VIDEO: UW OC Jonathan Smith - California

Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith spoke to the media Wednesday, September 23, about the Huskies' upcoming game versus Cal. He talked about his in-game communication with Jake Browning, the run game, the growing offensive line, and more.

Any cause for optimism and improvement in the run game? - "I think it's definitely a work in progress. There's some things when you turn on the film where, oh man if we could have just done this or if this one guy would have done that. It's definitely a group effort in the run game. It starts up front, backs hitting the holes and really the perimeter players, the tight's a group effort. We're making an emphasis on it and we defenitely have to get better."

You got an explosive out of your running back. Do you consider that a run play? - "Not really. We're not counting that. We want to be able to hand the ball to the back and he gets some tough yards and then be able to explode sometimes."

How much better is Cal's defensive group compared to what you saw last year? - "They're better. They're definitely better. They are playing with some confidence, doing a great job of getting some turnovers. And that just feeds exactly what they want. They can score some points, obviously, and they are getting some turnovers. So they are definitely better than last year."

Coach Petersen said last year's 31-7 win at Cal was an outlier. Do you agree? - "Yeah. Outlier in regards to how them and how it went? They had the hiccup there at the goal line, we turn that into seven points, and they never really recovered from it. We're counting on getting a four-quarter battle. They are never going to be out of this thing. Offensively we've got to be effective because we're not going to win this game 10-7."

What did you see with regard to the chemistry and cohesion of the new offensive line after watching the Utah State tape? - "There were some good things, especially in the pass protection. We definitely expect some growth there. We're playing the same five guys next to each other, hopefully get some cohesion. We need that to take place."

What kind of tempo can you set with a young group of linemen like that, and can it have an impact on the game trying to keep the other offense on the bench? -  "Yeah, we want to possess the ball, there's no question. At the same time we want to be able to change the tempo at times. We are playing a lot of guys, a lot of different groups going in and out, so you're not going to go all that fast. We want to be able to change it and play a lot of guys."

Can you talk about the mechanics of communication between you and Jake Browning during the game? - "What really takes place, after the series ends he'll go over, maybe get a splash of water and then comes over and gets on the actual headset. We'll talk through the series, talk maybe a little about what we'll do next. And then what he saw on plays and what I saw on plays - making sure we're on the same page."

What's your take on how he's seeing things out there on the field? - "I think he sees it pretty good, I really do. He's got a nice feel for the game, he sees leverages, sees coverages. For a guy who's started three games and is 19 years old, I think he sees it really well."

Are we going to see more of the Jeff Lindquist package? - "We'll always kind of tweak that. There will be times and places where you'll see that. Jeff did some good things. Again, our run game in general wasn't there. And this was really his first time back. He's been banged up. We'll continue to see some of that."

Will we start to see a dedicated Dwayne Washington package now? - "We've got packages for everybody. No. Dwayne, he's our back. Myles is our back. Those guys will rotate through. Hopefully Dwayne continues to play as well as he is overall. He was awesome in protection; obviously he's catching the ball great, and we'll get him going in the run game."

Do you feel like you can exploit the pass-catching ability of Washington even more? - "I think it would be tough to be more, he's going for a decent amount right now. We've got some other guys we'd like to see the ball going to. But we're pleased where he's at in the pass game." Top Stories