The UW coach joked, "I was waiting for that (question) on Monday, contrasting us. You got me on one side and the opposite extreme on the other."
Washington football coach Chris Petersen was in a good and joking mood Thursday, just two days before the Huskies (2-1) play Arizona State in their Pac-12 home opener Saturday night.
Petersen took a couple of playful shots at the media’s questions, but was dead serious when it came to the challenge Arizona State presents.
The Sun Devils (2-1) upset the Huskies 13-7 last year in Tempe, but that win was not enough to help Todd Graham keep his job as ASU coach. Enter Herm Edwards, 64, the talkative former NFL coach who left his job as a pro-football analyst at ESPN to take the Sun Devils job.
Petersen once had Edwards speak to his team when Petersen was at Boise State.
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“I really appreciate Herm; I like what he is all about,” said Petersen, who jokingly added, “I was waiting for that (question) on Monday, contrasting us. You got me on one side and the opposite extreme on the other.
“He brings such great energy. He is authentic as they come, he knows football and has been around football forever. What you see is what you get.”
Sticking with the run
The Huskies ran the ball 41 times for 172 yards in last week’s 21-7 win over Utah. Expect them to run it often this week, even against a Sun Devils team that Petersen said “will be one of our bigger challenges of the year run-wise.”
“I think with the run game, you’ve got to stay patient,” Petersen said. “You’ve got to stay with it. Sometimes it’s ugly but by the end of the day if you can stay with it, you can get into a rhythm.”
Petersen said the Huskies won’t see another defense with the same structures ASU lines up in.
“It’s very unpredictable, because you don’t see these fronts from other defenses,” he said. “You’ve got to go back and simplify some things for your guys.”
Petersen’s biggest concern Saturday is not any challenge the Sun Devils present, but rather the mindset of his team.
“My biggest concern every weekend is really the same — that we are ready to play our best football,” he said. “I don’t say that lightly because I think it is really hard to be at that emotional peak every single week. And if you are not, in this league with all the parity, it’s not going to happen for you. I think the kids really played hard last week, and it was a real physical game, but it has to be like that every week.
“We always have a unique set of problems we are trying to solve as coaches, in terms of people coming in, but are these guys really, really ready to play?”
No stickers here
Petersen was asked if he would consider giving players stickers on their helmets for big hits.
“If I do anything different with the uniforms, everybody reacts in a really painful way,” he said. “So why would you even bring that up? So let’s just stay purple and gold and not put stickers on anything.”