Washington coach Chris Petersen had no update on injuries to the Huskies’ starting backfield, with sophomore quarterback Cyler Miles (concussion) and running backs Dwayne Washington (chest) and Lavon Coleman (shoulder) still “day to day” approaching Saturday night’s game against No. 14 Arizona State (7:45 p.m., ESPN).
“Everybody’s day to day in our program,” Petersen said.
Redshirt freshman Troy Williams had been taking all the snaps with the first-team offense early in the week. He could be in line for his first career start Saturday night.
If Washington and Coleman are unable to go, senior running back Deontae Cooper could also be in line for his first career start. Linebacker Shaq Thompson and John Ross III have also been getting extra reps at running back this week.
“Whether you’re talking about on the O-line, the quarterback, whatever — eventually you’re going to need depth,” Petersen said.
More from Petersen in his final media availability before Saturday’s game:
(on practice this week) “We’re working hard. We are. We’re working real hard. I think we’ve had a pretty good week. We’ve got a really good opponent coming to town. We really do. I have a lost of respect for Arizona State. They’re coming on strong; they’ve got some really good players, and they’re well coached and all those things. I think it’s interesting because you keep seeing these ranked teams after ranked teams coming your way. I think it always just comes back to us again. You can’t worry about their ranking and how good they are. It’s just, are we making progress?”
(A lot of talk this week about improving the run game. Have you seen those things in practice?) “In practice, yes. Different deal in the game when you’re playing full speed. But I know the kids are very focused and I think you if you’ve improved when you put on the tape Saturday night.”
(Where are you at personnel-wise with Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington?) “Everybody’s still day to day. Everybody’s day to day in our program. You guys know how that goes, unless it’s (a) long-term (injury). That’s just how it so.”
(No update on Cyler Miles then?) “Everybody’s day to day in our program.”
(ASU has been described as the most aggressive defense in the Pac-12. Expect them to blitz even more with your situation this week?) “I don’t know if they’re going to do it more. That’s what they do. Coach Graham, that’s his style, that’s his philosophy. I remember hearing him way back in the spring, and you know they’ve got a bunch of new guys (with nine new starters on defense this season), and they were (asking), ‘Hey, are you going to pull off until you get these guys (comfortable)?’ And he basically laughed, like ‘That would never happen.’ That’s what he does, and they do it well. We’ve just got to be ready to answer.”
(on changing things up to deal with a mobile quarterback like ASU’s Taylor Kelly) “There could be some different things coverage-wise. Underneath coverage-wise to pay attention to that. But for the most part, no. We’re trying to get there as fast as we can. Our technique’s got to be good. We got there a couple times last week and that athleticism took over. Sometimes a really athletic quarterback is going to be a little more athletic than our D-line. That’s why it can’t come down to one guy. You’ve got to have a couple guys there, and then we have a better chance.”
(on Troy Williams’ progress) “I think he has made progress. I think it’s good to get other guys reps. It is good. Whether you’re talking about on the O-line, the quarterback, whatever — eventually you’re going to need depth. So to get guys ‘one’ reps is healthy for everybody.”
(You guys were inside Dempsey today?) “We’re always inside on Thursday. It was good to be outside (in the rain) yesterday. The kids are used to this (weather). I’m looking for a huge umbrella and raincoat, but they’re not. They’re looking at me like I’ve got five heads. But they do a good job of going out there. This is Dawg weather.”
(You’re getting a feel for Seattle weather finally) “And it has to be to our advantage. It really does. I think the kids approach it that way and we’ll see. But it’s good to be able to practice in it a little bit.”
(more on Taylor Kelly. How important is it to get him off his spot early?) “It’s always important to contain the quarterback. But he’s been practicing and he’s played a lot of football and he’s a heck of a player. So, again, we don’t really worry about going back to what they have. Their other quarterback (Mike Bercovici) is really good as well. He’s proved it and put it on tape, so we just have to show up and take care of our responsibilities.”
(So you don’t see enough of a difference between the two to have to game plan differently?) “No. They certainly highlight and emphasize different things, but that offense doesn’t change. They still run the same plays. They might run more of certain things with one guy, but they run ’em all.”
(What’s the game day process for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff?) “Get ‘em up a little bit later. A couple walk-throughs and stuff trying to keep their mind alert a little bit. But it’s hard laying around all day. But both teams have got to do it, and it’ll be here soon enough.”
(Sense a desire for payback with players after last year’s loss at ASU?) “I really don’t. I think it’s just about us playing better. Last year’s last year. I don’t think there’s been any talk of that sort of stuff. It’s just, hey, ‘How do I get better? How do I help this team right now, today.’”