The loss to Auburn was a difficult game to swallow, Washington offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan admitted Wednesday. It’s a defeat, he said, that will stay with him for “a long, long time.”
The sentiment was echoed by his players as many of them fixated on mistakes that stalled drives and left points on the board, allowing Auburn to come away with a 21-16 victory last Saturday.
The Huskies are angry about the season opener, but head coach Chris Petersen stopped short Thursday of saying that frustration will shape UW’s identity this season.
He wants his players and coaches to be angry, but not just because of Auburn.
“I don’t think anybody’s happy with what happened at all,” Petersen said Thursday. “We should always have a chip on our shoulder. We should always be irritated. I hope when we win we’re irritated because we look at the mistakes that we made and we’re irritated about that.
“That’s what great teams and great people do. I think there’s the focus. I think we need to get some things right.”
For Hamdan, it’s hard to forget about Auburn not only because of missed opportunities, but also because of everything the Huskies did right.
“I thought we moved the ball well,” Hamdan said. “Those kids played physical and ran the ball well. We created explosive plays. That one will be with me but I know this … we got to get ready for this week.”
Details decided the Auburn game, Petersen said. They’ll need to be fixed before Saturday’s home opener.
“That was right in front of us for all to see,” he said. “I’m eyes wide open. I’m anxious to go out there and play again. I think these guys are, too. We got the first game under our belt and there was a lot of learning. Now, we can maybe settle in and play.
“But I am anxious to see because every team is a unique situation: Now we’re at home, now it’s a completely different scheme and that means a lot. I’m anxious to go play.”
Despite the tough loss, Petersen doesn’t want his players feeling sorry for themselves. And no matter how many games they win this season, he doesn’t want them celebrating too much, either.
When UW faces North Dakota on Saturday, he just wants the Huskies ready to play.
“We just analyze it and move forward and be tough in the mind and that’s how you be successful in life,” he said. “That’s what the great organizations can do. We’re in the process of seeing how we develop and how we build that.”