Sept. 6, 2008
Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Quotes
On the Huskies' performance:
"I'm extremely proud of our young men and the way they battled this afternoon. We had talked to them about coming out and playing like Huskies play. The kind of fight, the kind of effort, the kind of energy and I thought very much they did that. Obviously there were a few things in terms of execution that we could have done better, but I thought our young men gave themselves the opportunity to win and that should be the kind of pride that the Huskies should play with."
On the excessive celebration call:
"It's unfortunate, but it's one that they almost have to call. It really should be a no-call, but it's one that they have to call when they see it."
"The game is an emotional game. We cannot play it without emotion, and therefore we are going to celebrate. The key is trying to manufacture the right celebration that does not belittle the game or the sportsmanship that should be part of the game."
On the missed extra point after the penalty:
"It changes everything. I don't think there's any question about that. It made a difference, but it's still one that we count on ourselves being able to protect and get off the kick."
On Jake Locker:
"He missed some. Gosh, I'd like him to hit every one of those, and I don't think he would feel any differently. He'd want to hit every one of those. But he also threw some pretty nice balls out there that didn't get caught. So he's doing fine."
On the defense:
"We needed to be maybe just one series better, just to get one more stop in there to give us a chance to get this thing done. I thought they stepped up big when they got the fumble down in the end zone. It was a heck of a drive and they mustered enough up to get something done and keep them off the board. So there were some good things, but we've got to continue to get better."
"That is a good football team. That running back they have is very difficult to tackle. He's a big man that runs well. He's nifty, he catches the football. Their tight end obviously posed some problems. They are big tight ends that move well and catch the football."
On Darin Harris:
"Right now, I think the outlook for Darin Harris is very good. There is no form of neck injury we are able to see right now, so he should be fine from that standpoint. We believe that it's more of a concussion than anything else. You could see when he was down that he was moving and wanting to get back on there and play. It was very close, but I think he'll be alright."
On the run:
"We picked up our running game in the second half. We did some things a little bit better at that point. In the first half, I think it was solely Jake scrambling and doing some things on the run game. Bu I think in the second half, David Freeman seemed to find some things, see some things, hit some things pretty well and I think we got a little better then."
"It's our offensive line doing much better, it's our back seeing things better, and it's our coach targeting and giving them the right things to work on."
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Quotes
"Our kids played really hard today from beginning to end and it was a great college football game. I credit (Washington's) quarterback Jake Locker for his courage, effort, play-making ability and for leading his team. They have a bright future with him in that position. I'm proud of our team. When it came down to making a play to win the football game, our players demonstrated their will one more time. That's a phenomenal thing. I'm excited for our program. We can learn still from the positives and the things we need to improve and now we go forward."
On the significance of the win:
"I think a lot had been made of this game because it's on the road and early in the season. (Today's) game just demonstrates how hard it is to win against a good team on the road and this is going to sound like a cliché but this game was just the next game to improve our program and it just shows we're not there yet. We're getting closer and our players will compete hard and try hard and our coaching staff will compete hard and try hard. We have not arrived but we are making progress and we're learning a lot more about this year's team. For them to come on the road in this stadium against that team, I'll take a one-point win or any win we can get."
On the nature of their mistakes:
"I think the mistakes we made this week were more forced by the nature of the opponent being a better opponent. You have to credit them for knocking the ball out of Harvey (Unga)'s hands as he was going in the end zone. There were a few penalties but I really believe any execution mistakes we made, especially defensively, their quarterback created. That's a great learning lesson for us to get the win as well. (Locker) is a phenomenal player so I think (the mistakes) were more imposed by Washington than us just having breakdowns."
On the game plan for Locker:
"We had about three different plans, none of which I would say were dominant. Our hope was that we would have a chance at the end to win. We certainly had a pressure plan and we had unblocked players that couldn't get him on the ground. We had dropping-eight plans and he ran around us or through us. He scrambled and had open receivers and he was able to carry the ball. I'm not sure there is an effective plan when basically you don't match up athletically. He is a phenomenal player so we used every weapon we thought we had and I think what it showed is we're going to have to look a little further if we ever play a young man like that again."
