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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 4, 2006 at 2:37 PM

Getting defensive

Washington defensive coordinator Kent Baer met the media today looking a little weary. He admitted it has been a long week — mostly because of recruiting responsibilities that had him on the road last week.
But preparing to stop USC this week is surely leading to a lot of long nights as well.
Baer was asked a couple of questions about USC supposedly being a weaker offensive team this season and stopped one before it could be finished. “You’re not getting any bulletin board material here,” he said.
“‘They are still the most talented team in the league,” Baer said. “They have the best offensive line we’ve seen this year, the best quarterback we’ve seen this year and the best group of receivers. They are extremely talented.”
Any thought that the Trojans aren’t as good this year, he said, is merely because they were so amazing last year. “Reggie Bush, there was just nobody else like him,” Baer said.
Baer said the offensive line might be the biggest concern this week simply because “that’s where it all starts. They are never on the ground and that’s what you look for.”
Baer said USC hasn’t changed much schematically from what it has done in past years, though the personnel has changed greatly. Instead, this is a game where the Huskies will have to get it done physically.
On a few other matters, Baer said the Huskies did blitz dramatically more last week against Arizona than in previous games but said that’s not necessarily a sign of things to come. “It’s whatever it takes to win the game,” he said. This week, and future weeks, may not call for as much blitzing.
He also said a focus is for UW to begin creating more turnovers. UW is eighth in the conference in turnover margin at minus-three, getting six while losing nine. That the Huskies are 4-1 despite being on the negative side of that number is a good sign.
But Baer said the defense needs to create more turnovers. In particular, he cited that UW has forced seven fumbles this season but has recovered just one.
“A lot of that is the way the ball bounces, but a lot of it is effort, too,” he said. “We want to get our share.”
Also, ESPN Gameday is here today shooting interviews with UW players for a story that will run on Saturday’s show about the turnaround this season.

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