Sept. 10, 2005
Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
General comments: "I have tremendous respect for the opponents we played. We knew they were one of the top teams in the country, and several areas of their football team were outstanding."
On what was said in the locker room after the game: "There were a lot of good things, if you can say that, and I think I can. There were some points in that football game that we closed it and I think we had a chance to really get ourselves back into it, but we couldn't make the plays to get it done. That is still part of the theme that I have for our football team. You have to understand those moments. Good football teams do, and they find a way to make plays to get themselves over the hump. "
On the final play: "It could indicate a lot of things, I mean, a physical shortcoming or a mental shortcoming. We just didn't get it done -- whatever label you want to put on it, would probably fit."
On if he was surprised by the amount Cal threw the ball: "No, I would think if you know their system, that is something they try to do. And if you look at us from that standpoint, as an opponent where we might be vulnerable at, it would be one of the areas. It didn't surprise us at all, we were very well prepared for that."
On if there were any momentum changes in the game: "No, we just couldn't make those plays. We had that stretch, in the second quarter I think it was, where they had two scores. We just couldn't make those plays. A couple of those were third and long and of a sizeable distance; you've got to make those plays. Those are the things that you've got to do, and we are not doing those things."
On defense assignment errors: "We had assignment errors, we had physical errors -- we had all of those things pop up. You have to eliminate those things if you are going to be a good football team, or if you have them, which happens in every ball game, there has to be someone who is playing at a hard enough level to compensate for that. Cal made some mistakes today, there were some things that they were not doing correctly, but they were playing at such a level and were so confident that they were able to make those plays."
On if the loss was more attributed to mental or physical lapses: "I am always a believer that not only football, but life, is about the mental. Your mind controls your muscles. That is where everything starts. We have to get through those mental hurdles to put ourselves in position to be a good football team."
On Isaiah Stanback's preformance: "It is unfair for me to do that now, and it is usually unfair for me to do that after a football game. I think our quarterback had some ups and had some downs. But I continue to overall like what I see."
On the way the season is going overall: "I can say this honestly --my boss instructed me that it would be difficult. He did not tell me we would win 10 games when I came in here. I understood that and we are prepared to keep this thing going."
On the teams morale: "I think that our team is still trying. But if you arn't able to have all of your mind with you, then the effort does not look good. We have to bridge that gap we ahve to get over that."
WIDE RECEIVER Sonny Shackelford
On his touchdown reception on UW's first play from scrimmage: "It was just basically me running out on a streak. I ran a streak down the sideline and happened to catch the ball, split the two defenders. I don't know how many defenders there were, I just know I caught the ball and scored."
On if a turning point was the failed punt and Cal touchdown before halftime: "No, because it was just the first half. The second half was still there. We were only losing by 18 points. We came out in the first drive on the second half and scored and were only down 11 points. We were just all trying to do what we had to do to do the job, and put the ball in the end zone. We just came up short."
On if it was hard to stay positive as an offense with Cal scoring consistently: "It's hard as a team, period, to come out week after week and lose, to be honest. We've got to come out and get our act together and start winning some games. Everybody's got to do their job. We've got to have pride in our positions like Coach Willingham says."
On if the Idaho game is a must-win: "Every week is a must-win game. It doesn't matter if we're playing Idaho, or USC, or Cal. Regardless of the team, every week is a must-win week."
LINEBACKER Scott White
On what were the biggest problems for the defense: "Too many big plays. They stretched us deep. Their offensive linemen did a great job protecting, giving the quarterback time. Their receivers did a great job in tight man coverage to make the plays. That's really what it all boiled down to."
On if the plan was to bring QB pressure from the outside: "Yeah, especially with a brand new quarterback. The idea was to create some pressure. They like a lot of time, they like to max protect and keep both backs in and we were playing certain coverages that were very successful for us last year."
On if Cal did anything unexpected: "No. The coaches did a great job preparing us all week. Everything that they threw out there, we saw in practice. What it all boiled down to was they made more plays than we did."
On Cal's two touchdowns at end of first half: "That was a huge, huge deflater. We were feeling good about ourselves. It was 14-10 at that point, we're riding a little bit of emotion, and it was like a punch in the stomach right there. It took all the wind out of us. But at the same time we went into the half upbeat. The offense did a great job after the half, coming out and scoring."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Evan Benjamin
On Cal's offense: "They got in some pretty big plays. That is what hurt us -- their big plays.I thought we were stout in getting them into a third down, and in second and long, but they made some pretty big plays."
On Cal quarterback Joe Ayoob: "He is a D-I quarterback, and he is there for reason. He is going to make throws, and he has some athletes out there who can catch the ball."
On his looks to rush the quarterback: "There were some looks, but they were reading it pretty well. When we were putting some pressure on them, they were squeezing backs out and getting little slip screens, so they were doing a good job of reading that."
