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Washington 24, Boise State 10
Release: 09/08/2007
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Sept. 8, 2007

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Sept. 8, 2007

Washington Coach Tyrone Willingham
On the big win: "Obviously the first thing that comes to my mind is it's great to win. I thought our young men played a very good football team out there and I think we withstood their charge, especially in the second half. I thought our defense did a wonderful job. I thought it was a tell of two halves. Our offense seemed to be very strong in the first half and we lost a little bit of our momentum and our defense seemed to pick up the pace and do just one heck of a job, first half yes, but even better in the second half by finding ways to take the ball away and shut them down. It's a good win, and our young men are very excited."

On playing with a lead in the second half: "I think it's something we haven't done here in awhile. You need to be in the habit of doing that. You need to have your mindset in a place that you can do that and you feel comfortable doing that. Because a lot of teams if you're not comfortable you would have found a way down the stretch to give it back to them. I think our young men were very comfortable with the thought that they could do this and our defense really stepped it up."

On the lack of offense in the second half (did UW shoot themselves in the foot? Or did BSU make adjustments): "I think it's both. I think when you play a good football team they change things, they adjust things, they get themselves in better position, they make some plays and we shot ourselves in the foot on a couple of occasions also. I think we had a stretch there we had almost consecutive drops. You can't do that against a good football team. We're very fortunate because the times we shot ourselves in the foot they didn't do anything to get themselves back in it. On the other occasions our defense really stepped up and made some plays for us."

On dropped balls by WR's: "You're always concerned anytime you have a drop. I guess I'm believing that what is was, was a group of young men that wanted to make plays and they tried to speed the game up. You can't do that. You have to let things happen in their own time. I felt like we didn't do that. I felt like the depth of some of our routes might have been just a little off which now changes the speed of the ball getting on you and what happens and where you're at. Trying to make plays sometimes you've got to be patient, and I don't know if we were as patient as I'd like us to be in that situation."

On whether this is the type of game you should expect from Jake (reporter referring to bad passes): "I hope not. No, but I think we've said all along, at least I believe I've said all along that anytime you have a young quarterback there is not enough of a library there for him to be able to respond and handle everything. That's where experience comes in. Each week he'll get better. Some weeks will be better than others."

On holding a potent Boise State offense in check: "I think our guys made plays. It's that old thing. They threw the ball down the field a couple of times and guys that have been playing without hands had hands today. That's awful nice. Catching balls with nubs is not real nice. But our guys had hands today. They showed up and made plays."

On Boise State RB Ian Johnson not having a good day statistically: "I never felt that on the sideline. I still felt like he was very much involved and had a couple of spurts there that all of a sudden you're saying "ah oh, he's about to get loose. Let's see if we can put some kind of collar on him" and I think our guys did that. You're always concerned with a runner of that ability level, of that skill level, that he's going to get ready to break one."

On the UW defense using a lot of 3 man front/rush: "No, I think what it resulted from was the fact that we were able to do a good job against their run and it put them in situations where we could go with our three man rush and play maximum coverage and do things from that standpoint. So the down and distance situation kind of dictated what we were able to do."

On Vonzell McDowell, Jr. playing up and down and then getting the late INT: "It's huge because he's a young player that we know at some point he's going to be a good player. But right now he's going to be fire tested every weekend and he knows that. Until he makes plays like that, a series of them, then people are going to back away. For him to be able to step up at the end and make a play was crucial for his confidence and also for the team because the team needed to see him step up and make a play."

On Jake Locker's mentality on the sideline after he makes a mistake: "I think he has that mindset of a defensive back, or the mindset that we would prefer out of our defensive backs, which is one of short memory. Forget it and lets go forward. We talk about that all the time. It's not that play, it's the next play that counts. I think he has the ability to bounce forward and I think the key thing is our coaches have the ability to bounce forward. Coach Lappano does a wonderful job in terms of how he talks to Jake and how he communicates with Jake to keep him going forward."

On the Husky crowd: "Anytime you can have a full house and they are active (it is great). I think our fans walked into the stadium knowing they had a role to play. Some of the groups that I had a chance to visit with... I told them we needed six points from them and they may have lived up to that today."

On Louis Rankin not having a good day statistically: "It was one of those days that didn't give Louis an opportunity to do all the things that he needed to do. But the key is like I told our team there's going to be a day that the offense doesn't get 500 yards of total offense, or 440, the defense is going to have to step up and play."


