Coach/Player Quotes - Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. - Here are coach and player quotes from Washington's 38-3 win over the Colorado Buffaloes in front of an announced crowd of 43,148 at Folsom Field. Steve Sarkisian, Jon Embree, Cody Bruns, Travis Feeney, Keith Price, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bishop Sankey, Shaquille Thompson, Kendyl Taylor and Justin Glenn talked after the game about the UW win.

NOTE: Big thanks to our interns - Andrew Dore and Jyot Sandhu for help with transcribing the quotes.

UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian:

Opening Statement: "I thought this was an interesting game for us. We're not maybe as accustomed as other teams are to where you are supposed to win games especially on the road. I felt we were our own worst enemy in the first half, obviously the turnover inside the five yard line, but our defense was tremendous all day. They defeated the run, played well against the pass and in the second half, we exhibited much more energy, our tempo was better, our playmaking was better, and we showed the balance that's needed to be a good offensive football team. With it all, the defense continued on...a huge special teams play by Kevin Smith, I can't wait to see the highlight myself. That's one for the ages. But as we talked about the goal is to get to nine and four this season, we couldn't do it without getting number seven and now we can move on to the Apple Cup."

On Keith Price tying the school record for passing touchdowns in a game after a slow offensive start: "We came in at halftime and challenged him, it was a little bit of tough love in the locker room at halftime but we challenged these guys about the standard and expectation level that they set. It's not something that we are trying to get to, they've set a standard of play that is acceptable around here but what we were doing in the first half, not just Keith, but on the offensive side of the ball just wasn't acceptable. I think he responded in the second half and I think the rest of the unit responded. I thought the offensive line was better in the second half. It was cool to see a variety of receivers making plays down the field. Bishop did his thing running the ball, it's too bad he had the long one called back. Kendyl Taylor showed a real spark running the ball too, I just thought our energy as a unit was better in the second half but I think it starts with #17."

On the message at halftime: "Play like we are capable of playing. I challenged them last night with this, not stubbing our toes. We had some unfortunate penalties, a block after the whistle by Jaydon, we had two offensive pass interference calls against us, one on Kasen and one on Austin. Some of those things are frustrating for us because they set you back. It's hard to play football 2nd and 30, 2nd and 25, 3rd and 25. The message was play the way we are capable of playing. It's not about trying too hard. It's trusting the system, trusting your fundamentals, your techniques, and the calls that need to be made, communicate with one another and then go execute. It's not about all the plays on the call sheet and all that. It's about playing the way we are capable of playing."

On what he saw on Kevin Smith's play: "It just really looked as if he could have possessed the ball but would have landed out of bounds so he made a conscious decision to throw the ball back in play to give us a chance to recover it. It's funny because those are the things you work on in training camp and you put guys through those exercises in training camp and how often they show up a year, maybe once a year at best and sure enough it showed up for Kevin and he did it beautifully."

On Kevin Smith: "Well it's that he is such a team guy. I think that's what great about this locker room .We have a unique team in that we are together in this together. Guys understand their roles and some guys might play 85 snaps a game, others might play eight, but when you get your opportunities, the goal is to go execute your job. Kevin has done that whether it is some punt return stuff, whether it was today, he was up on kickoffs as a fullback covering kicks. He represents what this team is about, that this is a team, it's not about one or two players."

On Kevin Smith's future still being the same as two years ago: "Well I'm hopeful, it's obviously tough to play receiver in a knee brace, hopefully he can continue to get healthy and regain the speed he possessed before that but I couldn't be happier for a guy like that to make the play he made."

On Cody Bruns: "We're just trying to keep him involved. We know what we have in Kasen and Austin and we keep talking about the third wideout. Our third wideout is a variety of guys - it's DiAndre Campbell, it's Cody Bruns, it's Jaydon Mickens. Cody's playing with a great deal of confidence which is so cool to see, a guy in his senior year playing the best football he's played since he's been here and that's neat to see a guy progress throughout his career."

