Dawg Blog - Arizona (UPDATED: 10:38 am 11/13)

Washington (6-4 overall, 2-4 Pac-12) travels to the desert to take on Arizona (7-2 overall, 4-2 Pac-12) Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. MT/12:30 p.m. PT game in Tucson. The game will air nationally on FOX television. The 1:30 p.m. MT kickoff is the earliest for the UW in Tucson since 1999. The Wildcats are ranked 17th in the latest AP Top 25 and No. 18 in the coaches’ poll.

10:38 am
Chris Petersen Video
11:31 am
Keith Bhonapha Video
11:30 am
Brent Pease Video
11:30 am
Jonathan Smith Video
12:39 pm
Dante Pettis Video
12:38 pm
John Ross Video
12:36 pm
Pete Kwiatkowski Video
12:36 pm
Danny Shelton Video
12:35 pm
Jimmy Lake Video
5:29 pm
Coach Pete Show Complete Notes

Bob brought the show in talking about UW's 44-30 loss to UCLA and looking ahead to Arizona. Game didn't live up to the great weather. UCLA played well. Pete said that they are all good teams they are playing right now. Saw it coming. If you don't come out for four quarters, there's no chance. First half not playing how they can play and it showed up.

Bob wondered if Pete was wondering where his team was. Energy was good pre-game but second week in a row slow out of the blocks. Pete said it's strange, especially at home. But poor field position was a problem and then they hit the bomb - that didn't help. They were mad at half and that helped, but need to get going a lot earlier.

Bob asked about halftime - Pete said it's more about teaching and he was surprised at how mad guys were - said he hadn't been in too many locker rooms like that. But they came out focused and played well.

Bob asked if they thought it was over at half. Pete said all they can do is win the second half and hold them to as few points as they can, and they did a good job of that. Few things jumped out - don't want to give them easy points. Young guys in there, that can happen. Have to make them earn it. Deep pass was painful. Their quick game was too easy for them. Need to tighten that up. And have to score more touchdowns and less field goals in the red zone.

Bob talked about having a daycare in the secondary. Couldn't remember a time when three true frosh started in the back. And John Ross too. He doesn't have a lot of coaching there. Don't want to make excuses for it, but when you're playing a big-time school with a big-time QB, you learn fast. Nothing more painful than to have to talk a lot about this and it comes off as make excuses. Just want to play well and not have to explain it and have it come off as excuses.

Bob brought the show back talking about the UCLA loss. At the same time Arizona beat CU, but it was closer than the final score. 1:30 MT start Saturday for the UW/UA game. Decent weather, not too hot. Supposed to be around 75 degrees.

6-4 overall, 2-4 in Pac-12, all conference losses to ranked teams. Pete said it doesn't get easier with UA. Good team. Offense they throw for about 300 a game, upper 100's in rushing, and they are scoring points. Originators of 'go fast' football. Big challenge for the defense. On defense they run a 3-3-5 stack defense, haven't seen much of it. Good against the run. Big challenge. Guys are banged up - have to rally.

Bob talked about Hauoli Kikaha's injury - game really changed when he went out with a stinger. Pete said they felt his loss right away. Only got one other sack later in the game, and when a QB like Brett Hundley can sit back and dictate the game it makes things hard.

Bob said pre-game weren't sure whether Hundley was going to impact the game more with feet or arm, but he thought Hundley had one of his best days passing. Pete said similar situation this week with Anu Solomon. He can throw but can also scramble while eyes are still downfield. Isn't just a runner, but ran for over 100 yards against CU.

Bob said that Kikaha was practicing today and Pete confirmed they are expecting Hauoli to be ready but you never know. Looking at the depth chart, couple things stood out - Shaq at LB, and Ross as a starting CB. Pete said they'll see how the week goes, but they need to give the defense some help. Quite a dilemma to try and see where they can help out the most.

Bob brought up Shaq - 100 yards on 16 carries. Physical runs, took a lot of punishment. Pete said he's a tough guy, fun to watch him play on both sides of the ball, just to watch him play football. Needs to keep it up, no matter where he ends up playing.

