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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Aztecs preparing for the unknown against Washington defense

Washington’s season opener against San Diego State is now just 11 days away — kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at CenturyLink Field.

Aztecs coach Rocky Long met the media today and said his team will transition from training camp to focusing solely on the Huskies beginning Thursday (expect UW’s schedule to be pretty similar).

Long acknowledged, though, that preparing for Washington’s defense will be a little tricky due to the change in coordinators from Nick Holt to Justin Wilcox.

“We have no idea what their defense is going to be to be honest with you,” Long said today, then noting that Wilcox had worked previously at Tennessee and Boise State. “You can kind of try to base off what you saw on Tennessee film to make your game plan.”

Long also talked of having seen bits and pieces of what Washington’s new defense looks like from various media reports and that of what they have seen “none of it is even close to what he did at Tennessee. So I think we are going into a tunnel and it is really, really dark because we have no idea what they are going to do on defense. None whatsoever.”

SDSU quarterback Ryan Katz, who spent the last four years at Oregon State and started against UW at Husky Stadium in 2010, was among players who met the media today and said the same as Long that “we’re kind of going into the dark because he may change things up. So it’s really preparing for everything. There are only so many defenses you can run and certain plays work better against certain defenses so we’ll have those dialed up and ready to go against Washington.”

On the other side of the ball, Long said they have a pretty good idea what the Huskies will do.

“They are going to run the same offense, and for you who saw their bowl game against Baylor, it was like there was no defense out there,” he said. “They were so good it was like they scored every time they had the ball.”

Long, though, indicated that won’t stop San Diego State from its trademark, aggressive 3-3-5 defense, which last year helped the Aztecs have a plus-12 turnover ratio, which ranked ninth in the nation.

“We are a high-risk defense, which means we will make some plays and they will make some plays,” he said. “We just have to make more than they do.”

One San Diego State player who is particularly familiar with the Huskies is cornerback Leon McFadden, who was a high school teammate of UW quarterback Keith Price (as well as safety Will Shamburger) at St. John Bosco. McFadden was an all-Mountain West Conference pick last and flirted with declaring for the NFL before deciding to return.

McFadden said of Price that “I’m pretty sure he’s going to try to test me. But it’s all about competing at the end of the day.”

You can watch the press conference here:

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