Dawg Blog - Stanford

Here's this week's Dawg Blog, where you can find all the notes, quotes, depth charts and all the rest leading up to the Stanford-Washington football game, held at 4 PM PST at Husky Stadium Saturday. The game will be shown on Versus.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:06 PM

Doug Nussmeier Wednesday Quotes

What he saw reviewing the UA film - "It was a game that got away from us. At the end of the first half, we have a chance down 16 to score and we get a sack and we're unable to get any points. And then we come out first series of the second half and we have the fumble, and the game kind of got away from us. And then it turned into the game they wanted it to be…you're forced to throw the ball down the field and those type of things. It was tough from the standpoint of staying on the field and what we thought we had to do to win…you go 4-13 on third down, but 4-6 on less than 10…you go third and 11-plus, we got seven of them and we went 0-7, which is tough. You're not going to convert many of those. The fact was, we weren't efficient enough in first and second downs to get us into manageable third downs."

On Locker's fumbles the last couple games being uncharacteristic - "I think they are a case-by-case basis. You look at the one, the guy makes a nice play and you've got to work at the position of climbing the pocket and then you have to bring the ball with it, and the guy makes a nice play, punches it out. They've been circumstantial. The other one we the snap and the guy jumped the cadence and we've got to just to fetal with the ball and protect it. And the other one Jake is running, his vision is downfield and we get hit by our own guy. So each one has been very different from the other. Obviously we coach ball security, it's the number one thing we coach and we've got to clean it up.

On Keith Price: "He did a nice job. He's doing a good job. His learning curve is still large but he's doing a good job. ... As with any young player he's learning and he's developing. Did some really good things and a couple things we need to clean up. ... I saw some good things.''

Is he on his way to being the guy you want him to be: "That's an every day process with every young quarterback. There are going to be things that aren't the way you want them and things that you are 'wow, that's pretty good.' Every day is a learning process but he's doing a nice job.''

On the two frosh on the OL: "I feel really good about those two guys. They are both really good football players. Erik has played in games as has Colin. We talk all the time that age doesn't mean that you are necessarily a better player. It doesn't entitle you to anything, and that every time you go out and play, no matter what grade you are in, you have a chance to compete and win a job.''

Does it help to have young guys near experienced guys: "One of the things you like in an offensive line is to have five guys playing all the time because there are so many moving parts up there. But obviously it is not ideal when you are changing personnel but the biggest thing is that the guys we put in there will communicate and they will play as one.''

On Stanford defensively: "They do a really good job up front. They jump in and out of some odd stuff and they do a really good job with their personnel and substituting guys in and out and giving you a bunch of different looks. I've known coach Fangio a long time he does an excellent job and they are going to be well coached and they've got good football players.''

On anything different under Fangio: "They are doing some different things. Go back and look at last year's game and it's a little bit different but they are doing some different things and some of the same things. Stanford plays extremely hard and they are well coached. They play from the snap all the way through the whistle. They are aggressive and they get after you.''

On Marecic: "He's a throwback type guy, physical hits you right in the mouth going to put his face on you. A traditional inside linebacker.''

More on Stanford moving its front a lot: "They will stem sometimes from an over to an under and get in their odd package, and jump out of four down into an odd, jump into a four down, so they move those guys around quite a bit and theye've got the personnel that they can do some different things that way.''

On the OL trying to match wits with that: "There comes a point of diminishing returns. Obviously we've got to get I'd (identified), but there comes a point where we are going to get lined up and go play.''

On adding some new plays: "You are always looking to create a competitive advantage for yourself so every week we go in and we look at our opponent and we self-scout ourselves, what are we doing, what are they seeing on film, how are they going to defend us and how do we attack them.''

On how the players seem to be executing all the new plays so well: "Our guys do a great job of preparing. We talk about it all the time that it's our ability to prepare and execute and prepare that is the difference. We talk all the time that we respect all the guys we play but we fear nobody --- it's about us and how we prepare and execute on Saturdays.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:47 PM

Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes

On Cameron Elisara - "He's out. This game for sure."

On Jake - "Jake looked really good today. His best Wednesday in three weeks."

Was that the plan to have him work that much team, or was it cause he was looking so good? - "I felt like coming into this week and Monday and yesterday that he was a lot further along. I wanted to get him part of that team setting."

On having an attachment to your freshman class? - "Obviously, I think I know them a little bit deeper from getting into their homes, meeting their parents, meeting their grandparents, meeting their borthers and sisters whereas some of the guys we inherited, I've gotten to know them, but it's taken a little longer. The kids you recruit, you get to know them. Sometimes we've been recruiting those kids for 18 m,onths, being on the phone with moms and dads and aunts and uncles. I don't know if its more of a special connection, but it's definitely deeper."

On if they've been asked to do more - "I don't know. We went in with kind of a clean slate for those kids and let them kind of establish themslve.s I didn't try to put a; number on how many would or owuldn't play. As it worked out, we've gotten to a number that's probably too high for where we want to be as a program. Fourteen true freshmen playing is a lot. Hopefully as we grow as program, that number starts to dwindle lower and lower to where we are playing single digit true freshmen."

On how many true freshmen playing at USC - "We were probably close to 8 to 10 every year, realistically speaking. That number can fluctuate depending on how many seniors leave, what your needs are, what you bring in. In a perfect world, 14 is too high. WE have to get that number down. I don't know what the perfect number is, but definitely single digits."

On Jake being full go on Thursday - "Yeah, he'll be fine."

On what makes the fly sweep work - "Timing. Timing is the thing that when you first get going with it is the concerning part. If you are off a half second, you hitting a guy on his hip or you are missing him or you're late an the ball gets on the ground. Knock on wood, we've been great at it so far this year. And that's a tribute to our quarterbacks and the rhythm of the motion whether it's the running back or receiver coming on that motion. You want top speed, but you also don't want to be going by too quick where a quarterback can't make a decision. They've done a great job of it all year."

On Aguilar and James Johnson - "Devin looks great. This is the best he's looked since he initially got injured. I think he's fine to go. I don't know exactly quite where James is at yet. His role has obviously been limited, but Devin for sure."

On Chris Izbicki - "He sprained his foot today, and I don't know the extent of it yet."

