VIDEO: Washington Nose Tackle Elijah Qualls - USC Trojans

Washington Defensive Tackle Elijah Qualls talks USC Trojans Sunday with the press. The sophomore spoke about keeping up with the expectations laid by former Husky Danny Shelton and his teammates, as well as the bye week, playing on Thursday night, and similarities to what he expects from USC Thursday compared to the offense former Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian ran at Washington.

On which NFL team he keeps up with “Actually when I grew up, Shaun Alexander was one of my favorite running backs growing up so I’m actually a Seahawks fan. My pop warner team was the Buccaneers so I’ve got some love for them and a little love for the Eagles too. Those three teams, those are my teams. Of course any time I can watch one of my teammates play I’m definitely going to watch them play so I flip around. I talk to Danny Shelton. If he’s making a good play I congratulate him, but if he doesn’t then I’m definitely going to be on his head about it. Every time after one of my games I ask him if he got to see it and if he has any feedback as far as what I can do better. I definitely always try to watch them play.”

 

On how much he stays in contact with his former teammates “Yeah. I was cool with Marcus Peters, cool with John Timu, all those guys. I definitely keep in contact with Danny (Shelton) more because I was around him more. Kasen Williams, we got close a little bit and so he’s definitely a guy I keep in contact with a lot. As far as following each other on Instagram and stuff like that, Snapchat and stuff like that, as far as that yeah I’m in touch with most of them.”

 

On how good the bye week felt after being on the field for so long against Cal “After the game I was a little frustrated that we couldn’t pull out the win, but when I woke up that next day I definitely felt it. I stayed in bed for a good hour, two hours just lying down. I was so sore I could barely move. I actually had to get momentum to get myself up. I definitely needed that bye week after that.”

 

On what he’s seen from USC “They’ve got a lot of big linemen. Their smallest lineman is their center but he’s by far the most athletic and I guess he’s considered one of the best centers in the country. They’ve got a lot of talent across the board. It’s going to be a fight for sure, but we’re going to through everything we’ve got at them. We’re going to study film and do the best we can with what we have been doing, getting pressure on the quarterback, QB hits, movements, pressures, or just straight-up head-up winning your one-on-one.”

 

On playing on a Thursday night “Yeah, that’s going to be interesting for sure. It’s just kind of weird. Obviously, we’re starting ourTuesday practice on a Sunday, so that’s already kind of thrown me off, but I personally like having that changeup. Getting in the routine of things gets a little routine; you just kind of go through the motions and stuff like that. Being able to play on a Thursday night, it’s going to be a national game, so I actually like the switch up for that.”

 

On seeing coach Steve Sarkisian and Justin Wilcox on the other sideline “It’s going to be a little weird at first but my focus isn’t going to be their sideline, but the players on the field. It’s not going to really be a thing until maybe after the game.”

 

On if there are any similarities between USC’s offense and the UW offense under coach Sarkisian “A little bit. They’ve got different personnel. It’s a little different. They didn’t have the type of players that we did. Keith Price was different as far as running the offense, we didn’t have the rotations at running back that they did, their linemen are a lot bigger than ours were, we had more of an athletic o-line, so it’s definitely different. I personally don’t really see much of a similarity. (Coach Sarkisian) isn’t even calling the plays any more. It’s definitely different.”

 

On the biggest way the program has changed since the coaching change “Honestly just how close of a team we are, having a better mentality and a better buy-in. It’s all about buying-in and playing for each other, being teammates, and just having a better culture. Not just having a bunch of groups in the locker room, but being more of a team.”

 

On if Marcus Peters has made any plays yet today “No. He actually got beat on a play. I don’t know if it was a miscommunication, but Marcus (Peters) is doing good. Desmond Trufant had a pick-six today.”


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