Huskies preparing for Pac-12 opener in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

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During his regular Monday press conference, Washington coach Chris Petersen reviewed the Huskies’ 45-3 victory over North Dakota and previewed Saturday’s Pac-12 opener at Utah (7 p.m., ESPN):

(Opening) “Looking back, analyzing the tape, I thought our defense played extremely well. I thought our special teams played really well. And at times on offense we obviously did some really good things but we were stumbling over ourselves too many times — certainly in the run game. So we’ve got to clean some things up there. I thought Jake (Browning), it’s always different on tape. I thought he did some really nice things in the pocket and there’s probably three or four throws he’d probably like to have back. The interception, the guy just sat on the out. He’s trying to time things. And the other one he just kind of missed the throw, the scramble throw, a little too far inside. He did do some really nice things in the pocket and we’ll keep building on those things.”

(On Jake Haener’s debut) “Jake was good. He kind of practices like that. He’s been a pretty good deep-ball thrower for the last year and that kind of showed up in the game. It gives those guys a chance to make plays for him. It was kind of how he’d been practicing.”

(How much goes into the evaluation considering who and when he came into the game?) “You’ve got to keep this in perspective. It’s different than crunch time where you’re trying to win the game. It’s a different feel. You can play a little more relaxed and that certainly matters. But he’s been practicing well too, so it’s good to see it translate to the field.”

(On stumbling over themselves in the run game …) “It just wasn’t clean enough. They are a movement defense, twisting and looping and our guys were probably playing a little too tentative. When you do that, it usually never looks good.”

(On the O-line through two games, given the injury situation) “It was so much different of a style than we saw the first week. I don’t think you realize how different that is in terms of preparation. It’s completely different, and sometimes certain styles give certain people more issues. But you’ve got five guys and one of them messes up it’s going to show up in there, and that’s all it takes, one guy to be on an edge or something and then it can look really bad. So we’re still building, still working, just trying to figure out the right combination of guys.”

(There was a series there where redshirt freshman Cole Norgaard went in at center …) “Boomer (Jesse Sosebee) lost his shoe. And I wouldn’t have any problem putting Cole in, he’s worked hard and he’s made good progress and he’s going to keep getting better. We’ve been pleased with him. He and Boomer have been battling kind of for that second spot in camp and Boomer’s got a lot of reps under his belt. Cole will keep getting better so it wasn’t a problem to get him in there.”

(As experienced as Sosebee is, is it a different feel getting your first start like that? Do they maybe play a little slower because they’re thinking too much?) “Or they can play better. You haven’t been thinking about it and you put a guy in and away he goes, he doesn’t overanalyze it. Sometimes you can play mind games with that whole thing. I do think it’s different – time of game when a guy goes in, when he goes in, if starting and building up — all we can do is study our tail off and figure out who we’re going against and practice really, really hard.”

(What did you see out of the freshmen in the fourth quarter?) “You’d like to see them out there more. That’s the problem, you get into that fourth quarter and it seems to go so fast. You’d like them on the field longer. Couple of them only got a few plays and it’s really hard to tell. I think two others may have gotten 10 or 11 plays and it’s good to get them out there and we’ll kind of see.”

(On Salvon Ahmed on the outside … ) “We’ve got some guys we’d like to get the ball to. You’ve got Myles in the backfield there and then you’ve got Salvon and then you talk about Chico and figure out how to get him the ball maybe besides just being  wide receiver and then I thought those other two running backs performed really well too with Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant did a really good job. At this point that’s a good problem to have and we certainly don’t see it as a problem at all. IT’s a long season and all those things. I think those guys are playing at a good high level. We’ve got to get our guys in front blocking for them a little bit cleaner and make some progress.

(On playing Utah tight the last two years) “Really even the last three years. We had a couple turnovers three years ago and they blew it open late. They’re a good team, a good program. This defense is as good as I’ve seen and they’re always known for defense in terms of what they’re doing. They’ve got some really good players that have played for them for a long time. They’re extremely aggressive. This is one of the best defenses in our league, for sure, if not the best. We’re early in the season and they stay healthy and all those things, those guys do a really good job.”

