Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen on Illinois, Cyler Miles and not Marcus Peters

Here's all of what Huskies coach Chris Petersen had to say during his final media availability of the week before Washington's game against Illinois (1 p.m. Saturday, FOX).

(On team responding this week) “I think they’re working hard. Whether we’ve made progress or not, we’ll find out in a couple days. But they’re working hard, trying hard. The one thing I know is these guys care. So we’re focused and working hard.”

(And the defense?) “Focused and working hard.”

(What have you seen out of Marcus Peters this week?) “We’ll talk about that later.”

(On Cyler Miles) “We need to be able the throw the ball a little bit more than we did. But I thought he did some good things. He competed hard, made some plays and you’ve got to see a lot of things to get into a rhythm at that position and I thought he made progress.”

(What specifically does he need to improve? Timing?) “It’s everything – hanging in the pocket when he should. That’s always a fine line with a guy that can run a little bit, to hang in there, hit a check-down, or should I get out and get some yards with my legs? And I think a guy that’s athletic, that can be a lot harder than a guy that knows that’s not his deal. So a real fine line there, and that’s going to be part of his maturation as a passer in the pocket is to know when to hang in and when to get out.”

(On rotating guys to make sure Hau’oli Kikaha and Danny Shelton don’t wear out) “I think Hau’oli and Danny are playing at a good level. I don’t think they’ve necessarily worn out, but I do think it’s important for us to get a lot of guys in the game and develop some depth.”

(On using Kikaha more as a pass-rusher) “We’ll see. The position he plays, sometimes he rushes, sometimes he doesn’t. What he does well is rush the passer – not that he can’t drop, but I think he’s more of a factor and impact guy when he’s rushing the passer.”

(Expecting more stable performance this week?) “I think … again, I never know how these darn games are going to go, but I would suspect that out of this game. Somewhere in between the first and the second game. I think Illinois is very stout on defense. I think the corners play good, tight coverage, and they’re strong up front. So this is kind of a different … that we haven’t seen yet in game three.”

(On Miles being banged up) “I think that’s what he’s going to be. When you run the ball, you carry the ball, you run around – you’re going to get bumps and bruises. That’s part of the game. Sometimes maybe he gets out of bounds a little quicker, slides, those type of things. But when you carry the ball, you’re going to get hit.”

(Does Illinois still use crazy offensive formations?) “Their offense is different than it was last year, but yeah, the offense is very formation oriented. They’re game-planners, they do a lot of different things game to game, and there’s a lot of offense there.”

(Illinois better in the fourth quarter?) “I just thought they played hard. I think on offense they did what they needed to do to score some points to stay in there. I think any time you can win in the fourth quarter, that says something about your team, and they’ve done a good job about that.”

(Looks like Illinois QB Wes Lunt is pretty good) “I agree with you. I think he’s a good player. He was a good player in high school and he’s a really good player now. I think when it’s all said and done, he’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in college football. I think he’s a sophomore, he’s got a lot of football ahead of him, and the way he can throw it, his arm strength and all those things, he looks really good.”

(More on Lunt) “He’s kind of a pro-style, big, tall, guy, strong arm, hangs in the pocket. He can move, but their offense is set up around him being a pocket passer and he does  a great job of it.”

(Anything like the last two opponents?) “They’re different than the last two weeks. So we need Husky Nation loud and clear trying to rattle that offense as much as we can. Like we’ve said before, I think noise is a tough thing to deal with over the course of a game. No better place than Husky Stadium to have a little noise issue, huh?”

(Study Lunt’s Oklahoma State film at all?) “We watched their (Illinois') first two games and what they’re doing. We know he can throw, without question, so we studied scheme.”

(What do you look at from last year’s UW-Illinois game?) “I think you look at a lot of personnel. They’ve got all their guys back. They really do. And then you see what’s the same, if you’re seeing the same from last year, the carry-over on defense, doing a lot of the same things. But they’ve got most of their guys back. They do it better. And then on offense it’s quite a bit different with the new quarterback.”

(Does Illinois look like team adjusting to coaching staff?) “They’ve been there I think maybe going on Year 3 here, and it looks like that. They’ve got their guys in there and their systems are in place. You look at them last year, what they did, to the first two games – to me they look like a different team.”

(Update on Derrick Brown suspension?) “Still holding tight on that.”

(Josh Perkins injury?) “We’re still week to week on him. We’ll just see. He’s close. So he’ll be back in the mix sooner than later.”

(Anyone else might be a game-time decision?) “Again, and it’s not for you guys – we just don’t talk about those type of things. That’s the advantage to the opponent. I’m not trying to hold anything. If I didn’t think it would help our opponent, I’d talk about everything. That’s something we just don’t talk about.”

(Closing practices entirely?) “That’s my decision. … To not put you guys in such a hard position. So you guys come out there, just see who’s hurt and not playing, and that’s hard for you guys not to do that. So it just makes it easier on everybody.”

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple