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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Offensive line up to the task tonight?

UW coach Steve Sarkisian laid down the challenge for his offensive line early in the week.
“They get off the football really well, and if there’s one key to look for it’s our ability to block their defensive ends,” Sarkisian said on Monday, referring to Arizona’s defensive ends.
And that means that while the TV coverage tonight will inevitably focus on Jake Locker and other UW skill players, the real keys could be offensive tackles Senio Kelemete and Drew Schaefer.
Kelemete will go up directly most of the night with Arizona DE Brooks Reed, who has 4.5 sacks this season, while Schaefer will usually be matched up against Ricky Elmore, who leads the Pac-10 with six. Thanks in large part to those two, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in sacks with 21, an average of 3.5 per game.
“It’s going to be a big test for us,” Kelemete said this week. “Their whole D-line is pretty good, pretty active, good at using their hands.”
Kelemete said he had watched film all week of Reed and that “he’s just one of those guys that works hard, brings his hard hat and lunch pail and doens’t stop. He keeps bringing it every play.”
Arizona may present the biggest defensive line challenge for the Huskies since Nebraska (especially considering being on the road in this game versus having the home field against ASU and Oregon State).
As did just about Husky, Kelemete struggled in that game.
But UW coaches say his play has picked up since then as he has gotten more comfortable playing on the edge after starting at guard last season.
Kelemete said some recent work on specific aspects of his position have helped.
“During the practice over the Oregon State week I worked a lot more just blocking different types of defensive ends,” he said. “Fast ends coming off wide. Short, speed-to-bull-rush, hand swipes. Working everything right now.”
Kelemete credited the true freshman he often goes against on the scout team for helping his preparation, as well — Josh Shirley. Shirley, the one-time UCLA signee, is redshirting this season.
“Right now I’m getting the best looks from Josh Shirley,” Kelemete said. “He’s a good, athletic, defensive end.”
The after-practice work continued this week. Kelemete was among a group of OLs that spent an extra 20 minutes or so after practice on Wednesday going through a few more drills.
“I asked my coaches what I needed to work on,” Kelemete said, saying he was working primarily on footwork. “It might seem okay on film, but then to me I still I need to work on this a little bit more.”
What Kelemete hasn’t had to worry about is getting acclimated to a new position in season. He is the only OL to have started every game at the same spot, anchored at left tackle.
“We’re just trying to see what is the best combination that works for us,” Kelemete said. “That’s the reason why they are shuffling so much to see who fits right in what spot, who communicates well with one another and works well with that person.”

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