Dawg Blog - Oregon

The Washington Huskies are talking the talking and saying the right things, but as much as the 2012 season is now about themselves I doubt it'll be hard for Steve Sarkisian to get his team's attention this week as they travel to No. 2 Oregon. The No. 23 Huskies and Ducks will tangle at Autzen Stadium 7:30 pm on Saturday night in front of another ESPN national television audience.

12:52 pm 10/3

Keith Price talks to the media - 10/3/2012 (Quotes)


On getting a breakthrough against UO - "I hope so. We're preparing. We're going to take it like another game. We know they have a really good team and we have a pretty good team as well, so it'll be a battle."

On what he remembers most from 2010 - "How loud it was, that was the main thing. It was real loud in there, I could barely hear myself think."

On what looks the UO defense gives the opposition - "They have a variety of looks; they play an odd front, they bring pressures - boundary pressures, field pressures - a lot of zone coverages, a lot of man coverages on third down…so we've got to be prepared."

On getting caught up in how many times Oregon has beaten UW and if that ever gets in his mind - "I'm not even sure what the career record is or none of that is. We know that this is a new Oregon team this year, so we're just trying to beat them this year."

On getting beat up against Stanford - "I actually feel good. Obviously I was sore a little bit after the game, took a couple of hard sacks - but I feel good. I'm not sore from that, no injuries, nothing is lingering on to this week. I feel good."

On seeing more offense against Stanford after looking at the film - "Oh yeah, it's just hard. They out-physicaled us up front. Obviously we've got to take care of that. We were just playing efficient football and getting the ball out my hands quick and guys were making plays."
12:42 pm 10/3

Kasen Williams talks to the media - 10/3/2012 (Quotes)


On playing at Oregon and not having played there yet - "I haven't and I heard that it's a pretty tough place to play - but they said the same thing about LSU and I didn't think it was that tough down there - so I'm excited for this."

On if this game means more to him as a Washington native and getting a chance to beat the No. 2 team in the country - "Yeah, just for that sole reason - and just the fact that if we can do it two games in a row, beat No. 8 and then beat No. 2, I think that puts out a pretty big statement there for the rest of the nation this year."

On being more physical and lowering pad level - "That's one thing that Sark harps on all the time is pad level and I feel like me being as big as I am I should be more of a physical receiver. I just fee like I should be better in general with the ball in my hand, making people miss and things like that. I think that's showed and I just have to continue doing that."

On WR's not normally trying to dish out punishment - "I'm just trying to win. If that's where my leverage is when I put my head down, that's where it is. If it's a small guy I have that or I can jump over them. There's a lot of things in my game and my arsenal that I feel like I can use to my potential."

On the Stanford touchdown and what made him more nervous - the bobble or the fumble? - "Neither, really. I know everyone else was talking about 'don't scare me like that ever again!' and I don't even know how it slipped out in the first place. As soon as I crossed the plane I knew that it was a touchdown to begin with. I just gotta know to keep it high and tight. I can't put fear in people like that."

On getting better with getting separation - "I think so. Any time you catch 10 balls in one game I feel like you're getting open, you're doing something right. By me doing that, I'm starting to get open a lot more - so I move on to the next thing which is getting better after the ball is in my hands. So there's always something you can do to improve your game."

On what he's worked on to improve separation - "Changing your route stuff, doing something different. You can run the same route but make it appear different. There's a lot of different things you can do to get the corner off edge. All you need is for him to take one step the wrong way and you're open."

On having the mindset of not getting jammed at the line of scrimmage - "I feel like I'm in a zone now. I did what I did on Thursday and I hold myself to that standard. I can't go below that standard - all I can do is get better."

On the art of breaking tackles - "It's a mindset. I don't want to get tackled. I want to get 8,9 yards every time the ball touches my hand. I feel like I'm bigger than a lot of these people out here, so it should be a hard task for them to take me down. Whether that be spinning off them with my head down or dragging a dude two or three yards - refusing to go down is my mindset in life."

On if that's just as fun as making a big catch - "Most definitely. When you make a catch the crowd goes 'ooh!, nice catch', but when you spin off somebody they do the same thing. You run over them, run around them, spin off them, all that stuff - and I feel like there's a lot more to my game that I can add. I'm nowhere near with perfecting my game."

On how Austin makes him better - "It's very hard for a defense to key on both of us. If I was the only one here then our other receivers would be the ones getting open and making plays. But since he's such a force, teams have to key on him but also you have me on the perimeter as well."

On finding that third receiver on the team - "I think a lot of our receivers have a lot of potential. I think this might be a big game for them because they are going to be keying on me. Our other receivers have a lot of potential and they can make their plays. You saw DiAndre Campbell against Portland State. A lot of our receivers have that same potential and I think they are going to make some statements this week."

On what it takes to make that next jump to being a top receiver - "What it really is is getting that first catch in a game. Once you get that first catch you build your confidence. Then you take advantage of all your opportunities. As soon as you make that one catch you get better, you get more comfortable and the game slows down. Eventually you're starting to actually play. You're not too worried about the game, you're not worried about the fans and the crowd and all that stuff. You're just worried about playing football and doing what you've been doing since you were a little kid."

On comparisons to Reggie Williams and knowing anything about him - "I know about him. I haven't talked to him. I watched a little bit of his film and I can see where the comparisons can come into play. But once again - I want to be my own person. I want to be my own player. I want people to look at other receivers and have them be compared to me. I don't want to be compared to other people."
11:56 am 10/3

Austin Seferian-Jenkins talks to the media - 10/3/2012 (Quotes)


On if Stanford did anything to take him out of the game - "I don't worry about catches or receiving yards or anything like that going into a game - I just worry about winning. And that's what we did. We beat Stanford, the No. 8-ranked team. Came in there and played hard - my stats don't matter. As long as we win, that's all I care about."

