Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen after Washington's 44-19 win over Illinois

Here's everything coach Chris Petersen said after the Huskies beat Illinois, 44-19, today at Husky Stadium.

(Opening Statement) “I thought we made some progress. I’m proud of the guys. I thought we made some progress as a coaching staff - we coached them a little bit better - and I think we’ll make some more progress this next week, kinda iron out some things coaching-wise, playing-wise, all that, get our guys all on the same page. I’m proud of our defense flying around making plays, creating turnovers and scoring. That’s how it should look on defense.”

(On the offense) “Offensively, I thought first half we were very efficient. A little disappointed in the second half, a bit stagnant, getting to the fourth quarter and trying to eat some clock. I thought we could do some more things there.”

(Is this the complete game you’re looking for?) “Well, I think we’re making progress - I don’t know how complete it is. We made some field goals which was good to see, punting can be cleaned up. But I just keep telling them, Monday doesn’t change. If it doesn’t change with how the focus and effort has been the last couple Mondays, we’ll be headed in the right direction.”

(Heard the turnover horn a lot in camp. Is this more of what you expected to see?) “That horn in fall camp is a little bit concerning always for me. I blow it grudgingly sometimes because I don’t know if our defense is making good plays or we’re sloppy on offense. But again, this game is so much about turnovers, extra possessions, and when you can score off them, that’s game-changing stuff. My hat’s off to that defense for playing that hard. Shaq (Thompson) coming up big again. Heck of a play.”

(On how special Shaq Thompson is) “I enjoy watching him play. I haven’t been around him a lot in game situations. Been with him for three games, and he’s a playmaker. You put him on offense and he does some good things. He’s good on special teams. And he creates his own offense on defense so you got to love those things.”

(On slowing down Lunt) “I think we helped our secondary with some coverage things a little bit. I still think the pressure on him was pretty good, he wasn’t able to stay back there for a long period of time. Any secondary needs that help and when you look out there and three out of four are true freshman running around out there, you’re saying ‘Danny’ (Shelton), Hau’oli (Kikaha), Evan (Hudson), Andrew (Hudson), you better get to that guy.’ You can’t hold up too long back there and we did a good job of that.”

(On youth in secondary) “It is what it is. We looked at the roster coming back, and we recruited seven defensive backs, and we knew a bunch of them were going to have to play. We could se that coming a long ways away. Fortunately for us, I think these kids are pretty competitive and I think there’s some talent there. We’ll keep coaching them, and if they stay focused, and don’t get full of themselves, we’ll be OK there.”

(On Hau’oli Kikaha) “He’s good. He’s good at rushing that passer. If we can get him to keep doing that and maybe get another … I think he was tired of Danny (Shelton) getting all the headlines, so he stepped his game up a little bit.”

(Did he rush passer more today?) “I don’t know how much from last game or not. Have to ask Coach K that.”

(Trick plays?) “We always have a couple things. It just depends, down and distance, field position. It’s a small part of what we do. The kids like to do them. And hopefully they have success … they’re explosive plays.”

(Fast starts?) “We’d like to take credit for it, but no. I think they like playing at home. I think this crowd gives them good energy. I know that. But we need to continue that. We need to come out of halftime with maybe a little more energy on offense. And make sure we get some things done.”

(Taking the shot to John Ross deep?) “We have some guys that can run the ball, and I think our o-line can block the run, so we’re always going to … I always say if you can run the ball, it becomes an easy game. And that’s what we’re talking about there. You can run the ball, and they really have to commit guys up in the box to stop you, you’re going to be able to get people behind the secondary. So you’d like to be able to eat some clock and get some chunk runs and hang onto the ball. Even though we’re kind of up-tempo, we don’t want to do everything up-tempo to where our defense is on the field too much. But you also want to be able to hit those shot plays. It’s too hard of a game to have to 12 and 15 plays all the time and settle for field goals and all those things. So the combination, we had a little bit of that today, which was good to see.”

