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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Notes from practice and the coaches show

Another Monday — this one full of groundbreakings, press conferences, practices and coaches shows — is over.

A few more notes from practice and the coaches show. …

— Nothing much from practice, to be frank. It was in the Dempsey Indoor, no pads, and everyone who would be expected to be participating did. That includes James Johnson, who got a little bit of work. We’ll know more about his status and if there are any other injuries later in the week when the team has some more full pads workouts.

— Also, as I type this at 5:30 p.m., there is nothing yet on times or TV situations for the Oregon State game or the Apple Cup. There was some thought there could be times for both today but so far, nothing.

— Now for the coaches show. One topic was Steve Sarkisian’s comment earlier in the day that if he were an NFL coach he would take Matt Barkley over Andrew Luck. He elaborated to say that “this isn’t anything against Andrew Luck — if I had the second pick, I’d take him.” But he said that the “level that (Barkley) is playing, the throws he is making” have him thinking Barkley is better. He acknowledged that some might think he is biased since he helped recruit Barkley to USC. But he again referenced his “physical tools and his mental tools” and the diversity of USC’s offense as reasons for his statement. “That’s not a knock on Andrew Luck but a compliment to Matt Barkley,” he said.

— He also elaborated on his comment earlier today saying he wasn’t worried about USC’s reaction to Nick Holt’s comment that he’d rather prepare for USC than Oregon. He noted that USC runs a similar offense to UW’s, so that’s one reason that Holt would rather prepare for the Trojans. He also said he doesn’t think there’s any real impact of “bulletin board” material. “I’m not a big believer in it, no. I have yet to see a kid say ‘I’m going to prepare even better because this guy said that.’ I know that’s not how we are wired. … It’s not really about our opponent. .. when the game starts you’ve got to play football. It’s not about what somebody said a week, two weeks, a month before the game.”

— There was also lots of talk about the Oregon game. Sarkisian said that Keith Price could have stayed in when he left for a play except that once the trainers walked onto the field he had to come out for a play, by rule. So he said at that point they told Price to stay down for a little while so Nick Montana could have more time to warm up.

— Of Kevin Smith’s dropped pass, he said “those are tough. Those are gamechangers. We catch that ball and then we are looking at 34-24 with seven minutes left and the pressure is back on them a little bit here and you never know what may happen.”

— Asked about not using any of his timeouts in the second half, he noted that the game felt over when UW got the ball the last time with little time left at its own 2. “Start on your 2-yard-line, the last thing I want to do is drop our quarterback back and get him hit or throw another pick. … this game was about respecting the game. They beat us and beat us fair and square and our kids competed and the game was over.”

— He wasn’t done making comparisons, saying he thinks LaMichael James may actually be quicker than Reggie Bush, and added of James that “that kid is quick and has tremendous balance, really tremendous balance I was thoroughly impressed. Very unique runner and tremendous competitor.”

— He said the fact that UW held James to 156 yards was “a pretty good day for our defense, quite honestly. We did a pretty good job and we are all so frustrated because we had chances to do it better so that leaves me encouraged that we are getting better. .. We corralled him about as well as anybody could.”

— He said again that he didn’t take the holding penalty on the third down before the field goal in the first quarter because he didn’t want to give Oregon any more possessions. He said he thought a 40-yard attempt was still difficult for Alejandro Maldonado to make given the conditions “so we took our chances.”

— He said the interception and early Oregon touchdown “carried with us, it took (Keith Price) a little while to get back.” He said they tried to calm the game down a little after that but “we just couldn’t keep the game within a one score game where we could build the energy and the momentum that we had for our first drive of the third quarter.”

— Asked about Chris Polk’s game he said “there’s a few carries in there where I’ve seen him better. By no means was that his worst game, but I’ve seen Chris better and I think he would agree, but it was tough sledding in there. It was not clean, at all.”

— He reiterated what he said earlier about it being a bad night for the offensive line and said that part of that is “gameplanning. We’ve got to do a better job to get him cleaner runs so we can get him going. It’s sure nice when your tailback has some good holes to run through and can get going.”

— He said the OL struggles were team-wide. “It wasn’t one guy. You can’t say it was the right guard or the right tackle. We didn’t play well. It was almost as if they took turns making mistakes. … it was one after another, after another, and those nights are the frustrating ones.”

— Asked about the inability to get Austin Seferian-Jenkins going more, he said there were some plays called for him that Price couldn’t get the ball to him and others when Seferian-Jenkins didn’t get open. He said Oregon did a nice job defending him, as well.

— He said Price’s comment earlier in the day about accepting the checkdown throws doesn’t mean just dumping it off but to go to the secondary receiver, which can be someone downfield. He said Price felt he may have been locking on his primary receiver too much and needed to be quicker to throw it to a secondary receiver.

— Asked about Jermaine Kearse’s drops he said he has “made so many spectacular plays and tough catches that have been the norm” that he set a high standard for what his play should be and that if it were another guy on the team the expectation wouldn’t be so high. He said “he’ll make them, he’ll make those plays for us and when he does we’ll all go crazy and be chest bumping and high-fiving.”

— Asked of Kasen Williams’ night, he said it was unfortunate when he sprained the ankle against Utah “because I felt like he was coming. The high ankle sprain set him back. But as he has worked his way back into this thing he is a fantastic player, he is playing every snap at full speed. … and then the playmaking ability. Just a fantastic game and he came out of it healthy and expected him to build upon it and finish out the season strong.”

— He was asked about not having a TV show and he said that he’s watched a few of those and ”
“they are really boring and really bad and the coaches look like they don’t want to be there. If we’re going to do it, we are going to do it in a first-class fashion.” But he said it’s not a real priority right now and there are no plans for one.

— Finally, asked if there are any changes to his team’s routine due to the renovation, he said the Huskies will practice in Dempsey and on the East field and that it’s no real disruption. He said of the renovation that “we’ve been talking about this thing for months. That it is going to happen and it was actually happening today put a pretty big smile on my face.”

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