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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 20, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Thursday notes

Tom Wyrwich filled in for me at UW today and filed these notes from Tyrone Willngham’s daily press briefing, as well as the update on the new stadium presented by UW officials today.
First on the stadium, UW officials said they hope to begin construction of some of the project by Dec. 2008 to beat the beginning of the SoundTransit project in 2009. They said they’d hope for completion by 2010 but more likely 2011 or 2012.
They left open the possibility of playing elsewhere for a season or two (Qwest Field) but said they’d like to avoid that if possible. They also left open the possibility of selling naming rights. Money remains a big hurdle, they said, estimating it will cost “hundreds of millions” of dollars.
UW athletic director Todd Turner and other members of a stadium advisory committee met with the school’s Board of Regents earlier in the day, which was the reason for the press conference.
We’ll have a lot more on this tomorrow in the paper and on-line.
As for football:
— Willingham was asked first about the relevance of a new stadium to recruiting and said: “It is a great deal. Because anytime you can do anything to make it better for the fans, you in turn make it better for the players. Because if you can create a better environment for your fans to be in, your players will be the recipients of that. They feel the emotion, they feel the love, they feel the joy, they feel the enthusiasm of that crowd, so it’s a real plus. It’s a win for us.
— As for injuries, Willingham said: “Nothing new. Dan Howell is good. Byron Davenport worked yesterday, that’s two days this week, so we’re headed in the right direction. If nothing happens, I anticipate that first of all he’ll make the trip, and then he’s got a chance to play. He feels fine.
Brandon Johnson is fine. He seems to be doing well. He ran all week, didn’t have any problems.”
— Asked whether there would be any hesitation to use Davenport, Willingham said: “I don’t think we will be. I think at the right time, we’ll insert him in there.”
— On adjusting to a different QB midweek in regards to UCLA having to go with Patrick Cowan instead of Ben Olson: “Quarterback makes a difference, especially if you’re going from left-hander (Olson) to a right-hander (Cowan) because that could in fact change how they view the game and where they position themselves. Some teams like to run to their left and pass to their right, that might be their natural sequence for a right-hander. Now that might be totally opposite with a left-hander. So all of those things do matter. Obviously, the skill level, the skill sets the quarterback brings makes a huge difference. Is one a better runner than the other one? How does that factor into their gameplan? So all those things do make a big difference. You’re not sure, so you’ve got to prepare for what you anticipate, and I know we’ve done that. We’ve done something for the left-hander, we’ve probably done something for the right-hander. But it does kind of dilute what you can do in the course of a week in your normal game preparation.”
— On the possibility of rain Saturday: “You just have to prepare for it. I think there’s a mindset that comes with that. We should be really accustomed to it, because we get it throughout the year. We’ve been really lucky the past couple years, we’ve only really had maybe two ballgames in the last two years in my mind, really the Oregon State ballgame stands out as the only ones thave been kind of rainy, damp and wet, kind of an understatement. But other than that, our weather’s been really really good, and in some circles, we’ve probably had better weather right now than Los Angeles does.”
— On what he expects from UCLA: “You really don’t know what their mindset is. There’s so much that we write or we think about where the other team is at. I don’t think you really know in some cases where they’re at. Whether they’re back is truly against the wall. Whether they even embrace that thought process. I’ve always said it this way: our team should be with their back against the wall. We should feel like we’re the ones with something to prove, something to gain. Unless I’m mistaken, this is our Pac-10 opener. This is an important football game. I feel this is a very important football game. We always want to have our back against the wall. That way they can only hit you in the front.
— On UW’s difficulty winning in the Rose Bowl: “It’s all the things that come potentially with going probably to California. All the things that come with a road trip. All the distractions that come with it, playing this late, the bed’s not right, you’re not used to sleeping in that bed, for your big guys, it’s not long enough, your feet hang off the edge of the bed, that’s not comfortable sleeping. All those things can make a difference and can be a part of what causes you to not be on your game.”

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