48-7 Arizona, and another redshirt bites the dust - Cody Bruns. One more left - Anthony Boyles, and Willingham will bowl the redshirt turkey tonight. Arizona has 373 yards total offense, and they've already taken Willie Tuitama out of the game. He finishes 17-21 for 193 and three touchdowns - and at one point threw 14-straight completions.
It's ugly. The UW SID is asking for interview requests, and the general consensus is - whoever will talk. It might be the shortest media session in the history of college football. What will be more interesting is to hear the thoughts of new AD Scott Woodward, who has agreed to answer questions. He probably had to; he definitely knew they were coming in the wake of this onslaught.
2 Q thoughts:
Pretty much as expected. 31-7 Arizona and with 47 seconds left in the half and the ball on their own 20, not even Mike Stoops is interested in trying to get more points. Why should he? The 'Cats will have plenty of chances in the second half, and probably with their second-stringers.
This UW team is setting new highs for futility at almost every turn. Mike Thomas earned his first career touchdown via return; UW threw their first interception of the season. Even when the wind is in their face, Arizona's Keenyn Crier rips off a 45-yard kick. When Jared Ballman had the win, all he could muster was a 38-yarder. Washington didn't have a kick return the whole first quarter because of the wind, and the first chance they do get to return they end up returning it to their own 19. D'Andre Goodwin, hurting with bruised ribs all week, comes in for one play, catches a pass, drops it and gets leveled in the process.
It's so bad apparently Tyrone Willingham has decided burning redshirts is the best course of action, as Terrance Dailey came in to run the ball in the second quarter. The only time that should happen is if both Willie Griffin and Brandon Johnson are on crutches.
The only interesting thing about this second half from a UW perspective is as a rubbernecker. Americans love a good wreck as much as anything, and they are getting a first-hand glimpse of a team falling apart as I type. It's unfortunate, it's sad, it's depressing. But most of all, it's become entirely too predictable.
1 Q thoughts:
It's 17-0 Arizona and based on this trend, Willingham better start updating his resume. UW has given up roughly 150 yards on defense, and the offense, while showing some promise at times, bogs down, leading to punts that are getting swallowed by the heavy desert winds. UW will have the ball to start the second quarter, but does it matter at this point? If they score on their opening drive, they might stand a chance of calming the storms a little bit. If not, expect the rout to be on. Either way, it's going to take something extremely unusual for Arizona's offensive attack to be derailed.
20 minutes to game time
Quick pre-game notes:
Just watching the warmup it looks like Tripper Johnson is starting at safety with Nate Williams and Willie Griffin was the first tailback used, then Terrance Dailey and then Brandon Johnson. Also, they had Devin Aguilar at punt return, so clearly D'Andre Goodwin's status is up in the air. He was out with the team warming up.
Scott Woodward is on the sidelines. So is Neal Dempsey.
65 minutes to game time
Travel roster announced:
9 - Aguilar
41 - Aiyewa
50 - Aldrich
12 - Ballman
7 - Bean
5 - Boyles
7 - Bruns
72 - Bulyca
9 - Butler
28 - Chidiac
27 - Dailey
31 - Dennison
99 - Elisara
67 - Fancher
23 - Forrester
40 - Foster
8 - Fouch
24 - Gage
58 - Garcia
11 - Goodwin
86 - Gottlieb
21 - Griffin
88 - Hawkins
56 - Hayes
30 - Homer
5 - Houston
4 - Izbicki
6 - Johnson
34 - Johnson
59 - Jones
15 - Kearse
93 - Kelemete
37 - Kirton
32 - Kravitz
12 - Leonard
10 - Locker
3 - Logan
96 - Matthews
6 - McDowell
80 - Middleton
49 - Morovick
19 - Mosley
79 - Ossai
13 - Perkins
38 - Persley
43 - Poe
82 - Polk
94 - Rasp
28 - Richardson
69 - Scott
64 - Sedillo
29 - Stevens
47 - Sylvester
74 - Ta'amu
66 - Te'o-Nesheim
92 - Thomspon
65 - Tolar
57 - Tuiasosopo
76 - White-Frisbee
97 - Wiggs
8 - Williams
83 - Winter
52 - Wood
Afternoon practice notes (per Jonathan Martone):
Donald Butler was not in red
D'Andre Goodwin was in red
Johri Fogerson was in pads but not participating
Darin Harris, Allen Carroll, Jake Locker, Chris Polk were watching
Bryon Davenport and Tyrone Duncan were walking stairs
Brandon Yakaboski came out late on one crutch
David Freeman was in pads but watching
Casey Bulyca led husky jacks
Watched the defensive backs do a catching drill where they run about 25-30 yards and try and make the catch. Today coach Willingham was out there trying to distract them from making the catch (actually jumped up and caught one).
Watched a situational scrimmage. The two offense versus the one defense. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim got a sack (two hands) on Bean after a low snap. later in the drive Bean went deep and was intercepted by Tripper Johnson.
The one offense versus the two defense went better. They were down 2 points with limited time left. Fouch hit Jermaine Kearse on a long throw to inside the five-yard line; he managed to get one foot in before going out of bounce. With two seconds left Ryan Perkins hit a field goal.
Willingham afternoon notes (per Jonathan Martone):
On how things have gone this week- "I'm a little concerned with some of the bumps and bruises that haven't quite mended as well as we like them too." He said they would wait to see whom they will take to Arizona. D'Andre Goodwin and David Freeman fit into that category.
On how the team has responded this week- "The team has worked hard, we're good, it's a football game and they're getting ready to play."
On Fouch- He said he has been very consistent and is playing the same now as he was before he was elevated to starter. He has worked very hard at commanding the offense, and he said he has done a good job.
On Fouch's confidence- He thinks the team has a lot of confidence in him. He thinks the guys have liked the way he has played since he has arrived. "He has a little different energy to him. He has a little bit excitement to him, the way he bounces and does things."
On if Fouch has a good connection with the receivers- "I would say yes." He thinks the extra repetitions Fouch got in training camp when Locker went down allowed him to build good relationships with the receivers.
On Cody Bruns and Anthony Boyles- "Probably Bruns has seen more activity than Boyles has. There is a likelihood that he will play, some this weekend." He said they would wait on Boyles to decide if he will play at all. He thinks both of those guys continue to improve but Bruns is a little head.
On Terrance Dailey- "He is battling school ailments." He thinks since there is so many people on campus all the flu's and viruses are affecting him.
On how a freshman QB will respond- He said Ronnie Fouch isn't really a freshman; he has already had two spring practices. He thinks he will have the "poise and collective posture to handle what they (Arizona) will throw at him."
On if Locker is traveling- "I will be making that (decision) as we work through practice." He said there is a real value for his leadership.
On if Goodwin has been able to perform- "A little bit, very, very limited. Today will be an important day for him."
On Victor Aiyewa- "Victor has done very well. It has been a real pleasure to have Victor back out. If you go back to the spring Victor was one of the guys we thought might be one of our starting safeties. Having him back out kind of creates a new level of energy and focus, so it's been good to have him out."
On Johri Fogerson- He said he probably has had a little bit of a setback with his ankle injury, so he is not sure what his status will be, but it is not looking very progressive.