On Johri Fogerson - "No timetable yet. He came back and re-injured it, so I don't know."

On a possible redshirt for Fogerson - "I don't know if that's possible, to be quite honest."

On Sione Potoae - "I'm excited for Sione. This is a good opportunity for him this week. He's a kid that has really grown since he's been here, from a mental perspective. He's such a big grizzly bear of a guy, but he's the most humble gentle giant when you get around him off the field. I think he's really starting to understand that it's really ok to turn that light switch on when you're on the field in-between the lines…to play aggressive and mean. And when you come off you can be the gentle giant again. I think actually part of this week it's been good that Daniel Te'o-Nesheim's been here and has gotten a chance to spend a little time with him, because Daniel's the nicest guy in the world off the field, but when he was on the field he was the meanest guy ever, so for Sione it was good for him."

On being able to do more, like the wildcat and pistol, because it's year two - "We're just trying to get this offense to fit the personnel and the personality of our team and allow our players to do the things that they do well. Some of the things we've done are what guys did when they were in high school - most notably Jesse (Callier), who was a wildcat quarterback in high school. He also did a lot of fly sweep stuff in high school, so it was a little easier to incorporate that with him, as well as Chris. So we're just trying to maximize our talents on the offensive side of the ball."

On watching other teams to get some of that stuff - "I think you do that in general. You're always watching and learning and change is inevitable. You're either getting better or getting worse, and we're just always trying to get better."

On the changes along the defensive line - "We just got hit with the injury bug. Unfortunately, but fortunately, our young kids are playing. And Hauoli (Jamora) has obviously gotten a lot of playing time the last couple weeks, and Sione's playing time has increased, and will continue to increase. It's great for those kids, but I wish we had all our guys at our disposal, but unfortunately we don't."

On Elisara's injury being permanent - "I don't know. I know he's out this week, and we'll assess it week to week."

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:47 PM

Nick Holt Tuesday Quotes

On what he saw reviewing the UA film - "Just saw a couple plays that we didn't execute very well. Then when we had some momentum, we lost some momentum back when we got some penalties that really, really hurt us. It just made it really difficult for our guys. We need to play better. Look at the film, there are some good things. But in the long run, when the score is 17-14, our end got cut on little inside zone seal and the fast guy got out and made a little move on our free safety and we couldn't catch him. That really killed us. That play and the third down right before the half. We got out of a drive finally and we get a personal foul facemask and they score on that drive too. They go in 30-14 at halftime. We come back out and still feeling ok. We get them in third down again after we have to go we back out after the turnover. We have third and three and we miss a sack and the quarterback scrambles and throws incomplete and we are holding on the play for another pass interference. It's an automatic first down, four or five plays later they go in and score and basically we are way down too far. WE just had a lot of adversity and we didn't overcome it. We need to play better when our opportunity arises. And we didn't do that."

On the PI calls - "I think really that regardless if they are 50-50, I can help those guys out more than I did on Saturday with some overages, maybe not getting them to be all by themselves in that situation so often. We need to help to our guys out a little bit more. You think hopefully you can win some of those and not get them called. But they were being called and we were doing it. So we need to help out our guys more. It was frustrating for me and our staff, we were trying, but it wasn't working out. We have to be better."

On the anticipating better play from front four like against OSU - "Well, when they are getting the ball off the quick. And the middle screens, we missed tackles on those screens and they got out. We just weren't making plays. Our margin for error is so small that we need to do a nice job with our play calling and with our playing because it's hard on us, some of this stuff."

On Stanford being more physical? - "I agree with that. I think they are a lot more physical than they used to be. That's a change of staff and them being a committed running team and a committed to using their tight ends and things like that. Definitely I see that the last of couple years."

On being different cause they go right at you - "You know it's a lot of runs and physical runs. You gotta hold up. The problem is you can take them out of that stuff if you get ahead of them. Then they have to go their other stuff. What happened last year, we got behind and we couldn't take them out of running the ball. Then they used the clock. So you gotta stop them early and you have to a good job throughout the whole game. You need to make some plays and get some turnovers and take them out that offense. They will get out of it if they are behind. But if you don't, they will stay in it all day long and you have to slug it out with them."

On Elisara being out - "We just have to go with the next guy and get them ready to go and get them better and some of the young guys have to rise up. That's football here in November. Guys get hurt and you have to go to the next guy. You can play some other positions, but we're thin at other positions. Especially at d-line against these guys, you need d-linemen, because when they go big people, you need to go big people. And we have to make sure we can't run out of big people."

So that means Sione starts? "Sione's gonna play. We'll do some things where we'll have some other guys in the game, but guys like Sione, who is going to start now, and Semisi (Tokolahi), they need to play more. And they need to up their level of play for us to have a chance. They really do. And that's what we've been telling them today - it's just a great opportunity for some of these guys - now go make the most of your opportunities."

On Everrette Thompson - "Everrette moves back to end, because Talia's hurt, and Cameron…we just have to adjust. And that's what you have to do getting toward the end of the year or the middle of the season when you get injuries. You've got to adjust and kids have to rise up."

On the shift in linebackers and going back to what they were doing - "Princeton (Fuimaono) is going to be a heck of a football player, but Vic (Aiyewa) is practicing and he's feeling better. So he'll play, provided that he practices the rest of the week. He's the starter, so he'll go back to being with our regular guys, but Princeton did some good things out there."

On Sione being UW's fourth true freshman to start - "I thought he would play. I don't know how many guys…but Sione's one kid we thought physically he'd be ready to play. He's played pretty decent when he's been in there…he hasn't played enough, quite honestly. I wish he had played more, and he got his opportunities on Saturday and did some nice things. He'll get better and better and better the more he plays, like Hauoli (Jamora)."

On what it is about this class that is allowing for so many frosh to start - "It's just because it's maybe a good class, but maybe the depth of the other classes that were here. Just the attrition that has happened, stuff like that. And these guys are going to be good players, and we need them right now, unfortunately."

On how it's going to help them going down the road - "Tremendously. Tremendously. All those guys physically need to get better, but mentally they'll be so much better next year, as far as confidence. It'll pay off in the long run."

