On Friday, UW will look to hand Arizona its 19th consecutive loss.

But first, Jimmy Lake met the media.

Below is a full transcript of the second-year Husky head coach’s Monday press conference.

“OK, good morning. Well, after looking at the tape of the game, we were very proud of our effort. But unfortunately our opponent made more plas than we did. Our staff, our players, there’s no one in this building that’s more upset and disappointed that we couldn’t get that done on Saturday night, especially with a great crowd, homecoming, celebrating the ’91 championship team. I do appreciate all the support of all the fans that came out, honoring the 1991 national championship team. But we’re upset. We’re disappointed. We know there’s a few plays here or there, where if we make those plays and we stop a couple plays, then we have a different result. That’s why we’re back to work to change the result. We went back out there today and had a really good practice, and now we’ll have an opportunity to have a different result on Friday night. Questions?”

On Dylan Morris’ game against UCLA and what led to his two interceptions:

“Yeah, there was a lot of positives too. He threw a lot of strikes, was really good on third down, the awesome pass to Rome there in the back of the end zone to get us back to 17-10. So a lot of positive plays too. And of course the negative plays that I know he wants back and our team wants back. We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to make those plays. Those are a couple plays where UCLA made the play and we didn’t. I do like our aggressiveness, that we were trying to go after it and go get it and make some plays downfield. UCLA made those two plays. So we’ve got to learn from it and we have to keep attacking and hopefully next time around, those plays go our way.”

On what UW can do to get the run game going more:


“Yeah, we have to make sure obviously schematically we’re setting our guys up for success. Coaches, it always starts with us first. Then we have to go out there and execute. UCLA is the top run defense in our conference right now. We actually got some more yards on them than most opponents have in 2021. But still it wasn’t good enough. But it was one of the better run games against that defense all year long. But again, we just have to continue to force the issue. We have to set up schematically better and of course we have to block and we have to run.”

On if Kamari Pleasant has been put in positions to succeed more than other backs:

“No, I don’t think so. He’s in there the same amount of plays that our other running backs are in there, same formations. There’s not an exact formation or play that’s run just for Kamari.”

On if Kamari Pleasant has earned more carries:

“Like I say, we really like all of our backs. It seems like we get these questions all the time. ‘Hey, Rich is doing good,’ whether it’s back to last year, and then he gets more carries. And then Sean gets more carries. And then Kamari has a good game, and it’s, ‘Why isn’t Kamari playing?’ We have really good backs. We have really good backs. It’s awesome to be able to get a fresh running back in there. Especially in this last game, Sean had a bunch of carries early on, and now he’s starting to wear down a little bit and we get a fresh running back in there and all of a sudden, he’s breaking tackles and breaking through for some big gains. A lot of that is because he’s fresh. It’s definitely a positive that we have so many quality backs that we feel comfortable putting back there.”

On why the run defense has continued to struggle:

“We have to get better. We have to get way better. It’s been an emphasis for the last month, and it’s going to continue to be an emphasis. We have to get better. We have to tackle better. We have to get off blocks. We have to read our keys better. It starts in practice. We have to go put a better result this Friday night at stopping the run. If we stop the run better in these last few games, then we’re going to give our offense more of an opportunity to be on the field more and score some points, and of course we’re going to keep points off the board. It’s something we’re continuing to try to get better at and we have to fix, and it starts with us as coaches.”

On how surprised he is that they’ve struggled to run the ball and stop the run:


“Yeah. I guess I would say that we definitely had a lot of confidence going from spring into training camp. At this point I think we should be running the football better, and we should be stopping the run better. Especially on the offensive side of the ball, with our offensive line intact and we didn’t lose anybody and we brought a lot of guys back and all of our running backs back, I do think we should be running the ball a lot better. On defense, we still had some young guys where this was kind of their turn now to be the starters in our defensive line and outside linebackers. So we’re still working through the maturation process of those guys. We’ll get there. We will get there.”

On if it’s possible to teach a team to finish:

“It is. It is. It’s a mindset. It’s a mindset. And it’s something that we harp on and talk about, going back to mat drills, about finishing in mat drills. Mat drills are our drills we do in the offseason and they’re competitive drills against each other, whether it’s one-on-one or offense against defense. It’s definitely a mindset, and our players know that they’re right there on the doorstep, and we have to finish. We have to make those plays when we’re down in the final minutes of a game. We’ve done it before, and we did it in 2020, and we’ve done it obviously this year. So those guys know the taste of it. But, we’ve got to have the confidence and the willingness — which I know we have the willingness — to go out there and compete all the way to the end. And that’s what our guys have done. They’ve fought all the way to the end. They’ve fought all the way to the end, and now we can’t get discouraged that it hasn’t gone our way these last two weeks. We’ve got to keep pushing, keep pushing and keep working, and the result will go into our favor.”

