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Washington vs. San Jose State Postgame Notes and Quotes
Release: 09/07/2002
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Sept. 7, 2002

Husky Stadium o September 7, 2002

Washington won its 15th consecutive home game today, the longest active home winning streak in the Pac-10. The last Husky home loss was Oct. 16, 1999, vs. Arizona State. The Huskies have now won 15 of their last 16 home openers and are 82-24-5 all-time in home opening games.

Since the 1981 season, the Huskies are 41-5 against non-Pac-10 opponents at Husky Stadium.

UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 328-133-21.

The Huskies now lead the series against San Jose State 8-0.

Last time the Huskies trailed at home at the end of the first half was against Army on September 23, 1995. Army led Washington 3-0 at halftime. The Huskies came back to win 21-13. Incidentally, the Huskies were shutout on the road by Miami last season in the first half.

San Jose State wide receiver Charles Pauley picked his third 100+yard pass receiving game of his 14-game major college career. At halftime he had six receptions for 106 yards. In 2000, he had a single-game best of seven receptions versus Nevada.

San Jose State's first touchdown was scored by walk-on freshman Ezekiel Staples who joined the team at the start of fall drills.

Since 1990, San Jose State has not held a Pac-10 team scoreless in the first half. Washington is the first Pac-10 team in the last 30 Spartan Pac-10 contests not to score in the first half.

Washington had a 15 play-drive in the third quarter today when Cody Pickett threw a 22-yard pass to Wilbur Hooks for a touchdown. Last year, Washington had only one longer drive in terms of plays, which came at Arizona State. The Huskies had an 18 play-drive in that game when John Anderson kicked the winning field goal on the last play of the game with no time left on the clock.

In the first half, Washington had 64 rushing yards and 115 passing yards for a total of 179 yards, while San Jose State had 49 rushing yards and 193 passing yards for 242. In the second half, Washington had 88 rushing yards and 232 passing yards for a total of 320, while San Jose State had minus 14 yards rushing and 43 yards passing for a second-half total of 29 yards.

Today was Rich Alexis' first 100-yard rushing game since the 2000 Apple Cup when he had 134 yards. It is his fifth career 100-yard game. The other four came in his freshman season of 2000.

Since the 1947 season, the Huskies are 154-35-3 when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. Last year, Washington had a 100-yard rusher only four times, all by then-senior Willie Hurst.

Since 1990, Washington has rushed for 200 yards in a game 57 times. The Huskies record stands at 51-4-1 in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 27-1-1 when rushing for 200 yards.

Cody Pickett's 89-yard reception pass to Reggie Williams at the start of the fourth quarter marked the longest reception pass in Washington history. This was also the second longest touch down receiving pass against San Jose State.

The 89-yard reception marked Reggie Williams' longest reception in his career. His second longest reception came against Michigan in 2001. It was a 74 yard non-scoring catch.

160 yards receiving today marks Reggie Williams second longest in his career. His longest came against Washington State last year with 203 yards receiving. Today was Williams fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career.

This is Huskies 3rd straight game with a defensive lineman getting an interception. Kai Ellis had one last week at Michigan while Terry Johnson had one in the Holiday Bowl for a touchdown and another interception today.

Cody Pickett set a Washington record of four career 300-yard passing games. Pickett threw for 347 yards today which ranks him 10th all-time at Washington in yards passing in a single game. Pickett threw for 455 last year versus Arizona, 371 last year versus Washington State and 318 last Saturday at Michigan. The 455 yards against Arizona last year is the Washington school record.

With four passes of over 70 yards in his career, Cody Pickett is the only Husky quarterback to ever throw four 70-plus-yard passes in a career.

Cody Pickett is only the third quarterback at Washington to throw for back-to-back 300-yard games. Sonny Sixkiller threw for 300-yard back-to-back games in 1970 at USC and at Oregon State. Marques Tuiasosopo threw for 300-yard back-to-back games in 1999 at California and versus Stanford.

Postgame Quotes

UW Head Coach Rick Neuheisel

General Comments: "I want to congratulate San Jose State. I know they will be excited about how they played in the first half. Fortunately, we were able to get back on track in the second half and get the game back into our favor. At halftime we talked about not panicking, about taking care of the ball as an offense, and getting them off the field on third downs as a defense. It looked as if we were waiting for bad things to happen to us in the beginning of the ballgame and responding as if we were in almost a little bit of a shock. It was important that we snapped out of that at halftime. I thought we went out there and played an especially good third quarter. The fourth quarter got a little sloppy, which I am disappointed with. We are a more mature team than we were a year ago and yet we were making sophomoric type of mistakes, which we've got to address. I am excited that we have a bye week, in that we really need to grab a hold of the fundamental things which we need to address so that we can be a much better football team the next time we take the field against Wyoming. I am pleased with the victory and I think we have a chance still to be a very, very good team. I am anxious to right what needs to be corrected."