On Cody Bruns getting his first Husky touchdown: "It's great, I couldn't be happier for him. He's an awesome, awesome kid, I couldn't be happier for him."

On Keith doing anything different in the second half: "I thought he was making a little quicker decisions, being a bit more decisive, trusting rules on progressions on plays and then delivered the ball really accurately. I thought he was extremely accurate tonight. He missed a couple deep balls just off finger tips - DiAndre in the end zone, the one to Kasen with Jaydon on another deep one, but he was extremely accurate especially in the short to intermediate game."

On Keith returning to his old self like last year: "He's playing pretty good football. He played well, especially in the second half, he had a nice ball game last week against Utah, there were moments in the Cal game where he was really good, and obviously struggled with a couple of turnovers but I've seen his play progress over the last month, just getting better and better. It's at the right time; you want to be playing good late in the year. We have good balance on the offensive side of the ball right now. We're mixing it, we're running it, we're throwing it, we can play action pass and that's when we are at our best as an offensive football team."

On having 1st and goal from the 30: "No, I think whatever it was, Cal was about 3rd and goal from the 30, but no, you just live with the situations you are placed with and you try to execute."

On how penalties kill the offensive rhythm: "It's hard, I was talking to the guys at halftime - it's difficult. I don't mind getting stopped, when we play good teams and they stop us we'll find a way to fix things and get them right...and X and O to get things better. When we are self-inflicting wounds on ourselves that's the disappointing and challenging part for us because it is like taking the wind out of your sails.  You are moving the ball and making a play and in the second half, Kasen moves right as Evan Hudson goes in motion, that's a penalty. Those are the things we have to work on to fix because we can be even better than we've been."

On Austin Seferian Jenkins playing more defensive end: "He was a good force tonight, we thought we had some good matchups again today. It was good to see him recover the fumble. Josh Shirley had an impact rushing the passer today, Travis Feeney...all of that stemmed from us covering really well on the backend."

On Desmond Trufant not playing: "Yeah you know, we got to it an he's just not 100%, we know who we are playing next week and how much they like to throw the football and we are going to need Desmond next week. By holding him out today, I think we will get a 100% Desmond Trufant next week."

On how well Bishop Sankey has been playing: "He's doing great, he's been Steady Eddie, he's still learning, he's a true Sophomore. The fumble, there going in he reverted to holding the ball going left and having the ball in his right arm. There's always stuff for him to work on to get better. He had a tremendous night, he had the game he had with that long run getting called back and he's catching the ball well out of the backfield...he's pass protecting, this style of play is becoming normal to him."

On Bishop being capable of carrying the full load of carries: "Well he's done it, I think he had 23 again tonight with one called back, 24, and I'm not the best mathematician and that's almost 100 carries in three weeks - so he's doing it for us."

On winning being expected by the guys now: "I think we're understanding what our identity is more and more, week in and week out. And then you gain confidence when you keep playing the way we're playing, you believe on defense, you play good defense that you will get those stops. And offensively, you understand you can count and rely on the defense and you don't have to try too hard. You take care of the football a little bit better. Our red zone efficiency outside of the fumble again, we are getting better at scoring in the red zone to stretch leads. I think we know what we are about. We're not in the locker room acting like we won the super bowl, we came here to win the game, we did it, and now on to the next one."

On how the defense has improved so fast since last year: "I didn't know what to expect. I thought we had some pretty talented guys. I thought we could recruit some guys that could step in. What I've appreciated about Justin is that he has evolved as a defensive coordinator from Boise to Tennessee even early on with us to fit the personnel we have to put the players we have on defense in the best position to be successful. We are seeing some of those younger players get better as the season has gone on. Shaq is playing better, Travis Feeney is playing better football for us, John Timu's playing better football, Danny Shelton's gotten better as the season's gone on. Some of our younger guys have improved but I also think it's a credit to our defensive staff and Justin in putting them in position to do things that they do well."
Cody Bruns:

You said you thanked Keith Price after your touchdown. What'd you say to him? He's been through a lot this season and I'm so proud of him for everything that he's gone through. We work a lot together. We worked in the offseason together, the wideouts and quarterbacks. It was just a tribute to him, I just wanted to make sure he knew that.