But he is a guy that is needed to produce - "I produced throughout the season so far and I produced in blocking. A tight end isn't just a receiving threat; he's got to block as well. You know that. Some games there's going to be games where you're going to be asked to catch the ball a lot and sometimes you aren't. I'm going to be asked to block and do pass blocking - I was asked to do that Thursday and we won. That's all that matters. Receiving yards and that stuff doesn't matter."

So that's what he was asked to do - "Of course everyone wants to catch the ball a lot, but in the end I just want to win. The team wants to win and I just want to do what's best for the team. If that means catching two balls or whatever, that means catching two balls. If we win every single game from here on out and I catch two balls I'm fine with that. It does not matter to me. My personal stats and all that is insignificant compared to what the team is trying to accomplish.

Does Oregon present blocking challenges? - "Yeah. Oregon, they've great defensive linemen, great defensive coordinator. The defense is great, so there's going to be a lot of different things I'm going to have to do. If I have to block, I have to block. I'm sure there will be opportunities in the game and I'll take advantage of my opportunities. But I just want to help the team, that's all that matters."

On if Oregon is more important than the others - "It would be a great win. We'd go 2-0 in Pac-12 play. Oregon is a great caliber football team but I don't play into the rivalry or anything like that. I just worry about winning and we just worry about winning."

Not even a little bit more than the others? - "Not really. I don't view any team any different than any other. Stanford is just as good as Oregon or better. They have a great team and respect goes to them and we're excited to play them."
11:16 am 10/3

Steve Sarkisian talks to the media - 10/3/2012 (Video)


UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian talks to the media
11:11 am 10/3

UW RB Coach Joel Thomas talks to the media (video)


Joel Thomas talks to the media - 10/3
3:34 pm 10/2

Yogi Roth's Pac-12 Blog report about UW's OL against Stanford


This post is part of the Pac-12's ongoing 'Tuesday Tape Room' series is Yogi's chance to show what teams might be looking at in their own film rooms. This week he focused on Washington offensive line and what they were able to do to get key yardage at critical moments in their 17-13 win over No. 8 Stanford.

Tuesday's Tape Room: Washington's offensive line expects to win
11:59 am 10/2

UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian Pac-12 Teleconference Notes


On Justin Wilcox's job and how he's done it - He's come in with an open mind and assessed roster and who was coming in and then formed the defense that best fit the personnel to put them in positions to be successful.  So scheme was built and then he's been an excellent teacher and motivator.  At the end of the day, everyone has bought into what he's coaching - and as a result they are playing well.

On David Shaw's comment that the UW LB's are playing well right now - I think they are.  Timu is really maturing and Tutogi too. Development of Feeney at the LB spot and Shaq Thompson too.  Rotating a lot of bodies, but those four guys have played really well.

Is that the main key toward the D playing better - That's one key. Playing well up front on the inside. Also the belief of our CB's to play on an island.  Trufant playing as well as any CB has played since he's been here.  So all those things combined have allowed the D to play well.

On rivalry games and playing a role this week - It hasn't. Just in the infancy of game-planning and what they do offensively and defensively. Right now we're not worried about where the game is or what uniform they are wearing.  As we get closer to the game those things will take over because that's the pageantry of college football, but right now it's all just about preparation.
11:40 am 10/2

UW CB Desmond Trufant talks to the media (Quotes)


On the Stanford interception - "I was kind of expecting a jump ball, so I was being aggressive in attacking the ball."

On what they can take from Stanford to apply to Oregon - "We just know we've got to stay confident. We knew Stanford was a good team, so we went in there with confidence, and Oregon is a great team. They've got a lot of fast guys so we've got to run and make our tackles and be disciplined and keep our containment and we'll see what happens."

On being in the Oregon games at half but not hanging with them in the second half - "That's a big emphasis this week. We've played them well in the first half…that's what they like to do, they like to wear you out. They get one break, and one break is 80 yards. So we just have to stay disciplined and stay healthy, definitely."

On UO spreading you out and tackling them - "On the outside, we've just got to lock up on our receivers and allow everybody else to run to the ball. We have to try limit their perimeter gains and then just everybody stay with containment. You can't let these guys get outside, because once they get outside they are gone. They have a lot of fast guys. We have to stay disciplined with our keys."

On what it would mean to beat the No. 2 team on the road - "It's a great opportunity. We've been here before. We've played a lot of great teams, we've seen a lot of great Oregon teams in the past. We just have to play confident and not make it any bigger than what it is. Just go out there and play like we know how to."

On if this is the fastest defense he's been on at UW - "You could say that. We've got a lot of fast guys in the secondary and linebackers are fast. We just swarm to the ball. We do a lot of gang tackling and it's starting to show."

On if it's mental fatigue or physical fatigue in the second halves against Oregon - "It's a little bit of both. They run so many plays so fast it wears you down eventually, so we have to be conditioned. We have to stop them, you can't allow their drives to continue on and on and on."

On describing coach Wilcox's personality - He's a teacher first. He teaches us the scheme and he expects big things out of us. He'll get on you if you mess up because he has a lot of expectations. We can be a great defense, and he knows that. He's on us hard, but at the same time when we make a mistake he teaches us why we did that and guys aren't making the same mistakes anymore."

On his response to meeting coach Wilcox - "I was excited; it was something new. It's a new scheme, I knew it was going to be a lot of man-to-man, a lot of aggressive defenses. I was excited to get started with him."

On if their defense, along with OSU's, is the biggest surprise in the conference - "It's not a surprise for us. We knew what we had on our team. Our coaches, they believe in us and the players, we believe in everything that the coaches are saying. We knew we could be good, we just had to go out there and prove it."

On how much you can prepare for Oregon's pace in a week - "It's hard. You can't prepare, you can't prepare for it because it's so fast in the game. We try our best, our scout team is giving us a great look and everything is up-tempo all week. We've just got to stop 'em. You can't have 12, 13 play drives - that's how you get worn out against these guys."

