UW head coach Jimmy Lake met the media yet again on Monday, five days before the 3-4 Huskies hit the road to meet 3-4 Stanford.

Here’s a full transcript of Lake’s address.

“Good morning. OK, well, to recap the game: I’m extremely proud of our guys. What we’re learning is, these guys are tough. They’re resilient. It’s a team of fighters, and we’re going to go down swinging. Hopefully we’re going to go down swinging with a win, but we’re going to scrap all the way until the end. We’re finding out a lot about ourselves right now. It’s been an up and down season, but our guys have stayed together. They’ve stayed united. They’ve continued to grow and develop. Most importantly, they’ve just continued to go back to work every single day. So I’m so proud of those guys to go down there, in a tough environment, a place where we’ve had issues for a lot of years, and also to go down to Tucson shorthanded with some players that were not able to travel with us, which I’ll get to here in a second. So here we go. Now we’re already back to work. We had a good practice yesterday, getting ready to travel down to another tough place to play down in Palo Alto.

“I’ll give you guys an injury update here. First, Alex Cook – who it looked like took a devastating injury during the game – thankfully, all the tests came back negative. He did get back on the team plane with us, traveled back. He’s in good spirits and he’s currently in concussion protocol and he will be week-to-week. So all the major things that we all thought could have happened to him are all negative, so extremely great news. And then, some injuries sustained in the UCLA game, I wanted to give you some updates here: Rich Newton tore his ACL. He’s having surgery today, and he’ll be out for the year. Eddy Ulofoshio had an arm injury sustained in the UCLA game, had surgery last week. He’ll be out for the year. Then these three suffered injuries in the same game and did not attend our U of A game – Taki Taimani, Jaxson Kirkland, and Quentin Moore. All three of those are week-to-week. Cameron Williams is still dealing with an injury from a prior week, and he is also week-to-week.

“Now, some good news: Alphonzo (Tuputala) you saw got some reps in Tucson, and he is battling back from a torn Achilles as well, just like Zion (Tupuola-Fetui), and also stayed ahead of schedule and was on a limited snap count. He was able to go out there and get some reps for us. So I’m so excited for him to come back from a devastating injury, just like Zion, and to see him put all that work in and our team of trainers and doctors and what they were able to do with him and get him back up close to full speed this soon is really a miracle. Jack Westover, you saw him get a few reps as well. It was nice to see him back in the fold. He got through the game healthy, and you’ll be able to see him play a little bit more. And then Zion played more than double the reps he played two weeks ago. He came out healthy, and you should see his reps probably double again once we get to game time here on Stanford. Questions?”

On Daniel Heimuli and Carson Bruener filling the gap left by Edefuan Ulofoshio:

“Eddy is one of our leaders and one of our best players. So you just mentioned a bunch of young guys there, and there were some ups and downs in the game. There were some really good run fits, some really good pass fits. And there were also some ones where we didn’t fit it very well and then all of a sudden there’s a big run play here or there. That’s just going to be part of the growth that we’re going to have to deal with with some young players now being thrust into starting roles.”

Advertising

On Zion Tupuola-Fetui being triple-teamed and held:

“We’re always going to set him up to be somewhere where they’re going to have to pay attention to him, and he’s going to affect the game. Everything that you just mentioned … if there’s a penalty, that’s on the referees and they need to call that. But he’s had an effect in the two weeks that he’s played. He’s pressured the quarterback. He got his first sack this last week. I’m so proud of him. He continues to put the work in, and I can just see him every game from here on out improving and having even more of an effect on the quarterback.”

On Jordan Lolohea:

“Jordan’s playing his best football since he’s been here, no question. He’s learned his position. He gives us a physical presence out there, and you’ll definitely see Jordan play a lot more here as we move forward.”

On Dylan Morris’ second half against Arizona:

“I opened up and I talked about our team of fighters. I tell you what: he goes in and gets his nose bloodied up, face smashed in the first seven plays. He gets it all fixed up, straps that helmet back on and goes out there and … obviously we want to score some more points in the first half, but he goes out and scores 21 in the second half. He threw some dimes. So I’m proud of him. He’s a fighter. He’s tough. He’s resilient. Like I mentioned after the game, we made some adjustments on some routes we wanted to focus on that we felt would work better against what they were trying to do to us, and you saw some explosive plays from our receivers. You saw Jalen on a route, and of course Rome (Odunze) and then Terrell Bynum. Dylan did a nice job of delivering the ball where he’s supposed to deliver it on time.”

