The University of Washington Huskies (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) rebounded from last weeks 30 to 27 overtime loss at Oregon with a stout defensive effort against the Colorado Buffaloes (5-2, 2-2) Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium.
Washington Head Coach Chris Petersen
Proud of the guys for grinding that one out. We made it a little bit harder on ourselves sometimes than we needed to but sometimes the other team causes those things to happen. Losing the turnover battle, 2-0 late in the game, and those hurt us. When you’re playing a team and it’s evenly matched all those little things are going to matter. I thought it mattered when we scored the touchdown and we get an unsportsmanlike penalty and kickoff way deep and they get points out of it. Certainly the turnovers show up, but at the end of the day, we grinded it out in the fourth quarter against a really good team.
At what point did you know you weren’t going to have Myles today?
We evaluate guys day to day, some other guys got in there, ran the ball really well, the line blocked really solid. Those guys aren’t really a concern, it’s always hard when you lose your best player but we have confidence in those other guys.
Was the plan to get limited touches for Salvon?
Well those other guys have been playing well and practicing hard so we wanted to get those guys going. Salvon we did give him the ball and he’s explosive and hard to tackle and that’s a nice three-headed monster. It doesn’t matter to us who starts, it just depends on what play the offense calls. We have about 47 different personnel groups, and it just depends on the play call.
How nice was it to get Jaylen Johnson back in the second half?
It’s nice to have him, he’s an experienced, good player so it was good to get him back out there. I thought the guys battled hard in there. It was good to get some other guys in there, we got Tuli in there for a few plays, and we were planning on doing that all week so I think that changed how guys practiced.
What was the talk at halftime?
It’s not different than any of our halftime talks. What do we think is going to work, what isn’t going to work, what are we going to scratch off the game plan, what are we going to do. It’s always the same, there’s no need to overreact. I’ve been saying all week this was a pretty good football team, so we prepared for a hard close game at halftime all week. The whole game was a bit different than we anticipated, they’re a tempo offense and there wasn’t a lot of tempo going on. It seems like a lot of plans against us are to come in and run the ball and keep it close in the fourth quarter and I think that’s what we do well. We grind it out and try to make some things happen in the fourth quarter. Proud that our guys got that win.
On that last touchdown pass to Fuller what were you seeing?
Jake’s got a couple options on that. The slant is for that blitz. I was watching protection to see how many they were bringing and if they could get it out on time. I don’t think he saw the completion, I think he was on his back, but that’s how it goes when you bring everybody, live by the sword die by the sword.
How big was that fourth down stop in the second half?
Really big. We played well on fourth down and that was one of the key plays of the game. We weren’t very good on third down on offense, but we were on fourth down, we were 2-for-2 and both of those were huge. We scored when we went for it early on fourth down. We’ve been really good on third downs overall but we were pretty shaky today and fourth down made it up.
What did you see in the rush today?
We saw some of that, but I thought Montez did a good job of getting out of some stuff. We got pressure and kind of flushed him out of there and he ran a couple of times like Jake. Their games were kind of similar, Jake and Montez, and I know how frustrating that is when Jake takes off on those guys, when you think you’ve got him and there he goes. But I think we are making some progress.
What did you see out of Ryan Bowman?
Ryan works super hard, he brings it every day in practice, he really does. He’s kind of a curve ball thrower, kind of awkward with his rush style. He was doing a great job not just getting tackles but also he was on the quarterback really well.
What did you think of Ahmed’s penalty?
Sometimes those things are just so shocking, that’s not him at all he’s one of the greatest guys on our team. The emotion of the game can change things, we know that, we try to talk to these guys about having great poise. You have to play with energy and passion and emotion and sometimes it happens.
QB Jake Browning
On the fourth quarter touchdown pass to WR Aaron Fuller…
It feels good because it worked. I just held onto the ball long enough for Aaron to get open, gave him a strike point ball and he was able to get in. That was huge.
On the confidence from the coaching staff to go for it on fourth down multiple times…
I think they were all fourth and short, we’re not afraid to go for it. I don’t really think too much about it, if they say we’re running the play, then we’re running the play and just make it work. That’s all Coach Pete and Bush Hamdan’s call. Play the play.
On RB Myles Gaskin not playing…
Obviously Myles is a big part of our offense and has been for a long time. I thought Sean (McGrew) and Kamari (Pleasant) did a good job, next man up. Stuff happens in this game, it’s a violent game, you need to have depth. Some guys have to come in and make some plays. I think Sean and Kamari did some good stuff, Salvon continued to play at a high level like he has all season.