On ideally wanting to redshirt - "Oh, in a perfect world, you'd like them all to redshirt and not have them go through the stress and having to play well and stuff like that. That's hard. That's hard for an 18-year old. Hopefully in the future we won't have to ask all these guys to do it. But if they are good players, and they are ready to do it - and they can do it - then they'll play."

On approaching recruiting differently knowing they might all have to play? "No, no, no. The approach is always the same, go recruit great players that hopefully can come in and make an impact. That's what you want to recruit, guys that can come in and play and maybe are better than what you are playing with. That's your philosophy. ''

On Shamburger: "He got a concussion in the game on one of the kickoffs, the second kickoff or the third kickoff. ... He was a backup, so. He was a free safety so he was like the second or third. It hurts, it will be difficult on special teams because he was doing a good job on that, another guy getting better. Don't know if he will be cleared by Saturday.''

On the long runs: "Just guys getting out in the secondary and us not being able to catch them. The long runs have been in man-to-man coverage where our other guys have been in man-to-man so there is not a lot of help for a guy that misses the tackle because the other guys are in man-to-man and they don't have their eyes on the ball. They've got their eyes on their man and their backs turned. On their long run it broke the line of scrimmage, which it should never have broke. We messed that up. But then it did get into the secondary and we have one guy that is free that you hope can get him down so we can get lined up, but he got outrun and it was really hard to play. When you play man-to-man unfortunately that can happen when it breaks the line of scrimmage and your free player is not as fast as the guy that has the ball.''

On the corners panicking when the ball is in the air: "They just need to relax and it's just a lot of repetition and they just need to get really well versed at playing the ball in the air when they've had to run for 40 yards running downfield and feeling really relaxed at doing that and it just comes fro reps. We can help them out with certain coverages, but sooner or later people are going to try to test them out, and more sooner than later now andn they need a lot of reps at it so they feel comfortable with playing those and not getting out of position and grabbing guys. A lot of times these guys are in great position but they get maybe a little nervous that 'oh, I've got to get my hands on these guys.' They don't. They are in great position. Just look up and play the ball.''

On Ducre getting closer to playing: "I don't know that. Have to ask the trainers. He practices and stuff like that, so hopefully.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:32 AM

Steve Sarkisian Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

Only two questions today.

On Locker's health - He's going to play, he'll be fine. He'll be ready to go.

On the QB matchup and it maybe being a shootout - Both sides hope it's not a shootout, just because that means the defenses have stepped up, and the elements could also play a factor.

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:32 AM

Coach's Corner - One step forward, one step back, next step forward

Posted by Chris Fetters
10:25 AM

Jim Harbaugh Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

On the UO-USC matchup - Both really good teams, on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Don't want to compare them, both are really good. Should be a great game.

On USC stopping UO's offense - Don't really want to compare them. Both are really good. Both have the ability to move the ball, both have ability to stop each other and both have good special teams.

On what they need to clean up - Focused on improving every day. Better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today. In all walks of life, not just football. Improvement leads to wins, wins leads to championships. It's the improvement-success theory.

On Stephan Taylor - In his last game, lot of improvement. Held onto the ball, got tough yards. Been good catching balls, good in protection. He's asserted himself. He came in as Gerhart's replacement, and with him playing well that's allowed others to develop too, like Wilkerson and Gaffney - which has allowed them to be even more productive running the ball than last year.

On the lopsided Pac-10 scores the last few weeks - I've seen the scores, and you win big one week and lose big the next week - highlights the need to play every play as it's the most important play, that game should be the most important game. It can end up as a Jeckyl and Hyde result if you aren't prepared to battle every week. If you aren't, you can get exposed. You have to come exposed. And I thought it was like that last year too.

On small crowd for homecoming - Haven't really thought that much about it. That's the thing about Tuesday calls and you have to remember about Saturday when we've already moved onto Washington and preparations for the Huskies. Thinking completely about that, difficult to remember about last week's game. This game is the most important game on our schedule. UW has put in a high volume of things offensively and defensively, and we're in the middle of that preparation and that's what has captured our attention.

On fans not coming out being a concern - The ones that do come out are loud and we are thankful for them. One week is not indicative of our attendance; the previous game was a sellout.

On factors for a QB thinking about leaving early for the NFL - The biggest key is being able to win a job right away. Maturity, work ethic are all parts that play into it.

On Luck being ready - He's physically ready, mature in that way. He's talented mentally too. He has all the tangibles, no red flags. He's got all the ability, and if I was an NFL scout, I would want him. He's a junior, so he's in his third year in college, so he'll assess that at the end of the year with his family.

On Locker's decision to come back - He was doing what he thought was best for himself and his family, and the only ones that can make those decisions are the ones making them.

On teams that play a lot of players in a game and difficulty scouting them - Absolutely. The different ways they mix and match groupings and formations and you're always trying to ID their top plays - when there's more of them it's hard to pin-point what their favorites are, so you can defend them.

On giving up points late against WSU - At the end of the game, the last three drives in particular gave up a couple 80-yard drives in short order. Not happy about it. Played first three quarters, gave up nine first downs; last quarter gave up 10 first downs and 21 points. We've addressed it, and we have to improve daily and there are things we are working on.

On David DeCastro and his recruiting - David's progress has been really good. Came in as a well-coached football player, came from a program with a winning tradition. He's never taken a short cut. Also came from a great team - the DeCastro family team. He's playing at an all-Pac-10 caliber level right now. Potential to be a four-year starter and could be an All-American player by the time his career is done. He's playing at close to an All-American level right now.

Posted by Chris Fetters
5:30 PM

Complete Sark Show Notes

Gas said it's good news bad news for UW - Good news, in familiar territory, Bad news - in familiar territory.

Mentioned Antolin's 78-yard run as a back-breaker, and Bob mentioned the run at the beginning of the third quarter against Nebraska had the same feel.  If not that play, then the fumble after UW got the ball to start the third Q was also a killer.  

Gas talked about how you can't do that and win on the road, and Bob also mentioned how it shows him just how good these teams are.  Gave a lot of praise to UA.  UW took their best shot, and UA didn't take theirs.  'Cats were well motivated, and UW beating OSU got their attention.  They looked the part of a top-25 team.

