Dawg Blog - Nebraska

It's week three, and for some reason week three always brings about a tough opponent for Washington of late. USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State...it's been a virtual bloodbath at home. This weekend is no different, as the No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers come calling. Can the Huskies pull out a little last-second magic, as they did last year against the No. 3-ranked Trojans? Or will it a lopsided affair?

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:33 PM

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes

On Nebraska's two DT's: "Their two defensive tackles are both obviously a size factor. Not only are they big guys, but they are tall and they have long arms and they use their hands really, really well. They are a two-gap defense, which what that means is that they like to get their hands on the offensive linemen and then shed 'em whichever direction the ball is going. They are both very good at it, they are both very well coached. They are big, strong, and they'll be a good challenge for us."

On what having two good DT's allows Nebraska to do - "What it does, it allows them to play more coverage-oriented defense when you can handle things at the line of scrimmage the way they are able to do with those four down guys."

On what the OL has to do against a two-gap scheme - "A lot of what two-gaps defenses do are built on leverage, so they try to feel leverage and then shed opposite, so it's going to be important for us to, once we get our leverage base where we need it to be, to solidify it."

On Cort Dennison sitting out - "He's a little under the weather, he's not feeling great, so we held him out."

On Cort maybe missing the game - "I don't think so. Potentially…he's just not feeling well."

On who would be behind him in the depth - "Garret Gilliland would be the first guy up."

On Nebraska facing a much better team than the two they've faced so far - "I think they'll be OK. They've been in big games before, obviously, and coach Pelini will have them ready to play."

On Gilliland coming through the depth as a true frosh - "He's a really bright football player. He comes from a great football program - Orange Lutheran High School - been in a lot of big games before. He was extremely well-coached in high school, which has enabled him to be ready to play at our level. He's a very bright kid, yet he's still athletic. He's a former running back and a linebacker in high school, so he's got the athleticism and the smarts…and he's done fine every time he's been in."

On the offensive line being settled for Saturday - "No. We haven't decided that yet."

On anybody ruled out for Saturday? "Uh... not completely, no."

Can Taylor Martinez throw deep? "Oh, yeah, he definitely has the arm strength and the ability to do it. In high school he came from really a passing-oriented offense. He threw for a bunch of yards, 3,000-some yards his senior year."

On the excitement from the players at this point in a game week - "I think they are excited about the opportunity to play at home. As we've touched on, we only get six opportunities this year to play in Husky Stadium. We're already on number two. For the seniors, their time is already dwindling down here at Husky Stadium. We're just trying to embrace and maximize and embrace the opportunities that are here. This is another one. It's a great college football matchup. But I think bigger than that is just the opportunity to play here."

On saying that UW would win every game at home this season - "It was at a booster event, and I believe we can. I believe every opportunity we get we have a great opportunity in Husky Stadium. This is a tremendous home field advantage for us. Our fans do a great job supporting us and we'll give it our best shot Saturday."

What can you say about your fans? - "I think the first us one, we have passionate fans. It's in their heart when they are cheering. Second is we have very bright football fans, our football IQ for our fans is high. They know when to be loud, when to not be loud, when to be really, really loud in portions of the game that really matter. So I think they take pride in our defense and when our defense is on the field in critical situations I think that in and of itself it's not just that it's loud all the time, it's at the moments when you want it to be loud they know they need to be."

Do you incorporate that into the game plan? - "You've got to be smart. One thing that can be missed in this is so much we are hammering about man we've got to do a good job of being loud to take care of the opponent on offense, our defense has to communicate extremely well because we are on the field and they cant hear either, so our communication, our signals on defense need to be on point as well."

On what he's seen this week with special teams - "I like the fact that I think our punter is much more comfortable, Kiel Rasp being back there everyone is much more comfortable with him. I think he is striking the ball much better than last. I think our kickoff return game is only going to get better with the new return it's another week of executing it and it got better as the game went on last week and anxious to see that this weekend and that our kick coverage will be better. Guys are understanding the urgency that it really takes to cover kickoffs so I think we will show better as well."

On Erik Folk's kickoffs - "I saw it, too. The ball wasn't traveling nearly as well as we've seen it. Part of that could've just been some jitters and whatnot being at home. So we'll assess that Saturday."

On the intangibles coming together at home, with weather and all - "We always like it a little gray, a little misty. And I wouldn't even mind some wind on Saturday. That's the way we like to play. I think it'll be a great atmosphere. A 12:30 kickoff, it's football. That's what college football's about: 12:30 kickoffs, you get up, go to the stadium, tailgate, watch a great football game, then you go on and you have a nice Saturday. We're excited about the opportunity. I'm sure Nebraska is too. It should be fun."

On having his game face on earlier for a big game like Nebraska? - "I don't know. I always kind of, as a staff and as players, we try to enjoy our Thursday nights. They're the nights to be with our families and our wives, and for the players it's a chance to step away for a second, and then we'll lock back in tomorrow."

How hard is that, to step away during the week? - "It's not hard for me. (laughs) Part of it is, when you're grinding, and it's 24-7, and you wake up four times in the night to write a note down or write a play down that you're thinking about, these nights are the ones when you kind of like to relax. It's enjoyable to watch other games that are on, Thursday nights, just watch football and be a fan for once."

What he likes to do away from football on Thursdays - "I just like to be with my wife and kids. I don't do anything really overly special."

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:07 PM

Quick Thursday practice notes

The practice took place in Husky Stadium under mixed conditions.  It was raining pretty good during the first part, but lightened up near the end.  Overall, it was a practice that lasted just over 90 minutes.

Cort Dennison was out sick Thursday, and Sark left open the chance that he might not be feeling well enough to play Saturday, but thought he would be ready to go.  If Cort couldn't go, Garret Gilliland would be the first MIK off the bench.  

Sark added that no one has been ruled out for Saturday.  Johri Fogerson didn't practice Thursday, and Chris Polk started to ramp up his work week.

Still saw Erik Kohler at left guard and Ryan Tolar at right guard to start, but Sark said that they are still undecided as to which offensive line they will unveil on Saturday against Nebraska.

Sark was asked about the comment he made at the Raise the Woof event where he told the crowd that they would win every home game.  He said that he believes they can.  Husky Stadium gives the team a tremendous home field advantage and the fans do a great job supporting the team.
Posted by Chris Fetters
4:26 PM

Nebraska game to be on ESPN3

If you can't watch the Nebraska game on TV, for some reason, below is a link to ESPN3, who will be streaming the game live online. They will also have it archived, for those that want to watch it as a replay.


