Steve Sarkisian announced sophomore defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina is out for the rest of the season.
Here’s a few notes from the today’s press conference.
(On being ranked No. 23) “It’s the perception of what people think of you. Ultimately you have to play the game. … I’m sure that’s exciting for our fans, but for us it didn’t get brought up in the team meeting and we didn’t talk about it with our players.”
(On UW’s effort last week versus Stanford) “Thought our defense played a tremendous football game. It could have been a little better if we don’t blow a couple of coverages. … Two inches away from returning a punt for a touchdown. … Travis Coons punted the ball well. … We knew it would have been a grind-it-out game against that front. … Thought Keith showed a great deal of mental leadership and toughness. … Impressed with our guys with the way they finished the game. … We’re going to have to continue to work on redzone offense. … That will be a big focus of ours this week.”
— Sark said UW has to “shore things up from a protection standpoint” to improve the passing game.
— We looked fast. WE got to the football and ultimately we finished plays. We tackled well. … We did it with an attiguede that was highly encouraging to us. … Look at the LSU game those piles were going in our direction.
— Freshman Kendyl Taylor is listed as a running back after being listed as a receiver to start the season. Sark said: “He’s kind a little bit of both.”
— Sark said he’s not using Oregon’s No. 2 ranking as a motivator to get the Huskies excited about the game. He said: “It’s not about that we’re playing Oregon or that it’s at Autzen or what uniform they’re wearing or what we’re wearing. It’s about we’re playing our second game in the Pac-12. … When you try to look for external motivators it can get dicey for you. … They’ll be ready to play because they want to get ready to play.”
— Sark downplayed the significance of preparing for a quick, no-huddle team like Oregon after facing a power running team like Stanford.
(On Oregon’s defense) “Great length on the edges. … Their corners have a great deal of confidence to where they’re getting put in 1-on-1 settings, they’re making plays. … And they’re playing a lot of guys. They’re playing 22 guys.”
— Sark said Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is fast. “That’s the biggest thing that jumps out at me … (and) his ability to improvise when things break down.”
— Sark said nose tackle Danny Shelton has a sore hand. Sark also said Josh Banks and Semisi Tokolahi had nice games rotating in the interior defensive line.
— Sark said a year ago UW changed philosophies in practice and began doing more physical workouts to improve the tackling. “We’ve done it and maybe at the expense of getting a few more bumps and bruises, but the end result I think we’re a better football team.”
(On defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox) “He’s done a tremendous job. … What I’ve appreciated is the versatility that he’s provided the defense.”
— More on the tackling. Sark said the team wasn’t deep enough in previous seasons to be very physical in practice. Wilcox’s arrival also played a factor in being more physical in practice.
— UW has been ranked twice before under Sark. He said there’s not much to learn from those experiences. Still one lesson that might be gleamed is to focus on “where we are right now.”
— More than any other year, Sark said he likes UW’s depth as it faces Oregon. He recounted past defeats when the Huskies were outdueled in the second half.
(More on the depth and Oregon’s up-tempo offense) “Something that Oregon does a nice job is their up-tempo. … Those plays become a little better when you make mistakes. … For us the depth kicks in to where you’re not waiting until the third quarter to sub guys. … We shouldn’t nearly be as fatigued as we’ve been in the past.”