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Stanford-Washington Football Post-Game Quotes (November 11, 2006)
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 11/12/2006

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General Comments
"I couldn't be more proud of the way our players played, primarily and especially our seniors. It's really easy to go through the adversity that those guys have gone through and not put your best foot forward. But all year long our guys have worked hard and worked to become a better football team, and finally today it showed. My hat is off to our seniors as well as the rest of our football players because even those young freshman are not used to not winning and they have done a great job of working hard and trying to get better and trying to learn what it's like to be Division I football players. A lot of guys sacrificed. I thought our coaching staff did a great job of getting our guys ready to play. With the help our seniors, we fought through a lot of adversity and we played good today."

On kicking a FG before the half
"It was really big. We got sacked, which was unfortunate. We were down on the four yard line and got sacked and had the ball back on the fourteen. I just felt like, with a young kicker, and I also felt going in at halftime would be huge, because that hasn't happened for a long time for this football team. That is a hard spot to kick with a right footed kicker and that wind that they have down at that open end. That's what went through our mind and that is why we decided to do what we did. I thought being tied at halftime would be really the best thing that could happen, not the best thing, but it would be good for our guys to come away with a tie at halftime. I thought it would give us hope, and that is what we needed, and that is what we got."

On offense
"We struggled on offense making short yardage, but our defense did an outstanding job. We made some plays on offense and I think when you play good defense you always have a chance to win. In most situations we played the kicking game well, which was very very helpful. I think our defense really stopped the run, and controlled the pass and did an outstanding job."

On momentum
"I think our guys were really into it and I think that has been the hardest thing for our football team. We have had so much bad luck, with the ball bouncing the other way, and today it bounce our way in more situations then it had the entire season and it got our momentum on the sidelines. Our guys really played good, our guys were really fighting. I thought there were a lot of guys on defense that stepped up and really played dynamite today.".

On T.C. Ostrander
"I thought T.C. Ostrander stood in there and did an outstanding job of managing the clock. I thought he made some key third down throws, and some beautiful throws to Richard Sherman. I thought Richard did a nice job in his maturing process, learning how to be a division I football player."

On Bo McNally's interception for a touchdown
"Behind every interception is some really good pressure and a good call. He played it well, the guys underneath who covered him tight made the quarterback try to make a perfect throw and he wasn't able to do that, and Bo made a play and ran it down for a touchdown. That's the first touchdown in a long time so that was great, we were all whooping it up on the sidelines. It was very, very exciting."

On touchdown pass
"I caught the pass and I looked up field and saw that I had a blocker. My guy made the block and I ran up field and looked for the safety. I broke the safety's tackle and ran up field for the touchdown."

On going into half with a tie
"It was really big. We wanted to get a score, but it was really big and it gave us momentum."

On second half offense
"Coach was telling us that we ran some great plays and encouraging us. Everything was clicking. T.C. (Ostrander) and I have some great chemistry and everything was just clicking for us."

On offensive game plan "That's pretty much just some good game planning by coach. He saw some weaknesses in the middle of their defense and he just called the plays accordingly."

On getting first win "We definitely feel relieved, it's off our shoulders. Getting the first win, my first college win, always feels great. It feels great to get that weight off our shoulders."

On defense "Our defense played great. They have been playing great defense the past couple of weeks. I am glad that we came through for them finally by scoring some points. They scored some points as well, it's great."

On interception for a touchdown
"We were in a cover two and I saw the tight end coming across the field. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him start to come deep and he kind of threw it right to me. I took it down the sideline and got a couple of good lead blocks and some big hits from my guys as I got it in there."

On having first lead since September 9th
"It feels amazing. It's hard to explain because it is just like a big momentum swing for the team. I am glad that I could do something to help out the team."

On finding out he was starting
"I actually just found out on Thursday night after practice or maybe right before practice. I was nervous and excited at the same time and I was really looking forward to trying to make my mark."

On team play
"We definitely played well today and we believed that every set of downs we were going to stop them. We just kept emphasizing that you can't let down and that you have to step it up. You have to be able to step it up the whole game and we only gave up that field goal."


Opening Statement
"Obviously the results of the day are difficult for the coaching staff and the team to deal with, but it happens. We did not play a good football game and we did not execute or do the things that we needed to do to be successful. I felt that both teams were in the same boat, and the team that would make the big play and get it going would be the successful team."

On whether the team played without inspiration
"No, I don't think so. And the reason I say that is that I thought half of us were playing pretty good. The defense was executing pretty well early in the ball game. The two or three pass plays on [Stanford's] part made the difference. We just did nothing on offense."

On this being a step backwards
"You always get that question, `Is it a step back?' In this case, I have to say, yes, it is. You can never count on winning any ball game, you have to go out and play it - that's why you play it. But at the same time, I felt like this was a ball game that we could win and then we could position ourselves to go into next week and still have a chance at a bowl eligible season. We didn't respond. We didn't get it done."

On not having the chance for a bowl game
"It's tough. Any time you aim for something and you say that this is something that you want and you work towards it and you don't achieve it, that's tough. If we have the right character of young men downstairs, and I can attest and say that I believe we do, and we've got the right leadership for them in our coaches, then we're going to come out battling. We're not going to give up the ship. We missed this goal. Well the Apple Cup is on the line. There is always something to play for and if we've got the right character and the right leadership and the right kind of young man, then they're going to grab on and go to work with it."

On Carl Bonnell
"I think when he came back, it was very difficult because he had a quad bruise that I think affected his movement and part of his game is his ability to move and create some thing."

On what the offensive problems were today
"Throwing and catching. Blocking and running."

On Isaiah Stanback
"He was critical to our success on offense. There is no question that he has an impact and obviously his loss affected our football team. But I still felt that over the last five or six games we've been in, there have been opportunities for us to make the play or to make a better a decision on my part that could have helped us."