Posted by Chris Fetters
4:15 PM

Doug Nussmeier Wednesday Quotes

On one thing the offense needs to do right - "We just have to be sound in what we're doing and technically we have to play fundamentally sound. We have to take our game plan and we have to execute it."

On the movement of the OL - "Anytime you're shuffling you're working on communication, and it's been an ongoing process for us, trying to find the best five guys at all times. Those guys, they've done a good job, and we've had guys play in different positions throughout the season already, so that is good."

On having Drew Schaefer anchor the center - "Anytime you have a smart center like Drew it really helps, because he's able to make all the calls and get guys directed."

On what stands out about Nebraska's defense - "They are very physical. They have a great pressure package. They bring pressure and they have very good coaches and they do an outstanding job."

On their secondary - "They are a very, very good secondary. They have a lot of good players back there and it's going to be a great challenge for us."

On Nebraska being a great challenge for UW's offensive line - "Every week's a challenge. When you line up and play great programs like Nebraska, it's a challenge, and it's a challenge every time we go out there. We have to really prepare well mentally and we have to be ready to come out of the gates and we've got to play fast."

On running the ball - "I still think we can run the football better, and as we continue to improve we'll get better running the football."

On how that happens - "There's many different areas…obviously all the things we saw in the first two weeks as far as getting ID'd between odd defense and even defense and those type of things…and any time you're moving parts on the offensive line, the communication part is huge - so we need to continue to improve on our communication. Chris has done a nice job, but we can get better."

On the communication issues different with a two-gap scheme - "You have to prepare every week for a different opponent. Whoever you're playing, you look at what they do defensively, how do we think we can attack their scheme, what techniques are we going to have to use, what calls are we going to have to use…it's a continual, ongoing process."

On the biggest improvement from week one to week two - "I think our guys did a much better job of settling into the game and I thought we were really focused on each possession and we got better as the game went on. I think we'll continue to grow as an offense. We need to cut down on our mental mistakes. We had too many mental mistakes, obviously, in week one, and we had too many last week. So that's a goal for us this week, to cut them down. This offense is still young, and still growing, and we'll get better and better."

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:13 PM

Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes

On the rain being the weather you're looking for Saturday? - "This is Dawg weather."

On Chris Polk - "He's fine."

On the Offensive line shift - "That's not finalized yet."

On what was ailing Polk - "He's just a little sore. Twenty carries, man, it's a pounding."

On Chris Polk continuing to get 20 carries - "Well, Jesse had eight carries last game, and if we can actually increase Jesse to 10 or so, maybe even 12, and keep Chris around 20, then we're really cooking. But that's the reality of the position. When you play running back, and you play against big, physical teams, you're going to be a little sore."

On the value of Jesse Callier with RB injuries - "It's why you have to continue to recruit running backs. It's not just a one-man race or a one-man horse. You've gotta have guys. We were fortunate last year, with the way we were, that Chris was able to sustain the whole year. Again, this year we're just looking for longevity out of him. That's why I'm not just going to pound him on a Tuesday for the sake of pounding him. He knows our system, he does our walk-throughs, so we'll be fine."

On Cody Bruns being the backup punter - "Yeah. Yep."

On how he decided on Bruns - "He just notified us that he had punted before. A few guys did, but Cody seemed like he was the best guy for it."

On what he's seen so far from Bruns punting the ball - "Yeah, he functions. He functions. The good thing is, when he's back there, we've got a variety of things we can do. So he adds a lot of versatility when he's back there."

On if he tried other guys for the job - "Oh, yeah. We tried five or six guys."

On who they were - "Man, you guys … If I did, I'd do it out here for all you guys to see."

On Victor Burnett sitting out: "Concussion yesterday."

On James Johnson's injury: "I'm frustrated. It's been five weeks, and it's a sprained ankle. He's hurt. There's nothing I can do about it. Until he's healthy, it's hard to play hlm, and play him regularly – or to practice for him to play regularly. He's just got to fight his way back. It's been hard on him, it's been hard on us."

On having Johnson back for Nebraska: "I could have used him in week one, to be honest with you. He's a nice football player. Unfortunately for him – and/or fortunately – if we weren't a really good receiving corps, then I think we probably would have thrown him in there quicker. Fortunately for us, we've got a lot of depth. We've got Kearse, and Aguilar, and Goodwin, and Bruns –these guys are playing well. And Kevin Smith has stopped in and done some things. It's not like because he's healthy, we just throw him right back in. He's got to earn his way. It's hard. It's tough."

On Johri Fogerson's status: "It doesn't look good. I'd say he's doubtful again. It's been two weeks now, I don't know. It feels long-term already."

On Taz Stevenson at tailback: "He's still doing both (RB and safety). We're making sure he's getting enough carries so that he feels comfortable if we put him in the game, he can function there."

On Stevenson being the No. 3 or 4: "Yeah, he's right there."

On Stevenson's background running the ball in high school: "They had a pretty sophisticated offense that allowed him to do different things. He's carried the ball a bunch. He was a return guy as well. It's not new to him to have the ball in his hands."

On Anthony Boyles' service team move: "He's at cornerback."

On staff continuity and using guys with UW ties: "A little. Mine was more about getting guys with NW ties to be a part of it – but I think it was for the same reason, you want guys around your program, or part of your program that know the rich and great tradition of the program. A lot of our guys being from the NW either grew up or were living here when Washington was really rolling in their heyday. That is what coach (Bo) Pelini did; he got guys on his staff that really valued and understood the rich history and tradition they have at Nebraska.

"Coach Mills fills that role somewhat: Coach Mills, and really Tui (Marques Tuiasosopo) being on staff in the weight room – guys like Coach Cozzetto who were here before. There are guys with some subtle ties."

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:28 PM

Quick Wednesday Practice Notes

It started to sprinkle mid-way through practice and by the end it was raining pretty good.  When asked if that was the weather he's looking for on Saturday, Sark said it's 'Dawg weather'.

Sark said that Johri Fogerson is looking doubtful for Saturday's game against Nebraska.  He sat out once again with a hamstring injury.  It means that Taz Stevenson probably moves up the RB depth, even though he just moved there last week for scout team purposes.  Sark said that Anthony Boyles would stay at corner, despite the fact that he was working with the service team receivers on Wednesday.

James Johnson is struggling to get back into the depth, and even though he did play a little against Syracuse, Sark said that he's frustrated with how James' ankle hasn't responded as quickly as they would have liked.

Chris Polk played a little bit today, and when asked about his status, Sark said he was fine.

Victor Burnett sat out today because of a concussion.  

Sark was asked about the line shift that had Ryan Tolar moved to right guard and Erik Kohler playing left guard, and he said that the move wasn't set in stone and wouldn't elaborate.

