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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Conference call notes —- Sark says Arizona, Stanford good models for UW

Some pretty interesting stuff from UW coach Steve Sarkisian on the weekly Pac-10 football coaches conference call today, specifically when asked to assess where he thinks the Husky program is now, and if he sees any parallels with the rise of Stanford and Arizona.
He was first asked whether he thought that the Huskies might be further along than they are now and if he thought the 41-0 loss to Stanford was an aberration, and responded: “I think we obviously have high expectatations around here. This program is a storied one with great tradition, great history, tremendous players. And I’ve always felt that it’s a little easier to get back to the top, or where you feel you are supposed to be, when you’ve been there before. And this program has been there before with the national championships, Rose Bowls, Pac-10 championships, what not. But there were some obvious deficiencies that we’ve had to fill. And I think up front, on both sides of the line of scrimmage, has been an area where we’ve had to continue to recruit, and we are going to have to continue to recruit, to develop the depth that is needed to really be successful in this conference.
“So many teams in this conference really rely on running the football, in their own ways of doing that, and you’ve got to be able to run the football and stop the run and that all starts up front.”
Asked if he had a specific timetable in mind for getting UW where he wants it to be, he said: “I’m not putting a timetable on it. I think we’ve made some real strides. I think we’ve won some tremendous ballgames. I look at the three teams we have beaten this year — a 6-2 Syracuse team, a USC team that has (lost) two games in the last-second (on) field goals and (has) a loss to Oregon, and an Oregon State team that is 3-1 in our conference. So we have beaten very good football teams. The challenge for us is to fight for consistency because we need to be consistent. Our margin for error isn’t as great as some other programs, so we have to find a way to play at a consistent level so we don’t let games get out of hand the way we have this year.”
He was then asked if he saw any parallels with the rise of Stanford and Arizona — which play this week in the marquee conference game and are each 7-1 — and what UW is trying to accomplish.
“I have assessed them because I think in some ways they are a good model for how they stuck to their plan. I think both programs believed in their schemes, believed in their systems, believed in their coaches and stuck to it. Maybe they didn’t win all the games they wanted to in years one, two, three and four, or whatever that may be. But they stuck to their systems and their schemes and they recruited to their schemes. And now you look at a Stanford team that is a big power football team, tight ends, really big football team, and they play the way they play and they are successful at it. You look at Arizona being multiple, doing a lot of the spread stuff, zone read, a lot of wide receivers and then getting in some two-back and running the ball the way they do. To me what’s impressive about it is they stuck to their plan, and they didn’t get knocked off course because they didn’t win as many games as they wanted to early on. And so for ourselves here it just kind of shows that man just keep doing what you are doing, believing in what you are doing and you will get there.”
Arizona is in its seventh year under coach Mike Stoops who was 3-8 his first two seasons after taking over a 2-10 team, then went 6-6 and 5-7 before breaking through with consecutive 8-5 records the past two years.
Stanford is in its fourth year under Jim Harbaugh, who took over a 1-11 team and wewnt 4-8 and 5-7 his first two seasons before going 8-5 last year.
Sarkisian was also asked about the therapy plan for Jake Locker and said: “He’s got a broken rib, and so the therapy factor there is, one, to try to eliminiate any back spasms that can occur because it’s trying to protect the rib. But ultimately that thing has just got to heal, and in a perfect world we get to have him back for the final three ball games. But that remains to be seen. We’ve just got to see how he responds.”

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