On if beating Oregon as a veteran is like an itch he has to scratch before he leaves UW - "I just look at it as the same as I did last week. It's a great opportunity. They are a great team. I don't know where they are ranked, they are pretty high. It's a great opportunity for us to make a statement. We just have to keep preparing, keep practicing hard and hopefully we'll see results."

On being road dawgs and firing them up more - "It's going to be fun. It's fun to be in a hostile environment sometimes. Especially their fans, they are going to be screaming, they are going to be loud. It can't be a distraction. You just have to do what you've got to do, do your keys and just go out there and play."
11:19 am 10/2

Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly Pac-12 Teleconference Notes


On Washington and their defense - Have watched every game they've played to date and impressed.  They run around, have size up front but athletic on the edges.  Timu playing at a high level and secondary with Trufant - one of the best corners in the country.

On playing with tempo and wearing opponents out - It's how we practice and prepare.  Players in great condition when they arrive at camp.  Practice at such a rate that the games are slower than the practices.  

On being dominant in the third quarter - People were saying we couldn't start out fast the third quarter the first few games.  As said all along, like to give the other teams credit.  Thought UA and WSU played well in the first half.  Don't buy into playing hard or soft...two teams battling and we're built to play 60 minutes. 

On making halftime adjustments - Yeah, but it's not that much different. Lot made out of us executing better in second half, but it's not like we're ripping up our game plan at halftime.

On WSU game - Didn't see anything I was unhappy with on film.
11:01 am 10/2

UW LB Coach Peter Sirmon talks to the media


Thanks to Andrew Dore for the transcription.

Peter Sirmon

On being a former Duck player, how it affects going into the game: "It really doesn't, doesn't have any affect on the preparation and how we get our guys ready. We're just trying to get the Huskies ready to play the Ducks and it has nothing to do with the coaches."

On the biggest challenge of facing Oregon: "They do a great job of getting the ball on the perimeter, the main theme is the tempo, they do a great job of keeping the tempo throughout the game. You see them get stronger and stronger and you see teams in the second half really having a hard time keeping up with the tempo all day so those are the things we have to stress and have to continue to tackle well."

On UW's faster paced regular offense giving the defense better looks already through practicing this season: "It helps, the more you can get it. We did it a little and continuing to do it knowing we are going to have to use it a couple times this year and the more you can do it in practice, the more it's going to help you. Unfortunately you can never get that game tempo."

On how Oregon's offense has changed since Chip Kelly took over: "I think they still have a lot of the same principles, they find good formations they like to line up in. You watch the run game, I don't think the run game has changed dramatically. They got better guys on the perimeter, they have a couple guys that can play tight end, flex them at wide receiver, put them in the backfield, #6 is a versatile player and #24 is a versatile player."

On the key to stopping De'Anthony Thomas: "We got to get a lot of hats to the ball, he's going to be a challenge for one guy to get down. We got to play physical with him, we got to get a lot of hats to the ball and when we tackle him we got to get multiple guys to the ball and make sure we tackle him hard."

On playing in such a harsh environment: "I think when you start any game, regardless of the environment, you get locked in on the field so it's a great game day environment, it's a great game for the West coast. The guys are going to enjoy it and you got to play to the tempo and play like you practiced."

On what has driven Oregon's strong second half performances: "I think they do a great job of wearing guys down and playing at a high tempo. When you play the Oregon team, you usually see only one or two defenses being played. It's hard to get a line and come in with a lot of different defensive calls. The longer you play against a defense, the more weaknesses become apparent and the offense can attack those weaknesses because you see the same defense over and over."

On the importance of subbing players throughout the game, not just in the second half: "Sure it's not a wait until they get tired substitution, it's keep them fresh. I think it's a different mentality of keeping people fresh and subbing them when they are tired."

On Kenjon Barner: "They are both great players, I think Kenjon has 10 touchdowns this year already. They are both dynamic with the ball. We got to be aware of both of them. 6 and 24 are two of the better players in this conference, probably in the country, so we got to do a great job. You can't focus on one and disregard the other. They are both really good players."

On Marcus Mariota: "I think he's pretty poised, I think he's doing a good job of running that offense, extremely dangerous with his legs and he's continued to improve throwing the football."

On the importance of having guys like Kearse and Fellner back involved with the defense: "It's great, getting those guys back, we're going to have to play a lot of people, and we're going to need those guys throughout the year, great to get them back on the practice field contributing."
10:57 am 10/2

Desmond Trufant talks to the media


UW CB Desmond Trufant talks to the media
10:57 am 10/2

Josh Shirley talks to the media


UW DE/OLB Josh Shirley talks to the media
10:56 am 10/2

Justin Wilcox talks to the media


UW DC Justin Wilcox talks to the media
10:55 am 10/2

A Quick Video of Husky Stadium
With the south deck framing completed, the framers have put up a Christmas trees, signifying the completion of their end of the Husky Stadium remodel. You can click on the link below for a quick one minute video of what the south deck looks like from the east practice field - complete with the tree on the top.

A Quick Video of Husky Stadium
5:29 pm 10/1

Full Coach Sark Show Recap


Gas brings the show back in telling the fans they should be celebrating the win.  Mentioned Monday Night Football and wondered if something special could happen Thursday...also mentioned Sark saying his wife was probably the only one that thought they could beat Stanford.

Sark said it was a cool game.  Said if they won the game, they knew it was going to be a black-and-blue, meat-and-potatoes game...and their physicality won out.  Sankey running the ball and forcing Stanford to throw because they defended the run so well.  And then they kept throwing hitches at Kasen knowing he was going to break one - and he did.  

To win the game the way they did was pretty cool.

