Sept. 9, 2000
Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel
General Remarks: "Very excited about the win. It was a very heart-felt win. Maybe not as pretty as one would hope given the score at half time, but one know that Miami was going to come back blazing. They have too many good athletes and I thought that their coaching staff did a great job. Unfortunately we assisted their effort in some turnovers that had not plagued us this year. So they will be major points of effort as we prepare for next week's game against Colorado. I disappointed in myself a little bit. I think I made some strategic errors towards the end of the ballgame. But for the most part it was a great effort. Anytime you beat a program with the caliber of Miami you come away feeling pretty excited. Unfortunately our schedules requires that that excitement dissipate quickly. It's an exciting time for Washington football and hopefully we can ride this enthusiasm towards some more success."
On strategic errors: "There's so much pressure on our offensive and defensive coaching staff that we have to try to help the other side of the ball. At the end we should have ran the ball, punted it, and run the clock down. Unfortunately our punting was really dismal today. I like Ryan Fleming, but it's was his best day nor was in the punting team's best day either. We've got some holes to fix there. We need to focus and concentrate. Our first half was a sign of great confidence. We fought and played hard. Again we have to remember that Miami is a very good football team. Unfortunately the excitement and thrill of being up during the half, you start to lose your focus and lose your ability to concentrate and little things started to plaque us. It was such a hard-fought game that it would have been hard to stomach if we hadn't come away with the win."
On Rich Alexis: "Rich Alexis is a very talented young man, who has only really played a year and a couple games of football. His father was a big basketball fan and wanted Rich to be a basketball player. Rich snuck away and played a football game as a freshman or sophomore and scored four touchdowns and rushed for 260 yards and unfortunatley got his name in the paper and his dad found out about it. But we're very excited that Rich chose the University of Washington. I think he's got a tremendous future. He's behind in terms of his football knowledge. But he's very good athletically. We'll keep catching him up and bring him along and I think we're going to like what we see."
On Miami's turnovers: "We've really taken advantage of all the turnovers this season. But unfortunately we had some big turnovers. So we need to improve that in our offense and take better care of the ball."
On the offensive line: "I think the offensive line played really well. They are big good-looking guys that have great athleticism. And for them to give Marques the kind of time he had today was really outstanding. Marques has got to realize when there is nothing there to throw it away. But as soon as he does that he pulls away and makes a great play. So you don't want to coach him too much, with regard to his instincts."
On Larry Tripplett: "I thought Larry played outstanding. Larry's one of our captains and every Friday we have a captain meeting and Larry wanted me to make sure that the team understood that this wasn't a game to start worrying about them getting out of control. It was a game to stay focused. And I thought his point was well made. Larry just an outstanding and level-headed player. He plays really hard, especially today."
On Jerramy Stevens: "He's a remarkable young athlete. There's no question that he has great skill. I can't imagine what it must be like to go to sleep at night to have that hanging over his head. So I just hope that it has a happy ending. But I'm not going to comment on the particulars until something is done."
On the Husky crowd: "We had a 12th man: the Husky crowd. It's outstanding. They made plays as if they were out there tackling themselves. That's a hard environment for a young quarterback to play in."
On Clinton Portis: "The real difference in the game in my mind was Portis. That guy is incredible. They have some darn good backs, even when he's on the field. He's a sensational player. He's just very difficult to tackle."
On Santana Moss: "I think he's hurt. I don't think he's full speed. I'm not making any excuses for him and I'm proud of the way we covered him. But it takes two to complete a pass. You've got to have a quarterback who knows where to put it. But I think that Santana Moss is a great, great player that was not 100% today."
On the second half: "34-29, I guess it did. The second half was not as crisp in terms of our execution on either side of the ball. We need to address that because I think what happens is that you get a little excited. You get thrilled that your ahead 21-3 in a game that not very many people thought you could win, let alone be in that kind of position. You want to go out there and want the game to be over and all of the sudden you've got to remember you've got this real determined approach just like you did in the first half. You can't let emotions start to seep into that where all the sudden you're waiting for the game to be over rather than executing the play at hand. That's a great lesson and fortunately it came without costing us the game."
