Steve Sarkisian’s time on the Pac-12 Coaches Conference Call today included some talk about Stanford and the topic du hour — whether there ought to be a standardized conference injury report.
— As for Stanford, Sarkisian said “I don’t know if surprising” is the right word for the Cardinal’s upset of USC. He then talked about the challenge of playing Stanford, saying the Cardinal “has a unique style of football in their big personnel groupings, mmultiple sets of tight ends and extra offensive linemen, and then their ability to play stout on the defensive side of the ball to keep the game close.” That in a nutshell is what this game will be out for UW, is whether it can hang with the Cardinal up front, something Washington has not been able to do the last three years in being outscored 140-35 by Stanford.
— Sarkisian also said UW had done a study of Stanford’s roster and concluded it has more players 6-4 or taller than any team in the Pac-12, something he said Jim Harbaugh began when he was coach and that David Shaw has continued. “They have great length on their roster and they utilize the length and size and they execute very well, and the moment you break down they take advantage of it,” he said.
— Asked how UW combats that, Sarkisian said “we’ll find out next Thursday. We’ve got some work to do.”
— All of the coaches on the call were asked about whether there ought to be a standardized injury policy, and Sarkisian reiterated what he said yesterday, that he would be in favor of it. He elaborated that one reason for the timing of instituting the policy last week was that “our first three (Pac-12) opponents, which have been the three teams with the most wins over the last three years (Stanford, Oregon, USC) don’t report injuries and I just felt from a competitive advantage, why should we .. two of those teams have closed practices where there is no access at all, so we felt like we wanted to keep the media access so they can be part of it, but (asking the media) to be conscientious not to report anything they might see at practice to put our team at a competitive disadvantage.”
— Sarkisian said he thought that eventually there would be something in place — either a policy to report injuries or an agreement that no one will — so that everyone is on a common ground.
— Sarkisian also talked a little about the team’s need to get more pressure on the quarterback and that that would be a point of emphasis in practice this week. UW has four sacks in three games to rank 83rd in the country. Said Sarkisian of the lack of sacks: “I think there have been a couple of things. We obviously have a couple of pass rushers that we would like to have gotten some sacks in one-on-one pass rush settings, one of which is Josh Shirley and another of which is Andrew Hudson, and both have had opportunities and for one reason or another we have not finished the plays very well when we have gotten to the quarterback. And so we will work on the last portion of the pass rush even more so to where we are finishing those plays to get the sacks. And then two when we are calling our pressures, rushing the quarterback without hesitation. If you are a blitzer in our system, it’s time for you to go, you need to go get the quarterback — that’s the objective behind us calling the pressures. So there will be a big point of emphasis for us this week so not only next week against Stanford but as we move forward throughout the season we can apply more pressure on the quarterback.”