Washington Football: What we learned from Chris Petersen’s presser 10/8

Jake Browning, Washington Huskies. Washington football. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jake Browning, Washington Huskies. Washington football. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

After a close PAC-12 win over UCLA on Saturday, Washington football head coach Chris Petersen held his weekly Monday morning press conference. Here are some things we learned from it.

Another win for Washington football. The Huskies held off a late UCLA rally to avoid an upset in a 31-24 win at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Monday morning Coach Petersen talked about the win and the upcoming showdown with Oregon. Here is what we learned.

The defense was tested in the second half

Petersen thought that UCLA stayed in the game by possessing the ball and wearing down the stingy Husky defense. In the second half, Petersen said UCLA just executed better and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson got the ball out of his hands quicker. This led to a rhythm for UCLA and some fatigue, from too many reps, for his defense.

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Ever the optimist, Petersen said that it wasn’t that the players weren’t playing hard. It was the fact that the defense was on the field more than they had been, in recent games. It was a good test for them and a challenge to their overall conditioning. When young guys get tired they don’t execute technique quite as well.

A more consistent pass rush is needed

Coach talked about getting more from the pass rush. If there is an area of improvement for the defense, it would be putting more pressure on the quarterback. Petersen talked about how well the Bruins executed quick passing plays to nullify UW’s rush. The strength of the Huskies is the secondary and sometimes the defensive line gets away with a lack of a rush.

UCLA may have found somewhat of a formula to beat the Huskies defense by running the ball and using the short passing game. You can bet that teams will note that fatigue played a part in the Bruins keeping the game close. Look for more, quick, up-tempo, short passing strategies from Washington’s opponents.

Six games in it’s important to manage injuries

Washington’s Coach was asked about when to determine that someone is ready to play through an injury. He said it was pretty simple, “just talk to him.” As the season rolls on, the injuries and bumps and bruises begin to mount but every team has them.

Petersen said that you want to make sure they (the players) can help the team when they are on the field. The Huskies will have to push through some of them. Petersen has said all along that he wants a hard-working, physical team.

Playing in high energy environments is what you want

The Huskies have played in a pro-Auburn stadium in Atlanta and also in the Rose Bowl.  Petersen prefers those environments and believes that the players do too. Oregon will provide a strong challenge and it will be good that Washington has played in front of some large, noisy crowds to this point.

Getting up early against Oregon would be ideal. The coach said that a fast start is always what you want, but he might stop talking about it as the Huskies had a slow start against UCLA, and in the opener against Auburn.

Next. Three takeaways from Huskies win at UCLA. dark

One thing is for sure, Coach Petersen is not a fan of rankings. He said, in college football, anyone can beat anybody. He agreed that it is a “survive and advance” situation through the season, but he takes one game at a time. Even the big games like this week at Oregon.