Smith completely ignores playoff talk

Dawgman spoke with Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith Wednesday, who admitted he didn't even know the Huskies were picked as the No. 4 team in Tuesday's College Football Playoff poll.

How has the team responded to having to prepare for a tough team? “No question these guys can play. I think practice has been like it’s been each week. These guys have come and brought their lunch pale and have been working. We have a good opponent coming in here on Saturday. Defensively they’ve done a great job. You look at the first game, gave up some points. Outside of that these guys have played some really good defense so we’ve got a challenge in front of us.”

Do you think this week may be the week you finally have to play in the rain? “Yeah. We’ll take it if it is. We practice in it. We enjoy it. We’ll have to operate if it’s 80 degrees or 50 degrees and raining. We’ll be ready for either way.”

On the evolution of Jake Browning’s deep ball “We took a look at it in the offseason looking at his posture when he was throwing it. I do think he’s throwing it with more confidence. We’ve made an emphasis on that in the spring and the fall, fall camp. He’s throwing it with confidence right now.”

What makes USC stout against the run? “They have some players up front that create some challenges. They’re going to play a good scheme and they trust their back end so they do like to load the box and they’ve got some good players that can cover. All of that, talent and the scheme, makes them tough against the run.”

On the Trojans’ secondary “They can play. They’ve got some athletes out there. They’re around the ball. Disciplined group. They mix up the coverages really well. It’s going to be a challenge.”

On Dante Pettis’ pass touchdown “Yeah, we’ve been working it for a while. It just kind of got to he point, it was the right spot for us. It felt like we had a chance with is. he made a great throw on it. He really did. Hit the guy in stride. We kind of like that. We’ve worked some trick plays, maybe hold on to them for a couple weeks so we feel like guys are really confident with it. We called it.”

How do you decide which receiver gets to throw the ball on that trick play? “We look at their arms for sure. Some of it is the decision making. So that’s why we practice it multiple times, ,because sometimes the guy’s not open. So are they going to force it and throw it? Dante (Pettis) has been a good decision maker with the ball, has a good arm. We have some other wideouts who can throw, but on that particular play he was the best one.”

Have you ever thought about what if Coach Petersen took the job at USC and you went with him? “Not really. Grew up in Southern California. Grew up a Trojan fan when I was in junior high and what not. Great tradition in that place but I haven’t put much thought into it.”

How grateful is the UW that Petersen chose to come here? “I think they’re grateful right now, no question.”

On being ranked fourth in the country “No. To be honest with you I didn’t even know, so not really.”

Did you really not know that the Huskies are ranked fourth? “I didn’t. I was laying down watching the election. I thought you guys were going to ask me about that.”

How do you keep momentum going? “I think the  best way to do it is focus on the week at hand. If we don’t take of business weekly we won’t be able to accomplish some of what we want to. Next challenge is up this Saturday. That’s our approach we have to focus on.”

On playing the element of surprise to an advantage with trick plays “You just try to pick your places and see a defense you think might have a chance. Not all of them are going to work; sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. I think they kids enjoy them. It’s a little bit of a change up to the offense. Instead of being continual traditional you change it up a little bit.”

How many trick plays have we not seen? “We definitely have something in the bag, but you never know when you’re going to feel the right time to use them.”


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