On his dive into the endzone: (Laughs) I wanted to make sure I got in. I wasn't gonna let anything stop me from getting in.

On finally scoring: It feels great. And to come out here on the road and get a win for us, to contribute, it feels good.
Travis Feeney:

On the play of the defense: Defense, we did our job. We played great. I thought it was one of the best games that we've played so far on defense.

Did your eyes light up after the play of the game, when their quarterback floated the ball on a quick out? Man, my eyes lit up. I was like, "Ohhh he's gonna get this!" I was like, "Nope, I didn't get it."

Did you think it was going to be like that all game? All game. I was just like, oh okay. Man, he's not…his passes…I mean, it's cool. Like, his passes…No, I don't know how to say it. I just thought it'd be a good game for the defense and after the first drive, after seeing how the first drive went.

At what point in the game did you say, "Yeah, we got them?" I'm never saying that the game is over. I'm always into it. But I mean, when it gets to like the fourth quarter, we're doing good, we're on the road, this is it.

You have to cover Austin in practice, and now you're seeing him on defense: Oh man, it's great. Seeing Austin do his thing, come and try to help us on the defense, that's awesome. Dude's talented. Plays both sides. Dude's great. Great dude. He just brings the energy.

I'm sure he's real quiet out there. (Laughs) Oh yeah, he is. He's quiet but that's Austin. He's just doing his thing.

How much different was it without Desmond out there? Man, it was really different. Everybody knew they had to really pick up their game without Desmond. And we all know we had to pick it up for Desmond, without him being there. Just like he told us, he's gonna be there for us, rooting us on, so we know we had to play harder for him.

He must have been a piece of work on the sidelines: Oh yeah. He was yelling for us the whole time, telling us good job and everything. Always rooting us on, motivating the whole team.

Did anything stand out for you today? My missed sack. No, that's about it. Just our energy level. We just need to pick it up more. That's the only thing.

Apple Cup next week: Apple Cup next week. We gotta go and do it again. Gotta go play and get that win.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins:

What does win number seven mean? It feels really good. There was a lot of skepticism in the middle of the season about what was going on, after that little three game losing streak we had. But I think everyone can see now that we've turned it around and we've got it going in the right direction, we're all really excited for where this program's headed.

On the first half struggles offensively: Sometimes that's how games go. It's just a grind out game at the beginning. It just happened to be that way. In the second half we kept battling and we eventually made our plays.

What was the big difference between the first half and the second half? Probably energy. I feel like we didn't have much energy coming into it at the beginning of the first half. And then the second half, coach Sark challenged us to have energy and I think that's really what exuded in the second half.

Are you more comfortable defensively now? I feel pretty good at it. I mean, I don't feel pretty good that I'm actually good at it right now, but I feel like I'm alright right now and I've got a lot of work to do at that. I've gotta really work on my get off, my hands and just keep driving. I was really close to getting about two or three sacks today, that was pretty frustrating but I felt alright about how I played.

That's two straight dominant efforts by the defense. What are you most proud of about that? Definitely the guys who are flying around, having high energy, they carry us throughout the whole entire game. I think Colorado only scored three points or something like that, so they didn't let them score. Defense is playing phenomenal right now, we gotta give our hats off to them.

On the Apple Cup and win number eight: Everyone knows about the Apple Cup. The whole state gets excited about it and is excited to watch it, so I think we're all very excited about the game. But at the end of the day, it's Wazzu and honestly it's just another game. It's just another football game that we need to prepare for, just like it was any other team.

On his fumble recovery: Josh Shirley made a great play on the ball, came around and hit the ball out. I saw the ball out on the ground and I picked it up. I wish I would have picked it up and scored but I was just worried about getting on the ball for the team.
Keith Price:

On how he felt today went: "It was good, it was good, we started off slow, I knew I needed to get in a better rhythm in the second half and we did that." ?On what changed between the first and second half: "We just needed to settle in, we knew they would come in and play hard. I think they played harder than us for a minute, but we just needed to settled in and when we settled in, we got in a good rhythm."

