MIKE RILEY HAD hoped the loss the week before to UCLA was an aberration – the skewed time of possession, the opposing QB chewing up the turf with his feet, the paucity of plays run by the Beavers on offense, all of it. Instead, it turned out to be an omen. Riley, along with Jacquizz Rodgers, Alex Linnenkohl and Keith Pankey, all weigh in.
“We’ve had two performances in a row like this, you could kind of see it coming off of last week’s game. We just hoped it was a one-week deal. I thought we had a great week of practice. We’ll just have to look at the film and start the process back over again with this team. Obviously, this team’s confidence is way down. There are a whole bunch of committed guys who are hurting badly, and we have to help them. That’s our job, and we’ll do that.”
On the view that Oregon State’s performance did not measure up to Washington State’s performance..
“That is the perspective. Our perspective will be that we didn’t play well. We missed some blocks, we missed tackles, we lost contain on the quarterback. We have some tangible things we have to get to that will get better. I think they worked very hard. I know that is a perspective that will be out there, and people are certainly allowed that perspective, but we’re going to deal with the tangibles. We’re going to work this team and we’re going to continue to try to help them get better.”
On Washington State’s performance..
“That was the biggest difference in the game – they just kept the ball. They made plays. Sometimes it looked like we had a great opportunity to get a sack, but we didn’t. You have to make those kinds of plays in football in order to get the ball back, in order to gain momentum for your team, in order to get some rhythm on offense. That gives your defense confidence to build on.”
On Ryan Katz’s performance..
“He made some good plays. Again, it’s not about the plays that he’s capable of making, it’s for our whole offense to be more consistent. We can make some individual plays, it’s obvious, but out there we just need to be able to do that and put them back-to-back. We need to get better on third-down. We’re down 10 percentage points from a year ago on third-down conversions, and that’s a big problem and a big reason why we’re running 48 plays. Those are issues that we have to fight hard to fix.”
Linebacker Keith Pankey
On the loss..
“When you lose a football game there’s only so much that you can talk about. You can’t point fingers, you can’t play the blame game. It’s a matter of looking in the mirror and fixing it. We didn’t fix it last week and this is what happened today.”
On the morale after the loss
“Honestly, it’s gut check time. Everyone has to go and look in the mirror. This one really stings but I think come Monday guys are going to have their heads straight. This one is going to burn for a while and we need to use it as motivation to work hard and do well.”
On Jeff Tuel in person versus on tape
“We’d be seeing them using him more in the run game towards the latter part of the season here, so that wasn’t really a surprise. We just needed to get to the guy and get him to the ground. We got to him, we flushed the pocket, but off it goes sometimes and we have to fix that.”
Center Alex Linnenkohl
On what the issue has been
“It’s like a bad dream, or a bad nightmare where we try to run fast but then are in slow motion. We have dogs chasing us. All of the elements are there: guys trying to inspire people, things trying to go well, but in the end we are just scoring less points than the other team. It hurts.”
On Washington State’s defensive line
“They brought some pressure from the linebackers. It wasn’t really complicated, but they just got free, and were persistent on the pass rush and they did a good job of trying to get free. In a perfect world, we would lock them all down, but they had it where one guy got free and one guy lasted one on one and I think it happened to each of us.”
On carryover from last week’s lack of offense
“We had a good week of practice, and all agreed to shake the hangover of the loss. I thought we had a pretty inspired week of practice. Then today, we were right there but we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot, and they kept on making plays when they needed to.”
Running Back Jacquizz Rodgers
On problems/difficulties and if they can be fixed
“You can fix them. We need to just make those plays, and give it our all on every play. Every game I try to go out and give it my all.”
On emotions felt after the game.
“I can not remember the last time I wanted to cry after a football game. It had to have been back in high school. I love to win. I wish everyone felt that way.”