While it’s been noted often that UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon have coached at LSU before — that coming in 2010 when each was at Tennessee — another who has also made that trip is offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau.
In 2001, Kiesau was the wide receivers coach at Utah State when the Aggies went to Baton Rouge and lost a 31-14 decision to LSU.
So Kiesau knows about the environment UW will face Saturday, a stadium regarded as one of the loudest in college football.
“We’ve got to be aware of that,” Kiesau said. “That can be a factor, and we know what their stadium is all about. Kids are used to it, they’ve played in big stadiums with big atmospheres. We just have to be able to communicate and make sure we are communicating with non-verbal communicating, our hand signals, so we know what we are doing.”
The Huskies have tried to prepare for that all week, running their offensive and defensive scout team sessions in the din of piped-in (and ear-rattling) crowd noise.
Asked if he was concerned at all about the atmosphere impacting some of the younger players, Kiesau said: “I’m really not., Really it’s going to come down to concentration and focus and making sure we communicate.”
Some of that may have been lacking in the second half last week as the UW offense sputtered, going scoreless after the first quarter.
“After you watch the film and you evaluate it, there is a lot to work with,” Kiesau said. “A lot of things we need to improve in a lot of areas. Yes, it was good to get the win but we don’t want to win in that fashion. We obviously want to put up some more points and execute better, and that just comes with the first game. I’m not using that as an excuse by any imagination but it gives us something to work with here so we can continue to practice and clean ourselves up.”
Asked what stands out most about LSU, Kiesau echoed a theme common of opposing coaches: “Really, just their speed, They are just a very fast and physical outfit and that’s them in nature and really just their speed.”
He said where that speed stands out the most is at the defensive end spot, particularly the defensive end tandem of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo.
“That’s where you really see it,” he said. “We know their corners are going to be fast, but when you look at those D-ends and how they come off the edge, we have to make sure we really protect our edges.”
Here’s video of some of Kiesau’s session with the media today:
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