Dawg Blog - USC

Now that 24 hours have passed since Oregon's 34-17 win over Washington, the Huskies have to rebound quickly to face another tough test - a road game against the USC Trojans. But the upside is that Steve Sarkisian has had the Trojans' number the two times he's faced them as UW's Head Coach. Check the blog often for news, notes, and quotes all week long as UW prepares to tackle Troy!

Eric Dore:
11/10/2011
11:20 am

Erik Folk Wednesday Quotes

On if USC game is special since he's from L.A.: "Yeah I try to approach every game the same, but the SC game is kind of big since I'm from there.  A lot of my family are SC fans and I grew watching them and UCLA.  Definitely does have some sort of meaning for me."

 

On if he has any family that is mad at him after the last two years: "Yeah, saw a lot of my family over summer and had to get a lot of grief from them.  A lot of my friends are UCLA fans so they kind of congratulated me."

 

On if he prefers blowout games or games where he has to kick the game-winner: "I'd prefer not to be involved, but I can't personally determine that.  If it does come down to me, I'll be ready."

 

On if he knew the drive was going to come down to him last year: "Yeah I knew after Jake completed that 4th down pass, I knew we were going to get in range.  Just tried to get my self ready, focused, and tried to go out there and make it."

 

On what goes into preparing for a kick: "Kicking into the net a little bit and try not to worry about the situation or the score at all, how much time's left.  Just tried to imagine it was like any kick in practice."

 

On if there is a difference kicking a game winner when the team is down or tied: "No, once you get into your routine that pretty much takes care of itself.  You build a routine and you just go through that every kick, even in the off-season when you're just kicking a ball around.  When you do that you're just able to block everything out and just focus on the kick and not the circumstances of it."

 

On if he's itching to kick another game-winner: "A little bit.  It's always better to not be needed during the game, but I like that from a team standpoint, from a personal standpoint it's kind of wearing a little bit.  I want to get out there and be put in that situation."

 

On not having many attempts this season: "It's been great.  We've had a lot more touchdowns the past couple years and consequently a lot less field goals, and I'd take that anyway."

 

On his top 3 field goals he's made: "I don't think they'd (the 2 USC kicks) be in any order.  Those 2 kicks would be number 1 and number 2 and then I think number 3 would be the Notre Dame kick from 3 years ago."

 

On his opinion on icing the Oregon kicker 3 times before the half last week: "It was pretty cold out and watching him it didn't look like he was taking and practice swings so if I was in that situation and I didn't do that I'd definitely be a lot more stiff going into the kick.  I think the coldness and just being stiff would have gotten to me too."

 

On his overall philosophy on icing kickers: "I don't think it matters too much, but maybe on longer field goals where you call time out as the ball is being snapped and they kick it and make it.  I think there might be less of a chance to make the second one."



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Chris Fetters:
11/9/2011
7:31 pm

Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes

Sark On having a little extra hop in his step when playing USC - "Yeah, I think for a variety of reasons. It's home for me…lot of family and friends. And obviously some real special memories in that stadium and some great wins. It's always exciting to go down and play in the Coliseum."

On his relationship with Kiffin during the game - "That really ends probably at about pre-game warmups, quite honestly. I don't think we talked to each other last year in pre-game warmups, and I really make it a point to talk to everybody. And it wasn't on purpose. We just didn't talk last year in pre-game, and then we talked at halftime, walking up the tunnel after doing our interviews. We're good friends, but at the end of the day we're both really competitive guys, and we want to win."

On Matt Barkley, and how he's different from a year ago - "He's just continued to mature, all three years now. I think he's minimizing his mistakes, and obviously his red-zone efficiency is getting better. And how he has played in the fourth quarter has really improved. I think that's why they are winning these close ball games at the end that they hadn't been winning these last couple years."

On USC being the best passing team UW has seen all year - "It's a great challenge. We've seen some pretty good ones, especially early on with what Hawaii does and they are still doing to everybody, what Arizona has been doing with Nick Foles. But I think the efficiency of what Matt does with Robert Woods and Marquise Lee is what makes the challenge. There's no secret where the ball is going; combined I think they have 135 catches. It's not a real secret that 2 and 9 are going to catch the ball, so you need to understand where they are at every snap. Lane does a good job of moving them around; they line 'em up in the backfield, they line 'em up on opposite sides, they line 'em up together…so you better identify where those two kids are."

On rain forecast for this weekend in LA - "I'd like to think that we know how to play in the weather. One of the keys, especially early in the game and in pre-game warmups, is understanding the footing for our guys. It's a natural grass field, and something we're not exposed to as much as probably would like to….the footing in pre-game, to understand that and making full-speed cuts. And ultimately there's going to be a lot of pressure on our ball boys to keep the balls dry."

On the progression of Kasen Williams - "I think he's just playing faster now. There's so much less hesitation to his game. His ability to line up, know the call and play fast and play physical obviously was evident the other night. We know the natural ability that he has. He's one of the better catchers I've been around - just a sure-handed, strong catching guys. And then his stature, weighing 215 pounds, his ability to use his body to separate from defenders…and he's highly competitive. It's taken time, like it does for some freshmen - it's taken longer to get comfortable, to get comfortable one, in the game setting, and then two with the calls that come in and go out and execute them really fast and physical and furious."

On limiting his role with one position - "That's exactly what we've done. We've tried not to move him around too much and let him get good at one position. He's got time here, and we've got time in this system and we can get him the ball at that position in many different ways. I think in time, as his career moves on, we'll see him move around that much more. But for now I think it's the right thing to do with him."

On if increased PT at receiver means less time returning punts - "No, I don't think so. The returns he gets…and so much now with what guys are doing, and we're going to get it again this weekend with the shield punt, they get so many guys down covering and not deep, long punts - the opportunities for returns aren't there right now. And it's not just us; it's universal. You look at the Pac-12 stats, there's just not a lot of punt returns going on. It's one of the trends in football, I guess."

On hype surrounding Kasen Williams - "I don't think it's influenced Kasen at all. He's a very humble young man, extremely hard-working. He came from an excellent program at Skyline, where he was well-coached. He was raised by two good parents. So he understands what it takes to work, and the work ethic needed to get better at this thing. Not for a second have I felt him complain about it. There's been frustration. There's been days of frustration, where I think he wishes he could be doing more and doing better. But now he's gotten to the point where he's earned it. He's earned his playing time, and he's playing well."  

On Austin Seferian-Jenkins - "There's games where we try to get him the ball more than others. Sometimes it doesn't appear like we're trying to get him the ball, when we really are, when he is a primary and the ball's just not going his way – for a variety of reasons. It could be coverage, it could be pressure on the quarterback, it could be he didn't run a great route. So I think a lot of things could add up to where the ball goes. Obviously, Austin's a very talented kid, and he's still working to find the consistency of playing at a high level, down after down after down. But without a doubt, we're trying to get him the ball. He just had a game last week where he only caught one ball. And it was obviously very early in the game."  

On the O-line - "There's a lot of competition there right now, and that's a good thing. Guys are wanting the opportunity to step in and play and show that they're worthy of playing, guys that haven't been playing. And I think some guys that have been in there, now they're having to prove that they're worthy of staying on the field."  

Odds of O-line changes - "I'll know more after I take a look at the film tonight. I think that's why you saw such a physical practice, because they're fighting for spots."

Alameda's new club - "He had a little thumb sprain, but he's working through it."  

On USC's defense this year - "Well, I really think they've improved from last year to this year, quite honestly. They're playing better, and as the year's gone on they're playing better defensively. I know that the Stanford score is a bit skewed because of the overtime. You go to three overtimes, it's a little bit of a skewed number. But also the offenses in this conference and the way the game's being played right now. We're seeing a lot of high-scoring games; that's just the nature of the game right now."  

On Nick Holt's quote being used as motivation by USC - "I don't know. I haven't talked to anybody down there. But again, I think it was one, taken out of context; that wasn't the form of the question. And two, ask Monte Kiffin, he'll give you the same answer. Oregon's tough to prepare for. It's no so much the scheme; it's how they play and the speed at which they play the game. And that is what is so unique. It's not that your own team cannot play that way, it's that when you're trying to service the defense, and you're trying to show the plays, to simulate that speed is what's challenging. And give Oregon credit. They've figured that aspect of the game out, and they've made it difficult. That's no disrespect to USC; they're a tremendous offensive football team. But they're much more conventional that way in a preparation standpoint."  