On if this team is built for close games:

“Yeah, you have to be built for close games. So, yes we’re built for close games. And when we’re firing on all cylinders in all three phases then it doesn’t have to be a close game, and that’s what we’re working to do. Now we know this, we’re playing in a conference that’s very even, and there’s talent on everybody’s team, and you guys see the results of all the different Pac-12 games going on this year, and really around the country. Every game has been close. And so, we would love to make it easy on the fans and ourselves by coasting to an easy victory by multiple touchdowns, but we’ve also got to prepare ourselves that we’re going to be in some battles, we’re going to be in some dogfights, which we’ve been in the last three weeks.”

On the possibility of a quarterback change:

“I don’t think … we are nowhere near that point right now. We are a couple of plays away guys of being — and I know we’re not, we’re 1-2 in conference, and that’s what our record is and that’s what we are. But, if you go back to the last two games, we’re one, two plays away from being 3-0 in conference. And so we’re close, and we’ve got to keep working, we’ve got to keep getting better and make sure we can change those results. And so there’s not going to be a panic button pushed here where all the sudden we’re just going to be rotating guys in and out at certain positions, especially an important position like quarterback.”

On Zion Tupuola-Fetui’s return:

“It’s awesome. I would assess it with flying colors. And I probably would have said that with him just taking one rep. There’s not many people that can come back from that injury in six months and go out there and play in a college football game at that level. And so played, he had 10 reps, had a bunch of quarterback hurries, he was effective in rushing the quarterback and maybe not showing up in the stat line, but if you watch the film and you watch the clips that he was in, the quarterback was hurried. And so he came out of the game healthy and I would expect him to have more plays this Friday night.”


On if he saw anything different on film on UCLA’s QB sneak touchdown on fourth-and-1:

“No, I didn’t see anything different. I thought he was stopped and they blew the play dead. But, they said they said they confirmed it and it was a touchdown. So, again, I’m at the 20-yard line. I can’t go beyond the 20. They’re the ones on the goal lines. They have a better vantage point than I do. And so that was the call they made, and we can’t change the call. And we’re not going to sit here and just argue calls. There’s a lot of other things leading up to that point where we could have avoided that touchdown. And so, yeah, I thought we stopped him, they said it was a touchdown, so it’s a touchdown.”

On Race Porter being No. 8 nationally in yards per punt and his impact on the program:

“Awesome question Mike. I love it. It’s been so great just seeing his growth since he’s been here. From walk on to not even – he wasn’t even going to touch the field – to now rising all the way through to our starting punter, one of the best punters in our conference and I didn’t even realize he was eighth in the country. One of the better punters in the country. I go back to Saturday night, one of the key plays we pointed out to the team when we were backed up and he hammered that ball – and Jacobe Covington had the tackle – completely flipped the field. One of the plays of the game in Saturday night’s game. But then also you talk about his leadership. He’s on our leadership council. He’s one of the leaders of the locker room. He has shown what great work ethic can get you. He’s risen up through, earned a scholarship, is a starter and now one of the best punters in the Pac-12 and in the country. So proud of Race. So proud of where he started and now where he’s ending as a Dawg.”

On how much progress Patrick O’Brien and Sam Huard have made behind the scenes:

“Yeah. Every single day they get better. That’s part of our deal. We’re all about growing and developing. You guys saw a glimpse of Sam in the Arkansas State game, and I think if you would assess his play in those few plays there, as opposed to what you guys saw in spring football and training camp, you would probably say ‘okay, he’s making progress’. And every single week him and Patrick are making progress and they’re getting better.”


On if there a defined pecking order for who the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart is:

“It says or. It says or.”

On Ulumoo “MJ” Ale getting the start at left guard against UCLA:

“Yeah MJ played well. MJ played well. We’ve talked about this, Julius (Buelow) and MJ are two quality football players and they both had an opportunity to go in there and play and they’re both going to continue to have an opportunity to play. MJ had a great week in practice. Earned the right to start and play and he gave us something. He protected well, blocked good in the run game against a good front that does a lot. We had some of the most rushing yards against UCLA that anybody has had in 2021. So he played good. But we still got a ways to go. We have to play better. We have to play better so the end result is a victory.” 

On what level of reps the backup quarterbacks get during practice:

“Well, without giving away exactly how we do it, they get reps. But, of course the starter is going to get the most reps. But those guys get in there and they’re able to run the offense. We have to have those guys prepared because we’re one play away from injury, helmet getting knocked off whatever it is to that next guy having to play. So, they get their opportunity to go out there and run the offense. But of course our starter will get the bulk of the reps.” 