Sark came in - the team practiced in the Dempsey today.  He said they will still have a lot of time to practice in Husky Stadium the rest of the week.

Bob reiterated how he thought UA gave UW their best shot, and Sark agreed.  They came out and competed and didn't make a lot of mistakes, outside of their initial drive.  When they needed to make their throws and drive, they did.  

Bob talked about Matt Scott and how well he played.  He had played games, showed how valuable an experienced backup is.  Sark added that Scott beat out Foles for the starting spot last year.  UW didn't rattle him, didn't get after him.  They allowed him to sit back and cover.  When they were covering, had problems with pass interference.

Bob talked about Locker, and Sark said up to the two-minute drive at the end of the half, the OL protected well.  After that, the onslaught was on.  As the lead progressed, they could pin their ears back and go after Locker.

Bob talked about their two DE's - Reed and Elmore - and they put an umbrella in their back end.  Sark said they were able to do that because they only had to rush four guys.  That allows them to cover the way they wanted to.

Bob talked about the 78-yard run, and Sark said that one really hurt.  Down 17-7, nice drive down the field and a Polk TD, cover the kick.  They run a run UW sees every day, gave them a gap - and then miss a tackle.  And that's that.  He talked about eliminating big plays.

Gas said up to that point, the defense had shown signs of getting better.  After UA, is it fixable?  Sark said it is frustrating, and he mentioned again how he looked up and saw four true frosh playing...when they are playing 30,40,50 snaps a game - mental fatigue can set in.  Also inability to get off the field on third down was frustrating.  

Gas asked about the frosh fatigue and Sark said it's easier for a guy like Jamora to maybe come in during a game, as opposed to knowing you are going to start.  Fuimaono had a strong game, forced the fumble.  But for the defense, they have to play better as a group, not just as individuals. Gas talked about Jake's health - Sark said that taken some shots because he's playing hard.  Came out today and practiced hard.  Looked better today than last Monday and he'll play against Stanford.

Gas reiterated no broken ribs.

Gas talked about expectations, and Sark talked about the ups and downs of winning and losing week in and week out and it's important to stop the slide and get going again.  Said the most frustrating drive was the one with the long pass to Bruns at the end of the half.  Sack and two incompletes and no field goal attempt.  If they can get the game to 30-17, maybe getting a touchdown out of the gate brings it to 30-24 and it's a new game.

Gas talked about now appreciating how tough the conference is, and Sark has always known it.  Said when they started at USC, they went 6-6, so the switch didn't come on right away there either - and the conference now is better than it was then.  Have to battle every week.

Bob talked about energy level and how you can see it on the field.  Said when he talked to Locker today, he said they didn't come out with the energy they needed.  He asked if it's different for a team with a losing culture like here, as opposed to USC?  Sark said it's a great topic, and they are all searching for that belief.  If you've been winning, you have that swagger, and now it's easier to handle the bumps in the road.  Look at Arizona - they are at that point.  So it's not just winning one game, it's getting to the point where winning a game doesn't come with a sense of relief.  It's the wrong mentality to have.  It should be about hunger.  Hopefully the pattern can complete itself one more time, though.

Bob asked how frustrating it can be for the coaches, and Sark said it's incredibly frustrating. They are constantly working in trying to find the answers to make sure they can bottle the feeling for every week.

Bob talked about how Sark talked about the UA game like the ASU game in terms of getting off to a good start but not being able to sustain it, and how this wasn't Nebraska and Sark agreed.  The team wanted to win and played with great effort, it just wasn't enough. Call of the game - Polk's TD's.

Gas said that Polk is very popular and he gets text/emails asking when he's going to run the ball more.  Sark said unfortunately they didn't get the ball as much as he wanted, but game got out of hand.  Said in hindsight, when they were at the UA 30 at the end of the half, he should have called a run there.

Gas said do design with getting Polk touches in mind - Sark said you add Locker and Callier to that mix, and you're running out of plays, especially when you want to be balanced.  But he definitely deserves as many touches as he gets.

Bob asked if Sark is keeping track of how many plays have been called over the course of the game for the season, and Sark said at that point in the UA game, he wanted to get a quick score with Kearse over the top, but didn't get the defensive look they wanted and couldn't audible it out because they were in a two-minute situation.  Said 9 times out of 10 they would run there.  He did say he catalogs it in his mind and remembers that for future reference.

Bob asked about Jake and running the ball, and Sark said that Locker even came to him during the game saying he was good to run, but he said he knew how much he was hurting during the week and wanted to make sure he was the QB for the whole year.  Said he owed it to protect him, not just as a coach, but also as a father figure.

Bob asked about when Keith Price came in, and Sark said when the score got to 44-14, it was the right time to do it.  He said he was ready at any time to bring him in.  As Keith is getting more reps during practice, he's really learning more about him.  Said if he had to go in the second snap, they felt good about the package they had for him.

Bob asked if they are comfortable in Price to stay in games and win games - Sark said absolutely.  Said that being around Jake has really helped, and also the fact that they have plenty of talent around him to help him out. Gas talked about realignment and the concern about not being in LA - Sark said the divisions broke out how they thought they were.  Said there was some talk about the zipper format.  Going to LA 4 of every 6 years is good enough.  Him, Nansen, Martin - all have great ties to LA.  Said the real goal is making sure you're playing in LA on January 1st, which is more important.

Bob said that if a kid made a decision based on not playing in LA every year, Sark said they should go to San Diego State.  

Bob talked about the isolationism, and Sark said he looked initially about it and the storylines coming into the season.  Look at Locker, Oregon, Stanford, Cal - compare it to the south, the north is the one that's getting more national notoriety.  In the end, it's still about winning, so the key is to win, win in conference and then get that championship game in Seattle when it's rainy and cold.

Bob talked about what UW got out of it - Sark said they have six teams in their division, so they only really have to worry about beating those other five in order to get to the conference championship, instead of nine.  So in a way, it's a quicker way to get to the top.   

Bob asked about the winning team hosting the championship, and Sark agreed to it.  Said it's like the NFL model and it makes sense.

