Petersen Proud of Huskies' Resolve

It wasn't easy, and Chris Petersen wasn't expecting it to be. But he also knows there were a lot of unforced errors in Washington's sloppy 35-28 overtime win at Arizona that have to get cleaned up quickly before the Huskies host Stanford this coming Friday. But in the end, Petersen was thrilled with how his players rose to the challenge and dealt with the adversity.

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Opening “There’s just some things - our tackling wasn’t what it usually is. A lot of credit to those guys. They have those fast, speed guys; that offense is set up for that. (Brandon) Dawkins can get out of stuff that’s amazing. Towards the end there we come out of coverage. We can talk about our red zone offense. We can talk about our short yardage offense. We probably need a month to clean up all these things that we need to improve on. I’m really proud of how these kids responded. Just kept fighting.”

What’s the feeling now that the team has faced adversity? “I really knew we would be. I think they heard the message. I don’t know if they thought it was going to go like this, because I think we have a lot more to us in terms of how we played. I thought we played pretty sloppy at times, just a couple things. They have some good players on the other side of the field and they took advantage and they created some errors on our part. We just really wanted to go through something that was going to be hard. I think teams can get confidence from going through things that are hard. They respond when it’s not going like it should and when it’s frustrating, because those things are frustrating.”

What helped Lavon Coleman break through a few times? “I’m not sure. I’d start with the o-line. Some of those plays were blocked very, very clean. He’s a guy that his skill set is line him up deep behind the quarterback and put the quarterback under center and hand him the ball. That’s where he’s at his best. He’s a down hill runner. His vision looked good. He’ll break arm tackles. Proud of how he ran.”

On a short week to prepare for Stanford “We have a lot of work to do in six days. We work. The process doesn’t change. We go back to work on Monday, practice. Even though we’re preparing for our next opponent we have to take care of ourself and we have to figure some things out. That’s our whole message always. We’re trying to improve. As corny as it sounds in practice, it’s very common and very easy for those guys just to go out to practice, put the game plan in. But that’s not what we’re trying to do; we’re trying to practice hard and we’re trying to practice physical and trying to get better and we need to.”

Did Brandon Dawkins surprise your team? “I don’t think you underestimate those guys. I think any time you have running quarterback like that it’s really hard and really frustrating. If things aren’t there, and I’ve said it - the three guys that we played up to this point don’t run like he runs, but they’re frustrating because you cover guys right, then he starts scrambling around, guys come out of coverage, they’re hard to tackle in space. When a guy is that fast and you miss him, he makes you pay.”

Was there a moment you had to buck the players up? “I thought they were pretty good. They might have been better than me because I was so irritated and frustrated much of the game. They were great at halftime. I thought they were really good on the sideline. I thought they were good because I think that they know that there was a lot of frustration that we can be better than that in some areas. They just kept playing and there wasn’t any complaining or anything like that.”

Was this an outcome you were chasing down the stretch last year? “Yeah, I think that’s a good point. All those games we were in; we just couldn’t finish. Felt a little bit different where this was a game that it kind of felt like to everybody that we should have been in much more control but we weren’t. Nevertheless we came back and finished when we had to, so I do think there’s some maturity and growth there.”

On Cameron Van Winkle “He missed two, and one was off the crossbar. We get knocked back in the red zone. I don’t know how far those field goals were. Those things happen. He’s a good kicker and the ball jumps off his foot pretty good. He’ll be back.”

What was the difference in the defense after the first quarter? “I just think they settled down, you know, and got off blocks. I really do; I think it was that. Coach Kwiatkowski was mixing up some calls, but I think it was just more of getting into the rhythm. Those guys, they run inside zone a million times and they’re very good at it and those backs can find those creases. Sometimes it takes a minute for those d-linemen to fit those blocks and figure out how to get off them and the linebackers to see thing.”

On J.J. Taylor getting hurt “He’s an elusive guy. I think any time you’re losing guys that are in there making plays, it’s hard when you lose guys like that. Whether we lose them, whether they lose them. He’s a weapon.”

How do you make sure you aren’t physically outmatched against Stanford? “That’s a good question. We’ll see. Their style is completely different than we’ve seen for the last four weeks. Used to be those spread offenses and these running quarterbacks and all those things that we hadn’t seen. Now it’s two backs, all kinds of linemen, that’s what’s different. We’ll see. I think one thing last year two was we didn’t get much done on offense. Stanford played really good on defense and shut us down. And I always think that the offense and defense have to work in tandem. Defense can only hold up so long if the offense isn’t producing and we got like one run or something, and Dante (Pettis) got a late touchdown. It wasn’t close enough to keep our defense inspired in my opinion.”

Are you going to look at film on the way home? “There’s no doubt. I think some guys have probably already. We planned for about three weeks for this short week. This is really hard, playing this game on a Friday against this really good team. School starting. We’ve had to do a bunch of different things, move practice times around. We’ve worked out for three weeks and we think we have a good plan to give us a chance to compete on a short a week.”

Were you surprised Arizona didn’t go for two at the end of the fourth quarter? “Not really. Those are always - they’re at home. Get it to overtime and all those type of things. I think those things sometimes are a feel thing.”

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