The Jimmy Lake Era is underway.

UW’s first-year head coach kicked it off with a somewhat underwhelming 27-21 win over Oregon State. And, before the Huskies host 0-1 Arizona on Saturday, he met the media for his weekly press conference.

Here is a full transcript of Lake’s address.

“Good morning. Oh, am I still wearing this? Let me take that (‘Run the damn ball’ hat) off. Hey, good morning guys. Extremely proud of the way our team came out Saturday night. We played with a lot of energy, a lot of juice and we played a physical game, which we want to be about. I’m extremely pleased with the way we handled adversity. My favorite sequence of the game was our special teams mistake that turned into a touchdown, and then we responded the very next series with our offense marching down and scoring a touchdown and tying the game up, 7-7. That was my favorite moment of the whole game, showed what our team’s been about in 2020, just responding to every setback that’s been put in front of us. So I think that whole scenario and that situation, sequence of a series, really is what this season has been all about. So I’m just extremely proud of those guys, how they handled adversity. And there’s going to be more adversity that’s coming up. Every game is not going to be perfect. We know that. There’s never been a perfect game played ever, at any level of football, including this upcoming Saturday. We’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to make some plays, and we’re going to have to respond. And how we respond will dictate if we win or lose the football game. So I was very proud of our guys for how they responded in that moment.

“We have tons of improvement to make, and we’re excited to get back to work. We’re excited to get back to work and we’re glad we’re making all these improvements after going 1-0. But we know we can get better on offense, on defense and on special teams, and we are right now in the process of making those changes – those improvements – and trying to grow as a coaching staff and grow as players going into our week two.”

“I just want to give a huge shoutout to Dylan Morris. His first college football game. Think about that. His first college football game was played this last Saturday. Starting quarterback for University of Washington. No turnovers, no sacks. We were 50% on third down, 100% on fourth down, and he led our team to victory. I was just extremely pleased with the play of our starting quarterback in his first ever college football game.”

“From a strategic standpoint, I just want to point this out here before I open this up to questions. I’ve thought a lot about this and how this thing has gone on for years. I’ve seen different head coaches do it different ways. But from a strategic standpoint, we are never going to talk about guys that haven’t played, why they didn’t play, who’s injured, who’s not injured. I’m just not going to discuss any of those. So if you guys want to save those questions, you might want to erase those questions right now so you can ask something else. It has nothing to do with me trying to hide anything. It’s just more from a strategic standpoint for our opponents. We read the news of our opponents’ injuries and what’s going on with them, and I know they do the same. So that’s the only reason we’re doing that. So we will not be discussing anything of that nature. Now, what we will do, if there ever is a very serious injury during a game day – which we did not have this last Saturday – and it’s obviously very apparent that something happened, I will definitely address that once we get the information. So that’s just how we’ll do things here moving forward.

“So all right. With that, we’ll open it up to questions.”


On the wide receiver play and whether end zone passes to Ty Jones and Rome Odunze should have been caught:

“You are correct. Those are two balls that we should have caught, and those should be two touchdown throws that should be added to our freshman quarterback there. There’s no question. Our receivers need to play better. It’s no secret. They know they need to play better. They blocked extremely well. I think you guys saw that on Saturday night. I was very happy about that, besides the one holding call. And we made a couple catches here and there, but our play there has to be better. We are going to continue to move forward to keep getting those guys better. I know coach Adams is coaching those guys up and we’re trying to put them in situations where they can catch footballs and make plays for our team. But there’s no question that unit has to play better.”

On if Kevin Thomson’s possible injury impacted Dylan Morris winning the starting QB job:

“All four guys really did a great job during training camp, and it could have gone either way. Dylan, with his leadership skills and the way he operated our offense during training camp and made plays and limited mistakes, that’s the reason he got the edge.”

On whether Morris may be trusted to use his legs more in the future:

“Yes, whatever a defense is going to give us and presents us, we’ll devise a game plan to make sure we put them on their heels. So what you guys saw Saturday night is something we thought we could do against that defense on that night and in those conditions. When we see another defense we feel we can get an advantage on – if that’s with the quarterback running, if that’s with receivers or running backs running, or no-back formation and throwing the ball 10 times in a row – whatever we think we can do, that’s what I love about our offense. We’re going to be multifaceted and we’ll be able to devise a game plan that we feel will put us in position to win the football game.”


