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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 11, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Sunday practice notes

Washington’s practice this morning was the fifth of 15 the Huskies will have prior to the Alamo Bowl.

And it marked something of a transition in the preparation.

So far, UW’s practices have largely been devoted to fundamentals and finetuning Washington’s playbook, and giving the younger players a lot of work. Actual gameplanning will begin when UW returns to the field on Thursday for five straight practices, a week that will simulate a regular gameweek preparation. After a few more days off, UW will then have another regular gameweek preparation in advance of the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl against San Antonio.

Today’s workout concluded with something of a Scout Bowl, with most of the starters sitting out while the younger players scrimmaged for a little while (full disclosure — I was not able to be there for family reasons but did get some notes and quotes from those who were there).

Highlights included a long catch-and-run by DiAndre Campbell from Nick Montana; Nick Holt (the player, not the coach) stuffing Bishop Sankey for a big loss on a run play; a nice interception from Marcus Peters, who wrestled the ball away from a receiver.

Asked who stood out, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said: “Obviously DiAndre Campbell had a big play there, and I thought Dezden Petty ran hard. Bishop Sankey did some nice things. On the defensive side of the ball, Evan Zeger had a couple nice plays in the defensive backfield, and Marcus Peters obviously continues to show us his playmaking ability with the interception.”

Asked the goal of the practice, Sarkisian said: “Just to let those kids play and have fun playing football. They’ve put in a lot of time and effort. They are reading a lot of cards (meaning the plays of the opposing team to work as the scout team during practice) throughout the year, and now they get a chance to go out and play and show how much they have grown and gotten better.”

Another obvious topic afterward is that the Huskies now know they will be facing the Heisman winner in the bowl game, with Robert Griffin III winning the award Saturday.

Asked if that provides more motivation for the UW defense, Sarkisian said: “No. It’s an opportunity for us to go to a bowl game, play on national television against the (15th-) ranked team in the country. That’s motivation in itself. We want to go down and play well, perform well in front of our fans, perform well on national television, and for ourselves. I hope not, quite honestly. If he didn’t win the Heisman, we wouldn’t try as hard? I doubt that. We’re going to try really hard.”

Asked about Griffin and if he compares to someone like Oregon’s Darron Thomas, Sarkisian said: “He’s just really good. He’s had a really good year. You’re talking about a guy who’s throwing the ball really well and can run the football. He’s not a runner, but he can run the ball. And he operates their offense really well. Those three things put together, and he’s playing really well at this moment. There’s always moments when a guy hits their lull and things like that at times, but he obviously finished the year really well. I know he’s a really good player. To put a comparison on him is probably unfair to him and unfair to anybody else. The guy just won the Heisman Trophy. So we’re talking about a guy who’s playing really good football, at the highest level, and just got named the best player in college football in 2011. We know we have our work cut out for us. The reality is, we’re expecting him to come out and play well. We’ll have to play well to match that.”

Asked who will simulate Griffin in practice when they begin gameplanning, Sarkisian said: “I don’t know – we haven’t gotten to that point. That is what we do this week is we get ready. Whether those moments come up – whether it is Derrick Brown, a Thomas Vincent, a Cody Bruns trying to simulate him – I don’t know, you do your best to try and simulate him. We are obviously talking about the Heisman Trophy winner, so I don’t know if we’re going to get exactly to that point, but we’ll try to do our best to simulate not only him but their offense and the speed and tempo in which they play, which is important.”

Another topic was catching up on some old business — why is Keith Price suddenly wearing a glove on his left hand? He did it for the first time in the Apple Cup but it kind of went unaddressed afterward.

Price said today that: “It was raining that week, so I wasn’t sure if it was going to rain, so I just brought it out. … I like the grip. That’s it.”

Sarkisian said he thinks it’s “just the cool thing to do these days. … I think it’s like the wristband. It’s the thing to do these days. I don’t know. I saw Ben Roethliesberger has one on. Tom Brady had one on the other night. I don’t know. They’re great gloves.”



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