Safety Deone Bucannon
On holding Oregon’s offense to under its season average in yardage: I feel like first half when came in and started as a strong team, that’s who we are. Coming out the second half, we got complacent. That’s been happening too much the last couple games. We’ve got to fix that in practice.
How do you fix the complacency? More competition in practice, and probably practicing longer. Being able to finish. That’s the best way to do it. If you can’t do it in practice, you’re probably not going to do it in games.
Coach Leach questioned the team’s toughness last week. Do you think the team responded? I definitely think we did. Especially in the first half, we came in looking like a totally different team. Lot of people don’t see the hard work we put in. We’re not just out here playing games. We’re trying to play teams as hard as we can. Playing Oregon, they are a fantastic team. The way we played them in the first half, it shows we can play with anyone.
Quarterback Connor Halliday
On his physical status after leaving the game in the fourth quarter: I’ll be good. I took a couple hits when I should have got rid of the ball. I’ll be alright tomorrow.
The impact of Oregon’s pressure: It doesn’t do too much mentally. It’s a little frustrating, but I just have to go through my reads and check downs when I feel that pressure.
Oregon rushed sometimes three or four: Yeah, but when we got into the red zone, they heated it up pretty good. When we got inside the 30, they brought a lot of pressure, and we missed a couple hot routes, missed a couple reads, dropped a couple balls, missed a couple blocks. Just go down the list. Everybody messed up.
A great first half, then a slow second half again: I think Oregon came out tough. It’s tough to come back from a start like that. Their offense drives down the field, then I throw a pick for a touchdown. 14 points like that in a couple minutes like that is tough for any team to come back from. But we’ve got to be able to grow up, and when that happens, to battle through it and not quit. We have some guys that hang their heads when they need to keep battling. We’re not going to be successful if that keeps happening around here.
On the interception that Avery Patterson returned for a touchdown: It was a good read, I just under threw the ball. A 15 yard out by Gabe Marks, he was open. I just under threw it a little bit. Threw it off my back foot, and had some pressure in my face. I didn’t have enough on the ball.
The team’s reaction at halftime: I think too many people were a little surprised. We came in here and everybody was pretty riled up. I think we have to be able to stay within ourselves. Obviously, that showed the way we started the second half.
On Marquess Wilson breaking the school’s career receiving record: I definitely say everyone’s gotten numb to it, especially the media. Through the start of this year. I don’t think the guy gets too much credit. I mean the guy, sure he’s dropped a couple balls this year, but everybody on our receiving corps does, and he kind of gets singled out. I don’t truly understand why. I love the guy like a brother. You can’t say a bad thing about him.
Receiver Marquess Wilson
The meaning of setting the school receiving record: It means a lot. There’s been a lot of great receivers come out of Washington State and just being able to do this right now, it was a great feeling. Would have been a lot better with a win, but just great knowing that your name is in the record book. Everybody that plays football at a young age, grows up wanting to get a bunch of records, so it feels great to be able to do that.
Did you know you were close? I’ve known I was close, but I didn’t want to think about it because I thought it would mess up my game play.
Another poor second half again by the Cougars: I just feel like we didn’t come out like we did in the first half. We were happy how the first half ended. I would say the mindset changed with some players. As a whole team, we didn’t come out executing in the second half like we did in the first half. that’s what happens. To be honest, I don’t know. It’s a mind set with the players, myself included.
Why are you taking off the white sleeves? It’s what I’ve been doing them since my freshman year. When I take them off I can just focus more. Without the sleeves, I guess I play better.
Coach Mike Leach
General reactions to the performance: We started our frantic. That happens. I’ve had teams and situations where they never really came out of it. They wanted to win so bad. They’re playing a good opponent. You try to do too much, which we did early. But I felt like we came out of it midway through the first quarter. Which is pretty quick for a young team, so I was impressed with that.
Some of those field goals should have been touchdowns. We gave them relatively two easy touchdowns early. If we came out and played with more control, I don’t think we would have. Then I thought we played pretty courageously throughout the rest of it, other than an occasional guy here or there trying to make too much happen. Also some of the explosives, guys slightly out of position. You know, Oregon is a pretty polished outfit and they put you in a position where the margin of error is slim.
I thought of the games we played this year, it was our most complete game. I thought we played for 60 minutes, I thought we competed better start to finish better than any game we’ve played this year. There’s a lot of positives from this game, even though the results aren’t what I would have liked. The personal effort from our players was the best work we’ve done this season.
What happened on the three consecutive sacks on the drive just before halftime? It really it shouldn’t have happened. They went into man coverage, which we expected them to do. We had stuff underneath that we should have just hit. It’s really kind of an experience deal.
What happened with the onsides kick? We had it everywhere but where we kicked it. Honestly, we had it, it was set up. We missed the kick.
Reaction to their pass rush: I thought at times we protected (Halliday) consistently, and I thought at times we just tried to make too much happen. Sometimes you have to understand that the journey is over. These guys are up field and we have to dump it off underneath. But we’re getting better at it, too.
During the first field goal drive, why go for it the first time on fourth down, then kick the field goal the second time? Oh, you wanted us to go for it twice? I gave it some serious thought. I thought at that point it was important to get on the board.
Was the team overexcited at halftime? I would agree with that. We were too excited. If this excitement is surprise, surprise that we made plays, we shouldn’t be surprised that we made plays. We shouldn’t be surprised that some good things happened to us. We practice that. We train it all the time. We’re happy we make plays, but we need to have the mindset that it’s a little more expected. We’re not surprised that make plays. Why? Because we do it all week long.