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Arizona Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/29/2001
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Oct. 29, 2001

On this week's game at California: "I think this week will be an interesting week for everybody. We can't take anything for granted because we haven't played well enough to take anything for granted. Our backs are against the wall, especially if we want to go to a bowl game. It can be done, and we are going to find out how much we want it. We have to go out there and compete."

"I am a fan of any coach whose team continues to play like the California Bears are playing. They have played hard every week. They are playing hard all of the time, regardless of the score, and that is a salute to their players and coaches. Cal is much closer to having a good football team than anyone can appreciate right now. They have done a lot of good things."

"They have played extremely well defensively all of the time. Their inexperience at quarterback has hurt them quite a bit. From our standpoint, if we approach the game as if it may be any less of a contest or battle than it is going to be, it is very likely that we will wind up being the most sorry for that. Cal is capable of beating almost anyone in the conference. They might not match up as well against one or two of the very best teams, but after that they match up well with anybody."

"They attack the defenses with formations and ideas as well as anyone. They had the single best offensive game plan against Washington of anyone that I have seen. Everything they had was clicking, and it worked. Most of the plays were big-play passes. They had long and short passes, tight end screens over the middle and fake screens to the outside. They set it all up just beautifully."

On Arizona's performance against USC: "The offense played with very little enthusiasm in the first half. Some of the players said that they were not energized. If a player is not energized, a) we as coaches have that responsibility, and b) players have that as their responsibility too. Part of that energy comes from within. Motivation is something that only touches what is inside of you. I was disappointed in the way that some of the guys went about getting ready last week, and I don't think that their mind was on the game as we got closer and closer to game time."

On the Wildcat defense: "The defense played a solid game against USC on Saturday. USC has a more conventional offense, and we match up with those kinds of offenses quite well. We mixed some zone coverages with man-to-man coverages. In the fourth quarter when the score was tied with four minutes to play, and we had them down there in their own territory, the defense stepped up. It was three and out, and we had an excellent opportunity for good field position. The defense put us in a position to win, and the offense has to take advantage of that."

"The defense in the last two games has done predominantly what we needed for it to do to put us in position to win the game. One of our objectives was to hold USC to under 250 yards passing. Even though they threw 49 times, we held them under 250 yards. We match up much better with offenses like that. The defense played with more energy and enthusiasm. We missed some tackles, and we didn't charge on some blitzes as hard as we should have, but we definitely are making some strides."

On quarterback Jason Johnson: "He took that last one (interception) hard as any quarterback would or should. It's got to hurt a little bit. I am certain that he will come back and want to atone for that and work at getting ready this week. This is a good blitz team that we are going to face, and Jason is going to be under a lot of fire this weekend."

On Arizona's injury situation: "Eli Wnek has a hamstring strain. I call it a training camp injury, but the only difference is that his training camp was the end of October. I don't know what he will be like this week. Reggie Sampay played 20 plays and came out. We are continuing to evaluate him, and he will probably be limited at best this week. I would say that both of those guys are questionable for the weekend. Clay Hardt is questionable only because he did get knocked out. But, he was alert, and everything about him was fine at the end of the night. I would expect that the doctors will clear him unless something unusual pops up."

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