Here is all that Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, quarterback Sefo Liufau and safety Tedric Thompson said after Washington’s 41-10 victory over the Buffaloes in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium.
Q. Sefo, can you just talk about the mood in the locker room after such a great run to get to this point? Has this been your goal all year long to have a good performance in this game?
SEFO LIUFAU: Obviously pretty upset. I think that especially on the offensive side we really didn't put up a very good performance tonight, and that just comes down to the leadership of the offensive group and the guys leading it.
So I didn't do a good job of preparing us and being able to get us quality drives (indiscernible).
Q. Sefo, what was your injury and how were you feeling?
SEFO LIUFAU: Little twist at the end of it and hurt my ankle, but got through.
Q. Was the ankle a factor at all in the second half?
SEFO LIUFAU: No, we just didn't execute as an offense, and that's probably the most frustrating part, especially when you're one of the captains and one of the leaders and your group isn't really performing at the level they should be. We had a really good game plan going in, and as an offense, even as quarterback, we just didn't perform tonight.
Q. What was it that took you out of the whole first half but you were able to come back in the second? Was there something you did to get back in the second half?
SEFO LIUFAU: A different tape job and lots of work inside the locker room to help me get back and try and help my team. Obviously, I didn't do that tonight.
Q. What's the attitude of the team?
SEFO LIUFAU: We're going to bounce back. We've always been a team that was able to overcome adversity, and it's just another one of those times. It just cuts a little deeper this time.
Q. Tedric, can you talk about the defense? And Jake Browning, you mentioned this week, those two running backs really hurt you tonight. Talk about the run game and how much (indiscernible) Jake Browning?
TEDRIC THOMPSON: Yeah, I think every week that's our focus, is the run game. And obviously we didn't do that early. But Sefo just said, we're going to bounce back. We'll go back and watch film and try to see what we did wrong. But they're a good team. So we've got to bounce back and pick the little things on defense that can help our offense out. I don't care what the score is, I don't care what Sefo did, I don't care what our receivers did, I'm taking our offense (indiscernible). And if we play them tomorrow, I'm seeing Sefo throw four or five T.D. passes, I'm taking Sefo against any quarterback in the nation (indiscernible). When we struggle like that, we have to do what we've been doing all season long, and that's try to create turnovers. I think the main thing was try to create turnovers, and we weren't able to do that. And I think that's what hurt more of us not helping our offense.
Q. As far as (indiscernible), was there anything they were doing in blocking that they were able to take it to that level?
TEDRIC THOMPSON: Honestly, I don't know what was happening. Like I said, we've got to go back and watch film. But once we go back and watch film and correct what we did, in the Bowl game I'm pretty sure it won't happen. So we've got to listen to our defensive staff and fix the running game and things like that.
Q. Tedric, did you expect them to lean on the run game that heavily knowing that Jake Browning is one of the best quarterbacks and he likes to throw the ball quite a bit?
TEDRIC THOMPSON: No, that's our main goal every single game since CSU. Every week we've got to stop the run. We always expect a team to come out and run and things like that. So it was tough on us especially in the first half to try to stop the run. And those two great backs, 22 was a bigger back, but both of them were physical, and Iowa was physical too. So every week our main goal is to stop the run, and we weren't able to do that today.
Q. Sefo, in the third quarter, you came back out and tried to spark the team, and that interception (indiscernible) things right off the bat. Did it feel that way on the sideline?
SEFO LIUFAU: In a way, yes. I mean, you never want to come out and put your defense in that spot and give up and spot so many points. It all just falls back on being accurate and giving my receivers some balls they can take and they can run with, and I didn't do that to start the second half. I really, really messed up.
Q. Sefo, what was the (indiscernible) in the locker room afterwards?
SEFO LIUFAU: It's frustrating to lose a game like this because we could have put on a better performance. But we accomplished so much this year, and there is a lot more good than bad. It's very important for us to take a couple days off and come back and fire on all cylinders in the Bowl game because we really want to end the season off right and do our best.
Q. Sefo, are you able to feel that perspective of how far you guys have come?
SEFO LIUFAU: I can feel it. I'm not the best at it. I really wear my emotions on my sleeve. Just very frustrated. But I can see where he's coming from. I believe in what he said. But at this time it's just I'm just very frustrated with myself and how I played for thighs guys tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Colorado coach, Mike MacIntyre. Coach, an opening statement and then questions.
MIKE MACINTYRE: I was really impressed with the Colorado fans that stayed and cheered our team off the field. I wish they all would have stayed. What these young men have done for the University of Colorado is amazing and how they fought through everything is amazing. I couldn't be prouder of them. Yeah, we hurt. We lost. We lost to a good team and made some mistakes that kind of gave them a chance to pull away from us.
But, you know, first team in 101 years of Pac-10, Pac-12 football, biggest turnaround ever. Only 1 of 4 teams to go from last to first since 1959, was the last one. Seventh ten-win season in school history, and to be in a Bowl game, I think there are three others that have done it, maybe four. Pretty impressive. First sellout since 2008 in our last home game. Place is rocking now. These guys brought Folsom's magic back, these young men.
I can't begin to tell you, there are a million other things I could say. Number one, I love them. I love the staff, I love the team. I love their fight. Again, what they've done is amazing. Tonight was tough. There is no doubt about it. Can't put a damper on the whole season, and we'll bounce back and go play in a Bowl game which is going to be fun for our guys to play in and send these seniors out the right way. So I'll take any questions at this time.
