I-A College Football
                === Dorm Report: Petersen breaks new ground ===
 By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Football Editor
 Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - As the saying goes, the grass is always
 greener on the other side.
 For Chris Petersen that couldn't be more true. On Monday it was officially
 announced that the 49-year-old head coach would be leaving behind the blue
 turf at Boise State for the sidelines at Husky Stadium at the University of
 It is quite a coup by Washington, which became the first on a long list of
 major BCS programs to finally lure Petersen away from the friendly confines of
 Boise. Time and time again Petersen's name came up for prominent coaching
 openings from UCLA to Florida to even the recent search at USC, but Petersen
 never budged. Coincidentally, the Trojans stealing away Steve Sarkisian from
 Washington opened up the position for which Petersen is now responsible.
 What made Petersen finally surrender after eight years of building an absolute
 juggernaut at the mid-major level?
 "I think I go back to just the timing of things and feeling like I needed to
 take a step out of Boise to really grow and improve," Petersen said during
 Monday's press conference, while constantly emphasizing how good a 'fit'
 Washington was.
 After taking so long to finally leave Boise State, questions have already
 sprouted up about whether this is the final stop for Petersen.
 "You know how hard it was for me to leave Boise? I know this life always
 changes. I did not take this job to go anywhere else," Petersen said. "This is
 where I want to be, this is where my family wants to be. So I certainly
 envision and hope I can be here for a long time."
 Petersen certainly has a major challenge ahead of him if he is going to
 improve on his first eight seasons as a head coach. After inheriting an rising
 program from Dan Hawkins, Petersen lifted Boise into the stratosphere.
 Petersen led the Broncos to a 13-0 record, a No. 5 national ranking and the
 iconic topping of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. That was all in 2006 during his
 first year as head coach.
 In total, Petersen accumulated an incredible record of 92-12, a pair of
 undefeated campaigns, five bowl victories and six seasons ending with the
 Broncos among the top 25 teams in the country. Along the way Petersen picked
 up some hardware as well, earning the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award for the
 nation's top coach in 2006 and 2009. There are no other two-time winners on a
 list of recipients that includes such respected names as Lloyd Carr, Bob
 Stoops, Frank Beamer and Nick Saban.
 All of those accomplishments are impressive, and clearly why Washington was so
 keen to scoop Petersen up, but now he needs to reach towards those heights on
 a bigger stage. No longer will Petersen's schedule be filled with games
 against teams like New Mexico, Wyoming and Hawaii. Instead behemoths like
 Oregon, Stanford and Arizona State will come knocking. It is a challenge
 Petersen is aware of and ready to take on.
 "I'm excited about the conference. I think it's as good (and) tough as any
 conference there is out there," Petersen said during his opening remarks in
 Monday's press conference. "I think there is more parody in the Pac-12 now
 than certainly I've ever seen."
 Along with increased parity, the Pac-12 is also known for its number of squads
 that put up incredible numbers on the offensive side of the ball.
 Petersen should fit right in.
 During his reign at Boise State, the Broncos ranked among the top 25 teams in
 the country in total offense seven times, including a second-place finish in
 2010. Getting strong play under center was and will be the key.
 "Our philosophy on offense really runs through the quarterback. It always
 starts there, what is that guy's strengths and weaknesses," Petersen said.
 The major weakness for the group of signal callers that Petersen gets to work
 with in his first season is inexperience. Since Keith Price is graduating, the
 competition for the starting job will be between Cyler Miles, Jeff Lindquist
 and Troy Williams. Miles and Lindquist are both redshirt freshmen this season
 and Williams is a true freshman. Miles is the obvious choice to start at first
 as he is the only one of the three to have thrown a pass at the college level.
 Petersen may have already shown his hand in regard to the group, as he
 mentioned the strengths of having a mobile quarterback several times during
 Monday's press conference. Miles clearly fits that mold, as he averaged 8.1
 yards per carry in limited time this season
 Although Petersen will be molding a quarterback, getting Washington to buy in
 to an aggressive offensive scheme won't be a concern. Sarkisian left behind an
 offensive mentality in Seattle. The Huskies ranked second in the Pac-12 in
 total offense this season (514.3 ypg) and with Petersen's innovative
 tendencies now mixed in, that could become an annual occurrence for the Purple
 and Gold.
 Seeing his schemes in action will have to wait. For now Petersen can focus on
 filling out his staff (former defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski was
 already added), keeping an eye on the team's bowl preparations, planning for
 recruiting and getting used to his new turf, literally.
 12/11 09:19:26 ET

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