Washington vs. Oregon State Notes and Quotes
Oct. 7, 2000
With his first-quarter touchdown grab, Washington receiver Justin Robbins became the third true freshman to score for the Huskies this season. Cornerback Derrick Johnson (who lined up on offense for one play) scored on an end-around against Idaho, and tailback Rich Alexis ran one in from 50 yards out against Miami. Alexis chipped in again later in the tonight's game, scoring on a pair of one-yard runs.
Alexis became the first Husky this season to rush for 100 yards in a game, finishing with 107 yards. The Huskies hadn't had a 100-yard day from a tailback since Paul Arnold rushed for 126 (also as a freshman) in last year's Apple Cup win over Washington State.
Both Rich Alexis (107) and Paul Arnold (102) topped the 100-yard rushing mark tonight. The last time Washington had two 100-yard rushers was against Stanford last year (Oct. 30, 1999). Marques Tuiasosopo finished with 207 yards and Maurice Shaw had 113 that day.
Since 1947, Washington is 146-34-3 when a Husky runner has gone over 100 yards. Since 1990, Washington is 46-4-1 when it has rushed for 200 or more yards as a team.
Tonight's attendance was 73,145, the largest crowd ever to see a Washington-Oregon State game. It's also the largest crowd to watch an OSU game against any opponent at any stadium since 1990, when the Beavers played Nebraska before 76,061 in Lincoln.
Oregon State entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in rush defense (58.5 ypg) and sixth in total defense (235.25). Washington rushed for 281yards tonight and gained 504 yards of total offense. Prior to tonight, the best individual rushing outing by an OSU opponent was 47 yards by San Diego State's James Truvillion. By halftime, UW's Paul Arnold had 47 and Alexis had 87.
Washington's 504 yards of total offense is a high this season. The previous best was 474 yards versus Idaho, Sept. 2
Oregon State had allowed only two rushing TDs all season, but gave up three to the Huskies tonight. Prior to tonight's game, OSU had allowed only 234 net rushing yards in four games this season. Tonight, Washington rushed for 281 yards.
Marques Tuiasosopo, with his 14th career 200-yard passing game, moved into a tie with Brock Huard for most career 200-yard passing days in UW history. Tonight was Tuiasosopo's fifth straight 200-yard day. He finished with 223 yards passing.
Under Coach Rick Neuheisel, Washington is now 10-0 in games in which they possessed the ball for more than half of the game. The Huskies are 1-6 under Neuheisel when they've lost the time of possession battle.
Washington has had to come from behind in eight of its 11 wins under coach Rick Neuheisel. In five of those wins (including today's), the Huskies have trailed in the fourth quarter.
Washington free safety Hakim Akbar had 19 tackles tonight, the highest total by a Husky this season. The previous high was 14, also by Akbar, at Oregon last week.
With four quarterback sacks today, Washington eclipsed its total from all of last season. The Huskies have 17 through five games this season after compiling only 13 all last year.
Ryan Cesca broke the Oregon State record with his 55th consecutive point after touchdown when he converted twice in the first quarter. The sophomore has yet to miss. The record of 54 PATs in a row was held by Troy Bussanich (1986-89). Through tonight's game, Cesca is 57-for-57 career.
OSU receiver Robert Prescott, a Kennedy High (Burien, Wash.) grad, had the second 100-yard receiving day of his career. His previous 100-yard day came vs. USC last season when he went for 119 yards.
Beavers QB Jonathan Smith moved into second place on the OSU career touchdown passes list with his 27th today. He's still got a long way to go to beat the Oregon State record of 52, held by Erik Wilhelm.
Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
In general: "We are elated with the victory. It was a hard fought victory. You got to congratulate Oregon State on a great effort. It was just one of those nights where it was going to go down to the end and fortunately when it did we were still standing. We're very excited about the victory. I think it was a costly victory. We've got a lot of guys who are nicked and banged up, to the extent I don't know. The team was certainly fired up and excited from the victory, but there wasn't much left in the tanks. Everybody is tired, which is probably attributed to our guys using everything they had."
On Paul Arnold and Rich Alexis: "It went well. We were able to get a running game going. They had an up the field type defense. Very aggressive, very quick. We tried to get a screen draw going. I thought that was very effective. We even got an inside running game going."
On the offense: "We went into the game thinking we were going to utilize all of our weapons and they were effective so we kept them going. The best thing did was that we were able to keep our offense on the field."
On Oregon States offense: "They made some big plays. We didn't cover as well as we can. There's a lot of pressure on that defense. They have an ability to run the ball and have an explosive back."
Washington Player Quotes
QUARTERBACK MARQUES TUIASOSOPO
On the fourth-quarter touchdown: "They had been jumping to the outside and we wanted to get them to bite so it would open the lane. I thought if I faked it to the outside then maybe it would take his eyes out there. I think it did and I saw a lane and took it up."
On the option being shut down most of the year: "They are playing the option. Everyone knows now that Washington runs the option so they don't want that to beat them. You just have to take what they give you. Sometimes it's going to be there and sometimes it's not. Today we ran the ball very well. We didn't need to use the option as much because our front-seven did a great job."
On playing in front of the home crowd again: "It felt great to get back home on our own field in front of our great fans. It was awesome. After last weekend we couldn't wait to get back out here. We played our hearts out and it was a hard-fought battle and that's what made the difference."
