Nov. 19, 2012
Against Arizona, offensively I thought we did some good things. It was good to see Travis [Wilson] bounce back and have an outstanding game. He had a 70-percent completion, over 300 yards, no interceptions. Did a really nice job with the throw game. John White, another 100-yard game. A lot of positives on offense. The big negative on offense was our red zone production. That really was the difference in the game. One touchdown in four trips is not going to get it done. Had we been more effective in the red zone it probably would have been a different outcome in the ball game, but we weren't. Defensively, we were pretty good against the throw game. I was pleased with the way the corners played. Their completion percentage was well under 50-percent, about 160 yards. Where we were very poor was defending the run. That was our big issue on defense. They got a great back who is a tremendous player. Excellent scheme. And when you combine that with the threat of the quarterback running the ball, which he did very effectively, that led to our issues on defense. As it turned out, there were 3-or-4 plays, again, as has been so many times during the course of the season, that we did not make that the opponents did make and that turned out to be the difference in the ball game.
On the message for the week:
We need to finish on a positive, particularly for the seniors. We wanted to have the seniors go out of their home stadium on a positive note. We didn't get that done, but we have one more opportunity to send them out on a positive note. We're playing for competitive drive and character. I've told this team many times that you shouldn't need a carrot out in front of you to play hard. You should play because of your respect for the game and the competitive fire within.
On avenging last year's loss:
We were certainly disappointed last year when they knocked us out of the potential to play in the Pac-12 Championship. To not be able to take care of business was very disappointing. Give them credit, they played well, maybe their best game of the year, and we didn't get it done. Is there a revenge factor? I'm not sure about that, but it's another game that we need to try to go win.
On this being his most difficult season:
Without a doubt. Most frustrating, most difficult, most trying. All of the above. It's challenging profession. There is no doubt about it. You know that going in. it's not always going to be just how you like it. This will test you, but we'll be alright. I'm very confident in the long run that we'll be just fine.
It's a bottom-line business, and you are what your record says you are, and right now we're not very good. That's the most frustrating aspect of it. The things you deal with and the things that occur during the season are part of it as well. The main issue is the win/loss record.
On not letting a loss lead to a hangover:
Our guys this year, as a general rule, have responded very well to losses as far as coming back out and getting back after it on the practice field and the meeting room and not hanging their heads for extended periods of time. It's not to say the losses haven't affected them, because it does. It hurts. You can tell these guys are hurting. But they've been able to have good practices and not let that hangover affect the work week.