Dawg Blog - UCLA (UPDATED: 11/7 4:13 pm)

The Washington football team (6-3 overall, 2-3 Pac-12) enters the final stretch of the season, a run that will see the Dawgs play alternating home and away games over the final four weeks. This Saturday, the Huskies play host to UCLA (7-2, 5-2) in a 4:00 p.m. game at Husky Stadium. The game will air live on FOX Sports 1.

4:13 pm
Dawgman.com Predictions - UCLA
12:28 pm
By-The-Numbers: UCLA
10:52 am
Chris Petersen Thursday Video
9:21 am
Instant Reaction: Peters Out At UW
11:19 am
Keith Bhonapha Video
11:14 am
DiAndre Campbell Video
11:13 am
Chris Strausser Video
11:13 am
Jonathan Smith Video
11:12 am
Jordan Paopao Video
11:30 am
Evan Hudson Video
11:29 am
Jimmy Lake Video
11:29 am
Jeff Choate Video
11:28 am
Bob Gregory Video
11:28 am
Pete Kwiatkowski Video
5:35 pm
Complete Coach Pete Show Notes —- Bob brought the show in talking about UW's win over Colorado last weekend. Early game, didn't start well, but ended well. Pete said give credit to CU; they play everyone tough. You can see they move the ball on everybody. They did what the coaches said they would and then the team woke up and played well the rest of the way.

Bob said he saw the team was up early but it took them a while to wake up on the field. Pete said you have to battle for all four quarters and make plays.

Bob talked about going down 10-0 early, but got a key TD going into half, and then it was all UW after that. Got contributions in all three phases, as well as scores. Pete said it's great when that happens and he's never been around a defense that gets the ball so many times and scores. The defensive coaches always talk about scoring and getting the ball back and the players are taking it to heart.

Bob talked about how they have 7 defensive touchdowns. Pete said when you add to it the variety of offenses they've seen so far this season, it's really impressive - especially when there's always things you can work on.

Bob brought the show back in talking about November football now. Five games this month, so far 1-0. Next up UCLA, ranked No. 18. Question from Rick: with all the good things at CU, third down percentage was poor (2-11). Do you have a target? Pete said the metrics aren't what they want them to be. They break it down into categories, like 3-1 or 2, 3-mid range, 3 and 10-plus. Want to be at 25 percent from 3-10 plus. Something they are looking at no question. Also the turnovers hurt. Very frustrating. Game nine and the snaps were hard to handle, the mesh was bad once - the ball comes out going into the end zone. Those things shouldn't be happening at this point in the season.

Bob brought up the point that CU ran 30 more plays than UW. Pete said they've been doing that to everybody. They've run over 100 a couple times. Their average is 88. Good at running those short passes and mixing in the runs. They do a good job of getting first downs, and that's hard on our defense. And when we turn the ball over, that's extra possessions.

Bob played a sound bite with Shaq's 41-yard screen pass. Pete said Shaq did a nice job of creating explosive plays all day long. They need that. It was good to get him out in space and he runs hard. But maybe his most impressive runs were the 4,5 yard runs inside because he was pushing the pile.

Bob mentioned how Shaq averaged over 11 yards a carry and listed his accomplishments Saturday, and Pete said that's impressive but it'll probably be tougher sledding Saturday, so they have to help him out.

Bob mentioned that Shaq isn't play defense because of the move, so he asked John Timu about missing him on defense. Timu said one man goes down another comes up, but they do miss him. Shaq has a running back test, he has LB test, so they can't talk together to pass the test.

Bob asked Pete how he'll use Shaq. Pete said it's a thought process. Want to be smart with him. Want to be fair to him. Want to help the team. He likes playing defense, doesn't not want to play over there. Pete said he wants to try to get him in there, but easier said than done. Game is really complex. Can't just prepare him a little bit and then just trot him out. Coordinators don't want to be handcuffed, and if a player hasn't repped something enough, it's hard.

Bob said does Shaq gain more on offense on the team than what they lose on defense? He thinks so, and Pete agrees. Running backs have been beat up and it's been a couple weeks so they are starting to come back. Coleman and Washington are good, explosive players and they want to get them back, but Shaq is just explosive, and good things happen when he's around the ball.

