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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Five things to watch in the scrimmage today

If you’re heading out to the scrimmage tonight, well, you may have already left, so I hope this isn’t too late. But having already arrived at Husky Stadium, thought I’d rattle off a few things to watch today.
1, The offensive line. In particular, the tackles. Judging by his last two players of the day (Ryan Tolar and Senio Kelemete) sounds as if Steve Sarkisian is happy enough with the recent play of the inside guys. But the two tackle spots were the subject of a lot of experimentation in Monday’s practice, with Nick Scott ahead of Drew Schaefer at the RT spot and Ben Ossai and Cody Habben taking turns at LT. Some of you have asked about cut blocking and if we’ll see more of that in the scrimmage today. Not really sure how much more of that UW is doing this year or not. However, what UW is definitely doing more of this year up front is zone blocking. That requires quicker, more athletic linemen, hence the emphasis on getting slimmer up front. However, cut blocking is often a staple of zone blocking schemes, so the two kind of go hand-in-hand, so you probably will see more cut blocking at some point (here’s a good primer on all of that). Zone blocking is something USC has always been known for, and is another thing Sarkisian has brought with him to UW. (Here is a good analysis of USC’s zone blocking scheme).
2, The tailbacks. From the looks of the last few practices, Chris Polk and Johri Fogerson are emerging as the top two guys. But production in things like scrimmages are obviously paramount in making those decisions and all five guys should get ample reps tonight.
3, Jake Locker’s accuracy. Well, this is always going to be foremost in the minds of many fans and obviously always worth watching. Locker has definitely looked more accurate in most practices throughout the fall — I’d honestly say that dropped passes have been a bigger issue the last couple days than the accuracy of the quarterbacks throwing the ball. But a full-scale scrimmage is obviously a good test of all of it.
4, The kicking game. There’s little doubt Erik Folk and Will Mahan will do the kicking for the Huskies this season. But especially Folk needs to build some confidence and momentum heading into the season.
5, The secondary.The defensive front seven seems pretty well set in terms of who the starters are going to be. But the secondary remains more jumbled, especially the one cornerback spot opposite Quinton Richardson. Greg Walker has done a nice job holding onto the other safety spot opposite Nate Williams and we’ll see if that continues tonight.
Also, new Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott visiting UW today as part of his tour of all 10 conference schools. He’s scheduled to meet with some media here in a little while, though no news is expected to come from it. But if there is, I’ll pass it along.
And in one more note, the watch list for the Nagurski Award honoring the best defensive player in the country is out, but there are no Huskies (and I think I’m right this time in thinking that maybe Daniel Te’o-Nesheim could have been on this list).
All for now.

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