Washington Player Quotes

Defensive Back Roy Lewis
On the interception at the end of the game: "It was exciting. I had the opportunity to make a play on the ball and that is what I did. Our goal as a defense is to always get the ball back and give the offense another chance to put points on the board."

On the lack of trick plays for Boise State: "We were not going to let Boise State come in and dictate our defensive scheme. We went out there and played the football that we were used to playing and they went short and tried the nickel and dime down the field but we had great run defense. They thought that they were going to pound the ball down our throats but our D-line and our linebackers stepped up."

On the lack of a running game for BSU: "It was great. That was our overall goal to play that sound run defense. We knew that (Ian) Johnson had all of the accolades but we were not going to let him run the ball down our throat. We now have the mentality that we are not going to make the mistakes that we have made in the past."

On the 70,000+ crowd: "It was great. We had all the fans going and we fed off of that vibe."

Washington Linebacker Dan Howell
On only 10 points being allowed by the defense: "It feels great. We are still making mistakes and we still have a lot of room to work."

On the inability for either team to score in the second half: "I think we just realized that because our offense was struggling we needed to make some plays and get some turnovers. We realized that every time they got the ball that it was up to us."

On Willingham's remarks about the turnovers: "It is always a big thing. It is really big to get the ball back and it is crucial in winning games."

On next week against Ohio State: "I am thinking that they are going to be a hard-nosed football team and they are going to come and hit hard."


Anthony Russo
On the environment of a big game: "I felt great...we haven't played in a game this big since my freshman year. We knew our school would go crazy because the wanted to see a repeat of Syracuse last week. In the second half we kind of laid off but it still felt good."

On the topic of getting pumped up for the game: "We have been fired up since the start of's been just crazy in the locker room. Before the game we were so pumped up."

On the topic of how the nation will view this game: "They will probably say we are not a serious contender, nut as long as we know we are a serious contender in this league well be fine...we defiantly feel like we can go all the way."

On the topic of big plays: "I have been playing for four years and I am a veteran so it is routine for me. It felt good to get my hands on the ball."


Linebacker E.J. Savannah
On getting pumped up for the game: "I think the media was talking so we took it as a personal was just fuel for the fire. Coach didn't say anything. It was all the players pumping each other up. Now everyone wants to pump each other up."

On the topic of the defense and offense playing well: "We just took it as an opportunity to do better. We didn't panic or stress over it. We just took it as a opportunity to get more tackles. I'm honestly disappointed because it should have been 40 to 10...I take this as the defense should of played a little bit better. We will have to come out next week and be physical, that's our whole thing. I think that is where we are in our defense."


Running Back Louis Rankin
On the topic of feelings after the game: "It was good to beat a ranked team. We are not worried about the respect. We just try to go out there and win every game."

On the topic of dropped passes: "We just kept playing hard. We made some bad plays, made a few mistakes but still came out with a win."

On the topic of making big plays: "I could of did more I feel like. I could of did more but my ankle was bothering me a little bit. When I threw the pass to Quintin Daniels he just went up and caught it. It was a good play."

On the topic of national rankings: "I don't know and we don't care about the rankings. We just go out there and play to win."


Receiver Marcel Reece
On the topic of getting pumped for the game: "If you can't get fired-up for a game in Husky Stadium, you should not be playing football. Everyone on the team is fired up every day. Coach did not have to say anything to us after the game, we as a team just naturally fired-up together. The captains and seniors self motivate this team. He says what he has to say and that's it."

On the topic of ranking: "Right now we can't worry about that. If we keep winning they will have no choice but to rank us. We are going to play another ranked team next week and with every challenge comes a great opportunity. We are just trying to make the best of this opportunity and win games."


Boise State Coach Chris Petersen
On the game: "We had a lot of chances, we just could not capitalize on them. Too many turnovers, too many penalties. Every time we got something going we had to bring it back. That's what happens when you play great teams like Washington. We had opportunities, but we had eight or nine penalties and turned the ball over with three interceptions and a fumble."

On why these things happened today though they usually don't: "I don't know. We'll have to take a look at the tape. We've got a lot of young guys in there. There's a little thing here and a little thing there. Big crowd, big game and all those types of things. That second half of defense settled down well and played like we expected them to."

On why Boise State couldn't finish off some drives: "It just comes down to details of the game. We just have to look at the play file and clean those things up."

On the psyche of the team after the first loss in a while: "We're disappointed. Sometimes you're going to lose but you have to take the next step. We'll go to work tomorrow and get some things corrected. We're playing a really good team next week and the guys know that. We need to get some things corrected."

