Oct. 16, 2012
Looking at the UCLA game, I thought it was similar to the week before. Some positive things happened, and we did some things better than we have in previous games, but we still came up short, which is the bottom line. We competed for a full 60 minutes. The defense I thought played well enough to win. The defense kept us in the game and gave us a chance at the end to win, but we didn't get it done. The offense took another couple of steps forward. Third downs were much better. We took care of the football - we had one interception early and it was probably a bad decision to make that throw. The deflection and resulting interception were not really on Travis [Wilson]. Big play on special teams - Sean Sellwood punted the ball very well. Just like last week, there were some positives but not enough positives to get a victory. We've got to work hard and look at what we're doing. We're evaluating every aspect of the game. Wilson had his first outing as a true freshman in a fairly hostile environment, and responded pretty well. He did not have any 'deer in the headlights' look. He was confident and poised and his numbers were pretty good. I thought there were some positive things in his performance that we can take going forward.
Oregon State is a very good football team. They play well together. They have good individual players on the team but how they are playing as a team is as impressive. [Head coach Mike] Riley has done a good job getting that team back on track. This is going to be a tough ball game. They are ranked No. 8 and are well deserving of that ranking.
On the offense:
Two years in a row we have struggled offensively. Last year we were at or near the bottom in the Pac-12. I think that's a product of several factors. We have to keep recruiting the right way. We are facing a whole other level of defense than we faced in the MWC - other than TCU. No question the caliber of defense is at a much higher level than we faced previously.
On the defense against UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley:
If you look at the biggest negative of the defense, that was it. We got good pressure on him but we were nowhere near disciplined enough in our pass rush lines, predominately in the front four. He's a mobile quarterback, but I think we made him look more mobile than we should have. Third down defense was our biggest demise. Anytime you are allowing your opponent over 50-percent on third downs, a lot of that was due to letting the quarterback escape. We have to be more disciplined and we have to coach that better.
On Travis Wilson:
Right now he's our guy. We are pleased with his initial performance. We don't want him playing on eggshells. There is a fine line - we talk about being competitive and we need him to perform, but at the same time he has to know that we have confidence in him and what we saw in that game we have confidence in him that he will continue to perform.
[We were impressed with] number one the poise and accuracy he displayed. A true freshman going into the Rose Bowl for his first significant playing time, to be the guy and have the starting role, I thought he responded well. UCLA is a good defense, they are athletic and fast, and I thought he responded pretty good.
On the run game:
The run game, although the overall yards per carry in its entirety is mixed with sacks, it may not have looked as productive as I thought it was. I thought John White ran hard and Kelvin York even with a handful of runs did a nice job. We've got to make more of a concerted effort to run the football. I don't think we're running the ball enough. That's something going forward that we need to make an effort to do. I know we were much more efficient the last two games than we were the first four games. We just have to get more carries, and get the ball in their hands more often.