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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 6, 2006 at 2:02 PM

UW’s defense getting no rest

It was time for the defense at UW today. This is the only day of the week other than Monday that defensive coaches and players meet the media.
And the overriding theme is that everything bad that happened in the late going against San Jose State is fixable as the team readies to play Oklahoma this Saturday.
“The first three quarters I thought was pretty good,” said UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer.
The fourth quarter, however, not so much as San Jose had drives of 73 and 81 yards to come within six points on two different occasions.
Baer noted that the two drives were really made up of four big plays – 17 and 50 yards (for a TD) on the first one, and 20 and 28 on the second one.
“Two of those were just breakdowns and another was tackling so I think those things are correctable,” Baer said. “For not having practiced one snap [against San Jose State’s spread passing offense] and playing the nickel package the whole game, for the first three quarters I was excited about that part of it. I’m just disappointed in how we tackled and had blown coverages.
“But I look at that as coaching. I don’t blame it on anybody but myself. When you call something like we called and we blew the coverage, then obviously they didn’t understand it.”
Washington coaches and players aren’t expecting to be surprised this week by Oklahoma, which figures to stay with the game plan of running Adrian Peterson 25 or so times that has worked so well the last two seasons.
Oklahoma has four sophomore starters on its offensive line, and quarterback Paul Thompson has just two starts at that position. He moved back to QB from receiver after Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team.
Baer said he figures Oklahoma will throw more as Thompson gets more comfortable in the offense. But he doesn’t expect OU to suddenly start flinging it everywhere.
“I’m sure they are going to want to put the game in the hands of that offensive line and tight ends and running back and not loses the game by forcing (Thompson) to throw the ball around the field,” Baer said. “I don’t see them changing from that.”
Secondary coach J.D. Williams said he thought the late breakdown by the defensive backs was due mostly to a lapse in emotion and energy than fundamentals. “We’ve got to play with a lot more emotion than we did in the second half,” he said.
He also noted that using the nickel package more than expected meant some players were used a lot more than expected. One example is sophomore cornerback Mesphin Forrester. Williams said the plan had been to give him about 16 snaps. Instead, he got about 50.
What will help is if Dashon Goldson is able to play more this week. Williams said Goldson has been practicing more and that “I’m pretty certain he’ll give us some more snaps this week.”
Williams said the team does have some promising young cornerbacks, but that “they’re not ready to play yet.”

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