On the ground struggles
"I didn't think we did our best job against their edge pressure. I thought a couple times, that affected us. Their slants and their angles, maybe we were a little tentative."

On the feeling after the game
"We didn't play well. I have to say, `Willingham, what did you do?' Obviously, that was not good football."

On Stanford's gaining momentum throughout the game
"This is old football. If you give a team life, eventually they come back and get you. We did nothing. We had great field position early and didn't take advantage of it and didn't get any scores. Those were good opportunities to take them right out of the ball game and we didn't do it."

On a message to the team for Apple Cup
"There are a lot of courses you can take. You can just throw out that it is the Apple Cup. You can talk about an opportunity to redeem themselves from the way we played today. You can talk about turning a new leaf for our program. We've got a chance to finish this year on a positive note. There are a lot of angles you can take."

General Comments
"I think there is disappointment in ourselves. As a team we didn't come out and play like we know how. The overall feeling is disappointment and all the credit is given to [Stanford]. They came out and outplayed us. For whatever reason we didn't step up and do the things necessary to win."

On the effort of the defense
"The defense tried to put the offense in the best possible position. The offense not being able to capitalize just means that the defense has to go out and get the ball back. Regardless of what the offense does, our job as defenders is to not let them score. If we would not have let them score, we would've won the game, period."

On losing the turnover battle
"We put ourselves in that predicament in this game. The defense has to step up and start making plays and I don't think that we did that. We have to create turnovers and we didn't do that. You can't win a game if you don't win the turnover margin and we gave up three and didn't get any back."

On losing Carl Bonnell
"We know that a lot of our guys are playing with dings and bumps and bruises. We just have to have confidence that the next guy coming in can get the job done. And that next guy has to have confidence in himself. We have to believe in one another and continue to push one another and I don't think that we displayed that today. I think when Carl got hurt a lot of people sulked and that's not going to help up win."

On what Coach Willingham told them after the game
"He told us that credit is given to Stanford. He's disappointed and we're disappointed in ourselves. We just don't understand why we didn't do certain things in this game."

On putting the game behind them
"As a team we have to use this as fuel. Especially this game because this is one of those games that we kind of just let go. We have to use that as fuel and just remind ourselves that we can't underestimate any teams and we have to do the rights things on and off the field so we can go out with a victory. Everybody is tired of losing so that is what we have to do.

On letting games slip away
"They're hard. Especially when you know you're capable of doing certain things in a game or against a certain team, but you just don't display that. Those are very hard loses to take, to deal with, to cope with. There's nothing you can do about it. You can't harp on it, you just have to keep trying to fight and get better."

General Comments
"The worst part about it is that it's the last game the seniors are going to play in the stadium and we couldn't send them out right. They took advantage of our mistakes. It seemed like everyone had a bad day, all across the field. They just came play and we just didn't."

On the offensive struggles
"You have to have a game on both sides of the ball. It seemed like when we got the ball we came up short on offense. When we needed to step up sometimes we couldn't answer, but like I said, if they don't score, they don't win. So to us it's on the defense."

On coming back for the Apple Cup
"It's our big rivalry. It's the Apple Cup, and what else do we have to play for? With this loss we aren't going to play in a bowl game so we have to go out and send our seniors out right with a win. We have to go get the Apple Cup back. We just have to play hard, it's football, we have to play and have fun. It's not fun if you're losing so we're going to go out there and play and send our seniors out right."

General Comments
"That was not quite what we expected. They came out, started off pretty hard, and hit us around a little bit. Scoring only three points in the first half really hurt us. We didn't really put our foot down. I really think they just played a good game today, and we didn't, and that showed up on the scoreboard."

On coming back on the field after bruising his thigh
"I wasn't 100 percent, but I could play. Running was a lot harder, and I couldn't get much out of my throws, but when you don't have much else to go with, you have to make the best out of it."

On the seniors leaving
"We are going to lose a lot of attitude, and a lot of good guys that just work their butts off. They have been doing this for about four to five years now, so just that experience and the leadership is going to be a big loss for us next year."

On the post game meeting
"At the start, it was just quiet. We listened to Stanford cheering up the tunnel. That is one of the worst feelings you can have as a Husky player in your own stadium. So the first few minutes we just sat there quiet, listening -- and that says a lot."

On preparing and bouncing back for next week
"It is going to be tough. There is going to be a lot of gut-checking going on. But we have to bounce back. Five and seven, is a lot better than 4-8. It is going to be a pride thing, and we are just going to go out there and battle.

On the running game
"I thought that it wasn't consistent across the board. I feel like every play we would block everyone we could, but they would have an extra guy to stop our runner. There were times where there would be a free man, that with every play that we call, they have a play designed to block. There is not much you can do about that sometimes."

On the consistency
"From an offensive line point of view, with our running game we were struggling a little bit. We were a little inconsistent with the things we do. I think that is pretty much our problem -- it is not being consistent. For whatever reason, we just have not been consistent."

On his emotions about the loss
"I would say it was embarrassing the way we lost. It was embarrassing not scoring a touchdown. Letting them play how they play, and us not playing how we play -- it is just a pride thing with me specifically. I speak pretty open about it, obviously. I am a senior, and I have been here five years now, and I have been around a lot people, a lot of teams, and a lot of Huskies. We just didn't play Husky football today, so from that point of view it is kind of embarrassing."

On the energy coming into the game
"I think we had a lot of energy. I was pumped up. I was fired up, and a lot of other guys were, too. That was not the problem."

On the preparation
"We studied them extensively. We watched so much tape. The offensive line watched so much tape. We knew how they were going to line up, and where they were going to go -- how they went. We studied a ridiculous amount in preparation, so it wasn't that."



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