Everything we do is about going a step further in practice without knocking out each other. That's not the answer. We'll look for any way to augment that. Whether that be a tackling sled or getting in front of a fast guy in practice."
On live tackling - "It is battle, but when you see our military you see them shooting each other before they go to war. You wouldn't have anybody to go. Tyrone puts together practice so there's just enough of that. It's something we totally intend to do better. We make no excuses, we just want to do better."
On technique - "We did feel like we left our feet (tackling), but ultimately that all comes down to the coach and our preparation with the guys. But there's technique related to it, there's angles related to it. I don't think our men were way out of position often during the game. During the one play down the sideline, yes we were out of position. But we also had a lot of guys in position."
On special teamers like Fred Wiggs - "Freddy brings juice to your team. He's always an upbeat guy and he's found a way to run down a wedge or block a kick or hold a guy up, and he takes a lot of pride in that role on this team. And he also gets ready to back up a linebacker."
On special teams helping position players - "It's just live snaps under the lights. It's angles, running full speed, blocking and tackling."
On Johri Fogerson - "I wasn't here when he was recruited, but they felt like he could go both ways and we're a little banged up so they thought he could help us there when they looked at the depth at tailback. So we've started to coach him."
On Victor Aiyewa - "He's fine. He was in a little. We continue to work him in. He is coming back from an injury and he's getting better and better each week."
On the defensive line - "From the beginning, we erased any doubts that anybody has that you can't play as this, or you need this much experience. We held up a picture of having experience to these guys. We're going to teach and pull together and get this thing done. Most of our energy is on that. Every time you go somewhere, you look and you find a couple of connectors to help connect the thing together. And we have enough to connect it all, that's all that matters. We'd like to have two seasoned guys, that's desirable.
But every time you put in a new defense, you're hustling. It's about getting to a level of play, and it's about the drastic-ness of these two offenses (UO and BYU). They are night and day. They are both very good. You're looking at top-20 (teams) that are good."
On week one to week two - "We want to tackle better. We want to increase our communication and knowledge of situations. Historically week two guys spike up, all defenses do. I think (team speed) is a factor. They all had their one game. Nobody surprised us. We knew these teams were going to be on the schedule. We knew these players would be playing for us. You deal with it and coach. You do get better. You stay positive. You ask yourself, are you teaching these guys from day to day?"
Randy Hart Notes
On numbers - "We're trying to get a lot of guys rotating. We're trying to get them as many snaps as they can so they can grow up as fast as they can. They are veterans now."
On matching up with BYU - "They come at you and are a big, physical football team."
On improvement - "We are better now than we were Saturday, but (BYU) is not as lateral as Oregon. They are more of a vertical team. (Oregon) expanded the field, whereas these guys will come at you."
On biggest concern with lack of experience - "Put them in a situation where they can succeed. They are not as mature. You can't let them lose their confidence. Putting in them in situations where they can succeed is critical. I want more than what I'm seeing, and they want more than what they are putting on video."
On team speed affecting the DL - "The more speed you have, the more correction for error you can give. If you have great speed, you can play your own defense and rally to the ball. If you don't have great team speed, you better fit together all the integral parts of the defense, fit all the runs properly so there's no breakaways."
On Oregon being an extreme example - "They have a system, and so does BYU. If you read the quotes in the press guides, they believe in the system. Hawai'i believes in their system. Those that have a system that they believe in, they've got answers for what they get defensively.
On BYU being like Ohio State last year - "That's probably a pretty good analysis. They have an offensive line that's big and experienced. They are seniors that have been on mission, so that means they are probably 24, 25, 26 years old. But they are always going to have a maturity when you play BYU. You get that, and you expect that."
On biggest jump from week one to week two - "That's usually the biggest jump during the season, but it's a different system so they'll be seeing it for the first time. They are going to see big guys coming at them for the first time. The tailbacks are big - 245, 253, whatever they are. They are big, so that's going to be even more of a challenge. But our guys will get comfortable with their basic technique. They've been under the bright lights, they've seen the big crowds, they've heard the noise. They've endured the distractions. Now it's time hopefully to focus more on what has to happen."
On the youth - "I don't remember guys this young, with only one starter and another guy with 55 snaps. You approach it very patiently. I'm trying my darndest not to fly off and get insanely crazy. They are doing what they can do. But how well they are doing it and the speed in which they do it - those are the questions that will get answered down the road. But it'll continue to improve, and that's the fun part. Just the question they ask - they are really something. I just chuckle. You can't assume anything. It's a lesson in teaching."
On BYU's offense being the same from back in the day - "It's similar. It's BYU. There's some wrinkles, but it's essentially the same. It's what they do. They run it and throw it. They don't go down the line and pitch it. They do have some option in their game, but it's not a main staple."
On Daniel Te'o-Nesheim - "You couldn't ask for more than Daniel. He's trying to pick up his game and he's also trying to pick up all of theirs. He's the consummate team player, to the point where I have to tell him every now and then to make sure he knows what he's doing. He's really exciting."
Tripper Johnson Notes
On the game - "I had a lot of fun. It's hard to take that we lost so bad, but I had a lot of fun and it was exciting to play in front of so many fans. It sucked to lose and to get beat pretty bad because going in we felt like we had a good chance of competing and playing well and even winning the game. So that was disappointing, but I had a blast being out there."
On the speed of the game - "It took me a quarter or two to get adjusted to the speed of the game. Oregon's a good football team. Their offense is quick and they disguise things pretty well. I felt in the second half I adjusted and things started to slow down and I recognized things. But it did take a quarter or two to get the speed of the game down. You can emulate in practice as much as you can, but it's not the same as game speed. Being away from the game for some time, it's something I expected. I knew it was going to be fast and quick, and I need game experience to get used to that."
On playing a lot - "I played more than I thought I was going to. I played a lot in that three safety look in the first half. Originally I thought we were going to go more more with the four down-linemen look, so I was surprised I played as much as I did."
On the tackling issue - "It's something we've addressed this week. We did miss some tackles, myself included. It's just one of those things were we have to be better in practice, go game speed and wrap up. In practice we do a lot of drills and a lot of reps where we tag off and wrap up without tackling. It's a big issue to address this week is wrapping up and setting our feet. As a team we were leaving our feet and diving and lunging at guys. It's been addressed and we'll be better at that."
On special teams - "I was pretty surprised I was back there returning a kick for the first time. I was a little antsy, a little nervous back there. It took a quarter or two to slow down and catch my breath. I needed some time to calm down. Getting in on special teams will help me get adjusted to the speed of the game. It's going to take some time, but special teams is an area where if I can get reps in there, it'll help me out on the defensive side. I think it'll help me a lot in my development."
On applying his baseball experience - "It's the same thing every year in spring training. You show up and for the first week or two it feels like everyone is throwing 110 miles an hour. It takes time to get back in that rhythm. I knew I would make some mistakes, so all I can do is learn from them and move on."
On BYU - "They are a downhill team, their running game especially. They hit it straight down the field and they are going to come at you. Two big running backs. They run more of a pro-style offense where it's more between the tackles and they are going to run right at you. They have a really experienced quarterback. He knows what he's doing back there. He's not a mobile quarterback like we saw last weekend with the guys that came in behind (Justin) Roper. He's definitely more like a pro-style quarterback. The running game is downhill with bigger guys. That's their game plan and we'll just have to make the adjustments. I think we'll do fine. It was tough losing the (Oregon) game by that much, but we're going to bounce back. We'll be fine."
On the team's confidence - "The confidence is still there. We watched the film and we didn't even realize it was 21-10 at the end of the third quarter. We were close in that game. The fourth quarter was the breakdown. The offense was frustrated because they weren't moving the ball. The defense, we felt like we shut them down in the second and third quarters, so we felt like we were there the whole game. We just couldn't get the momentum going and it broke down in the fourth quarter."
