Sept. 16, 2001
Arizona Head Coach John Mackovic Quotes
On college football's 'return to normalcy': "We were not scheduled to play, so we had our week planned to give our players the weekend off. We didn't have to make any adjustments, but I can only imagine what it was like on campuses across the country who weren't certain whether they would play. It will be a short period of time until everyone gets back into the swing of things. Most schools will go back to work on Monday and put things together quickly so that they can play well this weekend."
"We are going to go about things as normally as possible on Monday. We addressed it (terrorist attacks) during this past week, but I think there comes a point when you have to allow everything else to run its due course. We have to get back to as close to normal and face the task at hand. It will be important for coaches, players and fans to look forward and work toward the weekend in anticipation of playing again."
On last week's practice sessions: "We continued practice last week, and we reduced our practice times and amount of work. The players went about things well. There wasn't a whole lot to be getting ready for, and that was the biggest thing. When you don't have something to be getting ready for, the practices lag a little bit, and that was the case with us. It had to do with both issues. One, we didn't have a game to get ready for, and secondly, there were a lot of things going on (in the country)."
On Arizona's progress after two games: "We played well against Idaho for most of the game. We put in some youngsters late in the game, and they didn't do a very good job of hanging on the way they should. We made a few mental errors, and we got tired. Our defense was out there for nearly 90 plays, and that's difficult, especially against a good passing offense."
"The biggest thing is that we have to get off the field faster. Offensively, we did the things that we had to do (against Idaho) as far as protecting the passer a little better and making some plays in the passing game. Against San Diego State, we were really under wraps just trying to get a feel for what we could do, and against Idaho, we were able to do a little more."
On UNLV's progress under head coach John Robinson: "We (Arizona's coaches) have seen how they grew and developed last year. I remember sitting in the studio last year watching them play, and it was very obvious to me that John Robinson had done a good job of getting them on track and playing. When they handled the Arkansas team in the bowl game last season, it awakened everybody's eyes to the fact that there was something happening in Las Vegas."
"They have been off to a rough start (in 2001). In the Arkansas game, they clearly had won except for some unfortunate circumstances at the very end of the game. And then the Northwestern game was a game where some of the special teams areas really hurt them. They were right in there with Northwestern. They have shown that they will match up with the teams that have size and speed."
Arizona's injury update: "Eli (Wnek) is about three or four weeks away from playing. Austin (Uku) returned to practice last week and will be available for UNLV. Fata Avegalio is still on the repair group. He is feeling great, but our doctors are fearful of releasing him too soon in case the ligaments that were stretched and strained in his arm are not attached and growing together. We can support some of that with braces, but they want to be sure that he doesn't put himself at risk for re-injuring the arm."