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Washington coach Chris Petersen with the media after Thursday’s practice, his last availability before Saturday’s game at Colorado (7 p.m. PT, FS1). Here’s what he had to say:

(Any part of you that feels like the enemy on the road?) “No, I just hope our guys are prepared for that environment – the noise – so we work our tail off on it during the week. It is definitely a different feel than when you’re at home. The guys who have been around know that, especially going into a packed house and an energetic stadium. That is what college football is all about. It is nice when it’s on your side, but part of it … is you use it to your advantage, mentality-wise and it is good.”

(Worried about how young guys handle this environment?) “Well, we always do. We always talk about our energy level, whether we’re at practice and it’s too low or in a game where it’s too high. You just can’t play your best. So it is something we work on, it is something we talk about, it is something we focus on. The more we play, the better we get at it. We are in Game 4, so some of these youngsters have been around. Their anxiety level is going down.”

(on two young secondaries in UW and Colorado going at it) “Like I said, there is a lot of banked-reps that we are getting across the board, from the starters to the backups and all of that. Those guys we decided to play all have significant reps. It helps.”

(Thunderstorms in forecast — using wet footballs in practice this week?) You know it, you know it, you know it. We didn’t quite get the Dawg weather we wanted here, but we still had wet balls, for sure.

(On coaching and creating energy, effort) “Well, it has to come from the locker room, first and foremost, because every coach in America talks about it. But I always think what you emphasize, and you can only pick so many things that you can really emphasize. We are trying to be great at everything. And everything matters. But there are certain things that you really are going to focus on. That is one of the things we focus on quite hard. It has to come from some the guys that have been around here. The standards have been set before, even guys who have been here.”

(What was wrong with passing game last year vs. Colorado?) “I always say this – I don’t care where the yards come from. We’re trying to get points. And if we’ve got more points that our opponent, we’re good. Some days we’re going to have to throw it more. Some games we’re going to run it more. Whatever works. And I think you saw that last game when we’re in the second half and we’re not going to throw it, and they are going to load up. Things just don’t work how they should. So we like to be a balanced attack if we can, but we’ll do whatever we need to do to try and score points. You can’t really predict that. Most everybody would like to be balanced, and we are no different than that. But we … just go with what we think we need to do.”

(on Colorado’s defense this year compared to last year) They do what they do. They are playing a really good level of football. We didn’t see that many mistakes out of that defense last year, and in the first three games, we haven’t seen many out of this defense, Coach MacIntrye, he is a defensive specialist – that is his passion. And so you know they are going to always play good defense, and they have. The offense is unique and high octane.”

(At high elevation, can punter outkick coverage a lot?) You definitely notice the placekickers, and the kickoff guys, for sure. But the ball, in general, flies further, But the kickoffs are the ones you really notice it, and the punters, you watch those guys in warmups, too, and the ball will travel more. So the kicking game will be different this week because of that.”

(What do you see from Colorado’s coverage team?) “It starts with the kickers. And there are a couple of kickoffs returned in 20-some, and tghey have 1-2, 3 maybe punt return opportunities, so they are doing a great job of just even giving you a chance. That is what that rare air, that thin air up there helps that.”

(Has Hunter Bryant earned a bigger role in offense?) “Well, a lot depends on game plan He is doing a good job. He is one of the guys right there in the middle of everything. The coaches are smart and trying not to overload him, but he is right in the middle of everything.”

(on state of the run game) “I think we’re making progress. Like I said, it’s about eight guys, nine guys that have to do everything right, including the receivers. That comes up. It’s like, ‘That was a couple yards,’ but that receiver did not block the safety. It is everybody involved – the quarterback and the ball carrier., they are not. So it takes nine guys to get on that run game. And when it is blocked right, it is blocked for 4 yards – they still have three hitters at the point of attack. Every defense in America has that. So, we’ve got Myles and those guys, they’ve got to do something with the ball. So it’s always a work in progress. Sometimes you don’t see it show up until late in the game. So we’ve got to keep working on it. We’ve got to run the ball, we got to know that.”

(If I asked you about Drew Sample, Andre Baccellia and Chico McClatcher, you’d say what for this game Saturday?) “Who? What do you think?”

(That’s why I’m asking you. I hope they play on Saturday.) “Me too.”

(How about the Bellevue guys so far, the Bowman brothers?) “It’s awesome. It’s great when you’ve got relatives on the team who can play together. That’s rare. That’s awesome.”

(Besides throwing a lot of noise at them, what else can you do to prepare the younger players for what they are going to experience Saturday night?) “You really can’t do anything more than talk about the situation ad nauseam, give ‘em the noise out there. You take away their verbal communication. That’s been long and done, that didn’t start this week. We have it on the field all the time, whether we’re playing at home or not. And even if it’s on the other side, they can’t hear half the time anyway. It’s obnoxious, it’s irritating to everybody. I think the thing that changes a little bit is not the fact that you can’t hear, it’s anxiety levels. That does change when you play the game and third downs and fourth downs and it gets loud. It’s not just loud all the time, it ebbs and flows. Here it is, I know it’s a critical time … and that can change things.”

(What can you do during pre-game warmups to help calm them down a little bit once they get a feel for the enormity of it all?) “We just always talk all the time about trust your coaching. It’s why we go over and over and over…for situations like this. It’s game time and ready to go. You don’t worry about that. It’s good to be nervous. If you’re not a little bit nervous going into a big contest than you really don’t care about things. I don’t think anybody goes in not a little butterflies. If you did, I think that’s a problem. They know that and they’ll calm down and play.”

(You get nervous before big games?) “I’m nervous for practice. I’m nervous at all times.”

(You get nervous talking to us?) “That’s not really the word I’d use. (laughs) If you want to go with that, that’s fine.”

(When you go on the road, do you make it a priority to get to a high school game on Friday nights?) “Road trip, there will usually be a coach or two that goes ahead. When we’re at home we’re usually out and about. We’re still working our meetings on Friday night but we can kind of get to a game and then get back. On the road we pick and choose our spots. One of our big problems is, we only have so many evaluation days so we can’t go out every week and send the whole staff out. You only have 42 (evaluation days), those go quick. So we’ve got to pick and choose exactly where we want to go. We usually use them all.”

(How much of your typical game week is spent on recruiting?) “I would say this: in general we’re really focused on the game. The majority of our time goes to the game, but every day – every single day – there’s some portion of recruiting. I would say probably overall, even when you come out of the season and how much time is spent on recruiting in the non-season time, at least half our time is on recruiting when it all evens out.”

(More or less than when you first started coaching?) “Without question more. It’s 24/7.”

(Bryce Bobo didn’t play in the last game against UW. What does he bring to the CU offense?) “They’ve got really good receivers. It’s not just one. They’ve got three really experienced guys, probably about five guys who have played a lot. They’ve got three guys that have all caught over 100 passes in their career. There’s no substitute for experience. They’ve proved it in big games. That’s a big chore. Those are all legit guys that can do things.”

(Does the defensive line rotation start to get narrowed down now that you’re in league play?) “I hope not. We’ve got to keep going. It’s a long season and some of those guys who are playing, we want them to play and make plays. We’re putting you out there, now if you don’t earn and deserve your reps you’re not going to get more. But we’re seeing progress.”