Petersen Continues to Heap Praise on PSU

Chris Petersen addressed the press one final time on Thursday before the Washington Huskies host the Portland State Vikings Saturday at Husky Stadium. He talked about their offense, defense, appreciation for their program, and more.

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How did it go this week with practice? - “I think it was pretty solid. Portland State creates some interesting challenges with this style of offense. They’ve been out there focused, working hard. It’s something new we haven’t seen, so it’ll be good to see how we show up on Saturday.”

You spent a year at PSU. Does that give you some appreciation for that type of program? - “Absolutely. I know the mindset. And they’re going to come down here and play extremely hard. They’re well-coached. They’re all big games, it doesn’t matter. Portland State, Washington…they’re all big games. We only get so many chances to play. I think both sides will be excited to play.”

Does their QB (Kuresa) remind you at all of Vernon Adams in terms of extending plays? - “Yeah, he does in terms of that. I think he’s very, very good. He’s tough to defend. I’m not sure if it’s throwing the ball or running the ball is what he’s best at when they’re in the pass game. When he’s back there, if he’s got a guy open he’ll throw it to ‘em. He can complete balls. But if it’s not he’s going to run and he’s really, really good at it.”

On their defense they’ve got D1 transfers and JC players. They have good size for an FCS team - “They do. And they have a nice blend of guys that have played at other places and come back and I think they play a tight style of defense where they’re trying to stop the run first and foremost. They get the safeties down in there, the corners are pressing most of the time. And then they’ve got a nice blitz package to go with it. Here we go again.”

So how much of the tape of their game at WSU did you have to put on to get your team’s attention? - “They already have our attention. That team beat Eastern Washington last year. Everybody knows about Eastern Washington - and they beat ‘em. They have our attention, without question.”

On defending the pistol offense - “It’s a good offense. In fact, we were running a decent amount of it at Boise State toward the end there. if you have the quarterback to go with it, which they do, it can be really, really difficult to defend. It’s not just lining up behind the quarterback in the shotgun. There’s a lot that comes with it in terms of the read game, unbalanced formations, all those type of things. I know a lot of people think it’s just the tailback lining up behind the quarterback in the shotgun. That just gets it started.”

On Portland State’s turnaround last season - “It’s awesome. It’s a remarkable turnaround, to have the program where it was and then in one year be able to – the two games they lost in the regular season were by a combined four points. That’s why he was national coach of the year, deservedly so. So they’ve obviously got coaching. You’re not going to win that many games without good players. So this will be a good challenge.”

Anything new on the Vicis helmets? - “Not one thing new that I know. There probably is stuff new, but like I said, our understanding, our agreement with them is they are going to go back, and after the season we’ll talk again. I’m sure they are working really hard, figuring out some new, cool things in terms of technology, and we’ll be excited to talk to them when the season’s over.”

On preparing for a string of night games - “If we play another day game, I’ll be amazed. That’s just how it goes. I wish we were playing in the day, but we just don’t. So here we go.”

Good to have this one before going on the road for a night game? - “Yeah, and maybe our fans too. They’ve got to get ready for it as well. It’s been well-documented – everybody prefers those day games, but we don’t play many of them from here on out.”

What’s your routine during the day before a late game? Allow yourself some time to not think about the game for a bit? - “Very hard to get away from it. That’s why we prefer (day games) — we want to go play. Everybody’s ready to go. You’ve just got to sit there and buy time and watch other football games, a couple walk-throughs. But there’s no question as coaches and players we prefer day games.”

On rain in the forecast Saturday. Using wet footballs in practice this week or anything like that? - “No. We haven’t. Like I’ve been saying, we haven’t practiced in the rain in a long time. In spring ball, we didn’t get many wet days and we didn’t get anything in (August camp). But they know and they’ve been in it and they have played in it. There hasn’t been a whole lot. Both sides are going to have to play in it and away we go.”

You’ve talked in the past about how important it is for your assistants to not sleep in the office, get home, have family time. Has that maintained? - “Make no mistake about it: We work 16-hour days still. It’s still ridiculous. Seven days a week. But still, guys need to go home and Thursdays are a good day. We don’t work (as) many hours on Thursdays, but you’ve got to stay fresh and as healthy as you possibly can. That’s a huge part of the battle, in my opinion.”

Any updates on Austin Joyner or Jaylen Johnson — those aren’t long-term injuries, are they? - “I’ll say, we’re healthy enough.”

On WR Nik Little, who hasn’t played yet - “We’re healthy enough.”

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