Sept. 16, 2006
Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
General Comments: "I know the first question is going to be how does it feel, and it feels good. It was exciting to get the win and now we'll look forward to next weekend."
On quarterback Isaiah Stanback: "I do know that he's a competitor. He was drafted by the Major Leagues for Baseball. He finished fifth or whatever it was in track, he's a competitor and I expected him to be a competitor."
On tackles: "We needed to tackle. There were at least three times where I saw three people miss tackles. So one thing I told them was to execute and tackle. I said that this was going to be a learning experience, and this team is learning how to win. I was very pleased with the way we finished strong in the fourth quarter."
On the crowd: "The thing that I noticed today was that it didn't just start on the final drive. It was exciting to hear them make a difference in the game. It made a huge difference to have our fans so loud and involved and it made it harder for Fresno State. It was extremely loud in this stadium when we came out and I think they topped it off by being even louder in the fourth quarter. This place is one of the most difficult places to come in and play when our fans have that kind of passion and get involved. They really did make a difference."
On dropped balls: "Usually when a receiver drops the ball he's trying to finish the play before he gets the ball. We had that happen, we had guys trying to make plays before they had control of the ball and that resulted in a drop."
On E.J. Savannah's injury: "EJ did suffer an injury to his hand, and we will find out the extent of the injury in the next few days. I think it's more of a thumb injury."
On new players stepping up: "There were a lot of guys who stepped up today. I think that Kyle Trew did a good job of stepping in tonight and being involved on some plays even though he hasn't seen a lot of playing time yet this year. Caesar also played solid. When you have a guy like Caesar it's nice to see him make a play like that. He's one of the hardest working guys on this team. He comes in to practice with a great attitude and it is wonderful to see him step in and make a contribution."
On running plays during half time: "Well we've been known to start slow in the third quarter so we thought we'd get out there and get them moving early. We ran a few plays during half time to jump start our guys, but I think the sequence was we didn't move the ball, and then Fresno State scored. So trash that."
On starting 2-1: "Well it's the next best thing to being three and zero. We've got to start looking ahead because we have UCLA who is a completely different team and a completely different opponent. Being two and one helps because it means the work that our guys have been putting in has paid off so far. We probably had our best three practices leading up to this ball game. And we've also had three consistent games, pretty much."
On difference between three games: "They are two different ball games. We knew going into Oklahoma that we were going to have to stop the run, and we knew going into this game that we were going to have to stop the run. Then we came up so short on our passing game on both sides. On offense we didn't pass well and on defense we didn't do well either. This game we did them both solid, I thought, than the last two games."
QUARTERBACK Isaiah Stanback
On the game: "We finally put together four quarters. We didn't necessarily win the way we wanted to, but a `W' is a `W.' We can go back and find out what we did right and what we did wrong, and make those corrections going into next week."
On the 2-1 start: "It feels good. Especially being undefeated at home. Our fans were a big part of our game today. They helped our defense out a lot. Next week there are going to be a lot more students here because school is about to start, and that is going to help out a lot more. W have to come out and play better next week too -- we have a tough opponent every week."
On the rest of the season: "The season is going to be affected by this win. This was a big one. Everybody knew this was going to be a big game. They were a tough opponent -- they play well on the road. But we got the `W' and that should get us started going into the Pac-10."
On having 242 yards out of 279 total offensive yards: "We didn't execute our game plan the way we really wanted to. But we knew they were going to clog the box up, and make us throw the ball. But we were still able to run the ball when they did that. We threw the ball well today. If the call is to pass, I am going to pass, or I am going to try and make something happen. That is the case all the time."
On Sonny Shackleford's touchdown catch: "Sonny made a good play. That is one of my main receivers. He is our leading receiver from last year, and I think he needed that."
On Caesar Rayford blocking the extra point: "Caesar won the game. It was crazy. I didn't even know what happened. When I turned around, I saw people running on the field, and I was like `Hey, we got it!' That won the game."
WIDE RECEIVER Sonny Shackelford
On the game: "We won! We won the game. That is what we came out here for. We are here to keep our house undefeated, and that is what we got. We are still undefeated at home, and we are going into the Pac-10 season 2-1. That is better than average in our record, and we are just going to keep it locked."