Bob mentioned it probably wasn't too cool when the pick-six took place, but the team wasn't deflated.  Sark said they had gotten a TO a couple series before and they get stopped.  Get the ball back and think they are running a safe play that turns into a pick-six. It almost sucked the life out of the stadium, but the team responded.  The last couple years it was always the offense trying to pick up the defense - this was the first time where it was the other way around.  Then they get Sankey's TD on 4th and 1 and that really got the crowd back in the game.

Bob mentioned what a pretty move by Bishop and then how great it was to see his wheels.  Sark said he's really been thrown into the fire when Callier gets hurt first game of the year.  For him to go for 144 yards on 20 carries against who was then the No. 1 rush team in the country, it was a great night for him.  Their offense is better when they are balanced, so the better he is doing the better they'll be offensively.

Bob said he looked more authoritative getting to the point of attack.  Sark said the word he'd use is decisive.  That comes with playing and being an every-down back.  Bishop is a straightforward kid.  On the last play where they got Stanford offsides - Sankey was probably the most emotional - so it's starting to come out of him.

Bob said 20 carries for Sankey means 20 less times Price doesn't have a chance to get hit.  Sark said the last thing he wants to do is to get Keith banged up.  They are having to change a bunch of stuff up, but Stanford is as good a front 7 as they will find.  They had to change gears a bit, and when they went to a quicker tempo to get the ball on the perimeter, they were able to generate some offense. Does he want to do it all the time?  No, but it's good to know it's there if they need it.  They went with a bit of a no-huddle approach to wear Stanford down late - not sure if that's why they were able to score late, but it might have helped.  But they need to be a lot more efficient in the red zone.  It has to improve to be able to take steps forward. 

Gas brings the show back talking about the Bishop Sankey run - huge turning point and 'lit the stadium up like a candle'.  Why did they run it with time running out at the end of the third quarter?  Sark said the biggest decision was - are they going to go for it?  Hard to get 10 yards in the game, so easy decision to go for it if they only needed to get half a yard.  Second decision was the play, and they do they run it before the end of the quarter?  As soon as play is called two coaches ask him if they want to wait - he said no.  Then he clapped his hands, which is a sign to Keith to get the play going.  Stanford wasn't sure if UW was going to go, and so when UW got lined up to go they may have caught them a little off.  And he also said DiAndre Campbell made a great block on the corner to help spring Bishop.  

Sark said you always try to plan for every scenario and practice for it.  Inevitably things popped up that you didn't account for, and that last second scenario was one - but Keith handled it beautifully.

Bob brought up the fourth down and 1 with 7 minutes left - could have punted, but went for it.  Sark said it was the same thought process - hard to get 10 yards in three downs, so to get to that point - they were at the 45 yard line, so if they punt again they probably get the ball back with less than 3 minutes left.  Lot of conversation going on - figured if they don't make it Stanford still needed a couple first downs to get into field goal range - so they went for it and Petty made a great run. 

Bob said that's a lot of conversation for a 40-second play clock!  Sark agreed, and again it's all preparation based on thinking about all the scenarios beforehand.  When they converted it, they started to impose themselves more, which allowed them to go quickly to Kasen for the score. 

Bob talked about how tough it was to throw the ball downfield Thursday, but Kasen was able to break that one big one.  Sark said that Kasen played a great game, including his blocking.  25 catches and three touchdowns so far, and that's what they wanted from him - to be the go-to guy.  

Bob said last time a Husky WR had more than nine catches was Reggie Williams, Arizona '03

Gas asked Sark what his heart was doing when Kasen was bobbling the ball going downfield.  Sark said he was thinking he got the first down, so that was first. Then as he's bobbling the ball and then a defender comes up he's thinking fumble - but the coaches upstairs told him Evan Hudson had recovered it, so no worries.

Gas brings the show back taking a call - Steve from Tacoma - wanted to know what they worked on defensively to get the team playing like they did against Stanford?  Sark said they obviously work on techniques and fundamentals - tackling is big.  Using their hands has also been key, as well as pad level.  That being said, Wilcox had a nice game plan, utilizing different players in different positions.  Feeney played some safety, took out a corner and put Trufant on an island.  

Bob talked about the work on the defensive side of the ball, especially compared to LSU.  Played a sound bite from Danny Shelton - different from LSU due to LSU's size and their running backs.  Tried to play their best, but had to take it as a learning experience. Feel like they came to play and executed.  Not a question of effort, but full game of execution for maybe first time since 2010 Holiday Bowl.  Sark said to play Husky defense, had to get pad level down and use their hands better - and execute the calls no matter what for four quarters.  They could have tried too hard, but they stuck with their calls and allowed the offense to work through their mistakes. 

Bob asked about pad level.  Sark said low man wins in football.  Lupoi says - 'eyes below their eyes'.  At that point, then you're in a winning position.  In the beginning of the year they played with a high pad level, but corrected it during the bye week. Now driving players back into the backfield and establishing a new line of scrimmage. Be talking about pad level for a while, because it's important the whole season.  Still have room to improve with everyone, not just the lines.  But you could see it with some of Sankey's runs and with Kasen's TD catch and run.

Gas brings the show back with a comment from Twitter - Tru had great game, but what about pick at end?  Knock it down?  Sark said he's not sure anyone is playing as well as Tru through the first four games.  Knew when Toilolo was spread out, the fade was what you're going to get, and Tru played it perfectly.  Natural to want to catch it, and that's the play competitors make.  Would have loved the play to be more in the middle of the field, but Tru played real well.

Bob talked about the parallels to the MNF game - you'd love to think dispassionately about it at the time, but that's just not the way it works.  Sark said ever since Wilcox came on board, they've been talking about it.  Mentioned Tennessee-Detroit game, and how the CB bats the ball away but it goes right to the WR.  Glad Tru caught it, even though they still teach them to bat it way.  Need to coach it better.

