Dawgman Insider Blog: WSU (UPDATED WEDNESDAY)

The Washington Huskies (7-5 overall, 3-5 Pac-12) cap the 2014 regular season with the annual Apple Cup, Saturday night in Pullman versus Washington State (3-8, 2-6). Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. and the game will air live to a national audience on FOX Sports 1.

11:08 am
Chris Petersen Video
11:21 am
Pete Kwiatkowski Video
11:21 am
Chris Strausser Video
11:20 am
Jaydon Mickens Video
11:19 am
Jonathan Smith Video
11:19 am
Jeff Choate Video
11:18 am
Bob Gregory Video
10:32 am
Washington State Weekly Football Media Release - Apple Cup
10:29 am
Washington State Depth Chart Released
5:30 pm
Complete Coach Pete Show Notes - Apple Cup
Bob brought in the show talking about what he thought may have been the best performance of the year - a 37-13 win over OSU. Pete said the kids came back strong, shook off the UA loss and he felt they have gotten better the last couple weeks. Arizona is a heck of a team. Our guys went toe to toe with them. Made some strides there. And it carried into the next week.

Bob talked about OSU coming in high after beating ASU. Played sound bite of Kikaha’s sack on the first play of the game. Applause. Mannion glad he doesn’t have to play UW anymore. He hasn’t had any success against UW. Pete said it was interesting OSU going after Hauoli that first play with the back cutting him. Gave him the ‘limp leg’ and that was it.

Hauoli is the national leader in sacks. He’s a technician. Pete said the thing most don’t know about him is that he’s so passionate about it. Not just practice, but watching tape, training room, the extra work in the weight room. He is into the details of the position and all that adds up. He’s not the biggest or fastest guy - just really good at his craft.

Bob highlights Mickens’ touchdown to give UW a 7-0 lead, the start of a night of big plays. More applause. 54 yard play to get the party started. Set the tone on defense, then on offense. Pete said it was nice to get the passing game on track. Cyler dialed in and had urgency in the pocket. Set his feet and knew where he was going. Hope he can build on it.

Bob let people know that Pete’s first question at his press conference was about the Apple Cup. Pete said he wanted to talk about the OSU win instead. Can’t win around here, wanted to talk about the game they just played. More applause at the media’s expense.

Bob brought the show back talking about how UW is 7-5 after their OSU win, heading into a 7:30 Saturday night game in the Palouse. UW now bowl eligible. Pete said it’s great they get another opportunity to play one more time together, give the young kids more work, and have a bowl experience. Said one of the nice things at Boise is that they bounced around to a number of different bowls, and that was cool.

Bob talked to Micah Hatchie about being bowl eligible. Hatchie said it’s five years in a row bowl eligible, so they’ve been to a bowl every year. Pete said guys like Micah, even though he’s a man of few words, you can tell they appreciate it. It’s not easy playing in this conference.

Bob went back to talking about Miles, what it was supposed to look like. Pete said it was efficient. Said they looked at the QB rating, and knew it was going to be well above 150. Bob said it was closer to 190. Anything over 150 means efficient football.

Big Guy in the crowd with a statement. Said there’s someone in Ballard that wants to sponsor the question, but it has to be translated into Norwegian. Pete said he might have a little Norwegian blood in him, but that’s as far as it goes. Then they talked about Lutefisk. His question: what about the academic accomplishments for this senior group? Pete said 90-95 percent have already graduated or will graduate this quarter. Those that are true seniors may need the spring quarter, but they’ll all graduate. It goes hand-in-hand, playing good football, going to bowl games, and having good academics. It creates a great foundation for the program.

Bob said a lot of coaches give lip service to academics, but Pete is an educator. Very vigilant about it. Pete agreed and he’s not pounding his chest when he said a lot of coaches are into the lip service. Just stay eligible. He knows how the education changed his life and doing it for 20-plus years and seeing so many kids who had no interest in school but along the way it caught fire with them too. He said he didn’t like school. If he didn’t have football, probably wouldn’t have stayed into college. That’s why it’s so important, because it meant that much to him. Need to make connections and become a life-long learner. They know the kids’ GPA’s and make sure they are all in class. One of the reasons he wanted to come to UW, because of the power of the university. Passionate about it. Applause.

Bob talked about time management and how the players have so much to do. The outreach through the AD and the support systems in place is impressive. If you show up, you’ll end up with a degree. Pete said if you’re a recruit and you go on official visits, they’ll all tell you about how great their academics are, but at UW they actually walk the walk. Led by Kim Durand they have an impressive group that truly have the best support structure in place in college football. If kids come here thinking it’s going to be a struggle to just go to school, this place isn’t for them. This place deserves better and there’s enough kids out there to get the right players that will get the maximum benefit of everything UW has to offer.

Bob brought the show back talking about how there’s two games left in the 2014 season - Apple Cup and bowl game. Audience question, Steve - Great win, one of the coolest moments of the game was when Drew Schultz made a tackle and the bench went nuts. Talk about the walk-ons. Pete said over the years it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Hate to refer back to BSU, but they had 3-4 walk-ons that ended up in the NFL. In his time there, over 30 ended up on scholarship. You miss evaluations, but think they have the intangibles to get it done. Listened to Bill Snyder, and he had 27 guys on his travel roster that were walk-ons at one point. Can be such a huge part of your program. If you get the right guys in your program, it may not matter if they are on scholarship or not. And Drew in particular, he works as hard or harder than anyone else, and he’s on scout team. He’s passionate about UW Football. He does everything right, will get his degree, and he just works. When the team sees a guy like him that’s all about what they are about, they appreciate it. Applause.

