As noted earlier, the final press conference for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas was held earlier today, followed by a luncheon at which the bands played and highlight videos were shown and Herm Edwards spoke.
You can see some video of the opening remarks of the press conference below.
Also, here are a few transcribed quotes of what UW coach Steve Sarkisian had to say:
On what stands out about Boise State’s defense: “The discipline with which they play the game. They are very-well coached and their kids play extremely hard which is a great trait to have to be a good defensive football team. And they don’t give up cheap ones. Their secondary plays in a manner in which they don’t blow assignments and they communicate extremely well and the effort with which they play with is very apparent on the field when you watch them.’’
On where the program is at right now: “Well it’s been gratifying for guys like Desmond (Trufant) and Keith (Price — each also attended the press conference) who were in our first recruiting class for them to experience some of the experiences that we have. I still think we have plenty of work to do. But very proud of what we have been able to accomplish up to this point. I think we have had some really good highs and some tremendous wins and some tough lows and some tough losses. But that’s part of the process of growing as a program. And I couldn’t be more proud of this football team and the adversity it faced from day one of training camp up until the last snap of the Apple Cup and everything in between. The maturity that they have shown and the way they have represented this football team and this program, I couldn’t be more proud of them. They have earned this opportunity and I’m looking forward to watching them play tomorrow.’’
On playing Boise State twice in a row and if that has an impact on the game: “We are just playing this game. We will worry about that one nine months from now. We are just trying to play really good football against them tomorrow and that’s what we need to do if we want to have a chance to win.’’
On how he would summarize the season: “I would summarize it as gratifying. Sometimes your record isn’t indicative of how you feel about your team and the work they have put in and their resiliency to overcome some of the adversity. This has been a gratifying season for me personally as a head football coach because I know what these guys went through from the beginning and the leadership that they exuded, very proud of them. It’s been very gratifying. Would I have loved to have won more games up to this point? Sure, that goes without saying. But proud of the way our guys came to work every single day through some of the most difficult times and also in the good times. And I feel like we have matured and matured throughout this season to have handled some of the successes that we had and also some of the failures. I think there is a lot of stuff from this season we will continue to take from and build on in 2013. So again, would I have loved to have won more games? Sure. But there has been plenty to be proud of with this football team and what they have been able to accomplish, not only in this season but for our seniors the last four years since we came here to take this over. I would say gratifying is the best word to sum it up and hopefully we can put our best foot forward tomorrow and see what happens.’’
On what stands out about the adversity the team faced: “I think back to training camp and it was literally an injury a day that was a season-ending injury there for about a week-and-a-half straight that was one guy after another who were significant contributors to our ballclub whether they were seniors or special teams type players. It really felt like one after another and we were really waiting for it to stop and then the season began and we lost two more in the first quarter of the first game, and a running back in the first drive of the first game. So for our guys to hang together and for our leaders to show our younger players how to do it the right way in a short amount of time — some of those guys probably should have been redshirting but had to play earlier than we would have liked and they would have liked. But we did what we needed to do to try to be successful. And then we hit a pretty good rough patch in there of some tough losses against some good teams and our kids found a way to be resilient and knock off a couple top 10 opponents there at home and get on a good run there late in the season. And then ultimately to have the unsuccessful fourth quarter in the Apple Cup and then watch the way these guys have come back to practice to get ready for this game, again it’s been gratifying. I think at times we could have easily folded our tents or lacked the leadership needed to respond to some of these things. But it’s a credit to these guys to continue to come to work every day with a great mindset.’’
On being a young team this year and what he has seen out of some of the younger players: “A lot of our guys when they first start playing, we joke that they are puppies. And I think that they have grown up to be Dawgs. It’s taken a long time for some of them and we’ve had our moments collectively sometimes maybe trying a little too hard to make it all work right. But at the end I think we found a little bit of a groove and allowed those younger guys to get better. Again, we are a bit young, younger than we’d probably like to be at this point and this stage four years in. But you deal with the adversity and you hopefully have a roster in place that can withstand the injuries when they do occur and I think we were able to do that.’’
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