Here is everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after Washington’s 35-28 overtime victory over Arizona here on Saturday night.
(Opening) “Proud of how hard these guys fought. That was the one thing we really hadn’t seen this season yet, is just how they’re going to respond, and we talked about it all week. it was obviously a little bit of a frustrating game because we didn’t play up to the standard I think we can play at. There was just some things … our tackling wasn’t what it usually is. A lot of credit to those guys. They have those fast, speed guys. The offense is set up for that. Dawkins can get out of stuff that’s amazing. And then toward the end there we come out of coverage. We can talk about our red-zone offense, we can talk about our short-yardage offense. Probably need a month to clean up all these things that we need to improve on. But I’m really proud of how these kids responded, and just kept fighting.”
(On the team handlinf adversity well) “I really knew we would be. And I think they heard the message. I don’t know if they thought it was going to go like this, because I think we have a lot more to us, in terms of how we played. I thought we played pretty sloppy at times for us, just a couple things. Now, they have good players on the other side of the field and they took advantage and created some errors on our part, but we just really wanted to go through something that was going to be hard, and I think teams can get confidence from going through things that are hard, and they respond when it’s not going like it should, and when it’s frustrating, because those things are frustrating.”
(On Lavon Coleman’s big game and why he was so good) “I’m not sure. Start with the o-line. Some of those plays were blocked very, very clean. He’s a guy that his skillset is line him up deep, behind the quarterback, put the quarterback under center and hand him the ball. That’s when he’s at his best. He’s a downhill runner. His vision looked good. He’ll break arm tackles. We’re proud of how he ran.”
(On getting ready for Stanford on a short week) “Yeah, we’ve got a lot of work to do in six days. And so we’ll work. The process doesn’t change. We go back to work on Monday, practice, and so even though we’re preparing for our next opponent, we’ve got to take care of ourselves, and we’ve got to figure some things out. That’s our whole message, always, like we’re trying to improve. As corny as that sounds … it’s very common and very easy for those guys just to go out to practice, put the game plan in. that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to practice, hard, trying to practice physical, trying to get better, and we need to.”
(On Brandon Dawkins being better than they might have thought) “I don’t think you underestimate those guys. Any time you’ve got a running quarterback like that, it’s really hard and really frustrating. Things aren’t there, and I’ve said it – the three guys that we played up to this point don’t run like he runs, but they’re frustrating, because you cover guys right, then he starts scrambling around, guys come out of coverage, they’re hard to tackle in space, and when a guy’s that fast, you miss him, he makes you pay.”
(On the players staying composed despite being frustrated) “I thought they were pretty good. They might have been better than me, because I was so irritated and frustrated much of the game. But they were great at halftime. I thought they were really good on the sideline. I thought they were good, because I think that they know, there was a lot of frustration that we can be better than that in some areas. But they just kept playing, and there wasn’t any complaining or anything like that.”
(Is this the kind of win in a close game you were chasing last year?) “I think that’s a good point. All those games we were in, we just couldn’t finish. It felt a little bit different where this was a game it kind of felt like to everybody we should have been much more in control, but we weren’t. but nevertheless, we came back and finished when we had to. I think there’s some majority and growth there.
(On Cameron Van Winkle) “He missed two, and one was off the (upright). We get knocked back in the red zone. I don’t know how far those field goals were (45 and 40 yards), but those things happen. he’s a good kicker, and the ball jumps off his foot pretty good. He’ll be back.”
(On defending run better in second half) “I just think they settled down and got off blocks and I really do. I think it was that. Coach K was mixing up some calls, but I think it was just more of getting into the rhythm of … those guys run inside zone a million times and they’re very good at it, and those backs can find those creases. Sometimes it takes a minute for this d-linemen to fit those blocks and figure out how to get off of them and the linebackers to see things.”
(On J.J. Taylor going out and what that did) “Well, he’s an elusive guy, so I think any time you’re losing guys that are in there making plays, it’s hard when you lose guys like that. Whether we lose them, whether they lose them. He’s a weapon.”
(On being physically dominated by Stanford last year and what they do to make sure that doesn’t happen Friday) “Well, that’s a good question. We’ll see. Their style is completely different than we’ve seen the last four weeks. Used to being these spread offenses and running quarterbacks and all those things we hadn’t seen, now it’s two backs and pound you and all kinds of linemen. That’s what’s different. So we’ll see. I think one thing last year, too, is we didn’t get much done on offense. They played really good on defense and shut us down. I always think the offense and defense have to work in tandem. The defense can only hold them for so long if the offense isn’t producing. We’ve got like one run or something and Dante got a late touchdown … it just wasn’t close enough to keep our defense inspired, in my opinion.”
(Do you start watching Stanford film on the plane?) “There’s no doubt. I think some guys are already. We’ve planned for about three weeks for this, for this short week. this is really hard, playing this game on a Friday against this really good team, school starting. We’ve had to do a bunch of different things, move practice times around. But we’ve worked on it for three weeks and we think we’ve got a good plan to give us a chance to compete on a short week.”
(Surprised Arizona didn’t go for two on last TD?) “Not really. Those are always – they’re at home, get it to overtime and all those type of things. I think those things sometimes are feel things.”