Huskies Insider Blog

Boise State coach Petersen: "This year has been hard for us"

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen spoke with reporters who cover the Huskies on Monday. He said it has been a tough year for the Broncos, who finished 10-2 overall. Boise State's two losses were by a total of six points. Its only conference loss was 21-19 to San Diego State, a team Washington beat in its opener.

Boise State had to replace quarterback Kellen Moore, whom Petersen called "the best college pocket passer, even though he was six feet, that I’ve ever seen." Joe Southwick took over and completed 66.7 percent of his passes, which is a good number. But a quick look at Moore's numbers remind that he completed more than 70 percent of his passes each of the last two years: 71.3 percent in 2010 and 74.3 percent last season.

Here's some more from Petersen:

On Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who coached under Petersen: "Justin’s very good. Really smart guy. Very passionate about his job. You can see a lot of improvement there just from the time he’s been there. That’s how Justin is. He’s a good ball coach, really good person and wherever he’s going to be, good things will happen."

Does anyone have an advantage since you guys coached together? “No. It’s the same thing. It’s the same stuff he did when he was here. You’re always evolving and trying to play to your personnel’s strengths and keep away from your weaknesses. Do I think I know more about Washington because Justin was here? No. You just put the tape on and study what you see and how they’re doing things. I don’t think for either side it has anything to do with that.”

On some of the challenges this season: “We haven’t scored the points we scored in the past. Our offense has been a work in progress from Day One. But, I do think they’ve gotten better. We’ve made some strides. It’s been hard work, but to the kids’ credit they’ve showed up every day in practice and we’ve made some strides there. So, it’s been different. I always felt like we’ve played good defense around here, but because we haven’t scored as many points, we’ve played some closer games and our defense has been highlighted. I always thought our defense has been pretty good, it’s just been overshadowed by a lot of points.”

On working in a new quarterback: “Kellen is the best college pocket passer, even though he was six feet, that I’ve ever seen ... When you know what he was doing and looking at and the decisions he was making. With that being said, you know there’s going to be a change and you hope you can continue to do things and score enough points, but it’s been a little bit of an adjustment. We’re slowly but surely making strides.”

On facing Washington: "I think it’s going to be one of the best teams we’ve played this year. They’re young, obviously well-coached on all their phases. We’ll have to play our best to beat these guys, I think there’s no question about it. I think it’s a good matchup in terms of what people want to see. I think it’s a good matchup in terms of players and what they want to see. Players, they watch tape and know when a team is good and is going to be a big challenge and that’s what we have on our hands."

On if playing Washington in the bowl then the opener is odd: “No, because we’re not coming now. They don’t know it, but we’re not coming (He was joking). It’s a little awkward. But the bottom line is we’re excited about this bowl game and we’ll deal with that down the road. To finish this season and open, that’s a little different. But, Washington is a tremendous program and we have great respect for them.”

How do you handle Austin Seferian-Jenkins? “I don’t know because no one else has really handled him very well, either. That’s why he’s going to play in the NFL. Those guys don’t come along like that very often, who can run like that and make those plays. They’re just really, really hard matchups. We're just going to have to know where he is at all times, just scratch and claw and compete hard. It doesn’t really look to me, from what I’ve seen on tape, anybody’s really had any great answers in terms of how to stop this guy.”