Erik Folk was 4-4 on field goals, with a long of 42.  

Former OL Matt Fraize was at practice, as well as another former Husky, Jim Mora.

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:05 PM

Johnny Nansen Nebraska Quotes

Any changes to the punting team? "Really not. We are going to keep it the same way things that we do best and not try to rattle anything. Kiel did a nice job last week. We've just got to clean up some areas. Obviously they tried to attack our protection and it's just things we've got to clean up. Otherwise it will stay the same.''

On the hardest thing about protection --- "It's just the communication between the guys and making sure we are all on the same page. I think that's the biggest concern that I have.''

On why doing the punt scheme the way they do: "This is the same protection I've been doing for years and it's pretty much you look there are three teams now in the Pac-10 that run the same scheme so you look at it in spread punt there are a lot of ways you can line up. Your traditional NFL spread punt and they do the same things with the wings, not so much deeper, but it's just making sure we build a nice wall to protect the launching point.''

On Bruns being the emergency punter: "Yeah he pretty much is the guy that is going to be the emergency guy for right now but we also have Folk will work some emergency stuff if we need to.''

On punt returns and trying to get more out of it: "Exactly right. You always try to look at who is the best guy to give you an opportunity to get returns but you also want to have a reliable guy back there than a threat. Right now you look at it the guy that is back there, DA is doing a great job and we need to do a better job of protecting and getting him a chance to get some returns.''

On kickoff returns - "We are trying to get a feel for who the best guys are, and we tried out Chris and Jesse, but they play so much of a role in our offense, and there's other guys that need to step up and we're trying to develop the young guys to be that role. That's what we're looking at right now, with Kevin (Smith), Sean (Parker) and Taz Stevenson."

On it being a matter of time before they break one - "I think so. I think so. They are capable of making big plays, and we just have to make sure we teach the scheme the best way we can and give 'em that opportunity."

On determining how far back the punter is from the line of scrimmage - "It all depends on if he's a two-stepper or if he's a three-stepper type of kid, or where the launch point is at. Some teams are at 10 (yards), some are at nine…with Kiel, he's at 15, because he takes three steps to punt the ball. He'll end up exactly where we're at, which is nine (yards). With Will, he was a two-stepper, so he was a yard forward from where (Kiel) was at. It all has to do with their approach."

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:04 PM

Nick Holt Nebraska Quotes

On Nebraska - "They run the ball; they are averaging over 300 yards a game rushing the ball. They spread you out; they have a lot of good weapons. Their quarterback is real fast. They've got a good, big offensive line and good skill…they've got a thousand yard rusher coming back. They have a heck of a receiver coming back. They have a lot of good skill and they spread you out and they run a lot of good things. We're going to be stretched thin."

On covering Nebraska's passing game: "You still have to cover down these receivers or guys are doing to be wide open. That's the problem with the spread passing game. It's hard to go man on man because a couple of them can run right by you so then you start spacing out your linebackers and get them further and further away from your run game and it's a headache, it really is. You've got to find creative ways to bring them back in but yet still be really good in the passing game.''

Any lessons in having gone against Riley Nelson?: "No, no lessons, really. There are a couple of things that BYU poses but some of the same plays but the lessons we've already learned and stuff like that. This is kind of new, not new but some of the same problems that we encounter and just got to keep getting better at it.''

On OL blocking similar to Oregon: "They have some similar schemes where they don't block any of the defensive tackles and they let them run around with their heads cut off and try to tackle quarterbacks in space. They do have some similar schemes. They do a bunch of other stuff, old Nebraska stuff, but they do have some schemes that Oregon and some of these other spread offenses are doing. And their quarterback it's smart because he's averaging 140something rushing yards per game and he's fast and they are using him in a good way.

On young guys on verge of playing more: "Sean Parker, and Greg Ducre could get more reps. We always thought that and they are starting to get in the groove.

What about Sione? "Well he had 20-something snaps so he's been playing quite a bit and he will continue to play.''

On the QB averaging 13.8 yards per carry - "They've got some good schemes, where he's one-on-one with a safety or one-on-one with a linebacker and a lot of space and he's beating them…he's outrunning them. That's why he's averaging all that stuff. And maybe some of those schemes that he's played against aren't as good as they need to be against an offense like that. Who knows, but he gets on the edge and there aren't a lot of guys that can catch this guy."

On getting Martinez before he can get started - "That's one of the keys. But you've got so many guys on him you've got the running back, who is pretty good, and you get so many guys in the box, they've got a decent passing game."

On resembling Oregon - "There's a couple plays that are similar, but there are a lot of differences. They've only been doing it a year or six months, where Oregon has been doing it a little longer. Oregon has a bunch of different plays, and Nebraska likes to do some of their other stuff. And their quarterback…they are trying to hone it in a little on him too, so he doesn't have all this playbook to manage."

On his plea to the Husky Stadium crowd to make noise - "I think our fans have always been good. I enjoy coaching here and having ball games here because of our fans. This is going to be one of those games where they are going to really be into it because it's a heck of an opponent. I expect them to be on their greatest behavior."

On 'greatest behavior' meaning yelling their butts off - "That's right! That's exactly right. But this is a great deal and a fantastic opportunity for us and the Pac-10 to show what college football is all about - with the crowd and hopefully both teams play their butts off and stay healthy and it'll be a helluva football game."

On what you can do to rattle a QB on their first road start - "It's playing really good defense. We're not like, 'Let's do some things that are going to rattle this guy'. We've got to be able to play our stuff, and hopefully by playing that really, really well this guy can get a little rattled. There's no magic formula; you've got to play really, really good defense against these guys….they've busted a lot of plays against people when these other people aren't doing some sound things, it looks like."

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:01 PM

Nate Fellner Nebraska Quotes

On rattling a Frosh QB on road: Any time you can hit him, just hit him hard, get a good shot.  Try to take your shots when you have your opportunities.  Try to get some pressure on him, make you're plays when there's a tip or an overthrow and try to get a turnover.  Use the crowd to your advantage, it's going to be loud and just feed off the crowd.

Importance of Safety against zone-read option: A lot of times the QB can pull it and then he can give it away.  If he pulls it sometimes I gotta show up and get him, just depends on what play we call.

On playing closer to LOS: I don't shy away from contact, so playing close to the LOS is cool with me, but I don't know exactly if that's going to be my job this coming up game, but if I'm in the box I'll try and bring it.

