Tuesday Practice Notes

The Bruins begin preparation for their Pac-10 opener on the road at <b>Washington</b>. Head Coach Karl Dorrell talks about the Huskies, while Drew Olson talks about returning to the site of his first career start and three freshmen defenders talk about their roles on the defense...

Head Coach Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments from Tuesday:

On Washington's gameplan
Dorrell: Offensively they do a lot of different things. We're going to have to do our best with our young guns and do the things to get them ready to play. We could see any type of run offense, from option, to 2-back offense, and they're pretty solid on defense. They do a great job of being aggressive. They can lock up the receiver and stack the box. We'll see what happens on the quarterback situation, and have to adjust as we go.

On whether Washington will use finesse to win
Dorrell: At Washington, I don't think that's a word (finesse) they like to use. Being in that program for one year, they are a hard nosed football team. Their defense plays that way and their offense plays that way. There are certain things they do that's important for them to get established. There is no way this team is going to try and finesse anyone. They're going to come after you.

Comments from freshman safety Chris Horton

On his performance against Illinois, which included his first career interception:
Man, I was excited. I saw the ball coming out of the quarterbacks hand and the running back slip, and I was like, "wow, catch the ball." Obviously, I would have liked to have scored but I had to get it where it was. It was a nice experience. You know, it was the first pick on the team too! I think it was thrown so badly, the only choice I had was to dive for it. A better throw and I could have scored. It was real low, I didn't want to take a chance. I just wanted to catch it, and then let the offense do it. I wish it was the NFL, I would have rolled over and then gone, that'd been nice.

On continuing to grow in his role:
Redshirting last year was the best thing I could have done. I had a chance to go out and practice every day. I just want to bring to the table what the other guys have brought.

On learning from Ben Emanuel and Jarrad Page:
I learn from Ben and Jarrad all the time. Before I go to the coach sometimes, I'll go to Ben or to Jarrad. They've been in the program longer and they know the defense so I'll go to them.

On Washington's passing game:
Today was the first day we got a chance to watch them. Watching the quarterback and his counts. The film has showed us a lot.

On his reputation as a hitter coming in:
I feel kind of bottled up now since no one is passing on us that much. I mean, hey, when that chance comes, I'll bring it. I love to be around the ball, and make an impact. Whenever I am on the field, I want to force turnovers. I want it to be like a big crash. Some teams are balanced, but I'm ready for the teams to throw it on us. I had like 12 forced fumbles in high school, but then my first takeaway is an interception. The guys on the team call me "No Hands Horton." I drop everything thrown to me, so I wasn't about to drop the ball. My first thought was "Catch the ball". I wasn't thinking end zone, I was thinking "catch the ball" so my teammates don't tease me. It was a big turnover and I'll let the offense take it.

Comments from quarterback Drew Olson

On his offensive linemen:
I have a lot of confidence in these guys. We're all real close. Tonight, we're going to dinner, on me. We'll find out tonight who is the biggest eater. It will be fun. It doesn't matter what it costs me.

On returning to the site of his first career start, Husky Stadium:
It's probably my favorite place to play. There and Oklahoma are probably my two favorites ever. I love playing on the road, love playing in hostile environments. Its fun trying to take the crowd out of it. It's a great college atmosphere, not one we get around to a lot, so when you get up there, you take advantage of it.

On opening up Pac-10 play with Washington:
It's huge. It's our biggest game of the year so far. We're approaching it like it's a championship game, and we're focused on a win. To get us to where we want to be, we need to get a win up there at UW.

On his dive for the end zone against Illinois:
If I have to do it again, I'll do it. Its fun doing that stuff. It got the offense fired up and it got me fired up. It got me so fired up that I blew the next play. But I'll do whatever it takes to help the offense. I'll just try and get it in next time.

Comments from freshman defensive end Brigham Harwell

On the feeling of his surgically-repaired knee:
I feel really good. About 90 percent almost 100 hundred percent.

On his performance against Illinois (five tackles, 1.5 for loss):
It was a big confidence booster for me. It helped me out a lot mentally, and I'm happy just to be able to play right now. It was great just to get out there and make plays. A couple tackles for losses, it was a great game. I felt good as a player and was real happy.

On the transition to college football:
It was tougher than I thought, then I had the surgery. I had to get my mind right. It was tough because at this level, the linemen are faster and bigger. Its all in the mindset. You have to be tough mentally to play at this level. Everybody's young so it can be tough. But we're all competing and getting better.

On the importance the Pac-10 opener against Washington:
It's a must win game for us. Every game is a must win game for us. But I'm looking forward to going up there. Our defense is really looking forward to helping us come away with a victory.

On the morale of the defensive line:
The first game was tough for us. We tried to grow from that. It's old now. We're in week three now so its time to focus on week three.

On the possibility of moving inside:
I'm definitely an end. I'm here to play any position and help the team, but I love defensive end, and I hope to God they don't make me a defensive tackle. But if that's what I have to be, that's what I'll be.

On facing passing teams:
I know teams aren't passing right now because our weakness is the run. But teams will have to start passing.

Comments from freshman linebacker Aaron Whittington

On his performance against Illinois:
It was about an hour and half (from his hometown in St. Louis). I had a lot of family there, my mom and dad, and one of my brothers. My high school coach came, and he was excited to see me play. I was real excited. It felt good to be out there. We were just out there trying to make plays.

On the adjustment of playing linebacker after being a defensive end:
I'm very confident in my speed. Its just about playing hard. With desire. Its been a lot more learning. A lot more focus. You can't just play recklessly, you have to play responsibly. My coaches are helping me out a lot, and my teammates are helping me out a lot. I can't say I saw it coming (being a linebacker), but I'll play wherever they need me.

On if the defensive end mindset makes playing linebacker easier when rushing the quarterback:
If it's a blitz, I'll get after the quarterback, but I've got to play responsibly.

On the morale of the defense:
We were never really concerned about what everyone else thought. We were more concerned about playing as a team, and playing together. If we play hard as a collective unit, nothing should stop us.


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