Here's what Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said earlier today during his meeting with reporters.
(Do you have to reinforce this week not to overlook EWU?) “We do, but there’s some guys here on this team still from whatever, three, four years ago, whenever they played (2011), and it came down to the last play and the defense making a play. So those guys know how good these guys are. They understand that the majority of their team is from the state of Washington and they’ve got good players and are well-coached, got really good coaches and they’ve got that mojo, you know, where every game, they’re in it, and their offense is right up there with the best in the nation.”
(On Vernon Adams) “No. 3 is the guy that makes them tick, because he gets them in the right play, he’s smart, he’s accurate, he’s mobile. So you could be in the perfect call for whatever play they’ve got, and he breaks it down because of his mobility, so we’ve got to do a good job of leveraging him, doing a good job staying in coverage and we’ve just got to stay after that guy, because he’s the guy … we’re in a certain coverage and they don’t like it, he’s going to check it and get them in a different play. So we’ve got to be on our A-game for sure.”
(On secondary having big challenge against EWU) “I don’t want to say it starts one way or the other, but a good pass rush helps the back end, and then good coverage helps the pass rush. So they go hand in hand. We’ve got to be smart about our pass rush because he is so mobile, and those guys, if he does start to run around, we’ve got to do a good job in coverage, staying in coverage, and then not coming out to it until he starts running.”
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(On young players in secondary) “Early on, nerves were getting to them a little bit, but as the game went on they settled down and made some plays.”
(On Kevin King starting) “I think it always comes back to consistency and we look at production and the guys being consistent. I think it came down to he was making a few more plays and was more consistent.”
(On Travis Feeney) “Guy can run, man. We’re going to try to find as many ways to keep him on the field, whether he’s in coverage or he’s getting after the quarterback. He’s a dynamic guy. He can make some things happen. We talk about quarterbacks breaking down in the pass game and start to move around and scramble, he’s a guy that can run guys down and clean up some mistakes.”
(More on Feeney) “With Travis he’s extremely talented and plays hard. He’s still relatively young and (in)consistent. Just consistency and sometimes he’s not exactly where he’s supposed to be, but because of his athleticism, he can make up for it. If he keeps working at it, that consistency part and being nails on his assignments, the guy’s going to be unbelievable.”
(On Hawaii’s offensive gameplan) “They were going to pound the ball and control passing game, and then take some shots here and there. They had a couple trick plays. Guys did a good job of keeping their width and not getting beat deep on that. We definitely would have liked to held them to less yards, but the guys did an unbelievable job of slowing up in the end zone and sticking together and taking it one play at a time. The effort took care of the rest. But as far as … we know we can play a lot better than we did. That’s why we’re practicing.”
(One extreme to the other with Hawaii to EWU?) “Oh yeah. There’s definite difference when you go from what we saw last week and then now you’ve got four wides and they’re spreading it out, there’s more skill spread out across the field. There’s more space for those guys to make guys miss, so we’ve got to do a good job of running to the football and when we’re playing tight coverage, play tight coverage, and when we’re playing zone, stay in our zone. And the bottom line is we’ve got to tackle.”
(More freshmen play this week?) “I don’t know. We want to get those guys in. those guys will start showing up on more special teams and we’re gradually getting those guys caught up to speed in the defense.”
(On seniors responding to Hawaii game) “Danny’s had an unbelievable camp, had an unbelievable first game. The guy’s been a great leader. He’s doing it by example. 340-pound guy running to the ball, and there’s a play in that game last week, fourth play of the game, he runs down a screen. He’s been great. John (Timu)’s been awesome. This game … We talk about the process. It’s one day at a time, one play at a time, and we’re always working to get better. The rest of that stuff takes care of itself and it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. That’s what it’s all about. Are we getting better today? Are we going to get better tomorrow? And then when we get in that game, we’re cutting it loose, we’re playing fast, we’re having fun and we’re taking it one play at a time, and the rest will take care of itself.”