Sept. 6, 1999
Press Conference Quotes
Washington vs. BYU
Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
In general: "We are very excited to be going into a nationally-televised contest of this magnitude. We have a tall order in front of us. Their defense ranked fifth in the country last year. They have maybe the best linebacker in the country in Rob Morris. Offensively, if you ask anyone who knows anything about college football about the best offenses in the country, BYU is certainly in the first breath. They have a lot of things going for them. We need to see improvement over these first four games, and continue to see improvement as we head into the conference shcedule. It will be a great test. Regardless of the outcome, we need to learn from the experience and continue to improve."
On injuries: "Rashad Peters (LB) will not play in the game. He has tried hard to get back, but he will not be available. Maurice Shaw (RB) will travel, but it is unlikely that he will see any action. If he did, it would be in an emergency situation only."
Are your practices laid back?: "We have a lot of fun at practice. A lot has been said about our 'laid-back approach', but if you came and watched our practice, I don't think you'll see that much different from other team's. We do have some music on during stretching, but I think that if you've been in any weight room or Jazzercise class in the country, they have music on all the time, so I don't think it's a big deal."
On BYU's offense: "I expect them to look the way they have for a number of years. This is an outfit that knows how to throw the ball, with a coaching staff that knows how to coach it. I would say that it will look like a track meet on Thursday night if we're not ready."
On the Pac-10's struggles: "Much has been said about the Pac-10 so far, but when the dust settles, I think that you'll be hard-pressed to find more competitive football in any other conference. There are some things the Pac-10 can do to improve itself, and whether those actions are taken is something that we'll have to wait and see, but the Pac-10 is my home conference and I have a lot of pride in it."
On the UW tailbacks: "If we can get a guy to break a gain of more than four yards, he gets to stay in the game, that's the rule. We're going to play with three tailbacks. We're probably going to start Willie Hurst, play sophomore Braxton Cleman, and will also give Paul Arnold a look. If we get a hot back, then we'll keep him in there."
On the kicking game: "We're going to go with John Anderson. Right now, he is our kicker, and I'm still debating as to whether he or Jim Skurski will be kicking off."
On relying on the defense: "We certainly have some stalwart defensive performers, but this is going to require a team effort. We have to play smart. If we can keep from hurting ourselves, be it turnovers, penalties, etc., then we'll have a chance to hang in there. My focus is that we're going to have mistakes and get through those, but let's not hurt ourselves by turning the ball over and/or taking penalties."
On the altitude: "Really, the factor is the lack of humidity, more than the elevation. You really have to make sure that you have a lot of hydration."
On starters: "Larry Tripplett will start as nose tackle, and Toalei Mulitauaopele will come in probably by the third series. Rock Nelson will start at the left guard position, and Dominic Daste will spell him. The center is Kyle Benn, with Matt Fraize backing him up. At inside linebacker, Derrell Daniels will be the starter, and Marques Hairston will spell."