Bob talked about Justin Wilcox and defensive improvement, putting players in positions to make plays. Sound bite from Thomas Tutogi - they have a sense of where we need to be.  Bob said Tutogi is a classic case - isn't a starter but yet led the team in tackles.  Sark said their base defense they ran against Stanford isn't what they'll run for Oregon.  JW game-plans for each opponent, much like an offensive coordinator.  Also a tribute to the players for buying in, even if that means they play in different positions depending on the game.

Bob asked if the bye helped, and Sark said sure. It definitely helped with game-planning, but also with fundamentals like pad level.  

Gas asked about teaching during bye week - he said Gilby mentioned how he observed UW worked hard in the bye week to get better, and it showed.  Sark said that this team responds better when they relate to themselves and not worrying about the opponent.  They'll be fired up to play UO, but when they got back to work today he's not sure if the players are even concerned with who they are playing - and as a result they are playing better.

Bob finally brought up the fact that they are ranked - got audience reaction.  Sark said until the end, rankings are just a perception of a program and may not be who you really are.  Much more concerned with their league record and overall record.  At the end of the season it's important, but what's more important is that they are 1-0 in league play.  After the Oregon game, most important thing is that they want to be 2-0.  

Jeff on the phone - asked the left-footed punt and the punt formation with the three guards defending.  Sark said it's called a 'shield punt' - it's in place to allow you to put better cover guys on the edges, and also protects the long snapper more so he doesn't have to worry about blocking after the snap.  If it works right, the middle blocker should make it look like a door shutting as soon as the ball gets to the punter.  They weren't aware that Travis bobbled the ball, but he's such a great athlete he was able to handle it.

Bob mentioned October is here and school is in session - he's been 6-7 since joining UW, and obviously want to be playing better as you hit the meat of your schedule.  Sark said he needs to do a better job, so this year they are practicing Sunday nights and giving them Mondays off in the hopes of keeping them mentally fresh.  Get them plenty of sleep and then give them good nutrition in the AM because of the morning practices. Worked really well in spring ball and hopefully more effective than in years' past. 

Bob played a sound bite from Sean Parker about playing in October - tries to get his school work done ahead of everything so he can completely focus on football.  Have to get rest because morning practice is hard.  "You have to be ready."  Sark said it's worked great.  Sometimes the vets get it quicker - you have to get sleep at night.  With the intensity they are practicing with, if you don't show up with intensity the guy across from you is going to beat you.  Now that the younger players are starting to see that, expect better practices from them as they go forward.

Gas brings the show back talking about No. 2 Oregon. From Facebook - what can Keith Price gain from getting his first start down there two years ago?  Sark said he remembers that game vividly, and the numbers don't show how well Keith played.  Halfway through third quarter it was 18-13 and the receivers hadn't really been helping him to that point.  Theme for Oregon - games can be close, but at a certain point UO has a knack of being able to pull away in the final two quarters - so physical and mental conditioning is paramount this week. That will be one of the keys - how will UW respond in the 3rd and 4th quarters when UO wants to run away and hide.

Bob talks about distractions and Sheena the Tiger...probably not bringing in a mallard for practice.  Sark said they'll definitely practice with a lot of crowd noise.  Also a key is their ability to be disciplined and execution of their assignments.  Probably more subs against UO than anyone else this year to keep people fresh physically and mentally.

Bob said Oregon's 5-0 is a 'ho-hum 5-0'.  Sark said the UA game was unique because UA had some real opportunities early and didn't come away with any points.  Same with WSU keeping things close at half, but UO blows it wide open. 

Bob wishes Sark all the best.  Game at 7:30 Saturday night.

End of Show.
2:13 pm 10/1

Steve Sarkisian Monday Video


Opening Comment - "From a personnel news standpoint, Lawrence Lagafuaina will be out the rest of the season. It's good to have a couple extra days coming off the Thursday game versus Stanford, obviously in preparation for Oregon and the uniqueness of their football team. It's a great opportunity for our team to go on the road and try to get to 2-0 in conference play."

On going into a hostile environment and already having done that at LSU - "I think we've tried to pride ourselves on how we've always dealt with adversity and to never carry the woe-is-me mentality but really focus on the next snap and the task at hand. I think we showed a lot of that resolve last Thursday night versus Stanford. I think we're gradually maturing as a football team in that we understand how to deal with some of the adverse situations we get faced with. And with that, I believe we're becoming a much more mentally tough football team, which is encouraging."

On if being a top-25 means anything to him - "Not really. Again, rankings to me - until the end - it's a perception of your program, you know? It doesn't necessarily mean that's who you are - good, bad or anything in-between. It's the perception of what people think of you. You ultimately have to go play the games. For us, if people perceive us to be a top-25 team, I'm sure that's exciting for our fans and all that. For us, it's never even been brought up. It didn't get brought up in yesterday's team meeting, it was never brought up with any of the players. It's about focusing on the stuff that we can control, and that's our ability to prepare for a really good opponent Saturday."

On mental toughness and what has changed - "Earlier in this season, if we would have thrown that pick-six like we did against Stanford there late in the third quarter to go down 13-3, a two-score game against that quality of an opponent…I don't know if we could have responded the way that we did. So for us to go out and respond and to ultimately score a touchdown on that drive and then come back and continually get stops on defense, and the defense to stand up and not feel like, 'Oh geez, the offense let us down,' I thought we showed a great deal of maturity there and continued to fight, continued to try and execute. It wasn't a matter of what the score was or what just happened to us. It was about - what are we going to do now and how are we going to be successful from this point forward."

