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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

January 3, 2015 at 12:35 AM

Reaction from UW’s Cyler Miles, Kasen Williams, Shaq Thompson after Cactus Bowl loss

Kasen Williams makes a circus catch in the second quarter against Oklahoma State. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Kasen Williams makes a circus catch in the second quarter against Oklahoma State. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Reaction from the Washington locker room after the Huskies’ 30-22 loss to Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl:

Junior LB Shaq Thompson:

(How’s your thumb?) “It’s getting better. … It just felt weird playing with a cast on.”

(What was it like at halftime?) “We just started off slow in the first half, and we came in at halftime and we were like, ‘No, this is not us.’ So everybody was motivated. Travis (Feeney) came in here and starting screaming and telling everybody to pick it up. So that’s what we did in the second half. We kept going and kept getting three-and-outs.”

(What led to the first half?) “Just lack of focus, really. We just started off slow on offense, didn’t really move the ball and the defense was on the field for a long time. … It did shock me a little bit. I wish we started off better, as we did in the first half. The second half would’ve been a different outcome.”

(on your plans the next couple weeks?) “Go home and chill. … Just talk to Coach Pete and that’s about it.”

Senior WR Kasen Williams:

(on second half adjustments) “I think there’s just a lot more trust in the wideouts that second half. I think the biggest difference between the two halves is we were running the ball a lot more and when we were running the ball, nothing was happening. And in the second half, we started going deep and everything was opening up. That’s just how it is when you put all those guys in the box, so we were ablt to make those adjustments and we tried to do everything we could to get that W. obviously we fell short, but we just need to play a complete game of football, and that game’s a different story.”

(on Cyler Miles’ second half adjustments) “Just confidence. Confidence. He calmed down. He was throwing the ball like he does in practice. He was throwing the ball like he knows he’s supposed to. So I think just a combination of a lot of things that we just weren’t able to get together from the very beginning. But it is what it is.”

(Is this surprising on offense considering you’d built some momentum in the final three games of the regular season?) “I’d agree 100 percent, and especially like you said, the last few games of the season we were really driving the ball and doing some good things on offense. To come out like that, it was almost like we came out just how we started the season. So it’s kind of disappointing to see that happen. But I’m glad we were able to actually get a fight in. I’m glad we were able to actually compete. I’m glad we didn’t quit. That’s one thing – some teams will quit, and we’re not those guys.”

(takeaway from this game?) “I think we learned a lot this game. I think we learned that you can trust your receivers downfield. I think we learned that we can open the playbook up a little bit, and we don’t need to be so conservative. I think that if you really learn from this game, you see the potential in this offense, and you see the potential in the people that are coming back, and I just think it’s going to be fun to watch these guys next year.”

Sophomore QB Cyler Miles:

(on first half) We were just too relaxed. We were just too relaxed. We were kind of back on our heels, kind of just going with the flow, kind of like it was practice. All of us. I’m not singling anybody out. All of us were too relaxed in the first half and as you saw, we can’t do that.”

(on difference in second half) “The pressure was on. We were down. We had to catch up. We got going. Unfortunately it only happened in the second half, so …”

(what did you learn this season?) “Just staying together with my teammates and just doing it with them and leading this team, continuing to work on my leadership and staying together, really.”

(offseason plans) “Just keep grinding. God’s going to take care of all the rest. All you can control is what you control, yourself, and how you are with your teammates, and your effort day in and day out. So that’s all I can focus on right now.”

(on QB competition heading into the spring?) “I’m not really thinking about that right now, to be honest with you. I’m just thinking about this game, trying to move forward, stay strong, stay together. That’s really not on my mind right now.”

(where did you improve most?) “Becoming a better teammate, honestly.”

(how so?) “Just being able to set myself aside and do it for them, you know what I’m saying? This game of football, we kind of get obsessed sometimes with our stats and doing it for ourselves, how we look. That’s nice and all, but that’s not going to get you anywhere. Obviously a lot in my game has to improve, as well. I’m not trying to say that’s fine. But that’s just the biggest thing for me, to be honest.”

(on final drive) “Score. Do everything to score. Unfortunately, I missed on a dig route to Kasen (Williams). I can’t do that. The game’s over after that.”

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