TAILBACK RICH ALEXIS
On getting more playing time this weekend: "I prepare the same way I do whether I know I am going to get more playing time or not. Moving up to second on the depth chart did not mean anything. What matters is that you work hard and you work as hard as you do no matter where you are on the chart. I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity once I got it."
On the success of screen passes to the running backs: "We have Coach Gilbertson who is one of the greatest offensive coordinators there is and he just comes up with great plays. We just went out there and executed, Paul did a great job and our offensive line did a great job opening up holes for us."
FREE SAFETY HAKIM AKBAR
On overall play of the defense: "We did what we had to do out there. They were a very good running team and a great passing team as well. We needed to step it up and make plays and for the most part we did."
On the Husky defense focusing more on the Oregon State running game coming in: "I was just trying to keep focus on my keys. I kept coming up because my keys were showing run."
On rebounding from last week's loss: "This win is great for us. We were down after that loss. I think we were a little e unsure about ourselves coming into this game but we hung in there and played hard. This win is going to be big for our confidence going into Arizona State."
RUNNING BACK PAUL ARNOLD
On his good start: "I just try to keep the same level of confidence on every play. I had some good things happen early. I don't think it just helped me but it had a positive impact on the offense as a whole."
On Oregon State's good run defense: "Husky football is about running the ball. We wanted to get out there and establish the run. We knew if e could establish the run then that would have a big impact on the passing game."
Oregon State Head Coach Dennis Erickson
General Remarks: "It was obviously an offensive football game, just the opposite of what I thought going in. I thought the defenses would dominate a little bit. That's not what happened. I give credit to Washington, particularly on offense. They ran the football extremely well and played well up front. Marques (Tuiasosopo) had a tremendous day and they ran it. I know that was their plan coming in. They were able to do that and throw some play action pass. That was the difference in the game. I thought that was the best that we played, offensively, and the worst we played on defense. I really felt coming into this football game that if we had a chance on the road in the fourth quarter to win it or tie it, that I would take it. That is exactly where we were. We obviously missed the field goal at the end."
On OSU quarterback Jonathan Smith and the passing game: "Jonathan played extremely well, it was a tremendous effort. He's getting better and better. Today he really stepped up and made plays and sorted our receivers, which made a difference in the game. As the year goes on, that is what we are going to have to do as people start stacking things against our running game. I thought we ran it pretty well as time went on. But, we made some big plays in the passing game which is what we need to do with how we are running the football."
On the last OSU drive of the game: "What we were trying to do was get a first down, then kill it. There was 42 seconds left. That would give us two shots throwing the football which could have given us a chance of getting it in the endzone."
On OSU tailback Patrick McCall: "It was always our plan to give him more carries. He was tired and we've always liked to use both of them. He got to get a feel of what was going on and he's obviously got some talent too. We do have a one-two punch there with Patrick and Ken Simonton."
On Washington tailback Rich Alexis: "He's a big, strong kid who's not a freshman anymore, he's played five games. He's got a tremendous future obviously."
On the team's performance: "We learned that we had a chance to fold and didn't. We came back. Our team has played well on defense and on offense. Today, was a little different story on offense. We stepped up to stay in the game. As time goes on, maybe we'll get them both together."
On the locker room at halftime: "That we just hung in there, we were down six points and weren't playing very well. We should have been down more than that and weren't. We had a chance to win and definitely had a chance to win it in the end."
On a moral victory: "We have got to win games on the road. Moral victories don't get you to a bowl game."
Oregon State Player Quotes
TAILBACK KEN SIMONTON
general comments on the game: "It is always good to get competitive guys out on a field. We have a lot of pride, but there is always that should have and could have. 70,000 fans got a great show."
on missed field goal by punter Ryan Cesca: "It was hard to get him a spot he deserved. He is a gutsy player. He is gonna win some games for us."
on feelings in locker room after the game: "We are disappointed we didn't win. We know we can dominate. When you lose one, you gotta gain one. We try not to look back on this game with revenge."
on ejection of Eric Manning: "The refs just have that power. They have that way of interpreting the game the way they want to."
on turning a negative into a positive: "I'm excited that 70,000 fans came out to watch 100 gladiators play and glorify god."
QUARTERBACK JONATHAN SMITH
General Comments: "There's a real sense of disappointment right now I thought we could have done some things better, especially late in the game. I thought we put Ryan (Cesca) in a really bad spot there to kick the game-tying field goal, not taking any shot at the end zone when we had the opportunity to do it. We malfunctioned late in the game."
On the final series of plays: "There was a time out right before that play and we went over it never really thinking that we wouldn't get the first down on third-and-one. Obviously we didn't get it. We should have gotten a better play off on third down."
On the mood in the locker room: "I think that there is a real sense of disappointment right now. All over the team we felt we could have done better. We had a lot of bad penalties. We thought that we could have beaten a good team in a really hostile place and that would have been a big win for us."
On the confidence level of the offense: "We came out early and made some plays and that really boosted our confidence level. But felt that like we didn't get the ball that often because Washington held on to the ball for so long. We didn't get as many opportunities as we would have liked, but you just have to give a lot of credit to Washington for holding on to the ball."
On 80-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter: "We rolled to the left and were able to pick up the blitz and I stepped up a little to fast and my shoe came off but I was able to get enough on it to get it to Bennie (Johnson)."
Is this a moral victory?: "A couple of years ago it probably would have been, but we feel we are a legitimate Rose Bowl contender so any time you lose it's a disappointment."