Sept. 2, 2006
Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
On defending the run: "That was probably one of the good things that we did and one of the things that we were concerned about coming into the ballgame. We knew that their little runner had been very explosive and created some problems for other teams, so it was good for us to keep that under control."
On the defensive performance in the second half: "I think that there is a process it takes to win, and I think our guys are going through that and there is a way you think and respond when you get a crisis situation. I think our guys are learning to do that and where to focus at and how to drive yourself. There is no question that they were a lot more effective and really almost had us pinned up against a wall down the stretch."
On Isaiah Stanback's performance: "Not knowing all the numbers, I was excited about what I thought Isaiah would bring prior to the start of the season. His growth and maturity I have talked on and touched on numerous times, but I just felt like given the right opportunity and if we do the right things with him he is going to have a heckuva season and a heckuva ballgame."
On concerns about the performance of the secondary: "Until we get ourselves completely healthy yes it does. That's one of the areas that we felt like with some of the adjustments that we would be better able to stop some of that. But the one thing about passing the football is that it is difficult to shut down everything in passing the ball. We know that there is going to be some give, but obviously we don't want quite as much as we had this afternoon."
On his assessment of the score: "Probably about 20 points close in both directions. We probably gave up about 20 points more than I am comfortable with and probably didn't score another 20 that I thought maybe we could."
On Louis Rankin: "It is a joy to talk about Louis, because Louis is one of those guys that everyday comes out and works and labors to be good. If you go back last year, in two of his first three ballgames if I am correct Louis had 100-yard ballgames. Unfortunately last year he got injured and didn't have the same recovery, but he just makes things happen and makes people miss. If you give him a chance on the open field he can stretch it out. The performance he gave us today was exciting and very much needed. That big run toward the end of the ballgame was spectacular. That was a great reply to what San Jose State had just done."
On how it feels to be 1-0: "It is absolutely fantastic. It makes what I do all rewarding. All of the hours and all of the days and all of the criticism and everything that comes with the job is fantastic. The best part of it is that the young men are excited. That's what winning brings. It brings excitement to the guys that you work with everyday. For me, that is priceless."
On Gunheim and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim: "Those two guys are what I call cornerstone guys of our program. When you look at them, they are doing all the things that we talk about in our program correctly. They are the guys that when you watch their effort there is never a slow moment in the way they play. So if you see them dragging, it is because they don't have anything left to give. They do that whether it's on the field, off the field, in the classroom, in everything they are involved in that is their approach and their attitude. That's why I say that is the guy that we want to be building our program around. They have done nothing but make us a better football team in every aspect."
On Stanback improvising: "I will say there were probably six runs in there that he improvised on that made a difference. The other majority was probably called. We want him making the right decision, and that is the whole key to having a man with his talents who can run. He will look back tomorrow and I'll bet he will say there are probably three decisions that he would like to change, just knowing him. That is going to happen. When you are approached with that responsibility you won't get them all perfect. I thought he did a good job knowing when to pull it and run and when to hold things to create something."
On zone defense: "It all depends on who we play. Some of it will just depend on learning from the guys, some of them got their first taste of it. Mesphin Forrester is one of those guys and he will continue to learn and get better every snap he takes. There is nothing like being in a game, like having those emotions with the fans in the stands and the distractions that you have to learn to focus on, the flavor of the game, all of that makes a huge difference and he will learn and grow as well as the other guys will grow tremendously."
On the impact of the new NCAA rules: "I felt like there wasn't. In terms of getting things done offensively there was no impact. I was reading a graphic this morning in following other games that there was just one games with 140 plays, and the majority of them were 120 and down. So you're talking about 20 fewer snaps during the course of a ballgame."
On speaking to Rankin after fumbling: "I didn't but somebody else probably did. And they were most encouraging."
On injuries: "Injury-wise we came out pretty good. I think the only one that may have an injury that may require another look might be Michael Gottlieb."
On the start of the season: "I think this is a helluva start compared to last year, and I would be excited because last year we were 0-1 and today we are 1-0. That's great to me. If you are a fan sitting there, I think you saw some more offense and something that was more exciting. I think you saw a quarterback that was pretty accurate. I think he threw a lot of balls that were extremely catchable and he might have even had three drops in there, and one interception that probably didn't deserve to be his. I thought it was a pretty good performance that fans could look at and say this is my team, and I am excited about my team."
