Press Conference - 10/10/00 - Pre-Washington State
On last year's game against Washington State:
"We were struggling to that point in the season and (Pullman) is a tough place to go and play. The game had really going back and forth, which is the way that a lot of our games with Washington State have been in the past number of years. It was a great feeling to get that ball caught to win the game like we did, but the thing was that we were still going to be going to overtime if it had been incomplete. I think it was more a sense of relief than anything.
On Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser:
"I have seen him play since high school, and he is a terrific player who can run and throw the ball equally well. He came from a great high school program at St. Louis High School (in Honolulu). He was a teammate of a couple of our guys (Ben Alualu and Joe Siofele) there, too. He has the ability to throw from the pocket or scramble, but when he scrambles he is really looking to throw. When you look around the conference, there were a lot of returning quarterbacks, but Gesser is leading the conference in passing efficiency by miles. It think that it would be impossible to be more impressed with a young quarterback. He's probably like a slightly taller Keith Smith. He has that kind of accuracy.
"Being ranked is a sign that we are being recognized. I told the team that we were going to get some recognition if we continued to play well, and we have. Now, we just have to double our effort to continue to prove that we deserve to be ranked. We did a good job of handling the fact that we were underrated earlier in the year, and now we have to do the same think with the recognition that we have gotten.
"This senior class has pretty much seen everything since they have been here. They were a part of the '97 team that started the year poorly, but was able to turn things around and eventually win a bowl game. They were on the '98 team that was just great, and then they were a part of last year's team, and we all know what happened last year. They know what kind of a team they want to be, and they know that we (coaches) are not going to cut them any slack or give them any room for error.
On redshirt freshman cornerback Michael Jolivette:
"Michael has come along very well, but he still has a ways to go out there. We are going to be expecting more and more things from him as the year goes on than we will from some other guys. He has a tremendous upside, and he has grown an exceptional amount in the last month. I hope that he is going to grow again in the next month. Last year, he probably would have played if he had been healthy, but he broke his foot and couldn't play. The redshirt year is going to prove to be a very good thing for him.
On the health of left tackle Makoa Freitas who has a foot injury:
"Makoa is going to have surgery Thursday, so he is out for the year. He actually has a torn ligament. It would have been better if he had broken the foot because the recovery process for this kind of injury is a lot longer. He has only played in parts of three games, though, so we will be able to get a medical redshirt year for him. His roommate is Steven Grace (who recently had shoulder surgery), so between them they have three good legs and three good shoulders.
On the running game:
"Clarence (Farmer) is going to carry the ball more than (Larry Croom and Leo Mills) as long as he stays healthy. Anytime a true freshman plays and plays effectively, I think you have to be a little surprised. He has really showed a lot of maturity this year, but I think that we have barely scratched the surface of what he is going to be able to do.
On senior linebacker Antonio Pierce:
"Antonio kind of snuck up on people, because after the Utah game, everyone was talking about Lance Briggs. Antonio though has been our best linebacker this year so far, and if he has not been our best defensive player than he has been as good as anyone we have. He is a very serious guy, and he wants to be a good player. He is a playmaker, and he has great speed and intelligence."