Run vs. Pass team: Either one's fun for me, I wanna get an interception obviously, but run teams are fun to play because you got match their physicality and I love the challenge like that when a team tries to pound the rock on us.  You just step up and hit them right back

Grade for self so far this year: First week was pretty good.  I had a pretty assignment sound game against BYU, except for a play or two.  One missed tackle.  And then, this past game, Syracuse, was not my best game, I admit.  I gotta work on some things with my eyes, eye control, and just make sure I stay with my assignment and not try to do too much.  I could've had a better game, but at the same time, I feel like I played pretty well.

On how he can get off to a good start in a game: It's always good to get a big hit, it gets your confidence up a little bit.  And interception's obviously awesome and that get's your confidence up.  I feel confident in both phases of my game, but I really want to improve my coverage.

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:59 PM

Desmond Trufant Nebraska Quotes

On Nebraska: When you're playing a team with that good of defense, we want to match their defense as well but I think the offense is going  to be all right.  I think they're preparing, they're watching a lot of film and I think they're going to be ready for the challenge.

On being used more in the run this week: I'm not sure.  I'm pretty sure Coach Holt will do something like that but I don't know exactly what he's going to do.  I'm ready to do whatever the coaches tell me to do.  Whatever they say, I'm going to go full speed

On Syracuse thowing at him a lot: If they want to throw it, that's okay with me, it gives me the opportunity to make plays.  I like the challenge when teams come my way a lot.  I just need to stay focused and make my plays when I have the opportunity.

On getting beat: It was just a blown coverage pretty much.  I'll learn from it and get better.  You gotta give ‘em up sometimes, but we like to not give up any if possible, but nobody's perfect.

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:20 PM

Quick Tuesday Practice Notes

Johnny Nansen confirmed after practice that Cody Bruns is the emergency punter for Kiel Rasp.  He took the majority of the non-Rasp snaps, and Eric Guttorp took a couple snaps too.

The coaches were coaching their butts off early, especially in the special teams period that dealt with punt protections.  Clearly that is a point of emphasis for this weekend's game against Nebraska.

Two running backs did not participate Tuesday; Jorhi Fogerson is still out with a hamstring tweak, and Chris Polk - while in full pads - did very little.  He started his day on the stationary bike and then went and did minimal work with his position.  We'll find out tomorrow what Polk's status is.  Sounds like he was resting yesterday, so they could just be giving him another day off.

UPDATE: Just saw Sark real quick and he said that they gave him another day off to rest, so that's why Chris Polk didn't practice Tuesday.

Eric Guttorp was 4-4 in field goals, with a long of 44.  

There were some changes with the offensive lines.  When they lined up for the team period to finish practice, Erik Kohler was at left guard and Ryan Tolar was at right guard.  Senio Kelemete and Cody Habben remained the No. 1 tackles, and Drew Schaefer stayed at center.

The number two line looked like this (from left tackle to right tackle):  Skyler Fancher, Greg Christine, Mykenna Ikehara, Colin Porter and Dan Kanczugowski.

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:35 AM

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Pac-10 Coaches Teleconference Recap

On Kearse's skills: He's a very bright football player, so he can line up anywhere. Basketball background, so he's good when the ball is in the air. Can make the big play.

On Nebraska's run game: Have to tackle the QB. He's averaging about 170. He can really run. Don't lose sight of the big-play passing game. They get you so drawn in with the run, they can throw it over your head.

On it being a breakthrough game with a win: He's just worried about this game. They've accomplished a lot in a short amount of time and it would obviously be a nice win. It's the end of their non-conference schedule, and they have a tough Pac-10 schedule ahead. It would be great to get a win to set them up for league play.

On Nebraska's defense: Coach Pelini has done a great job. Been mentored by Pete Carroll, so there are things we've seen before. But their route reading is as good as he's seen. They also pressure your protections real well. He's most concerned about being able to block things up front.

On playing a power running game and that being a help going forward: It gets you prepared for games down the road. You don't want to get too beat up before league, but there's an advantage to getting your body and mind prepared for it.

On national perspective with some big OOC games in the Pac-10 this weekend: The league has some premier matchups this weekend, and I hope they all do well.

Posted by Chris Fetters
5:28 PM

Complete Nebraska Steve Sarkisian Monday Show Recap

Gas introduced Sark, talked about how much fun it was. Said UW is kind of like one of his cars he must've had in Saskatchewan, one that got going but it needed to get warmed up, and Sark said it wasn't by design, but it's how you finish and how you go. Said he was concerned, probably more animated than he normally is.

Gas talked about the deja vu factor, and Sark said he wanted to let the team know it wasn't OK, but he didn't want to appear panicked. Proud of his guys to weather the storm, and the defense for getting stops.

Bob asked Sark if he had been plugged into his headset, what would he have heard after the first couple series with respect with special teams, and he said it's not suitable for the radio. Said they made an emphasis on playing with poise. It starts with him.

Bob said Syracuse beating UW would have been considered an upset, what was it like for Sark down 10. He said he told the offense to first get a couple first down, and then get points - doesn't matter what kind of points. Once they did that, it settled everyone down.

And as hard as they are on the young guys on special teams, they did create the turnover that helped get their first points. Gas added that once UW got points they dominated the ball. Sark said it felt like BYU in the third quarter, where it felt like their offense was on the sidelines a bunch. When your offense is out there a lot, that also means when your D is out there, they are fresh and chomping at the bit.

Bob talked about big plays, and especially starting the second half. Sark said Kearse's 58-yard TD was the play of the game. Said they haven't really played great coming out of halftime. At half, he told his guys to have amazing effort and energy, and we'll see what happens. And that play, it allowed the team to play the way Sark wanted them to play.

Gas talked about Kearse and YAC, and Sark said that it was a big point of emphasis in the off-season. If he wanted to take his game to the next level, it would be with YAC, and this game has validated his belief that he can take his game to the next level. And with the rest of the receivers, it validates their work in buying into blocking downfield.

Bob talked about Kearse, who was named Pac-10 Player of the Week. Sark said he embodies all the characteristics in what they look for in a student-athlete. He's getting everything he deserves right now.

Gas brings back last week's Play of the Week - It was Kearse's 58-yard TD.

Gas said it was not only a play recap, but a drive recap too. Bob talked about the key blocks downfield. Sark said it is huge. It's what creates explosive plays. Tough to put together long drives, especially early in the season. After the first two series, all the scoring drives for the Syracuse game were six plays or less.

Bob said they've gotten physically stronger, and Sark said they also have to be willing. They all have a big heart. Bob said that Syracuse really ran to the ball, but you can get burned on big plays or hesitant when you get cut. Sark said when one team is playing fast and the other is a bit hesitant, that's when big plays can happen.

