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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Huskies off field, expecting Alamo Bowl invite

The Huskies are off the field following their Sunday practice, and now they wait for the official word of their bowl destination in a few hours.

And the full expectation is that the Huskies will be invited to play in the Alamo Bowl Dec. 29 in San Antonio against a Big 12 team, likely Baylor or Oklahoma (here’s a story from the San Antonio Express-News breaking down the Alamo’s Big 12 options).

As the Huskies left the field, though, they had yet to receive any official word from the bowl, which likely won’t come until after 5 p.m. or so, when the BCS rankings are released.

UW coach Steve Sarkisian said this morning whoever the Huskies play, it will present a challenge.

“I think at any point you put yourself in a bowl game the caliber that it looks like we are going to be going to you’re going to face good players,” he said. “They don’t get to this game by just being average, you’re going to face good players. The prospects of potentially a (Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III) or a (Oklahoma quarterback) Landry Jones or the Klein kid (Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein), these guys are all fantastic football players and deservedly so. That’s why the preparation process will be so big for us and to utilize our time well. One, we’re developing our young players, but two, we’re putting together a gameplan that gives us the best opportunity to be successful come the bowl game.”

UW has faced good quarterbacks all season, however, including the likes of Stanford’s Andrew Luck and USC’s Matt Barkley and Sarkisian says the focus has to be greater tham just stopping one player.
“I think the first thing when we’re playing those guys is we’ve got to stop the run,” he said. “Andrew and Matt didn’t really have great games against us, but our inability to stop the run was a problem. Regardless of whoever we play in the bowl game we got to start up front in eliminating the run game and then do a nice job of getting after the quarterback and mixing up our coverages and ultimately creating turnovers.”

The Huskies will take the rest of the afternoon off before gathering again for the team banquet tonight.

UW will then be off until Friday before returning to the field to more formally begin bowl game preparation.

“They’re excited,” Sarkisian said of UW’s players. “They’ve put in a lot of time and a lot of effort into this thing. I think they’re well deserved of the opportunity and they understand that. I don’t think it’s just utter jubilation for the fact that we get to go to a bowl game. We’re going to go there to win. We’re going to prepare to win.”

As for practice, not much news. The team was again in the Dempsey Indoor, in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. It was similar to Saturday’s practice in that it was largely devoted to younger players, with many of the vets limited, at best. There’s no real significant personnel news.


— Asked if there’s much of a different in style between the Pac-12 and the Big 12 teams that UW is likely to face, Sarkisian said: “I don’t know. They’re of what I read as the potential, they’re all three (Oklahoma, Kansas St., Baylor) somewhat different than each other. I think in this day in age in college football you better be ready for no-huddle, you better be ready for a team trying to get as many snaps as they can and willing to try to put points on the board. I think that’s the style of college football in general now days. It’s not just about playing defense, special teams and field position it’s about who can score the most points. I think some of the prospects of the teams we’re talking about playing that’s their style of play. They really believe in scoring points and doing it uptempo-wise.”

— Sarkisian has said he will soon talk with Chris Polk about his future. Asked today if the scenario is similar to that of Jake Locker’s a couple years ago, he said: “I think they’re similar obviously in the fact that’s he’s a junior and thinking about making a decision to enter the NFL draft. Both aspects of it both guys there’s a lot of positives to leaving and there’s also positives to staying. You weight those and what’s best for your immediate future and also your long-term future. That’s where they’re different – different position, different player, different time, different era. But I think just as Jake did, Chris will make a really educated decision and he’ll surround himself with good people so that he gets to the point where he feels great about what he wants to do.”

— Asked if the bowl game preparation will be any different this year than last season, he said: “Very similar. Obviously, the destination could change, and we could change some of our stuff. But ultimately, the style in which we prepare for it will remain very similar. Next weekend will be another weekend not solely devoted to our young players but a lot of it devoted to our young players, to develop them. And then when we come back after those three practices, then we’re in the game-plan mode. I think we’ve got a good plan. We understand the sequencing of it as we prepare for our trip to wherever we go.”

— Asked specifically about Griffin, Sarkisian said: “Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him play enough. I got a chance to watch that game yesterday. And I got a chance to see, it must have been his first game of the year, first quarter of his first game of the year. Tremendous player. What I’ve appreciated about him, it seems like he’s in very good command of what they do. He’s in charge of the whole thing. He can utilize his legs, he can throw the ball down the field as well. And I think, in the one interview I saw, he looks like a really bright young man, a guy who’s very level-headed and has got a bright future ahead of him, whether it’s in football or anything else he decides to do.”

Here’s some video of Sarkisian’s meeting with the media today:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1309406843001″][/do]



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