On if other players might rotate to safety- "We will play any living, moving, healthy body back there that can play and can handle all the defense and things we're going to do."
On preparing for the heat- He said there isn't really anything they can do. They don't the facilities to make the temperature warmer.
On the offensive line- He said they are stepping up their game and playing intense. He thinks the offensive line controls the pace of the game and if they can dominate the line the defense gets to rest and that helps a lot.
On Craig Noble- "Craig is getting acclimated, and no one realizes how difficult a task that is." He said being thrown into the college environment with the classes and football is really hard. "People are screaming at him and pushing him. It was kind of amusing on his first day he didn't know what direction to go with his group." He said it's difficult to come into an environment like UW.
On having other young D-linemen with him- He said it would be ideal to have veteran players with him because the other freshmen are learning as well. He said Daniel Te'o- Nesheim is a special young man that takes other guys under his wing. "You need five or six Daniels to really do the things you need to do."
Well, this Saturday's Washington game at Arizona is one where you just don't want to look at the numbers if you are a Husky fan. Frankly? They aren't very pretty. But just like FedEx, we deliver, regardless of sleet, snow, tornado or in the case of the Wildcats a wildly effective spread offense. To read more about how the numbers crunch out, click on the link below.
Call for Backup:
Injuries seem to be the most consistent thing about the Washington offense this year. The running, passing, and receiving corps have all had their share of bad luck. The shuffling of players has resulted in a highly effective offense at times, and at other times has created nothing but confusion. To read more on Jon Martone's take on the replacements, click on the link below.
Call for Backup
Afternoon Practice Notes:
First, those players that weren't in pads:
Chris Polk and Jake Locker were there, arms both in slings. Donald Butler and D'Andre Goodwin were both again in red. Butler came out and as soon as he hit the field gave out a pretty strong primal scream to no one in particular. Bradly Roussel and Justin Glenn were in full pads. Terrance Dailey showed up while the team was running through their 2-minute scenario.
Before stretching, it appeared as if Daniel Te'o-Nesheim was giving lots of instruction to Craig Noble. I would have to believe it's a huge longshot for Noble to travel this weekend, but stranger things have happened.
Chris Izbicki was wearing No. 48 - so he's the service team's Rob Gronkowski.
At one point there were four fullbacks and only one tailback (Willie Griffin) working today, as they were retaping Brandon Johnson's ankles. Luke Kravitz also paid a visit to the trainer for what looked like the same thing.
The 2-minute period was the one thing we got to see today. The Huskies started on their own 27 down 13-7 and less than two minutes left, and Ronnie Fouch didn't take long moving the team downfield against what appeared to be the No. 2 defense. He threw the ball to a wide open Kavario Middleton for a touchdown.
Afternoon Willingham Notes:
Brandon Yakaboski hurt his knee yesterday, not sure the severity. Apparently he hurt the other knee a week ago and was able to come back, so Willingham is hopeful, but isn't counting on him being a viable option for Arizona on Saturday. Added that Yakaboski has natural 'laxity' in his knees, which doesn't help matters. It appears that Brandon Johnson and Willie Griffin will be the healthy running backs going to Tucson, but didn't count out David Freeman. Said that they still haven't located the issue with Freeman's ankles.
On Victor Aiyewa - Glad to see him back out there working, has been a while, later in the week they'll have a better gauge as to how involved he'll be on the weekend. The coaches are hoping he returns to the form they saw in the spring. Added that going back home to Texas during the bye week was a benefit to him and the team to help get him back and ready to go ASAP. When you can add a physical player, it makes a difference.
Terrance Dailey was just sick and Bradly Roussel was taking care of a personal issue - that's why they weren't at practice Tuesday. With Dailey's redshirt, you think about possibly burning it, but you don't talk about it at all until he gets healthy.
On Donald Butler - they are moving him into more active practice today and he's expected to play. With D'Andre Goodwin, doesn't matter if the ribs are cracked or not, that injury is still a very painful one ("Everything hurts."), so if he plays it's a matter of just how much pain he can endure. If he doesn't play, Devin Aguilar would be the next in line returning punts. Also said that with Byron Davenport's injury, it probably was there before he came to UW. If he does go through with the surgery this month, his collegiate career is likely over.
Asked about the weather they expect (90's) and he said that they reached 70 yesterday and probably 70 today. Said they are stressing the idea of making sure the players stay hydrated.
On Fouch taking the majority of snaps, and TW said that he's been itching for the opportunity to be included more, despite the unfortunate nature of events. And the leadership still needs to come from the guys up front.
Still isn't sure how the numbers are going to work out in regards to taking Jake Locker with the team. 64 travel during Pac-10 games.
Ed Donatell Notes:
Said that Arizona has a nice talented receiver group and an experienced QB (Tuitama) who distributes the ball well. They are dangerous with their screen packages and they try to get their speed in space. They need to get multiple players with aggressive angles to contain them. And then when you load up on the pass they run the ball. They have protected the QB well, due to a line that's done a nice job and the QB gets rid of the ball quickly. The back will go out on a swing route instead of pass pro. This offense doesn't resemble what any of the other teams UW has faced. They will also tighten up and do a power, two-back set. Also have to worry about Rob Gronkowski. They'll go 4 wide or 3 wide with him. Throw him fades to take advantage of his height.
Because they tighten up, that helps UW a little bit because the Huskies do the same thing - work in both modes: spread and power.
Haven't played the way they are capable of playing this year. They hold a vision, a picture of guys improving. But it hasn't been noticeable because of what's taken place during game day. Their intent is to make it noticeable and help their team win. Light won't turn on right away, but there will be more plays made and the confidence increases. There's history with the coaches where they've persevered through adversity.
On strength - years ago it was probably drastic because no one out of high school could play on the lines. Now there's not as big a gap because players are much stronger coming out of high school. When they haven't tasted success on the scoreboard, Donatell works on one thing at a time to build success. Fit that play, get that done - then go to the next thing. He talked about 'creating multiplication', where one guy gets it and that affects a couple of other guys and that affect multiplies throughout the entire defense.
On 3-4 or 4-3, thought it was the best chance to win against Stanford, but you'll still see both the odd and even fronts. And philosophically there's no one concept that is more effective against a team that likes to spread it out more.
On lack of sacks and Donatell said that at this point, it's almost like luck that it hasn't happened. Like trying to get a win, they have to go out and get that first one. It's nowhere near the standard they need to have. Get pressure first, then sacks. And he looks at pressure on the quarterback and confusion that creates, and he hasn't seen nearly enough of that. It's a puzzle on how to get pressure, there's hundreds of different ways to go about it. Anytime you're adding guys into the box, it's a risk-reward thing. And they probably blitzed a little more against Stanford, and probably gave up a couple of bigger plays because of that, but if you get in the game of removing those plays to have things look better, and if you end up saying that a lot, that's not good. That's not what it's about.
On pressing too much to try and get that sack - It's me who probably presses. But when you put the work into it and you aren't seeing the results, it has to get fixed. And if you get the problems fixed, the probability of having success goes up. Like anything, you want to see the results, and when you don't there's no question doubt can creep in. It's their job to communicate it to the players to stay the course and stay strong.
