clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Jedd Fisch said after Arizona’s season-ending loss at ASU

arizona-wildcats-jedd-fisch-asu-sun-devils-territorial-cup-interview-comments-postgame-reaction-2021 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

TEMPE—Jedd Fisch became the 10th Arizona coach to lead his team into the Territorial Cup during the Pac-10/12 era. And like several before him, he walked off the field of that first rivalry game against ASU without a victory.

“It’s not going to be a great memory,” Fisch said after Arizona’s 38-15 loss Saturday in Tempe, ending his first season at 1-11 overall and 1-8 in Pac-12 play. “The best memories are going to be in the future. I can’t wait for what next year’s memory is going to feel like.”

Our recap of the game can be found here. Below are Fisch’s thoughts after the Duel in the Desert:

On Arizona’s effort vs. ASU and all season: “Our team never stopped competing all season long. (I) never once walked into a locker room that was splintered. Never once walked on the practice field where there was one side of the ball blaming another, never once did we have any issues.”

On the turnovers and penalties: “I saw Matt Rhule’s quote, when they went from 1-11 to 7-6 to 11-1 (at Baylor). He said the easy part was to go from 1-11 to 6-6, all you have to do is not have dumb penalties and score touchdowns in the red zone. The hard part is to go 6-6 to 11-1.”

On Arizona’s season-long offensive woes: “I think I jinxed myself when I made a comment that, when you’re playing with either a rookie quarterback or not your starting quarterback you usually don’t score over 17 points. I never should have said that five years ago, because it’s come back to remind me of that. I will not make that comment any longer. Looking forward to many games of many points.”

On the ‘invalid fair catch’ penalty: “What they said was (Michael) Wiley signaled the fair catch and the ball went to Bam (Smith), so what happened was they called that an illegal fair catch. I believe what happened was that Wiley was telling the return team we were going to return it, and that got misconstrued as a signal for a fair catch, so that becomes an illegal fair catch when one guy signals something and the other guy catches it.”

On what caused Dorian Singer to be ejected for ‘flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct’: “He was being a dumb freshman, and he knows better than that.”

On QB Will Plummer: “I think Will’s gotten really good. I keep reminding Will there’s ... 39 games left of your career. It was pretty awesome that he was able to build this foundation. The leap that he made from the third game of the season until today is really, really impressive. Now the leap has to become taking control at the line of scrimmage so you don’t have false starts, get guys lined up properly and not feel like you have to snap it quickly when guys are still aligning, number one. Number two, the leap has to be when the field gets short. When you’re inside the 15-yard line and you don’t have as much space to play with, you have to be able to see tighter windows.”

On the defense: “I thought the defense played well. They let up one touchdown in the first half. We really controlled the game in the first half. One thing we’ve talked about is trying to control the game. It felt like we had the ball, we were moving the ball at will. I feel for the most part our defense did a nice job. They stopped them as much as they needed to. They held them to 22 points.”

On the Territorial Cup environment: “It was a cool environment. Rivalry games are great, rivalry games are what make college football so special, rivalry games is what we all do this for.”

On what his team needs to improve on during the offseason: “I am looking forward to two things this offseason. We’ll become a much better turnover team and much better takeaway team. We’ve taken the ball away six times all season long, we’ve caused two fumbles all season long, and three of them came the third game of the season. Cannot be a team that doesn’t take the ball away, too long of fields, and we turned it over too much. And we will be a much better red zone offense and a much better red zone defense. I believe we were not better in either situation and that will be where our focus will be starting the first day we’re allowed on the field.”

On the offseason in general: “This offseason will not be easy. It will be hard, in order to change losses to wins. It’s about commitment, it’s about dedication, it’s about loyalty, it’s about trust. And those four words will be discussed often in our building. If you’re going to commit to wanting to be a good football team, and if you’re wanting to have a championship-caliber program, that’s going to take every single person. I look forward to watching our guys embrace that mentality and recognize that’s not for everyone. That’s just the way it’s going to work, that we’re a program that’s committed to getting this thing flipped.”

On what can be taken from his first season: “The key is how you bounce back. We’ve been in a rut the last few years and we’re turning it around. I’m excited beyond belief for where our program is headed. I think there’s no question in my mind that we’re going to become a very, very good football team over the course of time, and that we’re building this thing from the ground level. We had to lay our foundation. We have opportunities to begin the recruiting cycle. We have opportunities to see what our team looks like, who our players are. Last season we didn’t know them. Now we know exactly what these guys do well and be able to work off of that and be able to see what they can do. I’m really not focused on this year’s record, or (now) last year’s record.”

On the urgency to replace Don Brown at defensive coordinator: “I’d like to really dig deep into that over the next 24 to 48 hours. College football has really changed some things in terms of ... I’m sure there’s coaching things, things that happened today that I don’t even know about, guys hired, whatever ... I think what it comes down to is, with recruiting starting tomorrow, with the transfer portal being as active as it is. When you have an early signing period, which is going to be in, whatever, 18 days, the earlier you get your staff, especially when you’re talking about coordinators, especially when you’re talking about a coordinator on the opposite of the ball of the head coach, the faster the better. We’ll try to move quickly on that.”