Wulff Quotes

Here’s Washington State coach Paul Wulff’s comments today.

Oct. 14, 2008

Football Press Conference

Washington State head coach Paul Wulff

Opening statement

“First of all, we knew coming in here and with the change of staffs and the way the program was headed that the school decided they needed a change. We are part of that change and we have come into a situation where we have tried to change the culture. We are working hard. There is a lot of change and sometimes with change, it doesn’t run that smoothly initially. I knew that, but we had to set down our philosophy. Along the way, we have had a lot of injuries and we have a lot of young players playing and the combination isn’t good for us. This team will grow and we will bounce back and build our program to be one of the competitive teams again.”

On quarterback situation

“We believe that Kevin Lopina will be back playing for us this week. We lost Marshall Lobbestael to a season-ending knee injury with an ACL and MCL tears, who started for us as a freshman in the last three games. It was very unfortunate for us because we felt good about Marshall and his potential as a player so it was unfortunate for his development and our team. Now, we are sitting with Kevin coming off an injury and we are hoping he can help us.”

On Kevin Lopina

“He is from De La Salle High and originally went to Kansas State after high school and after a year, transferred here to Washington State. He has some athletic ability and throws the ball well and he has been in a winning program all through high school. He sat out one year because of an injury so this is really his first year of playing any type of football at the collegiate level. He got two starts in before he got hurt. He is very inexperienced as a player as well, but he is a junior and has played in some games this year so hopefully he will give us a spark this weekend.”

On offense

“(Tailback) Dwight Tardy is still questionable for this week. He’s got a knee that has been irritating to him that he can overcome, but he just has a little swelling so he is questionable over whether he will be ready this week. (Wide receiver) Brandon (Gibson) started off the season well and has tailed off a bit last week. He needs to pick it up and play a little bit better. He’s capable, but at the same time we have struggled on offense in all the spots so it has clearly affected his production which I know is frustrating to him and all of us. We just have to work through it when we have tough times.”

On defense

“I feel at times we have done some good things. Our offense has been poor enough where we have stressed our defense way more than any other defense, meaning they have been on the field way too long. It has hurt our defense. At the same time, we still could do some things better. We have some youth in spots. We have done some good things, but we haven’t responded as well as we would like when are in adverse situations like the offense turning the ball over. We need to do a better job responding to adversity.”

On returning to coach at his alma mater

“It’s tough. As a coach, you never want to go through a season like this. It’s a first for me. I have never been through anything quite like this with this scenario. At the same time, I also have to be realistic and realize that’s how the season is going. The program had dipped a little bit and we are working on the upswing of the nuts and bolts of our program and what we have to do on a daily basis to get ourselves better as a program. I’m very confident that we are heading in that direction and we are doing that. It’s just not showing up on the field right now because of a lot of reasons. You just have to keep looking ahead, looking at the future and keep recruiting hard. You have to do the things that will enable your program to grow and that part is very exciting for me to go to work every day. It’s great knowing that we are going to make a lot of progress as we continue to move forward.”

On playing USC this week

“Obviously, we are facing one of the best teams in the country. It’s a very experienced team, particularly on defense. They have some outstanding players. They have players across the board that are talented. It’s a team that is very balanced on offense. They are well-coached and a very quality football team. You have to be on your best game and you have to catch them playing a bad football game to be able to be in the game. That’s about where we are at and that’s where most people will be at in order to have a chance to beat them.”

On USC’s play against big underdogs

“No, we haven’t talked about those yet. It’s something we will probably talk about a bit as we move on through the week. I think all things are possible, I’m a believer in that. I think our kids have to understand that and believe it if they go out and play and have a chance to be in the ballgame. They have to go out and execute it.”

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