Sept. 13, 2004
Good afternoon everyone. Recapping last week, it was an exciting win for our players to go into a stadium like the University of Illinois in Champaign and really set the tempo and momentum for us to come out with a victory. Our defense, which started the game with a series where they were getting driven down the field, came up with a fourth-down stop inside our goal line area. It was a tremendous play that really catapulted our defense and our offense and set the tone for the rest of the day. Our offense turned around and came out and had a great drive to take a 7-0 lead. Everything was falling into place. It was good to see our players get that type of response going into a stadium like that. So I was very pleased with what our players had done. No major casualties from the game and we are very happy about that. This week we are excited about our challenge of going up to Husky Stadium. We know that is one of the best places to play in the Pac-10. There is always a tremendous crowd and it's loud. It's a great college environment and a great environment for a college football game. We are going to have health back on defense. Justin London, who was probably 70 percent in the game at Illinois, will be close to 100 percent this week. C.J. Niusulu is back. He played sparingly in the game against Illinois. We expect his to be back at full speed this weekend. Offensively, we haven't had any major injuries so we are in pretty good shape from that standpoint. The other injury that happened in the game, it wasn't anything of real significance but more heat exhaustion, was Jarrad Page who cramped up in the second half. He didn't play the rest of the second half. Chris Horton came in and filled the shoes and did a very nice job for us. We are happy with the youth of this team. We have some young players who have stepped up and filled some shoes and done some good things. They are getting some valuable experience and I know that the experience they are getting right now is going to make them become better players as the season progresses. Now I'd like to open it up for questions please.
What is your read on Washington coming off the bye week following the Fresno State game?
I know they are healthy. I know they are going to be excited. It's the Pac-10 opener for both of us. It's a home game. I know they didn't like the result of what happened in their first game so I am expecting them to be in full force and ready to go when we get there. It's going to be a great challenge for us - to go on the road two weeks in a row and play in a very hostile environment and to come back with a victory. We took a good step last week and we have one more step to take this week.
Do you have to prepare for two different offenses?
The option is part of what they do in their run game. They will run some option and some speed option. (Isaiah) Stanback is more of the athlete type guy, comparing him to (Casey) Paus. Both of them will play. I think they have come to a resolution that playing both of those guys is part of the plan in their offense. To answer you question, it is preparing for two different types of offense, but both (quarterbacks) do run the option.
Talk about the play of Spencer Havner.
Spencer is playing well. He can play a lot better. He is definitely racking up the tackles. He made a few mistakes in this last game. None of them were critical. But he is a three-year starter and we expect him not to make many mistakes at all. He has really done a nice job of getting acclimated to a new position, that middle inside linebacker position. He has done a nice job. He needs to continue that trend and eliminate some of the mistakes and he will be one of the best linebackers in our conference.
Will C.J. Start this week?
Yes. He will start but he will get his ample time to rest. We are playing with a lot of players defensively. I think there were 12 who played last week. We are going to continue to play a lot. None of them have really sustained a level where they can play 60 or 70 plays in a row. That is just where we are at in that position, but we are getting better. That's the good thing.
Is there a roster limitation now that you're in conference play?
Yes. We only can travel with 64. Last week we took 80. It is cut down considerably now.
What did you think about Eyoseph (Efsaeff) in his first game?
He had nine plays and wow, he made a few tackles, including a key stop on a screen. If he wouldn't have made that play, it might have gone another 20 or 30 yards. It was exciting for him to get that type of game in his first game on defense. He likes the way things are going for him. We need to get this health back where he is fully 100 percent. He is probably 80 or 85 percent. He still has that groin problem and he is working his way through it. I think with the success that he had last week, it will probably help his injury and get him back a little bit quicker. But we are pleased with what he has done for us.
Can you talk about the play of the offensive line?
They have done a tremendous job. That is one area that a lot of work was put into in the off-season and it is definitely showing. They haven't given up a sack. Our run game is much better than it's ever been since I've been here. So those guys have done a tremendous job.
Is it determined right now whether Justin London will start?
We are counting on him to start. He played last week and didn't re-injure that ankle in any way where it is any worse that in was last week. We are expecting him to be better this week. He was probably 70 percent.
How difficult is it to play up in Seattle?
It's as loud as it comes. I've played in a number of stadiums in the Big 12 and Pac-10. I've played up at Michigan as well. No doubt this is a big game. The UCLA/Washington game was a big game before I even played. It's the conference opener. I know they are looking to get the ship righted from where they started the season. We are wanting to do the things that we did last week and improve. It's a lot riding on this game. You want to start in the Pac-10 Conference on the right foot. They are a good team. Unfortunately they had a bad start, but they have some talent and some good skill positions. They have good offensive lineman, good defensive lineman, they run well. It's a great challenge for UCLA.
Karl Dorrell's complete 20-minute press conference can be accessed by clicking on the audio link at the top of this page.