On Erik Folk - "I think Erik is an extremely clutch kicker. I don't think the moment gets too big for him. Obviously, the two kicks against USC. The kick at Notre Dame to send the game into overtime. A couple of big kicks to end the halves for us. He's had to make big kicks for us before, and I don't think they're big kicks in his mind. I think it's just another kick."  

On what O-line did well earlier in season - "I thought we were playing together really well. I thought we were on the same page. Even if we were wrong, we were all doing it together. I think that's where some of the disappointment, for me, came last week. I didn't think we were playing together. I felt like there was either a lack of communication or communication that was wrong, and some guys didn't want to hear that communication, and we got separated. And that's where we were getting beat at times. I would like for us to come back, one, and play together, and do things together. And then when we're doing that, then we can come together and play fast, physical football. I think as the lack of communication occurred early in the game last Saturday, that created some hesitation for our guys up front, and then ultimately, we got beat in one-on-one matchups up front because we weren't physical enough."

Is it only on audibles that the OL has problems with? - "There's constant communication up front, every snap there is constant communication. It starts with the quarterback identifying the mike (middle linebacker), the center making his calls and works its way out to the tackles, to the tight ends and sometimes those tackles and tight ends have to make calls that have to be echoed all the way back down across the line to the opposite side. And that's no different than any other game and we just have to be more consistent in that category.''

Any particular OLS in trouble - "No. All these guys need to play better and they know it. Senio on down, they all need to play better.''

On getting Sankey more involved - "Joel and I were talking about that today. We love Chris to death, obviously he has done so much for us and he's a fantastic player. But it will actually be better served for Chris if we can mix Jesse (Callier) and Bishop in there a bit more so that Chris is fresh when we are going into the second half or the fourth quarter of these games that are tight ball games. Not that I want to take carries away from Chris Polk but I do think it would serve us well to get those other guys some carries and it would serve the other kids well. They've earned it. They have worked hard.''

On James Johnson - "We rested him more today. He looked decent yesterday, we tried to rest him today and then we will see how he looks tomorrow and then give him Friday off and have a better feeling.''

On the freshmen and the benefit of playing this season - "It's huge for them. Even spring football practice when you have been in the real live setting game atmosphere, your ability to settle down, the anxieties are much less and you can focus on the things you need to focus on and not so much the peripheral stuff. Those things are going to help him. They will help Danny Shelton. His role is starting to improve and be more involved. I thought he did some nice things last week and so of our young guys that are playing I think they are really benefitting from that fact and they will  down the road.''

On James Sample's shoulder injury - "It's been painful and frustrating for everybody but his shoulder is just not getting right. We'd love to get him back on the field and if we can't we are going to have to investigate some things if he can possibly earn a medical redshirt because of that. But that's down the road. He's still working to get back, he's doing everything in his power to get back out there and it's been frustrating for everybody involved because he's a real talented kid.''

On getting Sample back this year - "We'd love to because he's a big, physical kid and we are doing a lot more with him at corner, we are working him at corner because of the physical nature of the receivers that we are seeing. I think he's got a real chance to be real special.''

On Price being helped by having played last year at USC - "Sure, I think it helps. You've got to remember he's an LA kid and I'm sure he will  have a bunch of family and friends there and the fact it won't be the first time he's stepped on that field. He played two plays and threw two passes and threw both of them pretty well. The other one I think should have been caught too on the two-point play, so I think that does ease some things. He's been down that tunnel before and what not.''

On Johri Fogerson getting a redshirt: "I think he will get that year back, I really do, so we'll see.''

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Chris Fetters:
11/8/2011
7:07 pm

Cort Dennison Tuesday Quotes

On Matt Barkley: "They're both great football players, and they're both going to be playing on Sundays. But that's the beauty of our conference. We like challenges, we like playing the best, and those are two of the best. So we relish the opportunity, and we relish the challenge."

On USC after two losses to UW: "I don't know how they'll be. All we can worry about is us and how we go in there and our mindset heading into the game. We both realize we're a different team this year, and they're a different team. We've got to do a great job of practicing, and this game's going to be a great game on Saturday."

On Nick Holt knowing their system: "They run a lot of the same; they're a pro-style offense, a pro-style defense. That's what we run here, so we'll get a lot of the same looks in practice. They'll throw in a new thing every game that they haven't shown on film, and that's where you've just got to get lined up and play ball."


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Chris Fetters:
11/8/2011
7:05 pm

Sean Parker Tuesday Quotes

On last year's game - "I just know that it was a good game throughout the whole game, and I just know that we finished in the end and got the win. But I also remember that it was a very hostile environment. Their stadium was loud. We had adversity at some times, but we pulled through."

On how many games at the Coliseum he's been to - "I've probably been to five or six games."

On how much he followed USC growing up - "Yeah, absolutely - because my house is about 10 minutes from the stadium, so I grew up watching them. I always liked their teams and the type of players they had. It was just fun watching them."

On players he grew up following - "Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Mike Williams, T Mays - all those good players that came out of there."

On going home and making sure there were enough tickets for his family - "I didn't have to talk to any teammates - I pretty much had all my tickets done. I kinda need one extra because my Pops wants to see me. I haven't seen him in a long time. I kind of lost touch because him and my Mom divorced, so I hadn't seen him in a while. But that's about it."

On reconnecting with his father - "Two or three weeks ago he called me, and I was excited to hear his voice. He's still up and going and everything, so I'm excited to see him."

On trying to prepare for the USC game with some of these other things going on at the same time - "I love my family and all, but besides football I kind of have to put them to the side, because football is what I'm doing, and it's a business trip. I'm not coming down there to sight-see and everything - so I gotta stay locked in."

On getting things on lockdown and the game slowing down for him - "Yeah, absolutely. I feel way more comfortable than I did my freshman year. Everything is slowing down, and I'm playing faster."

On preparing for USC being a little easier because it's similar to UW's offense - "Yeah, absolutely. Their offense is similar to ours, and we go up against the best guys every day in practice - so it's just the same."

On the safety depth - "I feel really good about it. I think it's better, actually. Guys go down all the time, and that next guy has to be ready to go. Sometimes we need breathers, and it's good for them to come in for a series or so."

On the end of his recruiting process - "That last 48 hours was pretty tough for me. I asked my family for guidance, and I still wasn't really sure yet. I really had to sit and think everything over and think about the best place that would suit me for the next four years. After all that, it just came to me and I made the right decision."

On seeing the video of his commitment and telling his friend to pick up the U-Dub hat - "When it comes on I laugh at it. I told him before the show, and when it came time to do it he didn't know. He acted like he didn't know. But it was pretty funny. But when it comes on I'll watch it and laugh about it."

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Eric Dore:
11/8/2011
6:54 pm

Alameda Ta'amu Tuesday Quotes

On having USC's number: "We have Coach Sark and them and they know that team inside and out and we're pretty similar as a team too.  I think that's why."

 

On his hand wrapped into a club being a reinjury: "It's a different hand.  It's just out of the socket."

 

On struggling with the club earlier in the year: "It's not as bad, it's a different hand, I didn't break it.  I'm not wearing the club in the game, just for practice so all the swelling can go down for now."

 

On how he felt he played Saturday after Coach Sark praised him for his efforts: "I didn't do good enough if we didn't win, but I guess I tried hard, worked hard."



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Eric Dore:
11/8/2011
6:48 pm

Nick Holt Tuesday Quotes

On concerns about USC offense: "There's a couple concerns.  First of all the quarterback is fantastic and he is playing really really good football, making all the throws.  So we got a good quarterback and a bunch of really good receivers that do a lot of things well.  They catch the ball, they run good routes, they block well in the run game and then on top of that their offensive line has really come together.  They have a couple fantastic players in Matt Kalil who is a first round draft pick, their center is a fantastic football player – Khaled Holmes, Kevin Graf, the right tackle is getting better everyday.  The two other guys are getting a lot better and their run game is really good.  Just another different set of problems in a new week against a fantastic offensive football team so we got our work cut out."

 

On Robert Woods: "He is really fast, runs good routes, and he catches the ball and he has a quarterback that puts it there.  They take shots at you, they go for it with a lot of long balls, a lot of good play action, a lot of double moves so they test you.  It's another complicated game as far as those issues."

 

On if pass rush will be the key: "There's a lot of things that are key.  We got to stay on top of the deep ball because we're going to see a bunch of them.  Obviously pass rush is always key but they do a nice job protecting the quarterback with their protection schemes that it's hard to get after them. They have a lot of different types of protections that get them on the edge and sprint out sometimes and so it's going to be a great challenge."

