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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 1, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Thursday practice notes and Sarkisian video

The last practice of the fall before toe officially meets leather on Saturday is in the books.

The workout not only featured the worst song selection of the fall (the dreadful“Mickey” who is anything but fine in my book) but quite a bit of Chris Polk.

The junior tailback participated fully in the 75-minute practice, though with the caveat that it was a non-contact workout, which is typical for a game week Thursday.

UW coach Steve Sarkisian said that Polk “looked pretty good today” but said he won’t make a decision on whether Polk will play against Eastern until Friday.

It was the second straight day Polk did a lot of work, a good sign as he obviously didn’t suffer any ill effects of the practice time he got on Wednesday. He’d probably be listed as at least questionable if this were an NFL game, up from doubtful earlier in the week. The bigger picture is that Polk definitely appears on the road to recovery, and if he doesn’t play Saturday it seems that would be the only game he would miss.

Sarkisian, however, said that true freshman running back Bishop Sankey “will play for sure” this season and will not redshirt, ensuring depth at the tailback spot. Sankey continued to rotate in with the first and second units with Polk and Jesse Callier today. Johri Fogerson also got in for a few plays and Sarkisian said “I think he can help” on Saturday. So the tailback picture appears to be clearing nicely for UW.

Cornerback is a little different as Quinton Richardson did not practice today and appears more in question to play on Saturday.

Sarkisian again said he wouldn’t make a decision on Richardson until Friday. But he also said of Greg Ducre that “he’ll likely start” at the cornerback spot where Richardson normally plays.

Sarkisian said of Richardson sitting out that: “We let him rest today to try to really get the swelling and the soreness out of there. He’ll be another one we’ll decide tomorrow.”

In other personnel news:

— The announcement that Sankey will play means there are five true frosh are assured of playing this year — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, John Timu and Danny Shelton. Safety James Sample and cornerback Marcus Peters continue to work with second units, an indication they could play this year. But Sarkisian said he hadn’t yet made a definitive decision saying “a couple of the other guys, we’re going to wait and see.”

— Sarkisian said that as many as 10 defensive linemen will play, and one of them is junior Semisi Tokolahi, who suffered a dislocated and broken ankle in the Apple Cup. “I think we will get him in there a little bit,” Sarkisian said. “Not expecting extended periods of play but I’d like to get him on the field for his own confidence.” Asked if that meant Tokolahi was ahead of schedule, he said: “No, that’s about where we’re at. Again, I don’t foresee Semisi going out and playing 50-60 snaps like he was doing late in the year last year. But I’d like to see him get a handful of snaps in this game just so he can get back on the field and we’ll see if we can make that happen.”

You can see some of Sarkisian’s comments in the video below with a few more notes following:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1139626964001″][/do]

IN OTHER NEWS. ..

— Here’s Sarkisian’s full answer when asked if Ducre will start ahead of Anthony Gobern at corner: “I think he’ll start but you’ll see both of those kids playing. Greg is a natural corner. He’s got great speed, good ball skills. The biggest thing for Greg is when you have an injury the year before is coming back and playing with that confidence when you are going full speed and tackling and bumping and running like we like to do. That will be something he’s going to really, in my opinion, work through in the first quarter of that game Saturday. We’ve scrimmaged, we’ve gone hard and he’s looked fine. But ultimately he’s going to have to test that shoulder and put a helmet on somebody early in the game to really take that next step from a confidence standpoint.”

Keith Price had another good practice, and Sarkisian said it’s simply a continuation of what he’s seen out of his sophomore quarterback for a couple weeks: “I think he’s been sharp for about two weeks, really. He’s just really tuned into our offense. He’s got the ability to get to second and third reads in this system as if they are primary reads. He’s eliminating reads quickly – sometimes at pre-snap. He’s getting to secondary reads, and doing it accurately and efficiently and possessing a lot of leadership. He’s had a great last two weeks, in my opinion.”

— Asked why he has been harping on the team getting to 1-0, he said: “Because we haven’t been. It’s something that seems to make sense. We started off the last couple years with some tough first ball games and some really tough losses. You can start a year just like starting a game. You’d love to start it fast, as fast as you can and get off to a good start. And we weren’t able to do that the last two years. That doesn’t mean we can’t finish well. We’d just like to get off to a really good start, and the best way to do that is to start 1-0. So it’s been our rallying cry from Day 1 of this season, and it’s been a goal of ours; it hasn’t wavered until today. We’re right on it the same way, and we know the value and importance of this ball game to start the season.”
— He said he’s a definite believer in the value of starting fast and building momentum: “Winning and losing are very similar in the sense that they are both contagious. Unfortunately when you lose a couple in a row, it becomes contagious and it gets a little harder to win. Winning is contagious as well, and once you get to start to win one, maybe two, maybe three in a row as we found out last year, that can be contagious as well, and it gets a little more difficult to lose. Momentum is momentum, and you love to get it on your side, and it does wonders for you locker room and your team’s morale. It would be great to get off to a good start.”

— Asked what he wants to see out of the Huskies Saturday he said: “Being efficient, doing what we’re supposed to do, playing with high energy…and when we have an opportunity to make our plays, we’ve been priding ourselves on being a physical football team. That won’t change Saturday, but we need to be sound. We need to be right, and we need to be efficient. We need to be able to do that over an extended period of time, over multi-play drives. That will be critical for us Saturday.”

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