Oct. 21, 1997
Tom Holmoe Press Conference
On the UCLA offense:
Although Skip Hicks has received a lot of attention and might be the big name behind their offense, some of the other players, who aren't household names in the Pac-10, have also play very well together. The receivers do a good job of catching the ball and running the proper rout es which has helped them move the ball through the air. They also have an excellent pair of fullbacks.
On the UCLA defense:
On UCLA's kicker, Chris Sailer:
Q: What has happened this season that you didn't expect to happen?
A: I think the first two games of the season were good games for us. In the Oklahoma game, now that you look back, you could see that some of our weaknesses were exposed. Playing USC was a game that, after it was all over and although we made some mistakes, there were things that gave me encouragement that we were going to be a pretty good team. Then we played at Louisiana Tech, a game that you'd like to think you can win, but we went against a very difficult offense and got in a shootout and lost it. That hurt because we expected to go down and win that game and so did everyone else. Then we played a series of teams in Washington and Washington State who are good teams and they continued to expose us in certain areas. Those things are frustrating and being at 2-4 certainly is. You'd like to think that you'd be 6-0 at this point and I never thought coming into the season that after six games it'd be nice to be 3-3. I just expected our players to play as hard and as well as we could in every game. Yes, I'm disappointed that we are 2-4, but I am encouraged by the young players who are playing well as well as some of the upperclassmen.
On offense, we are going to have to make some adjustments as to how we go about moving the ball and we have to get some production from some of the other guys other than Bobby (Shaw). We've had some struggles with the offensive line, some due to injury and some due to inexperience. But hopefully we'll come back this week.
Defensively, the first game was great. We were really excited at how it went and then we had some problem areas that arose during the Oklahoma game. We've been so susceptible to the big play and it's really hurt us. We are going to continue to work and build and increase abilities in those areas and put in the best combination of guys we can to correct those mistakes.
Q: Have you seen any improvement in the secondary and the defensive line?
A: Unfortunately, we haven't seen a lot of improvement. I think from week-to-week what is happening is one particular area maybe okay one week or even improved, but then there's a breakdown in another area. I think that some guys have had good games, but we just haven't been able to put it together defensively to put ourselves in a position to win against a good team.
Q: Since we are now at the midpoint of the season, what are some of the things you are happy with?
A: I am encouraged by some of the younger guys. Defensively Andre Carter is coming along and now he's in the starting lineup. Mawuko Tugbenyoh has played well. Matt Beck, Sekou Sanyika, Jerry DeLoach have all played well and each of them is either a sophomore or a freshman. Although we haven't had a lot of success in the secondary, Chidi Iwuoma, who is a young redshirt freshman, is getting an opportunity to play a little bit more now as we explore different combinations. And he has done well in the last two games. Those are all young players who give you a glimpse of the future.