Nov. 5, 2003
On going back to Oregon
"It will be a little nostalgic, I had a lot of good days there and a lot of great days there. I don't look at this as having to prove something to them or to Mike (Bellotti). This game is about our players. I want to be successful for my player's and program's sake. But in saying that, there are people up there that I am very close to, but competition is competition. When we get between the lines it will be all about playing the game."
On what would be different about being back in Autzen Stadium
"Being on the field for the game will be different. When I was there, I was never on the field I was always in the press box. When you have the headphones on in the press box you never get the full feel of the game. Down on the field I will have a whole new appreciation for what it's all about."
On Oregon's facilities
"We are going to go to the stadium on Friday, mainly, because everyone has heard so much about the facilities up there, that they will be curious to see what it is like. Saturday I don't want any distractions, so Friday we are going to go around the stadium and take a look at it, so when we get there on Saturday it is all about business."
On preparations for cold weather
"I am happy with the conditions we are practicing in. It was about 40 degrees by the end of practice yesterday. I've heard mixed messages about the weather conditions up there for Saturday. First I heard it is going to rain, then I heard otherwise. So I don't know. I know it will be chilly, but that's okay we are ready. I told my team we'll have the proper gear, so they have nothing to worry about."
"We plan to do some wet ball drill at practice all week to prepare for the rain."
On knowing Oregon's scheme's
"I would have to say I know the defensive side more than the offense, because they have a new offensive coordinator. The basic defensive scheme is the same, but he does a great job of game planning, scheming and changing things up. Even if you are familiar with it, you can bet that things will not be the same, come game time. I am sure it will be a challenge to move the ball against them this weekend. They are very strong up front and very well coached."
On depth at runningback
"It is nice to see J.J. (Arrington) come in and provide a spark He has come in the last two week and had long runs. It's good to keep Joe (Adimchinobe Echemandu) fresh without any drop off when we take him out. We are fortunate to have the depth in the back field that we have."
"(Jonathan) Giesel will not practice today. (Nolan) Bluntzer is the same way, but I feel with treatment they'll improve. (Tom) Sverchek will not practice on defense to give his knee some time to rest. A lot of guys on defense are playing really banged up. They are warriors out there. It has been a long, hard season, Today we are going to go in shells to recover a little bit. If you look at the normal season, this would be our last game coming up. At this point of the season I feel we need to back off that one extra day."
On O-line reserves
"We have tremendous confidence in Marvin Philips and Aaron Merz. We don't feel that we have to push our injured linemen to play, because we feel there will be no drop off with our reserves. Merz and Phillips have played very well this season."
On tapering off
"The last cycle of heavy lifting was last week, now we are doing more maintenance type lifting. We have also cut back on the running. The guys are in shape, they've played a lot already."
On preparing for two QBs
"They run the same plays with both guys in there, so we just have to prepare for the offense itself."
On Oregon's Offense
"They are able to run the ball, and make plays in the passing game. Sammie Parker and Demetrius Williams are two very good receivers. With Oregon it all comes down to turnovers. In the games that they have been successful they did not turn the ball over. The turnover battle is critical."
On Echemandu's durability
"I don't think at the beginning of the season he was ready to carry the ball 30 times a game. Now he can probably carry it that much, but I am not so sure that is the best thing for us. As long as J.J. (Arrington) is running hard and Marcus (O'Keith) is capable of doing the things he does, I feel it is no need to pound him when we can keep him fresh."
On getting up for each game
"To be at the top of your emotional stage, game in and game out, on the long season is difficult to do. But it comes through senior leadership, to make sure that everyone is ready. If you rely on emotion game in and game out you set your self up for peaks and valleys. We don't need to be extra fired up for any particular game. We don't want to be so tense that we can't talk or laugh at pre game meals or before games."
On the magnitude of the game
"Its just another game, against a good team, that's it. We have been talking for weeks about taking things one week at a time and this is just another week."
On talking with Bellotti
"I haven't really talked to Mike that much this year, I talked to him before his Utah game about his practice schedule and how the environment was out there. I talked him a lot when I was just getting started last year and he was gracious enough to explain things to me. He talked to me a lot about the things a head coach goes through behind closed doors."
On Special Teams
"Special teams is going to be key this week, and I am comfortable with the way our special teams have been playing as of late."