On the difference in Dylan Morris’ accuracy in second half against Arizona:

“Yeah, there were some different, they gave us some different looks that we hadn’t seen. So that always causes just a little bit of confusion here or there. And so, it would have been awesome if it was the exact same looks that we thought we were going to see and maybe we’re going to throw the ball and protect with more confidence up front and run the right routes. As soon as we were able to kind of figure out what they were trying to do to us, now we were able to protect with more confidence, we were able to run the route that we know we’re supposed to run versus that coverage, and Dylan was able to get rid of the football and know the coverage that we were getting. And so, I know it’s frustrating, but as the game goes on and you start to figure those things out, I think the confidence builds and you saw a more confident offense, not just Dylan, in the second half than the first.”

On if the offense turned a corner in the second half against Arizona:

Advertising

“We still want way better results. We still want way better results. And so, I’m happy that we came out and scored 21 and won the football game. And I’m happy the way our guys fought, and they were being blanked out in the first half and not moving the ball. And a lot of teams could just cave in right there, right? And they could just lose confidence and pack it up and go, OK, well, it’s over. And our guys don’t do that. There was no flinch. There was no blinking in the locker room. Everybody stayed positive. They knew we were a play away from making it a one-score game. And that’s what we did. And fought all the way back. And so I’m hoping you’re right. I’m hoping we did. But every week is different. Every week, every defense gives you a new challenge. And our next opponent here is going to give us a whole new challenge than U of A.”

On if Richard Newton got hurt on his catch against UCLA:

“I believe it was, yes. By the sideline, yes. That was the play.”

On how Richard Newton is handling his injury:

“Same thing. It’s always hard for those guys, right from the beginning when they hear the news. But Rich is a tough young man, and he’s been through injuries a lot here throughout his career. Not a season-ending injury. But he’s handled it with positivity. But today we’re going to have to regroup with him. Today he’s in surgery, maybe right as we speak, right now. So we’re going to have to love him up, surround him with our brotherhood, and let him know that we have his back and we’ll get him back soon.”

On how Troy Fautanu, Ulumoo Ale and Matteo Mele played:

“I’ll start with Troy. Troy I thought played an extremely solid game. He was really, really physical, finished off some really good blocks. He pass protected really well. And those are big shoes to fill with Jaxson Kirkland right there, and so for him to be able to go out there and seize his opportunity was a good sight to see. And then MJ, he had been playing the last week, he was getting more reps there than Julius (Buelow). MJ played solid. And then I was really excited with how Matteo played. Vic’s (Victor Curne) playing well. Matteo has showed up in practice playing well as well. We want to get him out there and get him some reps, just like I had mentioned across other positions, offense and defense. But I thought Matteo played a really solid game. And it was pretty cool for him to go down there and play a lot of reps in his hometown in Tucson.”

On what he’s looking for from inside linebackers like Daniel Heimuli or Carson Bruener to determine who will step up and play most reps in place of Edefuan Ulofoshio:

Advertising

“It’s going to have to be knowledge of our defense, be where you’re supposed to be, line up in the gap you’re supposed to be in, playing the gap in the run, your pass fit. We need those guys to be able to operate. And those guys have. They’ve ran this defense, guys that you just mentioned, for a while here. They just haven’t been the starter. And now, just like anybody on our team, they’re one play away from being a starter and have to carry us the rest of the way. And we had a good practice yesterday, and so we’ve just got to keep building practice after practice after practice. They’ve already had one game, we’ve had one game without Eddy, and I’m hoping this next game, that group of players that’s replacing Eddy plays a better game this Saturday than they did this last Friday.”

On if Daniel Heimuli, Carson Bruener and Alphonzo Tuputala are candidates for the linebacker job:

“Correct. And (MJ) Tafisi as well. We can mix and match those guys.”

