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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 30, 2014 at 12:17 AM

UW’s Chris Petersen reacts to the Huskies’ 31-13 Apple Cup victory

Chris Petersen

UW coach Chris Petersen reacts to the Huskies’ 31-13 victory over the Cougars in the Apple Cup late Saturday:

(Did WSU blitz as much as you expected?) “I’ll put the tape on and confirm some things, but there was a lot of pressure. They were coming after us pretty good. I thought our o-line did a really nice job protecting Cyler. Gave up one sack, and I don’t think that sack was really on the o-line. Sometimes we’ve got to throw it away. So I thought they did a nice job there. I thought Cyler did a good job. He’s getting better every game, especially in these elements. We threw it more than we kind of normally throw it and receivers made plays. But really, I think the credit starts with our defense, defensive coaches. They put together a heck of a game plan, and our kids executed it as well as could be expected. It was really impressive by those guys.”

(Why did you throw it so much more tonight?) “Well, they were going to put a lot of pressure. They’re going to hang their corners out there a little bit. And I think Cyler and those receivers have been getting into a better rhythm the last few games, so we wanted to throw it a little bit more. Really proud of how they battled the cold, because it’s not easy to do that, and they executed pretty well.”

(On defensive front getting pressure without having to blitz) “It was the key to the game on defense. You saw the one time when we didn’t get there and he stood back there forever. The guys can’t cover that long. Our d-line did a heck of a job getting to him, not letting him hold it too long, and I thought our secondary covered well.”

(On seeing more focus before the game) “I think the last few weeks, these guys have really been figuring out on how to practice, but too, how to get themselves ready for the game. I think that may be as big as anything we’ve felt as a change, from Friday to Saturday, and what the locker room should feel like and look like before we go out there. And today was as good as we’ve had it before the game started. I thought going out there, this is going to be interesting because this is one time that I really feel like these guys are truly ready to play.”

(Could you describe that feeling?) “It’s just the mindset and the energy in there. I just thought they were all together. I think this game is very important to all those guys in there, and they came out ready to play.”

(Have a better feel for Apple Cup now?) “I knew what we’d be walking in. I think our coaches did a good job of preparing the guys who haven’t ever been over here. I think the older guys, the seniors, some of those guys did a good job preparing the other guys, so I think they knew what they were going to get themselves into, and I think they embraced it. I also think they embraced the elements and the cold. They played with great toughness out there. I think the guys that were only bothered by the cold were the coaches. Our guys didn’t flinch at all.”

(More on winning the Apple Cup) “It’s important, because I know how important it is to our fans, and I know how important it is to our seniors. It’s important to our entire university. I’m just proud the guys played that hard and played that good.”

(On the illegal formation call on the fake punt) “Yeah. Bummer. We’ve been working on it for a while. We felt very good about it. We had a couple different options off it. The one mistake we made is we needed to line up at seven yards. You can’t line up at five, because you have to be in a kicking formation, and we were at five. So all for naught.”

(Right call?) “Correct call. As far as we know. That’s what they called, so they were on it.”

(On Dwayne Washington) “If our O-line will block for him like they did, give him those creases – he can break arm-tackles – and then when he gets in space, he’s very fast. There’s no better feeling to see him get to that second level, because there’s not a lot of guys that will catch him.”

(What clicked today with the energy?) “That’s a great question. I don’t know. Nothing’s easy early on and it takes a while, like we talk about, this process. You can’t snap your fingers. They don’t just get it. To their credit, they’ve been trying, they’ve been buying in, they’ve been working hard. They haven’t ever backed down and it’s just starting to come together. I think as a coach and coaching staff, the one thing we’re always wanting is to feel like we’re improving and on an upswing. And I think the last three, four games we’ve kind of felt like that.”

(Any thoughts on 100th career win?) “I think this: I know how this is. You’re only as good as this last win and that lasts about two days and you’re onto the next thing. I’ve been put in some really good situations – I mean that sincerely – some unbelievable administrators to stack the deck for us and get us really good coaches to recruit really good kids.”

(Bowl preference?) “Not really. I’m just glad that we get a chance to play again with these guys and give them a little time off and get a chance to get after school a little bit and finish that. Get ‘em healed up and get ‘em prepared for a real good bowl team that we’ll play.”

(Hitting recruiting hard this week?) “Yeah. The next two weeks we can be out; we can’t be out for a very long time. So we’ve got a lot of work to do in the next couple weeks.”

(Did you think at all of keeping guys in to preserve a shutout?) “No. You saw it; we were going to play guys. We’re going to play a lot of guys. That’s not what it’s about. We can shut ‘em out and play guys, that’s great. Everybody would like to do that. We need to play guys, and guys deserve to play. That’s not what it’s about.”

(Deontae got dinged up?) “I think he’ll be okay. I didn’t even really get the report on what it was. He looked a little woozy. I didn’t even ask.”

(How good was it to see Kasen with a TD pass?) “Really good. Kasen’s hung in there, battled all season long. He hasn’t gotten the balls that he should have but he stayed positive. So it’s good this final game to get him a touchdown.”

(John Ross at receiver and Jeff in there to throw the long passes) “Jeff has got a strong arm and can launch it out there. I actually thought he overthrew him, telling him to put a lot of air so he doesn’t overthrow him. But to be fair to John Ross, he hasn’t caught a whole lot of balls. The timing, hand-eye, you’ve got to work on that all the time. When he didn’t catch it I thought that was a little on us for not throwing enough at him. And it’s hard to play guys both ways just from what you saw out there because you really have to rep ‘em. And we did get him reps on those plays, but we need to get him more.”

(How impressive the defensive effort was) “I think this thing starts and stops with how impressive our defense was because they are going to move the ball and they are going to score points on everybody. And really it was late into the fourth quarter when they did that. Those kids played great, they played as good as I’ve seen them play all year, especially with those young guys in the secondary. Really proud of them.”

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