Washington coach Chris Petersen reacts to the Huskies’ 48-16 rout of Fresno State and looks ahead to the start of Pac-12 play next week at Colorado.
(Opening) I’d like to first thank our fans for coming out. It was a good turnout tonight. With weather like that and fans like that, we got off to a good start. The first half was good, very clean. I’m really proud of Dante (Pettis), not only the special teams thing but I thought he had a good game at wide receiver as well. Jake (Browning) was really efficient. We made some progress running the ball, some progress pass protecting. Second half was a little bit tougher to tell. We were packed in there pretty good. We were trying to speed the game up, run the ball and pack a lot of guys in there. When you don’t throw all over, it can make it tougher to get everyone in the game. The first half was good though.
(on second half goals) Well, we were going to play a lot of our guys. But we also have to be careful about running our whole offense and throwing the ball all over the place. We’re not going to do that. So we pack a lot of guys in there. The combination of those two things make it very difficult, but we’re still going to get them in there. There’s no excuse for that. We can’t turn the ball over. If we don’t do that, it might feel a little bit different in the second half too. Our defense played pretty well, holding them to field goals. We know how much pride we put into hanging onto the ball.
(on Dante Pettis) He’s doing great. Those guys are blocking for him. He’s an exciting guy to watch; Dante’s gotten better. He has a lot of confidence right now. It’s going to get harder for him. We keep saying that every game.
(The team assessment through three games) We got to play a lot of guys in three games, which is really good. I think we’ve learned some things. I think we’ve made some improvements in some areas. Our pass protection has gotten better, for sure you can see that from last game to this game. We’ve gotten some guys used to bigger roles than they’ve ever had around here. I think it’s been a pretty productive three games. We know it changes it. It changes dramatically. We are going into a truly hostile environment. We’ve gone a long way, but it’s not going to feel the same as going into Boulder (Colorado). Here we go.
(on mentality against Colorado next week) On our side, this is brand new. That (the last game) was a long time ago. The rhythm of our team is different. We are still figuring some things out. We have to go on the road, which changes things for sure. This will be a big challenge. Heck of a way to open up the Pac-12 season.
(On state of the run game) I thought we did some good things in the first half with some guys packed in there. We got the ball on the edge. If guys are going to pack in there, we are going to throw the ball. Like I said, I thought Jake was efficient. I thought the first half was fairly efficient.
(on wideouts behind Pettis) They need to not be behind Dante, they need to be to be side by side. I think we have a good group there. We don’t want it to turn into the Dante Pettis show because eventually that goes away. A lot of guys caught a lot of balls tonight and that’s how we want it. He’s not just throwing to throw to Dante, he’s throwing it to the open guy.
(on red zone defense) I thought they played well. A little bit of “bend don’t break.” We hope and feel that we aren’t going to get beat if they’re kicking field goals. If the ball gets there, the goal is to make them kick field goals. I think there are some good things to learn. Red zone defense and red zone offense are completely different from normal down football.