Here is everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after Washington’s 41-3 victory over Portland State on Saturday night at Husky Stadium.
(Opening) “After three weeks, I am pretty proud of these guys. All three games are a little bit of a unique challenge. I think we showed good energy and focus. We started fast for the most part. Played off each other, offense and defense, got some things on special teams. I think we learned some things about our team. Some good things and some things we still need to clean up. I thought our defense did a great job tonight creating turnovers and really holding those guys run yardage wise to what we did. I am telling you that quarterback is hard to tackle. It is a really good run offense. Part of their run is when he is going to throw the ball and its not there, he gets a lot of yards scrambling. We saw a few times he did that tonight he did that. Overall I thought those guys tackled well and contained him well. It was good to get Chico the ball in space, he is a playmaker for us. It seems like each game somebody else is making things happen at the skill position so that is all good. I am excited to move onto league play.”
(What are some of the things you have learned about your team?) “Well I don’t want to get into the specifics. There are some things that we need to clean up because, I don’t want to just throw it out there. I think these guys are pretty focused and they have worked hard. I have said it each week, I am really pleased with those guys since the winter time. They have been really focused and worked hard. They pay attention to what we are trying to get done. So all of those are really good things. Like I said, I think there are some things that we have learned that we still got to get cleaned up and get better at. Those are some things we will put the film on and try to figure out.”
(When the team jumps out to an early lead, have you seen them maintain focus?) “I think they have for the most part. The third quarter was very frustrating because their plan was to hold the ball, milk the clock, snap it late. That is fine, but we better execute. One time in the third quarter we went backwards and that was frustrating. We had some penalties that were a little bit uncharacteristic. A couple sloppy ones on the offensive line, that, again we will need to look at the tape to see what that was all about. I know we got a holding call on a play we should never get a holding call; there is no need to hold at all. So that was frustrating. We get a hands-to-the-face on defense that moves the chains again. Those are the types of things that will get us when we play close games. I think in the first two games we were really pretty good with some of that stuff. You get a team that makes your possessions count, which they really did in the second half; I think that kind of hurts a little bit. I think our defense did a good job. Our offense, certainly that one drive was not good.”
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(How eager are you to see your team match up to a team with similar athleticism?) “We have seen this for a while. We have been staring at this schedule for a long time, going ‘ok we have our first three games, which have their own unique challenges, but then we start our league in a tough way’. To go to Arizona in a night game to open the league, that is going to be a challenge. Then we go home in a short week against Stanford then go to Eugene. We will find out, we will find out quickly what we have. But it is the next step in the progression we need to go and we have been paying attention to it for a long time. The time is now.”
(On Greg Gaines’ big game) “Those three guys – Greg, Vita, Elijah, all those interior guys, they’re big guys, but they’re very explosive, so they’re hard to block. You can ask our offensive guys. Whoever’s going to get singled usually gets some knock-off, and really the plan was to try to take on double teams and let those linebackers make plays, but they were doing a good job of getting knock-off and ending up in the backfield. Greg did a good job again. He’s been playing at a high level for most of the season so far.”
(On how they defended PSU quarterback Alex Kuresa) “We were very careful trying to keep him in that pocket. We were just trying to collapse the pocket and not create running lanes. He spun out a couple different times and that hurt us, but it wasn’t just sic ‘em, get to the quarterback. It was, as a group, push and squeeze on him, and try to keep him in there. I thought for the most part, they did a good job. Like I said, he’s elusive, and you’re not going to keep him in there all night. But when they did I thought the guys rallied very well to contain him.”
(On PSU nearly blocking a couple punts) “I think once or twice we kind of made – I hate to say it because I need to look at the tape – but we may have had a wrong adjustment and I think they were also gambling and bringing about seven guys to one side, and we need to do something and back out the other side so they don’t get seven guys to one side. We need to run the ball the other way. So we’ll take a look at that punt team and see what we need to do to help them out.”
(On the run game) “I don’t know. I need to look at it again. I thought it got going at times, but again, I still don’t think it’s necessarily where it needs to be. We need to put that tape on and see what we’re thinking. But just general impression, I think we need to do a little more. I think our yardage was pretty good, but I still think we need to be a little bit more physical, coming off the ball better. We’ll see.”
(On rotating personnel on the offensive line) “Well, yeah. I think we’re always trying to create some competition, build depth, all those things. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get guys to play better and build depth, all those things, for sure.”