Sept. 11, 2008
Sophomore Willie Griffin showed Husky fans what he could do against Brigham Young last Saturday. He rushed for 14 yards on just two carries, including an 11 yard burst on his first carry. With that small taste of college football still fresh in his memory, he fully expects to continue to make a contribution in 2008 and beyond. He recently sat down with GoHuskies.com to talk about his first impressions of what it was like to take the field.
GoHuskies.com: What was your first experience like?
Willie Griffin: "It was a chance for me to get my feet wet and experience game-like tempo. It gave me a chance to find out what I can do at the college level. I just had to take advantage of the experience and it felt good."
GH: How did playing at Husky Stadium add to the experience?
WG: The adrenaline was going and my heart was beating fast. I had been knocking at the door and now the door was opened. I just had to go out there and stay humble, stay poised, keep my confidence up and do what I do best: run hard. The fans just made it that much more spectacular. As a redshirt last year I'd always seen the environment of Husky Stadium, but I'd never be on the field. So it was special.
GH: Each one of your carries mattered in what was a close game. Did that change your approach?
WG: It was a big game. You have to go out there and be productive, but also know your role. If you know your role you can go out and line up against any team and be the runner that you are and make plays for the team. That kept running through my head. It was a ranked BYU team, but at the same time we know our ability and how we can move the ball. We kept that going and we kept our confidence up all game.
GH: How will this team prepare for another tough game this week?
WG: We go into every game knowing it's a big game. We don't play any pushovers. Oklahoma is a pretty good football team, but as long as we play Husky football and play to our abilities, we can give them a run for their money. We don't what the outcome will be, but we will go out there and play hard.
GH: When you start 0-2 a lot of your goals seem unattainable. How do you stay motivated?
WG: We know what is at hand. We know what it feels like to win. Just the feel of winning feels better than losing. We are playing like we love winning more than like we hate losing. We watch film week-to-week and make adjustments. We know then all we have to do is go out on Saturday and play a good game.
GH: What advantage is there to playing so many young players?
WG: We're going to make mental mistakes and sometimes be lost within the play. We try to work on all the things that need work and better ourselves. Come the end of the season you'll see more mature players and we'll be better. Then the experience will help us next year and after that because these young players are already getting a chance to play key roles.