Sept. 9, 2001
On the team's performance against Idaho: "We did some really good things on offense. We set out to have zero sacks, and we had no sacks in the game. Even though we lost some protection a little bit, Jason (Johnson) was able to get the ball off. Our schemes were well designed, our receivers were down field, and we got some big-play passing. We wanted to average over five yards per carry, and we were right in there for the whole game. All in all, we played three quarters of really good football and one quarter of football that we will have a lot to talk about this week."
"What I didn't like was in the fourth quarter, they (Idaho) knew we were trying to run the clock out, and we weren't trying to add points. We wanted to let our guys play a little bit. But, our second offense just didn't do a good job. They didn't control the ball and get the things done that we needed. Then we had to go back to the first offense, and they didn't do that either. Whether we lost intensity is not an issue because you can't lose intensity. You never know when you have to come back and do some things."
"Defensively, we started out and played very well. We had adequate pressure on the passer. Even though we weren't getting to him every time, we were around the football. Then as the game wore on, and our defense was having to play more and more, they got a little tired, and the only way to get to him (Idaho quarterback John Welsh) was to blitz. We did get seven sacks with the blitz, but when you do that, you are also going to give up some big plays if you don't get to the quarterback every time."
"The bottom line was that Idaho's first string was better than our second string. They have more experience, and they have played more together. But, that doesn't discount the fact that when anybody goes in the game for us, we expect that he is going to go in and give us a winning performance. Some of our guys had never played in a game before, and I expect that they learned a lot from it."
On Idaho's fourth-quarter comeback: "I knew Idaho was going to play hard, and we had them controlled for so long. But, when you have a good quarterback who starts to get hot, anything can happen. We were contributing factors because we gave them the ball back so many times. I think they really believed that they could tie it up and send the game into overtime. Some of our guys were hanging on, but they were playing to tie the game."
"I won't expect that to happen again. I don't think that it is satisfactory for a good football team to allow someone else to come back. Everybody has to take responsibility for not being able to keep it going. It was not a defeat. We won the game, and that's the overriding objective. Now, are we satisfied with the way we played in the fourth quarter? Absolutely not. We do not discount the fact that we are 2-0, and there are a lot of teams that would trade that with us. We're off to a good start in our non-conference season. I felt that we had to win at least two of the three, and now we are in a position to win three before we start the conference schedule."
On the 99-yard touchdown pass from Jason Johnson to Brandon Marshall: "Jason (Johnson) threw it exactly right, which is up high and over the top. The defender went underneath, and he couldn't make the play because the ball was high. And, Brandon (Marshall) is excellent on that kind of play as far as being able to race down the field and get in a foot race with the corner. That's the longest play I've ever called."
On Jason Johnson's progress: "We've thrown the ball 70 times in the first two games, and the best thing that he has done is that he has only had one interception, which was on a tipped pass. He does not throw the ball up into the crowd, and he has a good idea of what he wants to do. Even though last night he went somewhere when I thought he could have gone somewhere else, he had a good reason every time. On the pass to Andrae Thurman, he read the coverage and had a good feel that Andrae could get to the corner of the end zone."
On Clarence Farmer: "Sometimes he cuts back against the grain when he doesn't have to, but that's the style of running that makes him effective. He was ready to go last night, and he would have run as many times as we called him last night."
On the offense: "I think our receivers are getting a really good handle on it (the offense). Our receivers and quarterbacks know what we're doing and why we're doing it. We use a lot of pass protections, and the offensive line has to get better at handling the different things that we do. You have to use different schemes, and we want the defenses to know that if they set up certain blitzes, we may pick everything up and have a big play."
On Austin Uku's injury status: "We do expect to get Austin Uku into more work this week, and hopefully he'll be ready to go full speed by UNLV."