On who or what led the charge when it comes to having mental toughness - "I don't know. I think you start to learn about your team…I really felt young coming out of LSU. It felt like we had some guys…as a whole I felt like we lacked a bit of the inexperience in being dealt with adversity. So many times when you're young guys, when it's good it's really easy to keep playing good, but when it gets hard how do you respond? I thought our maturity got a little bit better there against Portland State in their responding to some of the challenges, especially at halftime. And then obviously the points of emphasis for this ballgame against Stanford and what it was going to take to play a disciplined, physical football team - and in turn having to play a disciplined, physical brand of football to compete with them and then get faced with that adversity - I think the messaging has just become more consistent: It's about us and our ability to prepare and to do the little things - the attention to details within our game plans and the messaging to put ourselves in the best position to be successful on Saturday. And so that will continue to be that way."

On Stanford game review - "I really thought our defense played a tremendous football game. Again, it could have been even a little bit better if we hadn't blown a couple of coverages. From a special teams standpoint - just about…there were one of two kickoffs where we don't fit it exactly right but we covered well. We're two inches away from returning a punt for a touchdown, so I was really encouraged with the special teams play. I thought Travis punted the ball well. He makes up for the tough snap and punts the one ball left-footed. He bangs the one field goal and his kickoffs were much better. Offensively we knew going in it was going to be a grind-it-out game against that front for Stanford. Sure I would liked to have blocked 'em better, but to come out of that ball game with Bishop Sankey 20 carries for nearly 150 yards - I would have taken that every day of the week last week if you would have told me that's what he was going to have. For Kasen to have 10 catches for almost 130 yards…I sure would have liked to get Austin more involved. I thought Keith showed a great deal of leadership and mental toughness when it got hard - especially after the interception - but continued to stand in there and lead the football team. Impressed with our guys the way they finished the game. Do we need to execute better? That goes without saying. But as we come out of it there were a great deal of positives, there was a bunch to work on that we're going to have to continually work on - red zone offense being one of those. We had a couple of opportunities this game to put 7 on the board early and weren't able to capitalize on that and maybe could have changed the momentum of that game even earlier. That will be a big focus as far as this week."

On ASJ - "I don't know if they were doing so much with him in that they were making an extreme attempt to take him away. I think they were aware of where he was on the field. I think we probably could have called some things better for him to get him some more opportunities especially early in the game. I think he'd be the first one to tell you he could play better than he played too. So that's the beauty of having another go-to guy in Kasen and for Kasen to respond the way he did."

On the offensive line - "Gotta find better schemes better plays. I thought we run blocked very well. I thought our guys came off the football against a physical front. That was a big emphasis for us. We felt like we had to run the football in that type of ball game against them. We just have to shore things up from a protection stand point. Scheme wise I think we have some things in place to help them. The key for those guys up front is to believe in the protection, trust the protection and ultimately execute the protection. Those two things have to go hand in hand together and then the comes moment of truth where your technique has to be right when you're blocking a guy. We'll continue to hammer that home. I'm a realist in understand that was a good defensive front that we went against. Very well coached challenged us with a lotta different looks but we're going to see other good ones too so we've gotta be prepared for that."

On the defense possibly surprising Sark - "I thought our guys they played well. We were disciplined in our assignments which is always key when you're playing a team like Stanford. They'll tax you tax you tax you until you get out of your assignment get out of your gap and that's when they'll hurt you. I thought we played fast we got to the football and ultimately we finished plays. We tackled well and knocked piles back and did it with an attitude that was highly encouraging for all of us. You go to the LSU game some of those piles were falling in our direction and it was important for us to knock the piles back and set the tone and we did that."

On Kendyl Taylor being a running back - "He kinda does both. I'm just trying to put guys on here so that I don't feel like I'm leaving people out. I wanna get Marvin Hall on here because he plays some at wide receiver so Kendyl is listed as a running back but he does both."

On external motivators - "I'm kinda over the external motivators. Maybe you learn a lesson as a coach I think this team I don't think external motivators are what pushes their buttons. I've said this now for a few weeks this is a serious group. Very close nit, they were excited to win the game Thursday believe me but when we came back to work Saturday there wasn't a whole lot of hoopin' and hollerin' and smiling and okay now we're back we get to play Oregon this week. It was okay we won, we did what we were suppose to do and okay coach what do we need to do this week so we can hopefully be success next Saturday. It's not about that we're playing Oregon or that its at Autzen or what uniforms they're wearing or what uniforms we're wearing. It's about getting to 2-0 in conference play. That's what all these guys think I actually really enjoy it. When you have to start looking for external motivators it can get dicey for you because you don't know if you pushed the exact right buttons to get them excited to play. They'll be ready to play because they wanna be ready to play. All that preparation has already begun and they gotta great look in their eye about what it's gonna take to get us to a point to where we have a chance to be successful on Saturday.

Did you spend any time watching Oregon and WSU Saturday night? - "Yeah, I watched it on TV. At the end of the day, WSU played hard. They tried really hard. They played really hard in the game. I think that's the biggest thing you take from it: When you play good teams you need to play hard. You need to play disciplined but you need to play hard. You need to finish plays. That's the biggest thing they got out of it. They played hard against them."

Compare Stanford's offense to Oregon's offense in terms of how challenging it is to prepare - "We've been fortunate in that we have a little extra time for both weeks. So we have a couple extra practices here for Oregon. We've implemented enough no-huddle in our own schemes offensively and we practice it enough that now that we are devoting a whole week to no-huddle offense I don't think it will be so foreign to our guys because they see it so much from us through the weeks as we get ready to play. They are different in how they do it, but at the end of the day they both believe in running the football and utilizing the play-action pass. They just do it -- one's conventionally and one's a little bit unconventionally nowadays. You've got to be able to be disciplined in your alignment and assignment. You've got to tackle, really, really well. And you've got to have really good eye discipline so that when they do play-action pass, when we are in coverage we are covering the right guys. And those principles hold true regardless of the style of offense that we are playing."

