The Huskies just wrapped up their fourth practice of the week, and the final one inside Husky Stadium. They are scheduled to take off on a chartered flight to Chicago this afternoon, a day earlier than they would for the typical road game because of the four-hour flight two time zones away.
The team will go to the movies Friday, “just so they’re not sitting in their (hotel) rooms,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice Wednesday. “We’ve got a good group of kids. I’m not worried about them doing something crazy, but I do want to know where they are.”
On Friday, the Huskies will do a walk-through at Solider Field, home of the Chicago Bears. “I might do a ‘Sweetness’ jump into the end zone when we get there,” Sarkisian said, in reference to Bears’ great Walter Payton.
In their first road trip, Sarkisian said the Huskies are looking for consistency.
“We’ve been talking about, it doesn’t matter where we play or the weather or the conditions or the field or what uniforms — or any of that,” he said. “To do that, I think that has to apply to the way we travel. So when we’re at home, we wear our sweats with collared shirts, and we’ll do that on the road. So we’re trying to find consistency, and I think we’re getting really close to it. …
“I like this group. I think they understand it,” Sarkisian added, chuckling. “I’m laughing because they’re so loose, they’re so confident, but yet they’re so focused. They’re a really fun group to coach because they get it. I don’t feel like we have to pound it into them. They get it.”
— Sarkisian was asked about the college football scandals involving Oklahoma State and Alabama/the SEC this week: “I think we have to try to educate our guys. It’s great to learn from others — unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us. … We just try to educate our guys the best we can. I sympathize with those programs and the stuff they’re going through … but, man, there’s so many temptations for these guys. That’s the biggest thing we try to educate them on. There’s so many temptations. If they can just focus on playing good football, going to school, enjoying this experience, then they’ll be OK.”
— Backups Jake Eldrenkamp, Ross Dolbec and Shane Brostek played some, but UW’s starting offensive linemen played all but two or three of the snaps in the Huskies’ victory over Boise State, and Sarkisian said he liked what he saw from the line. “Our tempo was good. We ran 86 plays, so for them to make it through — I think they ran 83 of the 86 — that was encouraging, the condition they were in. But we have to prepare ourselves for the things that might come about, and the contingency plan and things of that nature. So hopefully we can get a couple of those (backups) a little more reps this week.” (Note: The officials stats say UW ran 85 plays vs. Boise State; Sarkisian and offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto both have mentioned that the starting … “He’s progressing,”
— Sarkisian singled out RG Colin Tanigawa, LT Micah Hatchie and C Mike Criste specifically. “Colin Tanigawa is a nice addition to have back. Just his presence, his mentality, the way he plays the game.”
— OL Erik Kohler, who was out of his walking boot this week, is progressing, but Sarkisian didn’t offer a timetable for his return.