It’s almost time for a battle of undefeated Pac-12 contenders.

But before No. 15 Washington (4-0) plays at UCLA (4-0) on Friday, coach Kalen DeBoer met the media for his weekly news conference on Monday morning. Here’s a full transcript of DeBoer’s address.

“All right, good afternoon. Just really quick, wrapping up last weekend, great team win. Originally I kind of thought it wasn’t a flashy win. It was one we just kept plugging away at. But when you think about, we got eight sacks and three turnovers, there was a lot of flash to it. I was proud of the way we played team football, from four field goals being made by Peyton to continuing to be efficient and executing offensively. We’re starting games so fast, putting touchdowns on the board. We probably would have liked to have had a couple more touchdowns in those times later in the game, but we’re starting fast. We’re executing, and the defense right away is getting us the ball. We won the toss and are going out there and playing defense and them setting the tone like they did those first few drives, it gets us that cushion. We’re pretty tough to play when we have that lead. We can play freely on both sides of the ball.

“I appreciate Husky Nation. We’ve had four home games now, but every week coming bigger and better. It was awesome seeing them overcome all the adversity themselves, finding ways to get to the game, sitting in traffic, all that good stuff, the delays in traffic … the delays in the game, with the drone — which, by the way, was not anything associated with UW Athletics or anything like that. I guess I should set the record straight on that, too. Anyway, I really appreciate Husky Nation. The Dawg Pack was awesome, loved seeing the students. I can’t wait for the next home game. Now that school started, seeing them all show up and fill that section, it really felt good. Our guys loved to see that, and I’m glad we can continue to put a product on the field that’s fun to watch and entertaining. So on to UCLA. Short week, guys start school this week. We’ve got to travel. It’s a Friday game. We moved on very quickly to UCLA yesterday, just knowing all those things are in front of us. So I know our guys are in it mentally and I expect them to have a really good week of practice. Questions?”

On Laiatu Latu and whether DeBoer had a chance to talk to him before he transferred:


On why he was medically ineligible at UW and has been cleared at UCLA:

“It’s up to the institutions. Physicians have a job to do, and they have to deem what’s right for that person in their mind. Different places have different doctors, and different doctors will have different feelings on that limit. I’ve been at other places where the same thing has happened both ways. I didn’t even really realize what was going on until once we started the season, or very close to it, that he was a player that had played here and moved on. On the field, he’s certainly a guy that’s making a lot of plays and one we’ve got to be very aware of. He’s doing a nice job for them, getting to the quarterback and such.”


On how Jaxson Kirkland played against Stanford:

“Jaxson had a good week of practice and continues to get back into the flow. These guys had all spring and summer and fall, and he’s continuing to get into the flow. That volume we’re working with him on continues to progress. Part of the plan was hopefully we could get to a spot where we could get him out of there for a series or two so he could finish strong. And then the lead became what it was. That was really on us coaches to do that, and we’re looking at big picture with him. We fortunately have the luxury where we can move Troy. We’ve got a guy like Troy that can play both spots, and we’ve got Nate, who’s doing a great job. That luxury right now exists, and we’re developing depth. You’ve got Matteo and Corey playing both at center. I love the vibe that our guys have. They’re in it for the team-first piece. Whatever they’ve got to do for the team they’re willing to sacrifice.”

On school starting and the short turnaround on the road at UCLA:

“You plan ahead. Even last week, because there’s a little more time, we did some academic meetings, prepping the guys for making sure they’re all good with their class schedules, what the expectations are with study halls now and how that all works. We don’t all of a sudden throw it on them this week. We did some of that prep and found the times that fit into the schedules around football practice and when they were around campus to not make them make an extra trip to have those meetings. Just good organization, everyone working together and challenging them with thinking ahead to how that time management is going to look. So last week, take care of all of those things away from school, away from football that you need to get done. I don’t care if it’s getting the oil changed in your car, whatever it might be. Get those things done, because this week now is ramping up. It’s going to be fast and furious. It’s going to be intense. The guys especially that are not freshmen, they know what that looks like. They know what that feels like. So I think the biggest adjustment is for the guys who are new to all this. They took some summer classes, but it wasn’t during the season. So this intensity and this time management piece now is ramping up.”

