FROM STANFORD -- Here's most of what Washington coach Steve Sarkisian had to say after the Huskies' 31-28 loss to No. 5 Stanford here on Saturday night.
(Opening statement) "I’ll say in part, really entertaining football game, I’d imagine, for everybody involved. I thought our kids exuded enormous hearts, thought they played hard, thought they showed the fight that is innate in this program that’s not superficial. I thought the heart that they displayed tonight to battle back against an excellent football team, I couldn’t be more proud to be their head coach and the way they played and the fight they showed."
(On the Kevin Smith incompletion) "It’s unfortunate the game had to come down to a judgment call like that. That part was unfortunate because it was two good football teams battling and competing with one another and I wish the game would have got won on the field and not in a booth upstairs with some guy that didn’t get to feel the emotion and the hard fought football game that game was."
(Did you get an explanation on that?) "No."
(Did your coaches upstairs tell you how they saw it?) "They saw what we saw on the jumbo-tron. It was ruled a catch and to determine it not a catch, they have to overrule it and determine that it wasn’t. From my vantage point, it looked like it was pretty hard to overturn it. But again, I didn’t get to sit 50 yards up in a booth and play video game and make the call."
(On the special-teams issues) "We just didn’t cover, man. We knew this kid was a good returner and we thought we were going to fit the returns well and we just didn’t. It’s unfortunate that played such a factor in the game. But you have to play all three phases. It’s not just one or the other. It’s not just O or D. you’ve got to play all three phases and we just didn’t cover well tonight. We didn’t kick great either, and that set up the lack of covering."
(Did you think about an onside kick after final TD?) "We did, but we had all three timeouts with a little under three minutes left and we felt like we could get a stop. And sure enough we did it. We left ourselves in a good situation. We had two minutes left to go in the game, we had the ball in our possession on the 33-yard line. We practice that every single week. That exact situation. And we were performing in it and it just didn’t work out."
(On Keith Price) "I thought he was an absolute stud tonight. I thought he showed the heart that this entire team plays with, but I thought Keith really exemplified that. I thought he showed tremendous leadership when he fell behind, to battle back and to make throws, and critical throws, with a tremendous defensive front pass rushing him. I was proud of him. He played a good football game against an excellent defense."
(Did he hurt his finger?) "His thumb was bothering him."
(Do you feel like you proved something despite losing?) "There’s no awards for losing. We’re a proud football team and we’re proud of the way we played. We came here to win the game and unfortunately we didn’t do that so we have to show the ability to handle the adversity of a tough loss like this against a tough football team and learn from some of the mistakes we had, be proud of the way we played, have the ability to get back on the horse and go play another excellent football team next week. I think the thing that we proved to ourselves is we can beat anybody in the country. That, to the point of you prepare really well, and you have good game plans and you execute, you can do that. So now we have to try to get back on the horse, start preparing for Oregon and get ready to play another excellent football team a week from today."
(On the penalties) "There was a lot of them. It’s hard for me to comment on them until I look at the film. Look at Darrell Daniels’ block … again, I don’t know until I look at the film on some of this stuff."
(On Stanford always having a response to a score) "The one that was probably … a couple of them were big ones. Obviously the touchdown at the end of the first half I thought was real big for Stanford. It was a heck of a throw and catch by those two kids. I thought Marcus (Peters) was in pretty good position but great throw and catch, then we claw back in and they get the big kickoff return all the way back and get great field position again and put our defense on a short field. That’s what good teams do. When you play good teams, they’re going to fight back and they’re not just going to let you steamroll them. I thought our guys continued to fight as well. It wasn’t good enough."
(On Cameron Van Winkle's sky kick late in second quarter) "(We wanted it) about 20 yards further. We just didn’t execute it great. Got to practice it more."
(On Van Winkle) "He hasn’t been 100 percent, health-wise, and I think it affected him some tonight."