As always on Monday, here are a few notes from Steve Sarkisian’s radio show.
— But I will note first there was a lot of repetition of themes from the earlier press conference so I won’t repeat many of those here. But there was a lot of talk about Keith Price and the conversation Sarkisian had with him in Saturday’s game. Sarkisian also noted he had met with Price today for their usual Monday meeting, but that this one lasted quite a while. He said he felt they got on the same page about where to go from here.
— One play he noted as an example of what the issues Saturday night was the first play of the game which he said was designed to go to Kasen Williams deep. He said Williams was open for a 35-40-yard gain but that Price instead dumped the ball off to Bishop Sankey, He said Price said he just didn’t see Williams. He noted that as an example of a play where Price has to trust that it will work as planned and wait for it to work.
— He said a good word to use to describe Price’s play right now is “deliberate” and that he’s thinking too much about where to go with the ball instead of just throwing it more in rhythm.
— There was talk of whether UW might have overlooked Arizona since it was the first game after the tough first half schedule. He said “maybe” the team did and that “I don’t know if some of us took a ‘phew, the first six are done, now we get to play the next six.’ Well it doesn’t work like that.” He also reiterated that he thinks UW is a lot better than it has played the last few weeks, saying “unfortunately for us, we haven’t brought our A game enough to know yet if our A game is good enough to win with.”
— He said the defensive game plan was to hit Matt Scott because they didn’t think he would respond well to being hit, but they couldn’t get to him. He said “it was a game where we played undisciplined defense.” He noted the first run of the game was a play they had replicated 20-25 times during the week but that the Huskies simply didn’t fit the right gaps on the run and it ended up being a 13-yard gain. He also noted a long pass that was man coverage and a defensive back getting caught staring at the quarterback, which he said is a basic fundamental they work on all the time.
— There was talk of the road woes and he said they have done a lot of changing of routines this season to try to see if that will help — the team didn’t get to Arizona until 8 p.m. or so Friday, for instance. He said they will continue to look at their road routine.
— Asked if the switch to morning practices might be having any impact, he said “that’s not an issue.”
— He noted UW had 19 missed tackles against Arizona that led to 150 yards after contact, which he said is “an alarming number from what we had been giving up earlier this year against some really good teams.” He said UW will institute some more one-on-one drills and tackling drills in practice this week as a result, including a “gauntlet” drill that they usually do during the spring. He said the film will be shown of those drills to the team so everyone knows who has won, and that the guys who win those battles “are who is going to play.”
— He also said the 52 pass attempts Saturday was too many, saying “I never want to look at a stats sheet and see our quarterback with 52 pass attempts. That means we are not running the offense I want to run, which is a balanced one.” He said their offense is based on running and passing equally and using the run to set up the pass and that “we’ve got to get back to that.”
— He also said he feels he’s been too deliberate with his play-calling, meaning in terms of taking time during the game to think about the calls. He said it usually works better when the play calls come more quickly and he doesn’t have to think through every one all that much.