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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 23, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Sunday notes, quotes and video

As noted earlier, Sunday was no day off for the Huskies with a game on tap against Stanford Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.

Staying on the usual gameweek preparation meant that today’s practice mirrored what the team usually holds on a Tuesday for a Saturday game — making it one of the most physical and intense of the week, with the team in full pads.

And UW coach Steve Sarkisian said afterward he thought the Huskies had a good day of work in preparing for a Stanford team that usually comes with the word “physical” attached.

“I thought our guys came and practiced with a purpose and an edge to them, so I was pleased with that,”’ Sarkisian said.

Asked if the practice was as physical as it appeared, Sarkisian said: “It felt it. It sounded that way. Sometimes (with) practice the best way you can tell is, ‘what did it sound like?’ I thought the last couple of days have been that way. I think our guys, going back to the Portland State week, it wasn’t so much what was going on and who we were going to play it, it’s what’s going on in our building and with us and our practice field and that edge you need to practice with so you play that way. You practice with a purpose and you play the way you practice. So I think we’ve been on this thing now for almost three weeks, so it feels good that way and I thought we saw it again today.”

As Sarkisian said, the Huskies are trying to ingrain in the players the idea of practicing the same way each week, regardless of the opponent. So he said the fact that UW is this week playing a Stanford team that has blown out the Huskies three straight years isn’t necessarily being talked about much.

“I don’t think it’s motivation,” he said of last year’s 65-21 loss to Stanford in Palo Alto. “There are things to take from that game, for sure, and we have obviously watched it, especially offensively. . … there are some things scheme-wise we would like to take from it and some things to learn.

“. … From a psyche standpoint, this is a different team that we have and they are a different football team and this is more about this game this year and us and that’s where the focus is.”

“. … The fact of it is, and I think we are starting to recognize it as a team, we should never change the way we prepare, whether it’s mentally, physically, emotionally, regardless of who our opponent is. We started really hammering that home last week before the Portland State game that our preparation was about us and doing things our way, the Husky way and playing our brand of football and that messaging hasn’t changed from us as coaches and shouldn’t change the mentality of the players who the opponent is. Obviously there is gameplan stuff, looking at film, and you need to know your opponent. But from a motivational standpoint, I would like to think that we are starting to mature to the point of ‘we get to play Thursday night.’ It happens to be Stanford this week, but our preparation, our focus, our energy, our enthusiasm shouldn’t waver, shouldn’t vary from week to week.”

Asked the biggest concerns about Stanford, Sarkisian said: “They are a good team, they are very well-coached, they execute extremely well. They are unique in their personnel groupings offensively in the fact that they keep multiple tight ends on the field just about all of the time. The length that they have on defense, they do a good job with all of that stuff. There are concerns on both sides. But that all stems from they’ve got good players and good coaches.”

In answer to another question, he expounded on what he expects from Stanford: “I think offensively they do some things philosophically that are a bit unique with some of their formations and shifts and what not. I think that they are committed to the running game that way in that they don’t go out and run and get gains of 10 yards every time. They have some one- and two- yard runs, but they stick with it. And they are able to stick with it because they have a good defense and the game never gets away from them too much that they feel like they have to start really just throwing the ball. So they have a cohesive approach to the game — play really good, sound defense against the run and then have the ability to run the football and utilize play-action pass when you get the lead and teams are really selling out to stop the run. So they do a good job of keeping those things together. The challenge for everybody that plays them, us this week, is how do you get them out of that cohesive gameplan that they approach every game with, and so that’s where the challenge is going to be for us Thursday night.”

UW wasn’t completely off on Saturday, but Sarkisian said he did have some time to watch some of the games around the conference.

“Man, our conference is pretty crazy,” he said. “Just when you think something is going to happen, something else occurs. I think there is a lot of parity in our conference. Maybe much more than people realize. Watching a lot of games that could have easily gone another way but there were teams that couldn’t score in there in the red zone and those opportunities when you are playing the good teams, you need to score. Will be interesting to watch as we go forward how teams respond and how some teams respond
to adversity as guys get nicked up and things like that, but it was fun to be a fan and do a little bit of scouting in watching our opponents and seeing what’s happening.”

Here’s video of all of Sarkisian’s session with the media (with lots of good views of the ever-changing stadium renovation in the background):

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1857224986001″][/do]

Here’s UW defensive tackle Danny Shelton talking to the media following practice:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1857226507001″][/do]

And here’s linebackers coach Peter Sirmon:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1857226510001″][/do]



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