Husky DL Wants To Make Up For Lost Time

Elijah Qualls is more than motivated this week. The junior defensive lineman missed most of Washington's 49-3 win over Arizona last year due to an ankle injury that kept him out until the Apple Cup. Now he's ready to make up for lost time.

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How do you feel about the matchup against this system? “The last time I really played against Arizona was two years ago. I got hurt last Arizona game. I’m excited to get back on the field and actually playa against these guys. I know they always - they’re a run first team and they pride themselves on that. Their o-line tries to be as physical as possible while being as technique as possible. I’m just kind of trying make up fro last game that I didn’t get to play with my teammates on that field. I was excited for that game, especially when that coaching staff when I was getting recruited was one of my favorites. Those are all good dudes. Rich Rodriguez is a great guy. Just being able to play against them, that offense, the quarterback (Anu Solomon) I played against him in a high school bowl game. A lot of those dudes I know. I’m excited to play against those dudes. I know  they’re going to fight, scrap. It’s conference play. I’m ready for it. We’re all ready for it.”

Does PAC-12 play feel different? “It’s different in the sense of we don’t play Rutgers every year. We don’t play Portland State every year. We don’t play all those preseason guys every single year. But you play Arizona, Stanford, one of those guys for the most part every single year. The fact that you played those guys the year before, or maybe even two years ago. You might go against the same guy every single year. He knows what you like to do. He’s studied your film because he knows that that game might mean a little bit more to him considering it’s conference. It’s a little more challenging in the sense that I know these guys have been watching. We know these guys have been watching us since last year after the film,  they put that on, or after the offseason and everything like that. They knew this game was the first game of the opening season so we know that they’ve been watching that last game and tried to fix everything that went wrong for them in the last game. We know it’s not going to be the same thing. They know we know they’re going to fix what the problem was. They’re going to come out fighting even harder and try to make plays on us.”

Do you have to relay the importance of focusing while on the road to younger players? “Considering my part, the fact that we’re on defense, no. We preach death row since the moment that they come in. They understand that we don’t care if we’re playing the local Pop Warner team or we’re playing the Seattle Seahawks; we’re going to play the same way every snap, every down, every second, every play no matter who it is across from us. That’s what SWAT team mentality is as far as the defense perspective.”

Does facing a quarterback like Alex Kuresa help prepare you for Arizona? “Absolutely. It works, not just with him in the upcoming game, but with any other game. If I can chase down or at least try to contain Daniel Bridge-Gadd as much as possible, he’s probably one of the fastest quarterbacks we’ll ever play against, then people that are less mobile won’t be as hard to try to keep from rolling out, scrambling, and everything like that. That’s always a plus. Any time an offense has a quarterback that can run, that just adds another threat.”

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