UA’s Foles: “We couldn’t have played any worse”by Steve Rivera on Dec. 30, 2009, under Sports
SAN DIEGO — Arizona quarterback Nick Foles had no explanation or answers. That was after the game and surely while he was in it.
When he had an open wide receiver he’d over throw them or not reach them; and, when he hit them on the hands the players would drop the pass.
Such was life for the quarterback who helped Arizona solidify the position in September. That seemed so long ago here in the Holiday Bowl. On this December night – in a small San Diego drizzle – Foles fizzled.
“We couldn’t have played any worse,’’ Foles said, moments after Nebraska manhandled UA on offense and defense all game in UA’s 33-0 loss. “We had an alright drive at the end but we couldn’t get anything going.’’
It was U-G-L-Y. Foles went 6 for 20 31 with one interception. He had 28 passing yards (lowest ever in the bowl game). He had only two first downs via the pass.
“It makes it real tough,’’ Foles said of the frustration. “You don’t want to get slaughtered like that. We didn’t get anything going all night. We didn’t execute the plays.’’
It started from the first drive.
Interception. Three plays, no yards in 27 seconds.
Two plays later Nebraska was in the endzone. And it was essentially over.
“You can’t give anyone easy touchdowns and get off to a start like that,’’ Stoops said. “We didn’t look like we were involved in the game all night.’’
Foles never seemed to be. And that first series set the tone. It’s not like he didn’t try. He prodded his teammates to get going. It couldn’t. UA offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said he feels his team got rattled early and then just couldn’t get it going. Dykes said Foles’ mistakes were uncharacteristic.
“You never want to start a game throwing a pick,’’ Foles said. “That was a bad call by me. I put a little too much air on it and it was too far inside the hash. We had a chance to come back but their defense stopped us. They have a great team.’’
He’s being WAY too optimistic about chances of coming back. But what is he going to say?
But he was true on everything else.
“I’ve never seen us play like that,’’ he said. “We couldn’t get anything going at all.’’
Arizona coach Mike Stoops said it best: Offense, defense, special teams, nothing worked. End of story.
“Nothing was right all night,’’ he said. “Everyone knew how good they were defensively, you don’t have statistics like that.’’
UA had just six first downs and 109 total yards, both of which were Holiday Bowl records (and not in a good way). Arizona’s shutout was the Holiday’s first.
“We didn’t execute at all tonight,’’ Foles said. “…It hurts how I played. I didn’t have a good throw all night. This offseason I’ll improve everything. I’ll get my butt to work.’’
The Holiday Bowl will be great motivation.
Steve Rivera can be reached at Steve.Rivera95@gmail.com. Visit SteveRiveraventures.com.