What do you see in Oregon's defense? - "Very good. Great length on the edges, with Dion Jordan and (Boseko) Lokombo setting the edges and forcing the ball inside where they've got some of their bigger body types with (Taylor) Hart, (Isaac) Remington and those guys, and then (Kim) Alonso and (Michael) Clay in the middle (at LB). Their corners have a great deal of confidence right now, they have a great deal of confidence on the perimeter, to where when they are getting put in their one-on-one settings they are making their plays. When you've got all those things going for you that's a recipe for a good defense. And they are playing a lot of guys. They are playing about 22 guys on defense. It's not just the 11 front-line guys. They are rotating quite a bit."

What do you see in Marcus Mariota? - "He's fast. He's faster than the last few guys they've had. Go all the way back to Dennis Dixon and then Masoli, and Thomas last year. He's much faster than those guys. His ability to create plays with his legs -- not necessarily by design on runs, which he can do, but when he drops back and things aren't there, his ability to create plays with his feet. We saw it the other night in that game when he scrambled for the touchdown. That's the biggest thing that jumps out to me. The offense is still the offense, and Chip does a great job. But it's his ability to improve when the play breaks down."

How do you keep the Stanford win from making them feel overconfident? - "We did talk about that. We didn't belabor the point, but we did talk to it so that I wanted to make sure they knew where I was coming from and the state of mind that I was in. But, really, it was ... Saturday we reviewed the game, and when we came back to work last night you wouldn't have known who we played last Thursday. There wasn't a mention of it. So that's a good thing."

What about Shelton's injury? Did you know you'd have him last week? - "Yeah, we knew we'd have him. He's got a sore hand but (he chuckles), he's a D lineman. Get used to it, buddy. He probably has two sore hands this week, I don't know. I thought Danny had a nice game. It was critical for us, whenever you play a power-running football team like Stanford, taking care of the middle core of your defense, and I thought Danny did that. I thought Semisi Tokolahi had a nice game. I thought the emergence of Josh Banks, getting his first action of the year for us, he had a nice game. So all those guys inside that were rotating through did a nice job for us."

Was that as well as Danny Shelton has played? - "I think I may have seen him a little better than that. I think he can be better than what he did. He still played a good game, but I think Danny, when he is really, really going, I mean, he's a dominant, dominant nose tackle. So there's definitely room for improvement for him. We're going to need more of that type of play, and even better, this week at Oregon."

On what has changed from last year to this year with regard to tackling - "Well, we've changed a little bit of an emphasis from our team standpoint. You go back to even training camp, and we've made it a point to have really physical practices. We felt like that was something we needed to do from a team standpoint, if we were going to be able to defend the run, to run the football the way we were capable of, and then openly tackle that way, you have to practice it. You can't just expect to show up on Saturdays and become a really good tackling team, a physical football team and have good pad level. All of those things have been a point of emphasis since training camp. They became an even bigger point of emphasis of ours during the bye week, when we stressed it, we emphasized it, we continued to practice it. And then the obvious fundamentals and techniques that go along with that. I really believe you have to practice those things. It's like anything. If you want to be a good free throw shooter, you've got to practice free throws. If you want to be a good tackling football team, you have to practice that stuff. We've done it, and maybe at the expense of getting a few more bumps and bruises and a few guys getting banged up, but the end result, I think we're better for it as a football team."

Did you talk to Wilcox about defense before he arrived? - "We talked philosophically about what we wanted to be and the personnel that we had on our roster, and then what other type of personnel that we wanted to recruit so that we could shape it to even more of what we want. And Justin's taken those ideas and ran with it. He's done a tremendous job. He's an excellent coach, a great communicator and teacher – not only to the players but to the assistant coaches, and those guys relaying the messages and the details of it all. I think they've done a tremendous job of it to this point." 

What did you like about Wilcox? - "I follow guys, and there were a handful of guys that I was looking at. What I appreciate about Justin is the versatility that he presented at each of his places – what he came from at Cal to what he implemented at Boise to then what he played when he was in Tennessee to now and what he's doing with us. They're almost three different defenses. And that's a sign of a good coach, a guy who has the ability to implement a defense and schemes to fit the personnel and the team that he has and the styles of offense that he'll be faced with. That's been the biggest thing that's stood out with me."

Were you going to change the tackling philosophy in practice even if you hadn't hired Wilcox? - "I think it was probably a combination of both. You're always trying to find ways to get better. If we're deep enough to practice the way I want to practice, with the physicality and the inside run drills, even in season like we have now, and to continually practice that way, I was hopeful that we could do that. They were obviously, definitely, on board. And that's not the only time we're working on our tackling stuff – it's going on in individuals, when we stress it and all that. So that part's been a real positive, that we've been on the same page that way and it's carried over in practice."

On if the recruiting on the defensive side of the ball is being tailored to fit the style of offenses that play in the Pac-12 - "I think our conference is too unique. You go from Stanford one week to Oregon the next to  USC the next to Arizona the next to Oregon State the next. And every one of those is a different offensive style and brand of football. I think at the end of the day you want to recruit good football players with a high football IQ. Guys who are long that can run fast, that are willing to be violent but have a very high football IQ so that they can fit and understand why we are doing what we are doing from week to week based on the opponent we are getting faced with.''

On college football in the month of October - "The one big emphasis about this month that is unique to September and November is this is the month of school starting. We are into the second week of school now and as we all now, with school comes actual classes. It becomes more students on campus, it becomes time management, it becomes having the ability to go to sleep at night so you are getting your rest. So part of that comes with why we shifted to the A.M. practices so that when we are getting up in the morning in season, especially in this month of October, we are fresh in mind and body so that we can put our best practice on the field and then go off to school rather than vice versa where we are in school all day and then practice at 4:30 in the afternoon. So we are trying to do some different things in the month of October and emphasize what it takes to be successful in this month. But it's a great point because I have felt like there have been times in this month of the season where we have struggled. I don't know if it's from a sheer fatigue standpoint that maybe we haven't prepared as good as we could have because of some extraneous things going on.''

