Huskies Insider Blog

Huskies OC Jonathan Smith talks running game, vertical passing game, Jake Browning and more

Huskies offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith met with reporters for a few minutes earlier this afternoon. And as you might have guessed, he was asked a few questions about the Huskies’ running game (or lack thereof) against Boise State, and talked about what he and the Huskies can do to stretch the field a little more.

(On what happened in run game vs. Boise State) “I think there was a lot of things going into it. We definitely need to create more of a crease for the back, but at the same time, we’re not going to be able to block everybody. The back needs to be able to make some guys miss, and we’ve got some guys that can do that. So it was a combination of things in the run game.”

(Was Boise State crowding the line to stop the run?) “The case really wasn’t crowding the line. We talked to those coaches after the game – obviously we’re so close to them – and they were going to live in cover-two until we proved we could run the ball. Well, they were playing cover-two and we couldn’t run the ball. So it was interesting, and we’ve got to get them all together – from backs to the o-line to coaches to calls. We’ve got to get better.”

(On Jake Browning’s first game) “I thought his poise was good. Overall, his decision-making was OK for a first game. I thought he played pretty hard. There was definitely some things to clean up, which he saw, especially early in the game. But for a first performance in that tough place, he showed some good signs.”

(That what you expected?) “I did expect him to play pretty poised. The guy is a steady-Eddy kid, he’s competitive, so I didn’t think he was going to be overwhelmed by the moment, and he wasn’t.”

(How much harder is it to call plays when the run game isn’t working?) “Everything’s easier when you’re running the ball, there’s no question. But at the same time, you can’t just bang your head into some walls, and if that’s not being effective, you’ve got to find some other answers. That’s part of the role I’m in is finding some other answers, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

(What can you do to stretch the field when run game isn’t there?) “One, you’ve got to call a few more. We had about four or five shots called that for whatever reason the ball didn’t go down the field. Like I was saying, a little bit of that was the coverage we were seeing, but we need to be able to show that we’re going to do that.”

(What do you like about Myles Gaskin to have him as the No. 2 RB?) “Some of it was he’s able to find some creases. He has some good patience and vision. He really has some good vision when he’s carrying the ball. That’s probably been the most impressive.”

(On Sacramento State) “They’re formidable. They’ve got some guys that can run around and make some plays in the secondary. They’ve got some experience. They won’t be overwhelmed by the opponent. You look at Sac State throughout the years, they’ve played some 1A schools really tough, and so we’re expecting their best effort, and they’ve got some experience in the secondary that is a strength of theirs. They’ve got a middle linebacker that’s played a lot of football, too, so they’ve got some talent over there, but we are emphasizing what we can do better about us.”

(On wanting a strong start) “You’d like to think we’ve got to come out and start early and have some early success, and then build some confidence.”

(On Browning’s response after the loss) “Yeah, I think his approach has been that he’s back to work. He wasn’t overwhelmed by the loss. He was very disappointed, which we expected from a kid like that. All of us have been disappointed. But his approach has been good these first couple days.”