USA TODAY Sports

AUDIO: Bryan Harsin on UW/BSU Game

Sunday was the lone opportunity for the Washington media to speak with Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin before the Huskies travel to Boise for their Friday tilt with the Broncos. Harsin talked about dealing with the Huskies' starting quarterback dilemma, his relationship with Chris Petersen, and what aspects of Petersen's program philosophy he's stuck with over the years.



On if Washington’s quarterback situation influences his game plan “No it doesn’t. That’s there decision to be made. They have a guy that has played before and started last year that’s got experience. You’ve got to assume it might be one of those young guys if they want to keep it a secret because you have a guy that’s not a secret. But that doesn’t change for us. That’s for them to decide, you know, what they want to do. We’re going to have to prepare a football game for their offense. Whatever they decide to run out there last minute to direct it, that’s fine.”

On Ryan Finley “His operation of the offense and his execution of it, that’s what it comes down to number one. His preparation going into practices and the way that he’s put himself in position each practice to go out there and understand what we’re trying to accomplish, and I think the leadership aspect of it has shown up as well. He had a chance to play a little bit last year and that’s one thing, he’s played. When it was time to make that decision, I think it’s important for your football team to know who the quarterback is to avoid all that distraction, that’s what we decided to do.”

On if it will be awkward or strange to see Chris Petersen on the opposing sideline “It’s not awkward, it’s different. I think that’s part of this profession. You choose to leave a place, and it doesn’t always work out the way you play it in such a short time afterwards once you’re gone, but it is what it is. I’m not really focused on what I see from the coaching staff on the other side of the field, I’m focused on the players and us going out there to do our best in the game. That’s really all that we’re concerned about. It’s just our football team and how we go out there and we compete and we do the things we talked about in fall camp. I want to see our team have success because they’ve worked really hard and you’ve got a connection with your players and I want to see them be successful.”

On his experience of working with Coach Petersen “It was a great experience to work with (Coach Petersen) and Dan Hawkins and to be in that environment and then to continue on as a tight ends coach and work beside him and then to be his coordinator as the head coach. I’ve always appreciated that. I’ve said it many times, I’ve been very fortunate to be around good people and he’s one of those people. He’s helped me develop in this profession as a coach and what I believe and philosophies and different things like that, just like Mack Brown did when I had a chance to be around him. When you’re around good people you really take that as a blessing and that’s exactly what we did. That experience for myself and those who have coached with him has been very positive and we’re very appreciative of that.”

On what directly influenced his philosophy that he learned from Coach Petersen “Well, I think, there’s a lot. I think there’s a way of doing things, and I know that’s vague, but it applies to our program, and I found that to be something that I really appreciated about Coach Petersen. There’s a way he did things and a process. As a young coach you got a chance to see that and you saw the type of success he had from how he did do things. If you’re smart, you adopt those principles into your coaching philosophy. There have been a lot of those along the way and that’s not just in one year, him in general that’s something that has changed year-to-year and over time as he’s developed. I think his development when he was a head coach helped pave the way for his assistant coaches, and myself included, to continue to keep growing. He was growing, we were growing, and that was probably the one thing that was most beneficial for me. Every year I felt that I was improving and getting better. I’ve always appreciated and felt like that was a key ingredient to the success that we’ve had.”

On the biggest advantage Boise State has as a home team “I don’t know if there’s any single one. Boise State has had success at home. I believe that has to do with the atmosphere that is created here on game day. I think it has to do with the belief of being on that blue field and what all of that means and everything that goes with it. I think that, not just for the players, but the coaches included. It’s not just one thing. Boise State is different. I think we’re unique in a lot of ways. We have a blue field. I think the way we do things here is just different and there’s not an understandable way of explaining that other than when you’re in it you know.”

On how the process still feels the same as when Coach Petersen was in Boise and how Bryan Harsin has made his impact on the process “I think the process, I would say in 2015, is the same only because the process is always evolving and we’ve evolved. Part of the process is changing and evolving and growing. As far as that goes, that hasn’t changed. That’s probably one thing that I hope that I brought is every year we’re evolving. We’re developing a new football team. We’re developing a new staff. There are changes. People change, so does the process. I believe that’s a big part of what we’re doing right now. I think that’s something that I feel that I believe in and hopefully I brought. But, again, we are talking about two people right now and there are a lot of people in this program and assistant coaches that make this thing go, and I don’t want to make this about two people deciding everything. We’ve got new faces here and they’ve done a tremendous job. I learn a lot from them too. That’s a big part of the process as well.”

On if he thinks this matchup being the first of the year is beneficial to both sides “No, I wouldn’t say that. I guess when it’s done, but right now no. We’re looking forward to it. I don’t want to get it over with. I want to play. I want our guys to play. I understand the storyline behind it and all that, but I think we would be discrediting all the work our players have done to prepare to go play in this game. I want them to play. I want them to enjoy it. It’s about them. There’s going to be 22 guys on that football field from both sides that are going to be competing their tails off and giving everything they’ve got. That’s what it’s about. So those three and a half hours, absolutely not. I want them to enjoy every minute of it, and once it’s over, then we’ll move on to the next opportunity after that.”

On if he believes the build up of this game has exceeded the hype “I think there’s an obvious storyline behind it. It’s the first game. I think the build up about it is six years of not playing at home and being in all of these kickoff classic games. So, yeah, there’s more excitement of ‘we’re going to open up on the blue. How awesome is that?’ I think most people are really looking forward to that. But, you know, every game we play here is important. This one, this is the most important game there is because it’s the next one, and that’s really how we look at it. So, as far as that goes, yeah, in Boise State history this is the biggest game because it’s the first game of the 2015 season and that’s all we are focused on right now. That’s what our players and our coaches have been looking forward to. It happens to be with somebody that has been on this coaching staff, and other coaches. But, player wise, this is all we’re focused on.”


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