Here's everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen told reporters after his team's 24-10 loss to Arizona State on Saturday night at Husky Stadium. Most noteworthy is Petersen saying quarterback Cyler Miles was cleared medically this week and was available tonight if the Huskies needed him, but that he didn't practice enough this week to make the start. Petersen said he expects Miles to be back next week when UW visits Colorado.
(Opening statement) “Off the top I thought our defense played really, really well. I’m proud of those guys, how hard they fought. And I’m proud of how hard our offense played as well. Obviously it wasn’t efficient enough. It wasn’t good enough. I feel bad for Troy (Williams), being thrown into his first start and having to deal with winds that were tough. It’s hard enough being a brand new quarterback against a really good defense, and then those conditions. but you know, we’ve just got to get better and more efficient on offense. That’s going to be the tremendous urgency around here. We’ve got to be able to take a step and play better offense. I’m proud of Shaq (Thompson) helping us out there. he’s a football player, as we know. He can play whatever you need him to play. Deontae Cooper ran hard and did a nice job. Proud of how he stepped up as well.”
(On the conditions) “I think the wind kind of surprised us a little bit. We started hearing about these wind reports late last night or so. Thought it might rain a little bit. We played in the rain. I think these guys can handle and deal with that. But that wind was hard. It was hard. You’re going against a really good defense anyway, first and foremost, and then to have to deal with that was obviously too much. It was a little bit too much for our kicking game. I thought they executed their kicking game a little better than we did. But no excuses. It is what it is. They had to play in it, too, and they did a better job in it than we did.”
(On wind affecting Williams’ throws) “We just did not try to throw much downfield and really when we did the one time … I couldn’t see if the routes were open or not. He got hit and fumbled. We kept wanting to take shots downfield, but we just didn’t feel like the ball would stay on course at all. And so we kind of threw some shorter passes and had minimal success there.”
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(Why weren’t you able to run the ball like you did on the field goal drive?) “That’s a great question. I don’t know. You sit there from the stands and from the sideline and go, ‘it doesn’t appear that hard. What’s going on here that hasn’t been going on all game?’ So we’ll put that tape on and figure that out. They got into a little bit of a rhythm. We got Arizona State on their heels a little bit which was good. We got a little tempo going. But I just know our run game needs to be more effective and efficient for us to do what we need to do on offense, which is score more points.”
(Where do you think you fit in Pac-12?) “I don’t know where we fit. I really don’t. I think every game’s going to be like this. I really do. In terms of just a hard-fought game. I think our defense has played pretty well most of the time. We’ve just got to get better on offense. That right now is where we’re not good enough and we can get better and we will.”
(Expect Cyler Miles back next week?) “Cyler should be back. We don’t want a guy to have to lose his position to an injury. That’s not the right thing. But I think it’s good to get Troy the reps he got today in really tough conditions. I think he’ll feel better about himself and learn a lot as we move forward with that whole thing.”
(So was Cyler available tonight?) “He was available. He just hadn’t practice a whole lot. We just didn’t think that would be right or fair to Cyler or really the other guys, as well. Troy practiced well all week and he can do some things. It’s hard … you can’t see him with that wind. That really handcuffed us hard. Like I said when we started this, playing against a good defense, first start, then you throw the wind in there. that’s tough on anybody.”
(How about Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington?) “I think Lavon, had we not had Shaq, I think he would play. And even Dwayne maybe if we really had to have him. Both those guys did practice all week. We don’t hit our guys a whole bunch in practice. I think Coop and Shaq were a good 1-2 punch and we’ll get those other kids healthy and get them going.”
(On Trevor Walker leaving the game with an injury) “I think it’s never good when a guy doesn’t return to the game, but I don’t have the specifics on that yet.”
(On sideline attitude after John Timu’s pick-six) “I think everybody felt great. Even though we weren’t doing anything on offense, somebody needed to spark us, whether it’s John Ross on a kickoff return or John Timu on an interception return. It was awesome. I think the kids really felt like we were going to win the game. We just weren’t efficient enough. You’re playing a really good team and we’re just not efficient enough on offense to do what we need to do. We show flashes. You guys saw the drive or whatever. It’s frustrating to us all why that can’t show up more.”
(On the third-down pitch play to Thompson) “It’s a play we’ve worked on quite a bit. I’ll have to put the tape on and see exactly what happened. That was ugly. We felt comfortable we were going to be able to get something done and get the edge and get him out in space and away we go. They may have overloaded that side. I don’t know how we were anticipating. I can’t answer that until I look at the tape.”
(On the penalty on John Ross’ long kick return) “I’m pretty confident the guy that called the penalty, it might have been on another guy. But the guy they said it was, I don’t think he was blocking anybody. He wasn’t really even doing his job. I don’t know. It might have been another guy. But I didn’t see anything.”
(On having tape now of Troy Williams) “This game tape’s a little bit tough to analyze, these conditions. but I do think the experience he got out there, just being out there, I do think that helps him and helps us down the road as well.”