On what he told his players: "They're not feeling good about it, there's no question about it. We're going to have to put the tape on. I think the tape will be very painful because there are a lot of little things. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

On the lack of third down conversions in the second half: "It's always frustrating when you don't convert them. Or you do convert them in the first half but not in the second. You just have to settle down and play better and our offense couldn't do anything to spark them."

On the running game: "It's hard for me to pinpoint things until we put the tape on. In the second half, we tried to play catch up, which takes us out of the rythym in terms of the running game. Also, Washington's got a good run defense, and played a little bit softer so we were trying to be patient. I think if we could've scored when we got the ball down there we would've been in good shape. We were down there two or three times and we didn't get anything out of it."

On Jake Locker, Washington's quarterback: "Good player. Did just what we thought, he got a lot of yardage on his feet. Those are hard quarterbacks to deal with."

On the positives to take from the game: "When you put the tape on, we'll see a good Washington team. We will change a few things, get some things pointed out."

On the veteran players: "Everybody's going to make mistakes, no doubt about it. We try to minimize them and stay positive and not repeat the same mistakes over and over. In some ways, this is the first real big test for us in terms of going on the road and playing against some big fast people. In some ways, we can make a lot of improvement from this week to next week."


Marty Tadman
On defending Washington: "When you're on the road and get down early it's tough to come back. Defensively I thought we played really well. The first series was our fault, then the two touchdowns were just one-play things. We played pretty well-- reminds me a lot of Fresno State a couple of years ago. We sat in the locker room and said we're not going to (allow) anymore points, and we did a pretty good job. Defensively I think we stepped it up and played really well in the second half. Sometimes you just don't have enough to get in the zone."

On defensive stuggles: "It's frustrating, but you know, we're a team and we're going to have games where it's the other way around. We allowed 24 points the first half, so that's not the offense's fault, that's our fault. We let too many points, and too many big plays, so we shouldn't have put them in that situation in the first place. We have to learn that no matter how hard you play the second half, if you don't play a full game, you're going to lose."


Ian Johnson
On what went wrong: "I don't know. It's just technique, we need to step up and make those plays. There's no excuse for missed tackles. Their guys just wanted it more than us in those situations. "

On trying to get on track: "We started with a game plan that we strayed from, and once you stray it's hard to get back on track. Once you stray from the original game plan it's hard to figure out what you're going to do."

On the challenge of a loss: "To me it's kind of a relief-- it's like `okay, this is back to what football really is'. It's always gonna be a stuggle, it's always gonna be a battle. So it was kind of nice to say `okay guys, we're going to have to man-up, we're going to have to step up, and let's make plays."

On missed tackles: " It was definitely noticeable in the end, but I think it was one of those things where we all had opportunities, and we shut ourselves down in the end."

On key mistakes: "We were waiting for guys to make big plays. Whether it was guys trying to force the big play, or guys just kind of losing their cool for a second and (allowing) them to make the play, in the end (those things) just killed us. It was either guys trying to step up and losing their fundamentals, or they're just nervous and lose their fundamentals. Either way, we're fine. It was turnovers (that hurt us) and we'll get back next week and hit it hard."


Taylor Tharpe
On what went wrong: "Too many mistakes on our part. We definitely had our chances-- the defense came out and played really well in the second half-- but credit to Washington, and their defense. We came out and got some drives started, we just couldn't finish."

On offensive struggles: "They're defense was tough, but we've got to put some of it on us. We couldn't get the run game going. We got drives going, we moved the ball, a couple of breaks here and there, we get in the end zone and it's a different game. We just couldn't put it in the end zone. We were down there a lot-- we just couldn't put it in. (There were) some mental errors on my part throwing into coverage. I was just kind of pressing with and make things happen, and I can't do that."

On missed opportunities: "We know that we had plenty of chances to make it a game, and we just didn't really take advantage of those opportunities, and that's on the whole team."

On turnovers: "That can't happen. We don't do that, and it's unfortunate that it happened. You know, it was loud in there, but we've gotta stay mentally focused, and that's everyone on offense. We can't have those penalties-- we had some big plays called back because of penalties-- so it just comes down to getting back to work, looking at our assignments again, and trying to get better."

On the Washington defense: "We saw (Washington) on film. They really try and just give you a lot of things, but they don't break. They bend, but don't break. You wanna take some shots, you want to move the ball down the field, but they're really strong up front, they stymied our run game, and they came to play. Their DB's made some big plays, so you have got to give the credit to Washington."

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