Dawgman.com Diary - 9/2

The themes were similar and the frustrations were the same. When asked about last Saturday's contest against Ohio State, many Washington players talked about the environment, many talked about the game itself. But they all know something different is needed if they plan on taking care of business this Saturday against Indiana. And they have a wealth of experience from last year to guide them along the way.

On the atmosphere in Ohio Stadium:
Garth Erickson - "It was a pretty impressive venue to play at. I just kind of took it all in and looked around at first, but after that I didn't want to look up. But once that first snap was in the air, I wasn't thinking about any of that."

Reggie Williams - "It was good. They have one of the better stadiums I've ever played in. It was a good atmosphere. That was probably as hard as it gets, but's that why we came here - to play in tough games in tough atmospheres. I wish we could play them again."

Derrick Johnson - "That's big time football right there. It ranks righ up there with the Rose Bowl, Michigan and Miami games. I think we were ready, we just didn't execute like we thought we were going to."

Khalif Barnes - "I think for our tight ends it was a bit of a factor and we had some penalties. But surprisingly for me I could hear Cody pretty good. I thought it was going to be a huge, huge factor and I wasn't expecting to hear him at all, but I could pretty much hear him the whole game."

On Ohio State's football team:
Derrick Johnson - "I was surprised by the speed they had at receiver. But I think overall we played pretty well."

Khalif Barnes - "I think they are just a veteran group that play well together. They all compliment each other very well. And we didn't play our best. We didn't show that we have improved from a year ago, which we have. It's disappointing to put on a performance like that.

"They ran a lot of defenses and depending on the defense we would be targeting certain linemen or certain 'backers. And I would have to look to see who we were targeting. And sometimes when the ball was being snapped, I was still looking to see what we were doing and who we were targeting. And when he got by me on one play, that's what happened. And he got a good inside move on me and there was just nothing I could do about it. He just got a good move on me and I wasn't ready. No excuses."

On specific plays in the game:
Evan Knudson - "Actually there really wasn't too much nervousness, which surprised me. I thought going in that I might have some butterflies going in and my heart might be pounding pretty hard, but it wasn't. I was in the zone. I wasn't really thinking about the crowd. I went out there, took my steps, looked around and smiled a little bit. I mean, kicking my first kick at Ohio State - that's a pretty cool thing to do. And right when it left my foot it was straight on."

On the disappointment of their play:
Cody Pickett - "We weren't just going there to play. We were going there to win. They played a better game than us. They were a better team than us. We didn't get it done, so we have to put that behind us and get ready to play this week.

"We were confident. We have a good football team. We didn't play like we are capable of. We by no means showed our capability. We underachieved big time and we're capable of playing a lot better than we did. They were a good football team and I take nothing away from them, but we underachieved. They are the defending national champs and haven't lost in a long time. They are going to win a lot of football games. But we didn't play anywhere near our ability."

Khalif Barnes - "I just don't think we ever got into our rhythm. We never got into a rhythm with any of the groups that were out on the field and that was hard. And they made it harder by not allowing us to get in a good rhythm."

On what needs to be improved for this Saturday's game against Indiana:
Garth Erickson - "There's always room for improvement and if you're a competitor you always strive to get better."

Evan Knudson - "Just consistent kicking. If I keep making my field goals they won't have a reason to use someone else."

"Them bringing in a scholarship guy made me work just that much harder this summer. It's just how it's always going to be. If there's competition staring you down you have to work that much harder to keep your job."

Reggie Williams - "I'm expecting us to mix it up. We're going to do what we have to do to get a win. We have to run the ball, we have to throw the ball...whatever it takes to get wins is what we're going to do."

Derrick Johnson - "We just need to continue to compete and we'll get better."

Khalif Barnes - "Game speed was a lot of it. Being the first game, it's the one you learn the most from. We got a lot from this game, will learn from our mistakes and get better. We've got a game this Saturday. We'll be working on getting up to the line, getting set, finding our guy and then firing out at full speed. Those things will be worked out this game, and then the following week and then the following week. And it'll be done so hopefully by the time we start Pac-10 with Stanford, we'll be pretty much rolling and all the kinks will be worked out."

On Indiana and a possible letdown:
Cody Pickett - "We're hungry for a win. We're going to come out and play hard this week. We're going to practice hard and hopefully we'll get a win this weekend."

Reggie Williams - "I don't think we're going to let down. We're going to have a nice hard week of practice and come out and have a strong contest versus Indiana."

Derrick Johnson - "We look at it that they are just another team in our way and we have to play them and play them hard. We can't underestimate them because they have the ability to win. They have scholarship guys too. We just have to treat them like another tough opponent, and we have to go out there and establish ourselves.

"I think we understand the situation very well. We have to win these games and we can't make them close. And experiencing that, like we did last year, helps."

Greg Carothers - "I think we learned our lesson after the Michigan game last year."

On getting back to play at Husky Stadium for their home opener:
Reggie Williams - "It's going to be a big deal. We just lost one, so coming home for our opener to get a 'W' is big."

Greg Carothers - "I think everyone is just excited for our home opener and excited about putting our best foot forward to show that we are really a legit team. I'm ready to open up my senior season here at Husky Stadium. I mean, here I am - a kid coming from Montana and getting the opportunity to be a captain for the team and start four years is something exciting. It gets me excited to play."

Dawgman.com Top Stories