 

On if they're different than last year: "I think they're doing a lot more offensively.  They have a lot of different plays, a lot of fly sweeps, a lot of loose type plays.  They've expanded a lot more and they're executing really nicely."

 

On if their gameplan against Barkley last year will work this year: "He's seen it all, I don't think you're going to fluster him, he's pretty poised back there, been a starter for a long time and he knows our defense pretty well.  He sees pretty similar looks at his practice so I don't know if we're going to fool him.  I hope that we don't beat ourselves in letting big plays happen.  Make them grind it out."

 

On if he feels like he has an advantage in knowing USC's offense well: "They got a lot of different stuff now and every year there is some new stuff and they'll have some new stuff for us so it's kind of a wash."

 

On if he thought the D played well against Oregon: "We did some good things.  Had we tackled better there were a lot of times where we had the little guy and obviously it's a credit to their runnignbacks.  I thought at times we were really good and I wish the two third downs in the third quarter, the one 3rd and 6, they ran the little quick toss and we blitzed into it and missed some tackles and didn't play it at as aggressively as we needed to.  The other third down I think that hurt us.  We had some momentum and we didn't play them as well as we needed to on that down.  We weren't as focused as we needed to be.  We hit the quarterback as soon as he threw the ball, but we should have been a little tighter in that coverage and should have rerouted that guy a little bit better.  Besides those two plays and some missed tackles it was solid.  Look at the numbers compared to everybody else.

 

On if the effort against Oregon will do it against USC: "We got to tackle better we really do.  Got to tackle better and they didn't have that many huge plays.  This week we can't have these guys bust a 60, 70 yarder or something like that.  We got to make them work for everything and hopefully get some turnovers."

 

On if he's surprised his comment about USC has blown up down there: "Nothing surprises me anymore.  I'm sure they're looking at it that I was trying to disrespect them.  I'm the last guy who is going to disrespect the University of Southern California  - their institution, their coaches, and players.  I'm the last guy to do that and obviously I think it was taken in the wrong context.  I think what I was trying to do was say how difficult and good Oregon is to prepare for.  Take it as it is.  Didn't mean anything by it. They know they have good players, we know they have really really good players and they do a nice job in their schemes and we just got to go down there and play our best football."

 

On if USC will be fired up by his quote: "I don't know.  Obviously they made a big deal about it.  I'm sorry that it got down there and it is what it is now."

 

On if he thinks Kiffin made it a big deal: "I don't think so.  I think that they heard it and thought I was being disrespectful, which I wasn't."



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Chris Fetters:
11/8/2011
6:46 pm

John Timu Tuesday Quotes

On going home - "It's going to be a new experience, but great. It's my first time playing in the Coliseum, so it's something new. But just like any other game we've got to come out and play hard."

On any memories of the Coliseum growing up - "I always grew up watching them, watching Sarkisian, coach Carroll and those guys - and just watching the legacy they built up there. So we just grew up watching them, and now we've got a chance to play against them. I think it's going to be a great experience for us."

On the game slowing down for him - "Yeah, just a little bit. Just the preparation we have throughout the week with our coaches, they do a great job of getting us prepared, helping us watch film and all the new installs that we have. It slows down in the beginning of the week, but throughout the week we progress and get better - and it helps to slow the game down a little bit."

On going to last year's USC game - "The only game I went to was the Oregon State game (in Seattle). I didn't really know much about them, except for what I learned in high school as a fan. I just watched the game and saw the players, didn't know all the details of what was going on until I became a part of it. It was a different perspective, and it's fun being a player here at the University of Washington."

On what he remembers watching the USC game on TV - "It got me excited and fired up to get ready to come here. That's why we come here to the University of Washington - for moments like that. Watching the game, I thought it was fun. It was great. I knew some of the players that played in that game, so it was fun."

On getting enough tickets for the game - "Oh yeah - got to. Got to get a lot of family there and show them. They watch USC on TV a lot, but now I'm a player under coach Sark for a different team. Like I said, it's going to be fun."

On having relatives that have followed USC their whole lives - "Yeah, but wherever I go they cheer for me. It makes it easy."

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Chris Fetters:
11/7/2011
5:30 pm

Steve Sarkisian Coach's Show Notes

Gas brings the show in talking about how this show is the first one at the Founders Club. Got their walking papers from the DJC last week, and the future shows are 'TBA'.

Gas talked about how the Oregon game was the last game at Husky Stadium and they wanted to take HS out on a good note, but it just wasn't to be. Sark said that all the things that the administration did to bring the pageantry of HS to the game was magnificent, from the '91 team to coach James doing the toss to everything else, was first class. Gave the fans big props for everything they did to help keep the team in the game. As you get into the games, you obviously want the team to do really well, to enjoy the experience. The week of practice went well, but for some reason - especially on offense - things just didn't go the way they hope. People took turns not making plays.

Bob said a coach's worst nightmare is when the team just doesn't compete, but that wasn't the problem. Sark said he told the team it wasn't about the effort or energy. At the end of the day, it gives you a chance if you execute. If you don't execute, you're going to get beat. Back to the drawing board. Still a resilient group, and they bounce back well. Proud of them today. As practice got going, they responded. They have another tough test this weekend.

Bob talked about Oregon and how hard they played, especially on defense. Definitely didn't look past UW to Stanford. Sark said Chip Kelly said that was the best UO played defensively all year. They controlled things with their DL. They set the tone for UW's offense, made it tough to get running space and to throw downfield. If you looked at the numbers, they are OK - but no explosive plays. Couldn't get the ball downfield. That's hard sledding.

Bob said UO loves to play from ahead, and the tone was set on the opening series. One first down, then a sack and a pick. Sark said it carried with the offense, and took a while to get Keith back in the game. Came in with an aggressive gameplan, but then tried to slow it down and use Polk a lot. Came out the second half and put together their best drive of the night, but just couldn't keep things within one score.

Bob said they were very assertive and attacked UW's offense. Sark said their safeties ability to tackle was key. Pleasant had the two picks, but they tackled well in space.

Bob said they are the best safeties UW has seen in league, and Sark agreed. Did that contribute to the dropped passes? Sark said it could have, but a couple were just flat-out drops. Just wish they would have put their best foot forward and seen what happened. Lost 34-17 to a very good team, but didn't play as well as they could have.

Bob talked about Sark saying the offense played awful and how that hurts him. Sark said he loves offensive football, and they didn't make their plays. When they start their prep for USC, they have to continue to believe in what they do, because they are a good offensive football team.

Gas brought the show back talking about the '91 celebration and how so many from that team came back 20 years later…Sark said to get around guys like Dave Hoffmann, Billy Joe Hobert, and Mario Bailey, to listen to them tell stories - it's those kind of memories that our guys are having now that they'll have forever. The '91 team showed a lot of class when they were around the current team, and vise-versa.

Gas talked about the story when Don James walked into the room, the '91 guys all went quiet - just like 20 years ago. Bob talked about James coaching from the platform and doing that. Can you do that now? Sark said you could. Things change, and then they come back. Maybe I'll be up on a platform one of these days. Listening to the '91 guys talk about Coach James, at the end of the day how you view them and how they view you isn't the same. They still see you as the coach. That's how I viewed LaVell Edwards. The respect the '91 team have for coach James is just tremendous.

Gas said he talked about Jerry Kramer meeting up with Vince Lombardi during the summer off-season, and he was eating an ice cream cone, and he hid it because he didn't want Lombardi to see him. He said some things just don't change. Sark said when they played at BYU last year, he went to LaVell Edwards and shook his hand and talked to him like it was.

Bob talked about how the press box was rocking and rolling - like old times. No weather, just the excitement in the building. We were praying - just hold up for one more night. Sark said he loves the UW fans. When HS gets going, you can literally feel the energy. That's the beauty of college football, UW and Husky Stadium. That's why you want 18 months to happen right now so they can get back to playing at HS.

Gas said how nice it was to have Senior Night at HS, and Sark said he contemplated doing the juniors too. You ask any player what they remember most, and it's coming down the tunnel at Husky Stadium.

Bob talked about how they are closing everything off right now, what are the logistics like? Sark said they will use the east practice field with new turf that was put in before training camp, and they'll use the Dempsey indoor, like they did today. When they did the groundbreaking today at HS, you could feel the bulldozers working around, and it put a smile on his face.