On Donald Butler - He's working this week and he intends to play. But when he's out that means other guys have to fill in with regards to the communications role - like Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Trenton Tuiasosopo is splitting time with him, and he fills in that role as well.
On Victor Aiyewa - It's a position where they've been hit by the injury bug, and we welcome any guys back. Hopefully we can get him going this week.
Victor Aiyewa Notes:
Victor Aiyewa Notes
Said that the groin strain he's been suffering from was something that happened after spring ball, but he's not sure when it happened or how. He's gotten a couple of different opinions on it, and even got permission to go home last week to the Houston area to seek a second opinion on what's been causing the problem.
Originally they thought it was a groin strain, but typical strains don't last as long as this injury has. Both doctors in Washington and Texas came up with essentially the same diagnosis, so he's continuing to get treatment on it continuously and his goal is to be able to play this Saturday. "It's the best it's felt in a while." And he practiced full for the first time in a while Tuesday and appeared to be at full strength.
He's confident he can play, but it's up to the coaches to figure out if he can play. Doesn't want to redshirt, if possible. And according to him he could play either safety position.
There is Undefeated and There's Defeated:
One of the only college football teams in the country without a win continues to spin in the spiral of defeatism. This latest loss for the Washington Huskies - at the hands of that mighty football power the Stanford Cardinal - was a particularly tough pill to swallow, simply because the Cardinal beat the Huskies the way the Huskies used to beat them; by physically pounding them. To read the rest of Dick Baird's weekly musings, click on the link below.
There is Undefeated and There's Defeated
Afternoon practice notes:
Afternoon Practice Notes
Almost easier to count healthy bodies than those in red and off to the sideline. Donald Butler (concussion) and D'Andre Goodwin (ribs) were in red. Goodwin participated early before stretching, but it was clear he's hurting everytime he stretches out to catch a pass. Darin Harris, Justin Glenn and Byron Davenport were dressed but not in full pads. Davenport and Glenn walked stairs while we were there. Jake Locker and Chris Polk were both there, their arms in slings. David Freeman was on the sidelines too, and we couldn't locate Terrance Dailey anywhere during practice.
And as we were leaving, it appeared that another running back got hurt. Based on looking at the numbers of the players there, it would have been Brandon Yakaboski. Obviously we have no idea as to what the injury was or how serious it is. If he is out, that could mean that only Willie Griffin and Brandon Johnson travel to Arizona as the only healthy running backs this weekend.
One positive note was that Victor Aiyewa was there, practicing and participating in all the work for the first time in a while. In one drill we were able to witness the DB's work on tackling receivers at full speed, getting their hands on them, but not taking them down. Aiyewa took a couple of guys down, and during the last one he had Willingham, J.D. Williams and Ed Donatell emphatically letting him know he was supposed to keep the player up.
Tim Lappano and Mike Denbrock had their visors on backward, looking like a type of rally cap. They definitely looked eager to get back after it. It's easy to hear Denbrock run his guys through their paces, but he was even more vocal today, pushing his guys.
Taylor Bean Notes (Courtesy Jon Martone):
On being one play away from being the QB- "Well I mean, you always have to be ready I guess, that's the mentality. Even at third string it's two plays away, you still have to prepare for the game just like everybody else does. I'm ready, I'll be getting a lot of reps this week which is good. It'll help be prepared for Arizona. I feel like I'm really confident in my ability if I was ever called on."
On how many repetitions he will get in practice- He said he will get a lot more this week with the second string. He expects to do a lot of the scout reps as well.
On preparing differently now- "I would like to say no. Obviously it's a little bit more anxious being number two than number three. I feel like I will getting a lot more film study this week that kind of thing, trying to do everything I can to prepare myself. So I guess the answer is yes, but as a player I try to do the same thing every week."
On if he sees this as an opportunity to prove himself- "If that's what it comes down to, I feel like I'm not trying to prove myself to anyone, I don't feel like that's what I'm here for, I'm here to win, I'm here to play the game and play for the huskies." He said he is not concerned with proving himself
On if he sees himself getting a series like Ronnie did early in the season- He said a large part of that had to do with situation and the team was being blown out. He said he doesn't want to get in because the team is being blown out, but if he does he'll be ready
On how he walked on at UW- He said he had a family friend that knew Randy Hart and he sent game film and that allowed him to walk on.
Offers- "I had offers for smaller schools, D-3 schools." He said he had offers around his area of Vancouver Washington. He likes the education here and being able to play football is a big bonus.
On what people should expect from him- "They should expect me as a player to make smart decisions and be a leader out there. I'm not really known for my play making ability, like Jake has a lot pressure on him so I feel like I can just go out there and play. I feel like that might help me out, the ability to just go out there and play and not have all that extra pressure and stress."
On what has Jake has told him- He said Jake is a great leader and mentor and he is always there help and teach.
Willie Griffin Notes (Courtesy Jon Martone):
On if injuries to other running backs affect him- "It doesn't." He said he just has to perform.
On if he looks at injuries as a window- "I'm the type of the player, I'm going to take advantage if you're injured or not injured. I mean with the injuries being out there, that probably opens the window a little bit more, but the advantage is always there for me to take."
On the toll injuries are having on the team- "Basically gives the team option to put out more players and see what the next person has to offer the team. As far as what you saw Saturday the offense is still able to move the ball without certain players in the game."
On what to expect from him- "You'll have to tune in and watch." When asked if he is a fast or power back he said, "I'm a running back, I do it all."
Alvin Logan Notes (Courtesy Jon Martone):
On the mood of the team- "It's definitely different mood than when coming out of camp. 0 and 4 puts the team in a bind, but we're trying to be that team can get out of that bind. All we can do is look forward to next week and hopefully get a win at Arizona with the right technique."
On Willingham's mood- "I don't exactly see it wearing it on, but I see him trying to figure out what it is that we need to win. Once we find that, than he will dig down as deep as he can into that so we can win again."
On if the offense is satisfied with what they have done- "Yes were playing good, but at the same time 0 and 4 doesn't leave a lot of room for excitement about anything. We want to get better and more rounded as a team. As an offense we can't really celebrate while we're losing games."
On what kind of toll injuries have on the team- "Injuries do take a toll on a team, but at the same time it allows new talent to get in there. I have complete respect and complete confidence in everybody that's going to step up and play the position for anybody who's injured."
On if he sees a window to become a go-to guy with Goodwin a little sore- "I don't want to foreshadow anything that's going to happen. If it comes my way I'll be prepared for it."
On the changes with Fouch starting- "I really don't think it will change too drastically. A lot stuff Jake can do Ronnie can do also. Don't discount his running ability because Ronnie is pretty fast also."
Jake Locker Notes:
Said that he doesn't remember hardly anything of the surgery, they put him out pretty good. He'll be in a sling for a couple of days, and then will probably go from a soft cast to a solid one in a couple of weeks.
Knew there was a problem because after the reverse, he tried to unbutton his chin strap and couldn't. And then he couldn't take his mouthpiece out. Thought it was just a bruise, but when he couldn't complete the Goodwin pass, he knew there was definitely a problem. He thinks it happened when he was trying to block the Stanford defender, and not when he hit the ground. He was designed to be the lead blocker on that reverse, so he was supposed to be blocking on that play. "I'll always go out there and try to do that (make a block)."
