Today was our first chance to talk with UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox since the team’s 41-3 loss at LSU.
While much of the post-game analysis has centered on the issues with the offense — and in particular, the line and the inability to run the ball — Wilcox said the defense shouldn’t be spared from criticism.
“We got moved around pretty good and they just flat got after us,” he said. “We made too many mistakes against a really good football team to expect to play well. We gave them too many things and then they earned some plays, to be quite honest with you. There were some good things to take away but not near enough, and so obviously we’ve got to get back to work and learn from our mistakes and understand what it takes to beat a good football team. We didn’t execute consistent enough to do that.”
Asked to specify one or two specific areas of concern from the LSU game, he said: “Well, when you have a technique error or a bust during a play against a good team you are going to pay. They don’t overthrow guys, they don’t miss guys. If you are the C-gap player in the run fit you have to play the C-gap and you have to strike with power. And if you’ve got No. 1 vertical in the pass game you’ve got to play No. 1 vertical. And if you have poor technique or bust it, they find it just like that, and that’s exactly what happened.”
And asked if he has a better sense now for the defense after playing a team like LSU, he said: “Well, we got beat up pretty good and you’ve got to take your medicine and learn from it and you know you’ve got to play with better technique, especially when playing against big guys that are strong. And obviously we expected to play much better than we did. I tjhink we cann play better than we did. But we didn’t do that so it doesn’t matter, at this point. What we’ve got to do is fix it and learn from those mistakes and move on.”
You can see some of Wilcox’s interview below, and read more quotes after the jump:
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You can read more quotes from Wilcox following the jump:
On the challenges posed by Portland State: “Well, the Pistol offense. They create a lot of problems, the quarterback is a threat to run the ball which changes things defensively. Their offense is proven and you’ve seen all the teams that are running it now it’s been very prolific. So we need to worry about what we are doing and our technique and our execution and that’s what’s first and foremost this week in practice.”
More on Tutogi’s game against LSU: “Yeah, Thomas did some good things. He played physical, wihich we needed him to do. He got aligned right for the most part, which was good for him, and he finished some tackles and that was good to see.”
On Danny Shelton’s game against LSU: “Danny improved. He has definitely improved. He would probably like to have some of his plays back but I thought he showed improvement from the week before. Against an interior run team like that we needed the interior guys to make some plays and he did. Again there are going to be some plays that Danny would like to have back but he has gotten better every week and he’s had a great attitude and we just need him to continue to grind in on the things he needs to work on and we expect him to play better and better each week.”
On anyone other than Tutogi and Shelton who played well against LSU: “I thought Desmond (Trufant) played pretty good.”
On if there are some young guys coming to the fore: “Pio (Vatuvei) has shown some things. He’s a little bit like Shaq (Thompson) in that we are giving him a lot. Is it fair to them? Probably not but that’s the reality right now and so those guys will continue to play faster and faster the more comfortable they are. Pio is a young guy you could see a little bit more and more but again he’s got to earn them during practice and prove that we can put him out there in critical situations. I think he will and he will get better.”
On Tutogi and if what he did against LSU will get him on the field more: “Yeah, we kind of thought going into the game that Thomas might have more of a role because they are such a bigger team. Thomas to be honest had been a little inconsistent in practice, and what we have to go on is practice. He got in and did some good things. He wasn’t perfect, but he got around the ball which is obviously a good thing and I think he definitely played better. He was around the ball, and did a decent job. Against bigger teams, that’s his type of role. We had to get into our extra grouping, big and more D-linemen and more linebackers and he played more in that and he played some in our base group because Travis (Feeney) got dinged and we kind of felt going in that Travis is 213 pounds right now so that’s not an ideal game for him.”