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Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski on Stanford: ‘We’ve got to show up with our A-game’

Spoke with Huskies defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski after Tuesday’s practice. Here’s what he said.

(On Brian Clay’s first-half suspension) “It’s one of those – first off, we’ve got to do a better job of lowering our strike zone. But as far as the game, it’s an opportunity for Jojo (McIntosh) and Zeke (Turner) to step up and show what they can do.”

(Was that just a heat of the moment hit?) “It’s heat of the moment, and you just can’t lead with your head. If he leads with his shoulder, I don’t think it’s an issue. But if you lead with your head, you drop your head, that’s not safe for anybody – him, or the guy he’s hitting.”

(No starter yet between Jojo and Zeke?) “No, not yet. They’re both out there. Because they’re both going to have to play. They’re both out there working hard.”

(On facing Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey) “No different than what we just faced. There’s a lot of good running backs in this league. He’s just another one of them. We’ve got to show up with our A-game, and we’ve got to do a good job getting off blocks and tackling.”

(Differences in Stanford run game from last year to this year?) “I see it the same way. They’ve always been a really good running team, and I think last year, if I recollect, maybe they spread the carries out a little bit more. So he’s getting more carries and in turn, he’s getting more production.”

(On Stanford’s veteran offensive line) “You said it – they’re seniors. They’re older. They’re mature, strong, big guys. They’ve been in that system a long time. They just execute extremely well. For us to play like we want to play, we’ve got to match that intensity, be physical, and we have to do a great job of getting off blocks.”

(Hard to fathom that they only scored 6 points at Northwestern?) “That’s football. Week to week, you’re striving to get better. They’ve done that. First game type of deal. Obviously they’re a lot better than what they did on that first week.”

(Same Stanford team, schematically?) “They get into big personnel, they have their run plays and all that. A lot of 2-back, whether it’s with an extra tackle or tight ends, then they get their 11-personnel and still run the ball there, and throw it more.”

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