Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen after the Huskies' 38-23 win over Colorado (with video)

FROM BOULDER -- Here's everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after his team's 38-23 victory over Colorado on Saturday morning/afternoon.

(How’d this one feel?) “Felt good. I knew Colorado was going to come out ready to play. We knew it. We didn’t tackle well enough. We didn’t protect the ball enough early on, but I am proud of how these guys rallied and played hard for the whole game.”

(On Shaq Thompson’s game) “He’s a heck of a player. I keep saying I know he can play three positions really, really good, if not five. He’s fun to watch. He’s fun for us as coaches to watch. You give him a little space as an athlete, even in between the tackles, if he gets a little space, he’s so strong he’s going to push the pile and then certainly if you get him out on the edge in space, he’s hard to tackle. He’s going to run through an arm tackle or he’s got enough athleticism to make guys miss. He’s a heck of a player. We all know that.”

(More on Shaq) “He has a big game every game wherever we put him. So when we were going to give him the ball a bunch, we knew he would do some good things if the guys up front gave him a chance at all.”

(Does this game make you want to just leave Shaq at running back?) “I do think that we have some good running backs in Lavon and Dwayne as well that are not on the field. And those guys can play, they’re just not totally healthy, and hopefully we’ll get them healthy. And we’ve got to figure out where Shaq can give us the most help, whether it’s back on the defensive side of the ball … I have confidence in those other backs, as well.”

(On Dante Pettis’ punt return) “We’ve been saying this for the last two, three weeks, that we just felt like we were close on special teams and able to change the game somehow, whether it was on punt return, kickoff return, blocking a punt – we’ve done all that. We’ve had some penalties and some things that haven’t come through. And we’ve been preaching that all week. So it’s nice to finally come through.”

(On scoring without Shaq) “I think that’s what’s nice about today is it wasn’t one guy. It wasn’t just Shaq. Cyler (Miles) was fairly effective with the ball but it wasn’t just him. It was just a lot of guys that finally got into a rhythm, played hard and got something done.”

(On Cyler Miles’ game) “I think he did a good job and you’d have to talk to him, how he was. At times, I’m not sure why he was fumbling those snaps. I don’t know if he’s putting too much on himself, trying to make things happen too fast – that was very frustrating for us all. I know it’s frustrating for him. But I think he was efficient in the pass game, got a few things done. I’m happy for him to come here and get a win.”

(On winning) “It’s good. I think any time you can do that, I think it’s good. I think this team can do some things. We can have something to us – but we have a long way to go. We continually shoot ourselves in the foot, stumble around on things that I think we can be better at. Give credit to the other side. They’ve got good players, too. And sometimes they make you look bad. But things like fumbling snaps turning the ball over when you’re going in to score, penalties at inopportune times. I think we can be better at those things.”

(On overcoming those mistakes) “So that’s nice. They kept fighting and kept playing hard. So at the end of the day, that’s probably part of the message, as well as cleaning up some more details.”

(Think about putting Shaq back at linebacker because of missed tackles?) “No, not really. I don’t think it was necessary the guys at Shaq’s position. There was enough to go around. And it’s not only just the first guy that misses. You see two or three guys missing. To me, we’ve just got to play harder. We’ve got to run to the ball harder. We just needed to wake up a little bit. It has nothing to do with the early-morning start. We’re early guys. We just didn’t come out with the physical mindset that we needed to.”

(On Pettis as a receiver) “His whole thing has just been trying to learn our system, just being so new. And when he knows what he’s doing and lines up quickly and knows, as you see, he’s very natural, very athletic to the ball, and he made plays in the special-team game, as well.”

(On James Atoe moving to right tackle) “Coach (Chris) Strausser (has) been moving some guys around a little bit. I think Coleman (Shelton) might have gotten dinged a little bit. We’ve got to be able to move guts around, whether a guy’s not performing our guys get dinged, it can’t be any surprise like ‘oh, now what?’ It’s just how it goes. It’s not something we hadn’t worked on.”

(Thoughts on offensive line) “We got more yards running the ball, so that’s positive. That’s always a hard group to comment on until I put the tape on.”

(How important was this one?) “They are all important. It is so hard to win in this conference. That’s what everybody knows. Just look at the scores. They’re either going into overtime or down to the wire, and then when you go on the road, it’s even harder. So every week, if you can eke something out, we’re happy.”

(On not sacking Sefo Liufau until the fourth quarter) “I’m glad we got there in the fourth quarter. Guys fighting, and that can be frustrating. But we kind of knew that. They give up as few sacks as anybody around. And it kind of proved true today, because we’ve got some guys that can rush the passer. But I do think we were getting a push, I do think we were getting in some throwing lanes, and I do think it had an effect down the road.”

(Out of comfort zone today – early start, altitude, grass field) “The grass, a little bit. I think you look across the field, I think both teams have that. I don’t think the altitude, I don’t think the early start – I refuse to say that’s an issue. Guys are going to slip on grass fields. You better play with good pad level, and it just comes down to fundamentals.”

(On containing Nelson Spruce) “We knew he’d get his chances. A guy like that catches the ball so much. If you can kind of slow him down, contain him a little bit, I think we’re happy with that.”

(More on Shaq at RB) “The time that he’s really spent back there, like, studying the position is not much. I think last week in those weird conditions, it was a hard way to get your feet wet when you couldn’t really throw it all. So to come out here after the second week, you can see what he can do. We’ve just got to figure out the best way to continue to use him.”

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