(Challenge defense this week?) “No. those guys are trying. We try to give them answers. I think when you’re talking about challenging guys, you’re feeling like their focus isn’t there, they didn’t play as good as they could. I mean, I’ll go back to a week from today. That quarterback from Eastern Washington threw some unbelievable passes and receivers made unbelievable plays. And you give credit where credit is due. You put the tape on and watch it, and that’s just really, really good football. Now, do we need to do some things so it’s not seven touchdown passes? Yes. And I think some things happened this week that helped that out.”

(Siosifa Tufunga playing some at RG?) “We’ve got a handful of guys that are older, juniors and seniors that have played, and I think Coach Strausser’s just trying to get some guys in there. I’ve said from the start, we like to play a lot of guys. O-line coaches usually don’t want to do that because they get their five guys. But I think when guys deserve to be played and keep building depth and competition, all those things are good.”

(Ben Riva not playing?) “Ben’s still got kind of a little bit of a nagging injury, and I don’t know. I don’t think he knows. I think our trainers are scratching their head a little bit. It’s nothing serious, but it’s enough to bother him to not play today.”

(Azeem Victor’s injury?) “Hopefully we’ll get him back in a week or two. He’s got a minor ankle. Or who knows how long those ankles take. But he’s got an ankle.”

(Kasen Williams?) “We’d like to see him more involved as well. We’ll put the tape on to study what we need to do to help him out, and there’s some things he can do to help himself out. But no question, as we move down the road, we’re going to need him to be a bigger factor.”

(Is he rusty?) “I don’t think so, but I think he had a really, really significant injury. He’s still working through it. And then of course we’ve got to do some things to maybe target him a little bit more. Combination of him getting healthier and all those things as the season goes on. We do need him.”

(Any hesitation to kick 51-yard FG with Cameron Van Winkle?) “No, Coach (Jeff) Choate was in my ear pretty good, because there was a little bit of a breeze, and he’s got a good leg. He really does. What we worry about him is trying to swing too hard. When he swings easy, the ball will really jump. So with that breeze from where he was, as long as he swings easy, we felt he could make it.”

(Series going into halftime in Illinois red zone) “We really were thinking at that point we were going to kick the field goal. We wanted points going into halftime. Actually, I thought for a second about taking another penalty to back us up because we had a weird angle. So we wanted to get points there.”

(Insight into getting to know players and understanding how to coach them) “I think it’s just that process of … we haven’t really done anything since we’ve been here as coaches. So it’s on our shoulders a little bit to kind of earn these guys’ trust and respect as coaches, and give them schemes that are going to work and they can believe in and vice versa, those guys go out there and make plays for us and develop that chemistry over time. And there’s no way to really get that other than just going through the fires with guys and having success. We just really believe it all starts with practices and the games kind of take care of itself. But I’ve been saying from the start, it’s just hard being new. Now we’re making progress and I think they’re trying to do a good job of hearing us and buying in. And like I said before, there’s just different ways of doing things. They’re just used to doing different. We have a way, and I don’t even know the other way they did things. So I appreciate them for staying focused and trying to do everything that we’re all about. It’s just little things. You’d be amazed, from lifting weights to how we take the field, and someone’s going to say something at the end, and everybody’s got their routines, and when you get them out of their routine, they don’t like that. And we don’t like that as coaches. You think you take all this time going through step by step, ‘OK, we’re going to get off the bus. We’re going to walk 25 steps through the band, then we’re going to stop on the W.’ Just to get everybody on the same page, because when it’s not, then everybody’s kind of rattled, ‘why are we doing this? who’s doing this?’ So we’re making progress with all those little things that kind of add up to big things.”

(Have you coached a player as explosive as John Ross?) “He’s fast and explosive. I don’t think so.”

(To clarify on Marcus Peters – is there no expectation yet of whether he might play next week?) “I just have nothing new. I just don’t. I know you guys will ask me again soon, and as soon as I know anything different … but nothing’s changed.”