Pete said that Jeff Choate was going to put him in regardless, and Drew chased the guy down, which caused the bench to erupt. They were happy to see it.

Bob brought up award talk. Shaq Thompson finalist for the Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football. But why isn’t Danny Shelton on Awards lists? His stats for his position are out of this world? Is there a better interior defensive lineman in the country than him? Pete said it’s a great question and he doesn’t know who votes for those awards and if they even watch tape. If they put the tape on of him, Pete knows the respect Shelton has from the coaches in the conference. He’s built to take two players. Add to it his ability to pursue outside the box, it’s incredible.

Bob brought up the OL tweaks and the move to center from Mike Criste. Colin Tanigawa sound bite: said the snaps got into his head a little bit in terms of the accuracy. Good move to go to guard and have Mike handle the snaps. Pete said that the one thing that’s interesting is how much there’s assumed about certain positions and how just a little misstep can cause such big problems. With snapping, you have to snap and move at the same time, sometimes two men over. It can be really hard. Might snap 75 times and 70 are good, but those five that aren’t can be the difference in the game. Mike has been a solid center and the kids care tremendously. Good move by Strausser, and it wasn’t a big deal because they did that last year.

Bob asked about Strausser as the OL coach. Pete said he’s a real pro. If people knew anything about the line coaches, 80 percent were probably OL in college. Big, loud, emotional guys. Strausser is none of those guys. He’s Pete’s size, former QB. Great educator, great teacher. Sarcastic sense of humor, but at the end of the day he always has good offensive lines.

Bob brought the show back asking about special teams players - Cameron Van Winkle - leading Pac-12 kicker at 19-22. Applause. Pete said it’s obvious he’s a good kicker. Didn’t know too much about him coming in but when he came back from his back injury and got him healthy, fall camp you could tell the ball jumped off his foot and he was accurate. Nice thing is that his practice performances have translated into the games. He’s very conscientious about it and his best kicking is ahead of him.

Bob then brought up Korey Durkee. 43 punt return yards against UW on 56 punts. Pete said a lot of that is their style, which could be a little ugly. It can go a lot of different places depending on what they are trying to do. Easier to sit in the pocket and hit those big spirals, but in truth that’s what you want as a returner. Whole thing is to not give a returner a chance to return, which means ugly kicks. And it’s complicated. Punting game, for the most part, has been solid.

Bob brought the show back in talking Apple Cup. Started in 1900, 1962 is when it became officially the Apple Cup. It divides the state. He asked Pete about rivalries. Pete said as the years went on, everyone decided they were BSU’s rival. For the most part it was Idaho, but they stopped playing the last couple years. 2001 was the first year he was at BSU, and he had lunch with boosters, and they said if you win one game, it’s Idaho. So you’re good with just winning one game? No, but if it ends up only one game, that’s the game you better win.

Bob mentioned how all the differences get magnified this week. Pete said it’s great for the fans. The players know it and they’ll play as hard as they always play. Do really think the records don’t matter. You’ll get WSU’s best shot and that’s what a rivalry game is all about.

Bob said it wasn’t long ago when you would get Rivalry Saturday and that would be the day - not anymore. Kind of miss it. Pete agreed. Watching USC-UCLA and wondering why would they play it now? The majority of rivalries will be this weekend, but it would be cool to get them all this weekend.

Bob said Pete will definitely get an earful once he gets to Martin Stadium. Pete said with the BSU-UI rivalry, Kibbie Dome wasn’t that big anyway, but a lot of BSU fans wouldn’t go to Moscow because of the way they were treated. So there would always be talk back and forth about how back each fans’ behavior was. Laughs.

Bob brought the show back talking about 7-5 Dawgs facing the 3-8 Cougars. Could be cold. Pete said he could be the coldest guy anyways, he’ll probably have 10 layers on. But the players won’t be affected. Have a beautiful indoor facility, but the players would rather be outside practicing.

Bob asked about pass defense. WSU averages 66 passes a game. Pete said it could be more than that. They run a lot of plays because they convert third downs. Very unique style and it’s a challenge because you don’t see it a lot. Can’t reinvent your defense so you have to make due. Leach good at recruiting and coaching QB’s. Falk comes in and no drop-off from Halliday. He looks like he’s been in that system four years.

Bob asked about Mike Leach. Pete said he’s gotten to know him and enjoys talking to him and what he has to say. Very smart guy, definitely thinks differently than most.

Bob mentioned what to expect from WSU. Pete said they have one of the better d-lines in the conference and UW will have their hands full on both lines.

Bob wishes Pete good luck and Pete thanked the crowd for being there all year and to Bob for his time.

End of show.

2:23 pm
Chris Petersen Full Press Conference Video
1:34 pm
Andrew Hudson Video
1:34 pm
Hauoli Kikaha Video
1:33 pm
Evan Hudson Video
1:32 pm
James Atoe Video
1:31 pm
DiAndre Campbell Video
12:55 pm
UW Weekly Football Media Release - Apple Cup
12:55 pm
Washington Depth Chart Released for Apple Cup
In case you forgot what Washington and Washington State are playing for, here’s a reminder:

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