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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Friday afternoon notes — Tentative Spring Game, location set; and kickoff rules changed

While UW has yet to announce the official details for the Spring Game, CoachSark’s site kind of let the cat out of the bag recently, posting under its schedule section that the game will be played April 28 at 11 a.m. at CenturyLink Field.

It sounds like while this isn’t “officially official,” it’s also not wrong. So pencil that time and locale into your calendar. UW will play the entire 2012 season at CenturyLink Field while Husky Stadium is renovated, so this will be something of another dry run of how that will all work. UW also played and won the 2011 Apple Cup there.

Spring practice begins on April 2 — like all schools, UW will have 15 practices during the spring. Times and locations for the other practices are still to be announced. UW has two practice fields on campus it can use — the Dempsey Indoor and the East practice field. UW used those two fields exclusively last year after the renovation began on Husky Stadium after the Nov. 5 game against Oregon, so the team is already familiar with the setup it will have without having the use of Husky Stadium itself.

IN OTHER NEWS. …

— The NCAA announced a few new rules today, most designed at keeping players safer. Most notable is moving kickoffs from the 30 to the 35, and the starting point after touchbacks from the 20 to the 25, each designed to increase and encouraged touchbacks.

This might have as much of an impact on games at Husky Stadium (or Seattle, I guess) as anywhere, as because of the stadiums being at essentially sea level and the usual winds at Husky Stadium coming off the lake, kickers generally find it hard to consistently kick it into the end zone. UW’s Erik Folk had eight touchbacks, five coming on the road. UW’s opponents had seven touchbacks, six coming on the road. To further make the point, out of 74 combined kickoffs last year at Husky Stadium, there were just four touchbacks, three off the foot of Folk. You’d figure those numbers might increase greatly with kickoffs moving five yards closer.

I guess it could be considered an unknown of the new stadium whether the wind coming off the lake will be as pronounced as it often has been. But it’s hard to imagine it won’t still be an impact — and obviously being essentially at sea level isn’t changing.

Further making the point of the impact of conditions on kickoffs and touchbacks, of Folk’s seven touchbacks last year, two came in the game at Utah (in five attempts) while Utah had three against UW (in just three kickoffs). So that means five of the combined 15 touchbacks last year in UW games came in Utah. The only other game last year in which there were multiple touchbacks by either team came in the game at Nebraska, when the Cornhuskers had two in nine kickoffs.

— UW released a picture today of the foundation of the new football operations building that will be part of the renovation. There’s also a picture of the scoreboard now having been removed.
— A significant part of the NFL Combine going on this week are the official measurements of all the players. Senio Kelemete measured 6-4, 307 at the Combine while Jermaine Kearse was 6-1, 209 and Chris Polk 5-11, 215, the latter about nine pounds lighter than he was at the Senior Bowl. UW last year listed Kelemete at 6-4, 301; Kearse at 6-2, 208; and Polk at 5-11, 222.

— Kelemete also ranked near the bottom in the bench press, doing 21 reps of 225 pounds. The high was 41 by Michigan’s David Molk.

— Just as I was finishing this up, news broke out of Oregon of the release of some public documents with some details of the investigation of the UO football program. Here’s a report from the Eugene Register-Guard and another from The Oregonian. And here are the documents themselves, via the RG.

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