Washington State at Washington Post-Game Quotes Husky Stadium Nov.
Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian Opening Statement: First of all, I’m proud of our team. You get in rivalry games and you never know how it will go. Then in the first quarter you think, “Oh, this is how this is going to go,” and then the game goes on. It was hard, we were very choppy offensively in the first half. We were so inconsistent on third down, which is very uncharacteristic of us. I think we were one-of-six on third downs in the first half. We just weren’t in rhythm, we just couldn’t find it. But defensively, we hung in there and those guys did a good job of keeping us in the game. What has been indicative of this team all year long has been our ability to come out in the third quarter and make really good adjustments. The team remained focused and we played an awesome third quarter. To get 17 points, to do what we were doing defensively, to get stops. The offense found their rhythm. They really played a tremendous second half. It was a great game and then to cap it off with the awesome interception by Greg Decre, which was really challenging. Because WSU is going to keep throwing the ball at you and it’s really hard on the corners. We had a good beat on what reads were coming, but it’s hard to keep your hands off of them and to make your plays when you know what’s coming. It was a great play by Greg. And then offensively having the guys capping it off and finishing the thing off with that last drive. I’m proud of the guys. I’m proud of our seniors. As I just got done telling them, they chose to come to the University of Washington when this might not have been the hottest school in our conference or in the nation to come to. We were talking about getting a new stadium, we were talking about getting a new facility, we were talking about where we were headed and what we were going to do. These guys chose to come here and they came here and put an investment into this program for the last four or five years. And their investment has paid off, they’re walking out of here knowing that this football program is in a better place today than it was when they got here. That’s a real credit to those guys and the work that they put into it. I’m really happy for these guys that they’re going to their fourth consecutive bowl game. I’m happy for them that they’ve been a part of a team that has gotten better; from five wins to seven wins and now eight, hopefully nine, wins. Those guys are the catalyst for what we’ve done here. I’m glad that they get to walk out of here as a winner their last time in Husky Stadium because I know it means a lot to them. On getting over the seven win hump: I’m happy for you guys to not ask me about it anymore. Honestly the number wasn’t a big deal to me, I’m just tired of answering questions about it. We’re a better team today than we were a year ago, and a year ago we were a better team than a year before that. Sometimes games go the way they go and you don’t get the call or you don’t get the catch or you make the one bad call as a coach, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a good football team or that you aren’t a better team than you were a year before. We’re a good team. We played hard. We’ve been playing hard all year. We’ve had three lousy quarters this season, quite honestly. Outside of that our guys have played good football. We haven’t been perfect, but we’ve played well, we’ve played hard, we’ve had good leadership and I’m excited about the opportunity to go play another game with this group, because I think they’ll prepare great and go out and perform and I’m excited for the future of this program and where we’re headed. On Keith starting: I though he threw really well on Thursday. Really, really well. He was clean and efficient, he threw the ball with conviction, and I thought for the most part he threw the ball well tonight. I remember Matt Leinart’s senior game, we were playing UCLA and he starting tearing up in the tunnel and the first half of that game was really hard for him. I think the first half was just hard for Keith. He was coming off an injury, he didn’t play last week, he wants to play great, and he was just a little bit off. Not even physically, he was actually off a little mentally. But he regrouped in the second half and did some good stuff, made some great throws like that touchdown pass to Austin, a couple of throws to Damore’ea and obviously capping it off with a nice read there for the touchdown run. It’s been a great journey for Keith. I think the last five years of his life are going to shape him for the next 60-70 years of his life. He’s been through a lot. He’s been through a lot physically, he’s been through a lot emotionally, but every time, that guys shows his tremendous character and he stands tall and doesn’t waiver. He never points the finger. We’re proud that he’s our guy. We get one more opportunity to go out and play with him and I think he will play like he played in the second half tonight.