Bob asked Sark in hindsight how good Syracuse was, and Sark said they were good. They were extremely well-coached in all three phases. Said he wouldn't be surprised if they are repping the Big East in a bowl game at the end of the season.

Bob talked about how well they played, and Sark said they were able to create turnovers and also converted third-downs on offense.

Gas talked about Chris Polk having a nice day. Sark said they did some different things to give Polk and Callier some air to run. Said he was happy for Chris to get that long run....he was able to stiffarm the safety and get that long run. He should have more of those. And you add in Callier, who is running about about 8 yards a clip, and it's a good combo.

Bob mentioned the combo where Polk was at FB, and he also talked about the fly sweep. Sark said the real kid is the respect teams have for Locker as a runner, and also the blocking out on the perimeter.

Bob asked if some of that is based on defenses trying to contain Jake, and Sark said yes - it's a sign of respect. If it can't be Jake, they'll take advantage of that and get others out on the edge.

Gas talked about the chemistry and timing of the Fly Sweep, and Sark said it was funny because that was the first play called when Keith Price went in the game, and the headsets went quiet. But they've practiced well and he has confidence in Keith to run the offense and not skip a beat.

Gas talked about the reps for Callier and Polk, and Sark said that they got Chris up to 20 carries, which is what they are targeting.

Gas talked about being efficient in the red zone (6/6). Sark said it was a big point in the off-season. They need to get points when they are down there. It's critical to the overall outcome of the game.

Bob said first and goal at the 3, you've got to be thinking TD. Option, lost yardage. Where are the muscle plays. Sark said they did a much better job this past weekend in short yardage out on the field than at BYU, where they were 0-4. Sark said he thought about calling a TO after calling the option, but went with it. Said they need more reps doing it in practice. It should be a weapon for them, though, and they'll work it.

Bob asked Sark to analyze himself. Sark said on game day, all the calls feel good. When it gets silent on the headset, that's when he knows not everyone agrees. Said he'll watch the TV copy to see if there are things he missed, get a feel for what's going on.

Bob said a small percentage are HC and play-callers, and Sark said it won't change in the near future. He wants to be involved in games. He wants to be directly involved with the QB to let them know exactly what's going on and why they are doing it. Said right after Locker's hand got banged up, Jake told him he was fine, even though he thought about maybe just pulling him then. When he saw the look in Jake's eye, he knew he was fine, and that's when he called a couple pass plays and they scored.

Bob asked about the defense, and Sark said that's all Nick Holt's baby. He's has very little input.

As far as the offense, Sark said the reason he's always using a pen is because he's highlighting things he wants to get called, or is crossing things off that have been called. It's a group effort for sure, and he wouldn't do it if they all didn't feel good about the game plan and what they were doing.

Bob asked if Sark thinks people truly grasp what goes into a game plan and why plays are called. Sark said it may not be the best play called at that time, but it might be setting things up for other plays. Sark said the challenge is that it happens fast. You don't time to analyze. You have 40 seconds to figure it all out - groupings, tendencies, audibling, executing that play.

Gas brought in a play from last season's Pac-10 opener against USC. It was the last play of the game, with Rondeau's call.

Gas talked about how that probably wasn't Carroll's greatest day in Seattle, but yesterday might have been. Said people must think that Pete and Sark get together every morning for breakfast, but Sark said all he got was a text. Said the Seahawks' game was similar to their game, good win for them.

Gas asked if they get a chance to watch the game, and Sark said he did watch it. Lot of familiar faces.

Gas said Pete has said he has to back off on the sidelines, and Sark said he won't change. "He'll keep it exciting."

Mel on the phone - Surprises down the road for uniforms, like all black? Sark said it wouldn't be a surprise if he said something. He said he loves their current uniforms, and the white pants are 3-0 at home.

Another call (Allen) - Rasp on the punts, but scared on the blocking. Sark said it made him nervous too. They were so worried about getting the punt off, they weren't as concerned about the rest. They got them all off, so this week they are working on the rest.

Bob asked about Sark's thoughts on Rasp, and Sark said he didn't talk to him. He didn't want to jinx him. He feels comfortable now.

Bob talked about Lopez and how the snaps have been great since the safety, and Sark said yes - now he needs to shore up protections.

Bob asked about kickoff returns, and Sark said that he feels Folk has given them enough to be able to do better. Said they are not flying down the field and then fitting the return; they are thinking all the way down, which slows them down, If they are flying from the 30 to the 30, that will help them a lot.

Gas announces a special guest - Jim Lambright. Big applause.

Sark said a pre-game speech might be in order for Nebraska.

Gas talk about how the 91-92 games with Nebraska were the stuff of legend. JL remembers the hype of the game, and how both teams were loaded with talent. He said they were blessed to have the BJ Hoberts and guys like those to get them a title. He knew they were going to be great battles to watch and it was as physical as you can imagine.

Bob talked about how Don James has said the '91 game was as good a game as he's ever had, and JL remembers that crowd and how nasty the setting is. When you get down to the sidelines, people aren't saying real nice things there. It was definitely one of those memories...a huge game with two great teams playing each other, and a memory you always keep in the back of your head.

Bob talked about how Nebraska is getting back to the Nebraska of old, and JL said they are getting there, but they aren't there yet, and he said UW has a chance to be another one of those teams that are on their way up. With UW's ability to score quick, it can help.

Bob joked with JL, saying Neb is nothing. Big laughs. Sark said they have a QB that is dangerous running the ball.

Bob talked about the '92 night game. JL was in the press box, and it was fun because it was rocking and rolling like he was on a boat.

Gas asked JL about Holt and if he's bringing enough intensity. JL said that his wife remarked while watching a game on TV, and she wanted to know who Holt was. JL said who it was, and she said, 'that's you'. Big laughs.

Gas thanked him for coming out, and JL said that Sark definitely has things back on track.Gas announces a special guest - Jim Lambright. Big applause.

Sark said a pre-game speech might be in order for Nebraska.

Gas talk about how the 91-92 games with Nebraska were the stuff of legend. JL remembers the hype of the game, and how both teams were loaded with talent. He said they were blessed to have the BJ Hoberts and guys like those to get them a title. He knew they were going to be great battles to watch and it was as physical as you can imagine.

Bob talked about how Don James has said the '91 game was as good a game as he's ever had, and JL remembers that crowd and how nasty the setting is. When you get down to the sidelines, people aren't saying real nice things there. It was definitely one of those memories...a huge game with two great teams playing each other, and a memory you always keep in the back of your head.