Asked about playing another position, and he said he's definitely open to it. "It's better than sitting on the sidelines." He'd like to give it a shot, no preference as to offense or defense. He hasn't talked to the coaches specifically about it, but there's a 'little buzz' out there. He was initially recruited to play safety out of high school by a lot of colleges, and he said that whatever the coaches feel is in the best interests of the team, he'll go with it.
The fact that he would be involved with more hits will certainly factor into his decision, but he said that he never wants to live his life scared and tentative, and that he wants to have fun. "And that's on the field."
Asked about starting 0-4, and he said he's more disappointed than shocked. "We just fell short the first couple of weeks."
Asked about Coach Willingham and how he's holding up, and Locker said that coach is very mentally strong and he doesn't let things get to him. He keeps believing and the season isn't lost. "We can still end on a positive note."
Asked about Ronnie Fouch, and Locker said that he has all the confidence in Fouch to get the job done. He's a very talented and confident player and he's good enough to be a great player at the Pac-10 level. When asked about what he's going to tell Ronnie, Locker said he just wants to be able to help in any way he can when he's not on the field. He hasn't talked to the coaches yet about traveling to Tucson this weekend, but wants to go. "I'd like to be there for the guys, especially Ronnie."
Asked about the television shots of him laughing on the sidelines during the Stanford game, and he said that it sucks to be injured, but he's not going to compound that by sulking around and feeling bad for himself. "That's not going to help anybody." He added that he needs to be a guy where the other players can come to that still believe in what's going on and can instill confidence in them. "Sulking around and being depressed does nothing positive for the guys. I want to be as good a teammate as I can be." He also added that he doesn't mind the criticism at all from fans with stuff like this. "I feel bad they feel that way, but I'm not going to feel bad for myself. I want to make the most of a bad situation."
Asked about being another set of eyes for Tim Lappano, and Locker said that he's really starting to understand the offense and what they are trying to accomplish, and he loves trying to analyze it from that point of view. "It would be nice to talk to Ronnie and give him input to help him have success."
"It's up to all of us to help each other out."
Tim Lappano Notes:
Asked about Arizona's defense, and he said that not a lot has changed from last year. They play an under front, an over front, single-safety shell, fire-zone pressure. He likes their ends, they get up the field. They aren't overly big up front. Likes 49 - Mitchell, converted FB. Linebackers are good players, has one three-year starter in there, and their corners are solid and safeties have good range. They are a 19 percent blitz team, but might 'heat up' Ronnie Fouch a little more considering it's his first start. They have a really good offense that is scoring a lot of points, and also have the No. 1 total defense in the league. "They won't get away from what they do."
Asked about Ronnie Fouch's development, and he said that it was critical that he got a lot of reps in the fall, as well as the last two springs. Came in as a mid-year guy, and that was critical for his development, especially since he came in at 17. Fouch is pretty low-key, and that helps him stay cool and calm in high-stress situations. Stanford threw 8 at him his first play, and he checked to the option run, which Lappano termed 'unbelievable' (in a good way). "It's not too big for him. His Dad played football and he's a gym rat." He added that Fouch was exceptional in the pass game.
Asked about the offense looking different in the absence of Jake Locker, and he said the offense won't look different, except they probably wouldn't do as many QB runs like they normally would with Locker. For the running backs, Lappano isn't expecting David Freeman to play, based on what he's seen this week. Yakaboski, Johnson and Griffin are in the rotation, and they are all capable of doing what needs to get done.
Asked about the role of the fullback this weekend, and Lappano said that Paul Homer is always one of their most consistent performers. "He's plays well every game." It's important he stay healthy, because he probably wasn't 100 percent due to a little bit of a knee problem, but he should be back to full health for this weekend.
He reiterated what he said Saturday night about getting Anthony Boyles and Cody Bruns ready for action on Saturday.
Asked about Terrance Dailey, and he wasn't sure why he wasn't dressed Saturday. Said that his best guess is that they would be leaning toward a redshirt for him.
On the OL, Lappano said that they all graded out well, especially Juan Garcia. He had his best game of the year. They played more physical than before and they matched up well against Stanford's defensive front.
Asked about Taylor Bean and he said that he's come a long ways since joining the UW program. He's worked hard and takes coaching very well. He's benefited from watching and learning from the other quarterbacks in front of him. He's done a nice job in their scrimmages, taking the offense on multiple 80-yard drives for scores. He's a good competitor. "It's not too big for him."
They will also take true frosh Luther Leonard with them to Tucson. And if he's healthy enough and the numbers work out, he'd like to take Jake with them for the leadership he brings. Said he was very happy how Jake was involved Saturday night after breaking a bone in his thumb. Lappano said Locker came up to him during the last 2-minute drill to ask what he was thinking. "The more eyes the better. He was into it. It's nice to have that extra set of eyes."
Asked about trying to find bits and pieces of success to build on despite not getting it done on the scoreboard, and he said that they need to score more points. They've been 11 of 12 in the red zone, scoring touchdowns every time but one. "We've got to build on those things, show them the positives." He added that they should have scored 35 against BYU and 35 against Stanford, all things considered. And he thinks they have a very good chance of scoring on those 'big' plays through the air with Fouch throwing the ball, but the running backs also have to take advantage when they break through and only have a safety to beat. "When you have a chance in the open field, you have to make that man miss."
Steve Gervais Notes:
Asked about moving more to a two-back power attack, as opposed to the read option game that Locker was a big part of, and Gervais said that all the backs, and especially the frosh backs, have been versed in both aspects of the run game - the true, two-back power game and the one-back read option game. Said they've worked on it '50/50' from the start of camp and have learned both aspects and adjusted well. "They are equally versed." Added that David Freeman showed signs against Stanford, and Brandon Johnson did a nice job while he was in there.
Said that with either the one-back or two-back sets, the key for the backs is being able to read the blocks up front. In the power game, that definitely puts the fullback more in the game, guys like Paul Homer.
Asked about Terrance Dailey, and Gervais said that they are in a 'wait-and-see' mode with him. Didn't suit up against Stanford. Said that initially the hope was to redshirt him, but still might use him if injuries necessitate it.
Asked about the struggles of the program, and Gervais said that a core concept of coaching is that confidence is built through having success, and he mentioned how - during Monday Night Football, the Baltimore QB (Flacco) said how they needed a win to be successful. "That's what we're striving for right now."
He literally built Skyline from the ground up. He was their first coach. As the only coach on this staff to experience something like that, he talked about tradition and how Coach Willingham is trying to bring in 'bits and pieces of what the past represents' to help create a winning culture.
Pac-10 Teleconference Notes:
Mike Bellotti - USC
On OSU game and USC Front 7 - They looked pretty good in the first two games. OSU attacked them well, and Quizz Rodgers was unbelievable getting through those holes. Hard to find and the OSU OL helped by sustaining blocks. We're looking at it, trying to find ways to duplicate that.
