VIDEO: UW Elijah Qualls Post-Game: BSU

Dawgman.com spoke post-game to Washington Nose Tackle Elijah Qualls after the Huskies lost a heartbreaker in their season-opener, a 16-13 loss to Boise State Friday night at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

On the d-line play “It’s not like last year where just the starting guys are the guys. We have depth. Vita Vea ended up being basically the starting nose tackle going out there on our first downs and they would shut down plays. Then me and Greg (Gaines) would roll in for our nickel packages. It’s not just one person making the plays. We all have a role and we play our roles well. Honestly that’s how most of the season is going to be, if not the whole season. I told him man, go down there, make those plays. I kind of had to reassure (Vita Vea) and get his mind, becausehe is a young guy, that your not coming after those plays because you’re doing bad. You’re coming out because you’re doing that good. You’re stopping them for TFLs or you’re plugging up the middle so that they can’t run the ball and that somebody else gets to make that play, so nickel gets to come on the field. Vita Vea, Greg Gaines, Taniela Tupou, out d-line honestly, the whole rotation, everybody that rolled in, like I said, they held their own and made plays, so I’m really happy for us.”

 

On the missed field goal “I had faith in Cam (Van Winkle). Honestly, I don’t mean to say ‘had,’ because I absolutely still do.  There might be a few games this year that might come down to tie it up or to win and I’m still going faith in him because I know that he has the talent, he has ability to make that 99 times our of 100. It was just of those kicks that ended up just being off. We all have faith in him. No one was mad. Everybody came to up to him after the kick and patted him on the head like ‘we’re behind you.’ We came to the locker room and told him ‘don’t even worry about it. We’re not mad at you for it. You’re going to win games for us and you’re going to get those points. So just keep you r head up, keep practicing. We’re all going to get back, we’re all going to grind. Kickers, d-lineman, offensive line, everybody, we’re all going to grind, get better and learn from what we did, the mistakes, see what we did well and hopefully repeat that’.”

 

On Jake Browning “He’s honestly tougher than I thought he would be. He broke a few tackles, when I saw guys coming down from the secondary and things like that, so that definitely impressed me. His poise, but then also his leadership that he showed. Kind of just going over there and every time we came out, especially in the second half, ‘we’re going to get you the ball back. We’re going to get you opportunities.’ Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get in the rhythm., but you know, that’s something that they’re going to have to go back to. I’ve got faith that the coaches are going to make adjustments, Jake is going to make adjustments, o-line is going to make adjustments. I have faith that they’re going to get the ball rolling. I’m not worried about tem. And defense, we’re going to keep stopping people, and hopefully not give up 16 points that easy, and start out the way we played that second half.”

 

On the adjustments the defense made in the second half “Some of the runs they were doing, they had tight splits. So what they were doing was basically like crashing down and bouncing runs outside because they knew we were hitting those hard. We had good run defense, especially in the middle. If someone was coming down hill, obviously we’re going to run and pinch it, so what they did was bounce it outside. So what we kind of did was tell the linebackers to slow play the run down hill since they ended up plugging up themselves by making their splits tight. So that’s what we did as far as that. And, man, just keep playing hard, turned up the energy, refocused ourselves and just got it all together and played our hearts out.”

 

On how he expected to play “Honestly the way we played the second half is how I expected it. Our youth showed. That’s going to happen. We didn’t have a lot of people that had started games before who knew what to do in situations or knew when to jump stuff or anything like that, so that’s something that showed. But, in another since, our youth showed. We were hungry, we were running to the ball, we were just fighting out there and scrapping every single play. I’m proud of our defense, honestly, I’m proud of them. I feel like, especially in the first half, we did really good. As far as the first half, we just have to turn it on.”

 

On Azeem Victor “I’m telling you, (Azeem Victor) is a beast. He’s going to be one of the best linebackers in the country, if not the best. Our linebackers Keishawn (Bierria), Azeem (Victor), Cory (Littleton), (Travis) Feeney, all those guys, I know they’re going to make plays. I know Azeem’s going to hit the hole hard, he’s not afraid to take on a guard and make the play in the backfield. So, you know what, I don’t mind taking on double, triple teams if he’s going to do that every single play, which I know he will.”


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