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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 10, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Post-game quotes

Stories over, here’s a hodgepodge of quotes from Steve Sarkisian and UW players after today’s win over Hawaii:

STEVE SARKISIAN

Opening comments: “It’s great to be 2-0, obviously. Now we’re into year three, I feel like we’ve seen every scenario that can come about in a football game that taxes us mentally, as well as physically. I’m really, really proud of our kids. I thought they responded xtremely well, especially in the first half. They came out playing hard football, the brand of ootball that we’re accustomed to playing. So many guys made some key plays today. Devin Aguilar had a great game offensively – I thought Keith Price had a fantastic game, Austin eferian-Jenkins on the offensive side of the ball…I thought our offensive line played well. efensively, Everrette (Thompson) with two blocked kicks, and the sack; Desmond Trufant with the pick, the scoop and score…all in all a great win. Love being 2-0, but the reality is that there is still so much room for improvement and to understand what it takes to close out football games in the fourth quarter when you’re up by two scores and how to do that offensively and defensively. Special teams, we didn’t handle that well today, so that’s something we need to mprove upon, but all in all I’m proud of our guys. They responded, and I thought they brought everything we asked them to bring, and that’s a good team (Hawai’i). There’s a reason they won 10 games last year and they will probably win right around 10 agains this year.”

On if the team relaxed up 21: “No. I thought our guys were really into it. They go down and score and they are going to score some, that’s football. It’s 21-7 and we have a great drive and turn around and have another really good drive to go right down the field and we are a little late with the ball to Kevin Smith in the end zone, and their kid makes a tremendous interruption and returns it for a touchdown. Boom. Next thing you know, it’s 21-14 and I thought it showed a lot of resiliency on our offense to turn right back around, we get the ball, and go back down and score again at the end of the first half to make it 28-14. We knew they were going to move the ball a little bit. They are too good not to. I didn’t think our guys relaxed by any means.”

On coming out aggressive with the play calls: “I think it was everything. I evaluate myself and our team and our coaches every game, and I was too cautious last week; sometimes for maybe the right reasons, and sometimes maybe for not the right reasons. But when Keith banged his knee, I didn’t feel right. Maybe that was the wrong way to go, but I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to do that again. If he is healthy to play, he’s got to play in our offense’. It’s not about the mental aspect of it; it’s physically can he do it, because I know he can handle it all mentally. And he sure responded today.”

On what he said to Keith Price after the interception returned for a touchdown: “I said ‘Hey, it’s a five-step drop, no hitch and you throw it. And if you don’t like it, reset your feet and come off it’. He was a little late, and I said ‘Hey, let’s bounce back, we got the ball, we’ve got timeouts, two-minute drive, let’s see if we can get some points on the board’.”

On the pass rush: “I thought our pass rush was better this week than it was last week. We did some things to rush a few throws from them. We lost containment today, which was a little disappointing. We had some ends coming up and under and losing containment with the quarterback flushing the pocket…but we’ll keep working at it. We played more guys today, which I thought was good. I thought our guys were fresh, and it showed up in the fourth quarter. When our pressure mounted even more was later in the fourth quarter, because I think we were fresher up front.”

On if Hawaii keyed on Seferian-Jenkins after the first two plays: “I think so…and he has opportunities to make more plays like that. We really found a good rhythm there in the first half of the game and even through three quarters…I don’t think we had a three-and-out until the fourth quarter. So we found a really good rhythm, and it wasn’t just about Austin and getting him involved; it was trying to get people involved, and obviously Devin responded with some plays for himself, and Jermaine in the red zone…so it was a good mix again, but Austin really showed up early in the game, and that was a heckuva touchdown catch.”

On the game coming down to the end again: “I’m getting old fast. That’s how tough it gets. It’s tough, but I kind of like it. I kind of love it. It’s what it’s about..it’s the battle of the game. It’s not about playing a quarter or a half or three quarters…it’s four quarters of football, and it’s your ability to finish. As I addressed the team in the locker room, we have to start to get used to being up by points in the fourth quarter, and understanding what that is, and what it takes to finish in the close. Obviously we’re not there yet, so we have to continue to work on it.”

