Even though it’s the Apple Cup and the Huskies are in desperate need of a win, the fact that they are 26-point favorites led to an obvious question today — is there any way UW will overlook WSU Saturday.
“Not a chance,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said emphatitcally. “Not a chance at all. We don’t have room to take anybody lightly.”
Though this is Sarkisian’s first Apple Cup, he said he’s been studying up on the history, and that his participation in other rivalry games has him understanding what he’s likely to be in for Saturday.
“It’s a special one in that there are a lot of emotions are involved, households are divided,” Sarkisian said. “What makes it special is that you get to be a part of something like that, and that’s the beauty of college football.”
I’ll have more quotes from Sarkisian later. For now, a few notes:
— Sarkisian said LB E.J. Savannah and DT Cameron Elisara have not yet been cleared to practice or play this week but that he remains hopeful each can play in the Apple Cup. Both are listed on the depth chart.
— FS Jason Wells participated in Sunday’s practice and should be good to go this week. Wells didn’t play against Oregon State due to a foot injury but he attended the press conference and said he feels fine.
— FS Nate Fellner (biceps) is improving and should be able to play this weekend.
— WSU coach Paul Wulff said it was still uncertain who will start at QB for the Cougars Saturday as Jeff Tuel continues to battle a kneecap injury. He said he is “cautiously optimistic” Tuel will be able to play — he’s been out since a Nov. 7 game at Arizona. If he can’t go, Kevin Lopina will start. However, Sarkisian said he expects that Tuel will recover and start the game.
— Sarkisian said that “red zone efficiency” remained a big emphasis during the bye week practices. I’ll have the full quote later, but he said one aspect he’s looked at is making sure the Huskies are running plays in the red zone at which they are fully proficient against any coverage the defense might show. He said UW has called some plays that could work against one defense but then has gotten another look and the Huskies have had trouble adjusting.
— The team had a light practice last night, a switch from the previous bye week after the Oregon game when the Huskies returned from three days off to then scrimmage on Sunday.
— Sarkisian attended five games in Los Angeles while recruiting last weekend — LA Jordan vs. Narbonne, Locke vs. Banning, Crenshaw vs. Birmingham, Compton vs. Harvard-Westlake and Culver City vs. Compton-Dominguez.
All for now.