Huskies defensive line coach and special-teams coordinator Jeff Choate worked with head coach Chris Petersen at Boise State for six seasons, and after Monday’s practice he answered a few questions about what it will be like to return to Boise as an opponent when UW visits BSU for its season opener on Friday.
(On Boise State’s offensive identity) “When we were there, we wanted to be known as a physical run offense, and I think it starts there. I think they’re committed to the run game, and that’s what opens up all those other options for them. So yeah, they had these bells and whistles as you call them, but you better stop power, you better stop inside zone, they’re going to launch on play-action pass – they’re not going to beat you with five trick plays, they’re going to beat you by old school football and they’re going to get their momentum off those explosive plays sometimes. That’s on their game plan. Our game plan is we better stop the run and we better keep our eyes where they need to be in the pass game, so I think it’ll be an interesting matchup. I think there’s a lot of familiarity obviously between the two programs, and that creates a great story from the outside, but for us, we just need to go play a game right now.
(On environment at Boise State) “I think it’s a big-time college football environment, and I think that’s what our guys want to play in, and they’re going to have good juice. It’s going to be an unbelievable environment. It’s a huge game for their program and the community at Boise. There will be a lot of folks there and it’ll be loud and you’ll feel the energy. There won’t need to be any false energy, for sure. If anything we’re going to have to make sure we play within ourselves, especially with so many young guys going out there. so it’s a great environment. It’s the type of thing that kids come to places like Washington to play in.”
(On Chris Petersen downplaying significance of returning to Boise) “I think he’s a lot like us. He’s a pretty thoughtful guy, and you have those thoughts when you look at it on the schedule nine months ago. At this point, we’re very, very focused on us, and this is like anything else – every opponent is a nameless, faceless opponent. It doesn’t matter. You can’t worry about – a lot of those guys are our best friends. I still want to beat my best friend in H-O-R-S-E if we’re in the backyard playing basketball. That doesn’t change. So I think we’re focused on us and not worrying about what’s going on down there, the hype around the game. I think Chris has done an awesome job of sending that message to our guys.”
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(Do you still feel a sense of pride when you see Boise State succeed?) “I think any time you’re in a situation where you have the opportunity to help recruit kids and lay a foundation for a culture and see it succeed, especially when you have a lot of close friends on the staff – you want to see those guys have success, and you want to see the kids that you brought into that culture have the opportunity to do the things that they came there to do, so I think yeah, that’s a unique thing about this profession. You’re in it long enough, sooner or later you’re going to play against kids you recruited and other guys that you worked with. I’ve had the opportunity to do that a number of times in my career, and I wish the best for those guys on every day except Friday night.”