On positives from Oregon game - "Game experience. There's a lot of young guys - and I consider myself a young guy experience-wise. To play a team like Oregon, they are a very good team. I expect them to have a very solid record at the end of the year. And to play them in the first game, it's just going to help us. They are going to be one of the best teams in the Pac-10 team. And we get that first game experience out of the way and kind of get used to that game speed."
On eligibility - "I think I've got that third year, that's what they've told me. I'd love to compete as much as I can. I'll graduate in the spring of 2010, and then I'd come back that fall. We'll see where I am at that point in time, but I'd love to play a third year. But at that age, I'd need to see where I kind of am in my life. But I'd love to come back for a third year. I want to pursue my education."
Darrion Jones Notes
On first game - "It was pretty nerve-wracking before the game started. But after the first series I was pretty comfortable. I got the jitters out of the way. It was different just because I hadn't ever started before. I'm used to coming in after the game started. I'm always out there now, always on the field. That was a big difference."
On new DC - "I don't think it's that much different. Everybody wants to win. A lot more people are involved in the game plan instead of the 5-6 man rotation we had last year. Even the freshmen are playing. That's probably the biggest thing."
On handling his job while also helping the frosh - "It's not that hard. I have confidence in them that they are going to take care of their responsibilities. The three true freshmen - Senio (Kelemete), Everrette (Thompson) and Alameda (Ta'amu) - they were working their butts off and they were trying their hardest to get used to the game just like I was. We are all playing now. We're all trying to get used to it at the same time. Daniel (Te'o-Nesheim) is the only returning starter. He's been there and we're trying to get our feet wet. But I have confidence in their abilities. I'm not worried about them."
On improving from week one to week two - "Week one is probably the toughest game because it's the beginning of the season. Probably the changes in the style of offense we'll be facing from Oregon to BYU will be totally different. We'll be used to it now because we've had one game under our belt. Coach has been saying that we've had our game, no more rookies now. We can't be nervous anymore."
"Whether it's the first game of the last game, you're always nervous. You shouldn't be too nervous for the second game because you've gotten your feet wet."
On watching the media - "I just watch the team. I don't pay attention to the media, I don't probably follow it as much as everybody else. I just pay attention to what's going on with the team - how we're doing, how we are all getting along and what this week is going to bring for us."
On being here for a while and the pressure mounting for wins - "We just have to focus on what's going on now. We can't let what happened yesterday affect what happens today. The past is the past, and we're living in the present. We're upset about Saturday, but we're not going to harp on it We move on an we're focused on the goal in front of us."
On taking the temperature of the team - "Everybody is looking forward to each week. I know most people might think about (the last game) for a day, but we've got another game coming up in a couple of days. You can't really worry about it, and I think most people know that."
Wednesday BYU news links...
Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune notes that BYU TE Dennis Pitta leads the nation in receiving, at least for this week...Tight end at top of U.S. list
Drew also takes a look at how the Cougars have struggled running the ball against BCS teams...BCS teams know how to beat rush
Doug Alden of the AP wrote up a story that was carried in the Provo Daily Heral on where BYU stands in the current AP poll...Cougars move up, Utes move in to both polls
Last week's loss to Oregon has raised questions regarding pass protection and the importance of keeping Jake Locker, the University of Washington's starting quarterback on his feet. Locker was sacked three times and only had 103 passing yards. He was slowed down by his hamstring injury, but that is all the more reason to have better pass protection. To read more of Jonathan Martone's story, click on the link below.
Afternoon Practice Notes
The four new additions were there; Marek Domanski (85), Andrew Lutton (46), Conrad Remington (89) and Brendan Lopez (60). Remington and Lopez were with the team in the spring. All four are no pads for five days, per acclimatization rules.
They had the music up today, CCR, James Brown and AC/DC were just a sampling of what was played.
The only players that appeared out were Mark Armelin and Byron Davenport. They weren't seen at practice. Both Mike Gottlieb and Jason Wells were suited and moving around pretty well. When they went to individual groups, it looked like Brandon Johnson was being held out of some drills.
Trenton Tuiasosopo led Husky Jacks today.
Watched the receivers a little today, they were working on accelerating in and out of cuts. There were some pops, and they will clearly have to continue to work on that if they are expected to come up with key catches and play with consistency.
Tim Lappano Notes
On UO - "They loaded the box in all formations and basically said we're gonna bump you and you aren't going to be able to run the football. You're going to have to win throwing the ball. And that's what they did."
On BYU - "They are not a man-cover team, they are a zone team. They play off, very sound in what they do. Two different styles. It should help, but they might like (Oregon's) plan. It's not what they do, but they might like it. We've got a plan for it, but that's not what they do."
On being surprised by not having success at UO - "We've been running the ball pretty well the last two years and that was not the first time we've had to run into a 9-man box. We just didn't lift them out of there like we've had in the past when they've loaded the box on us. For whatever reason, they made it extremely difficult to run inside. I probably second-guess myself now by trying to get outside of some of that stuff but they have great speed. They ran faster than I thought they could."
On adjustments - "They were flying around and had a lot of guys down. Didn't matter if we spread 'em. A couple years ago UCLA did the same thing, loaded the box up. At halftime we spread them out and won the game. Didn't matter in this matter because they still outmanned us even spread out. The whole middle of the field was wide open. My Mom and Dad saw that, but we couldn't get the ball in there."
On pass pro and WR blocking - "I'll be really honest. The running backs struggled a little bit. They haven't had to do a lot of it. Most high school running backs do. They aren't asked to do a lot of it. Same thing at the next level. There were guys we drafted that couldn't block at that level. It's even more intense. We weren't good enough and we've addressed it. I think we have an answer. We're going to keep working with the young guys to teach them how to pass protect, but I think we've got some other answers that will help us this Saturday. It's not unwillingness. They want to, they just have to work on their technique."
On WR's - "You have four kids in (UO's) back end that are going to get drafted. We have some kids that just came out of high school and D'Andre Goodwin with not very much experience against lock-down corners. They got the best of us that day, but we'll get better. I've seen us do it against our people daily, but it's different. When you do it against someone you don't know, you get in a hurry. They can just sit there when you are in a hurry. I knew we would get bumped. We might have been able to stack them or even motioned them a little more to create some separation, but we're working on it. They are athletic enough to do it and for the most part they are strong enough to do it. We have the footspeed to free ourselves up."
On using Homer as a lead against UO - "We tried that and we got hammered inside. I probably tried it more than I should've. Paul had a very good game. He was very physical and won a lot of those battles. But when the box is that condensed and that loaded up, I don't care if Paul Homer knocks his guy out, there's not a lot of places to escape for the running backs. There wasn't a lot of room in there."
On Anthony Boyles - "It's an overall evaluation of what he has to do on the practice field. We've explained to all of our skill players. Nothing is set in stone. We're still evaluating guys that we think maybe can play and help us. It's fair competition. Mentally we give them tests ever other day to check their assignments, so they know what they are doing. All that plays a part in getting on the field. At the end of the week, if we take seven we have to look at who can help us on special teams. He's already been up twice this week studying, which is really good to see. He's not pouting, he's not hanging his head - he's studying so he can play fast and so he knows what he's doing. I've already talked to him today. It's a new week and we're still looking, still evaluating guys that can help us in any way, shape or form to make us better."