On QB's - Roper was ill yesterday, expected to practice today. If not, then Masoli, Thomas and Harper. Who they play won't change the gameplan, wouldn't just be based on running skills. Decision on Roper starting will happen during the week; he hasn't played enough to have that position guaranteed to him. Masoli least experienced, but doing a great job leading the team.
On USC losing and how that affects UO preparation - Can't figure out the mindset of the other team, so I can only prepare my guys how we do it. It was already going to be a challenge anyway, and even if they might be more upset now, that can't affect how we prepare. Turnovers were the key last year and will be again this year, and we've turned the corner in that area.
On last year's win impacting things - Gives us a sense of confidence, knowing we went head-to-head with them, and they have the same QB. But you have to move on. Schematically not like OSU, but you look at that game and last year's game, but each game is a new adventure.
On Quizz Rodgers and smaller running backs and using Crenshaw and Alston - Haven't necessarily thought about doing that. Alston played well at WSU and he's closed the gap - but Johnson and Blount are quality backs. They may not be able to hide, but they do a lot of other things to be successful.
On balance offensively - Have to avoid negative plays and obvious long-yardage situations. Ahead 35-0 at half, that influenced the fact that we basically ran the whole second half. Need to have balance so USC can't gang up.
On OSU's performance - Thought they played just about a perfect game on offense and defense. Brought pressure at the right times to create losses. Used the time well, it was a very well-played game on their part.
On Masoli and his recruiting process - He was under the radar because it was his first year playing at CCSF and no one knew he was eligible to go out after his first year. He sent us a film in the spring and we immediately saw that he could contribute in our offense. Could run and throw. Auburn, Arizona, Oregon offered at least and visited four schools, but we're excited he came here because when two guys went down he was able to step in right away.
On Thomas and his car wreck - First I was told they were unhurt, which was good. Don't think you can worry about those things once we found out he was OK. When you've lost guys to non-contact injuries, you hold your breath.
Jim Harbaugh - ND
On Reuland and redshirting - He most-likely won't travel. Won't redshirt him if they need him. Fifth-year never guaranteed. Depends on how things shake out. Have three TE's ahead of him. Familiarity with ND doesn't add a significant advantage.
On Gerhart - mild concussion during the UW game. On bike progression Monday, weight lifting Tuesday and if he remains symptom-free, he'll play Saturday. Gustav won't play, Christopher is possible to play.
On low pool of recruiting applicants - 400, but it varies from year to year. Admissions looks at a variety of things. 400 is probably a lot higher than it is. More like 100 to a 150 per year. Smaller than what anybody else has. Have to search the country for the elite student and elite BCS-caliber football player. The student-athletes and families that do their research, they'll realize Stanford has the best BCS, Division-1A academics available to them. That balances a lot of the numbers. The prospects we're getting has proven that out. It's a destination point, and we're pleased to talk about it with them.
On hard season injury-wise in the Pac-10 - Violent, physical game, and it's a part of football. Know protecting your players is the first thing on the minds of coaches, AD's and the NCAA, but it's still football. Injuries will occur. My suggestion is to let the athletes train more, year around. They are limited a lot by rule now, despite the fact that they have to compete and perform at the highest level. They can't prepare themselves the way they need to. That needs to be addressed for the player's best interest. Top players going down, but they are the most exposed.
On winning an early Pac-10 game and turning season around - Able to play four quarters of physical football, something we hadn't been able to do. Hopefully that's something we can build on.
Mike Stoops - UW
On Adam Grant - Came in as a highly-recruited TE, 6-7 and 250 and outgrew the positions. Had high expectations, but a couple of knee injuries that has slowed his progression, but he's still played well for us.
On Washington and what he saw from their loss - The loss of Locker and how they'll build the offense around their new QB. Take best estimates of what we'll see. More traditional sets, more power running. History of what they've done against us will be added in. They've been in this situation before when Jake goes down, so you look at that too. Look at their body of work, played very competitively in three of their four games. Know about Oklahoma and played very well for three quarters against UO.
On playing at home - Excited to play at home, fans have gotten behind us and we're ready to go.
On trouble sustaining momentum over the course of a season and overconfidence - We're a much more confident, more complete team than we've ever been. Our guys see what happens every week, and we're expecting a physical game. We're focusing on doing what we need to do to get the win. Bring a lot of enthusiasm to practice every day and more energy to the games when you aren't playing the top teams in the country. Coaches take it for granted too, and we've brought a lot of energy so far this week. It's the mental and physical preparation you've brought during the course of the week that helps determine who wins and loses.
On wide-open Pac-10 - Puts more pressure on a team like USC. They'll rally because they know they can't have another slip-up. Everyone will probably lose a game, but when you lose two, now it's a matter of who you lose to.
On an estimate for man-hours planning for Locker - A lot. Got embarrassed the way our defense played against him. The way we played up there bothers us, and that'll help us get our attention on the details to help us win the game. But we can adjust. We have a good handle on what they are going to emphasize.
Mike Riley - Utah
On lot of marquee injuries in the league - Quizz is good right now. But injuries is football. Reason to be aware in having to adjust. The back-up guy is a blink away from being in the game. And so goes injuries is sometimes how goes your team.
On how much the USC win means to the program - We just went to 2-2. Hopeful for our team that we can build confidence in our games and keep growing. It was an exciting, electrifying night at Reser and had a lot of fun. It builds momentum that way for sure.
On Quizz's performance - First, he came with a good resume. He and James are wonderful young men, hardest working kids. Quiet but fun. Excited about who they are as much as what they do. Great guys. Quizz has broken in sooner than most expected. When we recruited him, we had a changing of the guard with Yvenson Bernard leaving, so we knew he was going to have a chance to play. Unflappable, learns very easily. His performance was huge. We couldn't be one-dimensional against USC, and getting the ground game going early was a huge confidence boost. We were able to move the ball with balance. Everything goes better when you can run like that.
On Jeremy Perry - He's getting closer. He's practiced for a number of days, and this week he might break into the lineup. We have a good feeling about where he is physically, but not ready to cross that line yet. Afalava is questionable. Getting close to having to make decisions about starters. Can't say any will play, but can't rule them out either.
On getting the intensity back on the road - Big mental challenge having to go on the road to play a tough team that has a great record against Pac-10 teams. It can be perceived as a trap game, so it's a huge challenge.
On teams sometimes shying away from smaller backs - We had a very good picture of the family through James, so that was a big help. James was very under-recruited, Quizz wasn't. We had an in, but a great predictor for the future is based on what has happened in the past. He's short, but he's not small. Have had a great string of RB's here and most have been short, save Steven Jackson. Two of those guys are the top-two rushers ever in the Pac-10. Quizz just plays. Even during loss to Penn State, he had 99 yards. Their HS coach said that when James and Quizz showed up at his HS, it changed the way they approached things. Same thing is happening at OSU.
On Utah and OSU going after a lot of the same guys - It's true. Utah does a great job of identifying talent for their systems, and I hope we do the same, so maybe that's why we cross paths a lot of the time. Have some background in Hawai'i for guys, and that's always been solid ground for both programs. And both definitely built on speed, can run to the ball. May not get the ready-made guys at 290 to play DL, but can compensate with speed.
