Nov. 10, 1997
Bruce Snyder Press Conference
Obviously we are really pleased that we went to Cal and won the football game. Winning is the key issue, and we went up and did that. What I was pleased with was how we responded when the pressure was applied to us much like the Washington State game, so there was a real positive.We have a ton of things to work on in terms of execution. Our defense played absolutely great football for three quarters, and actually, into the fourth. I thought they played very, very well. We didn't slam the door on them like we wanted to defensively. The offense was sporadic also in terms of our production, but it was enough to win, and I was pleased with that. Particularly the way the offense closed it out. If you noticed the last four and a half minutes, we had the ball, I believe, on our own 30 and we drove it 40 yards basically, and ran the clock out. I thought that was a really significant drive for us not to let them have the ball back. We became injured during the game, and I am still not sure of our status. Ryan Kealy did not finish the game, Michael Martin did not finish the game and Creig Spann did not finish the game. We are hopeful that all of those guys will be back, but I am not totally convinced right now. We will have to wait and see how the week unfolds. It was great to go on the road in November and get a win. In this league, if you are not really ready to play, you can lose. I don't believe our focus for this game was as clear as it was for Washington State. But, it was clearer than it was for BYU, so we landed in bewteen and it was enough for the victory. I was really impressed with Cal and how hard they played. They never gave up. All in all, it was a good victory and a big win, and it keeps us in the race that we want to be in.
(ON RYAN KEALY'S STATUS): He did not throw yesterday. We wouldn't have thrown much yesterday anyway, but still those guys go out there and play loft ball. He didn't do any of that. I think we will certainly know more tomorrow. We will be really conservative with him. I am hopeful that there will be some spin on his ball by Wednesday. I am not really sure. It is questionable right now.
(ON HOW KEALY GOT HURT): I am not really sure it was a single event. I know that he hurt it earlier than when we took him out. He said that there was some tingling. He continued to play. But, then, one time he took a really solid hit and he came up and was really limp in the shoulder. It went all the way down to his finger tips, from his neck to his finger tips. We said, "That's it, you're out." Steve (Campbell) had warmed up, and he finished the game.
(ON MICHAEL MARTIN'S STATUS): He is going to get a complete physical again today. If you want to make a comparison or a contrast, in the Oregon State game where he took a pretty good hit, he is more advanced than that it terms of recovery. After the Oregon State game, we came back and worked out on Sunday. He did not run. He did not feel comfortable running. He did a little stretching and that was it. Yesterday (Sunday), he ran conditioning with the troops. I think we are at an advanced step, but we do want to get a complete physical on him.
(ON THE TEAM FOCUSING ON THE PAC-10 RACE): I think you have to know what your target is before you shoot. It seems to be that the best target for us is the championship. If we win two games, we may have to share it with somebody, but nobody will have a better record. Therefore, for two years in a row, we would be Pac-10 champions. So, that's the target. I have no control over what happens in other games, or in Bowl selections. We have no authority in it. So, I think our target is Oregon right now. They did us a big favor in two different ways. They beat the team that beat us which help create the log jam, but, also, they showed that they are really a good football team with a lot of high-power players. So, that brings us into focus on this game. Hopefully, it will work its way toward that end, that we will focus on Oregon, and then we will take two weeks and we will focus on Arizona. Then, we will look up and get above water and see what everybody else did. It will be impossible not to watch the television and see the scoreboards and see what those other teams are doing. We won't be able to do that. I just don't want it to consume us.
(ON WASHINGTON STATE BEING AHEAD OF ARIZONA STATE IN THE POLLS): I am not really surprised. I don't think I would have been surprised the other way either. It's all kind of jumbled up there. The fact that they scored so many points last week does influence the voters. It just does. I think that's fine. We just need to focus on what we need to do. We'll be fine, the rankings will be fine and everything will be fine if we can just get these two (wins).
(ON OREGON UPSETING WASHINGTON): They are going to be fired up. I always anticipate the other team to be fired up anyway. But, they will come in here with a lot of momentum. The Huskie stadium did not intimidate them. In their own minds, they will be thinking, "hey, we won in Seattle, we can win in Tempe." I think they are going to roll in here with a great deal of confidence. They have established who their quarterback is. They have proven they can win on the road. They can come from behind on the road. They were behind at Washington late in the game. That is tough to do up there. On the one hand, they may be better prepared and better focused and fired up for us than had it happened the other way. But, the key element in competition is youself, your own preparation. When our team is wired up and focused, they are fun to coach. They will get ready and play hard, and that's what I was after. That's what I want from this football team. I can't control Oregon, but they helped us in terms of getting our team ready, in my opinion. We will be ready to play. The coaches will be ready; the players will be ready. They are so potent on offense. I think they are one of the best offenses we have seen in terms of moving the football. This is going to be a really fun football game.
(ON COMPARING OREGON'S OFFENSE TO WASHINGTON AND WASHINGTON STATE'S): The structure is different, but their capablility for points is about the same. Particularly now that they have settled on the big guy as their quarterback. He has earned the right to be their starter, and he will be their starter against us. He made some plays in the Washington game. He's strong and mobile. He's about twice the size of Vedder who rushed for 80 yards on us. We will have our hands full with this guy. It's a different structure of offense, but with a lot of weapons. Our defense, who I am very proud of, will have their hands full.
(ON A YOUNG ARIZONA STATE TEAM PLAYING NOVEMBER FOOTBALL): It is young. We have been on a roller coaster this year. The roller coaster earlier in the year had steeper hills and declined. I think we have smoothed it out a bit. I think our team really looks at the opponent a lot and determines, maybe to too great an extent, how they should play. That's why I am thankful that Oregon played so well and that they beat Washington. I think this team will really respond. We've got some guys that have grown up and that have good leadership: Pat Tillman, Jeremy Staat and Jason Simmons. Those guys have really stepped it up. They are very consistent players. In the Cal game, when it was time to show up, those kids really played hard. I think we will be fine. I am not predicting a win because they (Oregon) are awfully good, but I think we will play well. We will play good and we will play hard. It is going to be fun.