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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Notes from the Coaches Show

For the last time during the regular season, UW coach Steve Sarkisian held his weekly radio show. Obviously there was a lot to talk about and here’s some of what he had to say. …

— Sarkisian opened the radio show saying of the loss to WSU in the Apple Cup that “we didn’t get it done against a team we should have beaten, quite honestly.”

— Asked if the team let down once it was ahead 28-10, he said that was a possibility and that comes back to the coaches and how they had the team prepared and he would meet with his coordinators this week to discuss how to do that

— He returned at the beginning of his opening statement to reiterate that “if you ask me, at the end of the day we are a better football team than they are.”

— He said he thought the Huskies might have gotten a little tight late in the game, in part because they were favored and ahead, a different scenario than in some of their other games. He said the team needs to become accustomed to playing in that situation.

— He said he did not think how hard his team played was an issue, or that WSU wanted it more. He said again it was not for a “lack of want-to” and that the team prepared well. “Believe me, if you were in the locker room after the game you would not think they wanted the game more than we did,” he said.

— Of the running game, he said WSU did some stunts up front that led to some miscommunication and that the Cougars did a good job of winning some one-on-one battles. He also said the Huskies did not break very many tackles and did not make WSU defenders miss often.

— Of the criticism of Keith Price, he said “it comes with the territory” and that he thinks Price understands that and is as disappointed as anyone about the way the game went. He said he thinks Price can play better but that the team around him can play better and the coaches can coach better around him to “enable him to get that done.”

— He said of WSU’s defensive like that “I thought they did a nice job up front. They were ready to go.” He said UW had four third-and-four plays or less on which they had penalties that made it difficult to mount drives.

— He said they didn’t do more play-action pass because of the long-yardage situations and that they tried to throw it deep a few times but couldn’t connect. But he said at the end of it was still 28-10 and they just didn’t finish the game.

— He said of the first play that it was one they liked because of how aggressive WSU’s safeties had been but that the Cougar safeties stayed home on that play and didn’t leave a receiver open for Cody Bruns to throw to.

— Asked about needing a third receiver, he said he thinks the team needs a speed receiver to complement Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams and said Jaydon Mickens, James Johnson and Marvin Hall could be that next season.

— Asked about the 18 penalties that “it’s painful.” He said “we are trying to figure out” how much penalties correlates to winning noting some other teams that get a lot of penalties have good records. But he said “it’s unacceptable” and that “it will be a point of emphasis of ours.”

— He said the pass interference penalties and the penalty on Price late in the game were the most glaring and that those plays were not called the same way earlier in the year. “Whatever it is, just call it the same way,” he said.

— On the Price head-bob play, he said he could have accepted it better if the player who jumped offsides was on the edge and not the nose tackle, who wasn’t looking up at Price. He said it was the “normal cadence” and the exact same way UW had run the play against Stanford when the Cardinal jumped offsides late in the win against Stanford.

— A caller asked why Bruns wasn’t used more this year and he said he thinks Bruns has maybe played more than is realized but the ball just hasn’t gone to him as much as hoped for whatever reason. He said Bruns’ tackle on the interception was the kind of play that makes Huskies proud.

— Another caller said he thought the team was worse than he thought it should be this year. Sarkisian said the team “obviously didn’t perform offensively this season to the standards we have set here.” He said it was for a “variety of reasons” and “out of rhythm” at times offensively. He said he would agree that the offense didn’t meet the standards that have been set since he has been here.

— He said the gameplan for the WSU game was not more conservative than the past few games. He said the plan was to throw more play-action passes but the Huskies just could not get the ball deep as much as they wanted.

— Asked about David Shaw winning Coach of the Year, he noted that Stanford won the North Division, which he said he thinks is a little bit tougher than the South right now, as well as the close loss at Notre Dame.

— He said he agreed with the pick of Marqise Lee as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

— He said he thought Desmond Trufant “deserved” to be on the All-Pac-12 team though he said he wasn’t sure the Apple Cup “was his best game of the year.”

— Of ASJ not making the first team, he said the numbers are very comparable but that “sometimes there is some seniority that gets voted upon” and that Stanford’s Zach Ertz, who got the nod instead, is a senior and had a good year.

— He agreed that Travis Long being only honorable mention was an oversight and that he voted for Long.

— He also said he thought Travis Feeney and Shaq Thompson potentially could have gotten more of a look for defensive freshmen of the year and Sean Parker for the all-conference team. Said “it could serve as motivation in the off-season for some of these guys.”

— On the timeout before the final field goal by Travis Coons, he said anyone thinking he was icing his own kicker “might have had a couple too many.” He said the goal was to run it on third down and let the clock run, and then run the clock down and call time out before trying the kick so WSU would not have any time left. He said the field goal team was a little excited and ran out there and set up though they knew the time out was coming.

— He said it wasn’t the best snap on the kick and that a little bit of the timing was off as a result and “he just doesn’t hit it great.” He said he could “just tell” by the way he struck the ball that Coons hadn’t hit it very well.

— Asked if he will open up the QB job to competition, he said for this year there is no more important goal than to win the game and get an eighth win. He said he is excited about the team coming back next year with having 18 starters back and getting back a number of injured players. As for the QB spot, he said it will be no different than any other spot in that “guys will be battling and competing for playing time.” He said “there will be great competition on our roster at a number of positions.”

— Asked about the bowl game situation, he said the “odds are on Vegas” and that there’s the potential for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, as well.

— He said he has no issues if UW is pitted against Boise State even though the two teams are set to play in the opener in 2013, as well. He said “if that’s the matchup, we will go play it and it would be a great one.” He said the only focus for that game would be on this year and this season and getting one more win.

— He noted that the team’s assistants are on the road recruiting and UW will practice on the weekends the next few weeks before getting into some preparation for the bowl game.

— On being 7-5 this season, he said “this has been a long” season with all of the injuries that began on the first day and the youth. But he also said “it’s been gratifying” and that if the Huskies could have gotten to 8-4 it would have been one of the seasons he is most proud of. But he said you can see the potential of the team and the players need to get used to being a team expected to win a lot of games. “We have a chance to be really special next fall,” he said.

— He said of the defense that it was “an awesome job” by the players and coaches and that he believes the day will come soon when they put the offense and defense together. “I’m really pumped for 2013 because we’ve got a good roster coming back,” he said.

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