Washington Huskies

Will Chris Petersen coach again? The door isn't shut, but not right away

Will Chris Petersen coach again? The door isn't shut, but not right away

On Monday morning, then-Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen shocked the college football world by resigning as head coach following their bowl game next month. 

Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Lake was named as his successor. Immediately following the announcement, speculation ran rampant of what Petersen would do next. Was he USC-bound? What about the NFL? Would he be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys?

Official word is that Petersen will transition into an advisory role with the Huskies, at least, in the immediate future. 

At his press conference today, Petersen discussed if he’s done coaching when asked. 

I’m not falling into that trick question...my whole plan is to get rested, to get recharged, and get redirected. Like the one thing I know is that I’m not ready to do nothing. I just gotta figure out where all this energy and this passion and inspiration goes. I don’t want it to be on the football field.

It sounds like Petersen doesn’t want to return to coaching football anytime soon. He's burned out, which is understandable considering how heavy and constant the workload is when running a program the size of Washington's. That position demands around the clock work hours between recruiting, game-planning, running practice, watching film, and oh, the actual games themselves.

Petersen said he likes being around people who strive for excellence, he loves people who are great at their jobs.  

The now former Huskies head coach becomes another in a recent trend of major programs having their coaches step down during their 50s. Other recent examples include Bob Stoops at Oklahoma (56) and Urban Meyer at Ohio State (54). In both cases, one of the coordinators was promoted in their place. And in both cases, they eventually returned to coaching.  

New Huskies coach Jimmy Lake wants an 'aggressive' program

New Huskies coach Jimmy Lake wants an 'aggressive' program

On Monday morning, Chris Petersen shocked college football by resigning as head coach of the Washington Huskies after six seasons in Seattle. His replacement is former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, who according to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, has turned down multiple offers waiting for this opportunity. 

At his introductory press conference, Lake said he will follow a similar formula as how Petersen ran the program, but he had the following to say about what he’ll do differently as head coach of the Huskies.

We’re going to have a different style on offense. We’re going to have a different style on our special teams. We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to attack, and this place is ready to roll.

Earlier in the press conference, he highlighted his love for X’s and O’s and football strategy will also separate his program from Petersen’s.  

Also, recruiting for the Huskies should increase as Lake, who has been the Huskies ace recruiter for years, will now be running the entire show. He’ll be able to be more aggressive in recruiting than when Petersen was at the helm.

Looking for proof of that? Not a single Huskies commit has decommitted more than 24 hours after the shocking head coaching change announcement, which is nearly unheard of whenever in a situation like this one. For example, when Willie Taggart abruptly left Eugene a handful of the Ducks’ commits immediately decommitted. To not have any recruiting collateral damage is quite impressive.  

It’s unclear how Lake will handle running an entire program since this will be his first head coaching gig; however, he’s set up as well as anyone could hope.

What Chris Petersen's shocking step down means for the Pac-12 Conference

What Chris Petersen's shocking step down means for the Pac-12 Conference

A shocking shake-up to the Pac-12 Conference was announced Monday morning. Washington head coach Chris Petersen announced that he is stepping down as head coach of Washington Huskies football after the bowl game, giving way to current defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.

"I'll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge," Petersen said.

Washington finished third in the Pac-12 North Division, going 7-5 overall and 4-5 in conference play. Petersen will transition into a leadership advisory role for Husky Athletics. In his six seasons at

Washington, Petersen led the Huskies to two Pac-12 Championships (2016, 2018), the 2016 College Football Playoffs, and three consecutive New Years Six bowl games.

If this news raises your eyebrows, you aren’t the only one.

Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham, the most tenured coach in the conference (15 years), learned of the coaching change on the Pac-12 Championship teleconference call and responded with utter shock.

“Wow. I would have never thought that,” Whittingham said. “Chris Peterson is one of the finest coaches in the country, there are a handful of guys you respect and admire as a coach. Petersen is one of my guys.”

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, who is undefeated in his two seasons against the Petersen coached Huskies, also was surprised.

“I literally got off the field and I heard the news,” Cristobal said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Petersen. He's had a great career. Certainly wish nothing but the best for him and his family."

What does this mean for Washington and how does this affect the conference?

During any coaching change, recruiting sharks will emerge in attempt to steer prospects to other Pac-12 coaches. UW’s 2020 recruiting class ranks second in the Pac-12, behind Oregon and 16th nationally.  