On rough intersectional games in the past - It's a challenge for our program. We are aware of it, and it's very important that we maintain our development, because we're going to need all of it this week.
On coming back down after the USC game - There's nothing wrong with enjoying that game, but we have to be aware of where we are in the season and who we have to play. Things appear to be back to the norm we expect. Been pleased with what we've been able to do so far in practice.
Pete Carroll - Oregon
On health of Mays and Maualuga - Mays practiced and is playing, Ray didn't. Day to day for him. He's moving around OK, but day to day deal.
On change in game week with the extra days - Been doing this for the last 3-4 weeks. Extra day of rest, extra day of practice. Have to bounce back, in the mode where everything is now turned toward Oregon.
On diagnosis of OSU's run game - Didn't play well at the LOS and they blocked well. Sloppy tackling allowed them to string together some balance, and we weren't getting first downs on the other side of the ball.
On having anger now - Don't know about anger, but we'll be ready. Anger is good if it doesn't screw you up. Whatever makes you play well.
On Quizz - Probably had the best game of his life. Did everything right, was consistent. He looked good on the film. He's very strong, low stature, plays behind the line and finds cracks.
On handling the role of being favorites - Go to the records and look back to see that. When you lose a game, you didn't handle it well. That's why guys get beat every week. Have to be so well equipped that even when you don't play well you can still win. That's really hard to do.
On rankings - Rankings have nothing to do with it. Losing the game is what counts. Only matters where you finish. It can work against you, so there's no point in talking about it until the end. Don't spend any time talking about it, other than talking about complacency and overconfidence. Rankings only matter at the end and where you go to a bowl game. During season have to put it in a place where it doesn't matter.
Rick Neuheisel - WSU
On run game - Starting to develop a little bit of an identity. Bell back helps, the leadership he brings. Chandler nice at TE, more physical. Coleman is starting to develop. Fresno was down a guy too, but it was encouraging to move in that direction.
On the loss being sold as encouraging - Came away with the right recipe of anger for not finishing the job and hope because there was improvement. Have to have an urgency to continue to improve, and if we do that positive things can happen.
On Kahlil Bell - He's such a competitive guy. Fine line where he can go overboard. As a senior who has done it before, he's incredibly important because of the swagger he brings. He wanted to play against UA, but he wasn't 100 percent, but he's close enough now where you can give him chances. He's like the Monty Python guy - flesh wound. Hopefully he'll continue to improve.
On losing Micah Reed - He wasn't a starter last week, and it's his other knee now, but it's not real significant. Hopefully back in a couple weeks.
On patience with the fan base - Have a core of great fans. The Rose Bowl was alive, they were pushing us to try to get over the hump and we didn't reward them. Certainly they are frustrated, but we're going to keep pushing and one day we're going to kick down the door.
On losing starting QB - Hard to endure, because he has all the reps and experience and he's the leader. To go in it takes a special man to learn everything he has to learn and execute in a short time. Has to instill confidence for the whole team. And then it happens again, it can magnify. But hopefully Kevin Craft can be a great story.
On WSU - We're looking at it from who we are. We have to improve. Our program has to get better. Obviously we have to game plan for them, but from a mental standpoint, we just have to be ready to play 100 miles an hour, regardless of how the other team handles it. We're not in a place to be overlooking everybody. Maybe they are looking at us that way. But if we continue to improve, good things can happen.
Dennis Erickson - California
On Gerald Munns - Will not play this week.
On getting back to basics - Tuesday and Wednesday was very physical, like spring football. Need to improve. Have some decisions to make, and that week helped us. We needed to spend some time practicing against ourselves to improve.
On Keegan Herring - Day-to-day. Hopefully he'll have a chance to play, but will know more at the end of the week.
On Chris McGaha - Had a number of issues, this week off gave him a chance to get healthy. Close to where he was a year ago in terms of health.
On Defense - We've been OK on defense. Not as good as we were a year ago. We haven't created any turnovers. Haven't recovered a fumble yet. That's hurt us. Our strength is our DE's. Our tackles are very young. Got to get better play in the secondary. Overall, playing about average and we have to be better than that to win games.
On Cal - Shane Vereen is a good back. Best has great speed and has taken it to the house. They are going to do all their stuff regardless of who the running back is.
Paul Wulff - UCLA
On going back to a huddle - Probably will again, just because of a new QB (Lobbastael) to settle him down. That's the plan again, and it did help. For a first career start, he did some nice things. Turnovers weren't a good things, but he did a number of good things too.
On their rush defense - We need to play a lot better. Have to find ways to stop people. Our offense has to help take some of the pressure off our defense. Need to be more aggressive in how we handle ourselves. It's going to be a challenge every week, and we know that.
On patience with the fan base - We've hit hard times. Reductions because of the APR and other kids that haven't panned out. We're recruiting from a lower level, but we have a chance to take steps and move forward. It's going to build - the tough part is dealing with where we are at. I don't like dealing with it either. It's not x's and o's and it's not coaching. It's a culture that went sideways, and we're recruiting to get everyone on the same page. The environment wasn't such were our guys weren't getting better. Weight program wasn't where it needed to be.
On recruiting - Don't have to spin anything. Facts are, a lot of young guys are playing early. There's a huge hole of numbers of guys on scholarship. So young guys can come in, play earlier and develop early. It's a wonderful opportunity for any young kid. This program has proven in the past it can win, and we'll do that again. It's going to take time.
On recent success against UCLA - The kids believe we can beat UCLA. They should. If we have enough competitors we can do that. We knew we weren't going to be as good as we could be early on. Five games, three starting quarterbacks. Haven't had the same OL start twice. Not a deep team and have had issues on top of that. But we can take a step this week and our guys are excited to go to California and play in the Rose Bowl. We'll have a good week of practice.
Jeff Tedford - ASU
On Alex Mack - He's very valuable, not only to the OL, but to the team. His skill and experience he brings, he's a dominant player. He directs traffic. It's great to have someone with that much experience to help others around him. He continues to be a dominant guy. Voted best lineman in the conference last year, and people are watching him more because he'll be going in the draft.
On ASU and their bye week - Always have to expect the unexpected. Try to stay sound in everything you do. They've had longer to game plan and have watched a lot of tape. I'm sure they have scouted us very well and they are hungry. You have to expect new wrinkles here and there.
On Cameron Jordan - Has really matured. Coach Tosh Lupoi has done a nice job giving him more moves. He can really run and we count on him along that defensive front.
On the QB situation - Don't know who starts yet. Both will get reps in practice. From there, make the determination on gameday. Job is open between Riley and Longshore. Depending on how practice goes and how the gameplan is shaping up, that will determine who starts.
On USC and opening the conference - The feel is that you have to play your best every week. It goes back and forth. Don't care who you are, it's very tough to go through the league unbeaten. USC is still the top school and you have to give them that respect. But anything can happen any Saturday and all you can do is try to reach your full potential every week. Don't know if the feel of the league is any different.
On Best - As of right now, dislocated elbow, was some damage, but no surgery. Rehab over the next two weeks he could be ready to play against UA. Not guaranteed, but all the signs point to a speedy recovery.
