Washington will hit the field around noon or so for practice, a day that typically is the last in full pads for a game week.
It’s also one that will again feature lots of work by the offense and defense against scout teams replicating the offense and defense of the opponent Saturday, San Diego State.
Most unique of what San Diego State does is its 3-3-5 defense — three down linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs. As noted in this 2010 story, SDSU coach Rocky Long was one of the inventors of the defense when he was head coach at New Mexico, the defense helping propel Brian Urlacher to stardom (though given how good he is, I sort of think it would have happened anyway).
Here’s an excerpt from Smart Football that describes the 3-3-5 in detail.
As the stories detail, the 3-3-5 is in many ways just always having a nickel package on the field. It’s also in some ways sort of just a 3-3-4 with a rover. UW coach Steve Sarkisian said the big key to succeeding against it is knowing where everyone is.
“From an identification standpoint they can be challenging,” he said. “You can’t worry about the numbers — they got guys moving around playing different positions. A guy might be a free safety one snap, the next snap he’s blitzing off the edge. They can cause some hesitation for you if you are not really locked in and keyed into what you need to be doing. They (have an) aggressive nature when they rush the passer, they rush with a purpose, they really try to get to the quarterback and create errant throws and create turnovers. ”
That identification is particularly critical up front, and as such, it’s worth watching how UW’s two new tackles — Ben Riva and Micah Hatchie, each making their first career start — react. Conversely, it may help that UW’s OL has been largely intact throughout camp, especially the last week, which one figures would aid in the communication process vital for figuring out assignments pre-snap.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— For my story for the Wednesday paper, I wrote about Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey and their thoughts on now stepping in to replace Chris Polk.
— The Times also had this feature on UW commit Andrew Basham of Lynwood today as part of our continuing series of high school previews.
— ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach says UW has the third-toughest schedule in the country this year.
— The SportsNetwork has a preview of the game and picks UW to win 38-20.
— Good column here on the San Diego State view of things entering Saturday’s game.
— And a good feature here on SDSU cornerback Leon McFadden, a close friend of UW QB Keith Price. How close? Price’s family attends his games when they aren’t attending Washington’s. The story also notes, though, that the two haven’t spoken in a while as they prepare for the game Saturday.
— Fun stuff here as Anthony Gimino picks an All-Pac-12 team made up of former players currently coaching in the league. Steve Sarkisian and Marques Tuiasosopo are among those making the cut.
— UW commit Andrew Kirkland makes this list of the top offensive linemen in the state of Oregon.
— John McGrath with all you need to know about Pac-12 football entering the season.
— LSU’s game is still on for Saturday though the school is closed again today due to Hurricane Issac.
— Cal’s athletic director is helping lead the charge to get DirecTV to add the Pac-12 Networks.
— NFL.com ranks Jake Locker as the No. 3 second-year QB.
— Fun with billboards in Los Angeles.
— Max Wittek has won USC’s backup QB job, an early step to becoming Matt Barkley’s heir apparent.
— The Spokesman-Review’s Pac-12 notebook focuses on the change in kicking rules.
— After a lot of speculation, looks like QB Bryan Bennett is staying at Oregon.
— Jon Wilner picks UW fourth in the Pac-12 North.
— Here’s The Oregonian’s Pac-12 Rundown.
— Lots of bold predictions here from SI.com.
— WSU notes and Pac-12 links from Christian Caple.
— UCLA fans don’t like their new uniforms.