As always on Monday night during the season, Steve Sarkisian holds his weekly radio show.
Here are a few highlights (and also as always, there was some stuff reiterated from earlier in the day so I won’t repeat much of that):
— Hosts Bob Rondeau and Mike Gastineau noted that UW’s win over Oregon State Saturday marked the latest into the season the Huskies had beaten an undefeated team since 1982 when the Huskies beat beat Arizona State 17-13. And in one coincidence from that game, they noted, Kasen Williams’ father Aaron had a big catch late in the game, as did Kasen on Saturday.
— Sarkisian said he had no issues with the penalty called on Danny Shelton that called back a return of an interception for a touchdown by John Timu, saying it was rightly called unnecessary roughness and “not the way the game should be played.” He said he knows OSU coach Mike Riley probably had issues with the hit by Sean Parker and that “it goes both ways” and teams have to be able to move past the penalties that are called.
— He said it was Parker’s best game of the season and that one key was lining up correctly on the slot receivers and identifying where to be and playing physical. He said Parker did not intend to knock Markus Wheaton out of the game but that he was proud of the way the Huskies played physically in the game.
— There was lots of talk of the offense and how Sarkisian felt it was a step in the right direction against a good defense. He also said the style was more in keeping with what UW wants to do with a roughly 50-50 run-pass percentage compared to the previous week against Arizona. He said running and good defense is what he believes is a formula for winning in the Northwest in November. He said it “might not be real pretty for us that way” and that it will “be a black-and-blue, grind-it-out mentality” and to do that have to play good defense, and “I think we are playing good defense right now.”
— Asked the ratios he prefers on offense, he said that Bishop Sankey should get the ball 20-25 times a game and that they should throw 30-35 times a game and that with other runs thrown in that would account for about a 50-50 range in most games.
— He said of Sankey that he ran rally hard and that Keith Price “had one of his better games in taking care of the ball and throwing it away and not taking unnecessary hits.”
— He said he was “Impressed with our offensive line, especially at our tackle spots — I thought those two guys really responded. I thought Mike Criste and Dexter Charles are really starting to settle in at guard.” He added that the two sacks were coverage sacks where Price had to bring the ball down.
— He said while he thinks the OL is beginning to get more comfortable with some of the schemes that the real key is that “at the end of it all, they competed. We really challenged them on Wednesday, called the line over and got into them pretty good about having to compete as an offensive lineman. At the end of the day, that man in front of you, you have to want to defeat him or he will defeat you.”
— He said it was a great “bounceback week” for Micah Hatchie going up against Scott Crichton, and said it “speaks volumes” to the attitude in the locker room right now.
— He said he thinks the offense is “crawling out of that mode not to make mistakes but playing like a confident offense should.”
— He said the win needs to be more than just a shot in the arm but needs to have a galvanizing impact on the team and propel it to a strong finish.
— He said he thought Price looked closer to his old self, not just in the way he played but in the way he interacted with the team, that “his energy was great” and that if he keeps progressing that way “look out.”
— He reiterated what he said in his press conference earlier today that he would not do anything differently in terms of play calling on the final drive, which ended with 1:20 on the clock and on an incomplete pass prior to the field goal. He said the goal was to win the game and try to get a touchdown to not allow OSU any chance to come back and win the game.
— There was talk of UW’s ability to win close games the last few years and he said some of it may be because of all the focus on finishing and practicing special situations. He pointed to one play as a testament to how UW rises to the occasion late, the final OSU pass play which went in the direction of Greg Ducre, who had not been playing much of late. He said Ducre understood the situation and stayed out of danger of getting a pass interference penalty and “all those things paid off.”