Here’s some of what Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said today about defending Utah running back Joe Williams, and defending Utes quarterback Troy Williams, who began his collegiate career at UW (2013-14).
(On Troy Williams) “Troy’s an athletic quarterback, does a good job distributing the ball, getting it out of his hand. He can really spin it. He’s got good zip on it, so he can throw it from hash to sideline. He has real good command of their offense and he’s running it at a high level right now.”
(On Troy Williams in the run game) “Yeah. They’re not wearing him out in the run game, but he’s definitely a threat, and they pick and choose when for him to pull it and run it, and it’s something you’ve got to be prepared for. I think not running him all the time, it makes it harder to defend, because he sort of lulls you to sleep, all of a sudden he pulls one out and we’ve got ot make sure we’re disciplined with our eyes and doing our job.”
(On Utah’s running game) “Their o-line is physical. They’re fitting the run good. Coming off the ball. There’s no secrets to what they’re doing. They’re just executing at a high level and the running back’s doing a good job finding space and then if someone’s not there making the tackle, he’s taking it to the house.”
(On Utah running back Joe Williams, who came out of retirement and rushed for 332 yards against UCLA) “That’s a big thing for this week – we cannot let this guy, he’s going to get yards, he’s going to make plays. We’ve got to do a good job of keeping him in the chute and not giving up the long ball, whether it’s in the run game or the pass game. We’ve got to do a great job of making them earn it, and if they do put a drive together and get in the red zone, we’ve got to tighten up and hold them to field goals.”
(On Connor O’Brien filling in for Joe Mathis, and why he’s excelled) “I think it’s just perseverance. Everybody comes in as a freshman and they’ve got it all mapped out, how it’s going to go, right? Half the time it doesn’t go that way, or maybe more. It doesn’t go the way they envisioned, and that’s life. I think he’s done a good job of persevering and I’m sure it’s been frustrating at times for him, but I couldn’t be more proud of the guy because of that. He’s going to take this experience and there’s going to be tougher stuff that happens down the road that he’ll be able to fall back on, like, ‘that was nothing compared to what I (went through).’ It’s just handling adversity and persevering.”
(What is it that O’Brien has been good at?) “He just plays. He plays hard. He’s physical, plays hard and plays with that great motor. He’s never going to go away. A lot of the plays that he makes are effort plays, and every now and then he makes a splash play, and he’s working to get better. Pass rush has been something he’s had to work on and he’s gotten better at doing.”