Asked if CB Marcus Peters has done what he was supposed to do upon his return from a one-week banishment from Huskies football, coach Chris Petersen said, “For the first six hours, yes.”
For anyone who has had to train a dog (or a Dawg), that’s known as a short leash.
Petersen didn’t elaborate on the terms and conditions for Peters’ reinstatement, but it seemed as if a no-tolerance policy is in effect regarding more “stupid penalties,” as Petersen described Peters’ personal foul after the narrow win two weeks ago against Eastern Washington, or the sideline tantrum caught on TV.
“He’s back with us and we’ll take one day at a time,” Petersen said. “Most of that stuff is kind of between us and the team, but I think it’s just about doing things like a good teammate should, in general.”
It doesn’t figure that anything should incite Peters this Saturday against Georgia State — or excite anyone in the stands. The Panthers (1-2) from Atlanta are coming off an 0-12 season, their first in the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. They are way overmatched, but are making the cross-country trip for a pummeling in order to get a payday of $900,000.
Such a mismatch has become a modern custom for big schools seeking easy non-conference wins and for smaller schools seeking profile and cash. Georgia State will also play Clemson Nov. 22, and in the past has played other Power Five conference members Alabama (twice), Tennessee and West Virginia.
The head coach is Trent Miles, the running backs coach at Washington under Tyrone Willingham from 2005-07. The quarterbacks coach is Luke Huard, brother of former Huskies quarterbacks Brock and Damon Huard from Puyallup. Two other former Huskies assistants are with the Panthers, Tim Lappano and J.D. Williams.
Petersen offered up the usual coaching bromides about never underestimating an opponent.
“That’s not even kind of an issue for me or this team,” he said. “All you have to do is put on the tape and watch (QB Nick Arbuckle) throw for 400 yards. We’re getting ready for a team that can really throw it, the run game is pretty effective. It’s a combination of a couple of teams we’ve seen. They move it in big chunks, scoring points (107 in three games). It’s just about us improving from mistakes we’ve made the last couple weeks.
“But if our mindset is in the future (Stanford, 1:15 p.m., Sept. 27) we’ll get hit right in the mouth.”
Miles named a captain
QB Cyler Miles had another milestone in his road back to good graces following a six-month suspension. He was named by the coaching staff as one of the weekly captains.
“I think he’s just been doing a great job since we’ve had him back in the mix,” Petersen said. “He’s been very into it. He’s been a very good teammate.
“We like to mix (the captains) as much as we can. We think it’s an honor. We don’t want to just hand somebody the captain torch, but if guys are doing things to help this team — shoot, it could be in the locker room — but usually it’s a combination of playing decently and helping our team going in the right direction.”
Shaq Thompson honored
After his returns of an interception and a fumble for touchdowns, LB Shaq Thompson was named the Pac-12’s defensive player of the week. His 36-yard pick in the first quarter put the Huskies up 21-3, and in the second quarter, his 52-yard scoop and score went for 52 yards and a 35-5 advantage.
The offensive honor went to quarterback Jerry Neuheisel of UCLA, son of former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel. He came in after a first-quarter elbow injury to starter Brett Hundley and completed 23 of 30 passes for 178 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Bruins’ 20-17 win over Texas in Dallas.