Sept. 25, 1999
Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel:
GENERAL REMARKS: "This obviously is an emotional time. Given the state of what has taken place over the past several months. It was more difficult than I had imagined to be on the field with all those kids who I'd been in their living rooms with. Yet, once the competitive thing got stated, it was a joy to watch the University of Washington players, who were kind of obscured through all this, responded to the challenge and just wouldn't give up even though it got a little dicey.
"There was a lot going through my mind but the ultimate thing here is that it was a good day for college football in that two programs that now both have 600 wins, two programs that I am in an absolutely perfect position to tell you have a bunch of great young people, not just football players, but young people in their programs and they went out there and laid it on the line and did great things at the benefit of all the people to enjoy. I just happened to be a guy with a good seat.
"I want to say best of wishes to Colorado who played a hard fought game. I thought Moschetti was very courageous. It was obvious he was about half speed out there. That's not a kid who's healthy, he doesn't through like that on a normal day. He is a competitive son-of-a-gun, as is their entire team. It was nice to, legally, be able to say good luck to him and I wish him well.
"This is hopefully a turning point in our program, it is far from a finished product, we have lots of things to improve on. Who knows how we'll do in the Pac-10 conference but I promise you this, with this win and feeling good about ourselves, maybe for the first time in a long time, we have a chance, if we're smart, efficient and coach with that urgency that we try to set out to coach with. We can get ourselves off and make, hopefully, a little dent in the Pac-10 Conference. Someone's got to win it, it might as well be the Dawgs."
ON THE POST-GAME INTERACTION WITH COLORADO PLAYERS: "I didn't know what to expect and that was the one thing I was bracing myself for. When you spend as much time as I do with kids, you get attached. It's emotional and if you haven't been in that situation then you ought to try it because it really is a neat thing to have that kind of feeling towards people. I didn't know exactly how it would shake out after, I didn't know if there would be bitterness or how it would go, I just made up my mind I'd be able to handle it whatever came. It was very nice and very rewarding to spend time like that with those kids because they mean a lot to me."
ON THE POST-GAME EMBRACE WITH COLORADO'S BEN KELLY: "Ben Kelly and I are extremely close. Ben Kelly is a guy who came over to my house on more than one occasion when I was the head coach at Colorado. Ben Kelly is a guy that I made the determination, along with Bobby Hauck, that we were going to take when the only other school that was recruiting him was Eastern Michigan. Ben Kelly was a guy who had to mature and to go through a lot of things as a freshman and is going to graduate at the end of this year with a double major. He is a true success story about what intercollegiate athletics are all about, not to mention that he is impossible to tackle."
ON RUNNING THE BALL MORE TODAY: "We're trying to establish our identity as an offense. We tried in the first to weeks as well but as we're starting to evolve and get some game footage of ourselves we're trying to get to a place were we can be consistent and marry that philosophy with how we're going to play on defense. I thought our offensive coaches did a great job today, managing the game and didn't loose patience when all of a sudden a couple of turnovers happened and things got a little dicey."
ON THE HARRIS TOUCHDOWN CATCH: "I was certainly a big play. It was actually a play we had schemed for BYU and never get to it and really didn't practice it this week but Steve Axman talking to some of the skill players on offense at halftime said 'this might be there'."
ON THE ATTITUDE OF THE TEAM: "I'm thankful that we have a bunch of guys who, frankly, are a little put-off that none of them got asked for an interview this week. Not one interview request for a player from the University of Washington in a game of this magnitude. It was all about the coach. As a told them, I'm not playing, this is about you. We have an opportunity to say what the University of Washington is about. There has been 599 victories prior to this one, lets not take a back seat to anybody and those kids went out and played with everything they had. I told them that your the University of Washington and the media has got this to look like where 11 guys are going to come blow me up but I'm not playing, they've got to run through the University of Washington to get that accomplished and you ought to have something to say about that."
ON THE ADVANTAGE OF KNOWING : "The University of Washington showed up today and played like the great teams of the University of Washington. For me and our program today this has a great deal of significance in that we have know at least tasted victory and people can start believing and subscribing in the theories that are in place and we can go forward. We can put all this other stuff behind us and go forward and hopefully build one of the great programs in the country because that's why I came here, it is one of the great programs in the country.."
Washington Player Quotes
(On importance of win ): "We needed to get this win and just roll. We needed some confidence Last week we felt like we should have won, we didn't play to our ability so it was important to come out and get this one and feel like we can ride this a long way..."
(On hype about the game): "It definite was not just another game. You could feel how much it meant to Coach Neuheisel and he tried to take the attention off himself but after the game he just let it out and you could see how much it meant to him. We were all excited, but to see the coaches jumping up and down makes it that much greater "
(On no interviews during week): "It was just kind of weird because usually you have at least someone come and ask someone on our team but we didn't make anything of it we just focused on ourselves all week because last week we hurt ourselves too much to be successful so we didn't let any outside distractions get into our focus and preparations."