John in La Conner on phone  - said he feels Sark and his staff are heading in right direction.  1) Do the DB's taught to never look back?  2) On throwing on third and less than five with horizontal routes. Wondered about a comeback route.  Sark said that the PI's are frustrating for all of them, and there is a technique to use.  Said on the first one, Quinton was trying to get on the receiver's hip, so he could turn back.  Since he was behind the WR and the ball was underthrown, the ball should really be an interception.  On the second question, it's typically based on the read of the play.  

The Big Guy on the mic - Said he's watched the Pac-10 for 30 years, and this is the last season that the winner will have to play nine games, and he mentioned a scenario where UW would win a tiebreaker to get there if they win out and the four other teams ahead of them lose in a certain way.  Sark said it's great they have a chance, but they have to focus first on Stanford and play like they are capable of playing, and then focus on getting a streak put together by practicing and playing the way they are supposed to.

A look back to a great play from last year's Stanford game - the backward pass that Justin Glenn took back for a touchdown.

Gas said Bob's claim to fame is the backward pass.  Sark said he'd take two on Saturday.

Gas talked about how you have to play to the whistle, because you don't know what's going to happen.  Sark reminded how they had two last year and they are due for some more good news.

Gas talked about Jake and Luck playing, and Sark said it shapes up to be a special night.

Bob talked about Stanford's physicality, especially their OL and Bellevue's David DeCastro.  Sark said that he's very good, and maybe they will get to the point where they won't be talking about kids on other teams coming from the state of Washington.  He said it's critical to hold them to less than 4 yards on first down and get some incomplete passes when they throw on first down.  Said that Taylor, their RB, has gotten better and better every week.  They have to limit what he does, as well as Luck throwing the ball to the back end.

Gas gave Sark the last minute to talk about some other keys, and Sark said first down efficiency on offense, continue to improve on special teams and continue to show the resiliency they have all season long.

Gas said they were inside today in the Dempsey, had a good practice, and Sark said yes and they will be heading out to Husky Stadium for the rest of the week to get ready for the game on Saturday.

End of Show.

Posted by Chris Fetters
4:30 PM

Nate Williams Monday Press Conference Quotes

As a defense how are you going to treat last year's Stanford's game?

"They really took it to us last year and one of the things that we try to pride ourselves on, is after the game, we want to make sure the other team knew that they played the Huskies. Obviously last year, that wasn't really the case. With just that alone, I think that will really motivate us enough, in Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to keep on working hard, and just practice as hard as you can and everything, and then we'll be alright."


Do you expect them to go right at you again?

"I do. Obviously, anyone would, so we're expecting that. But we're up for the challenge, I guess you could say. So we're going to be ready."


Do you remember how it felt walking off the field last year?

"Ya, it obviously hurt, because they really did take it to us. So you know, we're happy to be at home, and we're going to try to take it to them this year I guess."


Are they among the most physical team in the Pac-10?

"I would say it's either out of them or Oregon State. It would be a really tight race out of them two.  Their offensive line just really drives at you and they just really try to pound it at you the whole entire game to wear you out. Which is smart you know, if you have the ability to, then why not. So I would say them or Oregon State."


On Luck…

"I haven't got to watch him yet. We start the preparation today, so I'll watch him today and see what I think about him."


On all of the penalties last game, was it tough…

"Ya, it was. I think we had them—I think it was 2 or 3 3rd and longs, and they just ended up lobbing it up there, and our corners end up getting P.I. calls. SO we just have to clean up the little things and trust in our technique when we have the time to make a play, just trust in our technique, what the coaches have been coaching us, and just make your plays."


Have they been moving you up more with  run support? How has that been working out for you?

"Ya, they have."

"It's been working out well. I think I'm either 2nd or 3rd in the Pac right now with tackles. So I really don't mind, I actually like it."


Is that on you to do that?

"Ya, coaches actually called the calls where I move up, and that's why I'm up there more often."


On the true Freshmen…

"I don't really think it's hard, because the way that we've been practicing since early August, it's almost like a game out there every day. SO they know the tempo, and they know the speed and how hard the running backs run, and everything like that. So I don't think it's really that hard. I think it was Princeton out there—he had an amazing game for his very first start. Sean Parker has been playing out of his mind as well too. So whenever your number is called, you just have to be ready, because you never know what can happen."


On Parker being under your wing…

"I've had him under my wing since August. I'm just trying to take care of the little guy as much as I can while I'm here. Just try to teach him everything that I know, and just try to leave him with a lot of great stuff. So when I'm not here he can keep whatever I leave, whatever he gets out of me, he can just keep that role, and he can eventually hand it off to another guy. We're just trying to keep this thing rolling."


On injuries with the defense…

"I think whenever one of our guys gets hurt, the other guys have to be ready to come in. I think they are, but obviously at times, it hurts a little bit. But we have a lot of guys that are always ready, whenever anything happens, and they can make the plays just as well."


On the win, lose, cycle and preparation of practices…

"No, no. Really what it is we just have to make our plays and we just have to clean up all those little things that really cost us the game. We have to eliminate the turnovers on offense, and we have to get more on our side of the ball. Just eliminate all those penalties, and all those sloppy hands."


Is that a result of not doing that stuff in practice?

"I feel like we've really had the same energy level and everything at practice. The USC week, or the OSU week, and even last week. It's just really cleaning up everything on the field, and then everything will work out."


Can those mistakes kind of have a snowball effect?

"I think so. It has the ability to. But I don't really think it did last weekend. Because I think it was 3 separate P.I. calls. So I think we just have to clean up those little things, and that starts in practice and just trusting in your technique and it will work out for you."

Posted by Chris Fetters
3:33 PM

Jake Locker Monday Press Conference Quotes

How are you doing? - "A little sore. Little sore. But I think it'll be good to get out and run around a little bit today."

On practicing this week - "Yeah. We'll see. Like I said, hopefully loosen up a little bit and get a chance to go out and run around and do some stuff today. I'll just take it day to day."

Are your ribs sore? - "Pretty sore, yeah."

How that affected you in the Arizona game - "I didn't run quite as much as I had been this week, but I thought for the most part that was really the only part of my game that was affected."