Washington Player Quotes
On the defense's success against the Miami pass attack: "When we play together and we limit our mistakes we can do a lot of magical things. The focus of our game was to put heat on (Miami quarterback Ken) Dorsey because he has some great receivers to throw to. If had let him stand back there and throw the ball we would have lost the game. Santana Moss is a touchdown every time he touches the ball and if you limit him to just one catch then you're doing a good job."
On his own performance and that of the young players on defense: "Our team does whatever it takes to win and if that means that young guys have to step in and play then they need to be ready and they did a great job of that. Some days it's going to be me having the kind of day I had and some days it will be someone else. That's the way our team works and that's the way the game is supposed to be played."
On the defense stepping up their play: "The defense really stepped up today, especially the corners. Miami has one of the best receiving corps in the country and they did a good job and the d-line, which everyone had questions about, I think they proved themselves today. The veteran linebacker corps did what we were supposed to do and the safeties really hit the ball hard."
On the defense in the second half: "They ran the ball more and broke some big pays. They made some really good adjustments at halftime and the third quarter just wasn't a very good done for us. We picked it up though in the fourth quarter and were able to hold them off."
On having a big lead early in the game: "It is very tough. That team is really explosive and they can come out and throw a 60-yard pass at any given moment or just come out and run the ball the way they did 40, 50 yards at a time. It is hard to keep the lead especially against a team like that."
On Husky Pride: "I'm proud of the dogs. I'm proud to be a member of this team. We're going to battle, we are going to play hard. It doesn't matter who we play or what the score is this team is going to battle."
On The Victory: "It was a great win. I just wish that we could have taken away the heartache towards the end of the game."
On His Teammates: "I love playing with these guys, they just keep making me come back and work hard day in and day out."
On His Touchdown: "I never thought that I would score let alone get into the game, but I made the most of my opportunity and I just have to thank god for letting me make it into the endzone."
On The Possibility of Playing Basketball: "I still have a lot to learn about football. This is only my second year and I have lot to learn during the coming spring and summer, but if the opportunity comes for me to play basketball and I feel like I can go out there and produce for coach Bender then I would. If not I'm just going to hit the weights and learn new plays."
Miami Head Coach Butch Davis
GENERAL REMARKS: "We felt like we were able to make some major adjustments at halftime to try to get ourselves back into the game. One of the things we continued to do was shoot ourselves in the foot. We had pass interference penalties and things that just kept drives alive. Every time we'd have a couple of good starts to some drives, things would fizzle. But, I was proud of our team. I think we certainly played the entire 60 minutes. We left it all on the field. Washington is a good football team. We knew that coming in. We knew they had a very dangerous, very experienced, talented quarterback who could make plays. He did a lot of things today that we had seen him do on film last year. He didn't surprise us, we knew he was a good player."
ON MIAMI QUARTERBACK KEN DORSEY: "This was his first major opportunity against a really good football team. I don't know if Washington rattled him as much as the experience of him not ever playing in front of a crowd like this, on the road, all those things. I thought he did some things that were very good. Maybe at times he tried to do too much where he was trying to make some plays. He could have been more patient, which would have given him a little more confidence throughout the game."
ON MIAMI RUNNING BACK CLINTON PORTIS: "Every time we put Clinton in the ballgame, he just makes things happen. He worked a lot this week in our nickel package and when we had to go to our three and multiple wide receivers, he was the guy. He really sparked our offense today. He had a great run on the draw play. He did a great job on the screen. He made a lot of people miss him. Directly, he was personally responsible, although he didn't score, for 14 points today."
ON A FEW BAD EXCHANGES UNDER THE CENTER: "That was just guys trying to pick up line stunts. Washington did a good job mixing their defensive line guys and our guys were trying to react to them and they stepped on the quarterback's feet. When you don't get a chance to even throw the ball and convert on a third down, you clearly shoot yourself in the foot."
ON WASHINGTON DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: "We knew their players were really good. We knew that (Jeremiah) Pharms was a good player and we knew that #70 (Larry Tripplett) was a good player and good pass rusher, relentless. They did a nice job. We got give them a lot of credit."
