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October 31, 2008
Willingham prepares team for USC
TYRONE WILLINGHAM QUOTES
What has been the response nationally from other coaches about WIllingham stepping down?
"They are very much behind the man and they understand the circumstances like we all do - as I do. But they are behind the qualtman and the quality that I bring to that position."
How is the reaction on campus?
"I don't get to test that. We are so isolated down here that some days the only time I sunlight is when I leave here and walk to the other building then go to practice."
Is it more difficult to prepare for this weeks game given his circumstances?
"It is very [difficult]. You are talking about being able to focus 18, 19, and 20 year olds and that is always difficult in it's self. Then they have to deal with the circumstances put in front of them. There are a lot of things they think about, thinks they worry about, there are answers that they don't have and that nobody can provide to them at this time. That is difficult to corral all of that so that they can work as a football team."
How have practices gone this week?
"I said on Tuesday it was a very subdued practice. I thought Wednesday was more upbeat. Today will be the day because it is always about the next day, the next practice and the next game - so we will see."
Is this the best team Willingham has faced since he's been at Washington?
"I don't even say that. Are they very good? Definitely. Are they championship caliber? Definitely. I think they are saying that certain parts of their defense may be they best they have had there. They are very big, very physical and they play very hard."
How does he expect his players to react this week?
"I'm hoping that we like the challenge and Im hoping we accept the challenge. I hope we are ready to embrace it and play some of the best football we have played. With a team of this nature you need to not defeat yourself before you get started. Make sure you minds are in the right place. Don't make the silly mistakes that take you out of a ball game. The foolish penalties or those turnovers that take you out of the game. Play smart, play aggressive, play intelligent, keep yourself in the ball game and you will be amazed what will happen."