On what he’s seen from Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee:

“I remember him in high school. … We offered him. But I remember how talented he was coming out of high school. And so I’ve seen him for a long time. He went on his mission and came back. But he is extremely accurate. Coach (David) Shaw and Coach (Tavita) Pritchard, their offensive coordinator, they do such a magnificent job of getting these quarterbacks to read and recognize what defenses are doing, and get rid of the ball, and get rid of the ball where they’re supposed to be going on a timely matter. And so just going against Stanford now, for it feels like almost a decade now, it just seems like they’ve got another one on their hands. He’s a big, 6-6, strong-armed, smart football player that knows where to throw the football and throw it on time. So we will have a big challenge on our hands.”

On why Washington has struggled when traveling to Palo Alto:

“Yeah. It’s … My take on that is this is the 2021 season and we just have to worry about our 2021 football team and go down there and try to get a victory out of Palo Alto. Very similar to – it’s been a lot of stories written about how we have had trouble down in the desert. Now I think three times in a row at least in Tucson we’ve been able to take care of business. So, this is about the 2021 season and the 2021 football team. All these other teams in the past that didn’t get it done down there we can’t worry about that. We have to prepare this week to try to come out of there Saturday night with a victory.”

On if this is a good barometer for how physical UW is playing against a team like Stanford:

Sponsored

“Always. Always. If you look at the Pac-12 North, it’s us, Stanford and Oregon for the last… since I’ve been here that’s going to take away the North Championship. And those three teams have – there’s more physical teams than that in the North – usually been the most physical and come out with the Pac-12 North Championship. I’ll say this, we’ve already played some tough, physical teams in Oregon State and Cal – I’m talking about in the North. So, I think we’ve already has some barometers and those two went down to the wire. We’ll see what we do here against a really, really physical team.”

 On if Lake knew he almost crossed paths with David Shaw at Western Washington University:

“Interesting. I did not know that. So that’s news to me. Okay, I definitely almost went to Western (Washington). But I don’t remember that coach (David) Shaw was there.”

 On how difficult it is to snap back and play football after an injury like Alex Cook suffered:

“Yeah. No. It’s quite the ordeal. You saw our whole team out there. It’s a tight brotherhood that we have here. Really uncommon unity that we have on our team. You could hear guys choking up, sending well wishes. It’s very emotional. I think, after they roll him out of there, each position coach kind of talks to their units and say ‘alright, we got to get refocused here. Let’s make sure we take care of business here because we know Alex would want us to go out here and finish and fight, try to get this victory. So there’s no question we know this is a very brutal, violent game. But we don’t want that to happen to anyone, on our team or our opponents team. That’s a scary moment.”

On Alex Cook being in concussion protocol and the possibility that he might play on Saturday:

Advertising

“That’s correct. He’s week-to-week.”

 On if Sam Huard and Dylan Morris give the team the same chance to win:

“I like all of our quarterbacks. You can throw Patrick (O’Brien) in there as well. All three of those guys have played well in practice. At any moments notice, one of those guys can go down and they’re going to have to go in there and operate to win the football game. I like all three of our quarterbacks. I know they prepare well. They’ve gotten better every day that they’ve been there. It was good for Sam to get out there and get some reps on the road. So now he’s had reps at home, he’s had reps on the road. We’ll see what the plan is moving forward but I have confidence in all three of our guys.”

 On what made Friday night against Arizona the right time to play Huard:

“That was just our plan. That was just our plan of how we wanted to do it. I’m not going to unveil our plan on how what we’re going to do the rest of the year out here. I’ll answer it after a game in a press conference. But that was just our plan in-house that we wanted to do.”

 On the importance of Brendan Radley-Hiles’ addition this season:

“It was a huge addition. Huge addition. What I love is he is just like all the other players that are now in the NFL. This young man loves football. He loves football. He’s a leader for us. Came in the building (and) went watched tape with Trent McDuffie. Hours upon hours upon hours. Meeting with his position coach to get caught up on this defense. He plays fast, smart. Still has room to grow and develop like us all, but he was a huge addition for us. His best football is still in front of him. It’s still in front of him. He knows he’s got a lot of things to clean up where he can make even more plays for us. I’m excited for him and for Husky Nation to continue to see a player that loves football. He’s physical and plays like a Dawg. He’s only going to get better every single week.”