On the penalty on Locker for excessive celebration:
"I didn't see it but I do know this: throughout the entire game there were all kinds of plays on both sides - that was the most visible play - but celebration is a penalty. Whether it was or not, I didn't see it, but if it was it should have been called. Even if it was our team it should have been called. The rules are the rules. I'm glad that there was one play left still to decide the outcome and I'm not sure that play or the penalty can say they determined the outcome. There still was another play left and in that play our young man tried hard and we blocked the kick. I don't know where they went or who got it but I just said, `everybody rush.'"
On the blocked PAT:
"I asked (Assistant Coach) Paul Tidwell if there was any chance they would have the nerve to fake it and he said, `there's always a chance.' So I said, `all out rush.' And the players nodded like they believed they could block it. They were smiling."
Washington Player Quotes
Fullback Luke Kravitz
On his touchdown:
"It was what was happening all day long. The offensive lineman were taking care of the d-line and getting a surge. There was a cut-back lane that Juan created and I just took it."
On the run game in the second half:
"I think it was a combination of the running backs hitting their cuts the right way and the linemen picking up the blitzes. Our guys were really focused on what their defense was doing and making sure every guy was picked up hat for hat."
On the success of the last drive:
"It's definitely a confidence booster. It just shows the resilience of this team and the will to win that it has. It shows the fight we have and what it takes that to play like Dawgs. We didn't win, but the will was there. There wasn't anything different. We were the same people that played down in Oregon, but we just showed up today."
Wide Receiver D'Andre Goodwin
On the play of the wide receivers:
"It was a lot better, but at the same time there were mistakes. I had a few drops and I know I'm better than that. I'm not going to dwell on it, though."
On having to be a leader:
"I'm a veteran out there. Coach Baggett coaches me to be one of the best receivers that I can be. If I use that technique I feel like it is hard to stop not just me, but the whole receiving corps."
On the deep route during the last drive:
"We work on that a lot, but we just didn't connect. It was there, we practice it, but we just didn't connect today. It happens in games. You don't dwell on it. We're going to run it again this season and we're going to connect."
On finding a positive from the game:
"Just look at the positives things that took place in the game. There were a lot of great plays from young guys and older guys made some. We saw glimpses of greatness throughout the game and we just have to put four quarter of that together."
Offensive Lineman Jordan White-Frisbee
On halftime adjustments to help the run game:
"We didn't really make adjustments. We knew what we had to do and we did it. Historically the 3rd quarter has been something that we have struggled with and we just decided that we were over that. We knew what we had to do. This time we got after it more than ever before."
On coming back from a tough loss:
"Our seniors are on the edge of that cliff. Either we decide to change things or we fall off and give up the season. It's going to be tough, but this is a different team. Everything seems different and that's how it's been."
Cornerback Vonzell McDowell
Overall thoughts of the game:
"We competed the entire game, I mean that is all I can say; we competed. We did everything we needed to do it just didn't turn out the way we wanted."
On coming in against the BYU passing game:
"We knew what we needed to do, we needed to contain the guys on the outside; we had to contain our side against the run and do our part in the secondary."
On the BYU running game:
"We knew they had two strong powerful backs; we knew they had a powerful running game to complement their passing attack, and we prepared for it all week."
On playing Oklahoma next week:
"We have got to prepare for Oklahoma. We need to come out with the same intensity and the same will to win as today; if we do that then we can play with any team."
Defensive lineman Johnie Kirton
On preparing for the BYU Passing Offense:
"We looked at their offense all week; we looked at their signals to see where they placed their hands on running and passing plays. We knew they had a great passing offense coming in and we worked all week to slow it down."
On limiting BYU yards after the catch:
"That was definitely a focus point for us. We practiced tackling drills all week working to make sure we could bring them down right after the catch. Obviously we didn't do that as well as we wanted today but we will keep working and get better for Oklahoma."
On the overall performance of the defense:
"I think we were solid, we got the ball back to the offense when they needed it and we kept the game close. We created the opportunity to win the game things just didn't seem to fall into place. We still need to get better for the Oklahoma game; we can use this game to prepare for Oklahoma."
On the Oklahoma Game:
"I am ready for it. When we were down there a couple of years ago at the beginning of the game we busted out a run of fifty or sixty yards, so we know we can play the game, we just need to prepare and come out ready to play next week. As a unit we need to come out with the same mentality as we did this game whether you are playing a team who is number one or not ranked you always need to come out with same mentality.
Cornerback Mesphin Forrester
On seeing teammate Darin Harris get hurt:
"It was tough. Darin and I have been through thick and thin. He's in the 2004 class with me and it was tough. We had to rally as a defensive unit and a team and just go out and fight."
