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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

June 15, 2011 at 1:46 PM

June Questions, Volume Three

Junior Coffey, officiating and more in this edition. …

Q: I thought I remember reading recently mention that Kasen Williams was battling a lingering hamstring injury. I would assume that it must not be a biggie if he could still manage to win all those track and field state titles. However, do you have any insight as to the extent/severity of the injury/condition?

A: As you note, Williams did suffer a hamstring injury early in the spring track season, something mentioned in this story. But as that story also details, he set a state record in the triple jump while nursing that injury. Obviously, any lingering muscle injury bears watching. But it doesn’t sound like a significant concern, especially since he now has the summer to let it heal. We’ll see in August if it’s still an issue.

Q: Is Junior Coffey still training race horses in the area?

A: The questioner is referring to the UW running back of the 1960s. And the answer is yes. Here’s a mention of one of Coffey’s horses in our paper just last week. Here’s a story from our paper a few years ago that details Coffey’s transition from athlete to trainer.

Q: The conference has begun to make changes in officiating. There is new leadership, officials have been let go, and others have been added. What is the focus? In what way will this change the game?

A: As the questioner notes, there have been some signficant changes in how the Pac-12 will structure football officiating — here’s a story from March detailing some of those changes. The main focus is obvious — to make the officiating better. Specifically, coaches want more consistency — what’s holding one week remains holding the next. Coaches want to be able to teach their players what is a penalty and what isn’t without the definitions changing from week to week based on which officiating crew they get.

I think the conference also wants to send a message of increased accountability. It’s been thought that in years past there wasn’t much of a penalty, so to speak, for subpar officiating. The conference has sent a loud-and-clear message that officials will be held to a tighter standard. The hope is that it will lead to an improved product without some of the controversies of past years. With the increased money from the new TV deal, the conference also now has some more resources to use to hire more people to try to improve officiating.

Q: Bob, tougher game as it looks it June — at Nebraska or at Stanford?

A: It’s a close call, but I’d say Nebraska —- much more imposing atmosphere, obvious revenge factor, and still a good team. Strictly looking at the rosters, Stanford probably is a tougher matchup for UW with its physical style, though there’s a little of an unknown at the moment of how the team will adjust to the coaching change, as well as some significant turnover on the offensive line. But Stanford is about as sleepy an atmosphere as there is in major college football. Nebraska’s the opposite, and with it being the first road game for a UW team breaking in a new QB and still overall on the young side, I’d say it looms as the tougher overall trip.

All for now.

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