Here is most of what Huskies coach Chris Petersen said about No. 10 Washington’s 44-6 victory over No. 7 Stanford on Friday night at Husky Stadium.
(Opening) “What a night. That truly was the greatest setting in college football. What you get a night like that and pack that place, that was fun for, I know, our guys and our coaches and I hope our fans enjoyed it, too, because that was special.
“Really proud of how hard they played, how good they played, and we're still a work in progress but that was a good step forward. [We have] a lot of respect for Stanford. I know they didn't have all their guys and that made a difference, but I'm still really proud of [us] putting two halves together. We focused at halftime, came back out, and still did a really goob job of making plays.”
(Expect to pressure the passer like that?) “Probably across the board, you don't think you're going to do, I mean, how those guys played on offense and defense and special teams, you don't think it's going to go that well against a team like Stanford. Like I said, it was kind of one of those nights where they were probably a little short-handed and we were clicking on all cylinders, the guys played hard. I really don't want to underestimate... I think those kids were playing really inspired ball by the energy in that stadium. They were excited to play Stanford anyway but I know it hasn't felt like that, certainly, since I've been here. I know that was a different deal for them. It was awesome.”
(Similarities to when Stanford opened Husky stadium...) “Absolutely no similarities to when I was here at that time.”
(First time country saw team on national stage... what did they show?) “This league is so... that's the thing that I think all the coaches know in this league is, it's awesome for tonight and then we know what can happen next week if [we] don't show up, and I mean show up with your "A" game. I just really think everybody can beat everybody on any given night. I just think our league is unique in terms of that and the different styles that you see. Stanford is a really unique, different style, that's one of the things that I'm really please and really happy about... having a short week, I thought our coaches did an unbelievable job gameplanning for these guys. We practiced hard, really hard, as hard as we could for having a short week. We felt like the preparation was really good and so it was one of those nights. We're good and we took the next step and that's really all it is. We just gotta go back to work and we know how challenging the next game can be. I mean that completely sincere. We'll enjoy this one tonight and then try to figure out how to take the next step.”
(How much more meaningful is it against Stanford, who he admires) “I think it's a really good win, there's no question. This is a good team and a good program. I think if you can beat Stanford you're feeling good about yourself. In terms of how it ended up, I think it's just one of those nights where it's all clicking for us. I think our team has a lot to 'em. THose are the flashes that we've been seeing and feeling for a long time. It's nice when it all comes together at home, in this environment. I think it's really cool that the '91 team was here and probably some of those guys haven't been here for a long time to be in this environment and probably think "this is exactly how it was when we left." It's obviously been a little different but it was great to honor those guys and play that hard and have this type of night.”
(What stood out about line of scrimmage play) “I thought that was good becauase we all know Stanford is very good at the line of scrimmage on both sides. I'm anxious to got put this tape on and just kind of look at it and look at some of our guys, individually, blocking and getting off blocks. That was probably the number one thing that jumped out is I thought our guys, on both sides of the line, really showed up tonight and were ready to compete.”
(Big game on national stage, browning was good) “Yeah, I agree with you. He was on. That ball comes out and he can throw that ball with good anticipation and he knows where to go with the ball. A lot of times it was his second and third guy and it was coming out quickly to that guy or it was coming out very quickly to his first guy before anybody could react. I thought he was, without putting the tape on, it seemed like he had his "A" game going for sure.”
(Luxury of different weapons on offense) “Absolutely. They're all very unique. They're all different. THey all have a completely different skill set but they're all really explosive players and can make plays. What's nice with Jake in there, he's not gonna lock into one of those guys, he's going to go where the coverage dictates he goes and so when they all can hurt you, teams are going to mix up coverages and Jake's pretty good at finding where it should go and go in a hurry.”
(What worked in stopping McCaffrey) “I think the big thing is, like we were talking about, it starts in the defensive line. Eating up blocks and getting off blocks. I thought we tackled well, overall, and I thought in that third quarter we started to slide back. I think he started to show who he is. He's a hard guy to tackle. Of course, from our side, we're like 'we're not tackling. we're not tackling.' We missed him about three or four different times. He was converting those third downs but he's that good. I think it starts in the line and I thought we tackled well. It was nice to just contain him. I know he was close a couple times and we tripped him up but, whatever it takes.”
(Kicking game plan with McCaffrey) “Well, no. We're always trying for touchbacks but, like I said before, you try for a touchback, he's going to kick it to about the 10. That's what always happens. So we were going to kick to him a little bit but we weren't going to kick to him the whole time because, you know, you kick to a great returner enough, he's going to hurt you and he did hurt us on that one. THat was scary. The ball wasn't really kicked where we wanted it to be kicked. Tristan has been a really big weapon for us on our kickoff coverage. That one was mishit a little bit and misplaced, and we didn't cover like we should have and he hurt us on it.
(Think you’d get that many sacks?) “I'd like to say 'yeah' but, sacking those guys that many times, "no" I wouldn't have thought that. I think one thing that really helped that too was we kind of got them out of their gameplan where they had to throw it probably more than they wanted to throw it and then our guys could pin their ears back. By our offense clicking early and being pretty efficient, I think that's not necessarily where they want to be in terms of their style.”
(Leaving Boise and coming to UW... is tonight what he had in mind?) “It's hard for me to really say. I don't know what I had in mind. I just know it was just a timing thing. It was just time. That's a great place over there and it was just time for me to do something different. I've always admired Washington. I thought that this place fits what I'm all about. I thought we could get really good players to come here. I certainly envisioned having an elite program and being able to compete with the better teams in this league. We're not "there." I'm not saying we're "there" I just know how things thing goes. You sleep on anybody or you start feeling like "we got it. We got if figured out," I know what comes next. These kids have been fun to coach because they've been really really business like and they practice hard. If we keep doing that, I like our chances because they'll compete hard.”
(Competition in units on defense) “There is a lot of that going on. We have a little bit of depth and we've stayed relatively healthy so that really helps that cause for sure. I like to get our young guys in there. Sometimes I didn't see enough of them in there tonight. I'd like to see that because I think some of these guys can play, they just need to get experience. It's sometimes scary and a little hard when you're playing a team like Stanford. You go with the guys you know and have played a lot of ball. I like the competition and we do have some pretty good competition and we have some guys that haven't played a whole lot that we need to get in there a little bit more and we WILL as we move forward.”