Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 12, 1999
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SEPTEMBER 12, 1999

Arizona's performance against Middle Tennessee: I hate the way this game finished, but I think you've just got to decide if you're going to play your guys who deserve to play. But, they need to go in and do a better job than they did. We were able to rest some guys, and let them heal up."

"For three quarters, the defense did a nice job, but it deteriorated in the fourth quarter. We obviously need to play four quarters."

"The penalties were an embarrassment. They were awful. I think that and the defensive performance late in the game were probably the biggest negatives."

"(On special teams) we blocked two kicks and had the punt return, and I think Leon Callen is making a real contribution. The fumble he recovered was just sensational. It was a big-time play. Leon makes a huge difference on the punt team."

"We wanted to have a turnover-free game, and we did. We wanted to get the running game better, and I think the whole group (offense) was better. We wanted to play hard, and I think we did. We wanted to rest some players so they could be full speed next week, and we did."

On the team's progress: "I don't think you can say I'm comfortable with it, but I would probably say that almost all the time. I think that if any coach ever gets comfortable with much of anything, they're probably in trouble. We've seen some good signs from this team, but I don't think we've yet played well enough to beat Stanford."

"Our guys play best when they're relaxed and confident. We can't be mesmerized by the enormity of all this, and I think in some ways we have been. If the guys aren't having fun playing out there, then there's no reason to be out there."

On WR Dennis Northcutt breaking the all-time pass receptions record: "To put it in perspective, we hope he has 10 games left. He's not going to just break the record. He's going to demolish it."

On the injured receivers: "The receiver position is the position that is now most up in the air. We are hopeful that they (Brad Brennan and Malosi Leonard) will be able to go next week."

On the running game: "We always would like to be able to run the ball, and more times than not, it determines whether you can win or not. If you can't do it, it makes it real hard. I don't know if we will be able to run against Stanford."

"We would like to develop the toughness and the physical nature to run the ball much better than we have. We were better last night, but as to how that will translate against Stanford, I don't know."

Pacific-10 Conference action: "Our guys know that this is where it all starts. In a conference each game is precious. Every team in the conference can beat every other team. I don't think there is a dominant team, and I don't think there is a bad team. There will be a lot of games in our conference that will be hotly contested, much like they were last year."

On Stanford: "We're looking forward to playing Stanford. We have a lot of respect for Stanford, and I really respect the job they did last year winning their last two conference games. I think they've put the Texas game behind them, and I think last week's game (against Washington State) is more of an indication of who they are and what they can do."

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