Here are comments from today after the Huskies’ second bowl-week practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., courtesy of the TicketCity Cactus Bowl communications staff:
UW linebacker Scott Lawyer:
(On his preparation for the bowl) “I’m really just working on the fundamentals and getting back into shape. Just trying to be more consistent on my runs and fitness. That’s one of the keys to the bowl season is to be able to come out and be as consistent as you are during the season.”
(On the keys to elevating his level of play over the past month) “Getting healthy and making sure I’m watching enough film, making sure I see everything at a quicker pace. That really helps. I just wasn’t in good shape really, and I had to work on my body to be able to see the game and react to it faster.”
(On his personality on the field and directing the defense) “For me, it’s extremely fun to be out there and to control things a little bit defensively. I’m the one speaking out and helping our guys get lined up correctly. I really like the role, it’s something different for me to be in the middle of the formation now, compared to last year playing on the edge, but I really like the change.
(On the coaching transition) “It’s been great. Coach Peterson is a great coach and he stresses the team before anything else and has taught us to be selfless. That’s really been one of the keys to our success this year is that we’re playing for each other now and not individually.”
UW defensive end Andrew Hudson:
(On the team arrival and the bowl experience) “It was good. We had a great break with our families and then I got the chance to fly out here (from Ontario) with some of the people from my area coming out to watch the game. It’s great to be surrounded from people from your hometown as you’re flying in to meet your team. But it feels great to be back tougher as a team as well, especially getting out here and getting to practice.
“The hospitality (of the bowl) is great and the whole experience has been great so far. This is probably the best bowl I’ve been to in terms of that and this is my fifth bowl game. I’m glad to be here and the sunshine is great. Being from Seattle, we’re glad to have it and the temperature doesn’t even seem cold.”
UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski:
“We’ve had a lot of good practices and we’ve brought good energy and good focus. If we can just sustain that and continue that for the last couple days down here, we can do something special on game day.”
(On whether he’ll watch the Fiesta Bowl and his former team/players in it) “I hope they do well. Honestly I’m going to be more worried about our guys and getting prepared for our game, but I’ll definitely be watching it.”
(On how the underclassmen have benefitted from the bowl practices) “I think they are all taking great advantage of the opportunity that they have gotten with the extra bowl practices, so much so that it’s hard to single out just one or two guys. Everyone on this unit has done a great job of getting better throughout the season and taking good advantage of the extra practices that we’ve had the last couple weeks.
“John Ross has come a long way. When he started, it was like cold turkey, we just threw him out there (on defense). He had to rely on his natural ability a little bit. But his knowledge base, his experience — where his eyes are suppose to be and how he’s suppose to play routes — and his technique have come a long way.”