On Tight Ends - "Mike can bring something to the table with his experience and leadership in the run game. That will really help our two-back stuff and our one-back stuff. We have a veteran guy that can hold the point, and he can bring value to the pass game. Kavario at times held his own in the running game and at times struggled. That's going to happen. He did a great job in his route-running and getting open. He didn't drop a ball. If we can get the ball near him, he'll use his height and wingspan to get the football. I was fired up about him and his presence on the sideline. It wasn't too big for him. I really liked that about him. That's why I enjoy being down on the field. I may not see everything that I could in the box, but I get a great feel for the mood and the tempo of the game, and I really liked what I saw out of him on the sideline. He's a great competitor."
On the new guys at UO - "We'd be lying if we didn't say that was an eye-opener for some of those new kids. That's a tough place to play. They'll grow from that game a lot. That place was so ridiculously loud that I couldn't hear anybody in the headset. It was just a hiss the whole game."
On the OL - "I wanted to older guys to step up and be leaders in the huddle, be leaders in the sideline and be more consistent in their play. I don't think they could come in here and look you in the eye and say they played their best game. We know what they can do because we know what we've done running the football around here the last couple of years. That game is over. We've made the corrections and we learned from it.
Our young players have learned about the big arena and how that goes. And it's going to be just like that this weekend. Hopefully it's going to be a packed house and we're loud and they are cheering for us. We've been through it now. They have to grow up and grow up fast. I didn't see anyone that looked too terribly intimidated down there. There were a few times where we were all in a little bit of shock, but we have to move on. We have 11 games left."
On opening things up at home - "We've got some guys in their books right now. I think we'll be a little more wide open in this plan. You'll see some things you haven't seen in a while."
On stressing fundamentals - "Obviously our fundamentals - not just with the o-line, but with the receivers blocking on the perimeter, the running backs blocking in the backfield and the line blocking - we call that 'feet, hands and eyes'. We have to fit up and form up and be better in our technique. We need to make better throws. Jake missed a touchdown. We need to make that throw. That's an opportunity. We have to get our shoulders more downfield in the run game and attack the defense with the football. We call it being the hammer and not getting nailed. We didn't run behind our pads with the kind of velocity to be the best kind of running back we can be. We have a lot of fundamental issues we have to clean up for this weekend against BYU."
On second-half fades - "We've got to make plays. They didn't do one thing from the first half to the second half. We didn't make any plays the first quarter. We made quite a few plays the second quarter and we didn't make any plays (in the third). Three-and-out, three-and-out. It's mental toughness. We've got to be finishers. We've worked on this all the time. They did one thing to us and they did it the whole game. We've got to start fast and end fast. We didn't do that. You don't do that, you are fighting adversity from the start."
On BYU's defense being like anyone in the Pac-10 - "Comparable to Stanford. They play extremely hard. They run to the football. They are a well-coached team on defense. Obviously they have won a lot of games - I think they have the longest winning streak in the country - so for back-to-back years we get the winningest team in the country coming in here. They are a bend-but-don't-break team. They don't want to give up the big play. They don't want to give a cheap one to you, they want to make you earn it. But after watching the (UO) film, who knows. But I don't think that's them."
On Locker missing time in camp hurting chemistry with WR's - He took a beating early. He was pretty sore after the game. We wanted to fire the ball downfield and in the middle because it was wide-open. We were having trouble with our deep stuff, having time to get the ball off. We are not going to sit back there and let him get killed. We're going to get the ball out even more, because that's not going to happen.
On his hamstring - "I don't think he was full speed. When we talked Monday, he wasn't 100 percent. He felt it. But this week, he's had time and he's feeling pretty good right now. But he wasn't 100 percent. Nick Reed would not have gotten to him on a couple of those where he pulled it - I guarantee you that."
On team speed improving - "I think when you get out on that field and it's the environment that it was, it wasn't like we had camp legs or anything. It was the first game for a lot of these kids and they were still thinking about their assignments. We didn't have a lot of total busts, but it's a lot to swallow for them - to do it, and to do it fast. I think they are going to learn every week and I think they will be a lot better."
On fan hostility - "I know that. I can't worry about that. My job is to put the best plan together and call the best game I can. I can't worry about what the fans are saying. They've got a right to say whatever they want. They paid for a ticket, they can come in and criticize everything we do - that's their right. That's not what I'm focused on. If that's what I'm focused on, I'm in the wrong business. It's a new week, that thing is over. We have a lot of games left."
On the youth bouncing back - "When you have the type of character guys we have in this program, they bounce back. When you don't have the type of character kid that you need, you could start having some problems. They can listen to the temperature out there, they can read the internet and they can read the paper and easily be affected by that. We've never had that problem with these kids. We've had a lot of kids on Monday up there (film room and offices) and a lot of kids up there already this morning. That was nice to see, but they should be up there. They know they can play better and we need to take a temporary setback and turn it into a comeback this weekend. That's what we've got to do."
On the offensive players' meeting - "It's good. They care. They want to win. This team right here wants to win more than any other team we've been around. It's important to them. They want to get better and they want to play good. I really believe that."
Chris Polk Notes
On UO being a shock - "We expected to do way better than we did. That just means we have to work way harder than we were doing. We have to come back and forget about that."
On BYU - "They don't have as much speed as Oregon. That's what they had that we didn't have an answer for; their speed and their physical ability and how they ran to the football. They are slower than Oregon but are more physical. We still have to practice and have a solid game plan to beat them."
Self-critique - "On more than half of them (runs) I messed up. There were holes, I didn't see them. I was getting too excited and not being patient. Rookie mistake. But there were some holes to run through, I just missed them."
On opening things up - "I blame myself. I admit that I don't know everything that I'm supposed to do at running back. There are still a lot of things I need to improve on, so I put that on myself. I'm picking things up. There's nothing but school and football. I'm studying with Paul Homer now so I know everything I'm supposed to do. He just tells me to focus on the things I need to do."
On what to expect - "I think this week we'll do a lot more things we didn't do last week, but I really don't know. I'll know when they tell us in meetings in four hours."
On possibly regretting his decision - "I won't ever regret being here. My Mom basically chose me to come here, and I'm not going to choose against my Mom. She has my best interests at heart, so why wouldn't I trust her? I will never regret coming here."
On his role expanding - "I think it will expand, but I think it's more about adjusting to the speed. I want to do more. I'll do whatever is needed to get a win, so I don't have a problem with it."
Ronnie Fouch Notes
On playing UO's secondary - "They (Oregon) were pretty good. Anytime a team can get that much pressure and have the ability to bump our receivers up and play man-to-man coverage you have a good defense. But we're improving every day and we'll see how it goes in practice this week."
On two-QB system - "That's just the first game. They are still talking to me about it. We'll see what happens this weekend. I'm just going to do whatever I can to help this team win, whatever it takes."
On expecting to play - "Coach said I was going to play. For a first game I think I did pretty well. I need to speed up and get accustomed to the speed of the game. That's the main part. I need to speed everything up and make quicker reads."
On the environment - "I had never been to Autzen before, so it was a fun place to play. It was a fun experience. It's too bad we lost because it would have been a great win in their home stadium."
On the huddle - "We're both leaders in this offense. I took a lot of reps this summer and everyone is pretty used to me by now. So there's not a lot of change."
On expecting to play Saturday - "I don't know. We'll see in practice. They want to talk to me about Saturday, so we'll see what happens. But so far I expect to play."
Jordan Polk Notes
On playing in home state - "It was cool to go back and seeing everybody. It was a different feeling because there were so many people you're playing in front of. I was just trying to have fun, trying to not worry about all the other things that were going on."
On any negative reaction at UO - "You heard people in the crowd saying I was a traitor. And I was like how could I be a traitor if I never got an offer? I hate losing, but it was a fun experience just to play my first game at Autzen Stadium and get my first ball thrown to me and try to find a seam, do something to help my team. It was a fun experience."
