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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 29, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Sarkisian conference call notes — Savannah may play Saturday

Steve Sarkisian’s time on the Pac-10 conference call has ended and the biggest news may be that the coach said E.J. Savannah may be able to play this week.
Savannah was scheduled to have an MRI to evaluate a plantar fasciitis injury and that apparently revealed nothing that won’t prevent him from trying to continue to play.
“We think he’s got a chance to play this week,” he said, adding that it will be a “game-time decision by the time he really works himself back from this. But he’s a tough kid and we’ll see how it goes.”
Cort Dennison worked as the starter in place of Savannah in practice Monday.
Sarkisian also said of WR Devin Aguilar, trying to work his way back from a knee injury that cost him the Stanford game, that “we feel pretty good about that. He’s going to go light here again today but anticipate him being able to go Saturday.”
In other notes. …
— What might have been the most revealing comment he made came when asked about the talent left behind by Tyrone Willingham (asked by a reporter who prefaced that both coaches in this week’s game took over rosters Willingham had primarily recruited): “We’re obviously very talented at the skill position spots. We’ve got some nice, young receivers and obviously got a very good quarterback in (Jake) Locker and got a nice, young tailback, and that’s obviously a tribute to Ty and his ability to identify talent and bring those guys in here. But I also know we’ve got a lot of work to do in finding depth on our O and D lines and at our linebacker positions. So I think it goes hand in hand. We are dealing with it now when you are not one of the premier teams in the country but trying to recruit some of the premier players in the country, it’s a battle. When you get some of those players, you’ve got to tip your hat to them.”
— Sarkisian also said that he expects Notre Dame to test the Huskies with the run saying he doesn’t know if the Irish will run more but that “they are going to call runs, there’s no doubt, and we’ve got to stop them. We have to prove that we can stop the run. Coach (Charlie) Weis is a good coach and he’s going to keep calling them.”
— Sarkisian said he had spoken with the family of USC running back Stafon Johnson, who was injured in a weight training accident Monday but is said to be recovering well. Sarkisian said that his prayers go out to Johnson and that “it’s a reality check to our kids that you need to use proper technique and need to have spotters and all the things that go into weightlifting because it is a very serious situation right now.”
— Asked again about what happened against Stanford’s run he said that “it’s not just being in the right spot but when it comes time we’ve got to tackle” and that that was one of the “glaring” issues last week.
— Asked about the Pac-10 he said he thinks the conference “is wide open. Week to week you never know who is going to get who. … you better get ready to play every week because it’s going to be a physical game no matter who you play in this conference.”
— But asked a followup about USC’s dominance he said that that’s “a huge wall to knock down. for seven straight years they’ve had a stranglehold on this conference. It’s not going to be an easy task but one that if you work hard enough is possible.”
All for now.

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