On his touchdown catch: "It was a play call where he could have thrown it to the corner or to the spot where Anthony Russo was at, but he saw an open man, and he threw it p there. I always tell him that if he throws it up there, that I will do my best to go and get it. And I got it."
On their defense: "They were a good bunch of dudes. They had a lot of guys out there making a lot of plays, and hitting really hard. My hat goes off to them because they had good defense, but we were the better team today."
On the crowd: "The crowd played a big factor in our win. Especially when our defense was on the field. They kept the adrenaline going, and their quarterback couldn't make the call because it was too loud out there. The crowd kept it going. And we appreciate it as a team because they helped us win."
On the win helping the outcome of the season: "I am not going to say that this win is going to carry us the rest of the season, but it is a good win for us, and we are looking forward to next week. This win is going to carry us into next week."
WIDE RECEIVER Marcel Reece
On being a Husky: "Everyone has been making it easy for me. I know the offense, and I am comfortable now. I am playing a lot faster, and I am starting to get back to myself. It feels good. It feels good to be able to focus on my offense."
On the game: "Today was a great game. I came out there ready. We had a great week of practice. It felt good coming into today. It felt good in every way. Everyone playing fast and physical, and executing the whole game."
On the crowd: "The crowd was definitely a big part of it. It is good to have them in the stands -- they are our 12th man on the field. It feels good. We just have to keep them here, keep smiles on their face, and keep winning."
LINEBACKER Scott White
General Comments:"It feels really good. I'm kind of speechless right now. Since I've been here we've never come out of the blocks like this. That was a team win where everybody really stepped up. You never know when the game is going to be decided, and right there on the extra point block it was decided. We still are getting better and we still have yet to play our best football."
On the defense making plays down the stretch: "At the break we really talked about it in the locker room. We just wanted to stay focused and maintain our intensity throughout the game. When you are playing talented players guys are going to miss tackles. But if we can get 11 guys to the football we can alleviate those mistakes."
On the crowd: "It was deafening. I tip my hat to all the fans that came out and tailgated. They came into the game rowdy and we're just hoping to get 72,000 in here next week. "
On the special teams play: "We talked all week about special team execution. We have coach Tormey on our staff and he coached at Reno where they've had success in the kicking game. We were just focused throughout the week on making that a factor."
CORNERBACK Roy Lewis
General Comments: "It's a great feeling. We were in a dogfight and I think today we went out there and did what was necessary to pull out the victory."
On the defense in the fourth quarter: "We just came together. We've all been talking about finishing this whole time and I think today we really showed that we can finish and we know how to finish and finish well. We beared down and we played Husky defense and Husky football and that's what made us victorious."
On the fan support: "We love the 12th man out there. We love our fans and our fans love us. We just need their support and they came out and supported us today and they played their part. We give much credit to our supporting cast. We had to protect our house. This is our house and we must protect this house."
On the special teams play: "That just drives us more. Last week our special teams didn't do that well and this week they stepped it up. When you have all three parts working together like we did today you're going to come out victorious."
DEFENSIVE END CEASAR RAYFORD
General Comments: "It's great right now. It's a big boost for us. This when really helps a lot mentally, especially winning a game like this one."
On the fan support: "I love that the fan support is still there despite us struggling. I love that they still take care of us and they still support us."
On his blocked kick: "I'm out there to make plays and I want to make plays. When we first started practicing the play I told myself I was going to block one. So in the game I just visualized myself blocking it and it happened. It's just a great feeling."
On picking up the defense: "It's great because we buckled down in the fourth quarter and we all just came together and we pulled the game out. People made plays on defense and I blocked the kick. We really just trusted each other."
Have you ever felt this good after a game?: "No way. This is the greatest feeling ever. I'm really excited. I blocked the kick and having all the guys come to me celebrating and to see the fans screaming is better than anything."
CORNERBACK Mesphin Forrester
General Comments: "We came out with a win. We came into this game knowing we had to win and we did it. We looked really good. They were a great team and I guess now that we've beat them we're showing we have a chance to be a bowl team."
On the interception: "My initial play when I got the interception was just to kneel it and seal the game, but all I saw was green grass so I knew I had to advance it and I just came up a yard short."
On making the pick right after teammate Matt Fountaine had one called back by a penalty: "He told me I stole his pick. I said, `Sorry you didn't get yours, but I got mine.'"
