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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 10, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Wednesday practice notes — And now UW gets a few days off

It was an upbeat end to Washington’s practice today, the last before a couple-day mini-bye week break.
UW is now off until Saturday night when it will begin a normal gameweek preparation for the UCLA game Nov. 18. Coaches will hit the road recruiting the next few days while players get a little rest.
While UW did some gameplanning for the Bruins, the practice also included some heavy work for younger players. Regulars such as Chris Polk sat out completely to rest while guys like Nate Williams and Mason Foster were limited (and Cort Dennison was absent for the second straight day due to a death in the family — he’s due back by Saturday).
Practice again concluded with some scrimmaging for the younger players and ended with the offense having one play from the 5-yard-line. Nick Montana threw a fade pass that DiAndre Campbell caught in the back of the end zone for a TD, setting off a wild celebration for the offense, and what looked like the end of practice.
But UW coach Steve Sarkisian then gathered the players, and the teams returned for one more play.
Sarkisian explained later that it was “for food,” the offense apparently doubling-down to get “more rations.”
The offense again run, Montana scrambling and hitting walk-on RB Cole Sager for another TD, setting off another celebration.
Sarkisian said it was a fitting conclusion to what he thought was a good three days of practice.
“I thought it’s been great,” he said. “I thought our guys had a great week of work. Again, as I’ve touched on with this group, they are an extremely resilient group. They enjoy competing and battling and practicing, and although the results haven’t always been what we’ve wanted, we’ve come back to work, and we’ve done it again this week and we’ll do it again next week. We’ll be ready to play.”
Asked what he saw out of some of the younger players, Sarkisian said: “I thought it was great. One, it was really competitive – they were getting after it. Some guys that jumped out at me were Josh Shirley, Kevin Smith, Sean Parker again, Taz Stevenson, Ben Riva, Micah Hatchie, Colin Tanagawa. I thought Jamaal Kearse has really improved – I am assessing it from the last bye of where they’ve come from to where they are now. A lot of improvements across the board, I was proud of those guys. And they competed, I think they had a lot of fun.”
As for the regulars who participated sparingly, Sarkisian explained that: “We really limited Mason’s reps, Nate Williams’ reps, Victor (Aiyewa’s) reps, Alameda (Ta’amu’s) reps, a lot of the starting O’line’s reps. We tried to limit their reps so come back very fresh Saturday night, and for the fourth quarter and the final stretch run of these three ballgames.”
As for what the coaches do now, Sarkisian said that most will hit the recruiting trail up and down the West Coast.
“Teams in the playoffs, they’re playing Thursdays and Friday, so we’ll get a lot of games in,” he said. “Unfortunately with Veterans Day, some schools are out – we won’t get to as many schools during the day, but we’ll get to the majority of them, some JCs. We’ll get to games Thursday and Friday night.”
Jake Locker, as anticipated, did not practice. Asked about his status for practicing and playing next week, Sarkisian said: “We don’t know. We’ll know Saturday.”
— RB Jesse Callier also sat out with a shoulder injury Sarkisian said “he’s fine. He’s just a little beat up, and I don’t want him to take the unnecessary hits this week. He’ll be back and ready to go Saturday.”
— DE Talia Crichton also remains out, though Sarkisian said there’s a chance he can return: “I don’t know yet. He’s come a long way in a short amount of time. We are going to get a really good assessment of him Saturday again. If he’s ready to go, we’ll play him. If he’s not, I’d rather him get another good week of rehab and rest, and then have him ready for the last two.”
— When the team comes back Saturday, Sarkisian saidd that: “We’re back into the mode of game-planning – not that we didn’t. We got some good stuff done this week in a lot of our walkthrough sessions, and in some of the team setting when our No. 1s were going. Saturday will be fully focused on UCLA.”
— UCLA has a different QB with Richard Brehaut replacing the injured Kevin Prince. But Sarkisian said it doesn’t really change UW’s preparation. “They’re running their same offense since he’s been in,” he said. “They weren’t throwing a whole bunch before that, and haven’t much since. They’re relying on the run. They’re good at it. They believe in it. They really chew up the clock, and keep you on the sidelines. They get into some manageable third-and-shorts where they can convert and keep drives alive. They’ve got a real game plan, and they’ve been sticking to it.”



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