Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting OC Jonathan Smith on Shaq Thompson, and trying to generate a passing game

It's Wednesday, which means offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith was available to answer questions about the Huskies' struggling offense for a few minutes. Here's what he had to say.

(Can you get anything out of the ASU film?) “You definitely get some. There’s things for us to clean up. It’s 11-on-11 football, you can still get a lot from the film, and we’re hoping we continue to improve from that. Definitely the weather will be better on Saturday. I’ll be curious to see – we got good sun today, and there were some balls in the afternoon games Colorado has played, you can see in the second half of the UCLA game, that sun being a factor, so it was great we got to practice in that today.”

(How much can Troy Williams take from that game?) “A lot. Because it was kind of his first time to play a full game, go through the ups and downs of a ball game, try to keep on battling through. I think he in particular learned a lot, and as a group I thought we learned a lot.”

(Expect to have more depth at running back this week?) “I hope so. We’ll kind of see. It’s still day to day. We’re definitely hoping we do on Saturday.”

(How did Shaq Thompson look?) “I thought he ran well for the amount we gave it to him, however many times. I thought he did some good things. We definitely missed a couple things, a couple protection, whatnot. He gives us a spark, and hopefully he continues to do it.”

(Does he know the offense well?) “He does. I think he knows it halfway decent. He doesn’t have a ton of experience getting it repped. Good in the meeting room, coming off the board, I think he’s dialed in on that. But then when it’s full-speed bullets, it’s a little tougher, and that showed up on Saturday a couple times.”

(Is pass-protection a concern with him?) “It’s not a concern, but there’s a lot to it. So just having one full week of prep in made it hard on the kid. I think the situations, too, we put him in, I’ve got to be smart about that.”

(On the running game overall) “We were OK with it. I think still we’ve got some strides. We’ve just got to find a way to be a little more explosive, a little more consistent. There’s a two-way street in regards to that. It’s up front we’ve got to carry some things, movement. Our backs got to hit the holes. We’ve got to complement the run game with some passes to threaten people in the pass game. If you can’t threaten people in the pass game, it’s uphill sledding in the run game. It’s all of that. There’s so many factors that we’re going to just keep working.”

(Any rust from Cyler Miles this week?) “He’s been solid. I think he’s been working on it. He’ll be definitely ready to go, back (to his) hometown, that type of thing.”

(Early impressions of Colorado?) “I think they play really hard on defense. They really do. You can see that from first quarter to fourth quarter, they battle. It doesn’t matter what the score is. That’s a lot of times how those games have played out late in the fourth quarter, deciding. Against Cal, UCLA. Those guys play really hard. I think they can cover in the back end. They’re not scared to play some man to man and cover guys.”