On trying to stop BYU's passing attack:
"We just went out there and tried to compete. We fell short at the end, but hopefully we go next week and get better in practice and come out on top next week."
On losing on the game's final play:
"It's motivation. We've fought through a lot of adversity here at U-Dub and this is just another thing that we have to fight through. We just have to come together as a team and get better. We have to try to make more plays out there."
BYU Player Quotes
Quarterback Max Hall
On bouncing back from the fumble to scoring a TD on the next drive:
"I think we knew we could move the ball on them. I think we figured out things in the second half that were working for us and we focused on that. We had a great drive, and Harvey [Unga] is our guy. I'd have no one else running the ball, but the guy got a good hit on him and he fumbled the ball. So for us to bounce back and have another long drive and go down and score says a lot about our offense and a lot about our guys on the O-line. I was proud of how they played and proud of how we drove the ball, and I'm glad it worked out for us."
On the first touchdown:
"I rolled out to the right, and Austin [Collie] made a great play. He realized I was rolling out and he took off running. I just threw it up to him hoping he would make a play and he did. It was a good start for us and kind of set the tone for the game."
On his success with TE Dennis Pitta:
"Well Dennis is just a good football player. He's fast, he's strong, he's big, he can get open. He made some key plays for us--some third down conversions that were huge for us in the game--especially when we were backed up against our goal line and he made that catch. He's a go-to guy and I'm glad I have him."
Tight End Dennis Pitta
"It wasn't an easy win, we gotta give credit to Washington. They're a good football team. They came out and they played us tough. We made some mistakes, especially out on that goal line, that we can't be making--shooting ourselves in the foot. We had a chance to put away the game and we didn't take advantage of it. We knew we deserved that win, we knew we played hard, and we never doubt ourselves when it comes down to one play. We know we're going to give it our all, and we were able to come up with a big play at the end to block that field goal."
On bouncing back after the fumble and driving for a TD:
"It's tough. When you're so close and you fumble on the goal line like that, when you lose an opportunity to put them away, it's tough but you've got to regain your focus and do what we've been doing. We were able to move the ball all day on them and we're just happy with a win here."
On the Washington defense:
"Washington played us tough--they've got a good defense and we were able to make some plays out there that we feel good about, but my hat's off to them they did a good job."
Defensive Lineman Jan Jorgensen
On his game winning blocked PAT:
"Earlier in the game on some PATs I was able to squeeze through a little bit. We got good penetration from all over and I was able to squeeze through and stick out that left hand and get it. We had great penetration across the line so our guys did a good job."
"It was an all-out [rush]. Usually we only rush one side and the other side does another thing, but this was just line `em up and go."
On how it compares to last year's game winning blocked FG in the Las Vegas Bowl:
"It was a very similar situation, and I thought about that when they scored. I was like, `We're going to block it. We've been here before and we're going to do it.' Whether it was going to be me or one of my other boys on the team...I knew it was going to happen."
On chasing Locker around the field:
"It was very frustrating. He's amazing. There were times when I would get through [the line], or another guy would get through and you'd think you'd have a sack on the guy, but he's just able to squeeze around and go. His threat is when he doesn't see his first two reads open, and he can tuck it and go. He finds little creases, or makes creases on his own. It's hard to play against someone like him."
On the win:
"From my point of view--I'm just tired of hearing that we can't win on the road. We know that we can do it, we knew that we could, we know we have the players to do it, and now we don't have to listen to that anymore. It just battle-tests you. It's always nice to get into a close game like that and know that you can pull it off. So later on in the season and we get into another one--maybe one against TCU or UCLA or Utah, we have the confidence that we know we can go out and pull those close games off."
Running Back Harvey Unga
On if it was a fun game:
"Definitely--a little too close for my nature, but it was definitely fun."
On what he was thinking during final PAT attempt:
"To be honest, I had a really good feeling. I trusted the guys out there, I trusted they were going to give it their all, and they went out there and did it."
On Darin Harris' injury and the number of injuries in the game:
"Eh, you know, that's the game of football. It's a sad situation and I feel for him [Harris] and I hope he has a speedy recovery. I wish the best for him and his family and I hope he's all right. I respect their whole team, but that's the game of football. You have some injuries and luckily we were fortunate today."