Bob talked about how Nebraska is getting back to the Nebraska of old, and JL said they are getting there, but they aren't there yet, and he said UW has a chance to be another one of those teams that are on their way up. With UW's ability to score quick, it can help.

Bob joked with JL, saying Neb is nothing. Big laughs. Sark said they have a QB that is dangerous running the ball.

Bob talked about the '92 night game. JL was in the press box, and it was fun because it was rocking and rolling like he was on a boat.

Gas asked JL about Holt and if he's bringing enough intensity. JL said that his wife remarked while watching a game on TV, and she wanted to know who Holt was. JL said who it was, and she said, 'that's you'. Big laughs.

Gas thanked him for coming out, and JL said that Sark definitely has things back on track.

Alex on the phone - wanted to know about the pep talk the team has at midfield before games. Sark said they generally show up 2 hours before kickoff on the east side. They do a 'Dawg walk'. The players feel the support of the fans. It's a great setting. They walk to the W at midfield, and reflect on how fortunate they are to be a part of the school and also be a part of the college football culture. He wants them to take in the pageantry of college football. They they go through the tunnel.

Bob talked about game threes. Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and now Nebraska. A who's who. Bob rolled off all of Nebraska's legacy, and Sark said they do a great job of traveling and they have a rich tradition. It's a challenge to play them in all three phases. It's also a great challenge to our fans, and it's imperative that the Husky fans make sure that Taylor Martinez feels their welcome considering it's his first start away from home.

Gas and Bob thanked Sark for being there. End of show.

Posted by Chris Fetters
2:36 PM

Jake Locker Monday Press Conference Quotes

On playing ranked teams - "It's kind of interesting. The three years I've been here, we've had…our third game of the year has been against a highly-ranked opponent. Last year we had SC, my redshirt freshman year we had Ohio State here, and now we have Nebraska coming in. I think we had Oklahoma my sophomore year, so it seems like the third game of the year always brings a very worthy opponent. It's exciting, especially when you get a chance to play them at home in Husky Stadium. It's something we're looking forward to.

On Kearse and talking to him after the BYU game - "Jermaine's a very confident football player. He's a very talented football player, and just like anybody whose a competitor, if you feel like you missed a couple of plays, you're going to do your best to get 'em back next week, and your next opportunity. That first game, we obviously weren't able to do anything differently there…I missed some throws, we missed opportunities on a couple of big plays. Overall, especially I think Jermaine took it upon himself to really come out and be dominant this weekend, and he was. It was really, really fun to watch. He expects a lot out himself, and I think you were able to see that this Saturday."

On the adversity of 2008 - "It was a tough season, obviously, but one I was able to take a lot from. I had an opportunity to step away and look at our team from a different perspective. I think it helped me out as far as becoming a better leader on this football team…understanding some of the areas we needed to improve as a football team, and allowing myself and some others to be more aggressive in addressing them. Obviously it was difficult, something you wish you don't have to go through, but it was a good learning process for me."

On learning a new offense - "Any time you go through a coaching change, it's tough. You have to learn a whole new system and adapt to a whole new culture. But the nice thing about the coaching staff that we were able to take in was the energy and passion they brought for the game. It was contagious for all of us. It allowed us to pick things up quicker and develop as a football team faster than maybe we would have or should have with another staff."

On when he felt comfortable with the scheme - "I think you're always progressing within the offense and becoming more and more comfortable with every snap you take. Obviously there was some level of comfort going into last year, but that got stronger and stronger each week. And it's continued to do so throughout last spring and into this fall camp and into week one and week two. You're always learning more, feeling more comfortable and feeling like you have more command of the offense the more time you spend in it."

On Nebraska's reputation - "Nebraska has always had a reputation as a great football team, a great defense. When I was younger they were really good running football team offensively, kind of smashmouth football. I think that they have kind of gone back to that this year. They are a really, really good football team. Discipline, well-coached, fast, try to capitalize on your mistakes, so it will be important that we try to minimize our mistakes and play as fast and as physical as they do."

On their secondary - "I think that first of all their coaching staff does a great job putting them in great situations to make plays, and then they are talented athletes. Really good when the ball is in the air and recognizing routes and jumping the routes and making big plays. It will be important for us to understand schematically what they are doing and from there making plays when we have the opportunity to."

If being able to arm-wrestle with your left hand (he bruised his left hand against Syracuse)? - "Oh yeah, it's fine. No problems at all. It's fine.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
2:35 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes

Opening Statement: "I can't believe it's week 3 already. The season goes fast. Just to recap the Syracuse game having a chance to look at the film, just to reiterate some of the things we touched on after the game…really impressed with our team's mental toughness, the way that game started, falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter and not panicking, continuing to stay the course and it wasn't like we hit a bunch of big plays we jumped right back into the lead. It was methodical to get a couple of field goals, get a touchdown and the defense getting some stops, so I was really impressed with our guys. The defense, looking at the film, really played well; three sacks, two turnovers, really held Syracuse 5 of 16 on third down, really played well, and to think the two touchdowns they scored came off of the facemask penalty on punt return and then the turnover by the offense in the red zone was really how they got their two touchdowns. So I thought all in all they played well. Offensively I was really impressed with the passing game. Obviously Jake and his connection with Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, there was nice precision in the passing game. I thought Chris Polk had a nice ball game outside of the fumble, I thought he really ran well. I was happy for him he finally snapped off that elusive long run that hopefully breaks the dam and can lead to more. It was good to get Colin Porter and Erik Kohler some real live reps with the offensive line at guard. they will only continue to improve and get them in more. I love the fact our third down percentage went up from where we were in week one. We were 9 of 18 in this ball game to help extend drives, which is where we should be. We should be a 50 percent third down conversion team, so that was well and it was good to get explosive plays. Any time you can get explosive plays to change field position and score points was a big factor.

"On special teams erik folk was 2 for 2 on field goals, I guess it's just normal now to expect that he goes and makes his field goals. He's like a pro. I thought for Kiel Rasp making his first kind of start as the punter we couldn't have asked for more out of him than what he did and i think he'll continue to improve and i think our young guys got better as the game went on in all phases of special teams. I know we're taking some penalties, especially early in the ball game but they'll continue to get better and improve so all in all with that ball game really really impressed with the energy our team brought our coaches brought, our players brought and the effort our kids played with was excellent i thought. were we perfect, by no means were we perfect but we played hard had good energy, I was excited about that."