However, don’t expect UW to take too big of a hit in recruiting, as Lake is Washington’s top recruiter. The initial transition may cause some prospects to re-open their recruitements, but retaining and promoting Lake could strengthen UW’s future recruiting classes.

Lake has been on Petersen's staff since 2012 at Boise State, was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2016 and has been the Huskies' sole defensive coordinator the past two seasons. He previously coached defensive backs for six years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Under Lake between 2015 and 2018, UW led the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense. 

How long Petersen wants to “re-charge” is unclear and unknown. His name will certainly be in talks for open NFL coaching jobs and any vacant college coaching jobs (cough, USC, cough).

Breaking: Chris Petersen to step down as Huskies head coach

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USATI

Breaking: Chris Petersen to step down as Huskies head coach

Shocking news out of Seattle. The University of Washington announced Monday that head football coach Chris Petersen will step down following the team's bowl game. 

In a statement released by the school, Petersen said "It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution... I will forever be grateful, honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to coach our fine young men on Montlake for these past six seasons. I thank each of them, as well as our coaches and administrative staff for the incredible commitment they've made to Husky football during my tenure. The football program and Husky Athletics across the board will continue to prosper, and do it the right way, with Jen Cohen's leadership and the University administration's commitment to excellence. I'll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge."

Petersen spent six seasons with the Huskies, going 54-26 over that span and winning the Pac-12 Conference title in 2016 and 2018. Prior to arriving at Washington, Petersen was the head coach for the Boise State Broncos. In eight seasons at Boise State, he led to team to a 92-12 record and an improbable win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. For his career, Petersen holds a record of 148-38, and his .793 winning percentage ranks second among active coaches with at least five years at the helm.

Washington has already named defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake as his successor. 

You can read the school's full press release HERE.

Instant Analysis: Oregon State offense sputters, Beavs lose to UW

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USATI

Instant Analysis: Oregon State offense sputters, Beavs lose to UW

It was a rough night in Corvallis as the Beavers had an opportunity to put a little pressure on the north division leading Ducks with a win over Washington. 

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. The secondary has improved

The Beaver defense played well tonight. Specifically, Oregon State had solid coverage downfield in the secondary and protected well against the deep ball. Looking back at previous games, you couldn't say this was the case. Jaydon Grant had a pick six in the third quarter to make it 13-7 which gave the Beavs some hope in the second half. 

2. What happened to the offense?

While the defense was the bright spot, the offense was a big problem tonight. This is seemingly the exact opposite problem the Beavs had in the first part of the season. Luton was constantly pressured all night long as the offensive line was unable to protect him. Luton also made several bad throws including an interception. The Beavers starting offense was shut out at home for the second time this season (first was against Utah). 

3. Beavs need Hodgins to be more involved

Hodgins finished with just 4 catches for 33 yards and that is simply not good enough. He needs more targets and the OSU offense is going to have to find creative ways to get him the ball downfield. There were far too many short passes that resulted in little or no gain. Hodgins is the Beavers big-play WR and he needs to be utilized as such. 

Up Next: The Beavers will travel to Arizona State next Saturday. 

Oregon State Beavers in action against Washington Huskies, follow along on social

Oregon State Beavers in action against Washington Huskies, follow along on social

The Oregon State Beavers (4-4, 3-2 Pac-12) look to get one game closer to a bowl appearance when they host the Washington Huskies (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) at Reser Stadium at 7:30. 

The Beavers haven't had a winning record this late into the season since 2014 and haven't qualified for a bowl game since 2013. The Huskies were chosen to win the Pac-12 North by the media in the preseason but have greatly underwhelmed. However, they're still capable of beating anyone in the conference given their close losses to Oregon and Utah.

The Beavers haven't defeated the Husies since 2011. They also haven't won a conference home game since 2016. They'll look to end both streaks against their foes from up north.

Ron Callan and Dylan Mickanen will also be covering the game so follow along on social media.

MORE ON BEAVS:

Isaiah Hodgins "ready to go bowling"

Oregon State's backfield still a committee despite Jefferson's return

Jake Luton ready for his final shot the defeat the Huskies

The Oregon Ducks won a big one at Washington -- or did they?

The Oregon Ducks won a big one at Washington -- or did they?

