Several Washington defensive coaches and players met the media Tuesday to talk about the Huskies’ dominant defensive performance last Saturday against Illinois and UW’s next opponent Georgia State.
NOTE – Junior cornerback Marcus Peters, who was re-activated after serving a one-game suspension last week, was not made available to the media.
Here’s some video and a few quotes.
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Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski.
(On thoughts after watching Illinois game) “We played hard. We were physical. Guys ran to the ball well and those turnovers were huge. Those really propelled us forward for the rest of the game.”
(On helping out young secondary) “It was good because it changed up the windows for the quarterback. The quarterback held the ball a little bit longer and the pass rush was awesome. We have some things to clean up and we weren’t perfect by any means, but the effort overall was good and the execution for the most part was pretty good.”
(On Georgia State) “Their ability to throw the ball. It seems like everybody is winging it nowadays and they can do it. They’re up there. Their quarterback can fit the ball in some tight spots. So defending the pass. For us, it’s all about us getting better and building that skill day in and day out. We just got to have a good week of practice and keep working on that.”
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Defensive backs assistant Jimmy Lake.
(On progress by the secondary) “Some of the guys that played in Hawaii, Budda (Baker) and Kevin (King), that are young guys that have made progress from Game 1 to Game 3. The biggest thing right now is our job is to score and get the ball back. Shaq did that for us on Saturday, but of course I’m going to be a little selfish. I want some of those defensive backs to get into that game. We have no interceptions right now. That’s our job. Our job is to try to get the ball back for the offense and we’ll try to do that this Saturday.”
(On Peters) “He had a really good practice yesterday. Had a very good practice today. He’s got to catch up with some of the new defenses that we’ve installed, which he’s already doing that. As a whole group, we’re just trying to get better every single week.”
(On if Peters learned lesson from suspension) “You know just like anything, we’re going to have to see. When things get hard, how he’s going to respond? And how we’re all going to respond when we try to learn those hard lessons? We’ll see if that happens when something hard happens.”
(Who played well last Saturday) “Shaq Thompson played really well.”
(From your group?) “Budda and Kevin King graded out really, really well. There was no splash play like a Shaq Thompson play, but they were in position and didn’t let any plays get over their head. Played really good man coverage. Played good zone coverage. So they graded out really well. I was really impressed with Sidney Jones and how he stepped up to the plate making his first start as a true freshman. He made a few plays. He was actually the one that caused the fumble on the forced fumble. I think it was given to Kevin King, but it was actually Sidney who came in there and jarred it out. So he has two forced fumbles on the year. So I was impressed with that.”
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Defensive line assistant Jeff Choate.
(On Hau’oli Kikaha and Danny Shelton) “It’s no mystery. Those two guys work their tails off. You go out there right now and H is probably on the pop-ups perfecting his pass rush. That’s why those guys are good. Coaches can’t take credit for that. That’s hard work. Some of it is God-given talent, but it’s preparation on their part that makes the difference. Those guys are fun to coach.”
(On the defensive line backups) “The one guy who has probably stood out the most to me from where he’s come from last spring to now is Elijah Qualls. I think he’s really kind of taking on the idea that this is an opportunity for me to be mentored by a really, really talented guy (Shelton). And not take for granted and not feel I want mine, I want my reps. No it’s about I’m going to learn from this guy and if I get my chance to play at that level, then I’m going to be the guy next year and the year after that. So I think he’s really taken a step and he’s been very productive in the number of reps that he’s had. We try to keep those guys right around that 15-20 rep range. Some games we’ve gotten more, some games we’ve gotten less depending on the flow of the game. But he’s done a really nice job. Taniela Tupou had done a really nice job and the true freshman Will Dissly has come along and he’s playing really well.)
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Senior linebacker John Timu.
(On Thompson’s fumble recovery) “If there’s one thing I’m a team player. I feel like I did have a chance, but then I felt like there was another guy who was probably an inch closer to me. So felt to sacrifice my body and after that it was just whatever happens, happens. But I made sure the guy I saw that was about to grab it didn’t have a chance to get it so. Whatever happens after that, it was a touchdown so that was great.”
(On Georgia State) “Honestly the past couple of weeks, three weeks, we got used to teams passing on us. It doesn’t matter what kind of (offense) we get. Run or pass we just got to dominate on each side. But it’s always cool to play the run. Teams like Stanford and Oregon that like to run. Either way it is we got to stop whatever is coming at us.”