On rebounding from last week’s loss…
We moved on from the Oregon game. Going into this game I had five games left in my whole entire career here. I’m not going to let one loss in a rivalry game effect the future. It definitely hurt but I’m excited to get this win, regardless of if we win or lost last week we are on to the next game.
DB Myles Bryant
On holding Colorado scoreless in second half…
It’s always good when a team starts in our territory and we are able to hold them to a field goal, or even just get a stop. This year I think we’ve done that pretty well.
On pass breakup in fourth quarter…
We knew going into the game that on third and ten, they were going to do hooks or curls at the sticks. I understood that and I saw my guy sit down and I just broke on it.
OL Kaleb McGary
On playing without RB Myles Gaskin…
Myles is and will always be a key part of our offense, he’s an excellent tailback, and an even better guy. Of course he is the guy we want in our backfield as often as possible. I think we have a great group of O-lineman who can make it happen even if he’s not there. Hopefully he breathes a little easier tonight knowing it’s okay for him to take a rest. He’s a tough dude and I’ve seen him take some shots that would be tough for us 300 pounders to take. He always gets right back up regardless.
On what worked at the line of scrimmage…
Physicality. We can’t let them come off the ball harder than us, getting ahold of them and burying them, putting them in the dirt. Some teams have more movement schemes up front with a little more blitzing, more bogus stuff. They are a higher pressure team and we had to account for that. It’s about knowing what you’re doing and doing it to the full extent of your ability.
WR Aaron Fuller:
What are your thoughts on the touchdown?
It felt good. We just had the right play called. Once I saw the coverage I knew I had to give it my best release since I was the first read on the play.
Were you surprised at how aggressive they were on that fourth down?
No not really. They’d given us looks like that a few times in the red zone so it was definitely something that we could expect on fourth and short.
How good was your catch?
I mean it was a good catch, I got a little lazy on that and only put up one hand where I probably should have turned and used two.
LB Ben Burr-Kirven:
How was it to get that pick at the end of the game?
We don’t have quite as many as we’re used to seeing but it felt great to get it at the time we did.
Was it chippy during the game?
Yeah I mean there was some trash talk. There’s a lot of testosterone that comes out on the field and that’s just the nature of the game. As long as we don’t get a penalty I always love to see some trash talking out there.
Was there a hangover from last week?
No, that’s just a really good football team. Every team comes out with a script to start the game and they came out and executed that script really well. At the end of the day, all that.
Jake Browning became the eighth Pac-12 player to reach the 11,000-yard passing mark in their career. With his 150 yards today, he now has 11,005 in his career (8th most) and passed Alex Brink (WSU, 10,913) and Steve Stenstrom (STAN, 10,911) on the Pac-12’s all-time top-10 list.
• Browning also has 11,200 yards of total offense in his career to break into the Pac-12’s top-10 list in the category. He went from 11th to ninth on the list and needs 86 yards to pass by UCLA’s Cade McNown (11,285) for eighth.
• Ben Burr-Kirven recorded 10 or more tackles for the sixth time this season and the third-straight game. He ended the day with 15 tackles and now has 108 on the season. He has 59 more tackles than No. 2 on the team, Tevis Bartlett (49).
• Burr-Kirven is the first Husky to reach the 100-mark plateau since John Timu in 2012 (also 108).
The Huskies had five players (Ahmed, McGrew, Pleasant, Browning and Baccellia) with 10-plus yards rushing by the middle of the second quarter. It was the second time this year they have had a quintet of rushers with 10 or more yards this season (also vs. North Dakota).
• With their sixth win, the Huskies became bowl eligible for a ninth-straight season. It will be the second longest bowl streak in team history, only behind 10-consecutive years from 1978 to 1987. • The Huskies have now beaten Colorado nine-straight times. The last win by the Buffaloes was in the 1996 Holiday Bowl.
• The Huskies held Colorado to a season-low 263 total yards. It marks the fifth time this year the Huskies have held their opponent to under 300 yards of total offense.
• Washington held an opponent scoreless in the second half for the second time this season (also vs. Utah). At home, they have now allowed just 20 points in the second half (6 in the third quarter, 14 in the fourth quarter).
• Myles Gaskin did not play for the first time in his UW career, snapping a streak of 47-straight games played.