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September 29, 2008

Monday notes and quotes

*NOTES*

  • Jake Locker had surgery today at 11:00 am to repair a fractured first metacarpal of the thumb. Early prognosis is 6-8 weeks of recovery time before he can begin playing quarterback again. Head coach Tyrone Willingham did confirm that Locker expressed interest in coming back even earlier and playing another position. Willingham has left the door open to that possibility but would not specify on what position or a time table for a return.

  • D'Andre Goodwin also left the game with a rib injury. The ex-rays were negative and he is listed as day to day. He is in pain and they will not know the extent to which he can play until they start practicing.

  • Donald Butler suffered a concussion and the coaching staff is going to be very cautious as always. They will conduct tests over the next two days but he is likely out for the Arizona game.

  • David Freeman left the game with an ankle injury and is also listed as day-to-day.




*TYRONE WILLINGHAM QUOTES*

What is Willinhgam's thoughts on Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama?

"My thoughts on him this year are he appears to be more knowledgeable of the whole offense and his ability to distribute the football. He has two weapons in Nicolas Grigsby and Mike Thomas. Those guys are playing extremely well right now and when you have guys playing at their level it helps everyone around you. So, it is not just his [Tuitama] play but those other guys and the whole team."

Ronnie Fouch will be making his first start this week, how does the team prepare differently and keep their spirits up after losing Locker?

"What we have done is just look at our football team and show them what we have done well and show them what we can do to be successful. Then we give them cures to what we have done incorrectly. If we can demonstrate that to our players it will keep their spirits up. Now it is up to both them and us to go out there and execute better. When I say execute better from our standpoint it is to continue to put them into better positions to have success then for them to follow through and execute."

What were some positives about the loss to Stanford?

"The first thing is that we put up some points. We also came back from an adverse situation when we lost our quarterback who is without question our leader in the run game, the pass game and also from a leadership standpoint. For our second team quarterback to step in and move the ball and score some points was a real positive."

How much did it help Fouch getting the extra reps during the spring when Locker was hurt?

"It was tremendous and we went as far as getting him a fair amount of snaps during the spring. We have confidence in him to lead our football team going forward."


*RONNIE FOUCH QUOTES*

What was the hardest thing about being thrown into playing time?

"Playing a full half - I have had a chance to come in and get some quality reps but I have never played a full half. I just had to get in and do what ever I could to produce and put the ball in our playmakers hands and get on the score board before half time."

How did he feel the his performance went?

"I'm the type of guy that if we lose the game I put the blame on myself. That is why I play this game - to go out there and win. When we lose I feel like it is my fault. I just want to go out against Arizona and do whatever I can to help the team win."

Is it hard to be a leader after such a rough start to the season?

"We have to put this loss behind us and all we can focus on now is Arizona and going out there and getting our first Pac-10 win and get things rolling from there."

What is it like taking over for a player like Locker?

It's tough because Jake is a captain of the team and a leader on offense. I have learned a lot from him. I have learned how to be a leader from him on and off the field and it is a tough loss. But we can't give up now we have only played four games and we have a long season ahead of us."

Does if feel like the rest of the starters on offense are going to try and step their game up to help out the young quarterback?

"At half time when I knew I was going to be playing for the rest of the second half guys told me they had my back and that they were confident in me. I just have to go out there this week and be a leader and keep everything positive."




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