Press Conference Quotes
Washington vs. Colorado
September 20, 1999
Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
General comments: "We had certainly not planned on being 0-2 heading into the game against Colorado, but that's where we find ourselves having not played well enough against two fine opponents to salvage victories. We were in both games, had chances to win both games, but unfortunately squandered both of those opportunities. Now we find ourselves winless in the beginning of the season, thus far. We face a very fine team in Colorado this week, and again, the emphasis will be on trying to improve. We need to eliminate the mistakes that have plagued us these first two weeks. The mistakes were not the same in both games. In the first game we did not turn the ball over and in the second unfortunately we turned the ball over four times in the second half, five times in the last 31 minutes of the game. We have got to address the reasons for being winless. We have to address the consistency of our players and our coaches to make sure that we put a full game together against a very fine Colorado team that is playing very well right now. It's a tall order, but one that we are excited about."
In preparation for the Colorado game: "I never thought it would be difficult to prepare the Washington players. This is a big game now just as it was a big game before I got here. Colorado is a big-time opponent, with respects to the Big-12, and this game has a very marquee feel to it. I don't think that the fact that I was the coach at Colorado before I came here makes much difference to the kids at Washington. The bottom line is that we are going to do our best and hopefully make a great game of it and find a way to win it."
On facing the Colorado offense: "I wouldn't characterize Colorado's offense as conventional. They have a lot of four and five wide receiver sets, with a lot of speed. They do a lot of things offensively that can give you problems. We need to just continue to improve defensively, and I feel that we have done that. From week one to week two we became much better, if you take away the first two drives. Once we caught up to the Air Force speed and execution, I thought our kids played pretty well and gave our offense a chance to succeed. Unfortunately our offense couldn't do that."
On having any Colorado insight: "I think I would, if I was paying any attention. I certainly know their physical attributes. I heard coach Barnett saying that I would have an advantage trying to get matchups. There are a lot of deficiencies in the physical scale of the Colorado athletes. They have a lot of speed and good things going for them. But certainly having coached there for the number of years that I did, I do feel like I know their personnel."
On facing Colorado: "This is just another game for us to prepare for our conference season. Things have not gone as we have hoped, but I still believe that we can be a good football team if we can stop hurting ourselves. We have one more tune-up before we face conference play with Oregon on October 2nd. This will be a great test for us."
On Colorado's emotions for Saturday's game: "Any time you are in a competitive endeavor, you are always looking for a motivational angle. If it helps them to prepare with a revenge factor, or anything like that, then I'm sure they will try to use it. It will be easy for me to explain to the Washington players that these guys are going to play with everything they got, but it will be also very evident to the Colorado players that Washington will do the same. After having listened to coach Barnett, he hit the nail on the head, both programs are at a place right now, that they really can't afford to get caught up in the hype of the ball game. Both teams really have to spend their time getting themselves physically and mentally ready to play."
On Mike Moschetti's status: "Knowing Mike, he will play. He has been down before and he finds a way to get back in the contest. Given the events of the past nine months, I know that he wants desperately to play, so I expect him to play. I recruited both Zac Colvin and Adam Bledsoe, and also Taylor Barton, which all are very capable players. They will play the game with a good quarterback."
On his personal feelings for the game: "Watching Colorado on tape, I'll be honest with you, I can remember being in every one of those kids' homes, going through the recruiting process and all the different things that unfolded in their careers while I was at Colorado. But, my attention and focus is solely on fixing our team, and getting our guys to understand what is takes to be successful. We can't lose our optimism or our resolve in terms of going forward. I can't afford to dwell in the past, although as I have said numerous times, that I cherish my past and the memories I had at the University of Colorado."
On Don James: "He is the essence of Husky football. When you thought about Washington, you thought about Don James. The success that he had here and the style and demeanor in which he carried himself, were models for all coaches. When given the opportunity to be here, it was pretty much a no-brainer to want to include him. I am just trying to learn as much as I can from him. As I said, I was on the field before the BYU game with him and LaVell Edwards, and I felt like I should have been carrying their clubs. These guys have probably forgotten more football than I know. They are certainly great ambassadors of the game, and if you pay attention, you can learn a great deal from them."
On coaching and loyalty: "I don't think that there is any question that both myself and coach Barnett believed that we would stay at our particular institutions for a long time and be very happy. I was not unhappy at Colorado, that was never the case, and that's not why I left. I was given a fantastic opportunity at a fantastic university, that forced me to explore. I took as much information as I could take and made the best decision for myself and my family. As I have said many times, I have no regrets. Given the same set of circumstances and information that I had, I would do it again. I am loving the University of Washington more and more everyday."
On Marques Tuiasosopo: "Marques is a wonderful young man. He is going to have many days in the sun, and for whatever reason, this was not one of those days for him or our offense. This doesn't mean that it was all Marques's fault by any stretch of the imagination. We have to fix that and find more ways to be consistent. We have got to find a way given the tools that we have to be a successful offense. You can't throw the baby out of the bath water. You can't toss all your investments out, you just have to start honing in on them so that on gameday you get a much more successful result of what you have been practicing."
On Paul Arnold: "I see Paul Arnold continuing to improve. To quantify carries is a dangerous thing, because you can't predict the flow of the ball game. We will continue to coach him and when he is ready to take over as the full time back, because he has won the job and he is ready to handle the job, I will be excited. The competition is open, and it will always be like that at every position on this team. Paul hadn't even gone to a class yet. He didn't even know what a side-adjust was from a check-release three weeks ago. But he has learned unbelievably quickly, and he has a unique athletic ability. We are excited about his future, but to throw him in there with out him being able to handle all the things he would need to, would be a mistake."