Rose Bowl Offense Media Availability

Per the University of Washington Press Release…..

 
Members of the Washington football team met with the media in Los Angeles, Calif., Thursday morning, Dec. 27., ahead of the 105th Rose Bowl Game. Read what offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan and the rest of the Huskies had to say.
 

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BUSH HAMDAN

(On the impact the seniors have had on the team) “Tremendous. I think if you look at a group of seniors, probably have done as much for a university as any current maybe has ever done. When they came here and had to play early in leadership roles to where they’ve gotten the team now, expected to be in this game and expected to be competing for national titles, they’ll be remembered for a long time.”

(On the biggest challenge Ohio State’s defense presents) “I think their athleticism, top to bottom. Their front seven. Got elite pass rushers, which is expected in a game like this. And so top to bottom, their athleticism is tremendous.”

(On creating big plays on offense this season) “I think up and down we’ve created a lot of explosives, what we call. We need to continue to turn those explosives into even bigger plays. So for us it’s 12 yards and 16 yards for a pass. And, again, the opportunity for us to create even more of an explosive play there is game changing for our offense.”

(On what it will feel like stepping foot onto the Rose Bowl field) “I don’t know. You just want to make sure you’re staying as focused as you can for the game but enjoying the experience. That’s something we’ve preached to our players and something that I’ll hold true to this week. This is a special one, a special feeling. I think you need to take a time to count your blessings for being a part of this game. And then go cut it loose.”

QUARTERBACK JAKE BROWNING

(On his approach to studying Ohio State) “I think watching more games all the way through without having to break it up. So been able to watch more games all the way through without having to watch cut-ups or different breakdowns, get the idea of the flow of the game a little more and finally able to spread it out a little more. But they played a whole season. So being able to watch all of that was — a regular week you’ve got to pick and choose which games you want to watch. So hopefully that’s an advantage.”

(On the fans’ excitement about a return to the Rose Bowl) “Yeah, I think it’s just it’s a big game because of the history behind it before the playoff, this is where the Pac-12 Championship, Pac-10 Champions would go all the time. I think it’s where a lot of people grew up watching it and recognized the name of it maybe even more so than an Orange Bowl or Fiesta Bowl and stuff like that. So I think it’s something special. And there’s something about the Rose Bowl being Pac-12 team. Got a big name to it.”

(On playing against Ohio State’s defensive line) “Mixing up protections, moving the pocket a little bit, have some different stuff planned for that. As far as specific players, I don’t really watch. I’m not really thinking about the D line. I’m getting ready for the secondary and linebackers and different coverages. And so you have to ask some of the O line guys specifically.”

WIDE RECEIVER AARON FULLER

(On what stands out about Ohio State) “Very aggressive, athletic group of guys. They should probably be in the Final Four but unfortunately didn’t make it, but they’re going to bring a lot of energy, and they’re a great team, been great for a while so it should be a great match-up.”

(On playing within a system that utilizes trick plays) “It’s fun. It brings something fun to the practice and seeing it work in games is even better. Over the years we have had a bunch of double passes or flea flickers, and things like that, that we put it into the game plan. More than anything it’s fun seeing other people get the ball and seeing it being tossed around like that and seeing it work in games is even better.”

(On Washington returning to the Rose Bowl) “You know, it’s very big. We have a track record of being here for a while and then also, you know, having half of the team from Cali, is amazing and brings hype itself, fans and family connection, this is the granddaddy of ’em all, when you think of national championships and bowl games you think of the Rose Bowl. The first game I ever saw growing up was Texas v. USC in the Rose Bowl, one of the best games ever. There is a lot of hype coming from a lot of different directions. Makes it fun.”

RUNNING BACK MYLES GASKIN

(On ending the season with momentum) “Yeah, I think we got better, but even in those games that we won, there were some big hiccups, there were some things that we can get better from. I wouldn’t say peaked. I think we’ve just got to learn from those things, and I think those Bowl practices we had before we came out here were a lot of help for us. We were practicing real hard. I mean, just excited. Just excited.”

(On Ohio State’s defense) “They play fast. They play real fast. They’ve got some big guys over there on that side of the ball, and they just play hard. I think that’s the mark of a good defense, just guys that always run to the ball. I mean, schemes are schemes, and they do have great schemes, but none of that works without guys that are just really hungry to get to the ball, running the ball, and that type of stuff.”

(On the leadership of Jake Browning) “He stays consistent with that every single day. I think that’s the biggest part of being a leader. A leader is not just a few times out of the week or just game day. Jake brings it every single day. And on game day, I think, he doesn’t really have to say much because he’s led throughout each week and kind of told us things. Especially in practice actually, he’ll pull us to the side, like the running backs, and say, hey, this defense doesn’t do this so well or they do this for this look, so we might not go to that. He’s trying to coach us up as much as our coaches. So I think that’s what a leader is in my eyes and everybody else’s eyes on this team.”

CENTER NICK HARRIS

(On returning to his hometown to play in the Rose Bowl) “I mean, it’s a pretty cool experience. I grew up around the Rose Bowl and going – I went to a Rose Bowl when I was a kid and just being from this city, it means a lot to come back and be able to participate in this. It’s a big deal for like southern California kids and stuff like that.”

(On preparing for Ohio State) “As a center, I kind of like break it down by like days of the week. One day I’ll watch just the D-Line and see how they move and how they do stuff, and I’ll watch the linebackers and I’ll watch the secondary because there’s things I need to see on all three of those levels to put our team in the best position. So I kind of watch it like in layers, like I don’t just watch one person or one position. I watch everything. So I can see how they work as a group.”

TIGHT END DREW SAMPLE

(On the approach to playing Ohio State) “I think for us, we know that they’re a good team. They’ve got a really good front seven. They’ve got some really good guys on defense, like you said. For us it’s trying to do our job, not trying to do too much. Not trying to stretch. For us, the ‘O’ line, tight ends, I think it’s going to be – it’s going to be a game that’s going to be one in the trenches. For us I think it’s just going out and executing how we know we can.”

(On this team getting Washington back to the Rose Bowl) “For us being able to be the team that gets us back there is pretty cool. We’ve won two Pac-12 championships in the last couple of years, first time in 16 years. For us it’s all about loving the experience, having the opportunity to go out and play a really good team. And I think we’re excited for that and looking forward to the challenge.”

(On overcoming adversity throughout the season) “Obviously this year we didn’t have some games that didn’t go our way and maybe some wins that made it more difficult for ourselves than it should have been. But the way this team has responded and fought, I think a lot of people were surprised we ended up here, but we kept trying to stay the course, just keep battling every week, and we were able to play in this game. So I think the guys want to end it on a high note. So I think we’re excited for that.”

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