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January 1, 2019

Chris Petersen

Jake Browning

Myles Gaskin

Pasadena, California

Ohio State - 28, Washington - 23

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Washington head coach Chris Petersen, quarterback Jake Browning and tailback Myles Gaskin.

COACH PETERSEN: Tough one. Very frustrating when you start the first half like we started. I had no idea why. It's on me. It's not these kids. They practiced hard. They're ready to play. But we really didn't play with that edge and that chip that we normally play with, really, just, you know, across the whole squad.

I don't know, being off that much time, it just didn't seem the same. I'm proud of them. A few adjustments at halftime, but really more than anything, just an attitude adjustment, make a few plays. And that breeds excitement when you make a few plays and kind of feed off each other.

So we'll go back to the drawing board on how to prepare these guys better to come out of the gate a little bit faster. But I am proud of how hard these guys play, and I never doubt that. That's why I think it's really on me to figure out how to get a faster start, because it's never a question of these guys not being all in and doing everything that we ask them to do. We've just got to prepare them a little differently.


Q. I know first time, the Rose Bowl and everything else, especially Coach Pete. Did it live up to expectations, with the hype and the build-up and everything that people thought or people told you it might be in terms of coming out of the tunnel and seeing all the purple and seeing the red? Did it live up to what you thought it might be?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah, I've seen this game for a lot of years. Never been here. Certainly the whole week, everything leading up to the opening kickoff, led up to that. I think when you don't play like you want to play or think you're capable of playing, that kind of sours things a little bit.

But in terms of how we were treated, the prestige of this place, all those type of things you're talking about, first-class, second-to-none.

JAKE BROWNING: Yeah, I thought it was a special game, the whole setting of it was pretty cool. Just like he said, it's kind of hard to reflect on that thinking about the loss right now.

MYLES GASKIN: Yeah, it was cool. Just love this program, love Coach Pete. Love these guys.

Q. Obviously you guys have achieved a lot over the past few years. Got to the College Football Playoff, won two Pac-12 titles. To not have that major bowl win over the past three years, when you put it all into perspective, what's that elusive win mean? What's the significance of that?
COACH PETERSEN: Well, I think it means we're close to being where we want to be, but we're not there. You're playing the best of the best.

When you play the three teams we just got done playing the last three years, and there's very little margin for error, and you have to play your best football.

And, I mean, I think Ohio State's as good as anybody out there. I think they could have been in the tournament, the four-team tournament. I think a lot of people think that. I just think it's frustrating for us, when you feel like you didn't put your best foot forward the whole entire four quarters. And so that's what it comes back to, us coaches to figure that out.

Because all of that stuff matters. I do think that these kids have it in them to be right there, you get a little luck, and make a play or two, anything can happen in these type of games.

But we'll keep battling, keep learning. Keep figuring out how to raise the bar.

JAKE BROWNING: I don't really have anything to say other than what Coach Pete did.


Q. Coach, you've been with these two for the last four years, as you've brought the program back up. What are the emotions like for you walking off the field with them for the last time?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah, I mean, it seems like yesterday when both those guys kind of came walking into the building. Didn't really know what they'd give us. We thought they'd give us their heart. We kind of figured that or we wouldn't have recruited them.

And I just think what they've done as freshmen out of the gate, just the maturity that they brought to the game, really, not only the play but just how they prepared, I always think about Myles, how hard he practiced, Jake prepares and practices also, he never changes. Those answers he just gave you, that's the same answers he gives me a lot, even when it's going good or not good.

But just their consistency and really wanting to do the best they can and not flinching, no matter good, bad, or in between.

Q. Considering the slow start with the offense, you guys were obviously humming there in the fourth quarter, considering the slow start and some of the struggles up and down on offense this year, do you think you need to make some drastic changes this offseason to the offense?
COACH PETERSEN: I think we need to look at our offense really closely, no question. I don't know. Like the game was kind of similar of a lot of what we went on this season in terms of some red zone issues. We drive the ball, we play, we can run the ball pretty well on occasion and make some plays. And we get in the red zone, and we penalty, sack. I mean, it's so frustrating. It's not something we haven't been paying attention and looking at.

But we will get that fixed.

Q. How?
COACH PETERSEN: We'll have a plan. We will. We'll study the hell out of the tape. And, you know, pare things down so we're more precise at what we're doing. It all comes down to execution, is what it is.

And I don't know if -- if it's any one thing, we would have fixed it long ago. But we've done it in the past. We've played good in the red zone in the past. We'll analyze every bit of tape that we have of ourselves from not just this year. We'll figure it out.

Q. Jake, Myles, what was that feeling in the fourth quarter as you guys were making obviously a comeback and humming like you guys obviously wanted to?
JAKE BROWNING: Yeah, I mean, I think on the sideline the whole time just saying keep swinging and keep getting after it. Just a couple plays away from getting that first score.

And at halftime just said take it one drive at a time. And I think coming out in the second half, Myles definitely sparked it. And fourth quarter we were able to move the ball up and down the field pretty well, and we were just a little too little too late.

But we're always going to keep swinging, we always did keep swinging, and I think that's kind of how we are as a team, we're never out of it. Just keep battling.

Q. Chris, can you talk about the decision to punt late in the fourth quarter?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah, we were going to go for it. And then if we didn't convert, we don't want to put our defense in such a bad situation there, we actually might have had a little something else going on there in terms of the punt. But they lined up not -- the punt return team lined up not how we wanted them to.

So we had to kick it out of there.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah. And so we didn't get the look we wanted. And so we were trying to get a little something down, but we didn't want to just do something that we didn't think we had much of a chance at.

Q. Coach, I think you had about a minute 15, I think, at the end of the first half. What was the thought process trying to get out of your own end?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah, that was frustrating. I mean, really frustrating. Yeah. That's a frustrating one. The thought process was: Let's not get -- you know, let's try to run the ball, get a first down. We threw a pass right away. Got about five yards, and then I think on third down we ended up missing a pass.

They came down scoring. I thought that was a big, huge key to the game for those guys to score right before. It was frustrating on both sides that we don't eat a little clock, that we didn't convert the first down, and then they got the ball, went right down the field on us.

Q. Any thought to just run it out, go to the halftime?
COACH PETERSEN: Well, there was a thought of that. There was a thought of that, yeah.

Q. You started out in the third quarter, I think you had six consecutive runs. What was your plan going into that? To reestablish the run and make them change their defense?
COACH PETERSEN: Yeah, you know, we had more runs called the first half, but they're kind of run-pass options, and Jake was throwing it a lot, so we wanted to get our line a chance to get into the rhythm not put the pass part of things on, and they really started moving the ball. They felt that they could do some things.

And so that was just kind of that thinking. And I think that kind of helped us stay on the field, get a little rhythm going and not go 3-and-out those type of things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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