Are there any lessons Sark learned during the two other times his UW teams were ranked? - "I don't know that there was much to learn. The one biggest thing we learned early on is, I believe after the USC game the first year, is man it was easy to walk around and get patted on the back a whole lot all the way up to kickoff of that Stanford game the next week. I think our guys recognize that okay that was a good win but there is plenty of room for improvement and we've got a tremendous challenge next week and 100 percent of our focus and energy needs to be on our preparation for this game and not living in the past of the last one. And not that we are by any means trying to knock our guys back down but that is great, that's the perception of who we are as a program. The reality is that we need to go recreate that this Saturday in a tough environment against a good football team, a well-coached football team, and that's where our focus has been placed. Not to diminish where we are ranked, not to diminish what's happened in the past but really where we are right now. I've said this numerous times that this is a different team than we've had in the past. I think teams in the past we had guys who had lived through a whole bunch of adversity in the past and all that. We've got the majority of this roster is here with the expectation that we are going to win a championship in their time here and that's what their focus is.''

On if the team is more prepared now than at any other time he has been here to handle Oregon - "I like our depth going into this week, I'll say that, because I think  that when you look at the three previous years we played them they were very hard-fought first halves, even into the third quarter and then they've pulled away from us late in the third quarter, fourth quarter. I think last year it was 24-17 with nine minutes left in the third quarter and then they pull out to a 34-17 lead which is ultimately the final. And two years ago it was 18-13 at their place with 6-7 minutes left in the third quarter and then they pull away from us and it ends up (53-16). And three years ago I can't remember the exact score but it was 15-6 or something like that at halftime. So the games have been there and then they have pulled away. So I would  like to think that through our recruiting we have some pretty good depth in place to where we can minimize them trying to pull away there late third, early fourth quarter.''

On having the depth to handle Oregon's ability for explosive plays - "I think it's something Oregon does a nice job of when there is up-tempo, there is a rhyme and reason to it. They run really good football plays but the reality of it is those plays become even better when you are wrong on defense and you make mistakes and you get out of your gap and maybe you are a little bit fatigued and maybe you don't get the call and communicate as well with the guy next to you and you get out of your gap. And then  they are explosive athletes who create big plays, and so for us the depth kicks in to where you are not waiting until the third quarter to sub guys, you are subbing in the first quarter and the second quarter so that when we are in the late third, early fourth quarter, I don't know if we are going to necessarily be a fresh football team but we shouldn't be as fatigued as we have been in the past.''
1:31 pm 10/1

Steve Sarkisian Monday Video


Steve Sarkisian talks to the media
1:31 pm 10/1

Sean Parker Monday Video


Sean Parker talks to the media
1:30 pm 10/1

Thomas Tutogi Monday Video


Thomas Tutogi talks to the media
1:30 pm 10/1

Danny Shelton Monday Video


Danny Shelton talks to the media - Oregon
1:23 pm 10/1

UO Depth Chart for Washington Released


UO Depth Chart for Washington Released
10:34 pm 10/1

UW Depth Chart for Oregon Released


UW Depth Chart for Oregon Released
9:24 pm 10/1

UW is Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week


DALLAS (FWAA) - In a wild offensive weekend, it was a defensive effort that earnedTostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honors. The Washington Huskies shut down No. 8 Stanford to earn the award for the games of the weekend of Sept. 29. The Huskies (3-1) upset the Cardinal, 17-13, to rearrange the early Pac-12 North standings. The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.

Washington held Stanford to 235 total yards and only 65 on the ground, the Cardinal's lowest offensive output in four seasons. An interception by Desmond Trufant inside the Huskies' 20-yard line in the final two minutes sealed the win, one of two takeaways for Washington on the night. The other came on a sack that forced a fumble.

Washington's first win over a Top 10 team since 2009 also snapped a four-game losing streak to Stanford, which gained 446 rushing yards in a 65-21 rout against the Huskies last year. The Huskies trailed 13-3 in the third quarter, but completed a comeback on Kasen Williams' bobbling, 35-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 4:53 left.

"I wanted this one as much if not more than any other one," senior safety Justin Glenn said, "just because every game that we've played against Stanford has kind of just been a beatdown, really,"

Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 29 included:

Middle Tennessee (3-1): The Blue Raiders wrecked Georgia Tech, racking up 510 yards of offense in a 49-28 road win. Middle Tennesee broke the game open in the third quarter with two long touchdowns split by a key fourth-down stop on its own 25.

West Virginia (4-0): The Mountaineers made their Big 12 debut a memorable one with a 70-63 win over Baylor. Geno Smith had one of the greatest days in modern college football history, completing 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in the high-scoring affair that featured 67 first downs and 1,507 yards of total offense.

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the seventh season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2012 college football regular season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week.

Founded in 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted seven games that have decided the college football national championship, including four Bowl Championship Series title games. This season, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be played on Jan. 3, 2013, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale , Ariz. , and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 29, 2012, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe , Ariz.

For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go tofootballwriters.com orfiestabowl.org.

2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week
* Weekend of Sept. 1: Ohio Bobcats
* Weekend of Sept. 8: ULM Warhawks
* Weekend of Sept. 15: Stanford Cardinal
* Weekend of Sept. 22: Kansas State Wildcats
* Weekend of Sept. 29: Washington Huskies

2012 FWAA ALL-AMERICA COMMITTEE
Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal (Mountain West)
Lee Barfknecht, Omaha World-Herald (Big Ten)
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman (WAC)
Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Big 12)
Jon Gold, Los Angeles Daily News (Pac-12)
Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (SEC)
Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register (Sun Belt)
Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal (Conference USA)
John Silver, Manchester Journal Inquirer (Big East)
Phil Steele, Phil Steele Publications (National)
Greg Wallace, Anderson Independent-Mail (SEC)
John Wagner, Toledo Blade (Mid-American)

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