The Oregon Ducks all but wrapped up the Pac-12 North Saturday afternoon when they dispatched Washington. Nobody’s going to catch them now and the only teams in the conference with a legitimate chance to beat them are going to be Utah in the title game or USC.

But really, winning the Pac-12 this season is certainly not what it used to be. Folks, this league is weak. VERY weak.

It used to be that if the Ducks won in Seattle, that was a monster victory. Same thing with getting a win at Stanford. But take a look at this traditionally strong programs this season.

Washington, with that loss, fell to 2-3 in conference play with losses to California and, yes, Stanford. The Cardinal, also 2-3, lost at USC and at home to a pitiful UCLA team. Oregon State had a big win for its program at California and is all alone in second place at 2-2 behind the Ducks, but had a narrow loss to Stanford at home and was blown out 52-7 by Utah.

Oregon is good, make no mistake about it. But its touted defense feasted off the many teams in the division that simply can’t move the football consistently. And I think what hurts a team in the Ducks’ position is that playing weak conference teams throughout the regular season is no way to get ready for powerful squads in a bowl or playoff game. And I think this has been a problem for Oregon in past seasons. Blowouts aren’t good tuneups for playing the big boys of college football.

I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade. I'm keeping it real.

And this conference just doesn’t have great credentials when it comes to getting a team into the playoffs this season. If you’re elsewhere in the country trying to figure the league out, you’re going to see that Oregon State and Arizona – teams with 2-2 conference records – hold losses to Hawaii, which has won only two other games this season.

Perhaps the conference’s best non-conference performance was a loss – USC’s three-point defeat at Notre Dame or the Ducks’ last-second loss to Auburn. But the Trojans have also lost to BYU (which has lost to Toledo) and Washington.

Go figure.

And as far as the national championship playoff, it doesn’t look good for the Ducks to make the field. Here’s what Oddsshark.com had to say last week about Oregon’s chances. And yes, it's dated, but it's the national perception of the Pac-12:

The No. 11 Oregon Ducks (+1000) lost in their season opener to the Auburn Tigers and have won four straight since. What puts the Ducks at a major disadvantage is playing in the Pac-12 where no win really feels impressive and, to that point, this expected high-potent offense has averaged just 24.3 points per game over their last three games. Oregon has just one currently-ranked squad remaining on its schedule, at No. 18 Arizona State in Week 13. If the Ducks win, that would be their only win over a ranked foe in 2019 – not good enough.

In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future

In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future

SEATTLE- The Oregon Ducks beat their rival Washington in comeback fashion, essentially punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Conference title game and kept a glimmer of College Football Playoff hopes alive.

After overcoming the largest second-half deficit since 2008 at Purdue and improving to 4-0 in Pac-12 play, the Ducks had a lot to celebrate.

However, one part of Oregon’s joyous celebration was not like the others.

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal fist pumped, threw up the “O” and high-fived brave Ducks fans after the 35-31 victory, with a smile beaming from his face. The team sang the Oregon fight song along with the band, hugging and dancing. Freshman Mycah Pittman jumped up and down with palpable energy after scoring his first Duck touchdown. Senior Troy Dye, with a cast on his broken thumb, gave a television interview that he ended with a hand gesture of the “W” going down. Senior quarterback Justin Herbert happily walked off the field for the final time against UW after calmly leading the team to the win and extending his nation-leading streak to 35 straight games with a touchdown pass.

Then there was senior linebacker La’Mar Winston Jr.

The Portland, Oregon-native huddled together a group of freshman defensive tackles in a passionate display of leadership. Under the screaming fans and celebrating teammates, Winston Jr.’s words were loud and clear.

“I want you to remember this moment,” Winston Jr. said. “When I leave, when everyone leaves. You have to make sure that everyone stays hungry.”

He looked them each in the eye and said a few more words before hugging them. Then jumped over the railing and into the crowd of fans that embraced him.

“I love La’Mar to death, that’s my brother for life,” Dye said of his teammate. “To see him step up like that and bring all those young guys around him and really coach them up, is big-time for our defense. The older guys working with the younger guys trickles down and creates a great future for this team.”

Winston Jr. totaled one tackle against Washington but his impact reaches farther than the stat line and will continue long after he graduates. His leadership has helped the Duck defense dominate this season to lead the Pac-12.

“La’Mar has poured his heart and soul into this,” Cristobal said. “When you do that and overcome a 14-point deficit on the road, when things were looking a little bit shaky… Hard work done the right way, it pays off. It paid off today.”

