Apple Cup Week is here.

And, of course, it started in (relative) style – with Chris Petersen’s weekly press conference.

Here’s a full transcript of what UW’s sixth-year head coach said in a meeting with the media on Monday.

“Good to see everybody. Well, I think the best thing about this week, a couple good things: one, it’s a short week. We don’t have to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. Obviously, that last game was extremely disappointing. The kids were disappointed. Everybody was. It starts up front. When this team can’t run the ball, it’s going to be trouble. It was one guy here, one guy there, and that was the situation all night. That’s going to make the pass game a little difficult as well. At the end of the game they held the ball from us for five minutes, and so they took it to us. Our defense I thought played well in the red zone for the most part. They hit one pass on us. Shenault’s a great player. Trent was right there, and he made the play. That’s going to happen. Those guys played good – our defense. Fourth quarter was … holding the ball for five minutes was a little disappointing, not to just have another shot to do something. So we looked at the tape. We’ve talked about it. We just got off the practice field. Good, spirited practice.”

(Rich Boudet / The Seattle Times)
The 112th Apple Cup

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On why UW couldn’t get anything going offensively:

“I mean, it’s just what I said. It was one guy here and one guy there. They didn’t do anything different than we thought. They do a good job with their package. But it’s very difficult to explain, because when you’ve got that much time and it’s really not that different … you just kind of get whipped up front. That’s hard to take.”

On if Colorado wanted it more than Washington:

“I don’t know. They played better than us. I don’t know if they wanted it any more. I keep saying that. We were looking at each other as coaches, because the last couple practices we had – and specifically in the o-line – our coach thought they were some of the best practices we had. Then we go out there and don’t get it done. So it’s not a matter of want. Everybody wants to win. It’s a matter of execution and those type of things. I just think there’s so much parity in this conference. You just look at it. Oregon State beats Arizona State, then the next week Arizona State beats Oregon, who’s heading to the playoffs, and all those type of things. I’ve been saying this for a long time: if you don’t show up and play your best, that’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to look like, ‘Huh? How’s this happening?’ Eerybody’s got good coaches and everybody’s got good players; they really do. Certain teams are getting better. Hats off to Colorado. They got better in the bye more than we did, for sure. I told you walking in here: that was a hard one. Everybody’s stick to their stomach on that whole thing.”

On if there was an edge missing as the game went on:

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“I don’t think there was an edge that was missing. I thought there was a little bit of panic that went on. We had so many three-and-outs and we couldn’t get into a rhythm in the first half, and I think that’s what happens sometimes when we can’t get something going. They hold the ball and they’re driving and we’re kind of on our heels. We just had way too many three-and-outs, and I think that changes the chemistry and the mojo, for sure.”

On UW’s offensive “panic”:

“I’m not sure if that’s the right word. But I know it’s very unsettling and there’s a tendency to press a little bit more. I think the good teams can just shake it off and reload and go make a play, and we haven’t been able to do that. We need to get into a rhythm, and when we do it’s like, ‘OK, why can’t this go on at all times?’ That’s the thing that’s been perplexing and a little frustrating.”

On if there are any common threads in UW’s passing struggles:

“No, not really. There’s not a common thread. Like I said before, if there was a real common thread, I think we could get that fixed. Sometimes it’s on the protection. Sometimes it’s on the wideouts not making a play. Sometimes it’s on the QB, where the ball’s not as accurate as it should be or going the wrong direction. It’s a little bit of all of those things. When we do get into a rhythm, when we do stay on the field, we can be pretty darn productive and good at times. We had long drives, which I always say are really hard to do. We’d like to be more explosive. It’s hard to go 12 and 15 plays and score touchdowns. That takes a lot. It’s kind of what we did when we scored. We need to score quicker than that. We haven’t been able to do it.”

On the current temperament of UW’s team:

“That’s a good question. All I know is there’s some energy out there. I think there’s probably some anger and there is some frustration, and if there wasn’t, I sure as heck wouldn’t want them in our team room. Nobody’s good with this, and they shouldn’t be good with it. So it was a pretty spirited practice out there, because I think a lot of guys are … those words (angry and frustrated).”

