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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 7, 2009 at 3:56 PM

More from Sarkisian

Two days later, Steve Sarkisian was still accepting congratulations for his team’s play against LSU.
“That’s new to me,” Sarkisian said today at his regular Monday press conference. “I’ve never been congratulated so much for losing. But hopefully we don’t want to get too use to that. The goal around here is to win the game. It’s obviously great we played with the effort we wanted to and the crowd involvement was where we wanted it. But ultimately we are planning to win the game. So it was nice to get the praise for playing hardm but we are trying to win the game. I don’t want any of us to get too used to being congratulated for losing.”
The hope is that won’t be an issue next week as the Huskies are 21-point favorites against Idaho — a victory would snap a 15-game losing streak dating to 2007 that is tied for the longest in Pac-10 history.
Sarkisian, though, wants to make sure his players don’t take anything for granted. Asked about a possible letdown, he said “sure I worry about it. To me this is a very challenging week for our coaching staff to get these guys renergized to get them refocused because so much got put in and made up to that game, not necessarily from us but from the standpoint of fans and media that there can be a natural letdown. This has got to be our week where we motivate better than ever and we need to have a great week of practice.”
Here are a few more notes and quotes from Sarkisian’s press conference:
— Sarkisian said he got to sleep at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday. “I wanted to watch the game and a lot of energy and emotion goes into a ball game andd there is a tremendous natural high about competing at that level and the energy from the stadium and I didn’t want to go to sleep — I really wanted to get through the film and see it and enjoy time with the family. … We’ll catch up for sleep the next week or so.”
— The Huskies have seven former full-time assistants that have either played or coached at Idaho, as well as one graduate assistant. Sarkisian said it was a coincidence that happened and that one reason is simply that he looked for coaches that Northwest ties. He also already knew a few of them, such as Johnny Nansen. Sarkisian joked that he’s “keeping an eye on them this week. We don’t want anny gameplans being faxed to Idaho this week.”
— Sarkisian said he continues to be impressed by James Johnson and that what he did Saturday was what he had done all training camp. “It wasn’t too big for him,” Sarkisian said of the atmosphere.
— He also said again that he liked the way the team handled the game in terms of its mental approach. He specifically pointed to the first play following the interception for a touchdown when Chris Polk ran 33 yards. “The kids responded,” he said. “They didn’t fold their tent. … There were a lot of positives I was hoping to see and they happened.”
— He said he liked the play of the offensive line. “The most impressive thing was that they played very physically against a team that was physical up front,” he said. “We were physical up front across the board. … From the first snap until the end we played very physical up front, I was proud of those guys.”
— One thing he said has to get better is not facing so many third-and-longs. “We’ve got to get down in the third-and-two, third-and-four range and that comes from efficiency in the passing game on first and second down.”
— Was Sark predicting UW will make it to a bowl game today? Asked a question about Jake Locker, he noted that he liked how Locker ran out of bounds to prevent taking big hits when it made sense. “We’ve talked about that this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he sad. “It’s not about that one play for Jake Locker, it’s about 13 games, and he is understanding that.” A 13th game would be a bowl game.
— Early thoughts on Idaho from Sark? “They started very fast, really jumped on New Mexico State early 21-0 and did a nice job preserving the win. They have a defense that is aggressive, they are tough, they play fast. Offensively they’ve got two really nice running backs, a veteran quarterback who understands the scheme and they’ve got a nice receiving corps. … It’s a very big week for our football team. We’ve got to prepare mentally and physically for a tough ball game.”
— Sarkisian said the only time he felt any complications handling both head coaching and offensive coordinator duties was when he to make some decisions on whether to go for it on fourth down. He said as an OC he would always push the head coach to go for it. As a head coach, he said he has to think about what makes the best sense for the team as a whole. He said that untilmately “I think we made all the right decisions.”
— He said he thought most of the penalites were “energy things, first-game jitters. But obviously we have to clean that up as we move forward.”
— Asked about other personnel moves, he said “we’ve got to get Jermaine Kearse on the field more.” He said Kearse may be used some at slot to get he and Johnson on the field together.
— When I asked him later about the move of Craig Noble and Nick Wood to the OL, he said “just from a depth situation” it made sense. “I think they’ve both got potential to do nice things in our schemes on offense and physically they don’t quite fit what we want to do defensively, so we want to give them the best chance to be successful.”
All for now.

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