Here are some of the post-game comments from UW coach Steve Sarkisian:
Opening Statement: “I thought our kids showed again, the mental toughness that it takes to be a really good football program. Games aren’t always going to go the way you envisioned them or draw them up and obviously the start of the football game for us was not designed by any means by us. A face mask penalty on the punt just getting them the ball back and a block in the kickoff returns by a couple of young kids that are still learning. To fall down 10-0 and not to panic and go down and get a field goal to kind of stop the bleeding and still not to panic and then we started to play. I thought we started to play better, and better, and better as the game went on, on both sides of the ball. Jermaine Kearse had a fantastic outing tonight. I thought Jake Locker had a tremendous ball game as well. Chris Polk, Jesse Callier, Devin Aguilar on offense were all great. It was great to get Erik Kohler and Colin Porter playing snaps, although poor Erik Kohler’s first snap of offensive football was a false start, so we have something on him for the next four years. I thought all-in-all our offense went well. After the 10 points we gave them, our defense really set the tone for the game and getting the ball back to the offense. I thought our defensive line played well. I thought our corners played well. It felt like Mason Foster was flying around again tonight. All-in-all it’s a good win against a team that is much improved team. They have great coaches and we are very happy to get the win and we will enjoy it for 24 hours.”
On Jermaine Kearse’s big night: “One of the big things for Jermaine (Kearse) coming into the year was yards after the catch. That’s something we have been working on since spring ball and in training camp and how that showed up tonight, I mean everything he was doing was after the catch. That shows to the coaching of Jimmie Dougherty at that position to work on something specific. Jermaine took to the coaching and really excelled. I’m really happy for him.”
On bouncing back from Syracuse’s 10-0 start: “I don’t worry about what happened in the past, we just go. We learn from the past and take it with us but we just go. I just wanted us to settle down. Once we settled down I knew we would be ok. I was proud of our guys for not panicking.”
On what helped the Huskies rebound: “I thought what really broke the ice was the first play in the second half. In last week’s game, what we had to learn was to bring out energy and our emotion to the third quarter. And yes we did some things in the first half and the game was back and forth. But the first play of the second half I think kept our team alive. Last week we came out and had the penalty and the punt and the third quarter swung in BYU’s direction, but I thought tonight that play was indicative of what we were going to do in the second half. We were still going to play with the same intensity, the same energy, the same passion that we are capable of playing.”
On what happened with Syracuse at the end of the first half: “I don’t think their plan (Syracuse) was for the clock to run out on them the way it did at the end of the first half. I think they were trying to get a few more yards so they could kick the field goal and the way it turned out we got a nice pass rush on them, the ball moved around and the time ran out on the. I don’t think that was their plan by any means.”
On the early special-teams issues: “Our young guys are still understanding how to back returns and seeing which way the ball is going. We have to continue to grow off of the film. We have a lot of good kids out there that are really good athletes and that continue to improve week after week, after week on special teams. We have to understand that part of it. It’s not just about running down fast, its understanding what type of return it is and fitting the return up.”
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