How have defenses altered their game plans? - "I don't know if it affects our passing game as much as our running game. It just gives us another option when I'm able to run, and one that I wasn't really able to use a whole lot on Saturday. Hopefully, I get to run around a little bit this week and get feeling a little bit better, and then we're able to do what we're accustomed to doing."

Can you throw the long ball? - "Uh, yeah. I threw the one ball toward the end of the first half there, to Cody, it felt good. I probably could have thrown it a little bit farther if I needed to. Yeah, I have no doubt I can."

How bad does it hurt? - It didn't feel too bad at all. I didn't really notice it Saturday.

On Stanford's defense - "Stanford is a team that's a blue-collar football team. They play hard and give their best every Saturday. They play physical, they're aggressive. You know you're going to be in a fight anytime you play them."

Do you know Andrew Luck? - "I got an opportunity to spend some time with him this summer. He's a great guy, really down to earth, really funny guy. Really enjoyed spending time with him, getting to know him."

How would you describe Luck as a quarterback? - "I think he's really talented, really disciplined. He's a very productive quarterback and puts his team in a position to win every week. That's why he's so successful."

On being frustrated with health - "It's football. It's part of the game. Everybody deals with it at some point in their career. It's something that you kind of have to deal with, I guess. There's not a whole lot you can do about it. Do your treatment and get as well as you can for Saturday."

On the emotional ups and downs of this season - "It's been kind of crazy as far as that goes, week in and week out. But I think I've been able to sit up here every week and tell you guys that our practices this year have been awesome. Every week, the guys come prepared, ready to play and practice, bring energy and a tempo to practice that is something that we're looking for. I think our preparation has been good and consistent. For one reason or another, the consistency on Saturdays just hasn't been there."

On offensive wrinkles - "Yeah, it allows us to keep defenses on their toes and not allow them to just prepare for a certain amount of plays or style of plays that we go into a game plan with. It gives them a lot of things to get ready for and a lot of different looks that we're able to give them."

Weeks ago you said you want the whole team, including yourself, to focus on yourselves and not the opponent. Are you still doing that? "We had a great week of preparation last week. I think we have done a really good job of focusing on what we want to do offensively, and the game plan that we want to execute and how we want to execute it. I thought we came out strong. We had a good first drive after the fumble recovery, scoring on four plays I believe. Then we made a few mistakes on the next drive and it just kind of snowballed from there. I think that you can see the preparation and the confidence that we have in what we are doing on those drives where we are successful. That's what we are capable of doing. We just got a find of way to do that every time we step on the field."

What if anything did the Arizona guys say to you when you lined up at wide receiver? - "The first time they had a little trouble getting lined up. We couldn't really recognize what they were in. After that they really didn't pay that much attention to me out there."

You guys have had some guys where you score early and then have some lulls – some for a quarter, some for two quarters…what's the reason behind it? - "We haven't been in t hat position a lot since I've been here. There's not a whole lot of games of where we've been up 21 points. It's just understanding the mentality of when you get ahead, it's not time to let off. You put the pedal to the metal at that point and try to put the game out of reach. It's something you have to learn. We're continuing to grow as a football team. Being in those situations allows you to get more comfortable with it and understand what you need to do. The more times you are in that position, the better and better it will get."

Do you prefer to practice when you are beat up and hurting? - "I like to be able to practice and run around. I always feel better if I can go and do a little bit to loosen up. I like to get out and practice."

Are you any less sharp when you don't practice? - "I felt good this weekend. I saw things really well. I didn't feel like I threw the ball to the wrong spot at times on Saturday. I felt good with what we are doing and the progressions I was going through in the passing game. I missed a few throws definitely. I don't think that was due to a lack of a practice."

Do you think Arizona played you any differently knowing your situation? - "I think it was pretty similar to what we saw from them last year. Obviously a little different cause they have a different defensive coordinator this year, so the scheme overall was a little different. But it was pretty consistent with what we've seen the last couple weeks."

Is there a particular play that doesn't involve you at QB that you like? - "I think the good thing about what we are able to do offensively is that they find a way of running familiar plays to us but making them look unfamiliar through formations and motions and shifts to keep the defense focused on that kind of thing rather than the routes that we are running or the concepts that we are trying to get done throughout the course of a play.''

When do you find out the game plan? - "Oh no the game plan goes in throughout the course of the week.''

On being able to put more running plays in for him during the week - "It's something that will be in communication with each other throughout the course of the week, definitely. It's just something day to day I guarantee we will talk about every day and the game plan will work accordingly with that.''

What are your thoughts on your career ending? - "Yeah, actually coming up this will be my second to last game I will ever play in this stadium. It's gone fast. It seems like just a couple of days ago I was up here talking to you for the first time trying to figure out what this is all about. So it's gone really fast, but at the same time we still have a lot of football games in front of us and I still believe this football team has a great opportunity and we need to approach it that way and get ready for it that way.''

Was the team any more down after this game? - "No, I don't think so. Again it's you go back and look at the film. It's just that we made mistakes, I feel like it's kind of repetitive when I talk to you guys about this, but the games that we haven't had success in I think there is nothing else we can look at besides what we did offensively and on defense. It's easier for me to talk about it from an offensive standpoint because I watch that side of the ball, but just assignment errors and stuff if we were a little more sound that game goes a little differently. And it's across the board.''

Any reason for that? - "It's just we've got to focus in and lock in to every play, every play call and forget about the last one and move on to the next one and focus on that play and that snap and that assignment and deal with the next one when it comes.''

Is there any chance you don't play on Saturday - "No, I'll be able to play."

What is one thing as an offense that you would like to see get better? - "When we control the line of scrimmage, it always starts there, when we control the line of scrimmage it allows our running game to really be efficient and kind of control the game. When we're able to run the ball, we've had success. If we can get a ground game going and establish a run game, a lot of our offense is predicated off play action and using that to our advantage and when we're able to establish a running game early on it helps our passing game that much more. I think that will be a big key for us."

How much are you missing Devin Aguilar? - "Devin is a very talented receiver and you guys have seen that and a guy who brings leadership to that position as well. I thought Flea has done a really good job, D'Andre Goodwin, stepping up and stepping into the role of the Z there. He's kind of moved around all season and played a bunch of different positions and thought he's done a good job there in Devin's absence, but it allows D'Andre to go into the slot sometimes and work out of that position where he's good at when Devin is in there. I think if we're able to get him back gives us a good deep threat a guy who has made a lot of big plays for us over the past few years."

