Opening - “It’s about time. I want to start by saying, I really appreciate the fans that showed up here. I think this was the latest game that ever kicked off at Husky Stadium. Halloween Night, the weather is supposed to be really poor. It did cooperate with us a bit. I thought the fans made a difference. It was loud on first down. Really appreciate them showing up. Been waiting for this one.
“Thought it was a complete performance. I thought our defense was really, really good. Arizona, they have some firepower on offense, they really do. I thought we got some things rolling on offense. Balanced attack. Nice to see our pass game overshadow our run game a little bit. I thought our special teams did what we needed to do on a windy night. Pleased with all these guys. I think our team felt the urgency this week that we needed to get something done in a hurry.”
On the first half offense - “I think we finally scored a touchdown in the first quarter. I think that made everyone feel better. I think these kids, I’ve been saying it this whole time - they work hard. They really care. A lot of it has to do with them pressing and stumbling over ourselves sometimes. To get points on the board, I think made it ‘em breathe a little bit easier.”
How big was it to get Jake Browning back out there and playing? - “It was good, no doubt about it. Progressively got a little bit better during the week. Early in the week he was a little bit questionable. We didn’t think he was as far ahead, but then he kind of worked through it and did a great job. He played with toughness and made some plays.”
Is this the most comfortable and confident you’ve seen him? - “Yeah. As well as he played he still left a few things on the table that we were trying to get him to do - some little things that can make a big difference. But I think he’s getting more confident with each week. That’s one of the things we feel really good about; he has a really good command and a really good feel for what’s going on anyways. But I think each week - and certainly when we score some points - it’s going to make everyone feel a little more confident.”
On eliminating the mistakes that cost them the Arizona game last year - “We didn’t turn the ball over at all, which was huge tonight. And we got a bunch of turnovers. There were four or five? We tell our team that all the time; we did that a couple weeks ago ourselves, and you have very little chance of winning a game like that. Really proud of our offense to hang on to it, let alone create some things. And our defense…we always talk about creating turnovers. They’re not going to just give it to us. Every now and again they will, but I thought our defense was really physical. You could feel it on the field. They’ve been physical just about every game this year."
On why Washington has been able to hold down UA’s offense the past two years: “That’s a good question. I think our coaches are good game-planners and then the kids kinda get it and execute it. I don’t know exactly what it is other than guys playing really hard and being physical. Sometimes in those spread systems it’s hard to play really physical football because they create one-on-ones and it’s hard to get a lot of guys running to the ball, but we were able to do that tonight and if they made us miss there was there in a hurry.”
On if this is the most complete win of his tenure: “I’ve already forgot about last year, so it’s tough to go back there. Certainly this year it is. I’m proud of these guys because I think these kids really felt the urgency, like I said, earlier in the week. They get it. They know. Everybody saw our schedule in October and all of those really tough teams we were playing and I think we’ve made some progress there this month.”
On the secondary: “We didn’t tell our guys that (Arizona) had only thrown one pick, I don’t even know if they knew that and we didn’t want to plant that seed to those guys and we can out flying around and it was great. That was a great interception by Jojo (McIntosh). He covered a lot of ground and caught the ball like a receiver. That was impressive. We like those guys back there. Guys like Jojo McIntosh who hasn’t gotten a ton of playing time, but he’s a physical player, and now showing up, making plays on the ball. I think coach (Jimmy) Lake does a great job of coaching those guys and they were big tonight.”
On if he thought a game like this was possible from this team: “It’s hard to predict sometimes because I go into most of games thinking we’re going to really move the ball and do some things, but we just haven’t clicked the last few weeks, so to come out and play like a complete game, I’ve been expecting that for a while. The defense has been playing at a high level, but for whatever reason we haven’t really clicked on offense and got some things going tonight. That’s why my opening comment was ‘it’s about time’ that’s what we’ve been waiting for. We’ve seen it, we know how these guys practice, we know we have it in us. We’ve got some young guys that are inconsistent. It’s not a big thing, but those little things add up to big things and we stumble on ourselves so we’ve been waiting for this and hopefully we can build on it.”
On Elijah Qualls’ injury: “I don’t know. We’ll have to see tomorrow. At one point there was some talk to see if he could go, so I don’t really know what it is, so we’ll see.”
On the last drive of the second quarter: “Sometimes, when we go faster, Jake (Browning), in particular, seems to get into a rhythm and that kinda seems to be a little bit in his comfort zone so we’ve talked about doing that a little bit more.”
On the talk of dropping the hammer on Arizona at halftime: “It really was like I was hoping it would be (in the locker room). It wasn’t super emotional. I don’t know if you would have known if we were ahead or behind. We just came in there, talked about what we needed to do, nobody was in there jumping up and down and saying ‘okay, now we have to lay the hammer down’. We talked about what we needed to talk about, kids rallied it up. I think it was good because if you live and die every game on all of this emotion, you’re going to play up and down. I think the kids were really focused, just like they were the rest of the week.”
On the offensive line: “I know we’re making progress. There’s a few things out there, we got sacked a few times, they brought some different pressures and with that ‘stacked’ defense, they can bring a lot of different combinations, so they got us a couple of times. I don’t know if it was something we weren’t prepared for or if there were some physical breakdowns, we’ll have to look at that, but I do know that that crew is making some incremental steps and I think it’s going to be a good offensive line sooner rather than later.”
On Dwayne Washington: “He’s an explosive player. He catches the ball well. I think those throws to him were really good throws. They were touch throws where he ran right under them. Sometimes those are harder than they look. Both those kids, Dwayne and Jake, made them look easy and I don’t think they are and then we’ve said all along, if we can create some space for Dwayne, whether it’s the running game or passing game, he’s got the breakaway speed, so he’s a weapon we need to keep finding ways to get the ball to.”
On Travis Feeney: “Travis is one of those athletes who can match up against the spread offense pretty well. He has that range, that speed, where he can chase things down, he can redirect and he’s a physical player when he is focused and his mind is right and he was tonight and he played really well.”