On what the defensive game plan was: “Mix coverages, definitely. You can’t sit in one thing against this guy. He’s just too good. You have to disguise your stuff as best you can and hang in there, because he’s really talented. One of our biggest concerns coming in was him running the ball, because of what happened last week. And so we didn’t just want to get too overly exotic when you pressure, because when you pressure, that’s when they go to their speed option stuff, and their zone read stuff, and he’ll kill you with his legs. So we didn’t want to just get crazy with our pressures; we wanted to play good, sound defense. And I thought we did that, especially earlier in the game – get after the football and get after their receivers…we knew the ball was going to be thrown inside a bunch. And when they did, our goal was to try and punish their receivers as best we could to hopefully get a few alligator arms and maybe punch a few balls out, which we were able to do.”

On Keith Price and how good he can be: “I think he can be as good as he wants to be. He has all the game. For me, with Keith – I’ve always known that. Sometimes as the general public, it’s hard to see that because the kid is only doing it in practice, or he’s only had one or two starts, and he has the ability to do that. He understands our offense extremely well. By those two things, he anticipates throws really, really well, and knows where the ball should be going the majority of the time. It’s not easy to be right all the time as a quarterback. I thought he was spot-on 85 percent of the time with where the ball should be going. And the next step is throwing it accurately.”

On Price’s decision making: “It’ll only get better. One of the plays that eats at me as a head coach is the third down play with five minutes left, four-and-a-half minutes left. He gets flushed out of the pocket and throws the ball away. We’ve got to coach better. That’s a veteran quarterback, and he’ll learn from this — that you fall down, keeps the clock running. So there’s a lot of little things in the game that his decision making will only get better. But I thought all in all – reading coverages, going to the right man, audibilizing plays at the line of scrimmage – I thought his decision-making was great.”

On getting better on third down defense: “Part of it is pressuring the quarterback, and we’ve got to play tighter coverage. It’s just gotta happen. We’ve seen now over 110 passes in two weeks, so we have to figure out if it’s fatigue, or what we’re calling on third down…we’re going to have to look at all that stuff. And on the flip side, we haven’t been very good. We haven’t been good enough on third down. It’s another area where we have to improve as a football team.”

On Greg Ducre: “The huge one was the two-point conversion in the end zone. He’s getting better, and Greg’s only going to get better. He’s still a young player, and as his confidence grows he’ll start making more of those plays. He’ll start getting more interceptions and being more active.”

On Kiel Rasp’s rugby punt: “He didn’t hit it right. It was a rugby-style kick, and we knew the pressure would be coming from our left. We’ve been practicing with Kiel for two years now really, but weeks now – and he’s never hit one like that. Hopefully it’s just an anomaly.”

On the advantage of the rugby kick: “Especially when they are coming from the left – which is what we anticipated they would do – it gives you a zone blocking scheme. It’s similar to rolling out your quarterback, moving the launch point, changing where they are attacking to block. It’s one of the safest protections you can use, obviously. But there is some gymnastics involved for the punter. I don’t know if you know Kiel’s background, but he’s a rugby player. That’s where we found him, so he’s very accustomed to that style of kick. Obviously we were all very surprised that he didn’t strike the ball better than he did.”

On being more physical than last week: “Oh for sure, for sure. I thought we played the brand of football that makes Husky Nation proud. I thought we played with amazing effort, amazing enthusiasm. And that’s what it takes. And then at the moment of truth, we were physical. And the key for us as we move forward is that this wasn’t just something to respond to my challenge, but this is who we are. We’ll have to get to the point where we can recreate all those things next week. I always try and take a little time to step back and figure out what are the right buttons to push. We’ll see what buttons those are to motivate our guys to the point where they feel great about themselves, about what they need to do come the ball game…that’s what I’m always looking for. I’m always looking for what we can do as a staff and me personally so that when we take the field on Saturday our guys feel great about what they are doing and are in the right frame of mind mentally, emotionally to go out and perform at a high level the way we’re capable of performing.”