On things opening up that weren't necessarily there in the first half: "Oh definitely, they were open all game, I just needed to hit some of them, the offense did a great job, protection broke down a couple of times and we still made plays when protection broke down so I think we made a lot more plays scrambling which is always a positive."

On tying the school records for touchdowns in a game: "All the quarterbacks that came through here, it's an honor. I know there is a lot of season left and hopefully we can get this thing going for WSU."

On Sarkisian's message for him at halftime: "OH yeah he wasn't real pleased. He felt like I could play better. He wants me to succeed, I just have to do a better job, not get too amped up and relax."

On how good it felt to get Cody Bruns a touchdown: "He came up and thanked me and I kind of thanked him. That guy has been through so much and I'm just proud of him, he deserved it."
Justin Glenn:

On the defense having more confidence: "We felt really good out here, just stopping the, getting three and outs consistently, and giving our offense more chances."

On envisioning the defense playing this well this year back in January: "I mean obviously you want to be optimistic and think positively like we could improve from last year, but once we got going a little bit and once I realized the schemes and everything he was doing and how we fit it, I thought we would be definitely a lot better than last year and now we are starting to play our best football defensively, and that's how you want to be playing in November."

On the offense having a slow start: "We just had to keep going out there and keep doing our job. The offense couldn't catch a break in the first half with the penalties, holding and push offs and stuff. We knew that if we kept battling, things would eventually go our way."

On Kevin Smith's play: "Oh that was ridiculous, I was actually in on the play and thought the ball went out of bounds and I kind of stopped and the next thing I knew, Will had the ball. I saw the replay and that is for sure probably ESPN top 10 play, just the awareness and throwing the ball back like that, that's crazy."

On the program not winning 4 straight games since 2001: "Wow, we're trying to keep it rolling, make it 5 and see where it goes from there. It's a good overall performance, I think we played well, my guy Cody Bruns got his first career touchdown so I was happy for him."
Bishop Sankey:

On Sark's halftime speech: All his halftime speeches are pretty good. He has a good way of motivating us. I feel like it worked again today, as well.

On the difference between the first half and the second: Energy and then he emphasized at halftime we gotta go out there and compete, everybody defeat their man, and if we all do that good things will happen. So that's what I feel everybody's focus was going into the second half.

On getting the seventh win of the season: I feel like it means a lot. Wins are good. Everybody wants to win and I feel like we gotta keep it going into this last game and the next game, the next two games we gotta keep this thing going.

On when Keith Price flipped the ball to him: He just stayed alive in the pocket and I just got out into my checkdown route and he happened to see me and flipped me the ball. It was a great play by Keith, keeping the play alive.

On feeling more alert as a checkdown receiver: Yeah, definitely. We're working on looking at checkdowns and I feel like I'm doing a better job of getting in the spots I need to be on those checkdown routes.
Kendyl Taylor:

You seem to be running a lot harder and more confident the last couple of weeks. Just getting more comfortable with the offense and how things are going. Definitely being the backup now, I really have to take a lead and help balance out Bishop Sankey.

On his switch to runningback: I played runningback a bit in high school, too. Definitely, coming here has had a…really focus on how the game changes. So, more game experience is definitely key and now it's starting to show.

On scoring his first touchdown: It's very special. To get the first one with the parents here, it was awesome. But seeing the other players, it was a great opportunity for us.
Marcus Peters:

How'd that one feel? It felt real good. We came out there with a goal this week, get this seventh win, and we just came out and played hard.

That first pass was kind of floated, did that wake you up? It kinda woke me up, but I was always prepared. I just didn't think I was gonna get many balls.

What was the key to playing so well? We just try to keep our eyes right, play disciplined. Not give them too much energy. As long as we keep their energy down we knew that they could come, and they didn't have anything to lose and they could take their shots and make plays.