On the defense: "I'm going to say that there were a lot of things that our defense did very well. I think the first three quarters were played pretty solid. But I think allowing them to come back and have some opportunities is something that we have to grow from. That's why you want to have that experience. You like to have those things happen and still win so you can grow and get better. That's what I will say to our defense and that's what I expect them to take out of our ballgame."
On Stanback: "Every now and then you miss a throw. You expect your players to make all of them, I want them to make them all, but every now and then you just miss one. I can't blame that on emotions."
On developing the team's confidence: "I think this is a more confident team from when we started preseason camp. I thought they worked along that line even though their coaches are pretty demanding on them. You're not pleased until you get the end product. And our end product is still not here. This is one game. We won, we're excited, but we have 11 others to go. And it also should be 12 others to go. I believe this is a more confident team, but you have to do it on the field. Today we took one step in that process."
QUARTERBACK Isaiah Stanback
General Comments: "They came out and played us hard for the full game. We need to come out and finish games off. Our running game looked good today. Our passing game was pretty good, but I missed a couple of throws I should have had. Our offensive line and our tight ends, fullbacks and receivers ... they all did a good job of blocking. When they play like that, we are able to get some big runs and have some success. It feels good to come out with a "W." We hadn't done that since I've been at Washington (in the opener). So, it really feels good to win the first one. We'll watch film and continue to work toward getting wins. The schedule doesn't get easier from here."
On TD pass to Kenny James: "I had a suggestion to coach on which play to run and gave him an explanation of why. We were getting man coverage so our running backs would be covered by linebackers. I threw the ball, he made a move on them and it turned out pretty good."
RUNNING BACK Kenny James
General Comments: "It felt to get the victory. We started off fast, but had too many turnovers. We left too many turnovers out there on the field and put our defense in a bad position. We are going to come in tomorrow and watch film and get ready to go to Oklahoma and cut down on the mistakes."
On his touchdown run: "It was a simple play we'd run all week. I told Isaiah that if they had single safety coverage, I would be wide open. They went single safety, he got me the ball and it was a touchdown."
On getting back on the field in a real game following preseason practice:"It felt good to finally get on the field in a game. After all the work we put in during training camp and during the summer workouts, it felt good to get out there and get a victory."
Was this a good start for the team? "This was a good start for us. We feel real good about ourselves. We made a couple of mistakes but we need to move on from here."
On how well San Jose State played: "San Jose State came in here with the mindset to win and I have to give them credit. They did a good job of coming in here and challenging us and putting up points. They did a good job of putting pressure on us."
RUNNING BACK Louis Rankin
On being 1-0: "It feels good to be 1-0. We haven't been 1-0 since the start of the 2001 season."
On win being a confidence builder: "This is definitely going to give us a head of steam going into Oklahoma. It is really good to start off 1-0."
On state of mind after San Jose State got within six points late in the game: "I wouldn't say worried. It made me want to make a play even more. When you see somebody score, you want to get up and get out there."
DEFENSIVE END Greyson Gunheim
General Comments: "The win is huge to help us jump-start the whole season. It has us all in good moods and we'll just ride it into our next game. This is the first game of the season. They just threw different things at us and we tried to react. We have a good foundation now, especially with the win. Everyone is going to be happy and will want to play better."
On getting pressure on the quarterback: "From the film that we saw they ran a lot of draws last year. So we did a lot of line stunts, but they didn't run very many draws, or anything at all from the film that we have studied. But the coaches have been on us all camp about getting the pass rush and getting pressure on the quarterback."
On SJSU passing more than expected: "On film they still ran it third and five plus, third and long, so they passed more than we expected. It surprised us, but we reacted to it and were able to get the win. I was happy, even though we are obviously looking for more, but we'll start with that and carry it into next week."
On finally playing in a real game: "It was beautiful. I loved it. Ever since the last game last year we've been playing with the same guys, and I like the guys, but I just wanted to hit somebody else. "
DEFENSIVE END Brandon Ala
General Comments: It feels good to start off the season with a win. San Jose State played their butts off and were good competition. Now we just have to get ready to play Oklahoma."
On pressuring the quarterback: "We knew they were going to run the ball, and we had to be ready to play the pass. We just have to pick up our game and hopefully we can play just as hard next week. We just were trying to work hard and put some pressure on the quarterback. We have to make more plays, though. Even though we were putting pressure on them, their o-line was just as good. We left a lot out there on the table and we have to pick it up."
On winning the first game at home: "It is very important. It's the first win in a season opener since 2001. Winning at home means everything to us. Coming out to Husky Stadium and putting football back on the map is going to help us get started on a great season."