On how UW improves its red-zone efficiency:

“We just missed on a couple things. Literally, it could go either way. You put the ball in the ground and now you’re in a really good situation. Maybe you have a first down and a new set of downs to score. I think it always comes down to execution. It’s different things, right? The week before it was flat-out on the 1-yard line. This week it was more of a red zone thing. But I think the thing to always look at is, offensively, we are flipping the field when we are backed up. We are driving down the field. There are very few three-and-outs and anything of that nature. We are very consistent moving the ball. The percentages show, the further you have to drive the ball the less chance you have of getting a touchdown. There were more long drives. We’ve been very successful with long drives. But there was longer drives, and those drives were still successful consistently throughout the game. We probably missed a couple opportunities on some explosives that were really close, and those explosives are the ones that help you not have to put as many plays together. Flipping it, that’s what was a big part of the game Saturday for our defense. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh, we should have gotten off the field on a third down here or there.’ But we kept tackling. We kept making them play another play. And sooner or later we got to the quarterback and got a sack. Sooner or later we got that turnover. Thinking both ways, those explosives were important. That field position was important. Our offense consistently moved it down and got into some good field goal opportunities. They had the one long 48-yard field goal. Other than that, we were down in there pretty tight. So I’m really pleased with where we’re at. You always learn from those experiences. We’ll be better and better. Teams are doing a good job of scheming us a little bit more, too.”

On Michael Penix Jr. overthrowing Jalen McMillan on a deep ball early:

“It’s a long, developing route. If you look on that route McMillan was running, it’s a ball-holder. There was a little bit of pressure coming and Mike threw it probably a split-second earlier than what we normally had in practice. He had to … not guess, but kind of gauge a little bit more in advance where Jalen was going to be. There’s pieces to that. We know that play takes a little bit longer to develop. There’s a chance for us to take a shot. We felt very comfortable with the one-on-one opportunity we were going to have. We were just getting a little more pressure. Mike went down to the ground right after he threw it, if I remember right. If he had a split-second longer, we might have had a different result.”


On how the team came out of the Stanford game on the injury front:

“I mean the typical bumps and bruises that football brings. Nothing as far as we feel like we’ll have some guys out like we’ve had the last couple weeks when all of a sudden you wonder why certain guys aren’t suiting up. They got dinged up in a game.”

On Edefuan Ulofoshio’s status:

“Still same timeline. Really expecting him to play at some point this season. That certainly is the expectation. Don’t foresee it being in the next month. But I would hope after that we’d be starting to talk about week-to-week and some point day to day.”

On the win at UCLA last year when DeBoer was at Fresno State:

“It’s just always a lesson in keep fighting, keep playing. It’s never over till it’s over. That game doesn’t mean anything to this team. But those are things that just continue to give you that fighting mentality as a coach. Our guys are probably aware of the experience we went through. There’s been different times when it’s been brought up, whether it be spring ball or summer. It might’ve been showing a two-minute drill those type of things. But it doesn’t really mean anything. Two different teams that’re lining up against each other. Obviously, we got good memories as a coaching staff — good experiences of what’s taken place. We know we got a great football team that we’re going to be facing here. DTR is definitely a guy that causes problems. Fortunately, we’ve had a couple games where we’ve had some experience against some quarterbacks that are mobile, that can move around, and we’ve got to learn from that and adjust and go make plays.”

On if DeBoer remembers the moment Polk, McMillan and Odunze decided to stay at UW:


“Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I remember. They were kind of at different times. It wasn’t like all three at the same time just made the same decision. All three of them were a little bit different. But it was in the same kind of window of time, a day or so. There was obviously this excitement. I felt like at that time there was more — we just need to prove to you that you’re making the right decision. That’s what I remember. I’m going to prove to you this is what you’re supposed to do. This is where you’re supposed to be. Probably said that to them while we were going through that time. Watching film. I know they spent a lot of time with myself, talking with coach Grubb and just really understanding what this offense was going to be. It showed a lot about them and how thorough they are. Now you’re seeing some of those characteristics come up and how hard they work. The preparation they put in. How much they care. How team oriented they are. You know, they were just really going through the process because they’d been through a lot. I have nothing but a ton of appreciation for what we did. I think, in the end, we are closer now because of those conversations that we had. Whether it be me with them or coach Grubb with them. Or me talking to their parents as we were going through this. I think we’re tighter. I think we’re closer because of the trust that we built up way back in January.”

