Sorry for the delay. Had some personal deals today that kept me from practice, but was able to get some notes from some who were to pass along. Read on after the jump:
— Greg Ducre (shoulder) back out there, and took some snaps with No. 1 defense. UW coach Steve Sarkisian says Ducre is fine and should be able to play Saturday.
— In more surprising good injury news, MLB Brandon Huppert was out on the field and got a few snaps and he will travel and be available. He’d been out a week or so after having a setback with his knee. Said Sarkisian: “It’s just the way he responded to it, the way his body responded to it. It’s not going to be a situation where it’s a priority to get him in the game. But if the situation arises where we need him, he’s available.”
— Sarksian also said DE Kalani Aldrich and WR James Johnson will travel and be available to play, though he didn’t say how much.
— There’s no offiicial travel roster yet made public. But one way to sometimes tell is which players have the W on their helmet (they put the W’s as the game gets clear). Among the true frosh with the W’s were: Sean Parker, Nick Montana, Kevin Smith, Taz Stevenson, Victor Burnett, Josh Shirley, Jesse Callier, Zach Fogerson, Garret Gilliland, Princeton Fuimaono, Cooper Pelluer, Hau’oli Jamora, Sione Potoa’e, Erik Kohler, Colin Porter and Michael Hartvigson. But with UW taking 76 players, most everyone on scholarship can go without necessarily being in line to play.
Here are a few other quotes from Sarkisian:
On treating this game as the opener and not the end-all-be-all: “Well, we’ll put the same importance into every game. This happens to be our first one, and so we’re focused on this game. This game isn’t going to make or break our season. If we go out and win this game, it doesn’t mean we’re going to go out and be the Pac-10 champs. And if we go out and don’t win this game, it doesn’t mean we’re not going to be the Pac-10 champs. It’s fun for us to go out and play football, to go out on the road in a hostile environment and to grow as a football team. So we’re embracing the opportunity.”
How this year is different from last year heading into the opener: “Yeah, I think there was so much unknown last year. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how to run out of this tunnel; I didn’t know anything. This year, fortunately, obviously we’ve got 12 games under our belt – as a staff and as a team. I’ve been to the stadium that we’re going to before; I kind of know the layout. I know our Friday routines. I feel more comfortable with the buildup to the game, and then with the actual game. And I’m sure our coaches and players do too.”
On how realistic is it to believe the momentum from the end of last year can carry over?: “Well, I think it’s very realistic. We’ve tried to allow it to help us carry over. We haven’t tried to bury it. We’ve tried to keep it alive in our minds – in our own minds, for that matter. So I think it’s real. That feeling of winning, that feeling of playing well, that feeling of enjoyment and excitement in the locker room has been inspiring throughout the summer, throughout training camp. Whether or not that means we’re going to make the play on third-and-1 or not, I don’t know if it’s going to carry that far. But I think it carries over in the preparation and the build-up, and I think it will in the fourth quarter of this game when it’s tight.”
On Zach Fogerson potentially being the No. 2 fullback: “I think he and Dorson would be ‘or’s’ at the number-two fullback. They each do specific things well. But I like what Zach has done, he’s impressed me.”
On the BYU field having some tough footing: “It’s grass. It looked like early in the year it was kind of torn up; I don’t know if it was the turf, or however they laid the turf didn’t settle in in time, but later in the year it looked fine. I’m anticipating knowing BYU that if there was something wrong with it last year they are going to get it fixed.”
On running a little to get used to the elevation when they get there: “No, not that much. We’ll just go do our normal Friday routine. We won’t change that much.”
On Deontae Cooper’s surgery: “He has it on the eighth.”
On the schedule for Friday: “We’ll start meetings here at 8:30 in the morning. We’ll walk-through here at roughly 10:15. We’ll leave here on the bus at noon…fly, get there, land at 4, go straight to LaVell Edwards Stadium and do a quick half-hour walk-through, go to eat dinner and then have meetings.”
On Damon Huard doing play-by-play: “I like Damon a lot. I think he’ll offer a very unique perspective to the game. Anytime a guy has played in the National Football League that many years, he’s seen a lot of football. He’ll add a real dynamic of being up-to-date on the game, knowing what’s going on in the game right now. I think he’ll do a nice job.”
On being able to travel all the freshmen: “No. Won’t be able to, unfortunately. But I wish I could.”