The Players Speak

SEATTLE - Three days removed from the Syracuse-Washington game, and it still seems like yesterday. The Huskies took care of business, handing the Orange a 42-12 whooping, and we talked to some UW players about the game, their own play, and what fans should expect Saturday as they take on the Boise State Broncos.

WR Marcel Reece
On if he had already seen the film of the Syracuse game and his take: We saw the film and analyzed it a little bit, saw the mistakes and we'll correct what we need to correct.

On a critique of his own play: We came out with the win, so it was OK - but there were a few things I need to stay disciplined on.

On not catching Jake Locker's first pass to him: I was just a little anxious and Jake was pumped up too. Today we'll go out there and make sure our timing is right.

On finding open spots against Syracuse's defense: From film, we knew what they were going to do on third-and-long and third-and-short. Pre-snap reads and post-snap reads and all the film we watch, we knew who is going to be open.

On watching last year's Fiesta Bowl: I watched that game. I'm a fan of football. It was a great game. They are a great team. They have a winning streak going on right now. They have a little thing against the Pac-10 right now, and as the Huskies, one of our goals is that we want to represent the Pac-10 in the best way possible.

On getting a chance to play at home this weekend: Husky Stadium is going to get it up this weekend. It's going to be a fun time for everybody.

On having that winning feeling: It's nice. We want to come out of every game with a win, but to go on the road and get that first one under our belts...this is a great opportunity for us. We have a two-game winning streak now, and we're trying to make it three.

On blocking downfield and on the edges: When Coach (Charlie) Baggett came in, one of the things we emphasized was to be overly aggressive in blocking, and that's what we try to do. That's something we really tried to focus on in the off-season. And coming into the first game of the season, it was like we needed to let the world know that as receivers, we're not just playing on the perimeter. Louis and Jake are so elusive back there, all we need to do is just get in somebody's way and they are going to take off, so that's what we try to do and that's our goal, because once they take off - it's just going to open it up for us."
CB Roy Lewis
On the Syracuse game: I felt really good. Our young guys came in and played their tails off. All credit has to go to those five guys up front (defensive line). They played their butts off that game, and made our job just that much easier.

On what it's going to take to beat Boise State: The coaches will prepare a gameplan to fit the players. The key to this game is going to be playing sound, fundamental football...aggressive, fundamental football. We have to be very disciplined and read all our keys and that way, in the end we'll come out on top. It's definitely going to be one of our biggest challenges.

On what he expects to see on Saturday: I expect the dline to help out and come alive and play their butts off like they did this past weekend. We're going to have to play aggressive, fundemental football.

On playing at home: I hope the game will be sold out. It's kind of hard to hear the checks, the vibe is definitely in there. When it gets going, I think it's a place opponents don't want to be in."

On Vonzell McDowell and Nate Williams: I think the young DB's played their butts off. They gave us all they had, and they'll get better in time."

On having confidence: The momentum that we bring in from the win at Syracuse, and from last year - and the actual score, the way we shut Syracuse down - it's not a false sense of confidence. We really know what we're capable of doing, and everyone has their sights set on the goal that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season. We are all working toward that. We're going to come in with the attitude that the other team is not going to outwork us. We're going to play every down hard and hopefully we'll come out with a win."

On his own play at Syracuse: I could have had more plays made in the secondary. But those guys on the dline making that surge, you can get lax back there, and I don't think we finished the fourth quarter like we needed to. I gave up a touchdown late. That's not how it should be. I think I did well. I helped get the young guys ready to go, get them fired up. We just wanted to make sure to get the jitters out of them so that they didn't play scared and were able to play with confidence and knew they could make plays on the ball.

On Byron Davenport maybe playing this weekend: It's definitely a plus. Anytime you can have more depth, the better.
PK Ryan Perkins
On what he saw against Syracuse: We had pretty good operation times. We looked solid. And I was surprised. People said my kicks looked higher and they have a lot more distance now. It's proof my leg is getting stronger and my knee is getting stronger. I got some good height on those kicks, so now all I need to do is keep that going when they move me back for field goals.

On the field turf in the Carrier Dome: I know some of our guys were talking about how they didn't like the turf, but I looked at it and it was the same turf I used to kick on at North Thurston High School. It's a thinner, longer field turf and it's a little bit softer. You also have a better chance to slip, but I felt like I was out back at North Thurston playing on that turf.

On the differences between the turf in the Carrier Dome and Husky Stadium: Husky Stadium, it's a spongy field turf and you don't slip much at all. It's definitely different. It's easier to plant on the Husky turf.

On getting hit after an extra point: It didn't hurt that much. He clipped me, but I was kind of lucky because I happen to be bouncing when he hit me. My body bounces now after I kick as kind of a defense mechanism so that something like what happened won't happen again.

On his range: I could probably hit a 55 or 57-yard field goal. So right now, I feel pretty comfortable from 55 and in. And that could change next week, because it all depends on how strong my knee and leg are. I've had three days off my leg, and that's big. It's going to be exciting to see what happens.

On getting time off like a pitcher in a rotation: It's kind of working out that way, because I'm just the field goal kicker right now. It's also giving me a hint to get off my feet all the time. These last few days have been crucial, because it's the best my leg has ever felt.

On getting enough rest for his knee: My ligaments are so weak that my quad has to hold my knee together, my quad muscle. And when my quad has to do double-time, it tightens up. And when that happens, my groin tried to help out the quad, and then my groin muscle tightens up. It's a vicious cycle. It keeps me on my toes and I have to constantly be icing and recovering. This is the first time I haven't had a quad or a groin problem in three weeks, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens when my leg has had some rest.
P Jared Ballman
On playing in a dome for his first game: It helped me a little bit. I was just kicking with no wind, so it helped my self-esteem. Hopefully I'll keep kicking it far.

