Sept. 5, 2005
Matt Fountaine notched four tackles and a fumble recovery in his third-career start versus Air Force on Sept. 3. The Bay Area native appeared in every game for the Huskies in 2004 and is the most experience returning Husky cornerback on the roster. Fountaine will be counted on heavily to lead the Husky secondary in 2005 and sat down with Gohuskies.com's Andre Bayard on Monday to talk about the Air Force game and the upcoming game versus California.
Gohuskies.com : What are your thoughts on Saturday's game?
Matt Fountaine: "It was frustrating. It hurt. But at the same time I knew soon after it was over, that if we didn't move on quickly it was going to happen again next week. But it definitely hurt me a lot this time than last year, because this was a new beginning."
GH: What do you think the reasons were that Air Force was able to come back and win?
MF: "Some people have joked in saying that we are cursed. I just think we had a series of plays where our eyes got us into some trouble, and led to some crucial plays down the stretch."
GH: Do you think playing at Qwest Field had an affect on the team?
MF: "No, we don't care where we play. We don't really see the stadium when we are out there playing. We just look at the guys across from us."
GH: What did Coach Willingham say after the game to the team?
MF: "Basically he told us that we have to learn how to win. We have to learn how to become finishers. And that's the truth."
GH: Do you believe you left everything out there on the field?
MF: "When I was out there, I was playing until the end. But you always look back at every play and go, `What if I hadn't made that mistake? What if I hadn't made that error? Or what if I would have been over there instead of over here?' But I think everyone does that."
GH: The team has lost a few guys in the secondary, do you think that is going to be a big setback for the defense?
MF: "You know, definitely. If CJ [Wallace] and Roy [Lewis] aren't able to play, and I don't know what their status is, and with the loss of [Chris] Handy, it is definitely hard when you lose three guys in two days. But we are going to cope, and we are going to adapt, and coach is going to prepare whoever is ready to play."
GH: Do you think that is going to add more pressure on you?
MF: "No, I am just going to go out there and do my thing, and give good defense. That is just what I want to do. I just want to throw myself into the scheme of the defense."
GH: What are your thoughts on this upcoming game against Cal?
MF: "Yesterday we watched all of the Air Force game, and this morning I watched the Cal vs. Sac State game, and I watched our last year's game against Cal. I am just picking up the tendencies and the looks that the new receivers are giving me. It is going to be a great challenge. They have a great offense and they have a great receiving core. And I am picking up anything I can to help out."
GH: Are going to do anything different this week in terms of preparation than what you did last week?
MF: "You work on different things, different weeks, depending on who you are playing against. We knew going into last week, I was working a lot on my eye discipline when coming up on a run, and helping out--things like that. This week I am just going to get better. I am going to get better with my eyes, get better with my feet, because that is what you hope to do week by week, and that is to just better yourself. And if you are not getting better, you are doing a disservice to your team."
GH: What are you going to do to get your mind off of Saturday's game?
MF: "I am going to focus. I am going to focus completely on Cal. This is my first year starting at corner, and tomorrow, Tuesday, I am going to be focusing on two of their receivers and just bringing down two of their receivers. Like today, that is what I began to do in film, is bringing down two of their receivers. And tomorrow in practice, that is what I am going to be working on. I am going to be thinking about how I am going to attack those two guys. On Wednesday during film breakdown, I am going to work on the other two receivers, and on Thursday I am just going to work on attacking those four or five guys in mind, with my feet and my eyes. It is going to take a lot of big plays from the secondary to get this game won, and I want to help out as best I can."
GH: What is your outlook on the season now, after the first game?
MF: "It was definitely hard losing again. It was a sick feeling. But at the same time, I got a call from one of my good friends who played for Coach Neuheisel a few years ago who said, `You can go 0-2 at the beginning and still win the Rose Bowl.' He was just telling me that if I don't keep pushing, then all of the work would have been for nothing. And it is depressing to lose your first game after you put a lot of work into it, but at the same time, Cal doesn't care. They can care less what we did last week. They want to come in here and get a 'W'. And like I said, I want to give my all, and put forth all my effort when we play in front of my home town from California, and play in front of a lot of people that I know, and I just want to do my best to help my team, and to help the defense."