On difference of San Jose State's third down completions from the first to the second half: "One of the goals in the next week is going to be getting better at playing zone defense. We need to remember that the ball can belong to us too. We've got to tighten up a bit and we'll be a better zone team. If you play strictly man, then there are all sorts of schemes to take advantage of that. The intensity picked up in the second half. We got after the quarterback, and when you put pressure on quarterbacks, defenses always look very good."

What his halftime speech was like: "I don't ever doubt the competitiveness of this team. I don't feel like they need a cattle prod to be asked to play; they enjoy playing. They need to be reminded that we have to play now and don't sit around and wait for somebody else to make the play, make the play yourself. I talked to the offense and said if we go out there and make every play, then we have to go down the field and put it in the end zone. We've got to be better down there, make better decisions and take care of the football."

On scoring on the first drive of the second half: "You can't put all your eggs in that basket because obviously you've got 30 minutes to play and you're only down 10-0, and so forth. It only becomes a little bit problematic when the team thinks they should have been blowing somebody out and is in a position where they are not. You have to make sure that panic does not set in, that we are fine, that we can go out and do that. We've been in that situation before and we've responded and I am pleased that we could go out there and do that again. Now we need to learn that we need to start games like that and play for 60 minutes like that. We've got to grow up a little bit and that goes for all of us. We've got to be more professional about coming out of the box and playing great football."

On what happened with the fumble at the goal line: "We didn't get the snap. Cody said he didn't get the ball and the cardinal sin as a quarterback if you are ever bobbling the ball is to then try and hand it off, and that is exactly what took place. Cody is a mentally talented young man and he's got so many gifts; they're too numerous to mention. He has got to make this a real learning experience. I'm harder on quarterbacks on any other position because I know more about it than any other position. I preface all of my comments with how fond I am of the young man and how many immense talents he has. I don't want him to squander that by doing things that can be corrected. I am not down on him taking his chances. Sometimes I think he needs to be more patient and I think he throws balls he shouldn't throw, but I am willing to live with that. What you can't do is turn it over. He'll get better and Coach Axman and he will fix it, and I am anxious to watch that happen."

On Rich Alexis today: "I wouldn't say that that is Rich at his best, but he is gaining on it. We want to be a proficient run team. We've got a lot of work to do as we mold our running and passing games together."

Husky Players

SAFETY EVAN BENJAMIN

On interception: "I was expecting it to come right to me at first, but Marquis (Cooper) got a hand on it so I had to make an adjustment. I am just glad I came up with it."

On the crowd: "They are our 12th man out there. Whenever we can get the crowd into, it pumps the defense up."

On first Husky start: "It didn't feel like it was my first start because I played so much last week, but it was still a lot of fun."

TAILBACK RICH ALEXIS

On his performance: "I feel good, but there can still be a lot of improvement in my running game. I am still developing as a running back and it is only the second game of the season."

On running outside: "So far the outside has been working a lot, but I have been trying to prove to everybody that I can run inside also. I am a running back, so I have to run either way the play goes. In this game, the plays called for me to run outside. I like to do both and I would like to show everybody that."

FREE SAFETY GREG CAROTHERS

On his performance: "I feel like I did what I needed to in the second half, but I don't feel like I played well. If I were critiquing myself, my first half was horrible, I had bad eyes and I underestimated their playmaking potential. In the second half, both the group and myself really stepped it up."

On the defense's performance: "If you factor in the first half I would give us a two out of 10. But if you look at just the second half I think we were right up there around eight."

QUARTERBACK CODY PICKETT On offense's performance: "We played sluggish; we were careless with the ball. We can't have turnovers."

On being a part of the longest touchdown pass in school history: "It felt good I have a lot of great guys that can go out and do that for me. It is a good feeling as a quarterback."

WIDE RECEIVER REGGIE WILLIAMS

On a two-touchdown game: "I've never had two before, and this time last year I had none. I just tried to come out and have a good game."

On his second scoring play: "I told everybody in the huddle before that play, 'If I get my hands on the ball I am going to take it to the house.' When I got the ball, I saw Paul peel back and I just cut off him and hit the sideline like it was a 100-yard sprint."

DEFENSIVE END TERRY JOHNSON

On defensive performance: "We started slow, but we played well. On defense we gave it our all today.

KICKER JOHN ANDERSON

On improvements to the kicking game: "We had the head man come out there and hold for me every once in awhile. That was the point. We gave up four points at Michigan - really big points in a game like that. We got in a lot of work last week and Tim (Galloway) had a game under his belt snapping.

SJSU Head Coach Fitz Hill

General Comments: "We expected to win this football game. The first half we played like we were going to win this game. In the second half it was like the wheels came off, we unraveled a little bit. What do I attribute that to? Sixteen guys on scholarship, inexperience. But one thing I am proud of, I'm proud of the effort that our team gave today. I know that everyone always says that it's a money game but I really want to know what people would have talked about if we had won. I have asked Coach Neuheisel if we can continue on his schedule because this is the level I want to play at. That's why I came to San Jose State and I expect my football program to continue to strive to be a top 25 football team. This was a top 14 team and I think that we're on track to take this program to where I want to. I have great admiration and respect for Coach Neuheisel and his football team. He has a great program."