Gas brought the show back in talking about Chris Polk and how hard the night was for him against Oregon. Sark said he's seen Chris do better with some of those runs, but it was really tough sledding. Did good work in the backfield catching passes, but he's done better and Chris would agree. But it wasn't clean for him, lots of missed assignment. That starts with Sark. Got to give him more room to run.

Bob asked Sark about the OL and how they just had a bad game. It wasn't one guy. They didn't play well, and didn't play well as a unit. Took turns making a mistake. It was one after another. Those are the frustrating nights. One game isn't going to define them. They'll be back.

Bob asked how that affected the TE play? Sark said there were things for them. Times when ASJ was a primary and there were things where he wasn't open. Seen ASJ play better too, as well as Hartvigson. Have to play better collectively up front, and Keith has to believe in what's called and anticipates the throws that need to be made.

Bob said that UO paid a lot of attention to ASJ, and Sark agreed. Said they made a point of putting a safety on him in man-to-man situations.

Bob talked about Keith Price and how he's had an amazing season so far, but not a great night Saturday. Two picks that were bad throws. Price said he couldn't force the ball and check it down when the play isn't there. Bob said as the game went on he seemed to check the ball down more - 6 yards per catch. Sark said they had chances to have some explosive plays but didn't take advantage. Had a lot of plays that were really more glorified runs, and they did a good job getting off blocks and making tackles. Sark said that when Keith is talking about checkdowns, he's also talking about secondary routes, and those aren't always to RB's. It can be to WR's too.

Bob said Price didn't get a ton of help from the WR's. Kearse is getting a rep for dropping balls, which is unfortunate because he's had such a good UW career. Sark said that when there are bang-bang plays, the expectation may not be as high for someone else, but Jermaine has set the bar so high with his own play over the last four years that it's magnified even more. But he'll come back and he'll make the plays everyone expects him to make.

Bob talked about Kasen Williams, and how he came back from the sprained ankle, and Sark said he was just going well until he hurt his ankle, but he's back now. He's playing every snap now at full speed, and the touchdown catch he made was a marvelous catch. If you bobble it at all, it's ruled incomplete, as we saw with Hartvigson's catch last game. Expect him to finish out the rest of the year really strong.

Gas brings the show back in talking about fun things - Kasen's TD catch was one. Also talked about Nick Montana's play to Kasen deep. Sark said it was really big and a cool moment for him. Third-and-11, and it was a beautiful pass on the money. Appreciate that play even more because those are confidence-building plays for them. They can relax and just play. It was a big play at the time to help get some points on the board.

Bob said the reason why Nick was in the game was because Keith got sacked for the sixth time, scary play because he landed on his shoulder. Sark said it was already sore because he bruised it up a couple weeks ago. Knew Keith had to come out, so got Nick a couple throws on the sidelines, and then he came right back in.

Bob then mentioned the Kevin Smith dropped pass in the end zone, and Sark said that was a tough one, because it would have been 34-24 and you still have some time to do something.

Bob asked about the end of the game, having three time outs and a chance to go down and score, and Sark said they started at the two, and he didn't want to drop back and throw another pick and now the game gets really out of hand. It was about respecting the game, and Oregon beat their fair and square.

Bob talked about LaMichael James, and Sark said in pure quickness, quicker than Reggie Bush. Bush might be as fast in straightaway speed, but in a three-yard box, it's really tough to get a hand on him. But if you look at what he's done to other defenses, UW did better than anyone save LSU this year of containing him. Oregon made a point of making sure James got a lot of carries, and UW did a decent job of corralling him.

Bob said De'Anthony Thomas only got one carry, but it was for a touchdown. Ran a 20.61 200 - world class, yet Justin Glenn ran him down on a return. Sark said it was a great play by Justin, not sure if Thomas thought he wasn't going to get caught, but great dive by Justin.

Bob asked about declining the holding penalty on the ensuing drive, and Sark said that Chip has been known to go for it on fourth down anyway, but he had a feeling he was going to kick a field goal, and a 40-yard FG try in those elements wasn't a gimme. Took our chances.

Bob said the first UO FG miss was the first FG miss against UW in 16 tries.

Gas brought the show back. Big Guy on the mic. Question about coach's shows nationwide, and some of them end up on TV. How about Sark's Show going on TV? Gas joked they would need new hosts. Sark said that they are discussed at a higher level than him - he's worried about getting a first down the first possession against USC. He did say that he's seen some of them, and they are bad. If he was going to do it, it would have to be a lot better than some that he's seen.

Gas said there's two pieces of info out there that will get media play right now - Barkley over Luck for the NFL, and Holt's comment about rather playing USC than UO. Sark said where do you want me to start? He thinks Barkley is playing at a really high level. If he had the second pick, he'd take Luck, it's no reflection on Luck. But Barkley is showing everything you need to play at a really high level for the NFL. If that shows bias because he recruited him, fine. But the USC offense shows off the fact that he's very much NFL ready and is doing all the things he'll be asked to do at the next level. And if you polled all the other DC's in the Pac-12, they'd tell you the challenge of facing Oregon is harder than anyone else. If you posed the question who would you rather prepare for - Oregon or USC? Most would say USC.

Bob asked if he would use something like that for bulletin board material - Sark said that's how how they are wired, so he wouldn't use it, but if they do - OK. Once the game starts, you have to play. The game is on. It's not about what someone said a week ago or a month ago. He said he didn't think Joe Flacco won last night against Pittsburgh because of all the things the Steelers said going into the game - it was about his preparation.

Gas brought the show back talking USC, and how everyone is still waiting for the effect of the sanctions to kick in, and Kiffin has done a nice job of keeping things upbeat in spite of what's going on. Sark said that they are arguably the most talented team in the conference - Woods, Barkley, Lee, Perry, Kahlil, etc… they are really, really good.

Gas said that he read about some things USC did to do things in lieu of not being able to go to a game, like going down to Louisiana to help rebuild things down there, but Sark said he didn't know much about that.

Bob talked about the bulletin board stuff, and Sark brought up how Quinton Richardson said they would beat USC two years ago. They have played well against USC late, and that's what it's going to take again. It's going to be a four-quarter game, and the team will respond again Saturday like they have before.

Bob talked about how USC is playing better defense, and Sark said it's going to be a great challenge. He reminded them that if they could win again, it would be history. First time since 1937 the team has gone to USC and beaten them in LA twice.

Gas wished Sark good luck.

End of show.

Talk about it here


Chris Fetters:
11/7/2011
4:03 pm

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes

Opening Comments - "Well in review of the ball game last Saturday night, I think the obvious disappointments that were there following the ball game held true. After you really get a chance to look at the film and analyze your team, we were awful offensively. Didn't perform, for a variety of reasons. And that falls on me as head coach, game-planner, playcaller - we've got to be better. We've got to perform better up front, we've got to make better decisions at the quarterback position, we've got to catch the ball, we've got to call better plays. And that falls on me, and that'll get fixed, and that'll get fixed quickly. I thought defensively our kids played hard. I thought at times we tried a little too hard, and what I mean by that is - instead of staying with the integrity o the defense, we had guys trying maybe to make too many plays, and in turn got themselves out of position to make the plays they should have been making as the game wore on.

"So with all of that I was pleased and proud of our effort. I don't think it was for a lack of trying hard or want to. I thought our kids tried hard. They played hard. We just didn't execute offensively. And that's not a characteristic of ours that has been who we are throughout the season; we've performed well and executed well. And we didn't Saturday night, so we'll get that fixed."

On who stood out on the defense - "I thought Alameda Ta'amu had his best game of the season Saturday night. I thought he was a presence, did a nice job, disrupted some things internally - forced the ball to the perimeter…did a nice job. I thought Everrette had a nice game, was sound. I thought outside of a couple plays, Sean Parker had a pretty nice ball game. The rest of our…Andrew Hudson, as well. I don't want to discount Andrew. I thought Andrew did some pretty nice things as well."

On special significance going up against Lane and staying unbeaten against him - "Lane and I are good friends, and we've known each other for years now. We haven't joked about staying undefeated, but we texted each other in the past 24 hours already, and we'll probably continue to throughout the week. But it's a healthy friendship and a healthy rivalry; I think we're both competitive guys that like to win - not for us individually, but for our team and for our kids and coaches. Lane's done a nice job. He's got them really improving from week to week to week, and you can see it on the film. And it's not just in one phase; it's in all three phases."