On his daughter, Alexis DeBoer, committing to UW softball:

“Yeah. It’s my daughter. This is a different deal. Obviously. it’s a fine line. But this is a proud moment to be a dad. Super excited that Alexis is getting this opportunity. Really cool deal. A year ago today she was at a camp — a softball camp here with coach (Heather) Tarr. This was one of those schools going back even when we lived on the other side of the country that she identified. Because of the success. Because of what coach Tarr does and her staff. It’s an awesome group of young women here in this program that — I love watching the game of softball. Huge part, other than probably coach and my family, whether it be just throwing BP or playing catch, whatever it might be that’s the other thing we kind of do. Softball is a huge part of our life. But a year ago today she was at a camp. She actually came with my wife to the Cal game. They flew in on a Friday and the game was at night. They went and watched the game and went to camp the next day. It’s crazy how full-circle we’ve gone and here we go. Super proud.”

On a scouting report of Alexis’ softball skills:

“Oh I don’t know — don’t want to get into too much. I think I’ve said enough. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just super proud. I’m just super proud. She’s a great teammate. Just works her tail off. Really proud. Nicole and I are really proud.”  

On if DeBoer picks Heather Tarr’s brain:

“I love softball. So I’m around them too much, probably. All the coaches. We have a great group of coaches here. Not just coach Tarr. But all the other coaches here in this athletic department. When we get a chance to get together it’s a special time. I’m constantly learning things from them. When we have our time we’ll get together again this week as an athletic department with the head coaches. There’s just always something. I feel like you walk away taking from it. I feel like the support we have for each other is only getting stronger amongst all the coaches. It’s really cool to have another level to this being personal with my family now as well.”

On Carson Bruener’s kickoff coverage:

“That’s been really fun to see. You know, the first week (we) struggled as a unit. All it takes is one guy not doing his job. With as many moving parts and having a live look at the kicks where it’s hard to simulate those in practice, I just think more and more each week now we’re putting the right guys in the right spots. We see Carson as one of those key guys that we need to get — in a way. We can do it in different ways. But we can get him in a spot where he can go be that impact player and go make the play. He understands his role. But he also understands what the other guys around him are doing. Just like an offensive player or a defensive player. He’s going in and you just don’t know how those returns — if all of a sudden that returner’s going to be coming your way and he’s been ready every time. I think Davon Banks has done a nice job at different times, too. But there’s more to it. Guys are running down the field hard. Our kicks are better. I think you saw again this past Saturday where they just fair caught it and we’re good with being on the 25-yard line. It wasn’t like we were able to boot it through the end zone and that’s why the touchback happened. They were fair catching it. So, I think that’s a lot of pride that our kickoff team is instilling and what they’re doing and how they’re setting the tone. Whether it be at the beginning of the game or after any score. They have to go out there and continue the momentum. Carson’s been at the forefront of that.”

On how Jaxson Kirkland made it through the game:

“Good. Again, the plan was when we pulled him out for a series or two to get him back in there and then the lead just kind of kept growing. That was the only reason he didn’t go back in.”


On if DeBoer thought about pulling Penix earlier:

“All of a sudden the clock kind of gets down into those next minutes. They had a big play after. So, as a coach you’re always a little slow. The worst thing that I want to do is pull guys and then have to put them back in just with the way it was. I understand there came a point where the score got out of hand. Maybe another series we could have gotten him out earlier. But, with what we were doing, and what the frame of mind that we were in where we were pretty much handing the ball off wasn’t anything where I was too nervous. So, nothing where I was too nervous about him being in jeopardy or vulnerable.”

On Mishael Powell, Jordan Perryman and Asa Turner:

“I think Perryman is really close. He’s the closest out of all of ’em, really hopeful and expecting him to be back out there this week. Felt that way even maybe this last week that that could happen. Just getting him, not over the hump just getting that volume to where he feels great about being out there. Asa could actually be a possibility this weekend. Meesh will not.”

On Penix not taking a sack so far:

“Yeah it’s really cool. Mike really trusting and believing and if he can get things right protection-wise knowing that the running backs, tight ends, offensive line are going to do their job, and then the offensive line and that whole group really having a lot of pride in that stat and how they’re getting it done for Mike building that momentum. I think enough stones were thrown their way as far as their production in the past and they are finding those wins, and that’s the one right now where they are excelling in protecting Mike. There’s been a time or two where he had to cut it loose a little early, but you look across college football, that’s happening a lot. We’ve kept him upright for the most part and from Coach Grubb and the offensive staff being on the same page and making sure they get the right schemes in place and max protect when they need to, throw it quick when we need to, check protections … they’re all playing really well together and understanding how to put plays together, stack plays, the negative yards are the ones that are going to hurt you. We’re taking care of the football, we’re not turning it over. Those things that we’re preaching, they’re doing a great job of executing.”