On the crowd: "That crowd played a big part today. On third and long and third and short they came through today and pretty much helped us with that win."
On different guys stepping up to help the team: "Caesar Rayford came up with a huge play. I think that was the play of the game. We have a really good team and people are stepping up to make us even better. Whenever they call my number I'm ready to go out there and make plays."
Fresno State Coach Pat Hill
General Comments: "We made too many mistakes in that football game. I'm not pleased with our performance tonight. I don't think we played as hard as we can. I don't think we played well enough in our two minute drill, obviously. There were wrong personel substitutions on the field, guys weren't into it, guys weren't getting it done, and I want to take full responsibility for that. We got a field goal blocked. We got an extra point blocked. We let them convert 3rd and 18, 3rd and 16. Things like that are unacceptable. Give credit to Washington for winning the game, but our performance is unacceptable. I can only talk about our performance, and that's not good enough, and it will change. "
On whether Fresno State let one slip away: "I'm not going to say that. I fell every game coming into it that we should win. That's the way I think. That's the way I feel, and it will never change. I always think we should win. We did not play well enough today to win."
On strategy for eliminating mistakes: "It is going to get physical next week. That bye week isn't going to be a fun week. We're going to find some new players if we have to. I challenged that team in the locker room. We are going to go to work, and we are going to get this thing turned around. We're not accepting those last two losses."
On what caused missed FG attempts: The last one was the hold, and the first one came through the wing. We really have to look at it, I can't give you an exact answer. I know the second one was the hold. Never got the hold down.
On letting a critical punt reach the end zone: "That's unbelievable. That is an unbelievable play. We work on special teams more than anything else. We should have had that ball nursed at the one yard line."
On critical miscues: We had ten men on the field at a critical time at the end of the half. I'd like to have that one back. We just didn't play smart football. We looked like a tired football team out there today. I thought that game was slow-motion- I'm just talking about our team."
On whether there were any surprises: "We knew we had to contain number four. All of their rushing yards came out of number four. They couldn't run the ball with their tailbacks. We knew we had to contain number four and we didn't. There were no surprises. They outexecuted us. We gave up contain, we can't give up contain like that."
Fresno State Players
KICKER CLINT STITSER
On extra point: "I was totally relaxed and not worried. I am not blaming anybody, I just didn't stay disciplined and get the ball up. I did a rookie mistake and got wide-eyed trying to drive the ball through. I just didn't make it happen. I just saw the ball on the ground and I didn't stay disciplined. It was the same exact thing on the field goal."
On kicking errors : "It is a smooth motion and swing. When things go wrong you panic and you lift up your head or your foot. You usually do something at the last second to try and get the ball through but you just do something at the end to break your normal rhythm and routine."
On chance of getting a second shot: "I fully expected to still go out and hit a game winner. I wasn't scared about the miss or anything like that, we just lost rhythm. Those last two kicks weren't characteristic of us and we thought that we would be able to play through it."
QUARTERBACK TOM BRANDSTATER
On final drive: "I wanted to go out there and score some points and win the game, but it didn't work out that way."
On touchdown pass to Paul Williams: "It was a play action pass that got over the top and he made a great play for the touchdown."
On team confidence: "We had the confidence and we were moving the ball well, but we just didn't make enough plays to win the game."
On driving downfield: "Right now I am pretty dumbfounded is to why we couldn't sustain drives. We just need to get better and play well in our next game."
On Washington's defense: "They played well. Obviously they tried to shut down our run game and they were able to contain us and stop us from scoring more than 20 points."
On his performance: "I didn't play well enough to win. I grade myself on victories. Right now I am 1-2 as a starter, so I need to re-evaluate myself and deliver."
WIDE RECEIVER PAUL WILLIAMS
On emotions during game: "The game meant a lot to me because my brother Curtis played here. I was just real proud of the support that I had here."
On playing against older brother's team: "It was kind of hard because he has a job to do for the other team. We got a brief chance to talk after the game and I will probably meet with him a little bit after."
On touchdown catch: "I thought that would spark us. We had a little run after that but it just wasn't enough to finish the job. I will have to reflect back on it, but right now it just wasn't enough."
On being a part of the game-plan: "Two years ago I wasn't very involved