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Washington coach Chris Petersen: ‘You’re not going to win games just running the ball 60 times a game’

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 21, 2019

Washington head coach Chris Petersen helps players warm up prior to the start of a game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Amanda Loman / AP)
Washington head coach Chris Petersen helps players warm up prior to the start of a game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Amanda Loman / AP)
By Scott Hanson Seattle Times

SEATTLE – It did not matter in the end that Washington had a tough game throwing the ball against Oregon State, because the defense and the running game were good enough to lead the Huskies to a 19-7 win.

But UW coach Chris Petersen said the passing game needs to be better to sustain success, starting Saturday at Colorado in Boulder.

“Obviously, the bottom line coming out of the Oregon State game is that you’ve got to throw and catch the ball better,” Petersen said in his Thursday news conference. “We’ve run the ball. This team can run the ball. But you’re not going to win games just running the ball 60 times a game. You’ve got to make some plays in the passing game. We were off a little bit last week in that situation, and if you are, you score 19 points.”

The Huskies were 16-of-33 passing for 175 yards and two interceptions against the Beavers on Nov. 8. The Huskies rushed 48 times for 256 yards.

“You make one or two plays in the passing game, and it’s a completely different game, but we didn’t,” Petersen said. “And then guys start pressing and guys start dropping balls because they are really trying to make a play now. And you’ve got to take care of the simple things.”

Will it be better for UW quarterback Jacob Eason and his receiving crew against Colorado?

“I can let you know Saturday,” Petersen said.

Petersen said the offensive inconsistency this season has been surprising.

“I don’t think any coach goes in thinking, ‘We’re going to be inconsistent,’ so yeah, it’s surprising,” Petersen said.

Praise for the backup QBs

Petersen said the progress of backup quarterbacks Jacob Sirmon and Dylan Morris has been “awesome.”

“Jacob Sirmon, he has been really, really impressive to me in terms of being mentally locked in – he really knows what is going on, and when he gets his reps, he’s on it,” Petersen said. “When you’re not getting all the reps and you haven’t played, that’s tough to do and it’s been very impressive to me.

“And Dylan is down there running the scout team and he’s giving our defense fits lots of times. He can sling it in there.”

Special teams more special

The Huskies had special-team issues last season, and that is a phase Petersen has been pleased with this season.

“I think our special teams have done a nice job all season long,” Petersen said. “We’ve been very solid, played the field-position game. We’ve done some things, and knock on wood, we haven’t made a bunch of errors that can cost you games.”

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