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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Friday afternoon notes — Sarkisian on KJR-AM, and more

A few more Friday afternoon notes and links to pass along. …

— UW coach Steve Sarkisian did his usual Friday appearance on the Dave “Softy” Mahler Show on KJR-AM along with former Husky Hugh Millen. You should be able to find the podcast here.

Here are a few highlights:

— The most interesting stuff he said revolved around the criticism this week of UW defensive coordiantor Nick Holt. Sarkisian, as he has all season, defended Holt and referred again to the success of the defense at the end of last season as proof that what they are doing can work. “You look at last season, for example, and the last four games. … we won those games because of our ability to run the football and play defense.” He then referenced the player losses of the last few years saying “there were some pretty good players that have moved on here that held this thing in place” while Sarkisian and his staff rebuild it. He added after last season “things change, you lose players (he mentioned Mason Foster, Nate Williams and Victor Aiyewa), guys move on and now new guys have to come in and play and your team takes on a different personality. … the key is that this is a team. We aren’t an offense, a defense a special teams — we win together and we lose together and we will continue to improve.”

— He refuted that his personal relationship with Holt had anything to do with why he brought Holt to UW initially saying he “hired Nick Holt because he’s a great defensive coach, not because he’s my buddy. I wouldn’t be here if I hired a bunch of buddies.”

— He said he hired Holt because “I wanted to make sure when we moved on and I got this job I wanted to get a defensive coordinator that I could count on and believe in and believe in the system that he wanted to run, and I believe in this system. It’s stood the test of time and it’s been good for us at times.”

— He said they aren’t considering overhauling the system now because “the last thing we want to do is panic” saying it’s better to try to improve the defense with a system they already know well. “We won’t panic. It’s back to the grindstone and we will contninue to try to work at it and get better, and we will get better.”

— He also said the Huskies didn’t play anywhere near their best game against Stanford and that “The challenge is to get our guys back to playing that level of football and I think our guys have responded.”

— He said a defensive key tomorrow is to get pressure on Arizona QB Nick Foles and particularly on third downs when they will inevitably have some man-to-man coverage on receivers. He said winning those one-on-one matchups “is critical for our defense.”

— He said a key for the offense is to be balanced and not just come out throwing to go after Arizona’s depleted secondary. He said UW has to “make sure we go after them but also make sure we keep our balance.”

IN OTHER NEWS. …

— Dawgman.com lists three visitors for this weekend — center Matt Cochran of Atwater, Calif.; defensive end Samson Kafovalu of Riverside, Calif.; and cornerback Erich Wilson of San Mateo, Calif.

— Linebacker Brett Bafaro of Hillsboro, Ore., who had narrowed his choices to UW and Oregon, said today he will sign with the Ducks.

— The Arizona Daily Star has a feature on Erik Folk, the brother of former Arizona standout Nick Folk.

— Here’s USA Today’s preview of Arizona for this week’s game, and here’s UW’s.

— All of Phil Steele’s metrics like UW to win a close, high-scoring game.

— The line remains UW favored by 4 or 4.5, with over-unders from 69-70.5.

— Finally, I’ll get The Pick posted soon.

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