FROM PASADENA -- Here's what Washington coach Steve Sarkisian had to say after the Huskies' 41-31 loss here to UCLA.
(Opening statement) “That was a frustrating game for us. A frustrating, frustrating game. Obviously, you spot a team of that caliber 14 points right off the bat, give them that field position, it makes it hard to battle back. I will say I thought our kids fought. I thought we fought hard. I thought Cyler (Miles) came in, did a nice job, obviously the last couple interceptions weren’t great but I thought he battled.
"It’s a frustrating moment for me and for this team because we came here to win. When you’re going into a game and you feel good about your opportunity to go win a football game, and you don’t, and it doesn’t go as planned and you have some chances to maybe get it to make it a one score game and you don’t do it, it’s really frustrating. They’re a good team. They played well. We’ve got to get back up. It’s going to be a real challenge. We’ve got two big ballgames left on our schedule that we’ve got to get ourselves prepared to go play. It’s probably good that we have a little extra day here to regroup, because that locker room’s hurting right now.”
(On the fumbles) “Austin’s was such a bang-bang play. I think he probably could have called it either way, was it a catch, was it not. And Bishop’s, I’m sure there was something technique in there. It was hard to see. It was on their far sideline, if the ball was down low or if the guy punched it out. I’m not real sure. It got them some great momentum early in the game to get good field position and get up 14-0.”
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(On Keith Price) “He’s hurt. We don’t know exactly what it is. He got an X-ray, it was negative. But he obviously couldn’t throw the ball. It’s sore. We don’t really know exactly what it is yet. We’ll find out more. He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow.”
(On going for it on 4th-and-2) “Right now, I wouldn’t have done it. But at the time I just felt like it was a 10-point game, we’re an aggressive group, we’ve always been aggressive and I felt like this was our chance to make this a 1-score game, whether we got a field goal or a touchdown. That had been the whole talk, just make it a 1-score game and see if we can win it. I just felt like that was our chance. It was a bang-bang play and they won the down.”
(On penalties) “We’ve got to practice better. They obviously had an impact on the game, especially a couple of the third down conversions they had on our defense there in the first half. They were a big factor in the game I think for both teams. I don’t know what the exact numbers were. I think one team had 11 penalties and the other team had eight. We’ve got to coach better. It’s not acceptable. We can’t go out and have 11 penalties, and big ones, hands to the face, facemasks, things of that nature, because it’s too big of an impact on the ballgame. Especially in a tight game like this.”
(On Myles Jack) “Myles played a good football game. He’s obviously a physical runner and they used him in a good way. I thought defensively, I don’t know. He seemed OK.”
(Unsportsmanlike conduct on him?) “I didn’t actually see it, quite honestly. He’s a good kid. We recruited him. He plays for those guys. He’s a good player.”
(How did more plays for Damore’ea Stringfellow come about?) “Just playing him and giving him chances. I think he’s a star. I think he has a chance to be a star for us. He’s a big-time weapon and we see how good he can be in 1-on-1 settings. I thought this might have happened a week ago. It didn’t happen, but it happened tonight. He did all that and had I think a 50-yard touchdown called back, too. I expect him to finish the season really well for us.”
(On Cyler Miles) “I thought Cyler played a really good second half. The last two picks weren’t great but I thought he had some nice drives and stood in, threw it and ran it and had good command. I was actually very impressed. The ball sails on him to Jaydon there down the middle, I think he made a great read just the ball sails on him and at the end there you’re trying to force it down the field to give yourself a chance and he probably should have checked it down, Zumwalt. Those are all experiences he’ll learn from. But I thought he showed a great deal of confidence. He didn’t look like a backup in the game to me. He looked like a starter, which is really cool.”
(More on Stringfellow) “To Damore’ea’s credit, he’s really applying himself every day, the little things in the gameplan. It shows. That’s why the quarterbacks had more confidence in him tonight. He’s an awesome kid. It wasn’t ever too big for him tonight and he’s got a bright future.”
(Was that fake punt called?) “We called it. Again, if we wouldn’t have made that, that wouldn’t have been a good call either. But we made that one and we went for it on the other fourth down and didn’t get it.”
(Will it be harder to bounce back from this, given the stakes?) “We really felt like we could come down here and win the ballgame. We knew they were a good team. That’s taking nothing away from UCLA. We knew they were a good team. I think we all would have liked to have played a better game, but we fought hard. And that effort for us in the second half, I was very proud of, and they’re disappointed like I am. We’re disappointed. We’re frustrated. But we have to get up off the mat and we have to go play at OregonState in eight days. The extra day is probably good for us, quite honestly, that we have an extra day off.”
(Missed tackles?) “There was, and then there were some good ones too. If you would have told me they’d have almost 80 plays and only 400 yards of offense, that’s not bad against that quarterback and those receivers. There was a couple big plays that I think we’d like to have back. Obviously the hitch they throw and Kevin misses the tackle for the touchdown. But we created a couple turnovers. I thought we were playing a physical game, which is what we wanted to do, but obviously it wasn’t perfect.”
(On Sean Parker’s pass interference that wiped out interception) “I didn’t see it. I don’t know. We’ll look at the film. It was obviously a big play in the game.”
(On what goes wrong on the road) “Our energy was great. We didn’t hold onto the ball the first two drives of the game. Outside of that, we played pretty good. You think about we fumbled the first two series of the game and then we threw two interceptions late in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t about our energy and it wasn’t about our schemes. It wasn’t about the guys not ready to play. We were ready to play. You turn the ball over twice to start the ballgame and put yourself in a 14-0 hole, you’ve got to fight and scratch and claw and we did that tonight. I’m proud of that. We’ve got to take care of the ball better and reduce our penalties.”
(Is ‘the next step’ still attainable?) “Without a doubt. We’ll go play good football the last two games. We’ll see if that’s good enough to win. I can’t guarantee victories, but I do know that this team will get up off the mat. We’ve got good leadership. It already started in the locker room. There’s good leadership in there. We’ll bounce back and we’ll fight like crazy next week in Corvallis.”