LINEBACKER Chris Stevens
General Comments: "It was a good win. We overcame some stuff, which was good for us, and we were able to win. We played a pretty good team today so we did some important things."
On seeing unexpected things from SJSU: "They came out with some changes that we weren't expecting and we just had to adjust on the fly. For the most part we were able to do that. It was really good for us to be able to do what we did, and we just have to carry it into next week."
On why they were able to get into the backfield as much as they did: "We have some guys both on our defense and on our special teams that are really fast. We like to use our speed and we were able to use it to get to the quarterback today."
San Jose State Head Coach Dick Tomey
General Comments: "The opening statement to the team was that the first thing we have to do is change the attitude we have about games like that. Too many times a year ago we played games like that and everybody was so excited that we competed. We can be proud of our effort. We can be proud of the fact that the tougher it got the better we played. We can be proud of the fact we won the turnover battle and had less penalties and all those things, but we were trying to win and we didn't. We need to give Washington the credit, and we have to understand that we can't feel good inside about that even though the effort was good, and our intentions were good, and we had a chance to win. But we came up here to win a game and we didn't get it done. We did some good things. I thought Adam Tafralis Played really well for the most part. You just can't make 50 yards rushing when the other guy makes 300 and expect to win. "
On Changing Expectations: "Everybody at San Jose State last year was so excited when we got beat by seven by Hawaii or Nevada and we just fought hard. We're going to fight hard, and sometimes our players felt good at fighting hard. They can be proud of the effort, but we are looking for more. We are looking for a better result."
On Washington's Play: "Their defense is a very veteran defense, and they're real physical and we just couldn't block them consistently, and they blocked us consistently. We have to get better along those lines. Washington, before the fight is over, is going to be a team that is much, much improved. I think they play hard, obviously they are well coached. The way some things went I was real happy about and there were some other things that I will be anxious to see the tape to see what exactly we can fix."
On Isaiah Stanback: "We did not contain him the way we had hoped to. He is faster than we are. Too many times he was right there and we're in a foot race with a guy who is fifth in the Pac-10 in the 100m and we can't wing that race. People will have trouble with that all year. You have to get him before he gets started, and we didn't do that. I think he did a terrific job. He did a nice job throwing the ball, running the ball. When you have that capability of running, you're damned if you do, your damned if you don't in terms of pressuring him because he gets away and it makes it difficult.
On Rankin's 68 yard TD run: "Obviously the play that really hurt us was the long run where we had just gotten back in the game - we were six points down - and we got bad field position. That long run was just tough, but then we came back, and I was thrilled the way we came back. We had a chance to win at the end. That's a position you'd like to be in, and you'd like to make it happen, but we didn't.
San Jose State Players
QUARTERBACK ADAM TAFRALIS
On spread offense: "We need to get the ball into our players hands, and we did a decent job of that."
On team performance: "It is not good enough. It is that simple. We win and lose as a team. It is tough, but the only thing we can do is use it to make us better."
On second half: "Things started opening up a little more. Their defense changed up and opened up some bigger holes for us. We knew that that was a regular defense of theirs, I just didn't think we would see it that much."
On James Jones: "James is a phenomenal athlete. When he is one-on-one with somebody, there is no one like him. Granted, we have other great receivers on this team. They are all guys that I trust with the ball in their hands, they are all good athletes. But, James has a very unique way of going up and getting the ball. He can jump with just about anyone."
WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES
On losing a close game: "A nail biter like that, it is painful."
On playing well in the second half: "I mean, that is football. In the first half, offense and defense, you are going to have your ups and downs. When you are clicking, you are clicking. When you are not clicking, you are not clicking. That is just the game of football. In the first half, it wasn't like we weren't clicking, we just weren't taking advantage of our opportunities. The defense gave us a couple of turnovers, and we didn't come out with any scores."
On Adam Tafralis: "Adam played really well. The whole team played really well, the defense, the offense, the special teams. I guess today, good wasn't good enough. We have got to get better."
On the UW secondary: "Washington has a great team, a great secondary. I played against a lot of those dudes in high school and I respect those dudes. It is going to be hard to score on them in the secondary."
LINEBACKER DEMETRIUS JONES
On Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback: "He was more than advertised. He was fast. A lot of times, we had a linebacker spying him, and he made it to the corner before we could get to him."
On young players: "I think they handled it very well. We had a lot of young guys stepping up and making big plays in big situations. We have some young defensive linemen holding up a good offensive line."