Petersen: "We just feel like we’ve got some good football left."
Here’s reaction from UW coach Chris Petersen after the Huskies’ 45-17 victory over Washington State on Friday:
(on team’s performance) “I’m proud of our guys. I was really proud of how they prepared and their energy was awesome to start the game. We knew Washington State would really a little bit, but our defense kind of swellled up and then our offense answered there at the end of the third quarter. The first half went as well as it could for us, and then they controlled the ball the whole time, but the defense answered when we needed to.”
(On getting out to an early lead) “I think big, especially when I know we got a turnover early. You know Washington State is going to score their points. They’re going to get their yards, for sure. And so just kind of the way the game started, our offense just kind of kept going. We had the one three and out in the third quarter, which was unfortunate because they held the ball so long, but it also ate a lot of clock for them, and then our defense held, so it all worked out.”
(On the goal-line stands) “It was awesome, really because Washington State has been kind of sneaky good in the past about running the ball, especially down there, and this year it wasn’t even sneaky good. They just run the ball. And so the guy — I kept seeing Greg Gaines flash, all those big guys inside. They were playing physical. You can hear it from the sideline, and it was awesome. You kind of thought they’d probably run it down there, which they should, and guys answered.”
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(On whether teams should try to score more points to impress the CFP committee) “I don’t know about all that stuff, I really don’t. I hear they don’t really care about how teams win, which I really hope that’s true, because I don’t think that’s what this thing’s all about, trying to score as many points on somebody. I think it’s about just trying to win the games. So I don’t really know.”
(Do you care if you play USC or Colorado in the Pac-12 title game?) “It doesn’t matter. I’m just glad the Dawgs are there. Whoever shows up, we’ll prepare and hopefully play our best game of the year.”
(Keishawn Bierria OK?) “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I never got a … I didn’t know he didn’t play that much, to tell you the truth.”
(More on the goal-line stands) “I know they’re big momentum swings, for sure. They’re hard to stop. That’s a hard run offense to stop when they only need a yard or two yard. They take those splits and they’ve got some big guys up there. It was awesome. That’s really where you want to see that d-line take over, because it’s a hard team for the d-line to take over, just in terms of the pass protection techniques, how much they throw it. A lot of times it doesn’t turn into a physical game, but down there, you can kind of feel it turn into that.”
(On reflecting on a Pac-12 North championship) “I think we’ve just got a lot more ball to play. This thing’s always about how you finish. That’s one of the things we talk about every day to our kids, about finishing everything, whether it’s school or a weight workout or a practice. I think the really good teams, the special teams can finish. The hard part about that is, you’re playing better teams here as we finish. And so the next team we’ll play will be a really good and elite team. So it’s hard to finish, and then the one after that will be a really good team. We’ll figure all this out after we’re done playing, because we just feel like we’ve got some good football left.”
(What would you tell Heisman Trophy voters about Jake Browning?) “I don’t know. I would just tell ‘em, watch the game. He plays good, he plays efficient, he plays how we want him to play. those things, we just don’t really pay much attention to, because they’re so much out of our control, and I know if any of our players start playing for individual awards and all that stuff, it goes south fast. And we just him them to play in our system and play as good as he’s capable of playing, and whatever happens. I think if we start paying attention to that, we’re paying attention to the wrong things.”
(On the offensive line protecting Browning) “I’m anxious to put that tape on, because that’s a hard defensive line to block. They have some really good players in there, and that’s a tough scheme. They’re moving every snap. They move pre-snap, and then they move once the ball is snapped again. So I think it was a fairly effective job. We didn’t have too many negative plays, which this team is good at blowing up some run game and creating negative plays. We had a couple, which was manageable.”
(On big plays in the first quarter) “Dante, guys making big plays. Dante, the ball’s a little underthrown, but Jake threw it nice and early, and that’s hard on the DBs when you get it up early. They’re trying to find the ball. Dante, rather than just getting a pass interference … we’ve been (preaching) all year about, ‘attack the ball,’ we can still make a play. don’t settle for a pass interference. So it was nice to see him do that.”
(On Budda Baker making plays) “Budda always makes plays. He plays hard, plays efficient. You know he’s going to play good.”
(WSU’s D-line shifting cause your false starts?) “Oh yeah. Yeah. The noise and that, for sure.”
(On the trick plays) “We always have a few up our sleeve. It’s just when Jonathan Smith feels like we’re going to roll … it was nice to get the first one and get a long pass. Usually we get a touchdown on that one, but it was a good momentum swing.”
(On DJ Beavers filling in for Azeem Victor) “That was awesome to see him get that interception. He plays hard, he practices hard. I think he’s elevating his game, getting confidence. This is always a game of confidence. Azeem who played with so much confidence and take chances and blow things up. I think that’s a good guy to model his game after, and he’s another guy that I’m anxious to watch his tape, because it seemed he played at a high level.”
(On where UW is compared to where he thought they would be before the season) “You never know how it’s going to go, because it all comes down to execution. But we’ve really felt good about these guys, and I’ve said this many times, going back to last season, through the middle of the season when we were struggling, inconsistent making plays. They kept grinding, then towards the end of the season they started to get into a better rhythm on offense, and then they came back in January and it was kind of an excited feeling they had that never wavered from that at all. But you never know.it all comes down to execution. So you can try hard and be energetic and all those things. If you don’t execute …they’ve put all that hard work and turned it into execution, and you don’t know how all this is going to go. But we’ve loved their attitude and their work ethic and their competitive spirit all along.”