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Arizona Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/08/2001
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Oct. 8, 2001

On this week's opponent - Oregon State: "This is going to be a critical game for both teams in terms of field position and ball control. Both defenses have given up some points and yards, and both offenses are sort of going up and down. It is going to be a battle physically, but it is going to be a battle of wits as well. We are going to have a harder time running the ball this week because their front seven plays harder and tougher against the run."

"Oregon State has had some injuries, and they had a lot of turnover from last year. I think Coach (Dennis) Erickson said it best when he said that they are not clicking on all cylinders. They are going through a lot of the same things that we are going through. The difference is that they were hyped so high at the beginning of the season, while people were not expecting very much out of us."

"The biggest thing is that we have to play smart. You have to have skill, knowledge and attitude, and those three components have to be equally balanced to perform at a higher level. It is not just about playing hard because the reality is that the other guy is trying harder too. Players have to compete physically, emotionally, mentally and strategically, and they have to raise their level of performance by addressing the three areas (skill, knowledge and attitude). The team has to understand that if we are going to play better individually, we have to address all three of those areas. We need to play hard, but we also have to play smart. We did not play smart defensively against Oregon."

On Arizona's performance against Oregon: "We did a really poor job of being able to hold onto the ball. I told the team that we needed to hold onto the ball for at least 32 minutes, but when you have five turnovers, that is hard to do. We gave the ball back to them so quickly. I even called more running plays in the second half to see if we could run the clock a little more and try to hold onto the ball for a longer period of time."

On the Wildcat offense: "Our offense has been able to stick together, which is good news. But, we have to get back to getting the ball into the hands of our receivers better. We had some good set-ups with the running game Saturday night, which was a good sign. It took us a while, but we are finally getting some things done."

On Arizona's 3-0 start: "Maybe we had some false-positives earlier in the year after we won our first three games. But, we were physically and technically better than those three teams. Now, we are playing teams that we are at best equal to. The reality is that there are some things to do now and some things that will take a little longer. I firmly believe that we can win at least three of our last six games and get to a bowl game. I'm not sure how, and it is going to be tough, but we will find some ways to do that."

On Arizona's injury status: "In terms of personnel moves, I don't know what we are going to do right now. We are going to play anyone who can help us from this point forward. We didn't have the need before to play some of the younger players, but we do now."

"Austin Uku tore cartilage during pre-game warmups. He had surgery yesterday, and he is doubtful to out this week. Keoni Fraser is undergoing a number of tests, and he is seeing another doctor tomorrow. He is doubtful for this week. Fata Avegalio was injured in practice last week, and we had to let the swelling go down. He was fitted for a (knee) brace and is doubtful for this week. Eli Wnek is going to do some jogging today, and we'll have to see how he tolerates it, but he is doubtful to out."

"Scott McKee went in at the end of the game and played 19 plays at defensive end for Alex Luna, who should never have had to play as much as he did. Scott injured his arm, and he is out for one to two weeks. He's a key special teams player for us."

"Ray Wells played but is questionable for this week. We think that he will get better. Zaharius Johnson has a quad contusion and is questionable to doubtful for this week. Pat Howard is a special teams player with a quad pull, and he is going to be doubtful."

"Reggie Sampay has a leg injury and is questionable. Joe Siofele is doubtful to out for as many as three to four weeks. He is going to have surgery on Tuesday on his hand and wrist, and he is likely out for this week. Lance Briggs is going to be playing with a cast on his left hand for the rest of the season. He has a small break in his hand, but he will be able to play. Shelton Ross is out for two to six weeks with an ankle and knee injury."

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