Bob brought up the Heisman talk. Pete said during his press conference and said that talk doesn't scare him at all and if anything it's great pub for the program. Pete said he scoffs at it sometimes because it's so political. The players are deserving, but maybe others are too. He said there are special players out there, but show him what Shaq can do in all three phases. He plays everywhere and does it really well. He's deserving of a lot of awards.

Bob asked Pete if he's ever been around as pure of a football player as Shaq...Pete said he just makes plays. He's tough, athletic, but a lot more to it. He understands the game. He gets it. You can put it on the board and he gets it all. That's makes it different than with anyone else he's been around.

Bob brought the show back in talking about bowl eligibility and how they need one more win. Is that a big deal? Pete said it's a big deal, but the bigger deal is going 1-0 this week. Have talked to the seniors already about this being one week at a time and playing their best and moving the needle and then reloading. Looking too far ahead doesn't work.

Bob asked Pete about how Cyler graded out at CU. Pete said he made some good plays and did some good things. When he sees things a little clearer they are going to get some things done. Had two good throws to Dante Pettis. Had a couple other things he could have gotten. Part of his game is running in the pass game. For guys that are young there, and he is, it's a fine line between going and hanging in the pocket. He's still learning that. He took off a couple times early when he had things downfield.

Bob asked about the down the line option. Pete said they've always had it, and more often than not. With Kellen Moore, he's the opposite of Miles. He wasn't going to run at all. He would hang until the last possible moment. Even with him they ran a little bit of it, but with a guy that can really run you can expand off of it.

Bob talked about the defense, played the soundbite of Feeney's pick-six. Good play by him, and Pete agreed. Really good play. If you're the QB Coach at CU, you read it inside out. Feeney leaned with the outside guy and came right back inside. He played it perfectly. Big time. Looks like Liufau threw it to him, but it was a really good play by Travis.

Bob asked about the guys stepping in for Shaq, like Bierria. Pete said Shaq is a leader out there, brings chemistry and it's hard to truly know if the LB's are stepping in without any drop-off. But the guys coming in are doing a nice job. Gregory is a good coach and they know what they are doing. There's no doubt that by putting Shaq in at RB you take something away at LB.

Bob asked about the passing attack. Pete said they've made some strides in the run game, now it's time to have the pass game catch up. Different animal in UCLA, who have stepped up their defensive game. Like where they are at and they need to do a few different things, but no doubt they need to throw the ball better.

Bob asked about Ross and Mickens. Pete said a lot of it is coverage based. When you're no huddle you have to play the guys that are out there. With Jaydon, he's an energizer bunny and he only caught one. He made a nice catch on his target. You see guys in practice, and Pettis is showing up in practice and it's showing up in the games. But there's a lot of other things that have to happen too - OL, QB have to do their part too.

Bob brought the show with the Pettis punt return touchdown. Dante Pettis with the inferno! All have been waiting for a punt return touchdown, first time in 11 years. Pete said it's amazing when you play the true freshmen. For them to come in and handle it and perform at such a high level is amazing. Got the kick they wanted, Choate had the call to the field. They kicked a line drive. Hayden Schuh had a great block where he got inside the player without using his hands, just shielded him, screened him. He did the same thing in practice. Josh Perkins knocked another guy down and Pettis was gone. Happened just like they practiced it.

Bob talked about how kickoff returns becoming less and less of a big deal anymore - and when they do happen your first instinct is to look for flags. Pete said they talked about this today. Watching Dante run down the sidelines and watching the players watching him...getting excited watching him run. He asked them whey they weren't excited? He said they might have been like him, looking for a flag. They've been preaching to them that they are so close, and some of the penalties you just shake your head at. Have to do a better job at your technique and they did just that.

Bob asked what it takes to be a great returner? - Pete said there's a natural instinct to it. Sometimes coaches make it too complicated. Ways you can see the spin to get a jump on it when you catch it, things like that. It's good to see him not just do well in practice and improving, but how that's translated to the field.

Bob said you have to be fearless too. Pete said yeah. Also said how frustrating it is as a guy who coaches returners - if he was coaching against UW he'd be pissed because they've tried hard to keep it away from the great returners. Next kick after the TD they shanked out of bounds. So as a returner you have to be patient, but also ruthless when you do get your chances - because you may not get many.