On playing his first game as a true frosh - "That was one of my goals. I wanted to play, I didn't want to sit. That's been my mentality. I hate watching. I was just trying to help out my teammates, make a big impact or a little impact."
On the kickoff returns - "The first one, I was really amped. I really wanted to take that one out. I couldn't. On the muff, oh man! I didn't secure it all the way in. I saw an opening and my eyes got big. I tried to run before I got it. And then I thought about putting it back in the endzone and kneeling, but I couldn't do that. There was a guy in front of me, so I had to go. I could have (gotten a touchback), but that's just me maturing. When you're young you miss some of the things you're told. In high school it was never kicked that far, so I never had to worry about it."
On Husky Stadium - "I just want to have fun, win the ball game and help my teammates. Cheer for them, do all the little things. And I think we'll come out with a win."
Mike Gottlieb Notes
Said he's expecting to play Saturday. Said it was almost worse not being in Eugene Saturday. "It was almost like a first game for me too. I was nervous at first but then I settled in."
On Kavario Middleton - "He was good for a guy coming in right out of high school...definitely impressive. He's got some great tools. As far as the mental aspect, he's way farther ahead than I expected him to be. He's still got a long way to go, but I'm very impressed with how he's doing."
On Tight Ends being used - "That has been developing during the spring and especially during the fall. It's kind of what I expected, and I expect to see just as much, if not more as the season progresses."
On expected contribution at UO - "I think there are certain things, from a first-game perspective, it helps to have more leadership out there, guys that are a little more comfortable in an environment like that. That could have helped a lot, and that's why it made it so tough not being there. I felt like I could have had an impact by just being calm and being a leader."
On Monday meeting - "From our perspective as a core, we're not worried. We know it looks bad on paper, but when we saw the film we didn't see anything too disheartening. A couple miscues here, a couple things we could have done differently. We need to play older, we need to be more mature. That's the bottom line."
On getting adjusted to game speed - "That was the huge factor, but that doesn't worry me too much because it's going to develop quickly for our young guys. That was the first time seeing that in a hostile environment. That's something they weren't used to. They know what to expect now."
On playing a set number of plays Saturday - "I think the plan is to get in there today and tomorrow and play it by ear, do as much as I can before I get fatigued. Pull up on it before I tweak it again. Just go by ear and take it easy on special teams. But it's basically go until I can't go anymore. Earlier I tried to push it to test it, not really setbacks. It's been pretty standard, according to the trainers. I got a lot of rest last week when I knew that Oregon wasn't in the plans and that did a lot of good."
Willingham Pac-10 Teleconference Notes
On seeing adversity from the start of this season - Anytime you lose, it's a negative. Have to find the right things that the team did well. Came back, fought well, didn't finish the fight. Made some plays, now need to be consistent.
On veterans not playing well - Don't point to anyone. All had a role and didn't play well wanted to. Sense of letting each other down and the fanbase down.
On positives from Oregon - We felt at half to be fortunate to be where we were. Didn't play well, take nothing away from UW. We weren't playing our game, but still close. Didn't close gap, and let them score. That's the kind of separation you can't allow.
On BYU being like Oregon on defense - Not their system to do it in UO's manner, but will try to do it in their structure. Movement, blitzes and stunts to put pressure on them. Have to handle it to pass and also to find avenues to run the football.
On Tim Lappano - Have a tremendous amount of confidence in him and one game will not alter that. I need to assist him to make sure things happen the way we want. 30 ppg last year, second in rushing. Confidence in him and his staff.
On schedule - Excited about schedule. Don't get nervous. Brings eagerness to get to them. Have to get up to speed. Didn't do that against Oregon. Now play No. 16, usually better than No. 21, so have to rise to challenge. Have to handle schedule, don't have a choice. Exciting to play these caliber of teams, but like to space them out. One big challenge every year. But really, the challenge comes every week.
On hot seat and negativity - He's aware of it and is just as frustrated. Disappointed, thought could go down and play with Oregon.
Pac-10 Teleconference Notes
On emotions after win - When you start with a Pac-10 rivalry win on TV, you have to maintain or exceed the level of excitement for the next game. There are no days off. You have to put your best foot forward. Weren't perfect by any stretch and it's a matter of the football team wanting to get better
On Utah State and 'tune up' - There are no tune up games. Respect all fear none. Look at the upsets that occur. Want to try and get better every week. Have things they weren't as pleased with. Less about the opponent. Not a slight against USU. Were competitive against UNLV. But the bullseye is on our chest so we need to take care of business.
On UW - UO played well on defense. Locker tough to handle. Also special teams. Distinct advantage. Played hard and fast. Kickoffs and punts were great, didn't allow big swings in field position.
On Roper - Will practice. More about getting better, playing well and finishing the game.
On pressuring defense - That's what we'd like to be all the time. We're a good team in the secondary, so we can put more in the box and dare people to pass. Put teams in obvious passing positions and then use nickel and dime groupings.
On improved offense - Don't have as many things right now, and when lost Roper didn't run a lot of plays. Were inconsistent. Explosive, but want to be more efficient. Too many negative plays. Inexperience of the QB, but happy with the production. Harper did well, didn't expect to use Masoli much.
On offense - Better than we've every been offensively. Tuitama's confidence is at an all-time high. Feel great about the offense, more balance than at any time last year. Excited about what we're doing.
Missed Jim Harbaugh and basically all of Mike Stoops due to Mendenhall on MWC teleconference call - sorry!
Paterno's role - established a program, been successful, part of their institution. Model for all of us. Really appreciate the fact that he's been at one place for so long - hard to do in their professional. Everybody looks to PSU for the traditions and success. Played a tremendous role in what we do. Been on a couple of Nike trips with him and it's been fun. Appreciate the man and the coach. Not all about football for him. Well-rounded, well-read and interesting to talk to.
Players probably don't have enough appreciation for a guy like him. Just like the players probably don't have an appreciation for the players Riley liked when he was growing up - like Joe Namath.
On go-to guys - Made enough mistakes to account for awhile. Didn't have the numbers running the ball. Stroughter 12 balls, Morales 13 balls. Missing link is running the ball like we have in the past and we need to get back to that.
On getting stronger as the year goes on - Feels the same as last year, and he keeps telling his team that getting better comes through perseverance, and it's part of their identity. Now have to do it again. It has to happen and we have to make it happen.
On going on the road and defensive challenges - Have to learn from the past, just need to go out and play. All about how you play. Daunting task, but great opportunity. Physical up front. Controlling that will be a huge factor. Also have to be sound. Offensively, it's about balance. 54 passes on Thursday is out of character for us.
On Rodgers getting more carries - McCants got off to a slow start, but both are capable.
On traveling that far and also playing back-to-back road games - Have to be resilient. Circumstances can't control how you prepare. Have to be resilient and tough. Lost on the road, but it didn't have anything to do with the travel. Move all the other things away as distractions.
On Stanford - Don't take anything away from them. They didn't turn the ball over, QB managed the game and their RB was effective. Defense kept them out of the end zone, but some of that was our doing. Punt block, lost turnover battle and had 12 penalties. To still have a chance to win was 'astounding' to him.
On losing ball at end of the game - It's coached, lesson learned from the game. It's our story now. Absolutely no need to put the game at risk with 47 seconds left. Hard lesson to learn. Always want guys to score, but there are choices every play. Smart part of football is the key difference between winning and losing.
On understanding the historical implications of playing at PSU - Coaches probably know it better, but the players get it. There's an excitement in the air. Our guys are pretty into football, so pretty good knowledge of who Joe Paterno is. Played against then when I coached at USC. Have tremendous respect for their team, but can't let the part of the trip, the stadium or the crowd distract us. Great lesson in mental toughness for our team.
