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November 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Notes from the Coaches Show

As always on Monday during the season, UW coach Steve Sarkisian hosts his weekly radio show.

Here are a few notes (and again, this is far from a complete transcript as I’m concentrating on passing along stuff that is different than what he said during his press conference earlier).

— He said he didn’t agree that the team wasn’t ready to play early saying “the defense was phenomenal” and he thought the special teams “was tremendous.” He said “I don’t think we weren’t ready to play” but that the team was just shooting itself in the foot a few times.

— He said he the team may practice outdoors one of the next three days to prepare for possible wet weather in Pullman this week, but that the team may also practice indoors most of the week to get the best work in instead of being in a downpour the whole time.

— Asked about WSU’s offense, he said it’s different than anything UW will play all year in that the Cougars “throw the ball 85 percent of the time. We have to be prepared to play multiple passing sets. Which makes them very unique, different than anything we have seen all year.” He said the offense is “similar to what I played in at BYU. It’s relying on the quarterbacks and receivers really being on the same page and adjusting throws and routes based on coverages.” He said the goal for UW is to “eliminate as much space as possible” so there is no room for the throws.

— He said that while he was pleased with Keith Price’s play, he said he holds Price to a high standard, and that Price does, as well, saying Price told him later that “I should have thrown eight touchdown passes.”

— He gave a good explanation of the play where Price missed an open Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone, and as is often the case, it was more complicated than Price just throwing the ball poorly. He said the play was a “read route” where ASJ has the option of going inside or outside based on the coverage. But he said the defender “played him head-to-head” so it was hard for Price to read it and he was “just a bit unsure what Austin was doing there.” He said ASJ broke outside while Price threw it inside, resulting in the missed throw.

— Asked about a few of the penalties, he said he doesn’t want to come off as complaining each week, but he said he didn’t like the calls on the offensive pass interference penalties on ASJ and especially the one on Kasen Williams. He said “Kasen’s, there is no contact.”

— Sarkisian said he actually brought the team out a minute or so early after halftime because he wanted to see Ralphie, Colorado’s live buffalo mascot, run around the field, as is the custom there. “I’d never seen that before,” he said.

— Talking of where the offense is, he said “we have improved vastly” the last few weeks, though he said “I will never say ‘we are there.’ There is always room for improvement.”

— He said it’s taken the offense a little while to get going but that he thinks “ultimately we are going to be better for it. We are going to finish this season really strong offensively and it should kickstart us into the 2013 season.”

— Asked if UW’s recent surge is due as much to the way the schedule has changed as anything else, he noted that “ultimately everybody plays everybody. Regardless of our opponents, we are playing better football than we were playing two months ago.” He said “I kind of like the way this is setting up” in allowing UW to finish the season strong and with momentum going forward.

— The Oregon-Stanford game was brought up and the fact that Oregon kicker Alejandro Maldonado, who missed a key kick at the end, was committed to UW for a while before switching late. Sarkisian noted that during his official visit to Maldonado that Maldonado wasn’t there, leaving Sarkisian to watch a football game with Maldondo’s family. He said he later learned Maldonado was “meeting with another school at that time and we ended up losing him.” But he also said “I wish no ill will on anybody.”

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