Bob ran a sound bite of Cooper saying Shaq is a Heisman candidate. Expect to see him start on defense. Pete said it's not an easy fit. It could be week to week, day to day, in the middle of the game. But one guy he wants to point out is Cooper. That guy was close to not playing numerous times and even in spring he was pretty banged up. But he's amazing. Always asking what he can do to help. With him and Shaq, it's a 1-2 punch. So proud of him and can't say enough about him.

Bob brought up his catch and run for 36 yards, should have been 60-plus without a penalty. Pete said he's probably been around him when he's had a bad day, but wouldn't know it.

Bob said he was talking to Damon Huard about another RB quite like Shaq. Asked the audience...Corey Dillon. And also watching Marshawn Lynch with the Hawks. Can certainly see him doing it in the NFL. He asked Pete if he reminded him of anyone. Pete said that there was a guy at Oregon named Reuben Droughns. Similarly, had some good RB's at Boise State, but the guy he reminds him of is Jay Ajayi. Shaq may be a little thicker, but similar style. It can wear defenses down, especially if you have a 1-2 punch. Scat backs are good too, but there's something about a bigger back that really gets things done.

Bob brought the show back with a question from Gary - what techniques do you use for tackling this late in the season because you don't tackle live? Pete said they do tackle, but they'll do some open field, live, but won't take players down to the ground. They'll do live tackling with bags, etc... It's all about your feet and eyes right. If you can get a piece of them, clamp down on them. Only thing they really aren't doing is not taking down to the ground, so it's not full speed, live tackling. But at this point they'd lose guys for the games if they did that. Whole other topic: Trying to change the way they tackle from being high tacklers to low tacklers. Guys have been engrained since Pop Warner ball to tackle up high, and those are the ones players miss now. But when you go low, they are much better. Taught trying to get your head across the body. Need to tackle better, and when they use these new techniques they'll be better. But it has to start at the lower levels, if for safety's sake.

Bob asked how much time does Pete spend with coaches to get that message across? Pete said that in the spring they'll have a HS clinic. This year was the first year, but next year it'll be bigger with a lot of HS coaches speaking and other guest speakers. He's also a speaker through Nike and will also go speak if he has the time. He talks about how guys should be tackled these days and what the techniques should be like. If you're a parent and your son wants to play and all you're hearing about is brain trauma, you don't do it. But if it's coached from the youngest ages properly, the head can be taken out of it. He said in his next life he wants to just coach the little guys. Lots of great youth coaches. When he was in Boise, they had a youth football organization that fielded more than 5,000 players. It was amazing.

Bob said, as a parent, would Pete want to have his sons play? Pete said he saw what his Dad went through as a player. His whole neighborhood always played youth football. Dad wouldn't let him play and he wouldn't talk to him for a month. Finally let him play when he was 12 or 13. Within two weeks he broke his arm. Could hardly go home and look at him because he was right. Pain in arm was nothing compared to talking to him about it - even though he was great about it. But to answer it, it would all have to do with the coaches coaching his sons. You have the little league, win-it-all mentality, and that's scary. He broke his arm in a head-on tackling drill - no one does that anymore. But the Seahawks have been talking about it too. Rugby tackling is the next phase. If you tried to football tackle in rugby, high tackling - you're thrown out of the game. But they've talked with guys like Rocky Seto from the Hawks and with rugby guys too. That's the way it needs to head. It's safer, more efficient, and it'll help the game. And if it trickles down to the youth level, that's the way the game should be played.

Bob brought the show back with a John Ross highlight - 100-yard kick return. Only five 100-yard plays in UW history. Applause. Hadn't been done since Ross did it versus BYU. And Pete coaches the returners. Up to that point, UCLA had done a nice job bottling Ross up. Pete agreed. Half those returns they couldn't hold up. Good kick = good coverage. Good thing is they got one to midfield and one all the way back. So happy for John because they've had two called back. There's an art to it and he does a great job. Everyone was holding their breath, hoping for no flags.