Washington State at Washington Post-Game Quotes Husky Stadium Nov. 29, 2013
WR Jaydon Mickens On being Apple Cup champs: This is a big win. The most important thing for me was getting these seniors out with a win, and a win over the Cougars is always sweeter than a regular win. That’s the thing I’m most excited for. On emotions of Senior Night: The emotions are high. Some of these seniors I know from back home in Los Angeles, so it really got me emotional and ready to come out and give it my all. I was ready to die on that field tonight if it had to happen. On 2nd half adjustments: We just had to calm down. We had to tell ourselves that it is just a regular game, that we don’t have to overdo things, and that we can keep things the same. And then we just had to execute like we usually do. On team’s next steps: Right now we’re going to celebrate this for a week probably. Then we’re going to come back and start getting ready for the bowl game and prepare like we normally prepare. We’re going to get the young guys ready throughout the week and then regularly prepare going into the game. OL Mike Criste On being Apple Cup champs: It feels good. We got the Apple Cup back home where it belongs. If you watch the game, we’re the better team. We’re happy to have it home. On emotions of Senior Night: It’s definitely hard knowing that those guys are going to be playing here for the last time. But it’s just another game, and we’re going to come out with the same goal and the same mindset. On pride taken in Sankey’s performance this season: It shows that we’re doing a good job. That’s all we want. We want him to look good, because when he looks good, he scores and we win games. That’s our job, that’s what we’re supposed to do. WR Kevin Smith On being Apple Cup champs: It’s been great. We had to get that game back from last year. We remembered that, and we came out with a full head of steam and just finished.
On emotions of Senior Night: It’s been great. I’m happy I chose to come here, I appreciate the fans, and I love it. The best thing for us and me is to go out like this. On 2nd half adjustments: We’re a good second half team. We just wanted to keep that going. We really just wanted to finish, and that’s what we did in the second half. On team’s next steps:
We’re about to celebrate this win, but we’re about to get ready, figure out who we play, and dominate that game too. DT Danny Shelton On coming home and getting the win against the rival WSU: It feels great. We have this new program and everybody is just built into it. Faster, stronger, smarter. It just felt great going out there and performing with my brothers and bringing back that cup. On coming out with intensity in the second half: We just realized that life is way too short. We only have one more half left. We just came out with the same energy as we do in practice. Our motivation was to ball out. On building momentum for the bowl game: I don’t really keep up with all the bowl projections and all of that stuff. Just win our last game of the regular season is something we look forward to every year. Coming out with the apple cup is the best feeling. DE Josh Shirley On coming home and getting the win against the rival WSU: It is a sense of accomplishment and a great feeling. Last year we didn’t finish in the fourth quarter and our goal this year was to finish the game. We were down at halftime and we went into the locker-room and came together and we finished as a team. On coming out with intensity in the second half: We as a team and as players had to increase our intensity. We had to increase our energy because it wasn’t the way it should have been in the first half.. We just came together in the locker-room and conquered. On building momentum for the bowl game: We gotta take it next week when we come back to practice and that’s where the momentum starts, at practice. LB Travis Feeney On coming home and getting the win against the rival WSU: It feels awesome. Awesome win for our seniors. We didn’t give up when we were down. We came back with heart, and it just feels great. On coming out with intensity in the second half: Coach just said ‘we are a second half team; we are the best second half team in the nation’ We gotta show it and play hard. Offense is going to keep making plays if we give them the ball. Defense is going to make stops and we are gonna win this. On building momentum for the bowl game: Definitely. It gives us excitement and energy; energy that we are going to bring to the bowl game.
