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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

UW coach Chris Petersen on John Timu, Cyler Miles, Oregon State and more

Chris Petersen

UW coach Chris Petersen met with the media after Thursday’s practice:

(on the offensive line and getting Mike Criste back at center) “We’re OK. Coach Strausser is always kind of shuffling those guys around. This isn’t like a new thing at all. I think a lot of those guys are interchangeable, can play multiple positions.”

(Like what you’ve seen out of Criste?) “Yeah. He’s played a lot of football in the past. He’s a guy that can play center and guard and those type of things. He’s taken a lot of practice reps at both positions and he’s gotten some good game time as well.”

(Do you emphasize the fumbling more this week?) “We emphasize turnovers — offense, defense — as much as you can. You talk to any coach, and even on the defensive side you’ve got some turnovers and there’s times that we emphasize the heck out of it and we haven’t gotten what we’ve liked. I think everybody’s trying to crack that code the best you can. We’ve spent a lot of time on it on all sides of the ball. But no question, when you’re playing in tight, even teams the turnover battle shows up big.”

(John Timu make it through the week OK?) “Timu was good. He even was out there on Monday. He’s been out there the whole week, so I feel good about that.”

(on OSU’s offense with Sean Mannion throwing the ball around) “Lot of yards he’s thrown for. Lot of yards. They’ve run that offense for a long time; they know it inside and out. I think that’s one of the things that’s really interesting about the league that we play in — everybody’s spread, but even the spread is different. And then you play a team like Stanford and Oregon State, here comes another curveball, where nowadays four or five years ago that was the norm we played against. I think that is really the unique thing about this league is that not only the parity, but what you see differently each week. Makes it hard on the defenses.”

(Is the key to get him off his spot?) “I think anytime somebody…they’ve got a nice combination power run game and then play action off of it. You’ve got to be able to get to the passer. If a team throws the ball and you can’t get to them, it’s problems for everybody.”

(Lean on assistants who were still at Boise for bowl game vs. OSU last season?) “Most of those guys were over here with us, so we’ve had a pretty long history with Oregon State in the past. But everybody’s got their wrinkles. It’s not the same thing every year. Even when you play them back to back, it’s always enough wrinkles to keep you off balance and it comes down to playing fundamental football and being able to stop the run and slow the pass down and those type of things.”

(More confident in secondary now than earlier this season?) “You know, I think we’re making progress. I think we took a step forward last week. We’ve got to make sure we just don’t give up anything easy. They’ll get plays. They’re too good not to; they throw the ball too often for … (Sean) Mannion’s been in there forever. But we’ve got to be able to kind of make them earn things, and hopefully contain some explosives if we can.”

(How have seniors handled this week?) “I think pretty well. It hasn’t really felt much different to me or our coaching staff. They’ll probably be a little bit emotional running out into the stadium for the last time, and hopefully they can refocus and play the best football of their career. That’s what I really hope – last time in this stadium, that they have no regrets, that they play as hard as they possibly can, and we feel good about it.”

(Do anything unique for senior night?) “I think everybody’s kind of the same, in terms of just the family out there and acknowledge those guys for all their hard work and their efforts and all those type of things. It’s always emotional for the coaches, too, even the short time that we’ve been here with these guys, how hard they’ve worked every day we’re with those guys, and the bonds that you form even in a short period of time.”

(Chris Strausser mentioned that it’s kind of sad how he’s just now getting to know these guys – you share that feeling?) “It’s the same way. I mean it’s amazing when you’re in the trenches day in and day out, how much you’re sweating with these guys and how hard you work and how emotional things are, the bonds that you form. Those kids, you really care for them. And it’s amazing how tight you can get in a short period of time.”

(on Dwayne Washington’s breakout) “Even when we had him in before (his injury), it’s been kind of awhile, but he has that explosiveness in him. The more that we can leave him in there, if he can stay healthy, he’s going to create ‘explosives.’ So that stuff doesn’t surprise me. I think the trick is to be able to leave him in there. I say it every week, my hat’s off to running backs in general. It’s just such a pounding. And you’ve got to have a little bit of luck, keep your fingers crossed, and then you’ve got to have a lot of toughness to go with it.”

(on committee approach vs. trying to establish a featured guy like Dwayne) “We go as much as we can. And when the guys need out or need a break, there’s some certain specialty plays we’ll always have certain guys in. But it just has to be by committee, and it’s not even really our choice by committee. It’s just the nature of that position, I think.”

(Is Dwayne’s explosiveness the one thing that separates him?) “I think so. He’s got very good speed once you get out and create some space. He can break arm tackles, and he does that. And all those guys are a nice little combination because they’re all uniquely different. So I think that’s a positive.”

(How much are you just looking to get back on the field after such a tough loss?) “I think players and coaches want to go play. You’ve got to practice, and the game plan is so unique different each week that you can’t just say, ‘Oh, I want to get to Saturday.’ You have to really invest (during the week) or it’s not going to happen. So when you get through the whole week, I think you’re excited to get back out there and play.”

(on Cyler Miles’ running — is he more engaged when he gets involved that way?) “Cyler likes to run, whether it’s a pass (play) or it’s run, he does like to run. When we get some space for him, he can create some things as well. Fine line for the quarterback because there’s certain times we want him to hang in there and throw the ball. But I think we’re making progress there. It’s the same things like a running back — you’ve got to be careful with your quarterback running too much. That’s a position, when that guy takes off everybody’s trying to get a piece of the quarterback.”

(Is there one thing Oregon State’s defense did especially well to beat Arizona State?) “I just thought they played hard. I really do. It’s just kind of interesting. Their coaches probably know more than we know, but when you’re watching them you just say a football team that played hard and kept swinging right down to the final whistle. They came through and got it done. That seems like that’s what this league is all about — whoever can finish at the end and come through is going to be victorious.”

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