Huskies Insider Blog

Chris Petersen after UW’s loss to USC: ‘We’ll regroup. We’ll be back’

Chris Petersen discusses loss to USC

The surging Trojans shrugged off a sellout crowd at Husky Stadium, scoffed at Washington’s national-championship hopes and won, 26-13, to hand the No. 4-ranked Huskies their first loss of the season.
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The surging Trojans shrugged off a sellout crowd at Husky Stadium, scoffed at Washington’s national-championship hopes and won, 26-13, to hand the No. 4-ranked Huskies their first loss of the season.

Here is everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after Washington’s 26-13 loss to USC on Saturday at Husky Stadium. There is no update yet on the status of injured linebacker Azeem Victor.

(Opening) “A lot of credit to those guys, they played better than us. They were physical and they made the plays when they had to. I thought our defense probably held up well enough. Kicking too many field goals and trying field goals and getting knocked out of the red zone, we were just a little bit off on offense and the field position game hurt us a little bit as well. But I think these kids prepared hard, fought hard, and I think we'll learn from it. I think, in this league, if you don't have your fastball going each week, you're going to get knocked off. It's about learning from this situation. Once we stop feeling sorry for ourself, in about 24 hours, and regroup, we'll figure out how we grow from this; how we'll be better from this.”

(Update on Azeem Victor?) “I have no update. They didn't tell me anything. I know when one of our guys gets carted off it's not going to be good. I didn't even see our trainer, to tell you the truth.”

(How did Jake Browning play?) “I thought he was under a lot of pressure. I think when we can't run the ball like we'd like to [stats are probably a litle bit misleading with the sacks in there] but we certainly still didn't get into that rhythm, that flow. I think we had a couple little bit of explosives early on and then we got the one to John but really, in the second half, we just got one play that was kind of explosive. That's not going to really work for us. We gotta do more than that.”

(How did USC slow down run game?) “We gotta put the tape on. I think they were... somebody was... they were defeating blocks. They are physical guys. We kind of knew that going in. That's a big, physical defense, and so that front seven was shedding blocks and they did a good job playing soft enough on the back end to kind of keep things in front of them. We had a chance down the road to hit a ball to one of our guys that kind of got tangled up and you're going to get so many chances to strike. You gotta capitalize. Certainly when we get in the red zone, we get a turnover, and get no points out of it... that's hard to overcome that.”

(On the blocked field goal) “I think it was everything. We were down there and we get that turnover and we're kicking a field goal, which we don't want to do, but trying to get some points. It just looked like, from the sideline at least, they timed it. They timed it pretty well. I don't know what our operation was. We'll take a look at that. They were coming hard after it.”

(How hard to keep noise outside of locker room during winning streak) “We don't even really talk about a win streak. We'll try to start a new one next week. Try to be one and "oh." That's the win streak that we need to pay attention to. If guys are looking down the horizon, you're going to get hit right between the eyes. There's too many good players and coaches in this league. Things happen. I don't know. I think our guys stayed pretty focused. I think we played a good team tonight. We said that coming in. We knew that. I didn't think it was going to be a high scoring game. I think some other people did. I didn't. I thought there defense was too good and I thought ours was pretty good. Had we been able to capitalize on a couple things, offensively, to generate that momentum that kind of energizes our team and our defense... That gives us a better chance to compete to win.”

(Surprised at lack of pass rush on Darnold?) “No. Not. I thought when [Pete Kwiatkowski] was bringing some heat, that was our best chance to do that, but they got a big offensive line and I thought we'd probably have to bring a little more pressure to get to him. We started doing that towards the latter part of the game and that was fairly effective. A little bit of cat and mouse game. Pretty hard to get pressure with four guys. Big. Big guys.(

(More pressure than they wanted to bring?) “I think you gotta bring what you gotta bring. They did a good job of mixing up their calls, I thought, and the bootleg hurt us. The crosser over behind the backers, and so you're trying to mix it up there a little bit. I think overall, the defense was solid enough. I don't think it was an outstanding game by any phase of our team. Part of that's a credit to those guys, to USC, it is. They played good. They played hard and whooped us pretty good.”

(On Taylor Rapp) “Taylor's been a good player all along. He doesn't play like a young guy. He tackles well and he's always in the right position. I'm really proud of how hard he plays and how smart he is. That's kind of been the thing we've said about him from the second he's been here.”

(On how backups handled playing after Victor got hurt) “I think OK. DJ Beavers and Ben Burr-Kirven and Brandon Wellington and all those guys have kind of been working in there throughout the season, because these things happen. This is football. It’s kind of … early in the season you’ll see some things, and kind of late in the season you’ll see some things. It’s really discouraging and disheartening to all of us, especially a guy like Azeem, but that’s the game, and you’ve got to be able to build depth and the next guy’s got to pick up the flag and got to be able to play at a high level. You feel bad for a guy when he gets hurt and doesn’t be able to – again, I’m just assuming – finish this thing out.”

(On the team responding to a loss) “I’m not worried that our guys are going to sit there and feel sorry for themselves for a long time. This hurts them. There’s no question. Just because I think they’re really good competitors, and they leave it all on the field and spend so much time during the week preparing, so when you put your life and your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t turn out right, that is hard, and I don’t think it has a whole lot to do with winning so many games in a streak. I just think it’s hard when you lose and you put so much into it. But we’ll regroup, we’ll be back. These kids will be resilient and we’ll go reload and see what we have.”

(On what USC was doing to force UW to settle for shorter throws) “It’s a good question. I’m really going to have to put the tape on to be able to answer that, to tell you the truth. I think it’s a combination. We weren’t really running the ball. We were kind of in those long-yardage situations. They pushed the pocket pretty good. And so we didn’t do what we normally do, but I think a lot of it comes down to the run game a little bit, being able to do some of that. I think when you play a good team, you’re only going to get a handful of chances to make something happen, and you better capitalize, or it could be trouble. I think that’s what happened tonight.”

(On if he thought Browning was distracted by the pass rush) “Again, I’ve got to kind of look at that. I’ve got to see where guys were on the field and all those type of things, and see if Jake was off a little bit or if someone was in his face. … It’s hard to know just standing right here, but something was a little bit off, for sure.”

(Was this a step up in talent from what you’ve seen?) “I think so. They’ve got some big, fast, physical guys across the board. It felt like that tonight, and we were going to have to play one of our better games to get that done, and we didn’t for whatever reason.”

(On Sam Darnold) “He’s fast. I kind of start with that. He took off a couple times, converted some things, so you could see that right away. And then when he’s just standing back there – we said that earlier in the week – when he’s just standing back there, and he will, those receivers are going to get open. And so he’s playing with a lot of poise in the tapes that I’ve watched him, and he certainly played with a lot of poise tonight. Good player.”

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