On how their relationship has evolved - "We don't see each other nearly as often is one of the keys to that. A lot of the communication is over the phone - pre-game, post-game-type stuff about the game and having an opportunity to watch the other guy play. We're still both the play-callers, so we can analyze it that way. Outside of that, it's just not seeing each other as frequently as we were used to seeing each other. Anytime that happens with whomever - whatever the relationship is with that person - you can grow apart, in a sense, at times. And then you find your way back a little bit to talk more. But I think the distance has been that factor."

On Nick Holt's comment about rather playing USC than Oregon - "I think you could ask every defensive coordinator in our conference the same question and they'd tell you the same thing - Oregon is hard to prepare for because of how unique they are. That doesn't mean that SC is not really good - I think they are a tremendous football team, and I think Nick would agree with that. The comment was about the preparation of an offensive style, and as we've all seen it now for years since Chip has been at Oregon, they are hard to prepare for. The speed and the tempo in which they play at - it's difficult. If that quote makes SC play better, than it makes them play better. I don't know. We don't motivate that way here."

On emotions of going back to the Coliseum and why he's been able to beat USC two times in a row - "We just try to prepare really well. We don't change. It's not about the opponent we're playing; we just try to prepare really well - mentally, physically and emotionally. I think we've had opportunities the last two years to get the game into the fourth quarter where it was a one-possession game, and we've executed. We've played well in the fourth quarters of those games. The Coliseum to me, growing up in southern California and watching USC play there for years…not just in the Pac-12 but across the country it's a great stadium to play in. Ninety-thousand-plus people, the great moments, the great wins, the special moments I had a chance to be part of - whether it was on SC's sidelines or last year on Washington's sidelines, those moments stay with your for a lifetime. That's why we coach . We're going to try and go down there this week and do something that hasn't been done before since 1937 - that's beat USC two times in a row for Washington on the road at the Coliseum. And we'll see if we can get it done."

On the offense with Price instead of Locker - "We're much more conventional now. We're back to what I think people down there are much more used to seeing from us offensively, a much more conventional type offense, not nearly as many quarterback runs. But Keith operates extremely well within the system. He's grown up in the system since the day he stepped into college. He understands the nuances of the system, and that's why he's been so successful. I think that's also one of the reasons why he didn't play one of his better games Saturday night, because he got away from those nuances of the system and tried a little too hard. So we have to get back to that, and get back to that quickly."

On the evolution of Chris Polk
- "I thought he was a very versatile high school player. He was a guy who played wide receiver and running back. But even at receiver, he finished plays really well. He was physical. And now that we've had him here, I think his game has really evolved. We're utilizing him out of the backfield more to catch passes, he still runs with a very physical nature, he's tremendous with yards after contact. And I think he's really matured.  From that time when I first met him in high school to where he is today, he's really matured – not only as a football person but as a person. He's not only already walked for graduation; he's still just a redshirt junior. And he's been one of the real catalysts for change in this program, from what we inherited at 0-12 to where we are right now."

On running the ball a lot early in the UO game - "Well, we thought we could do some things running the ball. We knew they could rush the passer, and that obviously reared its ugly head with six sacks. We thought we could do some things running the football. And we just couldn't get it airy enough to really get Chris going that way. Part of that came from, y'know, you throw a couple picks early in a ball game, and you try to settle your quarterback down. And one of the best ways to do that is to establish yourself on the ground. We just weren't able to do it the way we thought we'd be able to do it going into the game, and we put ourselves in some difficult third-down situations. We converted a lot of them; we're 50 percent on third down. But I go back, and the hard part when I look at the stats is just the lack of explosive plays in that ball game. It was hard to get yards. And that's not typical of our offense. We're typically an offense that can get yards in chunks, whether it's on the ground or through the air, and we just weren't able to do it on Saturday night. You would've thought if those were the stats and the numbers on the game, we probably wouldn't have been good on third down, or we wouldn't have been good in the red zone. We were actually pretty good in those two areas. We just weren't able to get the yards in chunks that we're accustomed to.

What specifically was Keith Price struggling with Saturday? - "He might've pressed a little bit. You get into this moment, and the excitement of the stadium, and the game, and it's Oregon, and all the stuff that went into it. I think he tried a little too hard. I think he wanted to go out and play great. Well, that's fine, but you end up playing great by playing within the system and relaxing and not feeling the pressure of having to play great in order for us to play great as a football team. That becomes a product of just preparation and doing what you're asked to do. So we've got to get back to that."  

Overall assessment of the offensive line - "We were poor. We were poor, at best, up front. So we'll get it fixed. Danny will get it fixed, I'll get it fixed. We'll be much better Saturday night."

Was that because Oregon is so good, or did UW OL have an off day? - "It was a bit of both. They've got a couple nice pass rushers off the edge. Kadu, Jordan, they're nice pass rushers. But we had some breakdowns in protections where we're turning our line in one direction, and four guys go one way, and one guy goes the other, and we're turning defensive linemen loose. That's not characteristic of us. We've got to do a better job throughout the week with our communication process of making sure that we're all on the same page from a protection standpoint."  

On if Price was tentative after the interception? - "Maybe a little bit. That's natural. That can happen. I think I got a bit tentative myself. I thought I've got to protect this guy to get his confidence built back up. And in turn, it took away a facet of our offense, our ability to throw it down the field, to tax them not just horizontally but vertically. And it had an impact on the game. They were really able to sit on some things underneath, which made it difficult. I thought Oregon really tackled well, we threw some things underneath where generally we were able to move the ball with some yards and break some tackles on bubble screens and whatnot, and in the game Oregon really tackled well. Three yard passes turned into three yard passes. We weren't able to turn those three-yard passes into 12- and 13-yard gains."

On the domino effect for the offense when the defense has success with only rushing three defensive linemen - "The domino effect – a couple of those came from that we were just wrong assignment-wise. It wasn't so much that the three-man rush was beating us. We have what should be a double team on the nose tackle and the center goes one way and the guard goes the other and the nose tackle is running free toward your quarterback. So that was part of it. The domino effect is to get to your point. When you are only rushing three or four guys that's eight or seven guys deployed into coverage. And they can mix coverages and they can make it harder on the quarterback if that's all they need to do to pressure. This is going to be another game like that. USC has a tremendous front four that can rush the passer so they are able to sit in coverage and play the Tampa 2 and things that Coach Kiffin likes to do to make it difficult on the offense."

On what it means for this offensive line - that have started the entire season together - that they are having communication issues in week 9 - "It just says we had a bad game. That stuff is going to happen. I don't think one game is going to define our team. It won't define one position group. We didn't play great. I've seen us play better. I've seen us be more physical. I've seen us communicate better. That stuff has to start at the top of what are we doing in the game plan, what responsibilities are we putting on these kids to give them the best chance to go out and be successful. We have to analyze that to make sure we are doing that. That starts today in our preparation for USC on Saturday, and analyzing not just the Oregon game but games further back in the season where we played well and we didn't play so well. And what are some of those common threads that we can use to build upon."

On why Austin Seferian-Jenkins wasn't more involved in the offense after watching the film - "I've seen Austin play better. That's not just to be critical of Austin. I've seen him play better. I've seen him run crisper routes and different things. The timing just wasn't great. There was things that were called for him where he was the primary read, whether keith threw it to him and we missed, or whether Keith decided not to throw it to him because he felt he was covered, are plays that we can get Austin open on and Keith can throw it to him and complete it to him when we execute it really well. That didn't happen on Saturday night. That goes back to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we've got to make sure we are crisp and sharp in our details of what we are coaching, to ensure we get the end results."

Those two plays, the one where David Paulson went right down the seam, and then the fourth down and four where you didn't get. What did you see on the video? - "We didn't get a great re-route on the seam route. We pressured him and we actually had a free rusher that didn't quite get there. We got a hit on the quarterback just after he releases the ball. It was a nice throw by Darron Thomas. We allowed Paulson to get down the seam without getting re-routed which isn't okay, so we have to go back and re-teach.

"The fourth and four was a play that we had a couple of options for Keith. Hindsight being 20-20, he looks to the other side of the field. If we execute it, we get a first down. He's got Austin open for a first down. It didn't happen. That again, falls back on us to make sure we understand the plays we are calling in those situations and what we are trying to get done."  

Any second-guessing on the fourth-down call? - "No, not at all. Not against Oregon. I think you have to play an aggressive style against them. You can't be passive. And we knew that going in. When you take those shots and you understand the ramifications of field posoitons and things, but at that point in the game with what Oregon had been doing offensively, and getting rolling, that was the right decision to make.

