Here’s a transcript of coach Steve Sarkisian’s comments after Washington beat Colorado 59-7 at Husky Stadium tonight.
(Opening statement) “It was a great start to the fourth quarter of the season. I thought all three phases performed really well. I thought obviously offensively in the first half we were really efficient throwing it, running it. Thought Keith (Price) used his legs tonight probably as good or better than he has all year running the ball. Thought he distributed the ball really well to a variety of people – Jaydon (Mickens), Kevin (Smith), Bishop (Sankey) out of the backfield, Austin (Seferian-Jenkins) made some big plays. Marvin Hall. So a lot of different guys.
“And then defensively in the third quarter, creating those three turnovers was big. That’s been a point of emphasis of ours coming out of the bye week. And not only do we get three turnovers, two of them go for touchdowns. So that was fantastic for the guys. And then a lot of guys got to play, which was huge, especially with the short week, a lot of the starters didn’t have to play a whole, whole bunch there in the second half, so we’ve got to get back to it tomorrow and get ready for UCLA.”
(On ASJ) “Obviously when you lose Kasen (Williams), he’s a talented guy, especially when he’s isolated 1-on-1, so we found some things there to get Austin some 1 on 1 opportunities. If the game hadn’t gone the way it had gone, he probably would have gotten more. So we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to get him the ball. I thought again, and I’ve been saying it every week, he blocked his tail off again. So many of those runs are going behind him. That poor holding penalty he gets, I’ll have to watch the film, it sure didn’t look like he did. But he’s blocking great, his energy was really good and he’s a force when he’s got 1-on-1 matchups. He’s good. I thought Keith found him and allowed him to go up and make some plays.
(On the third quarter and scoring and not passing) “It was a little odd. The whole game was. Like I’ve always said, I respect the game, I respect the football gods, and you just try to do things the right way. The way that third quarter went, when we were scoring on defense, it wasn’t even on offense, it was a little bit odd. But again, I was happy for our defense because we need to do that. We need to create turnovers. We need to knock the ball loose and intercept passes, so that was big.”
(Getting ball to John Ross) “I think the world of John Ross when he has the ball in his hands. It’s a point of emphasis of ours. It was coming into the game. Obviously he gets it in the kcik returns, but we’re still just trying to find ways to get him the ball. It’s hard to take Jaydon off the field, because Jaydon’s doing so many good things for us as well. That’s the luxury of having a lot of weapons. We’re fortunate that way. But he’s electric when he has the ball in his hands, that’s for sure.
(On end of half penalty on Mickens) “What happened, it was the end of the half and we were just squibbing it, and I think (Damore’ea) Stringfellow and one of their guys got into it, then a few more of their guys got into it, and human nature, when it’s one of your guys and six or seven of their guys, our guys I had a feeling were going to start to run over there. I just didn’t want it to escalate. So I tried to stop our guys as best I could. I turned around and Jaydon snuck behind me the other way. We got String out of there. There was no penalty for that. But for Jaydon coming off the sidelines without his helmet on, he got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for that. I just didn’t want it to escalate. I had a feeling it could have went there, and I just didn’t want that to happen.”
(Ideal scenario with short week?) “I think so. I think that for our guys, minimal reps for the starters in a sense. We came out really healthy. I thought Dexter Charles, speaking of health, a little over-zealous tonight. Had a false start, hit a guy in the back on a play that he didn’t need to. But he provides a real spark to us. He’s a physical guy. But I think for us, if I could have wrote a script for tonight, maybe outside of Paul Richardson getting us on the deep ball there, he’s a great player, it went about as good as it could have went for us.
(On Kevin King starting) “I think Will (Shamburger) will be OK, hopefully. Kevin went in and did a nice job. He learned that there’s some good receivers in this conference when Richardson got up on him on the post route. But all in all, that’s valuable experience he got tonight in the ballgame.”
(Did Shaq Thompson have a stinger?) “He’s fine. We’re coming out of this game really healthy, which is good.”
(On flushing this game and preparing for UCLA) “We’re over it already. The preparation’s already underway and it has to be when you’re on a short week. And I think our guys understand that. They know this is a game of going down and facing a really talented UCLA team, a very well coached team on a Friday night, a game that is pivotal for our season in the fourth quarter of our season. Our guys are already talking about it. The preparation’s already underway.”
(Price using his legs) “We always have some of that stuff in the gameplan and it evolved into it the way they were playing some of the stuff in the red zone which allowed him to get some of those runs for touchdowns. I think he probably had his proudest moment tonight when he got to run a guy over for a touchdown. But the end result is, when he’s doing that and he’s throwing the ball accurately and we’re running the ball with Bishop, when we have all that going we’re pretty good. So we have to try to utilize that as much as we can to where he’s capable of doing it.”
(Decision-making good?) “I think so. There’s going to be four or five plays he’s going to look at and wish he had at, like myself included calling plays. We’re never perfect, although we strive to be. But there were a lot of positives for Keith tonight.”
(Ever not punted or not passed in second half?) “Not in a long time. If I did, I don’t remember it. Again, just trying to respect the game and do things the right way.”
(Young guys who played well?) “I think JoJo (Mathis) had some good plays again when he was in there doing his stuff. Obviously seeing Dwayne run there at the end, I think we’re seeing a little bit of what the future holds for us, the way he can run the ball. But those are the guys who really kind of stood out initially. The young o-line I think played well when they went in the game, which is encouraging as well.”
(On going deep more) “We’re trying to stretch the field vertically as best we can. As much as we stretch it horizontally we try to stretch it vertically. I think Keith, one of the plays he’d love to have back is the post to Marvin there. We’re trying to improve that aspect of the game.”
(On ASJ) “He’s a big factor. He will be in these last three ballgames here. When he’s playing at a high level and we’re utilizing him, we’re a better team. But again, it’s about spreading it to everybody and finding the matchups that fit us best and trying to make the defense pay.”
(On receivers without Williams) “I don’t think you replace Kasen. I think we have to find different ways to move the football. Kasen’s a great player. We miss him, and we’ll continue to miss him. But we have other guys that are doing good stuff for us.”
(On failed 4th down in first half) “It was a bad playcall. Thought we were going to get something else, and we didn’t get what we were looking for. Hindsight’s 20-20. if I could do it all over again, I probably would have called timeout, quite honestly. But we went into the game telling our guys we were going to be aggressive tonight. We were going to be very aggressive offensively. We talked about our pace going into the game. We wanted to play faster and stay aggressive. So I was trying to send a bit of a message to our offensive football team as well that it’s not just what I’m saying in the meeting room to them, it’s actually when we’re actually playing the game and remaining aggressive. I wish the outcome would have been better quite honestly.”
(On taking shot to end zone with seven seconds left in first half) “We practice that play quite a bit and we know we get that off in less than seven seconds. If it falls incomplete, we kick the field goal.”
(More carries for Washington?) “It’s hard not to hand it to 25. he does his thing. But Dwayne has got a bright future here, and he’ll get his turn.”