On Trent McDuffie as a punt returner:

“What an exciting part of the game that was. I was so excited that Trent was back there and learning how to become a punt returner. Coach Bhonapha is our return coach. And he’s just so natural, so explosive. We saw him in practice making guys miss and causing our scout team issues. So we knew it was going to happen in a game. Teams here moving forward are definitely going to have to make sure they don’t outkick their coverage, and they’re going to have to know where 22 is and make sure they’ve got guys that can tackle him. He’s one of our fastest players on our team. He’s sure handed. I’m extremely excited about what Trent is going to do in our return game.”

On Zion Tupuola-Fetui’s impact on the game:

“I know you guys have heard it, but I always tell the team: practice execution becomes game reality. Zion and the rest of that outside linebacker room really affected our offense during training camp. They did a really good job of rushing the passer and harassing the quarterback. Of course our quarterbacks were not live for most of camp, but you could really feel them breathing down our quarterbacks’ necks in training camp. So it was no surprise to our coaching staff or our players that Zion had such a big game. His pass-rush moves are even better this year. His get-off, which is his timing once the ball is snapped, is even faster this year. I’m just excited, again, to see him in game two and see how his game progresses. It wasn’t all perfect. He made some big-time splash plays. He’s got a lot of things to clean up, and it’s on him and our coaches to clean up those mistakes and get him even better for game two against Arizona.”

On using the strengths of all of UW’s running backs:

“We have a stable back there now, and we like to use those guys and keep those guys fresh and keep a fresh runner going at our opponents. But going back to Sean (McGrew), he really had a big impact on the game. As we were looking through it, he probably should have had some more carries down the stretch, for sure. He had an impact on the game that obviously you guys could see with his stats. He did a really nice job of setting up blocks, turning on the juice when he had to. He did a great job of protecting the football, and of course, getting in the end zone. I’m just so excited about the spark that he gave us, and he gave us a huge spark. Then after we looked at it, you know what, he probably should have had some more touches down the stretch for sure. We’ll learn from that as a coaching staff. Also, it could be another running back in another game that has the hot hand. It could be another one of those talented guys that we have back there. If he has the hot hand, we’ll probably lean on him as well. But it was nice hammering our opponent with some bigger backs down the stretch. I think that did make a difference, especially in the time of possession and for our offense to be on the field for most of the second half.”

On whether defensive line and outside linebacker injuries impacted UW:

“We definitely need to play the run better, which we did not play very well at all Saturday night. That was one of our keys to the game and we made some strategy changes throughout the game – in the first, second and third quarter – that really helped us, which was a huge boost to our defense after we made those adjustments. We ended up shutting out Oregon State in the second half. They scored no points in the third and fourth quarter, but we definitely want to play better in the first and second. But we like who we have. We made it out of the game healthy. We’re excited to put some better film on tape this weekend, making sure we don’t give up those type of running yards.”

On whether those injured players might be back in the near future:


“We’re looking forward to this Saturday and improving on what we did, the mistakes we made this last Saturday.”

On what caused the run defense issues:

“It was a couple things. It was more of a fit issue, but also a technique issue. Oregon State, they ran the ball the week before very well and they’ve run the ball for the last couple years very well. Smitty (Jonathan Smith) does a good job over there. They’re using two tight ends, one tight end. They do a nice job. They did some different things that we hadn’t seen, which is typical. That’s what a good team does. They’re going to show you different pictures. We caught up to it. We got our guys on the sideline, coached them up, coached them to play it better and obviously those adjustments worked out for us in the second half.”

On the stops on third- and fourth-and-inches early in the fourth quarter:

“That was huge. What a big-time deal. We had a lot of energy on the sideline during those moments. We wish Husky Nation was sitting in their seats. I think it would have been even easier for us to make those two critical stops with Husky Nation yelling and screaming and being behind us. But it was a huge part of the game. And as we sit here and point out the negatives and some of the stuff that our defense didn’t accomplish, that was a huge positive. We shut them out in the second half and we didn’t allow them to move the ball an inch in two plays with one of the best running backs in our conference. It was a huge, huge energy boost to our whole team.”