"The bigger one for me looking back on it was the fourth and 10 in the fourth quarter and possibly kicking the field goal game and at least making it a two possession. Part of that might been frustration of a couple plays previous to that. We had a couple guys open and we just don't make the catch. So I felt good about the plays we were calling it just didn't happen."  

Was this game more disappointing to you than the Stanford loss? - "Yes, in a sense for everybody involved and for what it meant to the Husky fans and the ex-players and coaches and Husky Stadium. Every game you want to go out and play well, but I wanted to perform well. The  stadium was tremendous, the electricity in the air was just awesome. It's what you love about college football. I wish we just would have played better. Even though we weren't playing well, it's still 24-17 in the middle of the third quarter. It's a ball game and we just couldn't get right."  

On Keith's first real playing time came in the coliseum against USC. What do you remember about it? - "First thing I remember, I didn't want to put him under center. I think so many times you put in a new quarterback, one of the biggest issues is getting the snap from center. So the first thought is let's put him in the gun because that's the easiest exchange to take for a quarterback. So the second one was, what do we have in a goal line situation that's in the gun and that was one of a couple plays I felt like that play could be there for us. I said, "hey do you feel good about this," and he said, "sure coach," smiling like he always does and he went in and threw a touchdown pass."

On Keith's first play against USC being a pass - "There is something about that for a quarterback to gain confidence. You saw it with Nikki the other night, there is something you just want to get it out of your system. For Nick to do it the other night on 3rd and 10 or 3rd and 11 or whatever it was and for keith to do it last year in a first and goal situation those things carry a lot of weight for those kids as they move forward and their future. it's not all about that one moment and that one game. it's about building their confidence as they grow and when they get their opportunities to be a starting quarterback.

On the difference between beating USC with Pete Carroll and beating USC with Lane Kiffin - "The first one was such a great, respect I guess. I respect Pete so much as a coach, he really kick started my coaching career and taught me a great deal as a mentor, not only on the field but off the field and I know the type of work ethic and all that he has. For our kids to play as passionate as they did that day against SC here to get that win was a little bit of a surreal moment I guess. You look across the field at the guy that you've been on the headsets with for seven years and to get that win was a bit one.

"The one last year was probably a bit more emotional, quite honestly. Being in Southern Calfornia in front of friends, family, in that same stadium that I had so many great moments with SC with as well as a couple of tough moments, bad losses that occured to. So I think a little more emotional last year would be the case but both of them were special moments that I'll carry with me for a lifetime."

For UW recruiting in LA, is there anything bigger than beating USC there? - "Probably winning the Rose Bowl in LA is the biggest of them all. IT's a big deal. You know that they are going to have a bunch of recruits at the game. That's no secret. they do a great job of that. Lane and Ed Orgeron do a tremendous job recruiting and they're going ot have a ton of recruits there, so if you go out and perform well it's a great way to advertise for your program in a sense.

There were a lot of recruits here this weekend. What's important about getting them to the last game at Husky Stadium, and how much does the result of the game matter when they make their eventual decisions? - "I think the atmosphere is key. that's one of them and obviously the atmosphere we have at Husky Stadium the types of fans we have, and the passion that they bring is important. I think what was important for this game that worked out for us was that it was a night game and we were able to spend a lot of time with those recruits prior to the game and them getting to know us as coaches. One of the drawbacks for bringing kids in on weekends when you have ballgames, it's hard for the coaching staff to spend time with the kids for them to get to know us. I think that is one of our biggest attributes is who we are as people. And ultimately they kids are aware. Oregon is a good football team. And the kids are aware we didn't play our best football game and it was still a pretty competitive one there into the fourth quarter and they recognize areas where maybe they can come in and contribute and help early."

On Matt Barkley right now and how he's gotten better - "His poise in the pocket. I think Matt Barkely is playing at a high level. I said this earlier to the staff and I'll say it to you guys, if I'm an NFL head coach I'd pick Matt Barkley over Andrew Luck. I think he is playing at that high a level. I think where he fits into the national football league and his pocket presence and what Lane is doing with him, the variety of offense that they're playing with, his ability to make all of the throws, anticipate throws, throwing them on time, throwing them accurately, he's fantastic to me. And i know him personally, so i have a little better insight of who he is, what we represents. I think he's fantastic."

On Jim Moore asking, 'Over Andrew Luck?' - "I didn't stutter, Jim."

On Barkley being that good - "There is no doubt. You're talking about a guy at Mater Dei High School that started as a freshman in high school for the varsity at the most storied program in southern california. and they weren't just handing the ball off. Right then it tells me this guy could handle a lot of different things. they ran a no huddle offense when he was there. he's obviously physically gifted, but it's his knowledge fo the game, his abilty to get out of bad plays and get into good plays, and again to me it's his ability to stand in the pocket and deliver throws with guys in his face and deliever them accurately down the field."

On Keith Price having already played in Los Angeles helping him be more comfortable Saturday - "Sure, I think it helped. For Keith going home, like a lot of our kids, we've got a bunch of kids from southern California and the Los Angeles area on our team. So going back last year with them I think there is a lot of, there are tickets, families, friends, the hotel, all of that, so going down there once and experiencing it and playing pretty well and getting a win, for Keith to get in a game relaxes some of those issues the second time around as we go back this year. Do I think it's ideal that we are going back to the Coliseum for the second year in a row? No, I wish they were playing up at Husky Stadium this year. But you play the hand you are dealt and we are going back down there and I think Keith and the rest of our guys from the LA area will be fine.''

On thinking about taking the holding penalty against Oregon in the first quarter instead of allowing them to make a 40-yard field goal?- "I didn't want to give them another snap, quite honestly. A team like Oregon you try to minimize their snaps. I thought about it, you're right (the first time he has ever acknowledged that of a Bob Condotta question, so there you go) I just felt like 'why give them another play?' I think back to the Cal game when we had a penalty on us on third and one and they accepted the penalty and gave us another down to convert and we converted a third down play there so I just tried to minimize their snaps.''

On USC's receivers, including Robert Woods -- "Oh, he's a fantastic player. Marquise Lee is a tremendous player. You look at SC offensively and you look at Barkley obviously and you look at (Matt) Kalil at left tackle and you look at Woods, you look at Lee --- those are four first-round NFL Draft picks on the offensive side of the ball and I don't know what other potentials they have of the younger guys that aren't playing quite as much. Then you flip over to defense you look at T.J. McDonald, you look at Nick Perry, there's another two first-round draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, not to mention some other guys that are playing real well, Nickell Robey, Devon Kennard, Wes Horton --- they are a talented, talented team. Probably still the most talented team in our conference. They are deeply talented.''

On USC's defense starting to figure it out - "They are playing much better. They have improved steadily. They are playing hard. They might give up yards here and there, they don't give up points. They do a really nice job in the red zone. They really in the last few weeks started to create turnovers which hadn't been happening earlier in the year, now the turnover number is getting higher. So it will  be a great challenge for our offensive football team.''

On the Oregon-Stanford game - "It'll be a good one. What time does that kick off, anyway? Five? I'll be on the plane so I probably won't get to watch it. But I'd like to watch it as a fan. Those are the types of games with such unique, contrasting styles coming together, it will be interesting. It will be interesting to see what the weather is like, natural grass field and how that affects Oregon's speed if the field is a little sloppy. Be interesting to see what the injuries are like for Stanford. So I think it will be a great game. I think they are both really good. Be a fun one to watch. I'll probably TIVO it."

On what's important for the team now that they aren't in contention for the Pac-12 championship game - "I just want to get right. I want us to play well. These kids work too hard not to have the experience of playing really well. They have put in too much time and effort and energy so I just want to get it fixed so they can go out and enjoy the experience of playing well and not get caught up in what went wrong but moreso in enjoying what went right, so that's what the goal is for this week.''

On the health of the team - "I think we will be good. I'll know a lot more today. We are always kind of sore on Monday's, that's the nature of the game and so we are always generally pretty light on Monday anyway, so I will know a bit more on that end of it after practice tomorrow to see how guys bounce back.''

James Johnson have a chance to be back this week? - "He has a chance for sure. He got better as the week went on, but as we all know a high ankle sprain is a high ankle sprain and those things can linger so we'll see how quickly he can get back.''

On Kasen Williams - "I thought Kasen had a nice game the other night. He was competitive. He made tough catches. And assignment-wise he was sound. He did a nice job."

