Here's everything Huskies offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith told reporters earlier today about this week's matchup against Oregon State, the progression of Cyler Miles and trying to iron out some kinks with UW's shotgun snaps.
(Good memories with Oregon State coming to town?) “Good memories, no question. It’ll be good to see him pregame to say a quick hello. But those were good years in the past and now on to the next task. Because we’ve got a lot of things to play for, and the big focus this week is finding a way to win.”
(On OSU’s game against ASU) “They did a great job against Arizona State. I thought those guys played really hard. Disrupted things in the run game. They’ve been doing the same stuff for a long time and doing it really well, so they cause some problems that way. I think they’re in-your-face in the secondary, so they’re going to challenge you there. so we’ve got to be good and physical, accurate and on-time with the ball. So it’ll be a good test.”
(Take anything from last year’s Boise State bowl game against them?) “A little bit. They’re doing a little bit different stuff. Their front, they played a little more 3-down last year than they’re doing now. So we glanced at that, but we’re a little bit different offensively than where we were in the bowl game.”
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(On the shotgun snaps) “We’ve made an emphasis on it and did some things pre-practice, did some things in the center, moving the alignment a little bit more. It’s been an emphasis. I think it’s gotten improved, but we’ve got to do it on Saturday.”
(Can you do less shotgun or does it just have to get better?) “I think it’s got to get better. We’ve gone this far in the shotgun, and all of a sudden making a wholesale change would be tough on us now.”
(On Cyler Miles’ ball security) “I think he’s gotten better a little bit in how he protects the ball. We called a lot of runs for him last week and he protected it pretty good. The ball slips out of his hand on the one when he’s going to throw it. The next one, it’s a poor snap. He’s got to find a way to diminish a negative play. We’ve talked about that. Which is easier said than done, but we obviously would have liked to hold onto that.”
(Does a different center mean a different snap?) “Different snaps are different guys, for sure. Again, I think (Colin Tanigawa’s) been solid on that. He’s been working at it. It wasn’t like it was an issue throughout the year. It’s just come up the last couple of games. Some of it, there’s going to be an occasional bad snap he’s (Miles) got to be able to handle. We just had too many.”
(Emphasize letting play-clock run in late-game situations?) “We looked at it on Sunday, talked about it a little bit on Monday, and we’ve kind of gone back to our normal approach.”
(On his vantage point on final offensive series vs. Arizona) “We’ve got some people up there looking at the charts. It was going to be really, really tight on whether we have to punt on fourth down, so we were going to eat a little clock on first down. That was my vantage point. That was our approach. Felt really good about the call. Didn’t turn out the way we’d (have) liked to.”
(Was offensive gameplan against Arizona due to you being more comfortable?) “Maybe, because there weren’t a whole lot of new plays we schemed up. I do think we got a little bit of rhythm and some first downs. I think the biggest piece of that was our ability to run the ball, and then complete some underneath stuff and get some yards on the underneath stuff. It wasn’t a bunch of two or three yard completions, it was more the eight, nine-yard completions. It makes a huge difference in what we’re trying to get done.”
(On Miles picking up first downs late against Arizona) “I think it was huge. Again, that’s why the way the thing ends is such a bummer because I did think he played really well, finishing the game. We called a lot of runs for the guy. Even on the third down before he put the ball on the ground – it’s third and three, we’re running option, he puts his shoulder down, gets it right past the marker. It’s an awesome rep. he’s built some confidence that way.”
(On Dwayne Washington’s running vs. Arizona) “I thought he made some guys miss. He broke some tackles. Ran really hard. He’s got a second gear that when he can get out in space, he can go. Not only just from last week – watching last year’s game, he had a couple long runs. So he’s got a second gear that was nice to see.”
(Why hadn’t we seen that earlier?) “I think it’s probably a combination of how well things have been blocked. Some things got open against Arizona. We were running some outside zone that was a good scheme against those guys that hadn’t presented itself in weeks earlier.
(How big have seniors been in coaching transition?) “They’ve been big. I think those guys have been awesome in buying in, their approach, working hard and working out some kinks in the new system and all of that. I think we’ve really gained from their experience. I think they’ve come along and helped out the young guys, as well.”
(On Kasen Williams looking better in practice) “I think he has looked better. I don’t know the exact timetable. I can even think of a ball he caught yesterday, I was like OK that stood out to me. He’s coming along. He did some good things in that last game. Hopefully he can get a couple touches on Saturday.”
(On getting multiple players the ball early) “I think it’s nice to have guys involved. I think there’s some benefit just as you go. Each guy getting a couple touches early to get in the rhythm of the game, I think that’s a real benefit.”
(How did Miles grade out at Arizona?) “I thought he graded out well, like with his effort. I still thought in the passing game, there’s still a couple of plays I thought he could have pulled the trigger, but outside of that, and the fumbles, I thought he played pretty well.”