(On UW’s successful recruiting in Utah lately) “I think they play good football over there and pretty good population base in the Salt Lake area and that’s what recruiting is, it’s population base, if there’s a lot of people you’re usually going to find pretty good football player. I think those high school coaches over there in Utah really coach those guys well, very prideful about football. It shows up in Utah’s program themselves, the University of Utah, and there’s just been a lot of good players coming from that state.”

(Early games of impact in the conference like Stanford-USC and UW-Utah) “I think if you have it your ideal way you’d probably like to play your non-conference first. We just have so much more building to do. You’re building throughout the year but certainly these first few games you just really feel like you’ve got some things to work on. Then you put this really meaningful impactful game against a really good opponent, it’s just the way the schedule has fallen this year. To start with Auburn and then go to Utah, which every bit the styles are a little bit different but every bit the same. We’re going to an extremely hard place to play, harder than where we played back East because we’re truly on their campus, a team that is super well coached and is going to be one of the better teams in the country when it’s all said and done.”

(on Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant) “I think those guys run hard. They’re totally different. I think Sean has really good vision and has a knack for finding creases and sliding through them and Kamari is a bigger back, more power type back that runs really hard. A couple of those plays were blocked really well so the combination we got some big chunk runs there, so it was good to see, it was good to see those guys go.”

(more on McGrew …) “I just think there is growth and progress and their day will come. They just need to keep working and be patient and both those guys have good skill and it will come.”

(On Race Porter punting) “I prefer a 47-yard average and I don’t care if it comes in the air or on the ground. 47 yards is a lot better than the game before.”

(How are your coverage units?) “I think there was some improvement there. I think the punt coverage was great because the punts were so hard to field. The kickoff coverage that’s always work in progress. We spend as much time on that, on tape and analyzing this guy, it depends who is getting double teamed and who is getting cross blocked and all these different things and now this guy has to fit. There is a lot of pieces to that puzzle and then the kick changes everything, when it’s a deeper kick, when it’s a shorter kick, so that thing is a little more complicated. But I think our guys have been doing a pretty good job of hustling down there. I think that’s why you’re seeing some of these fair catches. I think our guys are kind of hard to block sometimes.”

(On the run game taking a few games to get going the past couple seasons) “It makes sense, because how do you practice the run game in the offseason? You can’t. you practice the pass game all the time. You can throw all the time. But to practice really the running game and put pads on and have those five guys getting real reps, it takes a while to get into that rhythm. So yeah. But we better get it figured out, because this is a significantly different, better run defense than we’ve seen.”

(On the failed quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1) “It was one guy with a huge error. Huge assignment error. You can’t get a yard when you’ve got an assignment error. It’s pretty hard to have an assignment error, you’d think, on a quarterback sneak, but we had one.”

(On the challenge of preparing for Utah’s punting) “I think so. It seems like everybody’s got some sort of uniqueness to them in the punt game these days. Formations or kickers. Certainly Utah has one of the better weapons in the country, in terms of how they punt. It can really change the game, and make it hard and tough on you.”

(See any of the NFL games yesterday?) “Nope. I didn’t see one snap of anything, but I heard some of our guys did pretty good. It’s awesome.”

(The TV broadcast said Trey Adams had back surgery. How did that go?) “I don’t really have — I’ll talk about it later. I haven’t talked to the doctors or anything, so we’ll deal with that later.”

(If we asked what the error was on the sneak, would you say to go watch the film?) “Yeah, I would.”

(On Utah’s Britain Covey returning from his mission) “He is really, really good. He’s fast. I mean, really, really explosive. Quick. Really good punt returner. I’d forgot about him. I remember him going on his mission, and I was so glad. Maybe he cut his mission in half, because he’s back here too soon for my liking, for sure. He’s a playmaker. He is a playmaker. Lot of respect for him. He’s a young player, too. He played one year, I think, and then went on his mission. Now he’s back, and he looks like he’s picked up where he left off. He’s hard to tackle, really hard to tackle. Smart player. You can just tell how he plays.”

