Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Chris Petersen after Huskies’ 17-12 win at USC

Here’s most of what Huskies coach Chris Petersen said after UW’s 17-12 win over USC.

(Opening) “Proud of our guys. Really proud of how hard they competed. I usually always am. And that’s kind of been our mission, our message, to just keep playing hard, playing with great effort, and that’s what I saw out there. thought our defense was spectacular against a really, really explosive offense. We were able to contain Cody (Kessler) a little bit. I really have a lot of respect for him. I know how good he really is, and those weapons that he has around him. I thought our secondary played really well, and I thought we got some pressure on him. So hats off to our defense for really setting the tone. And then on the other side of the ball, I thought Jonathan Smith called a good game. We were able to run the ball. Our o-line stepped up and made plays when we needed to. I thought Myles Gaskin did a great job of kind of hiding and weaving behind that big o-line, and getting what we needed to get done. And then we missed a few things in the first half that I know Jake’s (Browning) not going to miss down the road, and we’ll grow from that. But just pleased how they played. They just played hard and kept competing.”

(Could you have expected your defense to be this good?) “Yeah, you just never really know. But I just think that we’ve got some really good coaches over there, we’ve got some really good kids that really bought into their coaching, and they’re competing really, really hard, and that’s all we can really ask.”

(On getting the run game going) “I think we were a little more stubborn with it, just kind of kept sticking to it. We kind of made a decision that we were going to be more stubborn, which I thought was a good defensciion, because we’ve got to give it a chance. We’ve got to get into a rhythm to run the ball. And we did that. You could see that, against a really stout front. I think had we been able to hit a couple of those shots early in the first half, it could have really helped us more. They were packing the box a little more. It was good to just see us get some things done in tight quarters. They put a lot of safeties down there.”

(On the defense responding to Azeem Victor’s ejection) “They just keep doing what we ask them to do, and it’s just play as hard as you possibly can, every play. I mean, things are going to happen. We talked about it a bunch last night. Things are going to happen whether the other side makes a big play, we get a call we don’t like … even if it’s a call that’s deserved, we’ve just got to reload and play the next play. So they kind of got us on our heels and we went out and I think went three-and-out and had to punt. Our defense responded again, so it was good. You’re going to have some of that back and forth. I thought they learned and grew from it tonight.”

(What’s different about this kind of win at UW?) “I don’t know. I know we’re making progress. I said it last week. I know we’re pointed in the right direction, and if we can just keep working hard, and I know they will, it’s just if they can stay healthy enough to practice like we’ve been practicing, which is pretty hard – you have to practice physical. We try to be as smart as we can, but we made some strides in this couple extra days of practice, about practicing really, really hard. Running the ball in practice. and if we can continue to do that, we’ll grow and we’ll continue to get better. We’ve just got so many young guys. We’re not there where we can just kind of have a certain style of practice – like later in the week, sometimes we’ll take the pads off and just make sure our assignments are correct. We didn’t really even do that this Thursday. Some of the guys did, and some of the coaches just said leave ‘em on. We just need more work. We got good work on Thursday.”

(On the offensive line changes) “We actually had a couple guys just a little dinged up during the week so they didn’t get a lot of reps … I think both guys got dinged in practice, kind of weird stuff, again, I don’t want people to think we’re in there going live scrimmages, because we’re not, but we’ve got to practice hard, and a couple of those guys got dinged so they didn’t get a bunch of reps and we slid some guys around and Coach Strausser continues to do that, and those guys stepped up tonight.”

(On Andrew Kirkland at right tackle) “I’m glad he got an opportunity. I’m anxious to go put the tape on. He’s shown a lot of flashes since we’ve been here. We just wanted more consistency out of him tonight. He played against a really good d-line, so I’m anxious to go put that tape on.”

(On Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria) “They’ve been everywhere for five games now. They really are. Those guys are tough kids. They’ve taken a lot of snaps. They’re kind of banged up and beat up, but there’s no way they were going to be pulled out of there. They’re playing hard and playing good.”

(How frustrating is that targeting call against Azeem?) “Well, it’s really frustrating because we need to be smart around the quarterback. It’s something we talk about all the time. It’s really easy for me to sit up here and talk about it, I get that, because those kids are so intense and so focused and it’s such a physical game that we have to play like that, but we just cannot take shots on the quarterback. They’re going to call it every time. Whether it was targeting or not, I guess they thought it was. But at minimum, it was a foul.”

(On getting pressure without hitting the QB) “I just think we can get pressure and we can play smarter, when those kids are coming off the edge or blitzing and he gets rid of the ball. I know it’s frustrating, because you want to hit that guy and that’s the name of the game. But I keep saying, the game’s changed. We know that. It was changed a couple years ago. They’re going to be real protective around him, so we’ve got to make better decisions.”

(How difficult were those three possessions that didn’t result in points in first quarter?) It was difficult for me because we had guys open, and you know, Jake will learn from it. But like I said, I was really pleased with … I felt like the playcalling was good, we were getting guys open, we were taking shots downfield, we just weren’t hitting them. And he will. He’s an accurate thrower. He just didn’t hit those.”

(On the Marvin Hall receiver pass) “That was all Coach Smith’s. We wanted it, itt was good timing. Right after that turnover, Sidney Jones made a really good hit on a ballcarrier, ball comes out. That was all Coach Smith. He wanted it right then and there.”

(On being known for trick plays) “I wish we’d ran the ball in. you know how I feel about that. It’s one trick play a game, it happened to work, so now we’re trick play university again. There’s too many other hard-nosed run plays that those kids deserve to feel good about.”

(On going with Myles Gaskin) “That’s coach (Keith) Bhonapha’s call, and Myles is crafty. Sometimes you’ve got to go with the guy with the hot hand. And I thought he was really, really patient. I thought our o-line did a good job of just grinding and keeping guys covered up, and Myles found that crease.”

(On needing a signature win) “I know this. These kids have been working so darn hard, and we really haven’t had one that they can feel really, really good about. We’ve been close on some things last year. And this is one that they can feel good about. I’ve said this last week to some of these guys. You can feel that we’re pointed in the right direction. We’ve just got a lot of young guys that are going to continue too get better. I’m just really happy for those guys, because we keep talking about working hard, being detailed, and every day matters, and every film rep matters. We kind of beat them over the head with this stuff, and if we don’t have some success sooner or later, it gets hard to stick to the plan. This will give them a little juice.”