Nov. 12, 2012
Disappointing game in Seattle. I know the biggest disappointment was our lack of ability to throw the football. We were horrendous in the throw game, and that really was the primary difference in the game. Still had our chances. I think the real pivotal play in the entire game was late in the third quarter, we were down 21-15 and we fumble a punt. We had all the momentum at that time. We had just scored in our previous possession, and we got a stop defensively and we had the ball near midfield, and we couldn't handle the punt and turned it over and they scored. That was the tipping point in the game. We have to play better. Give credit to Washington. They played good pass defense, had a nice scheme and had a good plan coming in. They have been exceptionally tough this year and Saturday was no different. Tough place to play, that CenturyLink stadium.
We move on to Arizona. It's really do or die - our backs are against the wall in every sense. There is no margin for error. We have to play our best football this week. Arizona has a high-powered offense. Number one quarterback in the conference as far as yards per game, number one rusher in the conference, they are averaging over 500 yards per game and nearly 40 points. I think their scheme is exceptional. We've definitely got our hands full. We're going to have the keep the football away from them with our offense. That is probably going to be as big a factor as anything - being able to move the chains, make first downs, possess the football and keep their offense on the sidelines.
On the mentality of the team:
The mentality this week is all Arizona. That's all we're focused on. There is no margin for error. This is also the last game the seniors will play in Rice-Eccles. It is of utmost importance to us to send the seniors out the right way and have them go out on a positive note.
On the defense against Arizona:
Way too many alignment assignment errors. It seemed like every other play we had a mental mistake, which is uncharacteristic of us. That was the biggest disappointment. That was something defensively that is something we don't do. We're usually very assignment sound. We had many, many breakdowns and didn't adjust well. That was our biggest issue on defense, is our ability to get lined up and play assignment football.
On struggles on the road:
We play good teams, that has a lot to do with it. UCLA is a darn good football team. Oregon State was a top-15 team. Washington has been tough at home. I think that's part of it, the level of competition. The other part I can't answer. In years past we've been pretty good on the road. This year obviously we've been very poor on the road, and that has been one of the major issues we've had this year.
On John White:
John is back to his old self. He's healthy, he's running with confidence. The offensive line is doing a nice job getting creases in the run game. Those are really the two factors. His natural ability and his health, and the play of the offensive line.
On Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez:
First, I love what he's doing. I think schematically I don't think there is a team in the country that does better. He does a great job with the run game. Very simplistic. It's almost all zone runs, big splits that you see with a lot of the spread teams that run zone and create natural creases that way. Does a great job with low degree of difficulty plays that are high yielders. Throwing to stationary targets, a lot of hitches, curl routes, bootlegs and things. Simplistic throws. They do a great job with the quarterback run game and making sure the quarterback is part of the run game. It's just so effective. The key is the balance. You can't load up on the run or the throw because they are effective at both.
[Arizona] is very balanced. Over 200 yards per game rushing, over 300 yards per game throwing, so there is not really any one area you can load up on. You've got to play good defense across the board. You have to tackle well. This is another team that does a good job getting the ball to their skill guys in space. You have to be good open-field tacklers.