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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 15, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Wednesday practice report

It started out as summer at Husky Stadium Wednesday, but by the time practice had ended it was unquestionably fall, as a heavy rain began to fall about midway through.
“This is Dawg weather,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. “We enjoy it.”
And indeed, the forecast for Saturday calls for partly cloudy and showers, football season appearing to have arrived in earnest.
UW practiced for about two hours today, and in the good news department, there didn’t appear to be any new injuries. TB Chris Polk, who sat out most of Tuesday’s practice, was back as Sarkisian said he merely was resting.
“We are just looking at longeviety this year with him,” Sarkisian sald. “I’m not going to pound him on a Tuesday for the sake of pounding him. He knows our system really well, he does our walk-throughs, so we’ll be fine.”
UW, though, may again be shy at tailback this week as Johri Fogerson did not practice, again out with a hip flexor that sidelined him against Syracuse, and it appears he may not play against the Cornhuskers.
So that had Taz Stevenson, previously a safety, again getting a lot of reps at tailback, the spot where he apparently will be for the time being, though Sarkisian said the shift isn’t necessarily permanent long-term.
“We are just making sure he’s getting enough carries that he feels comfortable that if we put him in the game he can function there,” Sarkisian said.
Stevenson played at Mililani (Hawaii) High where Sarkisian said “they had a pretty sophisticated offense that allowed him to do a bunch of different things. He carried the ball a bunch, he was a return guy as well, so he’s used to having the ball in his hands.”
A shift Sarkisian didn’t want to elaborate on yet, however, is the offensive line. For the second straight day, Erik Kohler ran with the starting unit at left guard, with Ryan Tolar at right guard.
Sarkisian, however, said that “it’s not finalized yet” so he didn’t want to discuss the thought process behind the move.
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said that “we are continuing to put guys in different situatons up there to try to find the best five combination we can get. And any time you are moving lineman you have communication thigns you have to work through. But those guys have done a good job and continue to progress.”
He said he wouldn’t hesitate to go with a true frosh, such as Kohler, if he proves to be one of the best five OLs.

“Obviously any player that’s a true freshman has a lot to learn,” Nussmeier said. “But I think that both of our true freshman have seen playing time on the front there. Erik and Colin (Porter) have done a really nice job and continue to get better, and will get better with more and more snaps.”
— Sarkisian said that he hopes to get Jesse Callier increasing work at TB, while keeping Polk’s workload the same. “Jesse had eight carries last game,” he said. “If we can increase Jesee to 10 or so, maybe even 12, keep Chris around 20, then we’re really cooking.”
— He noted of Polk sitting out that “that’s the reality of the position when you are playing running back and playing against big physical teams you get a little sore” and that that is why depth is so important at tailback. “It’s why you have to continue to recruit running backs,” he said. “It’s never just a one-man race a one-man horse got to have guys and we were fortunate last year the way we were that chirs was able to sustain the whole year again this year.”
— Sarkisian confirmed that Cody Bruns is the emergency punter — and Bruns took at least three punts during the team portion of practice, uncorking a couple 40-yarders that looked pretty representative. Sarkisian said that after Will Mahan was hurt, the team auditioned a few players who had previous punting experiece. “He just notified us that he had punted before,” Sarkisian said. “A few guys did. But Cody seemed like he was the best guy for it. … He functions. The good thing is with him back there we’ve got a variety of fakes and different things we can do, so he adds a lot of versatility when he’s back there.”
— WR James Johnson practiced again but still isn’t quite 100 percent. “I’m frustrated,” Sarkisian said. “It’s been five weeks and it’s a sprained ankle. He’s hurt, there’s nothing I can do about it. Until he’s healthy its hard to play him and play him regularly, and to practice for him to play regularly, so he’s just got to fight his way back. It’s been hard on him and hard on us. … fortunately, if we weren’t a really good receving corps, we would have thrown him back in there quicker. Fortunately for us we’ve got a lot of depth. … it’s not like because he’s healthy we just throw him right back in he’s got to earn his way. It’s hard, it’s tough.”
— Freshman LB Victor Burnett, already slated to redshirt, sat out practice with a concussion suffered on Tuesday.



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