Any common threads in the three games this season against ranked teams? - "I'd say, fortunately for us when we've come out of ball games where we didn't perform real well in what were supposed to be big ball games, we've typically responded really well. And we've done that again this year. After Nebraska, we played Cal and we played pretty well. After Stanford, we come back to play Arizona and we play pretty well and we get the win. Even going back to last year at home here we have the big game with Nebraska, we get beat 56-21. And we get back up off the mat, go to the Coliseum to play SC at we were able to win that game. So, we've -- again, fortunately or unfortunately -- have been in that situation before. I think our kids understand how to handle it. Our coaching staff knows how to handle it. And I'd expect us to get back up off the mat again and try to put our best foot forward. That's all we can ask ourselves to do. We can't be concerned about the stadium or the other team or what happened last year or what coach said what. It's got to be about our ability to prepare so that we can put our best foot forward."

So you don't feel like circumstance was the issue? - "I'm hopeful not. Maybe it has been. Those are the kind of things that I look at now, but also when I analyze our season, to figure out where we can improve and get better. We've been in a lot of big games, if feels like to me, in three years now. And I believe we've knocked off five or six top 25 opponents that we've beaten in that time. But unfortunately we have played a lot of them and we've gotten beaten in those games as well. So at this point of it all, I don't think games are too big for our guys. We are used to playing top-25 teams. That seems to happen every other week in this conference. And here comes another one this Saturday."

On what concerns you most about SC? - "Offensively, their ability to throw the football. Matt is playing so well. And the two receivers are just electric, you know. They are electric. You look at the box score for Colorado -- one guy catches nine for 130, the other one catches nine for 125 and each has two touchdowns. I mean, that's, like, crazy to think that. That's a scary, scary thought for me, their ability to throw the football."

How realistic is it that the conference gets two BCS bowl teams again this year? - "I guess it's realistic. I tried to peek at the BCS standings last night, just to see how where it would all be. I don't how that would work, if who beat who on Saturday with Stanford and Oregon and what would happen the rest of the way. You know the reality of it is, we've got three tough ball games ahead of us, all of which have significant meaning along the way. I think one of the worst mistakes we can do right now is start worrying where we might be going and not focusing on the task at hand. And that's SC."

On any cool moments or residual things from the 1991 team's interaction with yours last weekend? - "No, I don't think so, quite honestly. It was great to have them around. They deserved everything they got in that last game there at old Husky Stadium. I think if anything residual came out of it, it is that those guys feel welcomed to be around here, and that we'd love to have them around and we'll continue to invite them around to be a part of our program."

On any cool moment you will take from the final husky stadium game? - "I always love running out of the tunnel. That is one of the highlights to me of college football. I love the pageantry of the game. When you are in the tunnel with your team, that is about as intimate as it gets. All the emotions and feelings that you'd imagine guys would feel when they are in that tunnel is exactly what you get. And I'm not any different. I love it. To run out and seeing the stadium packed and rockin', that was really cool."

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Chris Fetters:
11/7/2011
2:14 pm

USC Depth Chart Released v. Washington

OFFENSE

SE —2 Robert Woods (6-1, 180, So.)
19Brice Butler (6-4, 195, Jr.*)
21Kyle Prater (6-5, 215, Fr.*)

LT —75 Matt Kalil (6-7, 295, Jr.*)
76Nathan Guertler (6-5, 275, Fr.*)

LG —66 Marcus Martin (6-3, 340, Fr.)
72Martin Coleman (6-5, 335, Sr.*) OR
74Jeremy Galten (6-5, 285, Jr.)

C —78 Khaled Holmes (6-4, 310, Jr.*)
59John Martinez (6-2, 290, So.*)
69Cyrus Hobbi (6-3, 275, Fr.)

RG —59 John Martinez (6-2, 290, So.*)
70Aundrey Walker (6-6, 375, Fr.)
64Cody Temple (6-2, 280, Fr.)

RT
—77 Kevin Graf (6-6, 305, So.*)
74Jeremy Galten (6-5, 285, Jr.)
73David Garness (6-5, 290, Jr.)

TE — Xavier Grimble (6-5, 245, Fr.*) OR
86 Randall Telfer (6-4, 230, Fr.*)
Rhett Ellison (6-5, 250, Sr.*)

FL —9 Marqise Lee (6-0, 190, Fr.)
80Brandon Carswell (6-1, 190, Sr.*)
10De'Von Flournoy (6-0, 180, So.*)
49Robbie Boyer (6-0, 175, Jr.*)
85Victor Blackwell (6-1, 185, Fr.)

QB —7 Matt Barkley (6-2, 220, Jr.)
15Jesse Scroggins (6-2, 205, Fr.*)
6Cody Kessler (6-1, 210, Fr.)
13Max Wittek (6-4, 210, Fr.) OR
18John Manoogian (6-0, 205, Jr.*)

FB —40 Rhett Ellison (6-5, 250, Sr.*)
46Ross Cumming (6-1, 230, Sr.)
36Simione Vehikite (5-11, 225, So.*)
31Soma Vainuku (6-0, 245, Fr.)

TB —26 Marc Tyler (5-11, 230, Sr.*) OR
22Curtis McNeal (5-7, 180, Jr.*)
30D.J. Morgan (5-10, 190, Fr.*) OR
41Amir Carlisle (5-10, 180, Fr.) OR
8George Farmer (6-1, 205, Fr.)

DEFENSE
DE —96 Wes Horton (6-5, 265, Jr.*) OR
42 Devon Kennard (6-3, 250, Jr.)

NT —44 Christian Tupou (6-2, 300, Sr.*)
98DaJohn Harris (6-4, 310, Sr.*)
99Antwaun Woods (6-1, 325, Fr.)

DT —98 DaJohn Harris (6-4, 310, Sr.*)
90George Uko (6-3, 295, Fr.*)
58J.R. Tavai (6-2, 270, Fr.)
97Christian Heyward (6-2, 275, Fr.)

DE —8 Nick Perry (6-3, 250, Jr.*)
81Kevin Greene (6-4, 260, So.*)
93Greg Townsend Jr. (6-3, 275, Fr.)

SLB — 18 Dion Bailey (6-0, 200, Fr.*)
13 Tre Madden (6-0, 200, Fr.*)

MLB — 55 Lamar Dawson (6-2, 235, Fr.)
54Chris Galippo (6-2, 250, Sr.*)
51Will Andrew (6-2, 230, So.*)
52Dallas Kelley (5-11, 225, Jr.)

WLB — 10 Hayes Pullard (6-0, 225, Fr.*)
23Shane Horton (6-1, 200, Sr.*)
56Anthony Sarao (6-0, 210, Fr.)

CB —21 Nickell Robey (5-8, 165, So.)
34Tony Burnett (6-1, 195, Jr.*)
47James Harbin (5-10, 170, Sr.*)

SS —29 Jawanza Starling (6-1, 195, Jr.)
27Marshall Jones (5-11, 180, Sr.*) OR
24 Demetrius Wright (6-1, 195, So.)

FS — 7 T.J. McDonald (6-3, 205, Jr.)
19 Drew McAllister 6-1, 205, Jr.*)

CB —14 Isiah Wiley (6-1, 185, Jr.)
34Tony Burnett (6-1, 195, Jr.*)
47James Harbin (5-10, 170, Sr.*)
4Torin Harris (6-0, 180, So.*)
15Ryan Henderson (5-10, 170, Fr.)

SPECIALISTS

P — 35 Kyle Negrete (6-0, 210, Jr.*)
35 Kris Albarado (5-11, 200, Fr.)

PK —48 Andre Heidari (5-10, 210, Fr.)
46 Craig McMahon (6-1, 180, Fr.*)

SNP — 62 Chris Pousson (6-4, 250, Sr.)
61 Peter McBride (6-1, 205, Fr.)

HLD — 7 Matt Barkley (6-2, 220, Jr.)
35 Kyle Negrete (6-0, 210, Jr.*)

RETURNERS

KOR — 2 Robert Woods (6-1, 180, So.) AND
22Curtis McNeal (5-7, 180, Jr.*)
9Marqise Lee (6-0, 190, Fr.) OR
21Nickell Robey (5-8, 165, So.) OR
8George Farmer (6-1, 205, Fr.)
80Brandon Carswell (6-1, 190, Sr.*)

PR — 21Nickell Robey (5-8, 165, So.) OR
2 Robert Woods (6-1, 180, So.)
22Curtis McNeal (5-7, 180, Jr.*) OR
80Brandon Carswell (6-1, 190, Sr.*)

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Eric Dore:
11/7/2011
1:33 pm

Keith Price Monday Quotes

On what it's like going back to L.A.: "It's going to be fun.  I'm just anxious for the game and hopefully we can get a win."

