FROM TUCSON -- Here's everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said about his team's 27-26 loss to No. 17 Arizona earlier today, including remarks about how he managed the clock on UW's final offensive possession.
(Why not take a couple knees on the last possession?) “With our chart, we felt like we had to run the ball again to get a first down. They had one timeout left. That’s the information we got.”
(Do you feel like that was the right decision?) “I haven’t looked at it back, but that’s the information I got upstairs.
(On the loss) “It’s all of us. It’s all of us. It’s not any one play. I appreciated how hard those guys play, I really do. Came out with good passion, energy and fighting spirit.”
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(On his team’s effort) “That’s how the game needs to be played. You need to go out and you need to play that hard, bring it every snap, and we did that. When you do that, then you give yourself a chance and deserve to win. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to win, but you give yourself a chance, put yourself in position to do that, and they did that. Against a good team, I kind of keep going to back to you make too many errors, too many turnovers, too many penalties, that catches up with you. Eventually it’s going to slip away. But I am proud of how hard they fought.”
(On the bad snaps) “We tried to change our center’s technique a little bit during the week and trying to snap it a little bit different. We’ll look at the tape to see if we’re making any progress there. I know a couple of them he had a hard time handling and the one time the ball just slipped out of his hand. It’s hard to explain.”
(On red-zone issues and other mistakes) “No question. All that. Not good enough in the red zone. It’s all these little things, all this real football stuff. We were better on third downs, but the red zone kind of showed up. We tried to kick a field goal, hit the upright. Kicking an extra point, we don’t get that, kicking an extra point. There’s just so many little ones that makes it hard. That’s why it’s not any one thing. It’s always easy to look at one thing and say that’s it, and it’s really not.”
(On Kasen Williams being more involved) “I do think it’s healthier, he kind of showed up in practice a little bit the last week and a half, looking like he’s healthier, a little bit more explosive, so it’s nice to get him a few balls.”
(On Dwayne Washington running the ball well) “Well, Dwayne’s an explosive player, so if you get him a little space, he can run away from some guys and so the o-line did a good job for the most part, created some seams, and he’s pretty good at hitting those.”
(On calling timeout before Arizona’s field goal) “I will say this, I don’t want to call timeout and let him kick it. And I told the guys I was going to call timeout and I called it twice before they called it. It is what it is. That’s on me. I should have made sure that it was not going to get snapped. I should have made that perfectly clear.”
(Did the official just not hear you?) “I don’t know. I guess not. I don’t know. Standing right there. Told him I was going to do it.”
(On the penalties) “Painful, I don’t know what to say. Other than we’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to clean them up. I know that. Really painful when it seems like it’s so much laundry out there coming our way. Really swings the field position thing, which is huge. It really does. On the interception you get a little good return and we’ve just got to play smarter in those situations. Some of those things are so iffy whether they should be called, but they are, and you just don’t want to put that stuff in the officials’ hands.”
(Was Arizona’s fake field goal just good execution?) “I think so. We had to kind of load up and that was kind of field-goal range and we really wanted to get that one, and they did a nice job on that.”
(More on the game) “That’s kind of how the game goes. Arizona’s a good team and so that’s why I’m proud of these guys for really competing and playing hard. I think they gave everything they had. Like I said, we played well enough to have a chance to win, but we didn’t have enough of the details taken care of. There’s no doubt about that. But if we continue to compete with that spirit and play that hard and really practice hard like we’re going to win, these last games are important as anything we’ve played for yet – then we’ll do OK.”
(On the team responding to the loss) “Any time you lose a game it’s deflating, and I think any time you lose a game like this, it’s really hard. But I do think this – I think they know that they played really, really hard. And when you play that hard and with that type of spirit, effort and attitude, I mean, in your heart you know you gave it your all. That’s really all we can ask. That’s why we practice to clean up the details and get those type of things right. But when that true passion’s there and they’re giving all they give, I think it’s tough when you feel like maybe you lost the game and a team didn’t win it. But that may not be right for me to say either, because those guys made some plays when they had to make plays. But we did make too many errors. But I really think that the guys brought it. And that’s, as a coach, all you can ask on gameday.”
(Trick play – was it game situation that dictated that?) “Yes and no. Sometimes you don’t really know how teams are going to react to those types of plays, but we throw the ball on the perimeter quite a bit and let him throw. He’s got a pretty good arm. It worked pretty good.”
(More on the running backs) “Well, I think we felt pretty good about our running backs for the most part all along. They’ve been banged up a little bit, those two guys, so get those guys back healthy after a handful of weeks was nice. And I think when they’re healthy, they’re a pretty good combination.”
(Did Shaq Thompson ask to be put on defense?) “Yeah. Shaq prefers defense. Shaq was doing whatever he could do to help the team, those guys got healthy and they’re good running backs. We agreed as well that it’s probably best for everybody to get Shaq over there not only for his play but his leadership and all those things.”
(Did that energize him during the week?) “Sometimes it’s hard to tell, like during the week. Sometimes guys are harder to read a little bit during the week. Wherever Shaq is, there’s going to be a good vibe. That I do know.”
(Why was Deontae Cooper the running back on the final series?) “Our position coaches, they decide that. Coop’s been sure-handed. He’s done a great job of protecting the ball all year, and sometimes those things happen.”