On the success of the left side of UW’s offensive line:

“I’m really impressed with that whole offensive line, not just the left side. I’m impressed with the right side. I’m impressed with our tight ends. If you guys have a chance, go back and watch Cade Otton block all night on Saturday night. That was impressive. But your question goes to (Ulumoo “MJ” Ale). Yeah, MJ is a huge human being. He loves run-blocking, and I know if I was a linebacker playing for our opponents I’d want to make sure I got out of his way. He is a monster and he just continues to get better and better and better. Our O-line is playing cohesive right now for such an early part of the season, for just having one game under their belt. But they’ve practiced extremely well. Our installs have been clean and crisp and clear. I’m excited for where that unit is going to finish at the end of the year. We’ve still got some things to clean up, but what a great start for those guys.”


On Edefuan Ulofoshio’s play and the linebacking corps:

“Eddy is going to be our player of the game, announced by the coaching staff. So after we pored through the film and have gone through the grades of where he was supposed to be, where he wasn’t supposed to be, mistakes, production, Eddy is our defensive player of the game. So that speaks volumes to our linebacking corps. He was all over the field. He made two critical pass breakups in the final two-minute drill when our opponent was down by six points. He led us in tackles and I believe he had four total pass breakups. Eddy was all over the field, just like has been since the last half of the season in 2019 and it was a great start for him in 2020.”

On the linebacker unit as a whole:

“Just overall Eddy just got player of the game and his production speaks for itself. We’ve had some other guys plug in there and rotate in that also contributed to our performance as well. But Eddy and including the rest of the guys, we’ve got to get better. It was not a perfect game, and we’ll continue to learn from our mistakes and also learn from the positive things we did.”

On Lake wearing a “Run the damn ball” hat and using Jack Westover as a fullback:

“Yeah, isn’t that a pretty thing? I love it. That’s very hard to defend for defenses. For an offense to be successful and to win a lot of football games, you have to run the football. If you look at any team that’s won, whether it’s college or national championships or Super Bowls, their offenses are really good at running the football. That sets up everything. We’re not where we need to be. We’re not where we need to be on defense either, or special teams. But what I’m excited about is, we will be multifaceted. If we need to run the ball, we can run the ball. If we think we need to pass the ball to put a little bit more pressure on our opponent, we’ll be able to pass the ball. If it’s a rainy, cold, wet night, like last Saturday night and we need to run it, let’s run it. If it’s snowing sideways and we need to run it, let’s run it. But hey, if we have the opportunity to go throw it around and spin it around a little bit, we’ll be able to do that too. That’s what I love about our offense and that’s what is very challenging for a defense, when you don’t know what you’re going to get from week to week. So this weekend you’re going to see a different type of offense. It’s not going to be exactly what happened this last Saturday. That puts a lot of pressure on our opponent’s coordinators.”

On whether it’s more important for his QB to make plays or avoid mistakes:

“It’s both. It’s both. And Dylan was able to make some plays. He made some huge plays in the game. You go back and watch, and it’s not about throwing for 700 yards and eight touchdowns. He made critical plays last Saturday, and the big one was his scramble after he saw it wasn’t there and he ran for it and got us to fourth-and-short, and of course Oregon State had the targeting penalty. But either way he got us in position to go for it on fourth down. But obviously they had the penalty so we got the first down anyway. But that was just one of the plays he made. He was on target with the ball for most of the night. He definitely didn’t get helped out with some critical drops that we’re trying to correct right now, that we’re hoping will correct itself this Saturday. But even the ballhandling of our run game, being able to do that crisp and clear in a wet, rainy night and having no issues with turning the ball over. So the quarterback’s got to be able to limit mistakes and also make plays and command the huddle and be a leader, and Dylan did all of those things. It’s not perfect. It’s his first college football game. It wasn’t perfect. He’s got room for improvement, just like I do and the rest of our team, and that’s what we’re going to work towards this week.”


On whether Dylan Morris is the starting QB against Arizona:

“I like how you just open it up like that, because then I can be very … I think he is, yeah. How’s that? We’ll see. Did we release the depth chart yet? I don’t even know. We did? Did it say he’s starting on there? OK, so as of today he is. That could change tomorrow. That could change Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or maybe Saturday morning.”

