Sept. 27, 2008
UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
"Congratulations to Fresno. They played hard. That was a really hard-fought game. I thought given the temperature out there, it was fun to watch the effort on both sides. Obviously, it's a very difficult loss because we were in position to earn a victory. Unfortunately, it popped out of Derrick Coleman's arms. He's going to be an exciting back for us. Defensively, I thought we gave everything we could. We couldn't get them off the field on third down - consequently, they were able to chew up the remaining minutes on the clock. Their quarterback [Tom Brandstater] played well. He's a very experienced player and probably was the difference in the game.
"I was encouraged by the improvement in our offense. We saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Kevin Craft played much better, both throwing the ball and using his legs. We can still get better throwing the ball and getting our wide receivers down the field and off press coverage. I see improvement. We're sitting here at 1-3, and I think we're all disappointed by that. But, there is improvement. The work ethic and the amount of time and attention that went into the plan and the effort level in practice helped us improve, even though the outcome didn't change. If we can do that again, we can be a better team next Saturday. Hopefully, we can get through the barrier that gets us to a victory and not stumble when we get so close. We're going to keep developing this program, because in years past, some of these teams at UCLA have faded at the end. We're excited about the challenge. Hopefully, our bodies will get healthier and we'll be a better-looking team as time goes by.
(on accepting the holding penalty)
"It was a chip shot field goal from where it was. Ten yards makes it a 40-some yard field goal which has a lower trajectory kick. I asked our defensive coaches what their opinion was. [Fresno State] made a great play on a screen pass. It was third and 22, and we need to be able to stop them."
(on UCLA's special teams)
"Well, there were some really positive things in our special teams effort. That first punt return against us was really a poor way to start the game. It looked as if we had a kickoff return to start the game, but it was called back. We worked harder, and the kids can try to develop it. Terrence Austin obviously had a big game in the return department."
(on keeping the game close in the fourth quarter)
"We are not able to control the ball in the fourth quarter. In each of the last couple of weeks, whether the offense can't make first downs or the opponent's offense keeps getting first downs, when you get to the fourth quarter you have to control the ball and control the field position and it has not turned out that way."
(on competing for recruits against Fresno State)
"We're going to recruit hard. I think young players look at a place like UCLA and certainly they'd like to see us winning all these games. If they watch us carefully - and they're going to be thorough in their evaluation of schools - they're going to see improvement and some opportunity. If they're doing due diligence, they're going to say, 'That's a place I want to be.'"
Fresno State Head Coach Pat Hill
"It was a great effort by our team and a great effort by our fans. I don't know how many were here, but I'd say that at least half the stadium was wearing red, so hats off to our fans."
"I give a lot of credit to UCLA. They're going to do some good things here. I give a lot of credit to our kids in a very must-win game for us. It was a good win."
(on Derrick Coleman's fumble in the fourth quarter)
"That was a big hit. It was huge. That was a physical play. That's the style we had to play today. We had to keep up the intensity. UCLA matched us in that intensity. It was a grinder out there today."