 On what Lake saw of Radley-Hiles’ Oklahoma film:

“You want me to take shots at another team? (laughs). I thought – well first I knew him from high school. We watched him at Calabasas (and) at IMG. So we knew he was a very good football player. And then we watched his film at the prior university he was at. We saw a physical player that was flying around the football field. We had known him from the high school ranks. So we knew his character – he had a high football character and loved the game, was going to be a great addition to the locker room in terms of a personality standpoint. I guess I feel like even the other transfers that came in here we feel like we can get them in here and develop them. That’s what we’ve been able to do with a lot of our players. We’ve been able to develop them better than anybody in the Pac-12 and send them off to the NFL. So, we just found a player we really liked in Bookie. Still got room to grow but glad he’s a Dawg.”

Advertising

On planning to get Sam Huard snaps in the Arizona game:

“That is correct.”

On whether that timeline got bumped up because of Dylan Morris’ injury:

“That’s correct, yeah. But it was close. I think it was like one drive away, so it was just interesting how it worked out.”

On the ESPN crew saying they should have gone with Huard in the second half and if he thought about it:

“No, not at that point it wasn’t. Again, no one knows our plan of how many games we’re going to play him anyway. But no, it was not. It was great for him to get out there and get his feet wet a little bit. He’s going to be that much better for it his next opportunity when he gets to go in there and play. Very proud of how Dylan came in there and battled back and threw some dimes and led us to another comeback victory that he can add to his resume.”

On if he should have talked to ZTF about not jumping over the bench after his sack:

Advertising

“I didn’t see it. I did see his exuberance of running around the field. I didn’t see him leaping over a bench. That goes to all his work that he’s put in to get back, to his playing shape that he’s in right now. He’s able to go out there and compete against some of the best players in our conference and play at a high level getting blocked and shedding tackles and all those things. That’s okay if he jumps over a bench (laughs). We’ll try and limit him rep-wise, but like I mentioned already, he’s at a really good place right now and expect to see double-time what he did this last Friday.”

On seeing more of Dominique Hampton on Friday and whether he could play closer to the line:

“He’s not a linebacker. He’s a safety. Very proud of Dom, he’s made a lot of progress on special teams. You’ve seen over the last few weeks he’s made some splash plays special teams-wise, especially on punt. Made some critical tackles. And he’s been playing well on defense at safety in practice. Now his number was called because we’re getting down some guys. It was good for him to go out there. He tackled really well last Friday night, but you can probably for sure see him playing a little bit more here as we move forward just because of the injuries to the guys you’ve mentioned.”

On if he’s still trying to work out the running back rotation:

“I really love all of our running backs. I love all of our running backs. If I was a running back I would want to be the second or third one in because you’re the freshest and the defense is worn down. That’s what you see. I like all three running backs. If Cam Davis would have started and Kamari would have come in and then Sean McGrew comes in at the end? He would have had the stats that Cam had and would have scored the touchdown, if that makes sense. We have three really good running backs that we all feel really good about. I think every single game, when you’ve seen the second or third guy go in and he goes out there and makes plays, it’s because he’s fresh and the defense is worn down.”

On the younger players getting a lot of playing time on the road and them telling you about it:

Advertising

“They want to act like they’ve done it before in front of me, in front of their family and their friends, I’m sure they’re that way. But definitely excitement. There’s excitement. I’m thinking of a guy like Rome Odunze, who scored now two touchdowns in two weeks. That’s still exciting. You’ve scored your first two touchdowns as a college football player. So I’m sure those conversations are more probably intimate with their family and friends about how excited they are. But in front of me they want to act like they’re the big-time college football player that we recruited to come here and do that.”

On how you determine who should be the third RB coming in during a game:

“It changes week to week. It changes on who has had a really good practice leading up to that point. Who is healthy, who’s not healthy. There’s a number of different reasons why a running back is going to start over another running back. But I’m thankful that we have a running back room that – we just lost one in Rich, but – we have three running backs that have played a lot of football around here that we trust in any situation. There’s nothing different about all three of them; we’ll put them in on first down, second down, third down, red zone, two-minute drill…all three of them can do all the same job. And all three of them give us something different. That’s a luxury to have.”