On what Arizona does well:

“Their quarterback can throw it. They have a spread attack, a ton of tempo. It’s the same scheme we faced last year with their offense, but now with a quarterback that is very accurate and he can still run with his feet and he can move the chains. Defensively they’re going to be new. They’ve got some new guys, new scheme. This is a team that took USC all the way to the brink and almost had the game won if it wasn’t for the heroics of the USC offense in the last 30 seconds of the game. So we’re going to be facing a very talented opponent, a very motivated opponent, and we’re going to have to play good football and play better football than we did last Saturday to make sure we get the victory.”

On if they’d like to involve the tight end in the passing game more:

“Yes, for sure. Now here’s the deal: we’re not just going to force the ball to somebody. Our quarterbacks need to go through their progressions. But I agree with you. Cade (Otton) is one of our best players. He had an incredible night blocking, probably one of the best performances he’s had since he’s been here. It was just an impressive, violent, tough blocking night he put on. But yes, we need to get the ball to him. He’s a playmaker and we’ll definitely have to correct that here moving forward. But also the way the game was played and the way it ended up, we ended up running the ball more down the stretch obviously. We didn’t need to throw it. But Cade’s one of our best players and we definitely want to get the ball in his hands.”

On Tim Horn’s kickoff performance:

“Tim had an excellent game. We have to help him out. He kicked off really, really well. I was not pleased with our kickoff unit, which is another thing we’re trying to correct this week. Tim Horn actually ended up having two tackles, which is not good. I don’t want my kicker tackling. I just want him kicking the ball and watching our guys go tackle. So we’re already in the middle of correcting that and we want to see a big improvement in that department come Saturday. So again, we are not a perfect product. We are always going to be scratching and clawing, wanting to get better – including myself. We’re looking forward to making those corrections and playing better for our fans and our families and four our team this Saturday night.”

On how offensive coordinator John Donovan did on the sideline:

“I think JD did an excellent job of building confidence with our young quarterback, again, playing his first college football game. I know I keep saying that, but that’s a big moment – playing your first college football game, especially at that position. I think JD did an excellent job of keeping him confident, making him successful, not putting him in situations where there’s too much stress on him and our offense to make mistakes. I think we definitely kept our opponent off balance and were able to move the chains and possessed the ball. So for game one … which John Donovan also received a game ball. That was the first game ball I gave out. I asked him to come here and implement a new offense, with all the things we’ve had to deal with with no spring football and not being able to practice and all these things. Him and our staff were still able to cobble everything together and trot out there a new scheme and a new direction with a freshman quarterback. So I was really excited about what he did, and I think they did an excellent job on Saturday. There are things we can still correct again, though. We know it wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t perfect, again. Nobody was. But we write all those things down and now we’re trying to grow and improve. This whole team, this whole building is trying to grow and improve every single day.”


On Arizona running back Gary Brightwell:

“This guy’s good. This guy’s a good football player, and what really makes him dangerous is the style of offense. Last week they were a little similar to us, in that Oregon State is going to line up and go, ‘Here you go. We’re packed in here and we’re going to run the football.’ And we’ve got everybody packed in there as well. Well, this team that we’re playing this week is going to be all spread out and you’re going to have to defend all these wide receivers – these fast guys – out on the perimeter. Then when you stretch out and put everybody out there they’re going to hand this ball off to this big running back to try to slice through your front that’s probably going to be reduced by a couple numbers. So that’s the biggest difference in terms of scheme-wise what we’re going to see this week. But he is an excellent runner. He ran really good this last Saturday. We’ve got another really good player on our hands that we have to stop, and we have to do better than we did last week. Hopefully we make that growth and improvement in week two.”

On how confident he is that UW can be explosive in the passing game if you need to be:

“It’s very high. I’ve seen it against what I believe are some of the best DBs in the country that are on our roster. So I’ve seen it in practice. I’ve seen it in our training camp. Again, we’re going to do whatever we feel we need to do to make sure we win the football game. So if that means we’ve got to run it, we’re going to run it. If it means we’ve got to be balanced, we’re going to be balanced. If we’ve got to throw it, we’re going to throw it. We’re going to do what the defense presents itself, to where we think there’s going to be a weakness. Now I will say this: we’re never going to be an air raid. We’re not going to sit back there and throw the ball all over the place for no reason. That’s not how you win championships. But we have some guys out wide that can go make some plays. I wish they would have pulled a couple of them down this last Saturday, but we’re working on improving that. I’m excited to watch this whole team’s growth and improvement and for it to show itself on Saturday night.”