On the effect the change of moving to the 30-yard line on kickoffs: I think we just put faster people out there, do get down the field quicker. We have a lot of aggressive guys, quick guys on the team. Basically I just kick it as far as I can. Hopefully I can kick it into a corner and we can all get down there and pin them inside the 20 or 30. That's what the coaches want and that's what they expect from me. I'm going to have to do that.

On his own play: I was pretty pleased with the results, but I wasn't all that pleased with my actual kicking. I didn't hit the ball as well as I wanted to. I got a nice roll on one that was inside the 20, but other than that, it was so-so with the results.
DE Greyson Gunheim
On the keys to playing Boise State: For me, I just need to go back to fundamentals, play my man and play what's happening and don't really worry about trick play. The formations are going to switch. We just need to play our man first and then read our keys. If you are thinking too much out there, it's going to slow you down. It's going to cause problems, so I always bring it back to fundamentals...stay playing fast and disrupt everything.

On BSU running back Ian Johnson: We haven't thought too much about him because we play great backs every week in the Pac-10. We defintely want to stop the run to show him that it's going to be a long day. We are going to focus on stopping the run because they like to feature him a lot. We're just going to go out there and get the job done.

On BSU LT Ryan Clady: Coming in here, Coach Willingham was talking about how he likes the left tackle, how he has good techinque. Coach told me that it's just a better stage. If you do well against him, you know you're doing what you need to do. For us, we just look at it as an opportunity to have that good competition and battle throughout the whole game. I'm looking forward to it

On Caesar Rayford: Caesar has always been a good pass-rusher. He's definitely picked up a lot of things on the pass rush and having that speed around the corner and long arms, he's going to help us out a lot.

On the mentality of the DE's right now: Every time a new end comes in, it's like, 'I'll see you at the quarterback'. That's been the whole mood on the defensive line during the off-season, seeing who is going to make those big plays and getting to the quarterback first."
WR Anthony Russo
On the effect of breaking his pinky: I'm catching a little different. I'm switching them in a way I don't want to, it just became a habit because I needed to find a way to support it. But now I'm working on getting things back to the way things were. It wasn't a problem during the (Syracuse) game, I didn't feel any pain, so I'm good. I didn't feel a thing out there. It's still hard to bend it fully, but I wanted to win so bad that I didn't even pay attention to it.

On the keys to winning at SU: We came in with a good gameplan. They didn't like giving up the big ball, and we knew we were going to have to run the ball a lot too because they don't like to give up the big play. Coach Lappano did a good job.

On his own play against the Orange: I felt I did pretty good. I think I missed one block I was upset about, but Louis (Rankin) broke that tackle and ran the other way for 20 yards. As a receiving corps we did a great job Coach said, and we intend on improving on that.

On Boise State: I watched a little film this morning. There's a lot of bump, a lot of man coverages, and as receivers that's what we like. That means a lot of yards for us and a lot of yards after the catch, so we're looking forward to this game.
RB Louis Rankin
On what's happening right now with the team: Our mentality has changed. We are getting great leadership on both the offensive and defensive sice of the ball.

On having a career day at Syracuse: It's big. A career day, that's something I can do every week. I want that to carry over as the weeks go on. With the blocking on the perimeter and on the line, great things can happen.

On the receivers helping the run game: They really didn't get that involved the last game. They are going to be a great weapon. You guys should look for them to have big games.

On getting the freshmen RB's in the game: I was happy for the younger guys to get in there. We were up by a comfortable margin and it was the smart thing to do. I just went with it. Numbers aren't the thing for me. If we execute and play our hardest and we're winning, I can't be mad about that.

On his own play at Syracuse: On the field, I felt like I made a lot of mistakes, but when I saw the film I saw some thing I did well. Usually it's the opposite, so that's an improvement. I'm just more confident and comfortable out there. I'm not running as stiff as I was a year ago.
QB Jake Locker
On getting lit up by SU's Tony Jenkins on UW's first play: I don't think I've ever been hit like that before, but it was good. We were playing now. I wasn't wearing the yellow jersey anymore. It got me in the right mindset.

On his own play: I thought it was decent, but not good enough. We want to win consistently, week-in and week-out, and I need to complete those first two passes on third down. I had guys open, they were there. I just have to get the ball to them. If I do, we have a first down, and you never know what happens from there. If we put one in the end zone early, that changes the whole momentum and outcome of the game. Starting out faster is definitely one of the goals in the weeks to come. Accuracy was pretty good after that. They didn't give us a lot of shots down the field, so we were taking little chunks here and there. As long as they were going to give it to us, they were easy throws, high-percentage...we were able to get the ball in the hands of our receivers, and they made plays. Overall, it wasn't bad, but we can improve on some things and be a better offense in the weeks to come.

On playing at home and his nerves: I don't think I'll be any more nervous. There are going to be a lot of emotions, just because it's going to be wild here on Saturday. It's just another game now. Getting that first win under our belt is always the toughest.

On the support from friends and family traveling from Ferndale: It means the world to me. I have a lot of repect for the people from that area. I've learned a lot from them. To have them around and to share that experience is unexplainable. The support and love they give me is second to none. I couldn't ask for anything better.

On his feelings after the game, seeing the Washington fans: Excitement, all kinds of emotions. It was a touching experience.

On Boise State: We need to focus on our gameplan and execute that to the best of our ability. They are a great team. We really respect them as a football team, but we don't want to fear anybody. We're going to go out and play our game, do our thing and the outcome takes care of itself.

On getting taken out of the SU ballgame: That was kind of cool. It brought me back to high school a little bit. That was fun.


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