Huskies Insider Blog

DC Pete Kwiatkowski talks Cal, Jared Goff and pressure

Here's Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski discussing the challenges presented by California's offense this week.

(On the last weekend) “College football at its best right there. any week, any day, any game, it’s very competitive and a lot of parity out there.”

(Do you see that happening more and more?) “Yeah, because there’s a lot of good players out there and they’re going everywhere. There’s a lot of good coaches. For sure.”

(On pressuring Cal QB Jared Goff) “It’s extremely important. And when I say pressure, whether it’s him or anyt quarterback, we want them to feel us. And that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s got to be sacks or hits, but we’ve got to be around them and that guy’s got to feel the rush, whether you’re bringing three, four or five guys. As much as we can distract him and make him get off his spot and feel uncomfortable, the better.”

(Are they protecting him well?) “They’re doing a good job and he does a great job of when he does feel pressure, moving and sliding in the pocket. He can run. He’s not going to run to get positive yards, but he’s going to keep plays alive and look to throw downfield. A lot of their big plays are off of him doing that.”

(On how that affects the defense) “When you play man, it gives them more time to get separation, and when you’re playing zone, it gives them time to find the open zone. It puts a lot of pressure on the coverage when that happens. We’ve got to do a great job of leveraging the quarterback, keep him contained in the pocket and at the same time, he’s got to feel the rush.”

(More on Goff) “He’s talented. He’s accurate. He’s got a strong arm. He’s got good receivers he’s throwing to, and they’ve got a good scheme that is obviously scoring a lot of points and throwing for a lot of yards. It’s not just one thing, but it definitely starts with the quarterback and how he plays.”

(On the challenge the secondary is facing) “We’re going into game six with a bye, and so if we’ve been getting better like I think we have, then we’re going to go out there and compete. Hey, they’re good. We’ve gotten better. We’ve just got to go out and compete and make plays.”

(Do you tell them they’re not freshmen anymore?) “I think they knew that after the Eastern Washington game.”

(Kevin King closer to returning?) “I think so. He’s out there running around, so he’s getting some practice in.”

(When to drop a safety down to slot corner) “Most of it’s situational. Whether it’s third down or not, passing situations where you like to get that extra guy out there, and change up what we’re doing up front a little bit.”

(Personnel on that?) “It’s Budda (Baker) and Kevin (King), the guys that have been rotating down into the slot and a safety comes in.”