Player Quotes – Syracuse

SYRACUSE, NY – Here are player quotes from Washington's 42-12 win over the Syracuse Orange Friday night at the Carrier Dome. The Huskies dominated on both sides of the ball, outgaining SU 444-207 and scoring 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to pull ahead of the Orange for good.

QB Jake Locker
On his first collegiate start: "I think in those first couple of games we could have started off a little better. On my first couple of throws I hesitated a little and some of my throws were high and you never know what could have happened if we had completed those, but overall I thought we played well on offense. We have to clean some things up but it's a good start.

On what calmed him down: "I think we were all excited and a little too pumped up at the start of the game, but after those first couple of drives we settled down and executed our offensive gameplan and it worked out well for us."

On Louis Rankin: "Louis is a big-play guy and he showed that tonight. He had a lot of big plays and big runs. He's slippery so he's going to make a lot of runs like that and it's nice to have a guy like that when you're struggling and even as a player, when you see him make those plays, you want to get in on them too so it motivates all of us."

On Syracuse's defense: "They're a good football team. They have good speed and they were pretty big at the linebacker position. We just took what they gave us and I took a few hits that I probably didn't need to so that's something I need to be conscious of, but overall it was just a solid win and we're all really happy."

On his nerves: "I wasn't really nervous every, but I was a little anxious in those first couple drives and it was like the third drive that I started to feel really comfortable and I was seeing things really well and making the right reads and getting the ball out like I should have so it wasn't too bad."

On his first game: "It's a win and that's what we set out to do. I've said it before, ‘one player doesn't make a team'. Obviously, Louis kind of carried us today and the offensive line really carried us. Our receivers blocked on the perimeter and without the other 10 guys on the field we wouldn't have gotten done what we did and that's what I'm really excited about."

On the hits he took today: "Obviously you don't want to take too much of a beating, but I think it kind of comes with the offense that we're running. I've been playing in an offense like this my whole life and I've been hit my whole life. Obviously it's a lot different in college, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Marcel Reece
On the receivers blocking for the running game: "The running game was just about blocking on the perimeter. When we get the blocks on the perimeter we get big runs and that's something as a unit, we receivers practice that every day."

On watching RB Louis Rankin run for a touchdown: "It's fun watching Louis run period. When you have a part in him busting a run like that it's great so with guys like Louis and Jake back there, it makes it fun to get out and block for them."

On the passing game getting their feet under them: "It's just about us executing our gameplan. We just had to do what we were supposed to do and that's why we were successful."

On him getting more involved in the passing game: "Getting out and blocking is fun and catching and running with it is fun. It was a little slow at first, but you have to take what the defense gives you and you can't just force it because then you make mistakes, but we were patient and it worked out great."

On executing the gamplan and their schedule ahead: "Any time you play with opportunity comes difficulty and we took advantage of things and this is our chance to win the games that our coaches put on our schedule in front of us. We pride ourselves on the fourth quarter constantly. Coaches simulates our practices to be harder than games so when we get into the game we can focus because we do it every day."
Safety Nate Williams
On the energy the young players brought: "There was a lot of energy out there. Me and Brandon Johnson and Mason Foster and all those guys, we were excited to be on national television and be playing in our first collegiate game. You can't ask for more than this."

On his play in the endzone: "I was just the deep middle player on that one and I just read my keys and the quarterback just moved out of the pocket and he tossed it up and I just saw the receiver jump up and I just jumped and batted it down. That's what's expected of me on that play and I did what I was supposed to do."

On the coaches coaching the players up: "The coach just worked us hard and prepared us hard during camp and once we got the first couple of plays in that's when I started to calm down pretty well and just focused on my job."

On the speed of the game: "It's a big change. I got hit pretty hard on a couple of plays. Everything moves a lot quicker and everyone's a lot stronger. It's something we'll get used to as the season moves along, but it felt good to get a little contact in there now."
Kicker Ryan Perkins
On kicking in the dome: "Basically in a dome the only thing that's different is the noise factor because it's bouncing off the walls and it's doing its thing. At the beginning of the game it was pretty loud, but as we started beating them it got quieter, but on a few of the PATs I felt a draft and when you came into the locker room it pretty much pushes you through the doorway. It was a lot of fun though and it was a great experience."

On if it's different kicking in the Dempsey than in the Carrier Dome: "It's basically the same as kicking in the Dempsey. Same plant, same form it's pretty much the same."

On the job of the kickers in the game: "I think we did pretty good. We got some good rolls and the kicks were all what we needed. I think me and Jared (Ballman) were pretty solid actually."
LB Trenton Tuiasosopo
On the first play he got in there: "I knew I had to make that play. It was like being back at home and practicing. Once I saw it was going to be a pass I knew I had to go and make that play. It did help because I hadn't played for a while. I played a little at Notre Dame a while ago and I hadn't really played since then so it was good to get out there and play again."