On how Penix is a better QB than he was at Indiana:

“Maturity, but he was very mature, calm, and collected even in 2019. I just have to think there’s a confidence level that he’s got after the 2019 (season) and then coming back in 2020, he had a lot of success that year. Some big games against tough opponents. I think that was something that happened after I was with him and I think he’s got a lot of confidence in the guys around him. When you have confidence in those people that are surrounding you and you can just do your job, and when you’re as talented as he is you just play free and you cut it loose. That’s a piece that he’s always had. He and Coach Grubb are in sync. It’s really cool to see the belief that he has carrying over to Coach Grubb and Coach Grubb dialing it up, not afraid to be aggressive no matter where we are on the field, no matter where we’re at in the game. That trust goes both ways. Right now we’re riding the momentum of all that. It’s cool. Even if it goes against you for a short time and some adversity hits, I feel like Mike understands that it’s just temporary. And we preach that to the team. He’ll get us back on track. He’s so talented. He can put the ball where he wants to. I think he threw a ball close to 70 yards last week on the money in practice on a deep ball and everyone was in awe of that. I went back and was actually doing the calculation on the film. His arm strength, to me, wasn’t about how far he could throw it; to me it was about the balls he can make across the field and back-shoulder throws with accuracy and the quick release that he has. He certainly can throw the ball deep as well.”

On how the backup quarterbacks have handled themselves coming out of the QB competition:


“They’ve been amazing. I watch the walk-throughs and I see them engaged. I see them having belief in what we do and belief in Mike. It doesn’t take anything away from what we feel they are capable of doing. They continue to develop, continue to mature, continue to learn from what is happening on the field and they are in it. Them being in it mentally says a lot about hey, they believe in the decision we made as well. I think it’s hard to argue what Mike’s done, but focusing on DMo and Sam and their response has been a big part of how we want our program to be. When we talk about being team-first guys, it’s really easy to say that and all of a sudden you’re the one that’s thrown into the fire and how you’ve got to be team-first when you’re not the one on the football field. I try to find ways to celebrate and point out, just like other coaches on our staff do, that these are great examples of those characteristics we need to have to be a great football program, a great football team. They are team-first all the way.”

On what their responsibilities are on game day:

“Sam is hearing every little piece that I hear on the phones. That mentally is helping him develop. When Coach Grubb is talking things through to the staff, Sam is hearing that. He’s hearing the call made, he’s hearing what the adjustments are. DMo, he’s got to be ready right now because he would be the next guy in. We’re allowed so many headphones anyway, but DMo needs to have his helmet ready and be able to run out there in case, even just one play, where the helmet pops off Mike and with the rules you have 40 seconds to get the next ball snapped. Both of them are so in it and they both have great responsibilities and are asking a lot of questions, working together. I love the way they go back and forth with Mike, even in a walk-through during practice. There’s just a great … hey, we’re checking this, right? Or we’re doing this. Remember, this is your read progression. It’s just really cool to see that relationship grow, that trust amongst that room, and they’re pushing us forward, not just with Mike but as a group.”

On walk-on tryouts Oct. 2:

“Roster-wise, we’re under the number that we’d probably like to be at. Some of it is just with guys being dinged up, but just total roster … we could be as high as 120 and feel pretty comfortable. Don’t have to be at that. And if we found the right guys we would add them to the roster. We would do that anyway. It’s important to know who is on campus and what you have around your program. Having a tryout now that school is starting and just be aware. It may not even be an add-now, when your roster is less going into winter workouts and spring ball, we could add them at that time as well.”

On what the walk-on tryout process is like:

“Going through, from our recruiting department to Justin Glenn and our training staff to make sure everything’s all in order that way, they are taking a lot of and there will come a point where our coaching staff, before Sunday, will be briefed and watch some film if there’s some Hudl film or anything like that, of the guys that are going to be at the tryout and narrow things down. And then we’ll have a chance to be around them in a workout fashion.”

On if you need to be enrolled to try out:

“Are you going somewhere with that?” (laughs)

On if you need to have athletic ability:

“Yup.” (laughs)

On how much he has relied on the walk-on program in the past:

“I would say that over half the time I’ve been surprised finding a guy that ends up being someone who comes in and helps you out, even in games, not just as a scout team player. I remember a player when I was at Southern Illinois who became All-Conference and went to the NFL, his brother was on our team and he played NAIA football and he came in as a d-end for us. Ever since then I remember thinking you just don’t know who is here. If they really want it that bad you don’t know what they can become, and give them a chance. So there’s so many good players out there that had something happen, especially now with COVID. Coming off that, there might be some diamonds in the rough that people don’t know about or a kid didn’t get an opportunity.”