Here's everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after his team's 45-14 victory over Georgia State on Saturday at Husky Stadium. Some honest insights here.
(Opening) “I’ll start with the positive because I’m such a positive guy. I liked the way the kids played the second half. It was good. It was inspiring. It was the way football should be played. I thought the first half was probably about as bad of football as I’ve been around maybe ever. And again, I want to give Georgia State credit. They were executing. They were doing a nice job. But it wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before. And for whatever reason, the kids didn’t show up to play in the first half, and that’s on me. So we’ll analyze, we’ll adjust, get ‘em going.”
(Did you see nay of that call?) “Nope. Not at all. Thought we practiced hard. Thought we had our best week of practice. For whatever reason, you lose your edge for one second around here, that’s exactly what will happen.”
(Does it bother you that players admit they overlooked Georgia State?) “I think it’s honest. I didn’t feel that. I don’t think our coaches felt that. I actually thought the kids worked hard. I thought it was pretty good. But the players know. Sometimes you think they’re not ready, but they are ready. I just really hope this is a lesson we can all learn from.”
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(Are you ready for Stanford?) “Did you just see what I saw? I know we’re not ready.”
(What was approach at halftime?) “The approach was, everybody just needs to do their job. That’s the bottom line. Stop looking around at what’s going on. Just take care of your area of responsibility. Get the energy level up and let’s go play. It’s not rocket science here. It’s pretty easy. You could see … very uninspired football in the first half. To those guys’ credit, they did adjust. Sometimes you tend to panic a little bit, but they honed in and focused and got a few things done."
(Were you angry?) “No. No. No. We just tried to get them going. The rest will come later.”
(John Ross’ injury?) “So, I don’t know. I think he’s week to week. We really don’t know. We’re still just kind of trying it out, get some stuff later in the week and we’ll see. We’ll know more in a few days.”
(What’s his injury?) “He’s got a leg injury.”
(Georgia State blitzes surprise you?) “It didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Obviously it surprised our entire offense though. So we’ll have to put that on and look at it, figure out what’s going on.”
(On Cyler Miles’ game) “Thought he was getting blitzed, things weren’t getting picked up. On occasion when they were, I thought he panicked. That’s what I saw from the sideline.”
(On Jeff Lindquist’s running plays) “We had that little package for him, and the first time we ran it, it was pretty darn good. We need to keep going back to the well until somebody proves they can stop it, so good job by Coach Smith going back to it.”
(On Marcus Peters’ interceptions) “Really nice interception on that first one … I don’t remember the second one, exactly what happened. But it’s good to get these turnovers. I know our defense was trying to hold in there. I thought Georgia State had a good gameplan in the first half, short passes, hitting them in the seams. They can throw the ball. They threw for a lot of yards the week before and proved that. that shouldn’t be surprising to our guys.”
(On Peters responding to suspension) “Like I said, he did everything we asked. He came back and practiced hard. I thought our team practiced hard. I don’t know why we didn’t show up. You just lose that edge just a little bit, and that can happen.”
(On Sidney Jones in coverage) “Sidney’s got to tighten some things up. I think it’s more of an attitude adjustment than anything else. We’ve just got to play harder, play tighter. We’ve got enough in our arsenal in all three phases to help our guys out. We just need to play better. We need t play tighter coverage and fly around better, which we kind of saw. It can’t be one of those things when it’s all going good … everybody’s good when it’s all going good. That’s kind of frontrunner mentality. Now again, I think our guys played hard to get us back into it. I was pleased with the second half. I’m just still kind of irritated on the first half.”
(On using punt returns to build momentum) “Yeah, and that’s kind of how football goes. You can kind of feed off momentum a little bit. You need a play here, a play there to get excited about something. Nobody’s making any plays, it’s hard to get excited. I think Dante Pettis was bringing a lot to the table today, doing a great job. I know a lot of guys up front were doing a pretty good job holding them up. We had a lot of space there and we don’t always talk about that. it’s hard to get that space in the punt return game. And he had some, and he did a nice job. So that sparked us pretty good. Turnovers by the defense in the second half sparked us.”
(Can you tell me about the downfield passing game?) “I don’t think I need to tell you about it. I think you’ve already got your opinion, which you and me probably agree on that phase of our game. It’s hard because I thought about calling something downfield – you were seeing what I was seeing. Protection wasn’t going to hold up. We’re going to end up scrambling out of there, so why are we even wasting our time with that? It starts with protection always, and then goes quickly to the quarterback.”
(Didn’t look like Joe Mathis suited up?) “Joe took some personal time off here. We may have him back. We’ll see.”
(Jesse Callier was in a walking boot?) “I don’t know. We’ll find out. I don’t have any idea on that.”
(More on punt returns) “I’m trying to think what sparked us, if we’d gotten a touchdown before that. When you flip the field position, I know how it feels for an offense to take the field when you have a short field to deal with. I think we got something going on the short field, and we stalled our offense again and Cyler punted it down to the 1, our defense held and we got another good punt return. I know that was a good momentum feeling right there and the guys kind of built off it a little bit.”
(More on the first half) “I’m 100 percent honest in this, that was probably as bad of first-half football I’ve ever been around. So the whole thing. Nobody was doing anything except looking at each other trying to figure out who’s going to make a play.”
(Is this a strange feeling after a big win?) “Well, you know, again, we’ll pick out the positive things and go from there. But there’s a lot to learn on the other side. Our whole thing is are we playing as well as we can? And I think everybody in this room knows the answer to that. So that’s when you get truly frustrated. Hey, if we get beat, and we play well, and they’re just better than us, you know, you don’t like it, but you can live with it. But when you’re not living up to your potential for whatever reason, that’s just really, really sad and irritating to a coach.”