Facing a road game in what could be pretty warm conditions Saturday, the Huskies headed into the Dempsey Indoor for their Wednesday practice.
Otherwise, however, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said the team’s preparation this week will be the same as it has been every other, even though the Huskies are playing what could be considered as their biggest regular season game in roughly a decade. UW, ranked in both polls (22 in AP, 24 in Coaches) this week, is playing at No. 7 Stanford Saturday, the first time the Huskies are playing in a game in which each team is ranked since the opener of the 2003 season at Ohio State.
Sarkisian, though, said he hasn’t sensed a different mood out of his team this week and isn’t encouraging one.
“I haven’t seen them being any different and that’s been kind of our rallying cry, one of them this week, is ‘don’t change,”’ he said. “The way we prepare has been good enough to win five of our first six ball games this year and nine of our last 10 overall, and so why change the formula? It’s been good enough, so we shouldn’t be trying to do anything differently or talk differently or prepare differently. It’s a winning formula and one that’s proven and I think we are handling it well.”
What is different than a week ago is the play of receiver Kasen Williams, who looks fully healthy again after the sprained ankle suffered against Utah.
“He looked really well,” Sarkisian said. “Best practice by far in three weeks.”
Also having a good week of practice, Sarkisian said, is defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu, who will be part of what will be one of the better interior matchups in the Pac-12 this year when he goes up against Stanford guard David DeCastro.
“They are going to have plenty of opportunties to go against one another,” Sarkisian said. “It would be great if Alameda could play one of his better ball games. I think he has improved as the year has gone on and what I have come to find out about ‘Meda is he does improve as the year goes on. I’ve seen that from him the last two seasons that he has played his best football the second half of the season so it would be great to see him do that again this Saturday.”
Ta’amu suffered a broken hand midway through camp that could have contributed to some struggles early in the year.
“Maybe,” Sarkisian said. “And maybe in a sense he missed some (practice) time and that could have affected his conditioning a bit. But I think we have seen his best football, and his best football is still ahead of him and he’s had a nice week of practice, that’s for sure. And it’s a good battle between he and (center) Drew (Schaefer) every day when we go ones-on-ones and it prepares him for the tough matchups for this Saturday, for sure.”
You can see more of what Sarkisian had to say in the video below:
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