Cristobal continued to name Winston Jr. as someone he hopes his sons might be like when they grow up.  

The Ducks got a significant win on a rainy, gray, quintessential Pacific Northwest day. Vivid red, gold, green, purple and orange trees surrounding Husky stadium. Inside, the Ducks and Huskies battled in an instant classic. However, the most striking impression was a senior passing along advice in a teachable moment that could reap benefits for seasons to come.

Instant Analysis: Oregon takes down rival Washington

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Instant Analysis: Oregon takes down rival Washington

SEATTLE - No. 12 Oregon beat rival No. 25 Washington in an instant classic in Seattle, silencing a tempestuous and unruly sea of purple at Husky Stadium.

The win extends the Ducks’ winning streak to six games and improves them to 4-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013. Oregon (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) remains atop the North Division with zero conference losses and stifles the Huskies chances at the Pac-12 title.

Here are the top three takeaways from the contest.

1. Impressive opening drive

Oregon quickly quieted the unruly Washington crowd with a 75-yard touchdown drive with tempo, great throws, strong rushing attack and a faint "Let's Go Ducks" chant.

Quarterback Justin Herbert was a perfect 6-for-6 for 56 yards and a touchdown, extending his nation-best passing touchdown streak to 35 straight games. Tight end Spencer Webb caught the 12-yard touchdown pass, his second touchdown of the season. Running back CJ Verdell got off to a solid start, with 26 rushing yards on six carries and two receptions for 12 yards.

On the opening drive, the Ducks already totaled more passing yards than they did in 2017 in Seattle. The rest of the game was an up and down rollercoaster for the quarterback, looking brilliant at times and lost at times.

 

2. Oregon’s dominant defense in disarray

The Duck defense allowed only 25 points and one touchdown in the past five games. The dominance did not continue against Washington, allowing three touchdowns in the first half alone.

Oregon’s pass rush was non-existent in the first half, recording zero sacks or quarterback hurries on Washington’s Jacob Eason. Entering this game, Oregon had at least six combined sacks/quarterback hurries in each game this season, averaging nine per game in Pac-12 play.   

Adding insult to injury, linebacker Troy Dye and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir both had to head to the locker room for extended periods of time after suffering injuries. Dye returned and started the second half, Lenoir did not return.

3. Under-REDD-ed

Junior wide receiver Jaylon Redd has been flying under the radar with major contributions to the Oregon offense. Redd extended his nation-leading streak of games with a touchdown catch to six games, scoring on a 16-yard pass in the second quarter. He added another score late in the game to give Oregon the 34-31 lead. The Ducks can count on Redd’s elusiveness and quick bursts.

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More to come with quotes and videos from Coach Mario Cristobal and Ducks players.

Oregon Ducks in action vs. Washington Huskies, follow us on social for live updates

Oregon Ducks in action vs. Washington Huskies, follow us on social for live updates

Saturday is more than just another football game for the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies. It’s a rivalry that runs back 112 years full of chippy moments, heated arguments, trash talking fans, and so much more. 

This time, the rivalry will be played in a sea of purple at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. 

It’s No. 12 (Oregon) vs. No. 25 (Washington) and it’s going to be a good one with Pac-12 north implications on the line. If Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) defeats UW (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12), the Ducks will have a commanding lead in the north division race. If UW can beat Oregon, then the Huskies are right back in the north mix.

Our Oregon Ducks Insider Bri Amaranthus and Digital Producer Ashley Young are in Seattle, WA so make sure you follow along on social.

HIGHLIGHT:

TOUCHDOWN OREGON!

The Ducks marched down the field on the opening drive and grabbed the early 7-0 lead. 

DON'T STOP ON REDD

Jaylon Redd ties it up for the Ducks

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Calvin Throckmorton on the legacy on the Oregon-Washington rivalry:

“It comes down to controlled aggression. Letting that passion and the pageantry of the rivalry give you that little bit of juice to start the game. But, you have to use that in the right way. It can’t come out as raw emotion, it has to come out as controlled aggression.”

QUICK LINKS

Numbers to Know: Oregon vs. Washington

Oregon upperclassmen teaching rivalry legacy to young Ducks

3 keys to an Oregon victory against rival Washington

Oregon’s ice cold uniforms vs. rival Washington