Nov. 4, 2002
Arizona Head Coach John Mackovic's Remarks
On the UCLA Bruins:
"They have the best athletes in the Pac-10 without a doubt. I don't know that they are leading the conference necessarily in all the categories, but they have a good, solid defense, and they have a creative offense. They do a lot of things. They do a real good job with complementary plays. They'll do a run, and then all of a sudden you'll see a complimentary run, and then you'll see a play-action pass. Their defense is good enough, and it gives them a chance to win. Their offensive line is good enough to give them a chance to balance up the offense."
"We struggled covering the tight end a couple weeks here in the Pac-10, and their tight end, Mike Seidman, is very good. He's fast, smart, runs good routes, and they look for him. They throw the tight end screen to him or they send him down to go deep because he is very good there."
"Tyler Ebell is averaging just under 100 yards per game. He's not quite the same size as DeShaun Foster; he's a little smaller. They are going to run the ball and set the runs up for speed."
On redshirt freshman quarterback Nic Costa:
"We need to stick him in the game for a series here and there for the last three weeks of the season. The biggest thing is how he conducts himself and whether he can make some plays. The quarterback ultimately has to make some plays. We know it won't always be easy, so we have to look at how he handles the pressure. I feel for Jason (Johnson) because he wants to play every play and lead that team, but he must understand that there's a bigger picture. We are going to give Jason every chance to win a game, but we still have other things that we have to do. Arizona football will go on, and we have to be prepared to go on with it as well as we can."
On senior quarterback Jason Johnson:
"I don't think that he's playing for records, and I haven't thought about records other than our win-loss record. If it happens where he gets close enough just with regular play, maybe we'll pay a little more attention to it. I don't think that he should go out and try to set records just for the sake of having a quarterback that you can say was a record-setter. He's done all that a coach could ask of him regardless of whether he finishes first, second or third."
On the offensive line:
"I wish we could have left Makoa (Freitas) at left guard because that is a much more natural position for him, but he is doing all that he can. Everyone else on the line has good plays and bad plays. A couple of the sacks the other day were the result of missed assignments. It's a case where someone is supposed to go this way, and he goes that way instead."
On the team's outlook for the week:
"We need a little freshness. We had a lot of guys banged around. It was a hard-hitting game, and it took its toll. There was a lot of banging around, so this is a good time to give the players today off. This is a week where we can take our schedule and move it a little toward the weekend because we are playing Saturday night."