(On Ty Jones’ development) “Steady progress. We just really have liked his demeanor on how he’s worked about things. He’s really been one of those very good practice players. Just comes to work, he’s got a great vibe to him at all times. He just really, really cares. He just hasn’t changed one bit from his role last year, where he was — and he’s still learning. He’s still figuring out how to use all these techniques and all these type of things. He’s getting bigger and stronger and faster. So it’s exciting, because he’s going to continue to get better, and he’s going to do that because of how he approaches his day. He’s a fun guy to be around. I think a lot of our guys work really hard, then there’s a handful of guys that just have that businesslike attitude when they come to practice day after day, that they are going to get better, and he’s done that. Everybody wants that really great skill like, right now, and when it doesn’t happen, most back off. That’s the thing, we have guys that have this tremendous potential and they thought things were going to happen for them right now, and you can just see it, they just back down. They’re a little discouraged. That’s not how building real skill happens. It takes a lot of time, and those that are strong in the mind, and are on that path, are going to do some really good things. I think a lot of the young guys in our secondary have been like that, and that’s why they play at a good level. I think Ty’s like that, and Myles Gaskin has been like that. Ty’s got that.”

(recruiting Ty Jones out of Utah — have to overcome the hometown disadvantage?) “Yes. You always have to overcome a hometown team with a player like that. There were a lot of people who were really into him. I know Ty was very much into our school here. We talked as much about the academic piece as anything. And he would be the one bringing it up. Again, another guy who’s put his money where his mouth is in terms of how he is as a student and how focused and how hard he works here. It’s awesome to see.”

(any part of this team after two games that you’re more pleased with than not?) “I think we’re still early. I do. I think we played two extremely different opponents that it’s very hard for me to (say). I think we play the next couple games, the next three games, that’s a decent amount of football — all unique, different styles. We have some very good teams coming with different twists coming and that’s going to tell us a lot. But I’ve been saying this — I think we have a really hard schedule. It starts out really hard with — you can see these teams have improved, teams that were good already, and going on the road all those types of things. We’ve got a lot on our plate.”

(Did you feel any emotional hangover at all Saturday from the Auburn game?) “Nope. Nope. Nope. Not at all. I don’t think that had anything to do all us with us not running the ball like we wanted to. If anything, they care too much. They’re trying to get this just right and they know what the expectations are. That’s why we just keep — stop paying attention to outside expectations. Whether we’re play Auburn or whoever, like, that doesn’t matter. But if you listen to that, it does matter. And if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do right now, everyone stats to panic and get tight.”

(How much do you rely on the upperclassmen to send that message to the young guys?) “That’s one of the hardest things everyone has to do. It’s got to come from all of us. Heck, some of the upperclassmen need to hear that message. All of us. It’s just one play at a time, one game at a time, one week at a time. As simple as that sounds, it’s very had to do that.”

(Has Utah’s defense changed at all with Chase Hansen moving up from safety to linebacker?) “They’re always tweaking. Another really good football player. I mean, he has been there forever. Would somebody please check his eligibility. That guy has made a lot of plays for Utah over the years and what a heck of an athlete, to play in him in the secondary and now a linebacker. He’s just around the ball and fearless and physical. Really good player.”

(on Utah QB Tyler Huntley) “He’s a matchup problem for a lot of teams. Anybody that can get out of problems and create things on your own. You sit there all week long and design things from what you see on tape, and then he gets out of the pocket and runs and that changes everything. So that’s always a problem.”

(on ex-Oregon State coach Gary Andersen coaching Utah defense) “Utah’s been Utah for as long as I’ve known them with Kyle there. And all those (assistant) coaches will have an influence, and it doesn’t always look just the same. Every year they’re evolving and playing to their strengths and all that. They’re playing hard and playing good.”

(on preparing for Utah atmosphere) “All you can do is prepare them for the noise, which we use every day in practice whether we’re home or away. But, yeah, it’s what college football should be all about. They do a great job over there. Care about their football a lot.”