About Nebraska: "I think this is probably a top 5 well coached team in America. I have the upmost respect for Bo Pelini and his staff and what they do in all three phases. defensively, this is as sound a defense as I have seen in 10 years playing against really good teams. they are extremely sound, they play together, they play hard, they are all over you in the run game, they are all over you in routes. they do an excellent job of route reading seeing which routes are coming and jumping those routes, that's why they create so many turnovers and offensively they've changed their approach some. they've got a freshman quarterback in taylor martinez that can really run. they spread you out and cause a lot of problems for you. we'll be counting on our crowd and our fans and we'll be counting on husky stadium as always when we're at home. I'm a big guy in looking at facts and trying to find things that really matter that we can give to our team and you look at our last three ball games at home our opponents have had 9 pre-snap penalties on offense in the last three ball games combined that's seven false starts and two delay of games and that's a tribute to our fans and the energy and enthusiasm they bring that not only does our team feed off of but also has an effect on our opponents. we'll be calling on all our dawns to bring it on Saturday."
On the Nebraska secondary: "The first thing they do is they play a lot of DBs. at times they'll have 7 DBs on the field together. and by doing that they are able to cover a lot of ground and they understand your route concepts really well. and when they know they go, which I think is a unique trait for a DB to have and it seems like their entire secondary has it. when they know a route is coming they go get it and in turn that's how you end up getting five interceptions in a game."

On Jermaine Kearse coming back from the dropsies: "I said, ‘Don't try too hard.' Sometimes when a guy doesn't have the best game of his career – you know, he struggles a little bit – he can come out and try too hard. Jermaine's a great football player. He's very smart, we're able to play him all over the field and line him up at different positions. We were going to get him the ball and get him going. I just said, ‘Just let the game come to you; you're going to get your opportunities.' And I thought he did that."

On what Nebraska's defense does schematically – anything like it?: "Very unique. Nothing like it in our conference."

How is it unique?: "Well, they're a two-gap defense, and nobody in our conference really plays a two-gap defense, meaning their defensive tackles are playing two gaps, not one, where they're forcing a play. They'll sit and get their hands on offensive linemen. They're big, strong, powerful guys that have the ability to throw linemen to make their plays. And by doing so, they're able to play with a lot of two-high-safeties look, and they can cover down and double coverage guys and it makes it a tough task."

On game planning against seven d-backs: "One, you'd like to think you have better odds of running the football, but they hold up pretty well. The minus is, they've got defensive backs not only covering your wide receivers but covering your tight ends and covering your running backs out of the backfield. So they're able to stay close to guys. There's not a lot of error, not a lot of room to throw balls. So there's a real onus on the quarterback to know what coverage it is and anticipate throws and be accurate."

On Taylor Martinez: "Yeah, I knew him very well. We recruited him; we looked at him hard. He's a tremendous athlete. He led his high school team, Corona Centennial, to a state championship and a 15-0 season. He's a good football player. I actually was at the championship game, the one to win the CIF championship, I went to that ball game. He's a talented kid, a great athlete. I think it was somewhat of a steal for Nebraska because I think so many people viewed him as just an athlete, and possibly people were recruiting him as a safety or different position, and not just a quarterback. It's a credit to Coach Pellini and his staff to really view him as a quarterback. And he's turned out to be a nice player for him."

Do they use him like the Oregon QBs?: "Yeah, very similar. The offenses look similar, and the way they use their quarterback is very similar."

Did you recruit Martinez to UW or to USC?: "Well, it was right in the transition at that time. USC, they were already … Matt Barkley was already coming to SC. Keith Price was coming here. It was kind of a wash."

On having already been a part of a big upset: "I think the best thing about it is our players won't be in awe of the moment. We won't be in awe of them coming out or their helmets or their fans. I think our players have been there before, and they'll feel comfortable in that environment, they'll feel comfortable in Husky Stadium. They'll feel good if we're in a tight ball game with them."

On similarities to last year's USC game: "I think part of it. I think last year we were a football team that was gradually getting better in all three phases. It's very similar in that we'll be facing another great defense. That defense for SC last year, especially early, was playing at a very high level – and obviously Nebraska's doing that as well. It's similar in the fact in that it's a quarterback for the opponent that's making his first career road start. So there are some obvious similarities. But then there are a lot of differences as well: different schemes, different relationships on both staffs. So there's kind of both."

On the recognition the team would get if they beat Nebraska: "I just went them to prepare very well and go out and prepare close to our abilities, if not at our capabilities. I'm not concerned about the exposure part of it. That comes with wins and wins over time and consistency over time. My concern is, I just want to see us maximize an opportunity. We've got to go out and play against a really good football team at Husky Stadium, in front of our fans and our friends and our family, and to perform in the way that we are capable of performing. I think if we do that, I don't know if that's necessarily going to result in a win or not -- they could perform that their abilities, and who knows what's going to happen. So I think the challenge for us is to embrace the opportunity and then prepare really well. And we've got to prepare really well today, and then worry about tomorrow tomorrow, and Wednesday Wednesday and Thursday Thursday and so on and so forth.

"I think that our team has gotten to that point. We've continually talked about that as we go on and on and continue to move forward as a program: Not to worry about the end results of a season. Don't worry about a bowl game. Don't worry about exposure. Don't worry about awards. Worry about the task at hand and what's in front of us. And this week it happens to be Nebraska."

On the WR play: "Oh, I thought our receivers were the MVPs of that game Saturday. Obviously, what Jermaine did catching the ball and the touchdowns. I thought Devin had a fantastic game, six catches I think almost 80 yards, big third-down conversions. But you look at what all of those guys did in their perimeter blocking. Jermaine, Devin, then you add Cody Bruns in there, you add Devin Aguilar (I think he meant to say D'Andre Goodwin there), these guys were on the perimeter, they were getting guys on the ground, they were cutting, and in turn that had an effect over time I thought on Syracuse's secondary. They were tired of guys blocking them. They were tired of getting cut. That, in my opinion, is what created some of our big plays in the second half."

On blocking by the receivers: "It's ... If I showed you last year Game Two with those same guys, it's not even close. These guys have really taken on and embraced the opportunity to block. In the weight room, their numbers have gone through the roof. They want to be a physical group. They want to get after guys. And in the end, the result is they are performing well and it's a want-to, not a have-to."

On the play of the tight ends: "Well I think one, our playmakers right now are our wide receivers and our running backs. I'm not going to force an issue not to get them the ball to get it somewhere else. Part of it has to do with some of the schemes we are facing and where opportunities lie. And the third thing is, we've had some opportunities and the ball just hasn't quite gone there. I think it's a variety of times. In time, that number I think will grow as we face different teams and people play us a little differently."

On Locker's left hand: "He'll practice. I'd worry if I asked him to throw a pass left-handed this weekend, but we're not going to do that. We'll be OK."