(On touchdown pass to Harris): "We'd been running the option all day long and they were bringing the safety up to take me so we saw that upstairs and they made a great call. It was a fake option Gerald did a great job selling the bluff on the safety and he just slipped by him, went down field and he was wide open and I just didn't want to miss him."
(On Neuheisel's emotion) : "He didn't show it until after the game. He took everything inside and didn't really get excited until after the game when we had our team meeting and you could see he was happy we won because he's a winner."
(On halftime adjustments): "We didn't really look around at each other and guess who was going to step up and do it. I think this was the most complete team win we've had in a long time, it took all 11 players. When we got behind and had a couple turnovers we had to look at ourselves and say we need to pick it up together and that's the only way well be able to get it done."
(On coming off the bench): "I must admit it was a change of pace. I started last season, and coming off the bench felt different but I knew I was going to get my shot. I didn't know that Braxton would go down but he did and that was my opportunity and I just ran hard."
(On touchdown catch): "We'd been running the option all day and it was a pass play that's derived off the option and my job is to run down and act like I'm blocking and they bit on it and Tui had time and made a nice throw. One of the things Coach Dorrell has emphasized with me is keeping ,hands high and it's something I worked on all summer and it paid off"
Colorado Head Coach Gary Barnett
General Remarks: "In the end we just didn't make the big plays. We had bad field position for the entire first half and our offense stalled. The defense was playing pretty well and we were not able to take advantage of it. We couldn't march the length of the field and we did not make a lot of big plays on offense, which we have been living off of the past couple of weeks. You take away the big plays and you have to be able to run the ball, which we obviously couldn't do. The difference in the game was that they ran the ball against us. When you get almost 300 yards rushing you should be able to win the game. We dropped some passes and were scrambling like crazy. They were difficult catches, but you have got to be able to make those if you are going to win in a hostile environment like this. Ben Kelly made an incredible play on special teams. In the end special teams and turnovers were the key. The bottom line was that we had very little offense. Give Washington some credit, they came right at our defense and did a good job."
On Colorado's Offense: "The lack of offense was both a lack of execution and a good Husky defense. Any time you have a game like this it is a combination of both. We knew we were in a war up front, but we just didn't make the big plays. We did not run the ball effectively, we weren't getting the extra yards. You have got to make somebody miss in order to make good plays, which we did not do."
On the Emotions of the Game: "It was just as everybody expected. After the opening kickoff, it became a football game between two teams that need to win. It was a hostile environment for one and a home field for another, and I think everyone got their money's worth."
Quotes from Colorado Players
QB Mike Moschetti
(On emotion of the game and the last play): "It definitely was. On the last play we were not on the same page. I thought one thing and he thought another. I was too bad that it had to end that way."
(On his knee injury): "I am not going to use that as an excuse. When you are hurt you have to find a way to win the game. You have to overcome adversity. I had a little bit of trouble doing that today."
(On Washington): "They are a good fooball team. Offensively they played well and they came after us. They never quit. They could have quit when we took the lead on them, but they didn't. They just kept coming out after us."
DB Ben Kelly
(general comments): "Big plays change the momentum of the game. We had the big play in our favor and we did not capitalize on it. All of the emotion was in the pre-game and post game. During the actual game it was Colorado players vs. Washington players. Coach Barnett and Coach Neuheisel never stepped on the field. It was just a game between us players. Washington did not trick us or surprise us. We knew what was coming at us. We just did not execute.
(On the emotion of the game): "I was most emotional coming out before the game. I saw a lot of the former staff. After I greeted them that was it. It was time to play."
ILB Ty Gregorak
(On importance of game): "I am not going to say that it meant everything, or that our season depended on it. However, I knew a lot of people from this state and I wanted to show them what I had learned. It is hard because our defense was not quite up to par in the second half."
(On losing two emotional games): "It opens our eyes because we came into the first one (Colorado St.) completely dead. No emotion. Maybe in this game our emotion was to high.
(On reunion wth Neuheisel): "He said have a great season and don't let the media come between us. It was important to talk to him because there had been so much stuff said. I personally have a lot of respect for Rick and his staff. Washington was the best 0-2 team in America."
ILB Jashon Sykes:
(On playing against Neuheisel): "When you are playing against your old coach you can not help but get excied. We lost so you have to learn from your mistakes. They have been hyping up this game all summer, and it's good to get it over with."
(On individual play): "Individually I had a great game. We still lost the game so I am still hurt inside. Washington threw a lot of different things against us offensively that kept us on our toes.