Both coaches of the Washington Huskies and the Arizona Wildcats had praise for the Husky defense during the Pac-12 weekly coaches teleconference with the media, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported on Tuesday.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez was impressed with the Husky defense, especially considering it is a first year scheme. The Huskies remain 61st in the nation with 25.8 points against. Excluding the blowout losses to the LSU Tigers and Oregon Ducks, the Huskies hold opponents to just 15.5 points. That includes games against the USC Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal, two teams that average around 30 points a game.
"They are athletic. They've got some really good pass rushers, guys that can cover, athletic at linebacker. Scheme-wise they are not giving up big plays --- they've go a lot of guys around the ball. And even though it's a first-year scheme, they seem to understand what they are supposed to do on each and every play.''
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said that much of the improved Husky defense was due to the maturation of the Huskies secondary. He cited the emergence of freshman Marcus Peters and junior Tre Watson as well. Peters was especially good in last week's 24-14 loss against the USC Trojans. He set a career high in tackles with nine and recorded the first interception of his collegiate career.
We do a nice job of getting sticky on routes and re-routing guys, and then ultimately making plays on the ball and being confidence when we get our chances to make plays on the ball.