On UW defense: "It was not good. We could play a lot better. We didn't do a good job at all."
On Coach Willingham's talk at half-time: "He said that the game was reachable. He said he wanted the first possession to be a score and we did that, and he wanted the first defense to be a stop, and we did that too. We just have to be able to do that all the time."
QUARTERBACK Isaiah Stanback
On the first play that led to a touchdown: "It was just something that we set up in practice. We knew that out of that formation that Cal only seen certain plays, so we tried to simulate thE play that they saw on tape and run something different."
On Cal's defense: "Cal is good. They are an aggressive team. We knew they were going to blitz a lot, and put on a lot of pressure, but also they gave us the opportunity to make some big plays. They just got the best of us today."
On running more often: "There was no reason for me to do that. It was more of a feel. There was no predetermination before the game -- I just went with the flow of the game.
On what happens to the team once the game gets underway: "We get good starts, but just like last week, we have to learn how to finish. When we have teams that give us a good advantage, we have to learn how to put them away and we didn't do that."
California Head Coach Jeff Tedford
On the offense this week vs. last: "It was more typical of the way we play. It was nice to get Joe's (Ayoob) feet wet a little bit, get the ball down the field some. Our receivers made a lot of big plays, especially Robert Jordan. It was great for Joe to be able to go through a whole game where there are some ups and downs and he just hung in there and had great composure and great poise through out the game. I'm so proud of the way he played."
On the interception to open the game: "It was a bad break. It went off somebody's helmet. Going into the game we said `We're going to let it rip' because he has the ability to play. It's just that he's new on offense and there's not a better stage then to do it out there on ABC TV so he can get all of that out of the way."
On running the ball with Joe Ayoob: "It was just wanting to mix it up a little bit and try not to end up with long yard situations. He not only did a nice job of throwing the ball but he ran the ball pretty well. He made some big plays on third down with his scramble ability and those were the things that we saw when we recruited Joe. I think the sky is the limit. He is going to get better each week."
On whether Joe Ayoob feels most comfortable passing to Robert Jordan: "I'm not so sure about that. I think in practice they get that as well. It just happened to be that those plays were dialed in for Robert (Jordan) and Robert does a great job of making plays. That one where he went down the middle and went up was just a great catch. But Joe will get chemistry now with all of those guys with the more turns he gets. We gave him a lot of reps in practice this week so he would feel comfortable and so I'm sure each and every day he is going to get more comfortable with it."
On the deep pass by Joe Ayoob to open the game: "We came into this game and everybody's saying, `You need to give him (Ayoob) a short pass to get his confidence up,' but we said `Forget that. We're going deep.' And if it hadn't of gone off that guys helmet ... But he was not apprehensive at all. He wasn't looking for some safe gain to get his confidence back. He was looking to win the football game. It was nice to see the look in his eyes. The look was not one of, `Ah.' It was one of competitiveness."
On the play action: "Our plan was to try and attack the weaknesses of the defense. We knew coming into the game that they had some injuries at the corner and we had to test those guys. We weren't going to run so conservative. We were going to make them cover people and so that's why play action went down the field a little bit."
On the team's performance: "It was (better than last week). It was by no means perfect. It's very hard to play a perfect game and we had our share of mistakes today that we will go back and work hard on. There were a couple of plays that we let guys run through, a couple of times we were late getting a play in and getting the call to the huddle but besides that we need to execute better."
WIDE RECEIVER ROBERT JORDAN
On quarterback Joe Ayoob's Performance: "During the week we just told him to throw the ball up to us, and we would catch it for him. He was more poised in the huddle. Last week he was more nervous, trying to get the swing of things, but this week he was more calmed down. He was reading defenses, and making a lot of reads. It was different than last week because he knew that he was going to get all of the snaps, and he knew we needed him. He's a gamer."
On Washington's single coverage: "I thought they would bracket us more. When I saw the single coverage, that just made my eyes go wide open."
On being an experienced player on a young team: "On and off the field, we experienced guys are always together. We just try to show the younger guys what made us successful last year. They make plays, just like I do."
TAILBACK MARSHAWN LYNCH
On Ayoob's Performance: "He played great. A lot people didn't think he would be able to perform the way he did. He proved a lot of people wrong."
QUARTERBACK JOE AYOOB
On his interception: "When I watched the replay I saw that it bounced off the guy's helmet, and then bounced right to the corner who happened to be there. I just put it behind me pretty quickly. Everyone on the sideline told me not to worry about it, because we have four quarters to go still. I came out and started getting into a rhythm."
On Robert Jordan: "I just made my reads and threw the ball, I don't really pay attention to which receivers I'm throwing the ball to. I just make my reads, and it just so happened that Robert was the guy open today."
On proving he can play at Division-I level: "I always knew I could, it was just a matter of showing the coaches and the players that I am capable of leading this team. I did a good job of showing that today. I'm happy the way the team played, and performed as a team."