Nov. 8, 1999
Listen to the audio version of this press conference.
LOS ANGELES - First of all, the bye week. A lot of people want to know what we did on the bye week. Obviously we tried to work on our fundamentals. It's never too late to go back to fundamentals. Then obviously we tried to rest some injured players. The unfortunate thing about last week is that we lost two more players. Tuesday we lost Mike Safer with a sprained MCL. That was in an actual scrimmage. We had a five-minute scrimmage and he got hurt on the first play of the scrimmage. Then Troy Danoff our center tore his ACL. He was working on a one-on-one pass blocking drill which we do everyday and he will require surgery in a few weeks. So we lost two more offensive lineman.
Our upcoming game against Washington, obviously they are kind of in the driver's seat at this point. They have back-to-back big wins against Stanford and Arizona. My feeling right now is that they are the best team in the conference with the best football player in the conference in (Marques) Tuiososopo. He's a heck of a play maker and he does everything real well, but he finds a way to make plays and he's a real warrior. We've all seen how beat up and banged up he is and he still goes in and plays. And another thing I'd like to say about him is that he's a great kid. And I would underline great. We obviously recruited him because his Dad played here. The kid is really a super young man and you just have to love him. They have a lot of ex-players on their staff. Obviously (Rick) Neuheisel is their head coach. They have (Steve) Axman, (Tim) Hundley, and Wayne Moses who was our running backs coach a few years back. (Karl) Dorrell, (Bobby) Hauck, (Brent) Brennan their graduate assistant was a receiver here. So they have a lot of UCLA ties.
For us, it's the last home game for 12 or our seniors and they want to go out and perform well the last time they go on the Rose Bowl turf. I think in talking to Marc Dellins, coming up this week we will probably have started 42 or 43 different players this year because of the inexperience and the injuries. I hate to even talk about that, the youth and the injuries, because as the season goes you should get more experience. But then we lose players because of injuries and it has just been a compounding effect. And again, I'm not using it as an excuse, I'm just stating it as a fact. It's really unfortunate that it had to happen, but it has.
Our schedule today, we're going to go out at 4:15 and practice until about 5:30. So we'll go out with helmets and shoulder pads today because we're a little bit ahead because of the bye week. We don't have any game film to look at. Then the schedule the rest of the week, we'll shorten each practice by about 15 or 20 minutes. We're at that point in the season where we don't need to be practicing as much as we have been. We don't have enough players to practice with. And I know you have an injury report so I won't go over that.