Sept. 2, 2006
By Benton Strong
UW Athletic Communications
SEATTLE - It would be tough to say that the Huskies season opener against San Jose State was about defense, since the team did surrender 29 points.
Most of the defensive guys put it simple, "we did what we had to do to win."
While intermediate passes in the secondary hurt the Huskies at times, Washington's front seven were outstanding, leading the way to 10 tackles for loss and four sacks.
"We have some guys both on our defense and on our special teams that are really fast," said sophomore Chris Stevens. "We like to use our speed and we were able to use it to get to the quarterback."
The defensive end-turned linebacker led the team in tackles as he continues to solidify his role. Washington's defensive front was one of the things that San Jose State coach Dick Tomey was worried about coming into the game, and Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham was quick to give the unit the credit it was due.
"There were a lot of things that our defense did very well," he said. "I think the first three quarters we played pretty solid."
The numbers tell the entire story. In addition to its 10 tackles for loss and four sacks, the Huskies' defense forced five punts and allowed just 50 yards rushing.
"That was probably one of the good things that we did," Willingham said. "We knew that their little runner had been very explosive and created some problems for other teams, so it was good for us to keep that under control."
In the end, the defense did just enough to be 1-0.