Here are a few post-game quotes after UW’s 24-7 win tonight over UCLA
UW COACH STEVE SARKISIAN
Overall Thoughts: “That is the epitome of winning in November. When you get late in the season like this, your ability to play good defense and run the ball comes in handy and that was obviously evident tonight, especially in the second half. I thought our defense was spectacular. Outside of the one drive there early on, they did a great job of just playing the game, getting off of the field, getting third down stops and ultimately it became a field position game. I thought all-in-all our guys played hard and they played smart. In the second half of a tight ball game in the middle of November in the Pac-10 you have to be able to run the ball and play defense and we were able to do that tonight. I think it’s a great gift to our seniors to give them this ballgame and for them to be able to have this experience and take it for the rest of their lives is pretty special. Through all of the ups and downs and things they have been through since they have been here for them to be able to take their last memory at Husky Stadium is pretty special.”
On the game plan: I felt we were choppy in the first half. It didn’t feel clean and feel like there was a lot of rhythm. I go back to my days with Pete (Carroll) at USC when we would have first halves like that. I felt like he was in the back of my head just saying get back to running the football and let the game start happening again and then you can do what you want to do. I just went back to the second half with that mentality. We are going to run the ball, we are going to let Chris Polk run the ball, let Jesse Callier get his carries and see where the game goes. That was the thought process.
On the defense: “I thought our defensive tackles especially were much more stout at the point of attack. I thought we played better with our hands. I could feel Nick (Holt) and Johnny (Nansen) talking about using your hands and getting off of blocks. In turn, it went from Mason (Foster) making every tackle it felt like the first two drives to other guys now making their plays, getting around the ball more, shedding blocks and we were better at the point of attack. That was part of it. The other part of it, when they (UCLA) threw the ball our secondary had a tremendous ball game. They were hitting people, they were catching the ball, they were covering guys and I think that had a big impact on it as well.”
On Semisi Tokolahi: “He had a great game. The last week and a half he really showed up. Sometimes we forget the fact that he is a true sophomore and he hasn’t played a whole bunch of football for us and I think it speaks volume to him and to coach Holt and coach Nansen for continuing to work with him and not just tell him he is a back up and can’t play. He has worked at it and he got in there and I thought he played a nice ball game for us tonight.”
On Mason Foster: “I think Mason in a sense is indicative of all of the things and embodies all of the things we would want in all of our guys. To his credit, when you watch him play, never once does he look at the scoreboard. It doesn’t matter what the score is, it doesn’t matter what color uniform the other team is wearing, it doesn’t matter what color uniform we are wearing — he just plays the next snap. He has the unique ability to focus on the task at hand which is that next snap. That’s why he plays so well. He doesn’t get caught up in what just happened, he doesn’t worry about what might occur one way or another, he just plays that next snap. In return, he has fun playing football. He loves playing ball. That is something that is important for us. It allows our young plays to see the senior and the way he plays and the way he focuses on what’s important and making his plays. I’m really proud of Mason. I’m happy for him because he has been doing it all year and to get this moment to come off that field at Husky Stadium and run up the tunnel with that win I think is great for him.”
On Jake Locker: “He is a warrior. We’ve talked quite a bit about pain or injury around here and the ability to play with pain and injury is another thing … you are injured, you can’t play. Tonight he played with an injury. It was a hard decision for me. The doctors said he could play, this one was on me. It was hard. To his credit, he wanted to go, the doctors said he could go and ultimately I said ok he can go. There is something unique about his game tonight, being that he went out there knowing he was injury and still played. From the first day I got here, so much was put on Jake Locker. This was Jake Locker’s team, well this is the Washington Huskies and Jake Locker is a part of our team. I think that is what Jake wanted. He wanted to just play with his team and the play tonight was really evident of that. This was a defensively football game. This was a game where we ran the ball. Jake was a part of our team and it’s pretty neat for him to come out of here with a win and feel great about it and knowing he can go play again next week at Cal.”
Safety Nathan Fellner
On the defense: “We just played with a great swagger, and nobody was going to score on us in the second half, nobody. We just shut them down and they couldn’t do anything about it.”
On his 2nd half Interception: “Yeah I knew I got a foot in. Once they said incomplete I said challenge that because I knew I got a foot in. I should have got it the first time but I tipped it back up, but I got it the second time for sure.”
Senior LB Victor Aiyewa
On Senior Night: “It is an amazing experience to come in to your senior night. The fans were charged up because of the blackout, and it was just a great game to come in to.
On halftime adjustments: “The coaches just told us to keep playing our defense. We knew we had to come out of halftime and play hard, and we did. We just played hard the entire game and it worked out for us.
On UCLA’s quarterback substitutions in the second half: “For the most part it seemed like we had their offense figured out. It didn’t really matter that they were bringing in different quarterbacks. We just had their number today.”
UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel
Opening Statement: “Congratulations to Washington. They played a whale of a second half and deserved to win tonight. We, unfortunately, ran out of gas and sputtered a little bit when we lost Richard [Brehaut] to a concussion. Darius [Bell] is a great young quarterback and has a terrific future, he just struggled a little bit recognizing things and it cost him and it cost us. It’s not fair to put it all on him, it’s just that we didn’t get enough going on offense to beat a spirited Washington team. So, we’re off to lick our wounds and see if we can get healthy and get ready to play Arizona State and finish the season proudly and strong and still try to win the last two and see if we can’t get to postseason.”
On UW’s running game and UCLA’s running game: “I think he saw that he didn’t need to take many chances, given the quarterback situation on the other side. I think he played conservatively, which was probably a wise move. And they were running the ball pretty effectively. We had a great drive the second drive of the game and, again, we sputtered on some third downs and I’ve got to look at the film to see exactly why. I think we had guys open, we just missed them. And to be effective as an offense, you’ve got to stay on the field. It’s unfair to comment on exactly why until I really look at the tape, but we can be better than that and need to be if we’re going to be successful in this conference.”
Here are a few post-game quotes after UW’s 24-7 win tonight over UCLA
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