 

On looking back at the film of Oregon: "I watched film yesterday and we just made a lot of mistakes and we just can't make mistakes against good teams especially critical ones."

 

On his interceptions: "I just can't force the ball and get back to what I was doing and check the ball down when things aren't there.  That's a main focal point for me in practice, I'm going to be checking the ball down a lot this practice, just getting used to it so I can go out and do it during the games."

 

On what has gotten him away from his game: "No, I just haven't been checking the ball down because I didn't feel that I've been needing to, but now we we're playing against good teams and they're covering deep guys.  I just got to get used to checking the ball down when things aren't there."

 

On why he was pressing against Oregon: "I think I just had too much emotions and I just think I got to get back to having fun and stop worrying about everything that's happening around me and just focus on what I need to do each and every snap.  I can't control what everybody else is doing so I just need to settle down so the offense can settle down."

 

On the extra emotion: "It was just the way the game was going.  Things weren't going our way the beginning of the game.  I just need to settle down and get my team behind me."

 

On thinking too much: "I was having fun, but I just need to settle down especially in big games like that when everybody's emotions are on high.  I just need to be the guy to level us down."

 

On bouncing back: "I'm going to bounce back.  I'm not worried about that.  I just got to back to the fundamentals and just getting completions, easy completions.  I'm going to get back to that this week."

 

On his shoulder: "I'll be alright, I'll be ready to go this week.  It's a little sore, but I'll be ready this week."

 

On missing with high throws: "No excuses, I just missed."

 

On how much he heard Barkely's name in high school: "A lot.  Matt was the man in high school and he still is the man.  He's a really good quarterback and I look forward to playing against him again."

 

On being thrown into the USC game last year: "It was fun, my first touchdown pass game back at home so I had a ball."

 

On having many guys on the team heading home this weekend: "I try not to worry about that, it's just another game.  It's nice to play at home but it's not like I can go and hangout with all my friends.  It's just going to be another game.  We're going to treat it like another game and hopefully we get a win back home."

 

On playing against Barkley in high school: "I played against him my junior and senior year of high school, we lost."

 

On if he attended many games at the Coliseum: "Actually I didn't attend many games.  I always used to watch SC on tv, but I didn't attend many games.  Last year was my first time attending."

 

On not getting Seferian-Jenkins involved: "I'm not sure.  We didn't use him as much as we wanted to use him.  Hopefully we get some plays with 88 running down the middle this week."

 

On if it will be easier knowing he's already been down to SC last year: "Not really, it's a completely different team so I just got to be prepared for anything they throw at me.  I'm going to be ready and the team is going to be ready."

 

On playing against the Tampa-2: "We have to run the ball well, that's the main thing just run the ball, get started running the ball so we can throw the rock."

 

On Kasen Williams: "He's getting more and more comfortable out there.  I talked to him a little bit on the sideline and he just wants the ball in his hands.  He's a playmaker."

 

On the 6 sacks against him: "They had a good defensive front.  They were doing a lot of slanting and a lot of things that we probably weren't prepared for, but they were a good team, I'm not taking anything away from them.  They had some good d-linemen and they got to me and put pressure on me."

 

On if he's still trying to get his escapability back: "I'm still trying to get it back I don't think my legs are fully there, but I'm starting to run a little bit more and I'm starting to feel a little bit more confident in my legs."

 

On being ruled down before he got in the endzone on his run against Oregon: "I thought I got in, but obviously I didn't."



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Chris Fetters:
11/7/2011
10:21 am

UW Weekly Depth Chart Released

Washington's Depth Chart vs. USC

OFFENSE:

WR - Jermaine Kearse 6-2 208, Sr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
DiAndre Campbell 6-1 195, RFr., Oakland, Calif./Oakland Tech

LT - Senio Kelemete 6-4 301, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Evergreen
Micah Hatchie 6-5 285, RFr., Haleiwa, Hawai'i/Waialua

LG - Colin Tanigawa 6-3 297, RFr., Pasadena, Calif./Loyola
Nick Wood 6-3 303, Sr., Poway, Calif./Poway

Center - Drew Schaefer 6-4 301, Jr., Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake
Michael Criste 6-5 280, RFr., Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo

RG - Colin Porter 6-4 322, So., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
Skyler Fancher 6-6 301, Sr., Costa Mesa, Calif./Huntington Beach OR
James Atoe 6-6 337, RFr, The Dalles, Ore./The Dalles-Wahtonka

RT - Erik Kohler 6-5 298, So., Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian
Ben Riva 6-6 300, RFr., Seattle, Wash./O'Dea

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6-6 258, Fr., Fox Island, Wash./Gig Harbor OR
Michael Hartvigson 6-6 254, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
Evan Hudson 6-6 260, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell

QB - Keith Price 6-1 195, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
Nick Montana 6-3 203, RFr., Thousand Oaks, Calif./Oaks Christian
Derrick Brown 6-3 236, Fr., Winchester, Calif./Vista Murrieta

FB - Jonathan Amosa 5-11 230, Jr., Seattle, Wash./Rainier Beach OR
Tim Tucker 6-1 240, So., Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne


TB - Chris Polk 5-11 222, Jr., Redlands, Calif./East Valley
Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren
Bishop Sankey 5-10 193, Fr., Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep

WR - Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial

WR - James Johnson 6-1 198, Jr., Valley Center, Calif./Valley Center OR
Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

DEFENSE:

DE - Everrette Thompson 6-6 272, Sr., Renton, Wash./Kennedy
Andrew Hudson 6-3 231, RFr., Redlands, Cailf./Redlands East Valley

DT - Alameda Ta'amu 6-3 337, Sr., Kent, Wash./Rainier Beach
Danny Shelton 6-1 334, Fr., Auburn, Wash./Auburn
Lawrence Lagafuaina 6-0 329, RFr., Aiea, Hawai'i/Aiea, Hawai'i

DT -
Sione Potoae 6-2 276, So., Fort Lewis, Wash./Lakes OR
Semisi Tokolahi 6-2 334, Jr., Hilo, Hawai'i/Hilo

DE - Josh Shirley 6-3 229, RFr., Fontana, Calif./Kaiser
Talia Crichton 6-3 255, Jr.,Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood

OLB - John Timu 6-1 220, Fr., Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Jordan OR
Jamaal Kearse 6-2 224, RFr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
Cooper Pelluer 6-3 225, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

MIK - Cort Dennison 6-1 234 Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah/Judge Memorial
Thomas Tutogi 6-1 244, So., Chula Vista, Calif./Southwestern JC
Tim Tucker 6-1 240, So., Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne

OLB - Princeton Fuimaono 6-1 215, So., Long Beach, Calif./LB Jordan OR
Garret Gilliland 6-0 226, So., Anaheim, Calif./Orange Lutheran

FS - Will Shamburger 6-0 192, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco OR
Nathan Fellner 6-1 201, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Clovis West OR
Justin Glenn 5-11 206, Jr., Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak
Taz Stevenson 6-1 203, So., Mililani, Hawai'i/Mililani

SS - Sean Parker 5-10 202, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Narbonne
Will Shamburger 6-0 192, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
James Sample 6-2 191, Fr., Sacramento, Calif./Grant
Greg Walker 5-10 203, Jr., Bellflower, Calif./St. Bernard

CB - Quinton Richardson 6-0 203, Sr., Renton, Wash./O'Dea OR
Gregory Ducre 5-10 173, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw

CB - Desmond Trufant 6-0 184, Jr., Tacoma, Wash./Wilson
Anthony Gobern 5-11 187, Jr., Fair Oaks, Calif./Del Campo
Marcus Peters 5-11 185, Fr., Oakland, Calif./McClymonds

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Punter - Kiel Rasp 6-3 225, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale OR
Will Mahan 5-11 196, Sr., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield College

PK - Erik Folk 5-11 185, Sr., Woodland Hills, Calif./Notre Dame

Long Snap - Brendan Lopez 6-0 231, Sr., Bellevue, Wash./Michigan

Holder - William Chandler 6-0 191, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

KOR - Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial
Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren

PR - Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

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