Oct. 25, 1999
Listen to the audio version of this press conference.
You go through some of these times and it really makes you appreciate the good times. You know, we had a great run and we did some good things and I think most people appreciate what we did. You find out who your real friends are in a stressful situation like this. Mike Price called me last week and said, "Toledo how are you doing? Can you believe that I was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the champion the year before and you were the champion last year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year and now we're stupid coaches aren't we?" And I said Mike, you're right. He said, "but hey, we're both going through the same thing. We have young players and we just have to keep going." And that's the truth. It's easy to get all disgruntled and get upset, but it doesn't do anybody any good. I guess what I'm saying is that you have to take the lows with the highs. We've had some highs and everybody enjoyed that and now we gotta take the lows. Believe me, we will be back. Hopefully soon. But we will be back. You know, we faced an Oregon State team and people look at Oregon State and don't have a pretty big opinion of what they do, but if you looked at the stats the week before they were the No. 2 offensive team in the nation. They did some outstanding things. They got a good quarterback. They've got some good receivers. They've done some good things. They were in almost every one of those games with the exception of the Washington game when they turned the ball over quite a bit and got too far behind. It's a unique offense as well. You got four and five wide receivers. It's something we don't see everyday in practice. It's almost like the run-and-shoot or a wishbone offense. It's something you can't simulate like you would a normal offense or defense. We gave up 28 points in the second quarter. That's something that I would've never expected. I think we played a little better in the second half, particularly defensively. Offensively we had one drive and that was it for the whole game. We didn't play very well at all offensively. The thing that's happened is obviously we're not making a lot of big plays. We're not making any big plays. We're having a hard time making routine plays right now. You know, it's easy to come up with all the excuses. You know all the excuses, so I'm not here to tell you about a bunch of excuses. But, when you lose a guy like Foster and Poli-Dixon and Farmer, that's 31 touchdowns last year that are missing right now. Guys that should be playing and they're not playing. And I can go on and on about some of our players that are hurt and some of our players that are young and some of the players like Lovell Houston that got the first start of his career. I can go on and on, but I'm not going to do that. All I can tell you is that we have to fight back and we will fight back okay.
Arizona, they had a very tough loss to Oregon. They are a really good football team. Obviously they were picked to win the Pac-10. They're out of it now, but they have a very aggressive defense. It's a unique defense. It's a flex that you have guys running all over the place. It's very difficult and will be difficult for us. They've got a very explosive offense. They've got two excellent quarterbacks. They've got a great running back and a great wide receiver. And they've got outstanding special teams. They're a physical football team with outstanding experienced players. There is nothing like experience. I'm watching our Arizona game from last year and I see Myers and Stewart and Farris and McNown and of course I saw DeShaun Foster running and I see some of our defensive players. And you know, there's nothing like experience - that's all I can tell you. Right now we're a struggling football team and it would be easy for me to do some drastic things. I've already yelled at them, I've screamed at them, I've worked their tails off. I've done all those things. What I'm going to do as the head football coach is that I'm going to tell them that we need to stick together. We don't need to point fingers. We need to get better. We still have three games remaining. The important thing right now is we need to focus on Arizona. After Arizona we have a bye week where we can regroup again. But we need to narrow things down so that the things that we do hopefully we'll do better. And continue to play hard because I think we're playing hard. I think they're giving us good effort, we're just not playing very good. We're not executing things. You look at that second half. My thing at halftime was "guys it's nothing-nothing, I want to go out and see who wins the second half." Now we didn't win the second half either, but we continued to play hard and we didn't quit and we didn't give up. And a lot of teams when you're down like that, you give up. And when people are ahead 42-7 or whatever and throwing the ball deep on first and second down, they're still trying to score. Particularly when they got their starting receivers in. I think that our kids did a good job of not letting them score more in the second half.
Captains: Rusty Williams is going to be a captain along with Keith Brown. Keith had a good game against Arizona last year. He had a good game against Arizona State when he was a captian. Hopefully he can respond and do it again.
Injuries: I think you have all the injury reports. Marcus Reese got hurt in the game and Robert Thomas got hurt in the game. The other guys are guys that have been injured previously.
Q: Danny and DeShaun are both listed as questionable, which is obviously good news if they can play.
Coach Toledo: Yeah, Danny won't really do too much running around until Wednesday. DeShaun is gonna try and run around today or tomorrow. But DeShaun hasn't played for several weeks and Danny tried to play two or three plays the other day and couldn't go. It doesn't help either when you have a guy like Jason Bell and or Marques Anderson who isn't even in school. Your two starting corners are out so.
Q: You've been in this for a long time. As an assistant as well. Do you remember it being any tougher than it is now?
Coach Toledo: Uh, this is about as tough as it's been as the head coach. I remember as the coordinator when we had J.J. Stokes missing, we went though the same thing. We struggled to win some games, but we bounced back and won a few at the end. I think it's important to remain positive. As a football coach I know that. Some people out there in everyday life can't figure that out, but I think we need to remain positive and keep this team together and make them hopefully believe that they can do it and that they are good football players. They just need to play a little better. So I'm going to remain positive and I'm gonna coach them hard.