Nov. 5, 2001
I heard this one thing somewhere before, I'm not sure where I heard it, but it was, "if you've never lost, you've never played the game." That is so, so true. I've talked to my team in the past and every year and I tell them, you are not going to win all the time. The key is that you have to try to win every time and you have to play hard all the time. And I think we've done that. I think we've played hard and I think we've tried, but unfortunately we've come up a little short. The disappointment I think for all of us, particularly for the people close to the program - the players, coaches, administration, boosters, the fans - is that we've positioned ourselves to have a great season. Unfortunately we let it go by the wayside. Now having said that, I will also say not all is lost. Everybody writes you off. If you look at Florida State they are 6-2. There are a lot of people that are 6-2. So not all is lost. We can still play in a good bowl game. We can still have a very good season. Basically what we have to do is we have to bounce back. We have to cut down on penalties. We have to cut down on turnovers. We have to cut down on making mistakes. And hopefully we can get healthy a little bit. We have some injuries now and that's one of the things I talked about earlier in the year - if we stayed healthy we'd probably be all right. Again, we have other guys who have to step it up and take up the slack for those guys that have been injured. The thing that I'm going to do with this football team, and I've talked to several of them already today, is I'm going to remain positive. We're going to bounce back and we're going to win more football games. Not all is lost.
A lot of you are going to ask who the quarterback is and it's going to be Cory Paus. Cory Paus will be the starting quarterback. Scott McEwan appears to be fairly healthy and we'll watch him during the week. I told Cory that he needs to perform well because Scott is ready in reserve.
If you look at Oregon, they are an excellent football team. But right now I'm more concerned about us at this point than Oregon. We'll game plan and we'll do this and that, but I'm not here to talk a lot about Oregon. Somehow I need to get this team refocused on what we need to do to finish up and have a good season. As I mentioned, there is a lot of football to be played.
As far as injuries, right now it appears (Cody) Joyce is still out with a concussion. Tab Perry, I talked to him and I talked to his family. I talked to Mike Price today and they are kind of watching over him up in Washington. Mike and his staff have been really nice about going by and seeing him and helping his parents. Mike and I are good friends and I appreciate what he is doing for that family too. I talked to Tab and he had four broken ribs as you know and the lung problem. He's feeling better. He tried to get up today and he was feeling kind of nauseous, but he'll probably be in the hospital a few more days and then eventually be able to get on a plane and get back here. We'll try to keep you updated on that. Marques Anderson right now is kind of questionable and won't practice much. He has some bruised ribs. Troy Danoff is still questionable. He has the separated shoulder and the sprained ankle. (Rusty) Williams injured his thigh. (Brian) Poli-Dixon we'll look at today and see if he's ready to bounce back. Shane Lehmann is still questionable. His ankle was tweaked again a little bit when he played. As I mentioned, Scott McEwan appears to be all right, at least that's what he told me today. And I doubt that Jason Stephens will be back this week.
Anthony Fletcher will be the captain this week. We didn't pick an offensive player of the game last week, we didn't perform well enough. Defensively, Robert Thomas was our player of the game, he did an outstanding job and had a great game. And Nate Fikse is really punting the ball extremely well and kicking off extremely well on special teams.
For coach Toledo's complete question-and-answer session with the media, please click on the audio link located at the top of this page.