What about you and Andrew Luck potentially getting drafted high next spring? - "The draft it not what I'm worried about. I'm worried about winning games and being part of this football team. I think he'd tell me the same thing."

Is there a little extra competition going up against a guy you know like Luck? - "Definitely anyone your playing against there is going to be a sense of competition and obviously going to want to outdo the guy across from you."

So were you around 70 percent against Arizona? - "I felt pretty good. I told you guys after the game when I was able to get out and run a couple of times I didn't feel any slower than I've been. I would say I was close to 90 percent, probably."

On treatment for thigh bruise - "Just doing treatment throughout the course of the week, spending a lot of time with Rob (Scheidigger). They've got a lot of stuff that helps me out.

On wearing a flak jacket - "I always have."

Why? - "All quarterbacks do, I think."

Posted by Chris Fetters
2:27 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes

Opening - "It was a disappointing loss versus Arizona. When you look at the ball game, you can't have five pass interference penalties, some critical ones on third down. You can't have four sacks. You can't fall behind 30-14 in the first half and expect to win. We're a better football team than that. We'll play better than that. We'll continue to work at it. We've been here before; we've been knocked down before, and we'll get back up."

On the W/L pattern - "The first thing is, hopefully we can continue to trend. Let's win this week, and then we'll deal with that next Sunday."

On how much he's drawing from the fact that they have been in this position before - "I touched on it early on; if I could use one word to describe this group, it's resilient. I think we've got big hearts. I think we play the game hard; it wasn't a lack of playing hard versus Arizona. So the challenge of getting back up, we understand that - but we have to perform better than we did. Myself included. We've got to perform better."

On Jake's situation - "We'll monitor him, see how sore he is and where he's at. He'll play Saturday."

On how he came out of the UA game - "He was better than he was last week. Hopefully we forsee him practicing earlier in the week than he did last week to get him a few more reps."

On what is hurting him most - "He's got general soreness. He's still got the thigh bruise, which obviously limits some of the running, the explosiveness. He's got some sore ribs that has caused him some issues. Those two things can factor in when it's time to run and time to flush out of the pocket and make your plays."

On if Jake has a broken rib - "No."

On when did the rib issue happen - "During the Oregon State game."

On if there's a point where it would become better to play Price if Locker isn't 100 percent - "No."

On going forward, when would you ever bench Jake? - "If I don't think Jake gives us the best chance to win."

On if you felt there was a point Arizona figured out Locker wasn't going to run inside, or that they adjusted? - "No, I thought ... I think Arizona came in with a real belief in their defensive ends -- which they should have. They are good players. I thought we had plays there to be made. We didn't give up a sack until the 2-minute drill at the end of the first half, then we gave up three more after that. I think they were obviously aware coming in that he was injured. It was written about all week. So they knew coming in that he wasn't 100 percent."

On the corners, who looked like they could be a strength going into the season. Have they regressed? - "I don't know who said they were a strength. But I think that Tru (Desmond Trufant) has progressively gotten better, and I think Quinton (Richardson), at times, has gotten better. The unfortunate thing for us has been when the ball's in the air we have a tendency to panic right now. And we don't need to. They are better players than that, and I see it every day in practice. So it's going a real confidence issue with our guys and a belief issue that when the ball's in the air to make their plays because I know they are capable. And we can help them more from a call standpoint, playing more cloud coverage to help them there."

Is that panic causing the pass interference calls? - "Well, I think some of that might be, and I think some of that are calls that have been made that I don't agree with."

Which ones? - "I don't remember."

Victor Aiyewa's status for the weekend? - "You know, I am anticipating that he will play. Again, he's another guy who we will have to monitor as the day goes on and then the week goes on. I didn't think he was going to be able to play on Saturday -- he hadn't practiced all week. And then watching at the hotel Saturday he was limping around. But as the game wore on maybe the adrenaline kicked in that maybe he was able to get on the field. We'll just have to monitor him. It isn't a serious injury, but it is a contusion that can cause some limitation in range of motion to his knee."

So if he can't go, would Fuimaono start again at WIL and Foster at SAM? - "We'll mix it up."

Why did you use that lineup at Arizona when Aiyewa was hurting? - "Just trying to get the best three guys on the field."

Did you think the defense would be better than they have been? - "Well, I thought they'd played well for the six quarters leading up to the Arizona game. I knew we'd have some inexperience. I looked on the field one snap on Saturday and we had four true freshman on the field together running around, so we're living with some of those growing pains. I just think for some of our guys it's getting used to playing more and we've got to fight this injury bug. We've got some guys nicked up on the defensive side of the ball that can cause some issues for us. And our young guys, we've just got to continue to get them to grow, and then help them especially on the perimeter when we get put in one-on-one matchups on the fade routes."

Is Elisara ok? - "I'd say he's doubtful for Saturday, the stinger issue."

Stanford, and looking for information watching last year's film - "I think the big key to know about Stanford is they've got a system in place they believe in. They're goin got get in their 21 and 22 personnel and they're going to run power and they're going to run lead and they're going to run counter. They're going to run play action pass off of that with (Andrew) Luck throwing it down the field. And then they're going to spread you out and kind of dink and dunk the ball and do the things that they do there. We can learn from the film and understand in their schemes and formations what they're trying to run. That's the biggest thing."

Which freshman is playing the best? - "I'd go with Jesse Callier because of how complete he's been. Obviously, offensively, running the football, catching the ball. Last week probably wasn't his best week catching the ball. And returning kicks. And then covering kickoffs. I thought he had a great night Saturday night covering kickoffs as well. He's probably getting the most playing time maybe outside of Hau'oli and some of the offensive linemen. But he's also, I think, performed at the highest level."

As a QB, how many times did you have to play with sore ribs? - "All the time."