On what the expectation should be for a Washington football season:

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“We should compete for the Pac-12 championship. That’s the goal, and that’s what we should be able to do.”

On if he was expecting to involve Ty Jones more in the last two games:

“Yeah, I don’t know. There’s been a lot of discussion. He’s working in on certain things. I’m a broken record on this. Guys have to put it together in practice. They have to earn the reps over somebody else. Nothing is handed here. This is a meritocracy. That’s how it is. You’ve got to earn your stripes. He’d been out for most of the year. Other guys are playing. So we are trying to get him more involved, but it’s got to show up in practice. He’s been doing well, but not necessarily over the other guys to say, ‘Hey, this guy needs to go in over the other guys.’”

On the wide receivers’ inability to get open:

“No question, you’d like better separation. I think that’s one of the things that all offenses are looking at. Can the guys explode and run away from guys and separate? And then can you hit the pass? We had one where we had Andre deep. We kind of overthrow it by a few yards. I come back to that execution thing. Yeah, there needs to be more separation and guys going up and making plays. But when we do we also have to give our guys a chance to make a play that can change the game.”

On how Jacob Eason is seeing the field:

“I think he’s seeing it OK, I do. I think he’s seeing it OK. I think we have to pass protect cleaner and the separation … if some guys can make some plays and spark the offense, everything changes. That’s kind of lacking, those things. Apple Cup! Move on. It’s time.”

On if Petersen takes pride in being undefeated against Washington State:

“I think the rivalry games are awesome for all the states. They’re going on across the country, and everybody in this state for the most part picks a side. So I do think it’s one of the things that’s awesome about college football, because I think the fans are truly in this and a lot of bragging rights go on for a long time. So we’ve obviously got much different teams. It seems like it kind of goes like this every year. You guys would know better than me, but the records seem to always be very similar when we play these guys since we’ve been here and certainly the last couple years. And here we are with the same league records, the same overall records, and away we go.”

What about you personally, though?

“I always tell you this: Washington State’s not more important than Colorado. It’s like, one game at a time. That’s all how I think. Then you go play the next game. And is it fun that there’s more energy and those type of things coming into the stadium? That is. That’s fun on game day. But it’s got to be all done with the preparation. So my mentality is all, one game at a time. I do think it’s awesome. There’s more in it for the kids. A lot of times, kids from Washington that go here, they all kind of know each other and there’s a lot of kids from California on that team, and a lot of our guys from California. So I think that’s good for all those guys.”

On trash talking for the Apple Cup and Max Borghi’s comments that he’s going to score a lot on Friday:

“You know how we are around here. We just want to go play. But that’s rivalries. That’s kind of the beauty of some of the rivalries and it makes it kind of fun. He’s a good player.”

On Washington’s trash talk following last season’s win:

“I’m not good with it. I’m into playing the game, and that’s where the talking should be.”

On what Trey Adams and Nick Harris have meant to the program:

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“Man, Trey has been through so much. I love that kid. It’s funny, because this is going on to six years and I remember when I first got here. Someone’s like hey, you’ve got to get a hold of this kid and his family, and I’m like okay. We had three recruits committed when I got here. I’m like, is this guy good? Guys are like, yes. He’s good. I put the tape on and thinking man, this guy is good. We’ve got to get this guy. I think he was committed at the time, then it took me a while to figure out he wasn’t even a senior. When I got a chance to watch him play I really never seen a lineman like that in high school. So he’d always been a Washington fan, and it’s been six long years but I remember that was just yesterday. I remember talking to him in the hotel I was staying in with his family and didn’t know anything about him, but I watched the tape and getting to know his family…that’s what this thing is all about. It’s been awesome.

“You fast-forward to the other side with Nick, and those guys are as thick as thieves and Nick has the exact opposite story. Lightly recruited, and all those things. We had watched him forever, and Chris Strausser and I kept going, are we missing something here? All the experts didn’t know anything about him, or have any opinion. His coach is awesome down there at JSerra, Coach Harlow, who is a really good line coach, and he’s like trust me, you aren’t missing a thing. And he comes as a 17-year old kid and ends up playing. We were thinking about greyshirting him. He’s young and comes in here and plays as a true freshman.