Bob talked about ex-Husky Jim Mora coming back to Seattle with UCLA. They might be wearing war paint and those traditional gray uniforms - but whatever they did it worked. Pete said they have some defensive tackles inside that are really good and the rest of them are athletic and play hard.

Bob said he chuckled earlier when Pete was asked about having Mora's 'Dream Job', but he's settled in nicely at UCLA. Pete said he should have said that he got his dream job too. Fans applaud. Pete said UCLA brings toughness to the table. They are a physical crew and Mora has put his stamp on it.

Bob asked about Brett Hundley, UCLA's QB. Pete said he stands in there and is strong in the pocket, but he can also really run. He's got a great feel for knowing where to run, has run for over 100 yards and that's hard to defend - backbreaking.

Bob said he's 240 and he'll try and run through you, different than Marcus Mariota. UCLA a trendy pick to be a Final Four team and have struggled a bit, but Pete said their two losses are to two very good teams and the league's so competitive. You have to show up with your A game and if you don't you won't win. Simple.

Bob brought the show back talking about how it's going to take a supreme effort to win Saturday. Pete said he's not sure the UW fans or Pac-12 fans understand that when a ranked team comes to town, it's the best of the best in the country. It takes an elite effort and it's cool when they are coming to your house and the players feed off the energy of the stadium.

Bob talked about the playoff and maybe it overshadowed being a top-25 team? Pete said he didn't know. It's never been about that for him anyway. Fortunes can change in one weekend, so it's never good to look too far ahead. Great for the fans, but not for the team. Week to week has always worked best for them.

Bob talked about how it's getting cold out there. Pete said the players want no part of going inside for practice, calls it 'Dawg weather'. Bob wishes Pete the best of luck for this weekend's game.

End of show.
4:28 pm
UCLA Weekly Media Release - UW
2:48 pm
Chris Petersen Full Press Conference Video
2:41 pm
Hauoli Kikaha Video
2:40 pm
John Timu Video
2:36 pm
Colin Tanigawa Video
1:32 pm
Chris Petersen Press Conference Notes -- Said he knows Shaq Thompson misses the defensive side, but he will play both offense and defense this coming week vs. UCLA.

-- Said they have to pick and choose spots for Thompson. Not overwhelm him and put him in a good position to succeed.

-- Said he's never been around as good of a football player as Thompson.

-- Said Andrew Hudson comes to work every day. Every detail matters to him.

-- Said Evan Hudson is as tough as they come.

-- Said Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington are "good to go".

-- Said Shaq has given them explosive runs and that's been nice.

-- Said one reason guys haven't been getting looks on offense has been practice. Working on things with Kasen Williams and John Ross. Dante Pettis is a guy who has shown up in practice and that's why he's getting game reps.

-- Said Darrell Daniels has had a back issue, but he's coming along. Said he hasn't gotten many reps in practice and that's why he's not playing much.

-- Said Shaq playing RB makes things thinner at LB. All of the LBs play special teams, so they have to be wary of that.

-- Said the issues with Williams and Ross in practice haven't been effort...they are banged up and hurt. They aren't able to get the reps right now to improve and that's what is so tough about getting them looks in games.

-- Said the team is making progress. Two steps forward and one step back at times. It's not unique to the UW football program. Appreciates that the players are working hard and feels they are making progress, but it's not going to happen right away.

-- Said he thinks UCLA is really good. Said he watches games here and there on TV and then sees the actual film and he sees how good they are.

-- Said UCLA is one of the better teams he's seen.

-- Said they have turned the ball over too much and haven't hit on any big gains. Said those are keys to beating ranked teams like UCLA. Said they must play consistent football to beat them.

-- John Ross at corner "We're always experimenting". Sounds like they wanted to see about getting another explosive guy on the field.

-- When asked about Shaq Thompson's Heisman Trophy chances, Petersen said he hasn't seen everyone play, but he's seen a lot and that there isn't a better football player out there than Shaq Thompson.

-- Said he felt James Atoe did a good job at RT and that they hope to have Dexter Charles back this week.
11:38 am
UW Weekly Media Release - UCLA
11:36 am
UW Depth Chart Announced for UCLA

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