Here is most of what Huskies coach Chris Petersen said about Washington’s 59-14 victory over the Idaho Vandals on Saturday.
(Opening) “Really proud of the guys. I thought we had a really good week of practice. I thought they were extremely focused for the game. Really proud of our defense, how fast they started. Excited about our kickoff team. We weren’t loving it the week before, so Coach Gregory made some adjustments and we really worked hard on it. It showed up the first play. So it’s nice when you emphasize something and it shows up very quickly in the game. It took us a minute to get into a rhythm on offense. When our defense is playing at a high level, eventually we’ll get there and excited that we got a lot of guys in the game. I’ll be more excited to go in here in a little bit and watch the tape and see who’s progressing and what we need to tweak and fix and clean up.”
(On Jake Browning’s game) “He’s done a real nice job. I think the thing that’s interesting is, I still think there’s some things we’ll clean up with him. he did a great job of scrambling out there and keeping his eyes downfield. We’ve worked on that quite a bit. That’s going to come up every game. Those plays can actually be hard to defend, so we spent extra time on that, as well. But when you go back, what I really want to look at is, did he need to escape? Did he have things he could have got the ball out? I know he had one early on, I think he threw a touchdown. He didn’t need to make it so spectacular. But he’s completing a lot of passes, he’s keeping his eyes downfield, buying time. All those things that good quarterbacks do.”
(How encouraged are you by Dante Pettis?) “I’m encouraged about Dante, for sure. I think he’s kind of an acrobatic receiver. That’s kind of how I think of him. he can kind of make plays all over the place. I think he’s gaining confidence. I think he’s a really good player. I think he’s gotten better.”
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(On so many starters playing special teams) “It’s awesome to see Sidney come down there full speed. We tell our guys, we’re going to play our best guys on special teams. Now, if a young guy can beat out one of those old guys because maybe he doesn’t have as big of a role as Keishawn and Sidney and can just watch all of his tape and play faster in practice. we’re going to play the best guys. We don’t want to tell them that. IF Sidney Jones is the best L2 on the kickoff team or Keishawn is – we’ll continually have those guys, and then we’re going to continually work the young guys in. We just want everybody to have a nice role on this team, so if everybody can have a piece of the pie, I think that’s better for us. But until then, the best guys are going to play.”
(On K.J. Carta-Samuels being able to play) “I think K.J.’s done a nice job. I think it’s real important. It’s great, because so often that’s the guy, the backup or backups, quarterbacks, it’s hard to get those guys some work. He’s gotten good work and he’s actually produced and performed, so I think that’s a good observation, because I thought he was throwing some really good balls, too. Pinpoint strikes. Helps those receivers out.”
(On feeling bad for overmatched opponents sometimes) “Yeah, absolutely. You pay attention to that, for sure. But I think it’s really good to be able to play a lot of our guys. That’s the thing that I like the best at the end of the game. Most of those young guys – those guys work hard in practice now. And a lot of those guys are on scout teams, and we challenge them that they need to go hard against these guys that get all the glory and the reps out there – the fun time. So to get those guys in to play some football I think is great. It just helps develop the depth, and those guys eventually will be starters one day.”
(On the run game) “We’ll put the tape on, so I don’t know. It was a little bit of a slow, sluggish start. We still ran the ball for over four yards per carry, so that’s always positive. But sometimes the running game take a minute to get going. Sometimes it may not be til the fourth quarter. Now, we’ve got different guys in in the fourth quarter. But I think when we play real football and you’re going hard and sometimes it takes a while to wear guys down, and really establish that and get your o-line in rhythm and the running back to see the creases. That’s what I really think about the running game – you’ve got to stay with it, and you’ve got to keep banging away. In the meantime, Jake was accurate in the pass game. I know this – every defense is going to try to stop the run game. I don’t care how many touchdowns Jake throws, they’re first and foremost going to try to stop the run game. So that’s why we need to do both.”
(More on Jake Browning’s game) “It’s going to be fun to go put that tape on because I don’t think he’s going to be saying it’s a perfect performance. I know there’s a couple things out there – and it’s awesome for him to be able to improvise and buy time and find guys. The first question we have is does he need to get out of there, and does he have guys open? And if he doesn’t, and he needs to get out, that’s awesome. But I know there was one or two times he probably could hang in there. all this will catch up down the road if we don’t do it exactly how we need to do it. But we’re pleased with him. He’s making progress, and the receivers are making plays for him. Andre Baccellia made a great catch diving back. Dante was good. John Ross … so it’s good to get all those guys in the mix.”
(On preparing for Idaho’s defense) “The first game, they didn’t show a whole bunch of blitzes that we know they had in their back pocket. Usually that’s the nature of this defensive coordinator, so again, you only get so many reps during the week, so we have game one that they didn’t show a lot of the stuff they were bringing here, but we definitely worked on it because we thought it could happen. So it took us a minute to kind of see some of those and figure out what exactly the blitzes they are going go bring, so once we did that it helped us.”
(On the tempo eliminating some of that) “I think it can. It kind of can make some looks a little more vanilla, and I think that might have had an effect.”
(On Connor O’Brien’s pick-6) “I think he’s done that in practice as well, in fall camp. He’s got his hands on the ball a few times. He’s started to develop a good sense of where to be and how to read a quarterback’s eyes. It’s funny because I couldn’t see who it was that picked it off, and then when I saw it, I really wasn’t surprised. He’s done that a couple times this fall camp, so it’s nice to see it show up in a game. But you’re right, he’s a guy that hasn’t had a lot of snaps around here, but he’s getting a lot more and improving and progressing.”
(On Myles Bryant playing as a true freshman) “It’s awesome. We’ve been really debating about this secondary, who to play and who not to play. Part of it - -it’s a hard decision, it really is, but we just think it’s a long season. We think he’s a really good athlete, can help us on special teams, really smart and competitive. All those things added up to say, let’s go.”