Tyrone Willingham -
On current challenges - Haven't done the things we needed to do. We have to get our players in the best possible positions.
On what's at stake - I don't put that in front of the players. That's not how you coach. I don't have them winning one for me. We win for the Huskies. And that's how we approach it every week. There's always noise out there, you have to block it out. Constant noise, different this week because it's about me - but they have to focus on the game and be the best they can be.
On taking the criticisms - It's called being a pro and being a leader. I'm very good at my job. Have to keep moving forward and have the responsibility of moving others forward. When I talk to a recruit, I talk about how it's my responsibility to do what I can to move them forward both on and off the field.
On Locker and other positions - Bit premature to be talking about it. Initiated by Jake because he wants to help his team. Got to get him healthy first to play QB. If in that process, there's something he can do in the short term to help the team you look at it. But can't talk about it right now. No question being on this team is important to him and he's willing to do what he can. It's a great message to the team. He's an outstanding athlete and his competitive nature is recognized at every turn.
On 7-minute culture - On TV, see a commercial every seven minutes, so that's the attention span we're developing in young people. Have to provide a new and different stimulus to get the same message across. The message this week is still consistent in terms of stressing fundamentals. Get in the right place, put them in the right place to be successful, game plan accordingly and predict what our opponents are going to do.
On struggles and message to the team - Always depends on what you feel the needs of the team are. Used a story he heard from a North Carolina State coach about a young man named Johnny. One day Johnny is in the middle of the street with a car coming at him. You can ask him to move or yell at him to move - and you have to determine what's going to get his attention. Each person is different. Some need screaming, some need a more cerebral approach.
On Locker's surgery - Prognosis same as yesterday: 6-8 weeks. We have one of the best hand surgeons available in the country, so we're hopeful things went perfectly.
On Darin Harris, Victor Aiyewa - On Harris, not sure about how long. Still some symptoms that have lingered, so don't know what his timetable is. Aiyewa - probably see some limited movement today. Davenport - scheduled to take care of an older knee injury in the next couple of weeks, it resurfaced recently.
Arizona's official two-deeps:
Offense X - 18 Delashaun Dean 6-4 205 So.* 82 Juron Criner 6-4 205 Fr. TE - 48 Rob Gronkowski 6-6 260 So. 88 A.J. Simmons 6-3 250 So.* Small TE - 81 Dave Roberts 6-0 175 Fr.* 85 David Douglas 6-1 190 Fr. LT - 77 Eben Britton 6-6 310 Jr.* 66 James Tretheway 6-6 305 Sr.* LG - 74 Mike Diaz 6-5 340 Jr. 55 Conan Amituanai 6-4 310 So* Center - 64 Colin Baxter 6-4 295 So* 54 Herman Hall 6-3 315 Jr. RG - 75 Joe Longacre 6-3 315 Sr.* 74 Mike Diaz 6-5 340 Jr. RT - 78 Adam Grant 6-6 308 Jr.* 66 James Tretheway 6-6 305 Sr.* Z - 84 Terrell Turner 6-2 190 Jr. 80 Devin Veal 5-11 175 Fr.* QB - 7 Willie Tuitama 6-3 220 Sr. 4 Matt Scott 6-3 205 Fr. RB - 5 Nic Grigsby 5-10 178 So. 30 Xavier Smith 5-11 210 Jr.* 2 Keola Antolin 5-8 180 Fr. 26 Nick Booth 6-2 220 Jr. HB - 37 Chris Gronkowski 6-2 245 Jr.* 45 Brandon Lopez 6-1 230 Jr.* Small HB - 10 Mike Thomas 5-8 195 Sr. 19 William Wright 5-9 175 Fr.* Defense DE - 42 Brooks Reed 6-3 260 So* 58 Apaiata Tuihalamaka 6-3 220 Fr.* DT - 49 Earl Mitchell 6-2 265 Jr.* 46 Donald Horton 6-0 275 Jr.* DT - 99 Kaniela Tuipulotu 6-2 280 So. 95 Jowyn Ward 6-2 275 Fr. 94 Lolomana Mikaele 6-2 285 So.* DE - 44 Ricky Elmore 6-5 260 So.* 83 D'Aundre Reed 6-4 240 So.* SAM - 25 Adrian McCovy 6-3 225 Sr. 8 Vuna Tuihalamaka 6-2 240 Jr.* MIKE - 33 Ronnie Palmer 6-3 245 Sr.* 8 Vuna Tuihalamaka 6-2 240 Jr.* WIL - 35 Sterling Lewis 5-11 225 Jr. 15 Xavier Kelley 5-11 215 Jr.* CB - 6 Devin Ross 5-11 170 Jr. 24 Trevin Wade 5-11 175 Fr.* SS - 20 Cam Nelson 6-1 200 Jr. 9 Joe Perkins 6-2 180 So.* FS - Nate Ness 6-1 190 Sr.* 3 Anthony Wilcox 6-2 205 Jr. CB - 23 Marquis Hundley 6-1 175 Sr. 1 Robert Golden 5-11 195 Fr. Nickel - 21 Corey Hall 5-10 190 Jr.* Specialists P - 47 Keenyn Crier 6-1 200 So.* 14 Alex Zendejas 5-11 175 Fr.* PK - 13 Jason Bondzio 5-9 170 Sr.* 14 Alex Zendejas 5-11 175 Fr.* HLD - 47 Keenyn Crier 6-1 200 So.* 38 Kyle Day 5-11 180 So.* LS - 61 Jason Bertoni 6-1 285 Jr. 60 Ricky Wolder 5-10 220 Jr.* Returners - 2 Keola Antolin 5-8 180 Fr. 10 Mike Thomas 5-8 195 Sr. 6 Devin Ross 5-11 170 Jr. 19 William Wright 5-9 175 Fr.* 5 Nic Grigsby 5-10 178 So.
Mike Stoops Notes:
- Said that they are excited for the game, the bye week helped them solve some OL issues because of the loss of their center, Blake Kerley. Colin Baxter will now be at center, and they've moved Mike Diaz into the left guard spot. The bye week helped with reps, but they don't have a lot of game experience. On defense, they were gameplanning around Jake Locker, so they'll have to go back to the drawing board to counter a different gameplan they are expecting from UW. With Ronnie Fouch they will 'adjust accordingly' and they'll research thoroughly and see what they come up. They are expecting UW to be a lot more physical in their run game, more power instead of the QB-based runs.
-Asked about their 48-41 win in Seattle being the beginning of his move toward winning on a consistent basis, and he said that the kids he's coaching are very resilient and they never quit on them and that they always knew they were getting better every week and could be a good football team. Basically he talked about how they've been in the same situation UW finds itself under Willingham, and he knows TW and the UW staff well enough to know that UA expects the Huskies' best shot on Saturday, and they are going to prepare for a 'great effort' by UW.
- Said that Willie Tuitama is just a lot more confident in himself and in the scheme they run, he audibles a lot more and gets them into good run plays. He's a more complete player, he's starting to really use his mind, and that's a great sign of development in the system.
- He said that you really never get off the hot seat. "Much is given and much is expected." No one wants to hear about your trials and tribulations. They just want to see wins. But going through difficult stretches and fighting through adversity makes people stronger. "But if it's not meant to be, it won't happen." His job as the football coach isn't to worry about his future, it's to prepare his guys and get them ready to win games.