On Rome Odunze’s progress:

“Yeah. I would just say overall, I think you guys can see some of the excitement that we had for those young receivers, and you’re seeing the maturation process of those young receivers. They make the big play, and then all of a sudden there is a couple of plays we could have had. If we make those plays all of a sudden, we have a different result. So that’s kind of what I’m talking about with our whole team. But, talking about Rome and you talk about Jalen (McMillan), you see the athleticism. You see the speed, the big-play making ability. They’re young guys. They’re young guys and they’re making plays against quality opponents. And they’ve also … we’ve left some plays out there that we know we’re going to be able to make. So I think they’re right where they should be, in terms of how young they are. But of course we’re going to keep pushing, we’re going to keep prodding to get them to keep them playing at that high level all the time. I think every single week you’re going to see those guys get better and more confident as the weeks go by.”


On the bad shotgun snap by Luke Wattenberg:

“Mistake. That can’t happen. That was a bad operation. Bad snap.”

On Matteo Mele getting in at right tackle:

“Matteo’s played really good in practice and we felt he deserved an opportunity to get in there and get some reps. Hopefully what you’ve seen, we feel like if guys have earned the right to get out there and get some reps, we’re going to get them out there. And Matteo’s played really well in practice. We love Vick, and Vick’s obviously our starter there, but we wanted to get Matteo some reps out there. And he played well.”

On if he’d be treating this situation the same if you were 5-1 compared to 2-4:

“Yes. We are always trying to grow and develop. Yes, we’re never going to sit there and go okay, now we’re 5-0, we’re going to stand pat and we have this all figured out. No. We’re going to come in here and we’re going to go back to work and we’re going to try to grow and develop so we can take the next step so we can make sure we get that next victory.”

On Dylan Morris and the common thread behind his interceptions:

“There’s not a common thread. There’s a lot that goes into an interception, and I know as soon as the interception is thrown obviously all the blame is on the quarterback’s stat line. But there’s a lot of different things that happen during an interception. It could be a missed protection and he’s got somebody in his face, and now his arm gets hit and now it’s an underthrown ball. A tipped ball that should be caught by our pass catcher and all of a sudden it gets tipped and gets deflected. Just a number of things that go on. Now, we know we have to protect the football better. Dylan knows that. We don’t want to go out there and throw interceptions. There’s some that are squarely on his shoulders where he threw it and it was not a well-thrown ball. But there’s some other ones where it doesn’t fall on his shoulders. It’s no secret in our building, we all know;  we’ve got to protect the football. We’ve got to make sure we’re not turning the ball over on offense and we’re trying to get the ball back on defense. We’ll continue to coach it and make sure we get better at it.”

On Arizona’s quarterbacks (Will Plummer and Gunner Cruz):

“Unfortunately they’ve had a lot of injuries at the quarterback position for them. They’ve played three different quarterbacks. They lost their starter and he’s out for the year, and then these two guys have kind of split time and gone back and forth. Of course some issues going on with them. I think they are two younger quarterbacks, haven’t played a lot of football. They’ve made some plays, they’ve made some mistakes. I think Plummer is a little more…he’s got more escapability, can run around a little bit more. But they’re both big quarterbacks that can spin it. They just have limited playing at this point. It’s kind of hard to gauge, we know what we’re looking for in both of them and whoever plays, but they just haven’t had a ton of reps to really hone in on their strengths and weaknesses.”

On Brendan Radley-Hiles’ impact against UCLA:

“Bookie is a leader, he’s a natural-born leader. His presence out there raises everybody’s game He made some good tackles. He still needs to get better, couple run fits that we’ve got to clean up that he needs to hit better, but obviously he made the big play on the third down with the pass breakup. He gives us all a lift. But we still have to get better, he has to get better. He knows he needs to play better, and he will.”

On what he’s seen from Arizona:

“I see a team that’s been in every single game, especially these last three weeks. They go into Autzen Stadium and it’s a one-score game in the middle of the fourth quarter. They’re at home against UCLA and it’s a one-score game into the fourth quarter. They go to Boulder and it’s 6-0 at halftime going into the third quarter. They’ve been in every single game. I see a team that’s competitive, that’s trying to find their way. They have a new coaching staff, but they’ve been in some tough environments against quality teams, and they’ve hung in there all the way. And you see the end result and the score and it looks like oh, they weren’t in it. But when you actually watch the game they’ve been in every single football game, especially the last three weeks.”