Pete Carroll - week off
On Sanchez - He's fine. Great preparation, showed he's at full speed. Next two weeks will catch him up for the two weeks he lost.
On bye week - Go back to camp mode to bring the younger guys along, see what they can do. Then turn their sights toward Ohio State.
On Virginia - Just wanted to win. Mark was fine. Just was hoping he wasn't going to show any rust. Everything worked out nice. He did a lot of good things - ability to move around the pocket, quick with the ball getting it out of his hands. Looked sharp and it's exciting as we look ahead.
On Ohio State and his time there. Earle Bruce - great job of orchestrating a championship his first year there, won 11 games. Lot of fun, glad to have had that experience. Bruce knew the situation so well. Knew the history and lore and that meant a lot. He knew how the players would respond during the Michigan game. When he went to USC, spent a lot of time with Marv Goux so he could learn the history and do the same thing.
On where this non-conference game ranks - great tune up for us. Ohio State is an awesome program, have to play a great game. First game in the coliseum, and need to take advantage of coming home.
On non-conference strategy - Like to make our schedule as hard as possible, knowing the Pac-10 is so difficult. Need to get ready and get challenged. Road games get ready for the challenges ahead. Don't think about BCS implications. Trying to win conference first and foremost, and the tough OOC games help do that. Not trying to stack up wins. Now that their program is established, don't need that mentality.
On UCLA-Tennessee - Great finish. Great for the league. Great statement that UCLA was able to knock those guys out. You can't make a stronger statement than that. Glad it happened.
Rick Neuheisel - week off
On QB's - I'm glad there were two halves. Couldn't do worse in the first half, couldn't do better in the second. Rewarding to watch him grow, more rewarding to watch his teammates rally around him. Preaching togetherness, and it came together at halftime. Lot of injury issues have to address. Enjoyed the heck out of it last night, now back to work.
At BYU - first game at UW, had lead, but BYU with Norm Chow came back and won. Great team that deserves to be talked about the nation's best.
Injury update - Paulsen broke foot. Tragic for senior captain. Gone for a while. Hopefully a quick healer. Marcus Everett dislocated big toe. Painful injury. Have to battle through it. Bell ankle sprain, not sure how long he'll be out. Reggie Carter and knee - could be OK, but have to wait on MRI first.
On talking after the game - They asked if he wanted to do it. At UW Fifth Q, leery about it because face the firing squad afterward. Agreed with UCLA to do it, happened to be a good place for it last night.
On working with Craft - Did same thing with Hessler at CU, but still talk to him every week. More critical of QB than probably anyone else because he played it. Craft didn't have to win the game, just manage it. Punting is an OK play. Probably little over the top after third pick. Chow did great job at halftime of getting him calm. Had a couple nice breaks in the second half and that helped him settle down.
On the LA Times ad - Didn't have anything to do with it. Was the UCLA marketing department's idea. It's a call to arms for our own fans. USC is what it is, probably best in the land, and if we are going to compete successfully and catch them, we have to have some swagger. Don't mind the ad. Not close to them yet, but we're going to catch up.
On the OL - were terrific in the pass protection. 31 yards rushing, can't survive on that this year. Some was Bell being down, some was Tennessee's front. Some real work to get that going. But for first time out, we'll take it.
On worry about being overrated now? - No, don't worry about that at all. Lucky last night, but you make your own luck. Have to fight tooth and nail to get it done. Will address the past, where UCLA has gotten big wins, but then have fallen flat. We can't get bullemic just because we look in the mirror.
On one thing he was pleased about last weekend - Passed and protected as well as they have since he's been there.
On Stanford - Played very well against Oregon State, playing with a great deal of confidence. Got to be able to mix it up and run the ball better. If we can do that, we'll be fine.
On Toby Gerhart - Brother is a backup center at ASU. Had a phenomenal performance. Didn't play against ASU last year, hurt. Very fast, very deceptive, quicker than he looks. Made a lot of things happen. Had a couple big runs. Very, very impressive. Was like that in high school. Hard to catch in open field.
On parity in Pac-10 - It's unbelievable. USC controls the league, but with the parity, anyone can beat anyone.
On injuries in the trenches - probably won't get anybody back. Will continue to have to play young guys and they'll have to step up.
On hurdles they've had to overcome - Have had to try to get team to believe they can win, and then when you have some success they start to believe. Then things start to get turned around. Have to develop consistency here, and that will come over time. Sometimes that's harder to do in year two.
On Stanford's defense - played relentless, hard, physical. Saw it last year on tape while preparing for them. Played with great intensity, did it every week. Have a lot of guys coming back that have been there, lot of experience up front and great leadership. Are playing like it. Playing with more confidence, bring a lot of guys and play zone behind it. Don't give up the big play. More aware of what they are doing. Very aggressive because of that.
On players lunging to get a touchdown but fumble - All competitors, all trying to make plays. Reach out without controlling the ball. Same thing happened with us. Hopefully they'll watch it and see it happening. Don't want to stop them from competing, but want to also be smart with the football.
On go-to guys emerging - couple running backs, Tardy and Ivory, and they are veterans guys. Can help offense when healthy. But nicked up, hopefully get some guys back shortly.
On Cal's offense - combination of OL being physical, RB explosiveness and Riley. He's been consistent. High in his passing percentage. Combination of consistency and explosiveness makes things tough.
On positives from Oklahoma State - Defense played well, put in horrible situations and responded. Thought they did a good job overall. Offensively we started to have some success late, but doing it for one quarter isn't enough to win a ball game.
On special teams - Lack of consistency is glaring. Have to perform at a much higher level.
On injuries - Lesuma could play, Jackson is extremely questionable, Stripling questionable.
On execution of new offense - disappointing, because there were parts that were good and others that weren't. Didn't think we were going to be great going in because of injuries and how that's hampered production. Weren't producing great in practice. Would have liked to have had more success. Just didn't get enough done. OL breakdowns, QB misreads, WR inconsistency in route-running. To be honest, it was a little of everything. The combination of mistakes hindered movement of the ball, compounded by dumb penalties, dropped passes. But still learning the scheme and playing young kids at critical positions. Not the consistency you'd get with veterans, but have to work through it.
On what he learned about his team - Lot of optimism, starts with defense. They need to progress, play with consistency. They could keep us in ball games. Special teams has to improve. Punter out with broken leg. Get mistakes cleaned up on offense, will be able to move the ball on people. Things can get fixed and they'll get better as they move forward.
On kickers - Still comfortable with Rooney on kickoffs and Penner for kicks. No one has really won the job. Hoping one does, still work in progress.
On winning close game - Don't necessarily like to see it, but it can benefit you. Kids learn about trusting each other. In that respect it was a good game, because there were a lot of ups and downs and they kept playing hard.
On impressions - Impressed with way defense flew around. Impressed with way offense responded in certain situations, especially when Michigan State made some big plays. Played pretty efficient for the most part.
On Riley - Protected football well, controlled the clock. Was pleased he got experience with the different situations (2-minute, 4-minute) and did them well.
On WSU - play tough at home. Won 14 of last 16 home openers. Big play potential. Always have played Cal tough, tremendous competitiors. Can't get in comfort zone. So much to improve on to get better.
On WSU's offense and problems it presents - Hard to simulate in practice, the tempo and substitutions. Need to match up with personnel groupings too. That can be a challenge. Last year played quite a few no huddle teams.
On getting confidence back - Little shook last year when lost lot of close games, took a toll, but don't think they lost the team. As a coach, if the guys in the locker room don't take control, they aren't as effective. Improved chemistry and improved senior leadership. Consistency is the key.
On key leaders - Zach Follett, Alex Mack, Anthony Felder, Rulon Davis, Will Ta'ufo'ou, Nate Longshore. He (Longshore) is very team-above-self and does a lot to keep everyone together.
