(How much did loss of Hau’oli Kikaha hurt?) “I think we could all feel it. I think you guys probably felt it. Hundley’s a heck of a quarterback and if he can hang in there and not feel pressured, things change. And that coupled with being young back there, that’s not a good combination for us at all. So we definitely felt it.”
(Danny Shelton said he thought other guys were trying to do Hau’oli’s job. You sense that?) “Well, I didn’t feel that. Danny probably knows better than me being out there. we’ll put the tape on. He’s good. Brett Hundley’s good at finding those creases and running. That’s what he’s done the last handful of games. That’s part of his game. I think the main thing is we just couldn’t get to him as much as we needed to, even to just put some heat on him and keep him throwing off his back foot. When he’s standing in there like that it makes it tough on everybody.”
(Stinger for Kikaha?) “He’s got a little bit of a stinger issue. We’ll see.”
(On the first half) “Well, the first half was extremely disappointing. UCLA is good and they’re going to bring their A-game and we certainly did not bring ours. Once we got embarrassed a little there and went to the locker room and kind of adjust ourselves a little bit, we can do some things. And so that’s just sometimes what happens. We had an interesting mix of some real young guys and some guys that have played. We’ve got to get everybody up to speed as fast as we can and we’ve got to compete harder all the time. I thought they did a really good job in the second half, but we’ve got to do a better job in that first. It’s a four-quarter game and you get behind too far, that’s too much tough sledding to make it back up.”
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(The slow starts?) “We’re at home. You wouldn’t think that at home. And I really appreciate our fans. I think those guys do a great job, and I apologize to those guys we didn’t start faster. But we’ve got to look at that and somehow figure out how to come out and play ball from the start.”
(On the big passing plays) “It’s a little bit of a combination there. We’ve got to cover tighter than that. There’s no question about it. I think the one thing is, good teams are going to get things. We’ve got to be able to make teams earn things. We can’t give them just easy things where they’re not truly earning it. They’ll get better and we’ll get better.”
(On the division of offense/defense for Shaq Thompson) “We’ll kind of go back and look at that more closely and where we need him the most. I think he does a heck of a job, competes hard, physical guy, runs hard and it’s hard not having him out there all the tie on defense as well. So we’ll kind of count his reps and talk to him and see where we go from here.”
(With Kikaha out, did you want to play Shaq more on defense?) “Not so much at that time. We had a little plan to have Shaq in there hopefully a little bit more than we had in the past on defense. But certainly when you’re taking Hau’oli out of the mix and Shaq out of the mix, those are a lot of playmakers on one side of the ball and all that makes it tough sledding to overcome."
(What was explanation on the illegal substitution/delay of game/punt?) “I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t really get one. It was very confusing. I’m not sure what was going on there. I wish I could. I can’t remember what the guy said to me. It didn’t make much sense to me.”
(Was there a fake called there?) “We had a little something going on. That’s all I’ll say. Obviously we couldn’t even get out of the gate. I don’t know where all the confusion was coming from or what was going on.”
(What was the penalty?) “We had an illegal substitution is one of the things they said. They picked it up and we tried to go again and slowed it down … I don’t know. I’m going to have to go back and get that thing figured out myself.”
(How did guys handle the Marcus Peters news?) “I think all those things are hard. There’s just always a lot of – this game’s so hard and there’s always drama with these kids anyway, and that’s certainly something that doesn’t help us, without question. Those are always really hard things, like I said at the end of the day. They’re not just words. They really are hard. They’re hard on everybody. We’ve just got to be strong as we move forward. We’ve got to compete. We’ve got to play because we like to play the game, and we’ve got to have fun with this thing and we can’t make it life or death for these guys, where it turns into not a lot of fun.”
(Want to get John Ross III in on offense after kick return?) “Not so much. Again, we’re trying to move guys around and figure out where to best use them. He’s spending a lot of time on defense right now. Not that we couldn’t do some things there, put him in a little bit at the end. You’ve just got to be careful or they’re not going to be good at anything. He’s got his hands full over there right now. I thought he did a really nice job. I don’t think anybody caught a ball on him being out there a handful of days.”
(On the passing game) “It’s painful. There’s no doubt about it. It’s not any one guy. It’s really not. It’s got to start with us as coaches and everybody’s involved. It’s hard. Run the ball fairly effectively, but we’ve got to be able to throw the ball more effectively to give him some balance and take some pressure off that run game.”
(That show up more in the red zone?) “I think it always does. I think things can get highlighted a little bit in the red zone. Things are tighter. You’ve got to earn things a little bit more. We’ll keep working.”
(Playcalling an issue?) “We sit in that meeting room all day long and all those plays look pretty darn good. You put the tape on yourself and see where there’s a breakdown or where it’s not thrown where it’s supposed to be. There’s a lot of different stuff. I’m not to say hey, every playcaller has some plays where you’re going hey, I’d like to have that one back. It’s a work in progress.”
(Looked like Kevin King and James Atoe got dinged?) “I think Kevin’s fine. I think he was cramping. I’m not sure James was the same thing or not. Not sure if it was a cramp or a pull. We’re trying to figure that out."
(Frustrated losing three straight home games?) “There is no doubt about it. Really, really frustrated. Really appreciate our fans. Really do. I can feel their passion. Yeah, you’d think we’d be able to play closer, a little bit better here at Husky Stadium. To lose at home makes it even worse.”
(Did you play more zone today?) “That’s a good question. I’d have to kind of go back and analyze. Coach (Kwiatkowski) knows that. I think we mixed it up. I don’t know if we played more. We might have. I think the combination of Hau’oli not being in there changed things as much as anything. So we’ve got to get a plan together. If he’s not in there, when that happens, how to get some more pressure on the passer.”