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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 18, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Tuesday practices notes and Holt video

Summer returned for an afternoon, giving the Huskies a glorious setting for their Tuesday practice in preparatoin for Saturday’s game at Stanford.

Sounds like it will be nice in Palo Alto, as well, with a high of 80 forecast for Saturday.

That could be the over-under, as well, if each team hit its season average in points — Stanford’s at 45 and UW is at 37.

Today was the day defensive coaches and players are available to the media, however, so the focus afterward was on how the Huskies will stop Stanford (and the practice itself revealed a few good defensive plays, including an interception by Quinton Richardson of a Keith Price pass and another by Anthony Gobern of a Nick Montana pass. An offensive highlight was Kasen Williams reaching back to make a one-handed grab, showing he’s rounding into health and ready to return to full duty this weekend).

Stopping Stanford will obviously be a lot easier said than done.

UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt, though, was game with a reply when asked his thoughts on defending the Cardinal.

“First of all, you’ve got to do a good job in the run game and be physical and tackle well,” he said. “But by the same token they get everybody to play the run and they throw the ball over your head, so we need to do a good job with that. They have both threats and they do a good job with it and then what he (quarterback Andrew Luck) does is he gets them into the right plays. He does a lot of changing plays at the line of scrimmage, a lot of formationing to get themselves in the right play, and they usually get into a really good play so it’s usually successful, so we’ve just got to do a nice job in our base stuff and get a lot of guys to the football and get some turnovers and not give up any big plays over our heads.”

In fact, it’s Luck’s ability to get change plays at the line of scrimmage that is among the most discussed aspects of his game.

“He just he does everything right,” said linebacker Cort Dennison. “He will see blitzes and stuff and check out of things and every check that he does he seems to make the right call. … He just puts players into position where they need to be on their team, so there’s a reason why he has so much hype because he’s an incredible football player. But when you go into an environment like that we’ve just got to believe in ourselves, it’s 11-on-11 and let’s go play football.”

Dennison said he will have to make sure the Huskies are able to keep up with what Luck is doing.

“I’ve got to do some things for our team,” he said. “But they do a lot of shifts and motions and that kind of thing too, so I have the job of helping our team out but I take pride in that kind of thing. I like getting guys lined up right, but I’ll have to really get in tune with that this week. … You’ve just got to play in tune to your keys and not try to do too much. It’s still football and plays are still going to break out even though they might be in a funky shift or a crazy formation. They still have to show their cards, so that’s where I come in to get everybody lined up and everybody settled and let’s go play football.”

Holt, though, said trying to adjust to Luck is easier said than done.

“We just hope we stay on top and make them work for everything and get some turnovers and things like that,” he said. “They pose a lot of challenges because physically they get some mismatches.”

Holt said Stanford is also good at crossing up defenses.

“They lull you,” he said. “(You) are getting ready to be a big physical game and then they throw the ball. Look at last year’s game, the first 5-6 plays of the game they are throwing the ball so guys are wide open because they are a good running team, so you get all fired up to stop the run but then they don’t give you what you are ready for and they give you all this other stuff.”

Dennison, though, said ultimately it comes down to playing football. He said he recently watched last year’s 41-0 Stanford game again and decided UW simply didn’t do that last year.

“They outphysicaled us, they brought it to us,” he said. “I went back and watched that game yesterday and they just pushed us around. It was embarrassing. We let down our coaches, we let down everybody else on the team. We let down our fans. We just didn’t bring it and got outphysicaled and we can’t let that happen again.”
You can see more of what Holt had to say (and, frankly, you kind of have to see and hear Holt sometimes to get the full flavor of what he has to say) in the video below:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1225394740001″][/do]

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