Tuesday is our day to talk with UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt, and I have some video and lots of quotes from him down below.
But first, the news on the quarterback situation.
Keith Price was in uniform but didn’t do much, a big brace on his left knee. He threw a few passes in individual drills but did nothing in the team sessions, with Nick Montana instead again handling the No. 1 offense. UW coach Steve Sarkisian does not talk to the media after Tuesday practices, so no update from him other than what he said earlier in the day, which is that there was no structural damage in the knee and that he will assess Price as the week progresses.
Sarkisian has said in the past that players, and especially quarterbacks, need to practice during the week to play on Saturday and Montana has now gotten two full days of running the No. 1 offense. But with no official word, we’re still in a wait-and-see mode on the QB spot. Derrick Brown and Thomas Vincent got some time running the No. 2 offense.
Not a lot of other big personnel news. James Johnson got a lot of work and seemed fine and looks on track to return this week. James Sample was not suited up.
As for Holt, here’s some of what he had to say afterward:
On what the video of the USC game showed: “I saw three plays that got out, starting with a third and 1 play that we didn’t play exactly how we needed to and we know that, and that kind of got a first down and enabled them to score their first touchdown. Then really for about a quarter and a half, we played really solid defense. And then the long run that broke out, that shouldn’t have happened. A couple guys got blocked. They did a nice job of blocking up the pressure. The guy got out and then we missed the tackle on the sideline. And then really other that, those two plays, there was a couple PIs (pass interference penalties), you don’t wish that to happen, but it happened. But there was a lot of good things that happened. The best in the conference only had two catches for 5 yards. The quarterback, who has been averaging 290 a game had 170. So we did some really good things, but had some bad things happen. You can’t give up 35 yards on fake punt and long scoring kickoff return. Thirty one points to a good offense, it’s not good, but the score was not indicative of how close it was. We need to be a little more competitive at the line of scrimmage, a couple of our big guys got knocked around a couple snaps. So we have to address that and hopefully that doensn’t happen again this Saturday.”
On defending Oregon State’s Fly Sweep: “That’s part of their package. They do a nice job with it. That’s always a problem. Then they chuck the ball down the field. They throw it as deep. And throw it deep as well as anyone.”
On what is causing Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion’s interceptions (he has a Pac-12 high 15): “It’s cause they throw so much. It’s a lot of things. People have pressured him, some tips and overthrows. In certain situations where he’s had to throw it and people are teeing off on him. It’s just been that type of season for those guys. He can chuck it. He’s got a good arm. He’s accurate. He does some good things.”
On OSU tight end Joe Halahuni: “Good matchup problems on the linebackers and even strong safeties. He’s strong, he’s a little quicker than you think, he knows how to get open and he has fantastic hands.”
Here’s some video of Holt with a few more quotes after the jump (and yes, as you can tell by watching him and listening to the rest of us, it was cold out there):
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On Sarkisian saying the team lacked an edge against USC: “There were times we didn’t (have an edge), and we got pushed around. Coach Sark is right about that. We didn’t play with the edge like we usually do that we did against Oregon. I thought we played really, really aggressive at times and we need to get back to that. That’s a trademark of Husky football and we have taken pride since we have been here in playing physical. We aren’t always playing right but at least we go out and be physical so we’ve got to get back to that.”
On the tackling: “It wasn’t that good. Well, give them some credit. But no, I didn’t think the tacking was very good. Third and 11 and they get a first down because of missed tackles in that fourth quarter and we are all around the football. We had our opportunities. There were just too many missed tackles on good athletes and we are playing really good, good, good teams like we have in the last two weeks, three weeks that have good athletes, we get in space, we’ve got to make our plays. And we are there, we’ve just got to play with the confidence that we are going to get them down. Sometimes we kind of hesitate and we’ve got to be a little more aggressive on that.”
On Alameda Ta’amu’s play: “Well, Alameda hurt his thumb against Oregon. He dislocated or tore it and he didn’t say anything and it was really sore last week. Alameda played well but he could play better. At USC, the first half he was struggling, they were doing a nice job blocking him and he wasn’t as physical as he needed to be and I think that had to do with his dislocated thumb. He couldn’t really shoot it and grab it and things like that so hopefully these last two games he can get healthy. He’s had hand problems and that hurts defensive linemen because you’ve got to use your hands.”
On Danny Shelton: “He got more time and he showed up and made some tackles and he will continue to play more. He’s playing faster and he’s showing up and he’s making more tackles and when you are doing that you need to play more. And against running teams, some running teams, on first and second down we’ve got to get him in and use some of his abilities. He’s big and he’s tough and he plays stout. He doesn’t get knocked off the ball. He just needs to get off blocks better.”
On the defensive end spot where Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley are alternating: “Well at times they play really good and at times their youth shows, and going against some of the big guys at USC and them running the ball there were some times we struggled and it’s just youth and size and in another year or two they will be okay but that’s going to happen and we know that so they’ve just got to keep battling and keep competing because you can’t put on 40 pounds right now, but we’ve got to play a little more tenacious.”