On Aguilar: “There were some things where we thought we could get some single-coverage with Devin, and it worked out great. I thought Devin really responded…he had a really good week of work. I was joking with the staff before I came up here that on Wednesday I went into the offensive staff meeting and I said, ‘If this were the stock market, I’d buy stock in No. 9.’, and sure enough it showed up. He had a great week of work, and the plan set up to where he’d get some single coverage where they were doubling on the other side with Jermaine, and it worked out well.”

On when Hawaii went for two and what he thought they’d do: “I thought they were going for it the whole way, especially at that point in the game. We were rolling offensively, and that’s been their mentality historically. When the other team is rolling offensively, you feel like you better go for it now because the game is stretching away from us. I wasn’t surprised. I thought they would throw a pass. They have so much variety to their offense, but something that they would always run. The thing about their system, their routes change based on the coverage they get. You can anticipate what they think they are going to call, but then it could look totally different because they are reading coverages the whole time.”

On the offensive line: “I thought they played really well. One of the sacks they were credited with was when Keith ran and stepped out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage, so they got a sack for that. They responded. That’s a physical front Hawaii’s got. That front four is a physical group, and I thought our guys really responded.”

On using more fly sweep plays: “The way they played their front, they were a very straightforward, aggressive-style front, and we needed to try and create a little hesitation. We needed to utilize more shifts, motions, fly motions – to slow down their aggressiveness. And I thought it was effective for us.”

On Marvin Hall’s situation: “He was admitted as a partial qualifier by the NCAA, which means he cannot compete for a year and cannot practice for a year. So what I think is going to happen here is – he’s going to stay home, take one class this fall, and enroll in January as a full qualifier. At this point now – we’re two games in – for him to come in the fall (which he could do, come in the fall – and this is by the NCAA because he was already admitted by the school) – to be a partial qualifier and not even be able to practice, not even now, but not in the spring either – it’s just not worth it. So we’ll bring him in in January, and away we go.”

PLAYER QUOTES

Desmond Trufant on the uniforms: “I loved them. The helmets are sweet. It can’t get no better than the white helmets. It was great. We kind of knew for awhile. We kind of hid it because we wanted to surprise everybody with the 9/11 and everything. With the American flag on the helmets, we wanted it to be a surprise. I think we displayed them well.”

Jermaine Kearse on rebounding from last week: “I was just in the training room getting as much treatment as I can. I knew Tuesday I was fine and going to play. I was real motivated. I was ready to get out here and play with my favorite guys. It was a lot of fun out there.”

Devin Aguilar on the deep plays: “We worked on that play at least 10 times this week. It worked to a T a lot. We talked a lot about what we would do in certain situations like if the corner was playing one way. But we definitely knew we would try and hit that play in the game. He put it right where it needed to be.”
Keith Price on the first plays: “I think any quarterback is anxious wanting to throw the ball down the field. … Actually I just knew the first play yesterday so I didn’t really know what the first play was.”

Price on where he needs to improve: “Me just being young and making sure that I know every snap what the defense is bringing so I think the more I improve that the offense will.

Price on the interception: “I just didn’t see the safety, miscommunication with me and Kevin and I just have to look the safety off and make a better throw or a better decision.”

Cort Dennison on the change this week: “We just we neded to play harder, we needed to bring more passion. You watch the film from the Eastern game and there weren’t as many guys jumping around afer a good player and when you have good play you are supposed to celebtrate. Just that passion I think was deinfitley raised this week.”

Dennison on the more varied defensive schemes this week: “It was really fun. Any time you can run a bunch of diffent plays so the offense can’t really get a sense of what you are going to do a lot, it’s fun for the defense and it givves us a sense of doing something new every play and getting after it. It’s fun for our guys.”

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