The Huskies are off the field following their Thursday practice and on their way to LSU.
UW’s practice today was closed, but Husky coach Steve Sarkisian said there were no new injuries, and the Huskies appear to have made it through the week pretty healthy.
The only slight concern is cornerback Greg Ducre, who sprained a foot in practice on Wednesday. Sarkisian, though, said “we don’t think it’s serious and he should be able to play.”
Sarkisian also said that tests on Ben Riva’s forearm showed what was hoped — a break and nothing more — and that he will be out 4-6 weeks.
The team leaves for LSU today and Sarkisian said the Huskies will go past Tiger Stadium tomorrow for a brief look but will hold their actual walk-through elsewhere.
Here’s video of his meeting with the media today with more transcribed answers after the jump:
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Here’s more of what he said:
On how the right side of the OL may shake out Saturday: “I think we’ve got a plan in place to where we can play guys and guys can be successful and endure some of the elements. Obviously it’s going to be hot in there Saturday, especially in the early portion of the game. So we might see a couple of different looks as we get going.”
On how he thinks the starting five on the OL will perform: “I think they will play and play well. I think we’ve got a good plan to allow them to do the things that they do well.”
On comparing LSU’s defensive line to any others UW sees: “Again, I think everyone wants to keep saying they are so big. They are big inside but they are fast on the outside, that’s what makes them unique. Sometimes you see teams that are big and D-lines that are fast, but they’ve got a combination of both of those and that’s what makes them so hard to deal with.”
On if he thinks they will see more of LSU DE Sam Montgomery, who didn’t start the opener: “I mean 98 (Jordan Allen), 99 (Montgomery), it’s that thing that kind of separates them is the number. So whether it’s 98 or 99 they are both good players, so I don’t know. You’d have to ask coach (Les) Miles that one.”
On if LSU moves its defensive linemen around a lot and if identification is a big issue: “Not as much. They line up, they do what they do, they do it well. They do a little bit more stuff when they get into their nickel fronts. But their base defense, we know where they are going to be.”
On if true freshman tailback Erich Wilson II will play more this week: “I’d like to give him a few more carries and get him into the flow of the game some. We have to see how the flow of the game goes, too. We always have a plan for different scenarios as the goes on, but I would like to get Erich a bit more involved and I’d like to get Dezden Petty a bit more involved.”
On how Bishop Sankey has practiced this week: “I think he’s had a good week. He’s such a serious kid that I think he has taken this challenge head on and we feel good about Bishop. I’ve felt good about Bishop after spring ball, after training camp. And so I don’t have concerns with him being our lead back. I just want to make sure we can spell him enough to where our other guys can step in and do a nice job.”
On how the other backs have done this week: “They’ve practiced well and they all realize the opportunity and that’s what the game of football is about and the season of football is about, when opportunities come you want to take advantage of them and seize them whether that’s individually or collectively, and we have some guys at that running back position who have a chance to earn more playing and we’ll see who seizes it.”
On balancing the emotions at the start of the game: “It’s something that you talk to. We have to talk about that. I don’t want us to come out with a lack of energy — I don’t think that will ever be the case. I think we will be fired up and ready to go. I don’t want us at the end of the first quarter to be wiped out because we’ve been jumping around all pre-game warm-ups long. So we’ll try to do our best to keep our composure in pre-game and once the ball gets kicked off put our best forward.”
On the difference in the games UW has won against elite teams and those when it hasn’t: “I think one of the keys is the football. When you can create some turnovers on defense and get short fields and put points on the board, that’s always helpful. And then the games where we weren’t able to capitalize on those things, we maybe got some turnovers, and I think back to a couple of games with Oregon where we got down to the red zone and didn’t take advantage of it. Those are key factors. And then minimizing the big plays from the opponent. When you really make them drive the length of the field rather than creating big plays I thought was a big factor in those types of games and how they go.”
On if he has seen any difference in the freshmen this week heading down to that atmosphere: “Nothing so much individually. We speak as a group and every day there are different things we are talking about, about how we react in these types of environments and minimizing distractions and focusing on the task at hand. That messaging won’t change all the sudden today or tomorrow or Saturday. It’s going to be pretty consistent because I think that’s when you perform your best. Again, we are not playing their crowd, or playing the tiger or playing the stadium. We are playing the 11 guys that line up across from us on that snap and that’s what we need to focus on.”
On having said the second tight end spot needed work this week and how that’s come along: “I think the guys so far have risen to the challenge. They understand that we need to perform better than we did last week at that position and we are trying to put some guys and understanding them and put them in a little different position to be successful and maybe doing some things that they do well and moving some guys around. But definitely I would like to see that position perform better because that is a big part of our offense when we are in our two-tight end sets and to do that we have to execute.”
On whether true freshman offensive guard Shane Brostek will play: “I think there is an outside chance of it. I think right now we would rather not, but unforeseen circumstances are what you have to be prepared for, so we are prepared to play Shane if we need to be. But in a perfect world we wouldn’t have to do that. Does that mean he wouldn’t play all year? We haven’t made that decision yet. But for Saturday, we are hopeful that he doesn’t have to but if we get in in a situation where he needs to be will play.”