What was it like to throw the ball? - "Well, it hurts a lot during the week. But generally what happens when the game rolls around your adrenaline kicks in and you go play. And you wake up Sunday morning. You kind of roll over and take a deep breath, and ‘OK, gotta another week to get right.'" I think that's the mentality Jake's taken on and will continue to take on. He's a real warrior and a great competitor."

Is it beyond using a flak jacket? "Yeah, I mean, it just comes with the territory. You get hit."

Extra padding? "Sure."

On Hauoli Jamora, and the growing pains for him playing a full game as a true frosh - "Well, one is just getting used to playing that many snaps. Fatigue can set in especially when you're going up against a big linemen like the tackles at Arizona. But what happens sometimes when fatigue sets in a little bit, mental mistakes can creep in a little more than when you're fresh and subbing in and you're going for two or three plays and then you're back out. I think the challenge generally for all young guys is that when fatigue sets in continue to re-focus on the next snap. Even though you might be a little tired focus on the next snap. So one you do your job first, and two, you play with great effort. I don't ever doubt Hau'oli's effort. He has a tremendous work ethic, a great effort. I've compared to Daniel Te'onesheim as a young player. But we've got to continue to do things right, not just play with great effort."

On the offensive line play Saturday - "I thought we started good. I thought when the game got a little out of hand, we struggled in pass protection. And that was my biggest fear going in that the game could get the way it got, in that they were able to pin their ears back and rush. Those three guys have made a lot of good tackles not look as good. Again, it's going to be a challenge for us again this week. We can't make the game a one-dimensional game where we just become a passing football team. We need balance, and to have balance, it's got to be a one, two score game. It can't become a three and four score game or balance is thrown out the window. They'll be willing to give up an eight or 10 yard run knowing that if they continue to rush the passer they can create plays."

Will you go into the week with the same five? - "We'll assess it."

More on Stanford's offense, and how to handle their offensive line. "They were good against everybody last year. One is being stout at the point of attack. When they really get rolling offensively, at the point of attack, they are able to create movement. With movement, now our linebackers aren't able to play as fast because they've got things at their feet. So we've got to be stout at the point of attack, and there's a variety of ways we can do that. And the second thing is when they go to their pass game mode even off a play-action pass or off a drop-back pass, we've got to be able to generate our pass rush against those guys to take advantage of our opportunities in one-one-one pass-rushing settings. I think it's two-found: One stout against the run, and two, we've got to be able to create pressure on Andrew Luck. He's a talented guy."

Is Stanford the most physical team in the Pac-10 - "Geez, I don't know. There's a lot of physical teams. I'm assuming Oregon's pretty good. I haven't watched them yet. They seem to be running for a lot of yards so they've got to be pretty physical. SC is very physical upfront as well. So, I can't make that statement until I see them all."

Posted by Chris Fetters
12:43 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Notes

First - no announcement on the Oregon game time.  ABC/ESPN is exercising a 6-day window for TV.  Sounds like it could be 12:30 or 5.

Sark was obviously disappointed in the Arizona game, said you can't have five PI's, especially in third down situations, give up four sacks and fall behind 30-14 at half to a team like Arizona.

Said again, the team is very resilient and they played hard. They just need to perform better than they did.  "We've been knocked down before.  We'll get back up."

Asked about the L/W trend, and he said he'd love to continue that trend this Saturday, and then deal with the question again on Sunday.

Asked about Jake, and Sark said that they will monitor him and see how sore he is.  Sark confirmed that he will start Saturday.  He was asked if there's a scenario if Keith Price plays if JL is less than 100 percent, and Sark said no.  Said the only way Jake gets pulled is if he thinks another QB gives them the best chance to win.  Sark added that Jake does not have any broken ribs, just 'general soreness' - including his quad.  

He was asked how the new look OL played, and Sark said that they did well, but UA has a real belief in their DE's, but the OL didn't give up their first sack until the 2-minute drive before halftime.  He also said that they will keep assessing the OL, and the five that started at UA may not be the starting five OL that play against Stanford.

Sark was asked if the cornerbacks have regressed after thinking they could be a strength of the defense, and Sark said he wasn't aware of anyone considering them a strength going into the season.  Said that Tru has gotten better and Richardson has had his moments, but generally they are starting to panic when the ball is in the air instead of just focusing in on their keys and making the play.  He said there were also some PI calls that have been called he didn't agree with.

Asked about Aiyewa, and Sark is anticipating he'll play.  He didn't think he would play at all against UA, but the adrenaline must have kicked in.   Said it's not a major issue, but a knee contusion can still limit mobility.

Asked about the move of Fuimaono to start and Foster to SAM, and Sark said they did that to get their best guys out on the field.  

He was asked about the defense, and Sark said for the 6 quarters leading up to the UA game they had played well, but they are still having to live with some growing pains.  Said at one point he looked up and there were four true frosh playing on the defense.  They are also having to fight the injury bug, and trying to find help on the perimeter too.

Asked about Cameron Elisara and his stingers, and Sark said he's 'doubtful' for Saturday.

Asked about Stanford, Sark said they have systems in place that they really believe in - they'll go into their 21 or 22 personnel and have their base run plays and play action with Luck.

Asked about the freshman that has impressed the most - Sark said Jesse Callier.  Said his running, passing, return and cover skills show just how complete he is as a football player.

Sark was asked if he ever had to play with bruised ribs, and he said 'all the time'.  Said adrenaline helps you get through the games, and then the next day you have to deal with them and get rest.  Said Locker is a warrior and a giant competitor.  

He was asked about Hauoli Jamora and the effects of having to start and play a full game, and he said the first thing is just taking so many snaps.  He also talked about the mental fatigue that kicks in with so many snaps, and how they have to really dial in on the play at hand and do that job first and play with great effort.

Sark was asked about Stanford's offensive line, and he said that the UW defense has to be stout at the point of attack, and when they go into pass mode, they have to generate some sort of a pass rush.  He was asked if Stanford is the most physical team in the league, and he said that Oregon is pretty physical and USC is too.  He wouldn't say they are until he sees all the teams.

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:35 AM

Stanford's official release for UW game

Below is a link to Stanford'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 Huskies.

Stanford's official weekly release -Washington

Posted by Chris Fetters
10:35 AM

UW's official release for Stanford game

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

UW's official weekly release - Stanford

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