Huskies coach Chris Petersen met with reporters on Thursday for the final time before UW’s 7:30 p.m. Saturday game at Arizona. Here is what he said, including a non-update on the status of junior receiver Brayden Lenius.
(On first Pac-12 game and players reacting differently) “I think they’ve been practicing really hard for a long time. But they understand that importance. The first three games are important, but they’re also to get us ready to play in the league and I think everybody would say that. They worked hard. They practiced hard.”
(On playing being curious to see how UW plays Saturday) “I’m always curious. Every game is a unique challenge. (It’s) the first time being away from home. I’m always – there’s always intrigue every game and this is no different.”
(Is there a style of offense or style of player you’re interested to see your defense go against?) “No. I’m just interested to seeing them play at a high level. I think that’s one of the unique things about college football that’s diferent than pro football – you get all of these unique styles. Certainly, most have a running quarterback. That changes the game a lot. These guys have two good running quarterbacks. But we’ve seen that really the last few weeks as well. I think these guys are really good runners. We’ll see if we can contain.”
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(On Arizona’s offense being a good matchup for UW the last two years) “I think our guys just played well. I don’t think our system is that much different some other people they played. I think our guys just executed. Their system is hard because it spreads the field and creates 1-on-1 matchups whether it’s a receiver, whether it’s in the run game. They even the numbers pretty good. Like we said, I think those guys do a really good job with that system.”
(On game day when it’s a late start...) “We have a couple of meetings, a couple of walk-throughs. Watch some games. Staring at your watch a lot. That’s kind of how it goes. That’s just kind of the nature of college football these days it seems like.”
(On preparing for Arizona quarterbacks Anu Solomon and Brandon Dawkins) “Well, I think Dawkins will probably go. Had a really good game. Solomon’s still, I think, recovering, but he may play as well. We can’t worry about what they’re doing. We’ve just got to worry about what we’re doing, that we’re prepared.”
(On trying to simulate Dawkins on the scout team) “Well, I don’t know if you can. I can tell you that Daniel Bridge-Gadd has been running around over there for the last couple weeks, and he can really run. It’s hard to simulate game conditions. but I do think that our scout teams on both sides have done a really good job these first handful of weeks. that’s a thankless job, but a really important job.”
(On slowing down Arizona running back J.J. Taylor) “That’s really hard. I mean, that’s going to be one of the challenges, is getting our hands on him. He’s not the biggest guy, but he is one of the quickest, for sure. So they’ve seen him on tape, and our guys know that it’s about spreading you out and creating one on one matchups and letting him do his thing. And it can’t come down to one guy. Just corralling him. We’ve got to get off blocks and everybody’s got to have leverage and all those type of things.”
(Do Jake Browning’s impressive numbers mean anything to you right now?) “No, the numbers don’t mean much. We just watch the tape, and is he doing what we need him to do? Is our offense, as a unit? I mean, I think we’re trying to set our quarterback up for success. Most offensive coaches are. So when the quarterback’s numbers are good, there’s other people around them doing a pretty solid job, as well.”
(Any decision on Brayden Lenius’ status?) “No. Not yet. We’ll figure it out here shortly.”
(Know if he’ll travel?) “We’ll figure it out on Saturday.”