Bronco Mendenhall Teleconference Notes
Opening comments - Pleased and excited to play our first game in Edwards Stadium. Anxious to play football and happy to get a win. Now anxious to get on the road trip and improve our football team. We believe Washington is a fine team with an outstanding quarterback, one of the most exciting players in college football, and we are looking forward to the test
On Max Hall's health - Everything is OK. The speculation stemmed from the fact that he was nauseous after the game, but nothing significant. Should be good. Great shape, no issues. 100 percent.
On Jake Locker - Probably the closest to Locker in league was Kevin O'Connell at SDSU. Locker is faster and more physical. Haven't seen anything like Locker. Running away from USC and UCLA on film he's watching. Phenomenal player. Puts pressure on all 11 players. With option, you're a number short no matter where you look. If you don't have speed and athleticism to match him, you have to be assignment-sound to keep leverage.
Can't run every play, or take the game into his own hands every play. Durability factor. West Virginia and Oregon good example of that when QB goes down. No QB keep healthy through entire season in spread. With ability to create, can't always stop. If we can get out of plays with relative gains they will be successful.
On Dennis Pitta and 11 catches against UNI - Based on what UNI did. Their approach was to limit running game and receivers. When you take those parts away, there's the TE. We capitalized on what they were doing offensively. When you have the right compliments, you might get a different result based on what the defense tries to do.
On losing tough close games on the road early in the season - Lost to UA, BC the last couple of years. I've learned as a head coach and we've matured. Not sure early on the road can be a predictor. Looked at everything we can. With the experience we have and maturity might be the answer.
On BCS implications - Wish I could tell you. This game is more important. Don't place one game above another. Not fair to say one game is more important. Play best we can and learn the lessons and move on.
On offense being like Edwards' offenses back in the day - Neat evolution to watch. Edwards so dynamic and so successful. Mike Leach took it and spread it out at Texas Tech. BYU OC Robert Anae was center on national championship team, but learned TT offense under Leach. It's really it's all based on the old BYU offense and now it's come full circle. Lot of tradition there, blueprint for what we wanted to do.
On being different than Gary Crowton's offense - He's an offensive genius. His style was not nearly as conventional as what they do now. Not a lot of gadgets anymore, more methodical, physical run game.
On being overconfident - No. Most of focus is to only acknowledge ourselves. UW is just the next opponent. Believe the Oregon game was a lot closer for much of the game. Difficult scheme to defend. Not the best indicator as to what Washington is. But we need to reach our potential.
On both Utah teams in the rankings - Good for both, but don't acknowledge it. Good for the conference, and the more positive news we can bring it can always help. Great for the state. Kyle Whittingham does a great job and to go to a place like Michigan and win shows that. Feel some responsibility to carry the colors of the MWC and generate excitement and credibility for the conference.
Tuesday morning BYU news links...
Jay Drew from The Salt Lake Tribune posted this story on the focus of the BYU defense this weekend on Monday... Washington QB poses big challenge
In today's edition of the SLT, Drew reports on the fears following BYU's game on Saturday that QB Max Hall had suffered a concussion...QB Max Hall was feared to have had a concussion
In today's Provo Daily Herald, Jason Franchuk has quite a few BYU notes, including a review of Max Hall's Saturday performance by Cougars QB coach Brandon Doman...BYU football: Grading on the (learning) curve
On Monday, Darnell Dickson posted a story on Mendenhall's thoughts regarding BYU's 41-17 win over Northern Iowa...Game 1 provides plenty of teachable moments
Monday Player Notes and Quotes
Tyrone Willingham notes:
On BYU - "We have our work cut out for us. We are eager to get to this next ball game."
On BYU's speed - "They move around very well. They are quick, are very explosive and are very aggressive."
On what looks like mistakes, compared to areas to exploit based on a first game - "Sometimes they are difficult to distinguish."
On pressure to win - "We just want to fundamentally improve and see if we can get every player to just focus to improve his ability, and that will collectively improve us as a football team.
On BYU TE Dennis Pitta and his 11 catches against UNI. Their other TE had four. "That's 15 catches out of 34 completions. That's a high number, so it's not just one tight end we can be concerned about." TW added that RB Harvey Unga does a lot of things in their underneath passing game.
No changes to Jared Ballman's role as starting punter despite his inconsistent game against Oregon.
On the resiliency of the younger players after a loss like that - "To me it seems awful early to be concerned about the resiliency of our kids. They came to play. They focused and have been as consistent a group as we've had in camp. So that's not a major concern for me right now."
On both lines - "It took us a while for us to adjust to the speed of game play. When we did, we got better. Once we start to play better earlier, it will influence how we play late."
On the difference in the game being missed tackles, mental miscues and no production from the offense. "When you fight your way back in the ball game you have to get your feet on the ground and be more productive, and we were not at that time."
On learning from the game. TW asks his team to stay in the present. Used Sunday to review and to look at the positives and negatives. Then tomorrow they'll move forward to BYU and start to focus on them. "The leadership will come from myself and our coaches."
On the frosh at Oregon - "We knew it would be intense, we knew it would be different. We knew that everyone would have to get in the rhythm of the game. I don't think they were in awe of what was going on. But we did play a good football team and sometimes that plays a part in what happens."
On Kavario Middleton - "I thought he did a wonderful job. I didn't see any noticeable signs of the stage being too big or too bright for him."
On taking a positive from the UO loss - "That environment helps you grow. That is a good thing. But it's not the outcome we wanted. But it will toughen them up in terms of having to go into difficult places and be successful. Coming back home should be easier to get into a routine and getting ready for what's going to take place."
On ignoring the outside distractions - "It's very difficult in the modern era to keep things away from your football team. Our kids are so connected with the internet and other forms of communication that it's impossible to try to shield them from what's out there. But I hope our team looks to their leadership and sees where they are focused. My attention and my eyes have been on what's next, and what's next this week is BYU."
On BYU doing what Hawai'i did last year - "I think they are very comparable. They return a lot of players and have a returning quarterback that was one of the most productive quarterbacks last year. They come in with a lot of confidence in a lot of places."
On BYU's OL - "They seem like they have almost more experience than their coaching staff."
On team speed being influenced by inexperience - "I think it's almost impossible not to play slower. I think they will quicken up their pace as we get older, more mature. And that's part of the growth that takes place in week two as compared to week one."
On the health of Jake Locker - "Jake is fine. Obviously the hamstring allowed him to play, but I don't think it was probably at 100 percent. I thought he was healthy and was able to perform well."
Nothing major on the injury front after the UO game, just cramping.
On the health of Michael Gottlieb - "He's probable. We'll be very cautious with him, because when we get him back we'd like to keep him."
On the status of Jason Wells - "There are two schools of thought. If Jason is not fully ready to go then maybe we'll take this year and redshirt him or we'll work through the year to see where he's at. I haven't completely made up my mind on either of those, but I'm probably leaning toward taking the year and redshirting him."
On finishing games, he said there are three components; putting players in the right place, making sure the physical conditioning and stamina is there to get it done, and also make sure the players have the confidence to do it. Did any of those things break down? "I think it was just a couple of big plays and the game got away from us. That's what I saw."
On Chris Polk - "It was a growing experience. Until you've been there, you don't know what it is. You just realize how quick, how fast things happen and the transition that has to take place."
On Juan Garcia - "He played the whole game and is doing fine."
On the OL taking the blame for lack of offensive output - No one area taking the blame. Coaches have to do a better job of taking that one extra player in the box. Still have to block better and run better, but it wasn't just one of those things that was a problem.