Bob talked about how he wasn't sure Ross was going to get past the kicker - kicker was fast! Pete said that Ross is so fast sometimes it looks too smooth, but there wasn't a chance he was going to get beat.

Bob asked about the decision to dismiss Marcus Peters - Pete said those decisions are always hard and frustrating. You're there to help kids and be part of a team, but you get to a point where it's not going to work and you have to do something.

Bob said everything is driven by success - does a dismissal like that feel like a failure on the part of the system? Pete said he doesn't know all the history before he came to UW. He thinks he'll be a great pro and he'll still be in school. Talked to Marcus one time and he talked about being a coach - and his Dad is - so he needs his degree to do that.

Bob asked if there was anything he could do to come back? Pete said he talked to Marcus a couple days later and made peace with it - everyone is moving ahead.

Bob brought the show back with an online question from Mark: Frustrating to be 6-4, but is there a league more competitive and has more ranked teams than the Pac-12? Pete said he shares the frustration. They spend 24 hours a day trying to get it right and he thinks the Pac-12 is better now than its ever been. You get beat and nothing better than coming back and getting a win the next week, but you always have to bring your A game because everyone is really tough.

Bob said UA is fourth in the south and UW is fourth in the north, but they are 4-2 and UW is 2-4. Pete said it's cyclical. South is good, but it'll change.

Bob mentioned UA's impressive on both sides of the ball. Mentioned Scooby Wright. Pete said he's an old-school football player. Cool name, but he backs it up with good play. Fun to watch when you're not playing him. Tough, hard-nosed player. Lives, sleeps, breathes it.

Bob talked about how their offense will stress UW. Big receivers going up against UW's inexperienced DB's. Pete said they also have great RB's. It's a tough combination.

Bob talked about their young, smaller RB's, and Pete said height at RB is overrated. Smaller, more compact RB's can certainly cause problems too, like trying to find them for starters.

Bob brought the show back talking about UW heading to the desert trying to get the upset. Supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny at kickoff. Recent trips to the desert haven't gone well - Pete said they don't need to talk about that.

Three games left in the regular season - what do you want to accomplish? Pete said they can still do some good things and get to a bowl game and win a bowl game - all those things are important. Want to be playing your best ball at the end of the season, but easier said than done - especially with injuries and the like - but you'd like to be progressing.

Bob said a seventh win will get them to a bowl - Pete said they'll take it one game at a time and want to keep progressing. Making some strides, but some of the injuries have set them back. On offense running the ball fairly effectively. Pass game is still very frustrating. On defense if they can keep Shaq there and Kikaha healthy and the DB's dialed in they can play well.

Bob asked what can Shaq give them on defense they haven't had the last couple weeks? Pete said there's the physical presence, but also the intangibles - like leadership and the like

Bob wished Pete good luck this weekend.

End of show.
2:00 pm
Chris Petersen Video
1:19 pm
Chris Petersen Press Conference Notes

—- Said on the injury front Hau'oli Kikaha was "running around today" and that if he keeps progressing, he should be able to play this weekend. Most others are progressing, but not sure on them.

-- Said the redzone offense is critical to UW. They need to get touchdowns.

-- Said the team needs to get better at protecting the QB.

-- Said that he doesn't necessarily want the QB to keep the ball more, but said Miles carries the ball a "decent amount" and it isn't a big concern if he should be keeping it more. Said that he might have one or two per game where they could say he should have kept it, but right now he's making good decisions for the most part.

-- Said they want to continue to see what John Ross can do at CB so he'll continue to get his reps there.

-- Said Shaq Thompson will start at LB this week and get some reps at RB as well.

-- Said he knows the fans have some angst and that they are passionate about the program and he wants them to know they care about the fans and that they are trying to be the best team they can be.

-- Said Lavon Coleman is ready to go.

-- Said the team just needs to get better.

-- Said they need to make more plays.

-- Said the team needs to get back to work, keep battling. Monday:
12:35 pm
Deontae Cooper Video
12:34 pm
Evan Hudson Video
11:14 am
UW Weekly Football Release - Arizona
11:09 am
UW Depth Chart Released for Arizona

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