Washington State at Washington Post-Game Quotes Husky Stadium Nov. 29, 2013
Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach Opening Statement: I thought it was a tightly contested game. Nobody has improved more in the last three weeks than we have, but Washington is a great team. I thought we played them well today. I thought it was a game sliced very thin and they came out on top. It is unfortunate for us, but we are going to continue to improve. It was a well-contested game on both sides. On whether in retrospect he wished he had kicked it before the half: I don’t have any retrospect. On the thought of using timeouts early in both halves: We thought we wanted to use timeouts early in both halves. On noticing any adjustments by Washington in the third quarter: Not really, I thought they played well the third quarter. We didn’t move the ball as well as I thought we should have in the third quarter. We didn’t keep the drives going with the opportunities that we had. Then, we let them off the hook on third down. We played them really well on third down in the first half, but they had a big third quarter as far as converting third downs. On how big of a play the 40-yard screen to Sankey was: I thought that was pretty big. I think that first drive in the third quarter where we got them third and long - if we had kept them pinned back – it was going to increase the pressure on them and certainly the tempo of the second half. Then they converted and that was a huge play for them. On whether WSU deserves to be in a bowl game: I don’t speculate on all of that stuff. There is no question we should go to a bowl game. On what he will tell his team in the coming days waiting to hear on a potential bowl game: Keep improving. Every time you play and practice, you have a chance to improve. That is what I think as a team we have done a good job of the last few weeks, including this one. I think we need to keep doing that. We need to steadily improve. If we are all one play better today, this is a different game. Down the road if we are three plays better, it’s significantly better. On the focus and effort of WSU: I thought we had great effort today. On the running plays for Connor Halliday: It’s been there and course they gave it to us. It’s been something that is there, but it’s not a steady thing.
On the season overall: Improvement, but still plenty of places to continue to improve. I think it is a definite improvement, but there is plenty of work to do. On what he saw on the first interception: We just threw it behind him. It good read and good idea, we just threw it behind him. Of course there guy made a good play.
On the play of the WSU Offensive Line: I thought in spots they played really well. Then, Washington’s defensive front is really good. There is just a play here and there. We never really had consistent breakdowns. It is just one here and there type of thing. On how they did defending Sankey: Good in general, other than the explosive play here and there.
Washington State at Washington Post-Game Quotes Husky Stadium Nov. 29, 2013
Washington State Players QB Connor Halliday What are you feeling after this loss? Definitely frustrating. I’m real close with the seniors on this team, so it sucks to go out this way. Just a tough loss all the way around. What are these next few days going to be like, wondering if you’re a bowl team, wondering where you’re going to go? Yeah, frustrating. You definitely want to take it out of chance’s hand, but we weren’t able to do that. We’ll see what happens. What do you think happened for you guys as a whole in the 3rd quarter, trying to get things going? I think UW’s defense played real well. We had trouble running the ball in the 3rd quarter. We dropped a few. I missed a few throws. We had trouble protecting. Kind of go down the line. But credit to them [Washington]. Their defense played real well. The team doubled your win total this season. Do you feel like you took a step forward as a program? Yeah, we definitely took a step forward. The biggest thing would be our mentality. I know everybody in that locker room is hurting right now, just as much as I am. I don’t know if that would have been the case last year or two years ago. The culture has changed, and Coach Leach knows what he’s doing. LB Darryl Monroe Any though on Bishop Sankey and how they got him going in the 2nd half? He’s a decent running back. We’ve played better. But I feel like a lot of what he accomplished we gave him. I wouldn’t make it more than that. What do you mean by that? They just had a few formations that we didn’t fit properly. Instead of levering the block, we might have spilled it, and just those types of things, involving coverage and what not. How frustrating was it? It seemed like you guys controlled them pretty well in the 1st half. It’s pretty frustrating. They pretty much just started taking what we gave them. Our eyes just weren’t in the right place, and we weren’t in our gaps, so it’s pretty frustrating. CB Nolan Washington What changed in the 3rd quarter when Washington got going offensively? We gave up some big plays, some big runs and then some big pass plays. They capitalized on it, and we didn’t really rebound from that. How pivotal do you think that screen pass that UW converted in the 3rd quarter was? That was big. It was third-down-and-long. We expect to get off the field on third-down-and-long, and the fact that they converted it, that was a big play for them. Like I said, they capitalized on it, and that’s what was leading them to coming back. Obviously this was a tough loss, but does it make it a little easier knowing this might not be your last college football game?
I hate losing, regardless. This one hurts, especially losing to them and especially me being a senior. This was my last one. I really wanted this one. To lose to them really hurts. But we’ll bounce back, and we’ll prepare for whatever bowl game we have.