The Huskies are off the field following their Thursday practice. They will practice again here Friday before heading to Oregon around 6 p.m. or so for Saturday night’s game against the Ducks in Eugene.
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he thought it was a pretty normal week of practice for the Huskies, saying he didn’t notice any “hangover” from the win over Stanford.
“These guys are a serious group,” he said. “They had a good week of work and I say that every week and you could say it’s a good week of work or a bad week of work and you get to the game and they play good or they play bad. You like to practice really well — it makes everybody feel better. I think we did that. But ultimately we have to go play Saturday night.”
More relevant may be some of the specific challenges of preparing for Oregon. One is rotating on defense to keep players fresh in the face of Oregon’s fast-paced offense. Sarkisian noted that it helps that UW has begun to play more players on defense as a matter of regular course
“We played upwards of 20 guys last week on defense as well, so that’s pretty typical,” he said.
What may also help, he said, is that UW has been doing a lot of no-huddle in practice the last three weeks.
“We’ve been now for really three weeks doing quite a bit of no-huddle because it was a big part of our gameplan last week against Stanford and obviously knowing we had Oregon coming up,” he said. “So we challenged them quite a bit from a conditioning standpoint but then as soon as those no-huddle periods were done we went to a lot of assignment/alignment and challenged them mentally to we tried to give them both phases of that.”
Conditioning, though, will be key, he said.
“The ability to be disciplined and to execute when you are a bit fatigued is one of the key challenges,” he said. “Our ability to substitute early in the game is another of the key challenges. So a lot that goes into it.,. But it’s the discipline when fatigued to stay in a form of executing really well and using proper technique and still tackling extremely well is one of the key principles in the second half. In the first half, as well, but definitely the second half.”
The game is UW’s second on the road this season, but Sarkisian said he isn’t worried about how his team handles playing away from home.
“We didn’t play good at LSU, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “I don’t think we have guys that it was too big for them or anything like that, we just didn’t play well. When you play against good teams on the road top five teams on the road, executing is paramount and that is going to be the same way Saturday night at Oregon.”
You can watch Sarkisian’s session with the media today below:
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