Oct. 23, 2001
Below are quotes from head coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly media luncheon. The Bears continue their two-week road trip this Saturday when they visit Oregon State at 1 p.m. in Reser Stadium.
On the quarterback situation:
Kyle (Boller) had an epidural yesterday. So, he'll miss the next three days of any activity and hopefully come back on Friday or Saturday and see how he does as far as his movement, feeling and strength. He'll look to practice on Tuesday. It's basically based on how he comes back next week, but he is out for this game.
Is Kyle Boller's injury a career threatening injury?
No. The doctors are very optimistic. There isn't a fracture or something that might not heal. This is something that they expect to heal with some time off and some medication and rehabilitation.
On the quarterback play of Eric Holtfreter and Reggie Robertson at UCLA:
Eric came in to that game well prepared and had a very good week of practice. Tuesday was great, Wednesday was pretty darn good, and Thursday was really nervous. You could see that. But he came out Saturday and did a very good job right off the bat. He had great control of the team, did everything right, and didn't give us any indication that he wasn't totally ready to play. As the game progressed, there was a little bit of duress, a couple of breakdowns, and he missed a couple of balls. I'd say overall, he played OK. It was a situation early where he kept us close. When UCLA started to pull ahead, it would be tough for anybody, let alone a quarterback that hasn't had a lot of time to get in there and get going.
Reggie came in, in the fourth quarter and did a very good job. He surprised us in the fact that he had never had a snap in a game and very few reps as far as practice is concerned. He showed an unusual amount of poise. He was able to dump off to the backs with a great deal of style, he ran the ball well, made the right reads, threw the ball well and overall just made a very fine impression. His strength right now is that he is extremely smart.
What are some of the things that have gone wrong in the first half of the season that you didn't expect?
The first thing would be the turnovers. Offensively, I think that we're where I thought we might be or maybe a little ahead of where I thought we might be. As far as stats, we're moving the ball better, we're getting first downs, third down percentage is much improved. But it means nothing when you add in that one stat, and that's that we're last in the country in turnover ratio. So, you just give yourself no chance to succeed on offense when you turn the ball over like we have, period. That's the most disappointing thing on offense. On defense, we've just haven't played with the same zeal we have in the past. And when I say that, I'm not really talking as much with effort as much it is playing successful football. I never would have thought that we would have given up the amount of yardage that we do and the amount of points that we have.
On Oregon State's wide receivers:
There's no question that (the loss of their three wide receivers) was a significant hit for them. I remember, two years ago in (Dennis) Erickson's first year, they lost some receivers that year. But they had a couple guys come in that really made a difference. Last year, they picked up Chad Johnson, and that made a huge difference. So, one of the strengths of their team last year was their receivers and they're gone. They lost three great ones. So really, their transition is to develop younger ones. (James) Newson is a very fine receiver out of Sacramento. We recruited him ... speed guy, athletic and acrobatic. He's a young guy that doesn't have a lot of experience, but right now he's their leading receiver. He's got like 34 catches, but he didn't play a lot last year in the wide receiver position. And now he's their number one guy. So that was a big transition for them to go through.
On LB Scott Fujita:
I don't want to put the onus on Scott (Fujita). I think he's played solid football. He came into the season and he was the guy that we really publicized. In preseason, he was the guy that had a chance to be an honors guy. He has the experience, he's proved himself and he's played solid football. He hasn't made a lot of big plays, but hopefully those will begin to come. He's put pressure on the quarterback but hasn't gotten the sack. He's made some tackles at the line of scrimmage but maybe not tackles for a loss. But he's played solid football.
On parts of the season that have gone well:
The running game. Last spring, we were going into it thinking that it was going to be the strength of the team and then you lose Joe Echema and Saleem Mohammed. But Terrell (Williams) has been a very pleasant addition. Boy, thank goodness we had him because Joe (Igber) was down for a couple of games. Joe and Marcus (Fields) and Terrell have been three guys that have given us a very solid effort. That has been our most productive position, the running game. Because when you talk about the running backs, they catch passes, they make blocks, and they run. That I would have to say has been our most positive.
One of the weapons that we haven't uncorked yet is Mark Jensen. He is kicking great in practice, but we can't get him a field goal opportunity. I think he has seven attempts on the year and there are a lot of guys in the Pac-10 that have 15-16 attempts. In practice, he's booming them, but we can't get him a field goal attempt. He's worked so hard to become a solid kicker and we can't really unleash him.