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Rose Bowl Media Quotes - Dec. 29
Release: 12/29/2000
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Keith Gilbertson, UW Offensive Coordinator

"We've had an exciting year on offense. We're not pretty, we're a lot like a rodeo ride. You get on and stay on as long as you can, and when it's over we hope we have more points than the other guys, and we've been able to do that 10 times. We've had a great season. We have some tremendous young people to coach. If we have one thing going for us is that we have toughness and we have character. We're probably not the most skilled offense to come and play in the Rose Bowl, but we battle, fight and scratch for every inch and that's the way we play."

(On the game's two quarterbacks)
"Both these guys have had outstanding careers. If you look at their numbers and what they've done for their teams, how their teams have won and excelled, it's easy to see. And they're both great college football players, so it's easy to see (them being compared). There's no secret that running the football is what's got us here. We did it well and in a lot of different ways, that's how we decided this group should play the last few years, and it's a good way to play. We've won a lot of games and scored a lot of points, held the ball for a long time and that's important in our league."

"We go into every game thinking we're going to run our non-option runs, that we'll run our option game and that we'll throw the football with some dropback and some play action. We go in with the same plan. It's probably wise against Purdue to run the ball more to keep it away from their offense, but you still have to do it and it's easier said than done. They have an athletic, quick defense, they are the Big Ten champions and have beaten the likes of Ohio State and Michigan, so to just sit here and say we're going to hold the ball and run and keep it away, that's lip service. You still have to go out and do it against a real good defense.

(On the distractions of the Rose Bowl)
"Most of our plan was in before we got here, taking a page from the NFL people when they have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, they do most of the plan and situation work before they get to the Super Bowl and then just touch upon certain points, given all the distractions, media attention and all the social events you're involved in, it just makes good sense. Our style of play is so different than the rest of the Pac-10, we end up changing the plan two or three series into the game. We go out and run some stuff and see how we play it, mostly because we don't have a common opponent to see how they play us."

(On being the underdog)
"I don't really know what the line is and I don't pay attention to it. I've been concerned about getting ready for Purdue's defense and getting our guys ready to go. They're the Big Ten Champions, a great opponent and they have to be pretty good to be here. And if they don't think we're real good, we've been hearing that all season. To hear that again is not a surprise. A lot of people in Washington picked Washington State to beat us the last game of the season. We just show up, do our thing and don't worry about what anybody thinks."

Marques Tuiasosopo, UW quarterback

(On his relationship with UW Coach Rick Neuheisel)
"Coach Neuheisel is a great guy. Not only do I have a great relationship with him, but he has a great relationship with all of his players. A lot of our players have respect for him and that's the reason we've been so successful. Not only our relationship with him but our relationship with the staff he brought in. It starts from the top down. He loves to have fun, but he loves to push us. He one of the most intense guys that I've known and that kind of surprised us when he first came (to Washington). You hear a lot of things about coaches and what they do, but he's kept the intensity of Washington football and pushed it to the level where the OE90, OE91, OE92 teams were. He's a quarterback and he has a lot to say about what I'm doing out there. I get a lot of advice out on the field. He's played that position and he's been in those situations I've been in. It's been a great tool to better myself."

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"The Rose Bowl experience has been awesome. It's the reason why I came to Washington, to win games and go to Rose Bowls. It's an honor and extreme pleasure. We've had a lot of great experiences, but like we've said, we don't want to shoot our guns off to early. We want to make sure we come out in the game and have a good show. We're getting excited with a couple days left, but it's been one of the best times of my life."

(On game focus)
"One thing Coach Neuheisel and his staff wanted to do was not change anything from what we've been doing all year long. We haven't close any practices all year, so this isn't anything new for us. We understand being in the Rose Bowl that a lot of people want to know what the Huskies are doing and we don't have a problem with sharing that. The coaches do a good job of making sure when we're on the field that we have to get ready to play."

Pat Conniff, UW Fullback

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"Being here ups the ante. It's been our goal, now we have to button down the hatches, get ready to go and bring home a "w."

Jerramy Stevens, UW Tight End

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"The Rose Bowl has been something I've been looking forward to all my life. The biggest thing for me and the rest of the team is that we don't shoot off our guns too early, that we don't get too excited and are ready to play the game."

Elliot Silvers, UW Offensive Tackle

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"During the regular season gets to be routine, whereas the Rose Bowl has a lot of extra activities and a lot more media attention. At times it can get a little distracting, but you have to focus that much more and when it gets close to game time you have to focus. It's easy for players to get distracted with all this extra attention, so there's that much more preparation that goes into this game."

Brock Spack, Purdue Defensive Coordinator

"It's obviously quite an honor to be here. I grew up in Illinois, playing football since I was seven years old and I finally get here 31 years later. It's always been a goal to play in the Rose Bowl or coach in it and to be here with my alma mater it's quite a thrill and we've really enjoyed ourselves."

(On containing Marques Tuiasosopo)
"As their quarterback goes, Washington goes, which is similar to us. He's a great player who can throw the ball and he's a threat running the ball. What's tough as a coach preparing for them is once the offense breaks down, he's still capable of making a play. It's hard to account for that. We're not a big team, so we'll need to use our speed and athleticism to run him down. We've faced some very good quarterbacks in our league. He reminds me of Rashard Casey of Penn State, very athletic. This guy has a little different game and he throws the ball well."

(On his expectations for Purdue's defense this year)
"Going into the season I was very nervous because we were relying on some young players coming into the program. We didn't know how they would react to playing at this level. They're a good group mentally, very bright, and that has helped us. We start five freshmen on our defense and nine in our two-deep. In order to do that we tried to keep things simple and see how much they could handle mentally. Our offense can cause some problems, that helped us learn things in two-a-days. These guys deserve all the credit, they've done a great job all year. The one thing we've had this year is the team speed. It's a fast Purdue defense and we're very happy with the way they've played."

Chris Clopton, Purdue Cornerback

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"There are some distractions, but we're having a lot of fun. Every time we step on that practice field, we understand why we're down here. I doubt our team is distracted once we step on the field."

(On containing the UW offense)
"We know they'll make some big plays, but we have to stay patient and poised and contain them the best we can. They have a lot of weapons on that team, so it's up to us to play our "A" game and be ready to give it all we have."

Joe Odom, Purdue Middle Linebacker

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"Our preparation for this game isn't much different than what we do at home. We serious on the practice field, we watch tape, we don't think of them as being a better team. We approach every game as big, just one more game we have to win, but there's a lot more on the line this time."

"Seeing Tuiasosopo on tape, I've noticed he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. If we can cause him to make a mistake and turn the football over to our offense and let them do their job, that's the plan."

Akin Ayodele, Purdue Defensive End

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"L.A. definitely has a lot more distractions than West Lafayette does. As players we've done a good job of not getting distracted. I feel like I'm at home with all the Purdue support and the people in L.A. wishing us well. We've done a good job of separating having fun and being serious at practice."

"To have a chance to win this game, we have to be disciplined. They have a great option game and they can throw the ball. He can make things happen and make big plays. We have to contain and keep him in the pocket."

Stuart Schweigert, Purdue Free Safety

(On the Rose Bowl experience)
"The coaches told us to have fun, but during the two hours we're with them, it's all football. We've prepared about the same as any game. As long as we keep doing that, we'll be all right."

"One of the keys, especially for our defensive backfield, is to make sure we're on our keys, read the option right so they don't throw an option pass. The main thing for me is read the tackles and guards and make sure we know it's pass first or make sure it's run."

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