On preparing for Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez: "Our defense will give looks to our guys that present a mobile quarterback. We'll get enough stuff done with Nick (Montana) and Keith (Price) giving them the looks that they need to prepare for that. Our practice schedule will remain the same."

On how well Nebraska travels: "I'm not surprised now. The first time they came and played us at the (Los Angeles) Coliseum, it was a sea of red. They do a great job. Their fans are supportive. Then going back and playing them, one thing that jumped out at me, we went out for pre-game warmups an hour before kickoff, and the stadium was full already. They were already in there. They wanted to watch warmups, never mind the game. To me, it's a great challenge to our fans. We need to come out. We need to have our purple on, and do a great job representing (UW), and making Husky Stadium what it is, and why it's so special."

On Locker Heisman stuff truly a team award: "From a quarterback's perspective, when you can throw flat routes, and those turn into long touchdown completions and passes, it's not just about the quarterback throwing an accurate ball – it's protection, it's the ability to make plays with the ball in your hands, it's the ability to block downfield from the receiver point of view. It's not a one-guy award, as much as people want to make the Heisman out to that, if it goes to a running back or a quarterback, it's about all the other 10 guys on the field with you doing their jobs as well."

On Sean Parker starting at kickoff returns: "He'll continue to grow in his playing time, there's no doubt. I like Sean. I think he's understanding the style of play that we're demanding of him. In turn, his effort, his ability to focus and not take snaps off, his continue to grow, not only on Saturdays but in practice. He's going to earn his playing time, there's no doubt."

Parker on KO return in first quarters: "Not having Johri Fogerson last week didn't help. We really went in having Chris (Polk) and Jesse (Callier), and you take a couple (injury) hits on kickoff return, now we're really thin. I wanted to take that off of (Polk) there, because Johri being out. Sean did that in high school – he was a kickoff return guy. And then if he doesn't get the ball, he's such a physical kid he can be a great lead blocker, so that is why he's back there."

On Fogerson returning this week: "I'd like to think he will be, but we'll see how it goes."

On James Johnson: "I'd like to see James Johnson get healthy. That's a guy I'd really like to get into the fold, and the game plan."

On Cameron Elisara's quad injury: "He had a quad. I would assume that thing could linger maybe for a day or so. But I would expect him to be fine. He's a defensive lineman, they're tough guys."

Posted by Chris Fetters
1:29 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Notes

First of all, you know it's a big week when the SID breaks out Ezell's for the press.  That only happens for the big ones...  biggrin

Sark said he was impressed with the mental toughness, energy and enthusiasm.  The defense played well, with three sacks, two touchdowns and limiting Syracuse to 5-16 on third-down conversions.  Offensively he was impressed with the passing game, the chemistry between Jake Locker, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar, and how Chris Polk got that 'elusive long run'.  He also liked the fact that he was able to get Erik Kohler and Colin Porter live reps.  He said that the reason he played Kohler inside, even though he's in the depth at LT, is because he didn't want to take Senio Kelemete out of the game.

He said that being 9/18 on third down conversions was where they should be, and he also liked the fact that they had explosive plays.

In special teams, Erik Folk was 2/2 'He's kicking like a pro', and Kiel Rasp did everything they could have asked for in a first game from him.  They still continue to get hurt a little by the mistakes made by true freshmen, but they are learning and growing and they are getting better every game.

He said that from a coaching standpoint, Nebraska is a 'Top-5' team in the country.  Said their defense is as sound as any he's seen in college football, and offensively they've changed their approach.  Their QB - Taylor Martinez (who Sark recruited out of Corona Centennial when he was at USC and at Washington) can really run and they like to spread you out and create problems that way.  The reason why Sark didn't go after Martinez harder was that USC already had Matt Barkley and UW had gotten a commitment from Keith Price, so both schools were set.

Sark mentioned that, in the last three games, there have been nine pre-snap penalties on the offense - which is attributable to the Husky Stadium crowd.  Sark put out a plea to the UW fans that will be in attendance Saturday to bring their voices and let them be heard.  

As far as Nebraska's defense - they sometimes play up to 7 DB's at a time, which means DB's can cover any offensive player that's in space.  It allows them to play fast and cover a lot of ground.  As far as their route recognition, Sark said 'When they know, they go.'

He said they run both their inside players on the d-line as two-gap defenders - something you don't see very often at all.  It allows them to double up in other areas.   

On Nebraska's offense, you'll see more read zone with their QB, so in that way it's similar to what Oregon does.  

Sark brought up the idea that it's again the third game of the season for a big opponent, like USC last year - and it's also similar in the fact that their QB will be making their first road start at Husky Stadium - but that's where the comparisons end.  He said he's not concerned about the exposure the program might get with a win - those things will come if you do things right.  He just wants the team to prepare really well and maximize their opportunities.

Sark was asked about the receivers, and he called them the MVP's of the Syracuse game.  He said that if you look at the downfield blocking they did, clearly the Syracuse defenders were tired of getting cut and it showed.  He said that they've embraced the idea of being great blockers, and you wouldn't even recognize them if you looked at the second game last year.  "Their weight room numbers are off the charts."

Sark was asked about how the OL graded out, and he said better than at BYU.  He said they played well, but more than that, they played aggressive.  

Sark on the Nebraska fans - when they came to Los Angeles, he saw a 'sea of red' at the LA Coliseum.  And when they went to Nebraska, it was weird because the whole stadium was packed an hour before the game.  "They wanted to see us warm up."

Sark was asked about seeing more of Sean Parker, especially in the return game, and Sark said yes.  He said that not having Johri Fogerson didn't help, because it was basically Polk and Callier at RB, and then adding kickoff returns too...Sark also said that Parker returned kicks in high school, and if he doesn't get the ball he can be a great lead blocker too.

On injury front - Sark said everyone is pretty much good to go.  He said he'd really like to get James Johnson going this week, and although Cameron Elisara's quad injury limited his time against the Orange, Sark said he's a tough guy and it shouldn't hold him out of the Nebraska game.  On Fogerson - "I'd like to think he'd be back."

Posted by Chris Fetters
12:05 PM

Washington Weekly Football Notes

Below is a link to Washington's weekly notes, prepared by their Sports Information Department. Here you can find the depth chart for the Nebraska game, updated stats, roster and anything else you need to know about the Huskies.

Washington's official weekly release - Nebraska

Posted by Chris Fetters

Nebraska Weekly Football Notes

Below is a link to Nebraska's weekly notes, prepared by their Sports Information Department. Here you can find the depth chart for the Washington game, updated stats, roster and anything else you need to know about the 'Huskers.

Nebraska's official weekly release - Washington

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