How was Desmond Trufant on the sidelines? He was on us a lot. He just told us to take focus, not to let up at all. Just come out there like we were playing against one of the top teams in the nation.

On Washington State next week: Same attitude. Get that eighth win. Just come practice hard and everyone just stay focused on our goal. Our goal for the rest of the season is go 8-4, so just stay prepared.

On how much his confidence level has changed since last year: I'm playing. That's the only big difference I think. I had some younger mistakes in the early parts of the year, but I started limiting them.
Shaquille Thompson:

You don't look like you're playing like a freshman anymore: Playing all those games, you grow up. You grow up as a player and you be smarter on the field, and that's what I think I became.

What have you improved the most on since San Diego State? Really just striking opponents, linemen. Using my hands, tackling.

Has the grind affected you physically, mentally? My achilles right now is kind of bothering me. If I make a false move or tweak it, that'll bother me. But I still play on it, still grind on it.

On his interception today: It was just a man-on-man coverage. He was slow and I knew he was going under, so I just played him. Thank God he threw it up, threw the pass to him, and I caught it.

Are your teammates going to let you count that one, since it was up in the air like that? Yeah, they're gonna let me count that one. Right now, we're tied, me and Marcus.

On Washington State next week: Washington State, we're just gonna go in and just play football. We're not gonna think about the win, we're just gonna play football.

On the defense today: Defense was phenomenal. I think we did good. I know we can do better than that, but we'll see next week.

Has the defense's confidence grown since you got here? Yeah, I did. From San Diego State to now, I think we grew big. It was a big grow. I think we could do a little bit better though, some of the runs, some of the passes.

On playing without Desmond Trufant: It's a big impact. He's a big part of our defense, but we have to grow and leave somebody behind, and I think we did that.
Colorado Head Coach Jon Embree:

General - "Hats off to Washington. Our defense gave us opportunities in the game. I know that our numbers offensively were not good enough. We have one game left on Friday, so we will get on that tomorrow."

At Halftime - "I told the defense to keep doing what they have been doing. Offensively we have to help the defense out and keep the off the field and find a way to get first downs. Get some plays down field and get into the end zone. That was the gist of it."

Defense wearing down - "Eventually, yeah. That is what happens to your defense if you continually have to come back out there you get worn down. I felt like our defense did a good job out there today and when you are doing that very play eventually you will get tired. A few of our guys have been hurt so we don't have that depth. Because we don't have depth , when they got tired it showed."

On the defense the first half - "I thought our defense was good through three quarters. A couple of times missed tackles hurt us, but we were better at making tackles in the open field. I felt like we did a good job against (Austin Seferian-Jenkins), he is their guy who they try to get the ball to. I thought our defense played well, they really kept us in it, we just couldn't capitalize."

On Christian Powell's performance - "I think he has shown what he is capable of all year. He can keep the defenses honest. I thought he ran the ball well, he missed a play here or there but he will continue to learn. Christian has been a good physical runner for us all year and has moved the pile."
Colorado Players

DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe:

On the emotions of losing - "Losing hurts. I don't think there is a guy in the locker room who isn't hurting. We just have to work hard to try to send our seniors out the right way."

On the mood at halftime - "We felt good after the Washington State, we knew we were capable of coming back. I feel like we don't pay attention to what the score is at halftime. We just know we have to come out ready for the next half."

On if it's a good sign holding UW in the first half - "Definitely. I felt like in the first half we set the standard on defense. Next week that is something we are going to have to hold ourselves to. We know we are capable and Washington is a good offense, but we are capable of holding teams to a touchdown in the first half. I just feel like we now have a standard and that is something we have to go off of."

On if the defense got tired in the second half - "We don't get tired out there. Playing in this altitude is an advantage for us. Tired is not something that we were."
TB Donta Abron:

On their offensive struggles - "Our defense played well today. Offensively we have to make plays. Washington has a good defense but we just have to find a way to make plays."
FS Ray Polk:

On Utah - "Utah is a good team. And so is Washington we found out today. This week hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and go into Utah with a little bit of steam and do some good things."


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