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September 1, 2008
Monday's Player Quotes
Jake Locker played with a hurt hamstring that both Willingham and him admitted is not a 100 percent.
"I didn't feel as fast as I normally am. But that's just something that will come with time. It didn't bother me, It didn't catch, it didn't feel sore while I was playing. Another thing is just me being able to trust that I can open it up and sprint like that as I have in the past. I think with time, I think next week I'll be able to regain that. We'll go hard at practice every day and I shouldn't have any problems this Saturday.''
Was it sore afterwards?
"A little bit, not too bad.''
What is next?
"We've got to forget about that last one and focus on the next one. We all know we didn't play as well as we could have and left a lot out there. We'll work as hard as we can this week in practice to get it fixed and come out and play the best game that we can Saturday. I think that's all that we can do.''
Was Washington's offense surprised?
"They didn't do anything that we didn't expect them to. We kind of had an idea that they were going to load the box and make us beat them over the top and not let the run game beat them. That's exactly what they did and it worked for them."
Do the players feel the pressure to win?
"We all want to win. We wouldn't be here if we didn't, we shouldn't be here if we don't want to win. You understand that there's always pressure to win, but I don't think anybody puts more pressure on us than we do as a team to have success and to win."
Did the troubles make the team think about last season?
"No, I don't think any of us thought that. Obviously it's something that we're trying to put behind us now and move on to this next week. That's the best thing about this game, you get another opportunity in six days to go out and play again. We're going to work as hard as we can this week and put that one behind us."
What was wrong with the offense?
"We just didn't execute the things that we needed to as well as we needed to. We had a good game plan. We had guys get open at times, they got jammed at times, and I missed guys at times. We just didn't click as an offense and we have to have all 11 guys doing the right thing at the same time to have success.''
What can the team learn from the loss?
I think it helped us a lot, especially with the youth we have outside (at receivers.) For those guys to see corners and safeties like Oregon has. We probably won't see many better cover corners than those guys. So for them to be able to work against them and get that game experience against them. They'll be able to watch that film and go back and critique themselves and see where they can improve and what they need to work on against guys that are able to cover. I think that will help them a lot just from an experience standpoint and a confidence standpoint knowing that they played against some of the best that they'll see. They'll be able to adjust from that and make those corrections in the future.
Tyrone Willingham is on the hot seat, what are Locker's thoughts?
"It's one game - really. I don't think there needs to be any kind of panic among anybody. Like I said before, he's our head coach, he's our leader. We look to him to lead us and he doesn't let it bother him, and we treat it the same way. He's here to win games and so are we. We all understand that and we all know that and that's our focus. We don't worry about that other stuff.''
How did the team feel coming into the game?
"I think we did expect a lot of really good things among our team. I thought we had a really good camp, a really good summer. Had a lot of guys playing really well going into that game. We might have gotten a little overconfident and caused us to play maybe not as well as we could have and at times it hurt us. I don't think it was a bad thing by any means, but we need to understand that we can't show up and just beat anybody on any given day and that we have to play our A game every time we come out on the field on Saturday and if we do that we have a good opportunity to win the game.''
Was he surprised by the outcome?
"I didn't expect them to score that many points on us and we always expect to win so it was a tough loss and a wake up call. We will be ready for next week. We need to watch tape, learn from it and get better as we progress through the season."
What happed with the defense?
"We have to give the credit to Oregon. But we need to do little things better. We need to make our tackles and just play better. They are a great team and they caught us out of position at time. We have to learn from it and get better and we are a better football team then that."
What accounted for all of the missed tackles?
"They have a lot of good athletes when they get into space. We couldn't practicing tackling like that during camp - I'm not making excuses - they have really good athletes and fast guys that can make plays."
Did Oregon's offense surprise them?
"Oregon has really quick lineman and they do a lot of ball fakes and unorthodox plays. Our first game out there it was hard to adjust to those things. We have to be better next time."
What does he expect from BYU?
"They have a really strong and powerful team. They are more of a pro-style offense that will sit in the pocket, pass the ball and run up the middle. Playing in the Pac-10 you have to be ready for anything."
On coming home for next weeks game.
"Coming home in a big home opener against a high ranked team will give us the chance to show the fans we are a better team than that."
Was he surprised by the physical Oregon corners?
"I wasn't surprised; I just felt that as a team we didn't play our best game. We just need to execute like I know we can. I knew they were going to be aggressive because it was a rivalry game and that is football. Personally I should have executed better and utilized my technique to beat the man coverage. I can't abandon my technique and I will work with the coaches this week on that. It shows me that I need to work. I need to always be prepared for our opponent. The coverage was good, but I put a lot of it on myself. I didn't do the things I was coached to do."
Can you learn from the loss?
"I feel like it was a great first game. I played against some of the best corners in the nation and it will show me the things I need to improve to get better. I want to watch a lot of film and work on the things I didn't do well."
Was he surprised?
"I knew they would try to pick on me and I just had to stand up to the challenge."
How is the attitude?
"Peoples heads are down but at the same time coaches are making sure we pick our heads up. We are not out of the game yet, there is still time and we can get better. We all talked and we have to keep going. At practice we have to work harder and pick it up."
Is losing hard?
"It has been an adjustment. People's heads were down, but at the same time we understand what is happening."
Does Richardson feel like a leader?
"Not really but I haven't been through the trenches yet. This was my first game and I'm sad it was a loss, but we have to keep going."
About playing at home.
"I'm ecstatic, it's my first home game and I have a lot of family and friends coming to watch."
TYRONE WILLINGHAM NOTES
Mississippi State NEWS