Q. (Indiscernible) you mentioned the experiences that are so instrumental in the turnaround (indiscernible)?
MIKE MACINTYRE: What now?
Q. How were you able to keep the momentum going with so many experienced guys leaving the program after the Bowl game?
MIKE MACINTYRE: I'm not really worried about next year, to be honest with you. I'm worried about getting these seniors through the Bowl game. We have a lot of good players that play. We have a lot of good football players on our football team that play a lot of plays and aren't seniors too. These seniors have unbelievable leadership. Three of our five captains are juniors, so we have a good future ahead of us, but I'm not concerned about that right now. I'm concerned about getting this team through the rest of the Bowl season and sending them off the right way.
Q. Do you have a feeling on what your Bowl assignment will be?
MIKE MACINTYRE: No, I don't. It's one of the top four in our league, wherever we fall. We'll find out Sunday like everybody else. So hopefully we'll be in the best Bowl we can be in. That's what we hope.
Q. Do you guys want to play in the Rose Bowl?
MIKE MACINTYRE: We'd love to play in the Rose Bowl. Every team in the Pac-12 wants to play in the Rose Bowl. I know how they do the playoffs, and you understand you want to be in the playoffs, but we'd like for the playoffs to also work for the Rose Bowl every year that you're in the Pac-12. If you're in the SEC, you want to be in the Sugar Bowl every year. So that's our goal. I have a picture in my office that says Rose Bowl. I look at it, it's in front of my desk. I see it every single minute of the day. So we'd love to play Rose Bowl.
Q. How surprised are you that as prolific as Jake Browning was this year, he only was 9 for 24 in this game, 118 yards? They still beat you 41-10?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Well, we gave them the short field three or four times, that's why they scored those points on us. We were concerned more about their running game than we were Jake Browning, to be honest with you.
MIKE MACINTYRE: Sefo was well, and he was able to go. He's led us to all of them, and that's what we decided to do.
Q. Coach, Sefo's a guy that no matter what he always is accountable even sometimes when he doesn't need to be. Tonight he clearly seems to be beating himself up pretty hard. What's your message to him with the work that was done this season?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Pick yourself up and get ready to go to the next one. That's the thing about sports. Sports is sometimes tough. When you play really good teams and on a big stage, it's even magnified more when it goes your way. You learn great life lessons in it also. So hopefully -- well, not hopefully. I see know he'll bounce back and we'll be ready to roll.
Q. Can you talk about this season has been such a great run for you guys. Even in the two losses you guys were right there. Seeing your team for the second half like that where you're out of it, how hard is that for you to watch these guys, how hard they fought all year?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Yeah, it was tough, of course. They kept fighting, and just kind of got away from us. They're a good football team. They took advantage of some of our mistakes. And we understood that, that could happen if we did that. Of course it's tough to watch, but knowing how they fought, what they've done, everything they've been through to be here on this stage, to me was a huge accomplishment. Definitely 100% we wanted to win it. Definitely it hurts. It will hurt even worse tomorrow and the next day, to be honest with you. So we'll bounce back and get ready for the Bowl game and go from there. It will be a great time with these young men sending these seniors out over Bowl time.
Q. How easy is it for you to keep in perspective what this team has done?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Oh, I definitely can keep it in perspective. There were a lot of things that we'd like to have accomplished if we won the game too, but the opportunity to get here and keep battling and keep fighting and for them to be here is awesome. The last part of the season was pretty amazing, Arizona State on, pretty special. Especially with what they've done for the university, what they've done for our football program. How they've kind of reunited Buff Nation, we can't say enough about that where they've come from. We'll build on it. They'll leave a great culture, and we'll have a very good football team next year.
Q. Coach, in the coming weeks before the Bowl, what is the message for your team?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Well, number one, they've got to finish exams well. We've got that coming up. Number two, we'll get back to practicing, and we'll get working hard and get focused on whoever we're going to play. We definitely want to finish with a W, just like the team we're going to play wants to. And playing in a championship game was a great experience for them also. I thinks it also prepares for the Bowl game. It's more similar to a Bowl game than a regular season game.
Q. Did you feel like Sefo was affected physically in the second half?
MIKE MACINTYRE: Oh, he didn't play quite as good as we'd like. He looked like he was running okay on it. He looked like he was throwing. He wasn't limping around, the trainers had him doing all kinds of stuff and said he was ready to go. I definitely would have hoped he would have played a little better, just like we were hoping other guys on the team would play a little better also. But according to him and according to our trainers and watching, I didn't see any noticeable limp or anything like that. I watched him very closely the whole game. But of course when he first went out there.
Q. A short week, do you think it had any effect on the guys? They had an extra day of preparation and rest.
MIKE MACINTYRE: I would like to say it did, but I don't think so. It didn't have an advantage on it. We had good practices. We were fresh. We just got behind the eight ball there a few plays in a row at the beginning of the second quarter. I mean third quarter, excuse me. That really kind of got it raveling, and then they were able to control the football running it because they basically ran it down our throat. Kept the ball, milked it, and did all that. It seemed like that one drive lasted ten minutes and we weren't able to stop them. So tip my hat to their offensive line and running back. They really blocked well and ran well.