- Asked about consulting with his brother Bob because Oklahoma has already played UW and he said that they do a lot of things the same and their defense schematically is very similar to what OU does, but because of the switch from Locker to Fouch, that will clearly change how they operate and what they'll try to do to stop UW's offense.
- He was asked about seeing so many true frosh play at Washington and how difficult that is, and he said that he's seen improvement in the film he's watched, especially on the DL and with the offensive skill players - but clearly it's not an ideal situation to be in.
Ronnie Fouch Notes (per Jon Martone):
On surprises of playing more- He said playing a full half was a change for himself, and he wanted to do whatever he could to help produce and get the ball in their play makers hands.
On feeling after the game- "I'm the type of the guy that feels like if we lose a game than I put the blame on myself. That's the reason I play this game, to go out there and win. Whenever we lose I feel like its my fault, I put the blame on myself for losing. I just want to go out there against Arizona and do whatever I can to help this team win."
On what he needs to do for Arizona- He said be more prepared, watch film with the head coach, and get the timing down with the receiver because he hasn't had as many repetitions.
On main focus- "Yea we're just going to keep fighting we got put this lose behind us. All we're focused on now is Arizona, and going there and getting our first win, our first Pac-10 win and get things rolling from there."
On team moral- He said Jake Locker is the captain and he has learned a lot from him on and off the field and it's a tough loss. "We cant give up now, we've only played four games, we got a long season ahead of us still and we got to keep moving forward."
On the difference between when he is in and Locker- He said they passed more when he was in, they moved away from the quarterback run game. He said they focused more on the two back run game. He also said they haven't talked about the game plan for Arizona but he is expecting it to be similar.
On guys stepping up to help him out- "At half time when I knew I was going to be playing for the rest of the second half, guys were telling me that they had my back and they're confident in me. I just have to go out there this week and be a leader and keep everything positive and get these guys ready to roll and beat Arizona."
On what Locker told him- He said that Locker told him he has a lot of trust in him and he needs to do whatever he can to help the team win.
On his first playing be a speed option- He said that was game plan to audible if he saw the defense in that front. When asked if he was nervous about the audible he said not really and he just wanted to stick to the game plan.
Willingham Press Conference Notes:
- Jake Locker has suffered a fracture of his first metacarpel in his thumb, requiring surgery that took place around 11 this morning. 6-8 weeks is a typical recovery time, but he could be back sooner if they want to try him at another position. Willingham wouldn't speculate on any future position switches for Locker, offense or defense, other than to say that he's athletic and talented enough to play '5,6,7 positions' and that moving him to another position was a possibility.
Added that the loss of Locker is a 'huge loss'. Also asked about the risk of injury if moved to another spot given his current condition, and TW said that you always run the risk of getting hurt when you play, and the play Locker got hurt on was a routine play where it wasn't the contact that got him hurt, it was when he hit the ground. Added that Locker is the type of young man that wants to win and will do anything he can to help the team be successful. Also added that there's a chance Locker may travel with the team to Tucson if he's up for it and Willingham determines there's room to take him along. You can only take 64 on the road in the Pac-10. He said he has done that in the past and used the example of taking Isaiah Stanback with the travel team to the Apple Cup.
- Willingham has confidence in Ronnie Fouch because of his cool, calm and composed demeanor. "He has the respect of his teammates." Added that getting a lot of reps in the spring and fall has really helped him in terms of leading the team. Said that the first play he ran against Stanford - an option down the line - was actually an audible call. That showed he's got a handle on what to do.
- Was asked about Willie Tuitama, and Willingham said that he just has more experience in UA's offense now, and he's done a nice job getting the ball to his two main targets - Nic Grigsby at RB and Mike Thomas at WR.
- Asked about positives coming from the offense last weekend, and TW said they put up points and came back from a stretch of adversity with injuries. It was very encouraging and very positive. "We kept coming."
- Asked about Juan Garcia's quote from last week about how the Stanford game would gauge whether 'we suck or we don't'. TW said that Juan probably had his best game of the season against the Cardinal, and as one of the leaders 'he will take this team forward'. "I am not concerned about his approach."
- Asked about other major injuries that happened this past weekend (D'Andre Goodwin (ribs), Donald Butler (concussion), David Freeman (ankles)), and all are listed as starters on the official depth chart passed out earlier in the day, but each one is day-to-day and the team will know more by the end of the week as to what their status is for the upcoming road trip to Tucson.
- He feels the defensive line is 'far better' then when they were during the beginning of the season. "At some point the light will really turn on." Asked about strength being an issue for the freshmen, and he said that there's no question it is a factor, but they can't use it as an excuse.
- Said that because of the '7-minute culture' that pervades society today through television ('There's a new message every seven minutes during commercial breaks'), he has to constantly find new ways to hammer the message home in terms of keeping the team's spirits high. And while trying to find those new ways to deliver the message, that message still has to be grounded in the fundamentals of what they are trying to teach.
- The subject of tackling was once again brought up, and TW said he watched some of the Oklahoma game again over the weekend and saw that even some of OU's best defensive players were missing tackles, so it does happen to the best. That being said, they are still going to continue to teach the fundamentals to get it right.
- He was asked about what he would say to his boss about what still makes him the right guy for this job, and he said that he still has enthusiasm for it, as well as the focus and concentration for it, and he's still very much into doing what he's doing. Said that he turns to his experience with tough situations - even as a child - to help him work through the present struggles.
- UW has had some success against UA on the road, and TW said that their travel party does a good thing of making sure everything is consistent, allowing the team to feel comfortable on the road. Added that he didn't know if it was anything about UA in particular, but certain places teams just feel more comfortable than others.
- Despite the injuries, expectations can't be lowered. You have to make adjustments to counter the injuries, but TW feels they still have guys that can be successful.
KJR Players of the Stanford game announced: Offense - Ronnie Fouch
Defense - no one honored
Special Teams - Chris Stevens
Service Teams Players of the Week: Mykenna Ikehara, Greg Walker, Fred Wiggs
UW's depth chart versus Arizona
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. 80 Kavario Middleton 6-5 255 Fr./Fr. 83 Walt Winter 6-4 254 Sr./Sr. QB 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So. 7 Taylor Bean 6-1 199 RFr./So. 12 Luther Leonard 6-2 193 Fr./Fr. TB 20 David Freeman 5-7 190 Fr./Fr. 21 Willie Griffin 5-8 198 RFr./So. OR 6 Brandon Johnson 5-9 207 So./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. OR 15 Jermaine Kearse 6-1 180 Fr./Fr. Defense DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 263 Jr./Sr. 50 Kalani Aldrich 6-7 240 RFr./So. 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. 92 Everrette Thompson 6-6 255 Fr./Fr. 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr. OLB 24 Joshua Gage 6-2 226 Jr./Sr. OR 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 36 Johri Fogerson 6-2 190 Fr./Fr. 34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr. 21 Desmond Davis 5-11 193 Sr./Sr. SS 8 Nate Williams 6-0 207 So./So. 34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr. 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.