FROM TEMPE -- Here's a transcript of Steve Sarkisian's postgame press conference following Washington's 53-24 loss to Arizona State. First, a few quick notes:
--- Sarkisian said Keith Price's right thumb was X-rayed in the locker room during the fourth quarter, and the results came back negative. Price seemed insistent that he'll be able to play next week against California, and was reticent to use the injury as an excuse for some of the throws he missed.
--- John Timu was carted off the field after the game with a sprained right ankle. His status for next week's game likely won't be determined until later in the week.
Here's more Sarkisian:
(Opening statement) "That was embarrassing. That was embarrassing. We weren’t good enough. We weren’t well-enough coached. We didn’t perform well enough and we didn’t play physical enough, nearly physical enough, against a good football team. Give Arizona State credit. They outcoached us and they outplayed us and at the end of the day the result was the result."
(What was most disconcerting?) "I think the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, quite honestly. Our inability to block them up front, whether it was in the run game or the pass game, and their ability to block us, to run the football and then to give their quarterback a lot of time to throw it down the field."
(Did you think you'd be able to run the ball better?) "As always, we think we do. We obviously had a nice first drive. I thought we could have moved the ball better than we did today, that’s for sure."
(Concern about Keith's thumb and the passing game?) "I think it’s a lot, quite honestly. We have to reassess as coaches our schemes to make sure we’re putting our players in position to do what they do best. We have to assess from a protection standpoint that we’re giving ourselves the best chances to be successful against good fronts, and then ultimately we have to assess our execution, because our execution isn’t there where it needs to be either."
(More on passing game) "I thought Keith did some decent stuff there, but again, I think he’ll tell you, and I’ll tell you, he can play better than he played. But we all can. Talking to myself first."
(More on Price's health) "I think he’s probably pretty sore. He got hit quite a bit. His thumb’s pretty sore. We did X-ray it and it came back negative, so that’s positive."
(Did he hurt his hip?) "He kind of got twisted up, as well. I think we’re pretty sore as a football team. We got beat up tonight."
(On bouncing back) "We’ve got to coach better, in general. We’ve got to have a better scheme, we’ve got to have a better gameplan, and then we have to compete. Ultimately at the end of the day you’ve got to go out and you’ve got to compete. And you have to trust the schemes and your fundamentals and compete. So it’s everything. I don’t want to place it on one thing at all because that would be wrong for me to do that. This is one of those weeks we’re going to have to really dig deep and we have an opportunity to go home and play in front of our fans, which we’re fired up to do. We’re going to have to dig really deep and fight and scratch and claw to go get a win next Saturday."
(On Price missing deep throws to open receivers) "We came back and got the touchdown on the drive but again, we thought we had some favorable matchups on the perimeter, and when we had time to do it, we were there. We just didn’t connect. And then ultimately we became somewhat of a one-dimensional team. We played behind the chains quite a bit, second and longs, third and longs, and their defensive front really took over and that was kind of the story of the game offensively for us."
(What happened defensively?) "I think a couple things. One is we got blocked. We didn’t defeat very many 1-on-1 blocks. Guys that were supposed to get blocked got blocked. We missed some tackles in the running game obviously, very evident, and we had a hard time covering the wheel route. They hit us on a few wheel routes that I though just kind of got them in a real rhythm offensively and we never got them out of that rhythm."
(On Fuimaono's 15-yard penalty) "It was a play we kind of held the guy up and he was going down. Princeton was going to be part of the tackle. I think he realized the man was down. He tried to somersault over the pile and they deemed it that he jumped on the pile and that’s why we got a 15-yard penalty."
(Did you see this coming at all?) "We’ve been fighting really hard and really well against good teams. For whatever reason it didn’t happen today. I don’t know if I was necessarily concerned about it, but I didn’t want to let this happen and unfortunately sometimes when you think in the negative, then the negative can come. I have to do a better job as a coach keeping our guys motivated and positive and great energy, because when you’re in our conference, every week is a new challenge. We had a couple tough losses the last two weeks and we just didn’t bring the same energy, physicality and then ultimately execution this week that we had in the previous two weeks that gave us a chance in those games. That points right at me. I have to do a better job."
(Did the last two weeks wear you down?) "Potentially. We appeared a little tired tonight I my opinion. We didn’t appear as fast. We didn’t appear as physical. We appeared a team that was a little bit lethargic and maybe we were a little emotionally drained. I don’t know. But that’s an excuse and there are none. We don’t have time for excuses. We’ve got to fix it."
(Did the heat take a toll?) "Potentially. First half I thought there in the second quarter especially, we couldn’t get a first down on offense and our defense played a lot in the second quarter. I felt like the heat and the number of plays they played in the second quarter I thought took its toll on them."
(Confidence of the team?) "I think they believe we can be a good football team. I think they’re wondering why what happened, happened. That’s what we have to get done here by Monday morning is to get to the truth of why what happened, and what we’re going to do as staff to help them as players and us as coaches fix it so that we have extreme confidence going into next Saturday against Cal."
(Still not many looks for ASJ?) "We’re trying. Believe me. It doesn’t go unnoticed on our part. We’re trying and we just have to continue to try, continue to work at it. Again, I think that’s just a microcosm of our overall passing game right now. It’s not good enough."
(How do you have a finish to this season that you envisioned?) "I think before any of that talk is we need to go play a good football game next Saturday and then we can start trying to look ahead. But right now, we have to live in the moment and how we’re going to fix the issues that we had tonight and how we’re going to apply those things throughout the week so we go out and put on a great performance at Husky Stadium on Saturday."