ON A SECOND HALF COMEBACK: "We canned some of the things we were trying to do. Maybe just going to the line and letting our kids have some success and running some plays. Not letting them talk us out of some plays, just running the plays into a lot of their blitzes. They blitzed probably 35, 40 percent of the time and instead of always trying to get out of it and protect it and throw balls down the field, just go ahead and run some plays into it. We had some success."
ON THE EFFECT OF THE WIND ON THE PASSING GAME: "It effected it some. For Ken (Dorsey) the ball hung several times. But, clearly we had some guys that were open deep. A combination of maybe the wind and the pressure. He was going off his back foot at times."
ON THE SECONDARY: "One of the major factors today was that we gave up too many big plays. There was some times when we weren't on the same page. When you get a team like Washington who's very good, very talented, they know how to attack schemes. You've got to do a good job making your secondary checks and making sure that everybody communicates. I think we learned a big lesson about that today."
ON THE LOCKER ROOM ATMOSPHERE AFTER THE GAME: "I told them that I was proud of their effort, but we've learned a lot of lessons in the five years that we've been here. One of those lessons is that if you don't play on game day, if you make a lot of penalties, if you have turnovers and those types of things, you really don't give yourself the best chance to win. We've got to worry about the Miami Hurricanes and less about the opponent. It's never really about who you play, it's about your own productivity and how efficient you are, how well you practice. Then you have to go out and apply those principles on gameday."
ON THE MEDIA HYPE SURROUNDING MIAMI: "We never talked about the national championship. That's always media conversation prior to the start of the season. The most important thing for this football team is the next game. That's the way that we approached it and nothing changed three hours earlier. We came in here, thinking this was a big game and we need to play well, find out how good we are. I think we are going to learn a lot about our football team from this game today. If we can make our adjustments and come back and apply some things that we learned today, we are still going to have one really good football team."
Miami Player Quotes
DAN MORGAN (MLB)
On the Defense's Play: "They broke a few plays on us, but we can't pout, we have a lot more games left. It wasn't so much their offense, but our penalties that killed us. We gave them too many second chances. We gave them too many opportunities. We just have to correct our mistakes. I think if we didn't give them those second chances, the game would have been a little different. We just can't turn the ball over and we can't make mistakes on defense plain and simple. If you do that against any team you are going to struggle. We did that today and we lost the game."
On Tuiasosopo: "He's good and he tries to make a lot of plays. He runs around and I think he's good for that team and he gets the job done."
LEONARD MYERS (LCB)
On the loss: "It went to the team that wanted it more and made less penalties. The teams the have less penalties and turnovers win ball games. And that's what they did. I think there are always I wish I, should have, could haves, but you just have to deal with the play calls going on, and we made some mistakes when we did bring the pressure and things happen. They are a good team and you can't make mistakes against a good team with the pass interference and the fumbles we gave them. They just exploited us."
On Defending the Option: "He's (Tuiasosopo) pretty good at it. But I think we defended it pretty well, just at certain times, defenses break down, which is bound to happen. But when we did, he exploited it. Tui, he's a good guy, has good decision making, good passing, good runner. He's going to take this team a long way.
On the Huskies Throwing Game: "I was very surprised how well they threw the ball in the first half, but they didn't come at us man to man. They were always shifting, which is heads up to them on a good coaching job to get us off our main defense and catch us off guard, which is what they did. We weren't hanging our hat on this game. We just have to take a valuable lesson that we can't give a good team second chances. Watch it now, you just have to stay focused, wrap up and go ahead next week. They kept catching us with problems with their shifts, and motions and making good plays on us."
JOAQUIN GONZALEZ (OL)
On Larry Tripplett: "I think definitely Tripplett had a great game. He was doing some great things in there and you have to hand it to the defense. We were two great teams that went at it and they just had the upperhand. I hate to give it to them, but they did a great job and played us hard and played us tough."
CLINTON PORTIS (RB)
On the crowd: "It wasn't the defense the made the difference. It was the crowd that played a major part in this game. The crowd was great. They stayed with them. Every time we started to build some momentum, the crowd would get us to jump offsides or have a delay of game. The crowd played a big role. We've played against better defenses, we just had to come out and play. It was just our execution. We hurt ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot."