Washington football head coach Chris Petersen held his weekly Monday morning press conference on 11/20. Here are some things we learned from it.
Washington football won their penultimate game on Saturday 42-23 over Oregon State. On Monday, an upbeat coach Chris Petersen spoke about this week’s Apple Cup showdown with Washington State. Here are some things we learned:
University of Washington football head coach Chris Petersen gave a strong indication that his squad was as ready as possible for this year’s Apple Cup contest. When asked about the overall health of his team, he responded by saying some players that were injured earlier in the season are ready for some extended game ‘reps’.
The Huskies head coach seemed to believe that the Apple Cup was more special for the seniors on his team. But he included that he thought everyone played well in last week’s dominating 42-23 win against Oregon State.
Now heading into his fifth Apple Cup against Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars, Petersen acknowledged that Wazzu has reached a new level of success on offense, especially in the passing game with transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Petersen also noted that WSU is different on defense, as well, with their new defensive coordinator, Tracy Claeys, being added to Leach’s staff for this season.
In demonstrating good sportsmanship, Petersen did not mention anything about his Huskies four consecutive wins by large margins over Leach’s Cougars in the annual rivalry game. In fact, Petersen hinted towards a certain admiration for Leach by noticing his ability to “stick to the script” despite any disappointments and distractions, on the field or off.
In that regard, Petersen brought up the tragic loss of WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski due to suicide earlier this year during the off-season in January. It was a subject Petersen and his staff addressed with their athletes and heightened their awareness for signs of depression.
Will that humbleness and admiration toward Leach and the Cougars lead to a different mentality for Petersen and the Huskies going into the traditional regular-season finale? With Petersen’s own admission that WSU is “different” this year, I suspect a different outcome in this year’s Apple Cup compared to the past four seasons.
Check back with us for more Apple Cup week coverage.