On the benefits from playing at Oregon - "I think our whole football team took a step. We were down 14, and in that stadium against that team you can very easily get knocked out right then and there. But our team maintained their poise and confidence and just kept battling back. We played all of the third quarter within striking distance. But we have to find a way to get over the top, and that we didn't do."
On Chris Harper - UW was expecting to see him in running situations because they had seen UO do a similar thing with a running back direct snap last year. "We knew that was something they might do, especially with the injuries they had at that position."
On what to take from UO - "They have done a great job with their system. When you start to scratch and move, they know the next place to go. And they've done a great job of that - they test you in a number of places. You pick up something from every system, but I think we have a good system. I think our offensive coaches have some good ideas on what we need to do and what best serves our personnel."
On the offensive gameplan being too conservative - "Based on what we anticipated going in, you might think we could get some of what we got, but you have to execute it. That's the key. I think we had a lot of things in place, but weren't able to execute them."
On how much the plan changed during the course of the game. "It changed a fair amount. If you can't protect and do the things you like to do, you have to make some changes."
Jake Locker notes:
Was asked about the UW-BYU series and their 1984 national championship when UW was No. 2 and he said wasn't aware of it.
Asked about his health and he said that he feels pretty good
On UO - "We just didn't execute the things we needed to as well as we needed to. We just didn't click as an offense. And we need to have all 11 guys doing the right things at the same time to have success." Added that UW had an idea that they were going to load up in the box and make the Huskies beat them over the top. And it worked.
On his hamstring - "I just didn't feel as fast as I normally am. That's something that will come with time." Added that it didn't 'catch' or anything - he just needs to trust that he can open it up and sprint.
On rebounding from the loss - "In the big scheme of things, it's not a big deal. We have to focus on the next game. We left a lot out there. It's one game. I don't think there needs to be any panic or any extra stress on anybody."
On feeling any extra pressure because Willingham is on the hot seat - "Coach is our leader, we look to him. He doesn't let it bother him and we treat it the same way. He's here to win and so are we. We all understand that and that's our main focus. We don't worry about all that other stuff."
On the pressure building with more losses - "We shouldn't be here if we don't want to win. And I don't think anyone puts more pressure on us than we do as a team to have success and win."
On perhaps putting too much pressure on themselves at UO. Locker said he felt like they had a great summer and fall camp. "I think we may have gotten a little overconfident. Maybe that caused us to not play as well at times and that hurt us. We just need to understand that we can't just show up and beat anybody on any given day. It's something we're trying to put behind us."
On the benefit for the younger receivers - "For those guys to see corners and safeties like Oregon has, we probably won't see many better cover corners than those guys. To get that experience and to critique that film, that will help them a lot."
On the young guys and resiliency - "I think they'll have a big week this weekend."
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim Notes:
On the young guys bouncing back - "This will be their first game coming back off a loss, so we'll see how they react."
On what he saw from them in the locker room - "They were quiet. I wouldn't expect them to be jumping up and down."
On what he can do as a leader - "Just practice hard and show them that way."
On coming home being a great thing for right now - "Playing here will be a great plus for us. We have such great fans."
On talking to the young players about what to expect - "I think they have an idea."
Mason Foster Notes:
On the UO game plan - "They had us really prepared for the situation. We just have to finish better. You have to give it up to them, they are a great team."
On Finishing - "We held them pretty well up until the fourth quarter. To have it slip so easily from our hands..."
On perception of TW being on the hot seat - "I try not to listen to the media. You can't shield the team. I love Coach Willingham. I try to play as hard as I can. Either way - winning or losing - even if he wasn't on the hot seat, I don't like losing. Hot seat or no hot seat, you can't take losses like that."
On playing at home this Saturday - "Husky Stadium is amazing. At least we'll have the support of the Husky fans. I love the Husky fans. I'm excited to play in front of a packed house. That's why I love playing in the Pac-10, playing the schedule we have. It's like each game is a dream game."
On the youth - "Everybody is a veteran now. We played in Autzen Stadium against one of the best teams in the nation right off the bat. We should be ready for anything else that comes up now."
On the defense being accountable for what they can do. "We talked last night. I think if we all hold each other accountable...if you make a key tackle or if I knock down a ball...I think the outcome could be a lot different."
On tackling better - The team does no live tackling in practice to keep players fresh and healthy. "It's the same reason you don't practice cut blocking. But it's on us. You can't miss tackles like that - plain and simple. Now everybody knows what it's going to take, so now we have to be in position."
Quinton Richardson notes:
On his first start - "I knew I had to stand up to the challenge, so I did all I could."
On what he took from watching Oregon - "Their defense played as a unit. We did at times, but we have to do more of that."
On bouncing back from a loss - "We are not out of the game yet. There are still time to pick things up and we can still win a lot of games. We have a big business team (BYU) coming in, so we have to pick it up."
On coming from a winning program (O'Dea) to this situation - "I'm not used to losing."
On being a leader now - "I haven't really been through the trenches yet. There are still things for me to learn."
On playing in front of friends and family on Saturday - "I'm counting on that support."
On the difference between playing corner and safety - "There's a lot more reads for me to make, a lot more plays. I still have to work on deep balls. I have to pay more attention to the receivers, but there's a lot less reads. At safety, you have to worry about the o-line adjustment, the d-line adjustment, where the receivers are, what the running back and quarterback are doing."
D'Andre Goodwin notes:
On coming home - "It's always nice to play at home, but you have to go out and play no matter where you are at."
He called a meeting Monday morning to go over things the offense saw on film and the things they need to correct. "We weren't executing like we should have been."
He had his first start Saturday night. "I'm the oldest receiver, so I take that role of being the veteran. I have to play older. But we help each other. We'll work together to get ready for the next game."
He thinks the game plan against Oregon was sound. "For myself, I needed to get separation for Jake (Locker) to get me the ball and I don't think I did as well as I should have done."
On speed, or lack thereof - "You can't really get going if you have a guy on your hip." Added that it's just 'small things to work on' to make that jump they need to win a game.
Paul Homer Notes:
On what he's telling the young players - "We are good as an offense. We can move the ball and be physical."
On Oregon creating a blueprint for other defenses - "We know that other teams are going to do that, so we need to prepare for it."
On what he's told the young guys about Husky Stadium. "The fans get crazy."
On coming out of the tunnel - "Every time I get that feeling, like it's the first time."
On keeping the outside distractions to a minimum - "Most of the noise is in the papers and in the media. Most of our guys don't read that stuff. Our focus is on something different. Our focus is on winning games."
On the young guys bouncing back - "Nobody is a rookie anymore. I think they are going to bounce back real well, because everyone knows what we need to work on."
