University of Washington

From the grass field to altitude, Huskies coach Chris Petersen dismissive of BYU narratives

Chris Petersen isn’t interested in narratives or excuses.

Speaking to the media on Thursday — the last time he’ll talk to reporters before Saturday’s game at BYU — Washington’s coach made clear all the things that don’t matter. At least not to him.

First up, the grass field at LaVell Edwards Stadium. While the coaches have looked into grass surfaces to practice on, Petersen said there simply aren’t options in the area. And he’s not at all worried about it.

Asked about using UW’s soccer field, Petersen firmly stated that it belongs to the soccer teams. The kickers — the only position group Petersen admitted might have trouble adjusting to a grass surface — have been working there this week.

“If we’re not getting things done (at BYU), it has nothing to do with the surface,” Petersen said. “Guys slip on our surface. The surface we have on the practice field is different than the game field. So it’s all about the fundamentals of planting on the correct foot and those type of things. It is what it is.”

As for the altitude …

“That has nothing to do with nothing,” Petersen said, “except that the kickers might kick the ball a little further. That’s one thing I think that could happen.

“We’ve been at altitude many times. We’ve been at Wyoming … a bunch of times, I have. The only time I’ve ever seen it at 7,200 feet affect our team is when we had a 17-play drive once. And that’s it. That was the only time I knew they were tired coming off, but both teams were tired after a 17-play drive.”

And don’t even get him started on crowd noise. The simulated sound was blaring up the tunnel from the field at Husky Stadium all week, yes, but that’s nothing new. UW always practices with crowd noise. It has little to do with the Huskies preparing for their first road game of the season.

“(Communication) is a fundamental from day one,” Petersen said. “There’s nothing new here. We have noise in practice all the time. We’ve had it for the last month for our defense. But our offense goes against our defense.

“The offense might have got a little more noise. It’s not exactly the same because we have noise all the time, and you try and vary it. When you have it all the time, they do better. We jump offsides sometimes at home when it’s quiet. We’ve prepared them as well as we can.”

Henry earns scholarship

Petersen confirmed that kicker Peyton Henry was placed on scholarship this week. Henry played in all 14 games last season and has handled all field goal and extra point attempts this season, including making a 49-yard field goal against Cal. Henry is 6-for-6 on field goals this season.

“He’s done just such a good job,” Petersen said. “How he’s worked is what we’re all about. It’s just about keeping your nose down, keep improving, keep progressing. “There’s going to be some good days. There’s going to be some tough days. As long as you keep grinding things get better. He’s done that here and it’s awesome to be able to put him on scholarship.”

Extra points

Wide receiver Trey Lowe (infection) is still week-to-week. Earlier this week, Petersen said Lowe wasn’t practicing yet. … Sophomore offensive lineman Henry Bainivalu, who was suspended for the Huskies’ first three games, will be available against BYU.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for PennLive.com. A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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