“So that’s what this thing is all about. The seniors … and you’ve got a story off of every single one of these guys. That’s just the starting point, just getting them here. And then all the things they’ve been through … it’s been great.”

On leadership coming into question and whether players have bought into Jake Eason’s leadership:

“You know, I don’t think of it like that. I don’t put that on him. He’s the new guy. I think Jacob, the one thing I know about him, he’s an awesome kid. That kid, guy drops a pass, protection’s not right, game doesn’t go well, he doesn’t even kind of point fingers. That is not him at all. I think his leadership is fine, I think he’s grown this year as a leader. I think of the guys that have been around here a long time. I know he’s the quarterback and all those things, but I think he’s done a nice job and I think he’s grown in that department.”

On Jaxson Kirkland’s status:

“Jaxson Kirkland is all right.”

On if he’ll play against WSU:

“Jaxson Kirkland’s all right. I will tell you this: it’s not a serious injury. We’ll see if we get him there.”

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On why he doesn’t like trash talking after a game:

(laughs) “I know it irritates you guys. You just need something. I can’t explain that. As a coach, I can’t explain it. I just don’t think a team needs any more motivation. I think both teams, certainly in rivalry games, are really motivated. There’s going to be enough fun and shenanigans and all that kind of stuff out there. To me I just want to focus on playing hard and playing good. It’s hard for me to say why am I not into this? Coach Leach, he may have a different perspective. You should probably ask him about that.”

On if bulletin board material matters:

“I really don’t think it does because just the world we live in these days, right? Everything is bulletin board. You just know everything about everybody if you want to keep looking at that stuff. In the old days if it wasn’t out there, if you could get something, that was awesome. Those were awesome times. But now it just seems like it’s a lot different.”

On Jimmy Lake being particularly outspoken last year:

“Jimmy is usually always outspoken. I think everybody in the program here knows how we feel about all that stuff.”

On if he’s crossed paths with Mike Leach much in the last year:

“No. Well, a little bit. Usually it’s …”

Media day?

“Yeah, that’s it. We went on an apparel trip together. It’s hard on rivalry week because everyone wants to hate the other coach. I’m like you guys, I get a kick out of him for a while, and then I’ve got to walk away, because he can hold the mic for a long, long time.”

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On if he’d be as funny if he beat Petersen:

“No. He would not be. (laughs) That I know. That’s the rivalry, that’s the thing about it, there’s a lot of Cougars in this town, right? You see all the license plates and flags and all that stuff. If you win, it doesn’t really bother you. If you lose, it bothers you for a long time.”

On this year’s WSU offense being different than other years:

“I don’t think so. Maybe they execute a little bit better than they have been. It all comes down, but it’s the same system. I’ve always told you, I think it’s amazing. I think he does a phenomenal job over there. He’s got his way and there’s so many offshoots of it that are having success, but that’s the purest of the pure (air raid). It definitely works, obviously. Time tells, right? Year after year, they’re going to put up points and do a great job, and it’s no different this year. Quarterback (Anthony Gordon) is a heck of a player, he’s got some moxie and savvy to him, really quick release and accurate, fast, shifty receivers.”

On any impact on the team with a short week after getting home early Sunday:

“Well, no. We knew this was going to be coming a long time ago, and you play well and you win, it gives you a nice energy boost, which we didn’t have. But I do think, feeling it today and going out there, I think it’s better than having an extra day to wait to get on the field. I think the kids did a good job going out there and practicing, good energy.”

On what time Petersen got back:

“I think I got home at 4.”

On what Sunday’s like when you get home at 4:

“You go to sleep and then you come back in the office after a few hours of sleep. Most of us have watched the tape on the plane, so that’s productive…as long as you could before you fall asleep. You get some sleep, come back in and make your corrections, get your meetings ready. And then you’re preparing obviously, so you’ve got to put that to rest quickly, but you can’t just run by it. And you’re on to the Washington State stuff.”

On if the players got Sunday off:

“No. Players will have a day off … obviously we have a short week, so … but we didn’t practice with them or do anything like that, we just brought them in and took a peek at the tape, that kind of stuff.”