BYU's Depth Chart Announced
OFFENSE POS No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown/Last School XR 3 Michael Reed 6-1 202 Sr. Baytown, TX / Robert E. Lee 83 Spencer Hafoka 6-0 183 Fr. Kahuku, HI / Kahuku HR 2 Bryce Mahuika 5-9 190 Sr. Vancouver, WA / Evergreen 83 Spencer Hafoka 6-0 183 Fr. Kahuku, HI / Kahuku ZR 9 Austin Collie 6-2 206 Jr. El Dorado Hills, CA / Oak Ridge 11 O'Neill Chambers 6-2 209 Fr. Harmony, FL / Harmony -or- 13 Luke Ashworth 6-2 195 So. Provo, UT / Timpview TE 32 Dennis Pitta 6-5 250 Jr. Moorpark, CA / Moorpark 88 Andrew George 6-5 243 Jr. Englewood, CO / Cheery Creek LT 70 Matt Reynolds 6-6 321 Fr. Provo, UT / Timpview 64 RJ Willing 6-5 312 Jr. Kahuku, HI / Kamehameha LG 76 Ray Feinga 6-5 348 Sr. West Valley City, UT / Hunter 60 Terence Brown 6-3 334 So. Summerville, SC / Summerville C 65 Dallas Reynolds 6-5 320 Sr. Provo, UT / Timpview 66 Garrett Reden 6-3 275 So. Valley Ctr., CA / Valley Ctr. RG 74 Travis Bright 6-5 313 Sr. Queen Creek, AZ / Highland 73 Jason Speredon 6-5 291 So. West Valley City, UT / Granger RT 68 David Oswald 6-8 330 Sr. Sandy, UT / Brighton 72 Nick Alletto 6-6 288 So. Parker, CO / Ponderosa QB 15 Max Hall 6-1 201 Jr. Mesa, AZ / ASU 6 Brenden Gaskins 6-5 213 Jr. Farmington, NM / Glendale RB 1 Fui Vakapuna 6-1 253 Sr. Glendale, UT / East 33 Wayne Latu 5-11 215 Jr. Provo, UT / Provo HB 45 Harvey Unga 6-0 239 So. Provo, UT / Timpview 10 J.J. DiLuigi 5-9 199 Fr. Canyon Country, CA / Canyon DEFENSE POS No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown/Last School RE 84 Jan Jorgensen 6-3 274 Jr. Helper, UT / Carbon 57 Matt Putnam 6-6 237 Fr. Brigham City, UT / Box Elder -or- 90 Bernard Afutiti 6-0 260 Jr. Fontana, CA / Mr. SAC NT 52 Russell Tialavea 6-3 300 Jr. Oceanside, CA / Oceanside 93 Mosese Foketi 6-0 277 Sr. Oakland, CA / Laney LE 92 Brett Denney 6-4 260 Jr. Thornton, CO / Legacy -or- 77 Ian Dulan 6-1 255 Jr. Hilo, HI / Kamehameha SLB 43 David Nixon 6-3 233 Sr. College Station, TX / A&M Con. 6 Daniel Sorensen 6-1 208 Fr. Colton, CA / Colton MLB 35 Matt Bauman 6-1 232 Jr. Salt Lake City, UT / Skyline 39 Iona Pritchard 6-0 234 Fr. S. Jordan, UT / Bingham BLB 42 Shawn Doman 6-2 232 Jr. Woodburn, OR / Canby -or- 51 Matt Ah You 5-11 227 Jr. Ran. Cucamunga, CA / Lone Peak WLB 37 Vic So'oto 6-3 245 Jr. Carlsbad, CA / Carlsbad -or- 41 Coleby Clawson 6-3 220 Jr. Wales, UT / Snow FC 4 Brandon Howard 5-9 170 Jr. Riverside, CA / LaSierra 17 G Pittman 5-10 189 Fr. Ran. Cucamonga, CA / Ran. Cuc. BC 21 Scott Johnson 5-11 185 Jr. Provo, UT / Timpview 5 Brandon Bradley 6-0 210 So. Tallahassee, FL / Lincoln KAT 23 David Tafuna 6-1 211 Sr. Mesa, AZ / Meza 2 Shiloah Te'o 5-10 207 Fr. Laie, HI / Kahuku FS 16 Kellen Fowler 5-11 187 Sr. Kaysville, UT / Davis 22 Andrew Rich 6-3 202 So. Ogden, UT / Snow SPECIAL TEAMS POS No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown/Last School K 38 Mitch Payne 6-2 208 So. North Ogden, UT / Weber -or- 18 Justin Sorensen 6-1 222 Fr. S Jordan, UT / Bingham P 26 CJ Santiago 6-2 211 Sr. Honolulu, HI / Orange Coast 18 Justin Sorensen 6-1 222 Fr. S. Jordan, UT / Bingham DS 56 Chris Muehlmann 6-0 211 Sr. Amer. Fork, UT / Amer. Fork 59 John Pace 6-2 205 So. Yorba Linda, CA / Espinosa KR 11 O'Neill Chambers 6-2 209 Fr. Harmony, FL / Harmony 20 Reed White 5-10 190 Sr. Gilbert AZ / ASU PR 11 O'Neill Chambers 6-2 209 Fr. Harmony, FL / Harmony -or- 20 Reed White 5-10 190 Sr. Gilbert AZ / ASU
UW's depth chart versus BYU
Offense WR 11 D'Andre Goodwin 5-11 175 So./Jr. 9 Devin Aguilar 6-0 195 Fr./Fr. LT 79 Ben Ossai 6-6 332 Jr./Sr. 69 Nick Scott 6-4 337 Jr./Sr. LG 76 Jordan White-Frisbee 6-5 368 Sr./Sr. 65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr. OR 70 Morgan Rosborough 6-6 382 Jr./Sr. C 58 Juan Garcia 6-3 305 Sr./Sr. 64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 320 So./Jr. OR 65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr. RG 72 Casey Bulyca 6-6 339 Sr./Sr. 65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr. RT 71 Cody Habben 6-6 316 So./Jr. 67 Skyler Fancher 6-5 294 RFr./So. TE 86 Michael Gottlieb 6-5 249 Sr./Sr. 83 Walt Winter 6-4 254 Sr./Sr. OR 80 Kavario Middleton 6-5 255 Fr./Fr. 4 Chris Izbicki 6-3 249 RFr./So. QB 10 Jake Locker 6-3 222 So./Jr. 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So. 7 Taylor Bean 6-1 199 RFr./So. TB 1 Chris Polk 5-11 200 Fr./Fr. 6 Brandon Johnson 5-9 207 So./So. OR 20 David Freeman 5-7 190 Fr./Fr. 21 Willie Griffin 5-8 198 RFr./So. FB 30 Paul Homer 6-1 239 Jr./Jr. 32 Luke Kravitz 6-0 228 Sr./Sr. WR 3 Alvin Logan 6-2 218 RFr./So. 15 Jermaine Kearse 6-1 180 Fr./Fr. Defense DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 263 Jr./Sr. 92 Everrette Thompson 6-6 255 Fr./Fr. 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr. DT 99 Cameron Elisara 6-3 289 So./Jr. 74 Alameda Ta'amu 6-2 348 Fr./Fr. DT 93 Senio Kelemete 6-4 260 Fr./Fr. 37 Johnie Kirton 6-3 296 Sr./Sr. OR 91 Tyrone Duncan 6-2 278 RFr./So. DE 59 Darrion Jones 6-2 245 Jr./Sr. 50 Kalani Aldrich 6-7 240 RFr./So. OR 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr. OLB 24 Joshua Gage 6-2 226 Jr./Sr. 5 Matt Houston 6-0 232 So./Jr. ILB 9 Donald Butler 6-1 242 Jr./Jr. 57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 243 Sr./Sr. OLB 40 Mason Foster 6-1 229 So./So. 29 Chris Stevens 6-1 218 Sr./Sr. FS 8 Nate Williams 6-0 207 So./So. 34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr. SS 15 Darin Harris 5-11 208 Sr./Sr. 41 Victor Aiyewa 6-1 209 So./So. CB 28 Quinton Richardson 6-0 200 RFr./So. 6 Vonzell McDowell, Jr. 5-9 178 So./So. CB 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2 202 Sr./Sr. 19 Matt Mosley 5-10 180 So./Jr. Special Teams P 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr. 17 Erik Folk 5-11 199 RFr./So. 13 Ryan Perkins 5-10 205 Jr./Sr. FG/PAT 13 Ryan Perkins 5-10 205 Jr./Sr. 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr. KO 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr. HLD 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So. SNP 49 Danny Morovick 6-4 213 Jr./Sr. KOR 82 Jordan Polk 5-8 161 Fr./Fr. 28 Quinton Richardson 6-0 200 RFr./So. PR 11 D'Andre Goodwin 5-11 175 So./Jr.