On second-half adjustments: "There were no adjustments on our part. We didn't establish coverage in the second half but again, as I said, that's not taking credit away from them. It really goes back to our defense. We don't have the depth. We're playing hard and I'm proud of that but I want to win. I don't know the definition of a moral victory so that's not anything I want to be associated with. I want to be associated with wins. We set a very high standard and I expect great things from our football team. I'm proud of the progress we're making but there's no way I was pleased with today's football game. I'll always think about it."

On switching QBs: "Number one, I wanted Scott to play. I said last week that I wanted him to play and I felt like it was a chance to put him in. With the experience he has, I felt like he'd played in big games before. I think Marcus can play too but his inexperience will show up a bit so I just wanted to go with the more experienced guy but we were going tit for tat. Next week you might see Beau Pierce."

On missed scoring opportunities: "In the red zone, we have to get points. We blew opportunities for 14 points in the first quarter because we can drive the ball. That's never been a problem but we're not cashing in."

On Arroyo's grounding attempt: "That was desperation, trying to protect the ball. Those things happen periodically. No, we don't want that but that was simply desperation because I always tell him 'Throw it away' and that's what he was trying to do."

On making the QB change after that play: " Steve Spurrier changes every play and we may go to that. That's the luxury of having three quarterbacks, I may change them all. I change them when I get ready to change, when I feel we need a change. I should have played Beau Pierce today. If we had got the ball back for another dive Beau was going to go in."

On who will start at QB next week: "I don't know. Beau might start, who knows. I'll see how practice goes. Whoever's the most focused."

On the defense: "They played hard running to the ball. I'm proud of them. I'm proud of our whole football team. We know how much improvement we've made. I'm proud of our coaching staff because we demand a lot of our guys and we're trying to get every ounce out of them that they have. Accountability on and off the football field. I just hope that we continue to improve. They (Washington) just had a lot more talented players than we did and they showed up in the second half."

SJSU Players

QUARTERBACK SCOTT RISLOV

On the first half: "I thought that as a team we came out strong and took it to them. We moved the ball around at will, and unfortunately we got stalled a little bit. We got down in our zone and missed a couple field goals, and ended up putting one in, but as an offense we moved the ball around real well."

On being pulled for having signs of inexperience: "It's never easy to come out of a football game. I guess it's just something coach said, and something you have to live with. I took it the best I could. Marcus Arroyo did a good job. I guess I was disappointed, but I'm behind the team 100 percent. Coming back in the game (trailing), you're just trying to get something done for the offense, move the football and get in the endzone. It's a little tough coming back in, but any chance you get to step up on the football field is something you have to take advantage of."

QUARTERBACK MARCUS ARROYO

What was your reaction on going into the game: "You never know what's going to happen as to what people are thinking or what they're going to say, so I was ready. He said, 'let's go, so I went.' It wasn't about seeing what was going on, and thinking this or thinking that, it was just trying to get set to go."

Did you think Rislov showed signs of inexperience: " Scott's a great quarterback. I practice with him every day. I've been with him for almost a year now; he's a great guy. Whether he's making plays or not, it doesn't matter to him or to me, it's all up to coach. Like I said, he said go, and I was ready."

On any plays he'd like to have back: "Just that one in the endzone. I didn't want to take a safety, and then I tried shoving one out, but it got tipped and they got it."

Do you think you missed an opportunity: "Completely. I mean I don't know which team in our position wouldn't call this an opportunity. To hold, what are they, 13th, 14th, in the nation, to no points at half. You've got to say there was an opportunity there."

TAILBACK LAMAR FERGUSON

On the Husky defense: "When I first came out I knew they were a good defense and swarmed around the ball a lot, so I came out and wanted to be a little shifty and move around so that I could give them a little trouble."

Feelings after leaving this game: "Opportunities were definitely missed, but I don't feel too bad. We came out here and played our hardest, so you can't be mad at that. Washington is a great football team and they have a great coach with Neuheisel, and they came out in the first have kind of slight, but the second half they really came out. You can't really be mad at that."

What was talked about and felt at halftime: "At halftime we told ourselves and told each other that for them to be ranked 14th, 'that's not all they got.' We definitely knew that coming out in the second half we would see another team out there. We told ourselves to play with the same intensity and to maintain. Unfortunately that didn't happen, and the outcome was what it was."

CORNERBACK MELVIN COOK

On holding UW scoreless for the first half: "We can't bow down to anyone. We have to go into the game with our heads up, a positive attitude, believing that we can beat whoever we come up against."

On disappointment of losing double-digit lead: "It was heartbreaking for us. We came in really happy and enthusiastic, then the tables turned. I don't know what we could have done. We played our hearts out."

How tough was it trying to chase down Williams: "It wasn't any more difficult than in practice. We have probably the best wide receiver corps, as a whole, in the nation. Our receivers are just as fast as theirs."

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