On the elements affecting them: "Nothing effected us. Our purpose was to come in and play and win. It didn't matter where we were going or who we were playing or what we were wearing. We knew we needed to get our season off to a good start and that's what we came in and did."
DT Jordan Reffett
On the rush defense: "We came in here trying to come in and play hard. We have a lot of veterans on the defensive line. We have guys who go hard and fly around and we just went out there and played as hard as we could and guys made plays."

On Jake Locker: "I love old Jake (Locker). He's fun to watch. Sometimes I try to sit down between series and relax a little bit, but I had to get a glimpse of old Jake out there running around so it was fun."

On practicing against Locker every day: "I tell you it really helps us out. We have that guy in practice that we won't see that kind of talent usually throughout the season. He helps us with containing the quarterback and running to the football and just getting after a guy like that in practice really prepares us for what we'll see in the game."

On room for improvement: "I think we played sloppy at times out there today so I'm really interested to see how good we can actually be because that's what we're trying to do is go out and be the best we can be and now we're going to focus on Boise State."

On the offensive line getting the defensive line prepared: "I think we play against a great offensive line every day in practice. Guys like Juan Garcia, Casey Bulyca and Chad Macklin and those guys up front. That makes us better and it helped us get after those guys all day today."
LB Dan Howell
On the start of the game: "Coaches all talked to us about starting the game fast because in the first series that sorta sets the tempo for the rest of the game and we were able to come out and start the game fast and eventually we were able to take over the game."

On the youngsters on defense: "I was actually very impressed with the freshman out there today. They made some plays out there and they didn't play like freshman most of the time and that really helped our performance."

On their first defensive series: "I think with the formations they were running it took us a little bit to adjust to them and they were kind of coming at us a little faster than we could adjust to it, but eventually we did and we just played different."

On the body language of the Orange: "You started to see guys more or less jog instead of hustle back to the huddle. For the most part they seemed to be down in the second half."
Center Juan Garcia
On the running game's effectiveness: "I think our game plan and our execution worked tonight. You never know what to expect in an opening game and how teams are going to come out. You never have enough film on the team. They can change their entire defense. We executed the game plan and came through."

On offensive effort: "I think we made a couple of mental mistakes. But we did pretty well. On a scale from one to ten, I would give us about a six-to-seven because we are capable of more but we played very hard."

On building on victory: "We need to go one game at a time. We have a ranked team in Boise State next week and we have to execute each and every time we play."
DE Greyson Gunheim
On away-game crowd support: "I think our fans are the best. They always seem to be there no matter the outcome. To have fan support during an away game is really special."

On defensive growth since last season: "We always have stuff to work on. But we play as one unit now. We always know where each of us is going to be and that always helps. We don't void any gaps and it helps the entire team."

On stopping the Syracuse running game: "We mentioned our gaps and if we had a double (team) or people tried chipping us, we always fight the gap and fight the double teams and not allow openings. The mindset was to stop the run and stop it early to make a statement that we've improved from last year."

RB Louis Rankin
On the running game being opened up: "Jake draws a lot of attention to him and that opened up the run a lot. It was kinda like having Isaiah (Stanback) back there again and you know as long as he stays healthy we'll be alright. It was a good day for me. The line opened stuff up and I made the most of what I had available to me."

On the big runs: "We had some young guys go in there and make some big runs. Guys like Jake and all that. Like I said, the offensive line really opened things up and it made our job easy and Marcel and (Anthony) Russo had it all blocked well and I couldn't help but score on a couple of those."

On Locker's big run: "Once I pushed it through I knew I was going to have a big run because the d-lineman tackled me so I knew they didn't know where the ball was and then once I saw him on the outside I knew it would be a big one."

On getting off to a fast start this season: "We talked about it a lot after the Washington State game and we started focusing on this game and we wanted to get off to a good start and we did."

On Locker's poise and big play ability: "I say ‘the more the merrier' on stuff like that. If he wants to get in on the big plays too I'm more than happy to share the load. He seemed more calm in the game than he's been in practice all week so it was real good."

On finishing teams: "I think once we got up, I'd get comfortable and I used to relax more but now I'm of the mentality where we want to get up on people and then put them away and not necessarily run up the score. Once we got up by 14, we ever relaxed and we just said we needed to score more. We needed to keep pouring it on and put them away."
DE Caesar Rayford
On how fun it was to play the first game: "It was really exciting. We're out there, excited and making plays and getting after the quarterback and the energy and enthusiasm was just great out there."

On the air going out of Syracuse's sails: "I totally sensed that, by looking at their faces that they were saying to themselves ‘these guys are coming every play' and just looking at their facial expressions just made us want to keep going."

On knocking the rust off: "I started a little slow and just needed to knock the dust off a little and we just picked it up as we went along."

On the older guys along the defensive line: "We had a lot of fun out there. We were having a competition on who could get to the quarterback and one guy said ‘I got two' and you wanted to get there too so we had a lot of fun."

On believing in themselves: "We came in here believing we could do what we did today. If you play a game, you need to believe you'll succeed because if you don't then you won't do what you want to do."


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