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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Sarkisian conference call notes

UW coach Steve Sarkisian’s appearance on the weekly Pac-10 coaches conference call has ended. Here are the highlights of what he said:
— On his review of the LSU game, he said “I thought the opener went well for us. Obviously it was a very tough opponent for us in LSU. I thought it was a tremendous atmosphere at Husky Stadium with a night ball game. Unfortunately we made some key mistakes and turned the ball over a couple of times, one resulting in a touchdown and one maybe taking a TD away, but I thought all-in-all our defense played with great passion and I thought our offense moved the ball well. … I thought it was a nice stepping stone for our kids to know where we are headed and what we can accomplish in the future.”
— Sarkisian agreed with a questioner who asked that there could still be some rust for Jake Locker to knock off but said that “I thought he performed well and really performed well on third down, he was 8-11 on third downs. I think the future is very bright for him because he can perform even better.
— Asked the same question about Chris Polk, he said that Polk “ran tough, he caught the ball out of the backfield. Unfortunately there was the fumble down on the four-yard-line going in that wasn’t all his fault — I don’t need to elaborate on that — but Chris is just getting lathered up in what it takes to be a tailback who carries the ball 20-25 times a game.” (And yes, I think I heard correctly on “lathered up.”).
— He was asked a couple of questions by a national write about preparing young QBs and he agreed that QB is the most difficult position for a true freshman to step in and play. But he also said all true frosh have to be prepared as if they are going to play “because something could happen where you need them to.” He said in recruiting both sides have to talk about the possibilities and realities of playing early. “It’s the most difficult to start as a freshman so with that the likelihood is not as high (that a frosh QB will start),” he said. “Especially in a system like outs, to play as a true freshman is difficult.”
— Asked about James Johnson, Sarkisian said the receivers was one of the first recruits he called upon getting the job at UW. He had seen him in some camps at USC and “I thought he was a fantastic player and when I got a chance to really evaluate him I thought he was a guy who could be an impact player for us. … It was a nice relationship and one that is paying off for us.”
— I asked him about the kickoffs on Saturday just to confirm that they were, indeed, just trying to keep the ball away from LSU’s returners, specifically Trindon Holliday, the reigning NCAA 100-meter champ. “We kicked away from him all night,” Sarkisian said. “That was the idea on kickoffs. And the punt game, we were really trying to pin them to the sidelines and I thought our punter did a great job with that as well.”
— With the USC-Ohio State game on tap this week, he was asked about Matt Barkley and noted that he started as a freshman at Mater Dei High which prepared him mentally and physically for being able to step right in at do that at USC. “He’s mature beyond his years, that’s for sure,” Sarkisian said. “He’s a kid who prepared himself extremely well.”
— And asked about the move of Nick Wood and Craig Noble to the OL, he said “with both of them, the idea is we are continually trying to become a more athletic football team. By moving them to the offensive line we can utilize their athleticism on the offensive line a little bit more and in turn open up some spots on the defensive line from a recruiting standpoint to bring some guys in.” Sarkisian said the move is permanent, likening it to the move of Senio Kelemete last spring. All that in mind, I’ll try to update the OL depth chart here later this week.
UW is practicing today at 2 p.m. so I’ll have a report after that, and maybe some additional notes prior.

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