12:31 pm 10/10:
Dan Cozzetto Wednesday Quotes
The evolution of the OL from now to the mid-way point of the season - "It's been interesting, it's been very interesting. Things happen but you never expect them to happen like that. It is what it is. We've had to make some adjustments and bring some guys along…continue to pound. Pound that rock."
On having to hope for the best but prepare for the worst-case scenario - "That's the whole deal about coaching that position. There's going to be injuries, and it's been unfortunate we've had as many as we've had with the quality players, but it challenges the coach to bring your other players along that are young and you have to get them ready. You're dealing with a player that doesn't have the experience that the veterans have had. I'm getting good help with my veterans, a couple that can't play this year, that are done for the year. I think one will be coming back, but they've been helping me in bringing the kids along and they've been good with them on the sidelines during the games. But that's how life is. Life is ups and downs and you learn from situations like this and hopefully this life experience will lead them forward for the rest of their lives."
On what the injured veterans do to help the younger players - "The things I've taught those guys - they carry over and they watch video with them and come out here and explain certain things that we're trying to get done as far as the game plan and the techniques and going over some base fundamentals…of course fundamentals are a key thing, especially when you're young and you're not as big as you should be. You have to be fundamentally sound…and then you have to develop their mental game, going through the ups and down of a football game, making sure they maintain their focus, making sure they don't beat themselves up if they have a bad play…that they learn how to play one snap at a time. That's the sign of a veteran player; he can brush off a good play and he can brush off a bad play and move on to the next because it's over with. You've got to go…you've got to go."
On the biggest improvement of this starting group from Stanford to Oregon - "The number one thing is building your quarterback's confidence around your front five. Obviously Keith got hit way too many times in the Stanford game. Give credit to Stanford, that's a good football team, one of the best defenses we'll play against, as well as LSU and some of these other ones…but he got hit way too many times. Like I told the players, you can't do that. That guy is the…he manages the game, he handles the ball, he is the guy we have to take care of. He's like your Mother back there. You've got to do your best to protect him. He can get out of some things, but he can't be taking shots through the middle of the formation. Above all, we can not have assignment errors, because we risk the chance of getting that kid hurt. So we've had to take a direct responsibility because it is our responsibility to make sure Keith plays the game with a sound mind and a clean jersey. We have to continue to build his confidence around us, I truly believe that, and being able to improve in the running game has helped. We put ourselves in situations where we've been able to capitalize on some of their athleticism and quickness with some of these young kids. And Drew now has taken on a big-time role. The one thing Drew has to understand is that he's got to get his job done and I don't want him to have to manage the whole game where he's coaching other positions or stuff like that. That's not his deal. He has to be focused in on being the center, making the corrections fast and then we move on to the next snap."
On James Atoe and moving him out to tackle - "We were going to try and do that in the spring with him…the improvement he's made in terms of his body flexibility and being able to do the things…he's kind of grown into that position. He's playing the whole right side; he's playing right guard, right tackle. If we struggle with the youngster (Shane Brostek), he'll go in there and kind of take the heat off him a little bit because he's a big, massive man and he's been around so he knows what he's doing. I'm pleased with James and how far he's come and we're going to continue to work to get him better."
On the two young guard (Charles and Brostek) and accepting the challenge put in front of them - "Obviously Dexter was playing being Panda (Colin Tanigawa), so he's learned quite a bit from Panda and his transition was a little bit quicker. The other kid (Brostek) is just hard as nails. He's just tough. He doesn't do it right all the time but he's going to give it his best and he's going to come after you. The biggest thing is that we develop his fundamentals so he doesn't embarrass himself. The biggest thing are your feet, because if your feet are wrong you're going to be embarrassed. There's no questions about his toughness and the things he wants to do as a football player. When you come out of high school and you're asked to play right away - it's a little different gig at this level."
On the importance of the offensive line: "It's all about us because if we don't get it done, nothing is going to get done. It doesn't matter who your quarterback is, it doesn't matter who your running back is, if we don't get it done up front, nothing is going to happen.
On the play of Hatchie: "He's got a big job. He's got to take care of the backside of a right-handed quarterback. He's got enough to worry about, so his game has got to continue to develop. ... he's got to continue to develop and practice better and raise his level of play to where he becomes a dominant left tackle. But he's in his early development stages, too, because he's been sitting behind Senio.''
On if he's ever had a season where he's had to play this many guys this early in a season that he didn't expect would play: "I've had situations, but never as many. I can think back to one school where I was at where I really had to revamp it all the sudden because of injuries and just had to go back to that era, and I was a lot younger then. But no, probably not as many as these. It's been a challenge, believe me. It's been a life lesson.''
On if the run blocking has come along more quickly: "We have a high volume here of protections, a high volume of runs, so it is kind of challenging as far as your mental game and how you are as a student of the game. And as you start to develop the concepts of what we are trying to get done, the more you can set yourself free to go play. As long as you are prepared you can react. It's when you start to think and you are guessing all the time, that's when bad things are happening. The snap comes up, you are coming up to the line of scrimmage, you see what you've got to see, you've been exposed to it in the class room and walk-through, no react to it. That's what it comes down to. And until we can do that as a unit, together --- it is getting better but there are some areas it's going to look like 'what happened here?' So I'm constantly evaluating myself to see how much can I give them, what am I asking them to do. I am kind of like their parent --- I want to make sure that I don't hurt them mentally and put them in a situation where they don't have success and all the sudden they go in the tank. So I'm kind like, when do I turn it on and when do I turn it off? Where is he at? Can he take hard coaching or do I have to approach it a different way? Because they have been put up at the front line all the sudden, now here it comes.''
On what is the life lesson in all of this: "It kind of is like life because you've got ups and downs --- but nobody is dying, nobody is dying. We've had some crisis and what you do is the life lesson is when you go through crisis, you do what you've got to do and then you get back to doing what you were doing before the crisis happen. So just be stone and keep pounding and pounding and pounding and getting up. ... So I'm just going to continue to slug along like I've been taught by some of the finest coaches around and we will get it done. ''
On if this is one of the most trying seasons he has had: "It's football., You are going to have injuries. This many? Probably not this many. But you stay in this business long enough you are going to see something new. I haven't seen it all, there's always something new. It's been a challenge - sometimes I hold my breath and go 'man, I get a little grayer, a little balder --- my blood pressure.' But I'm still alive. I say a lot of prayers. I go to church.''
On if it's exciting to see some of the new players: "Sometimes you are so young, you can be dumb and you don't care because you can defeat anything. Remember when you were young and you say 'man I'm like Tarzan I can do anything because I'm invincible?' That's kind of how some of these guys are --- I don't care, I don't care who I am lined up against. And you are going 'Oh my God.' It's kind of like that sometimes. But as long as they are enthusiastic and going to give you everything they've got, what else can you ask from a man? That's what it's all about. The biggest thing is the heart. I want guys that have heart. If you don't have heart you cant play this game. And if you've got heart and you are willing to learn and you will come up and you will come up and look at that man straight in the eye and give him a shot down after down after down what else can I ask these kids to do? Then I am proud of them. I think wev'e got a lot of heart. Let's take it and see how better we get this Saturday and take it another step because we've got a lot of football to play yet and we have some great challenges in front of us. Bring it on.''
On if he sees more light at the end of the tunnel: "I always see more light at the end of the tunnel. Somebody asked 'what do you expect?' I expect to win every game. Can you do it? Sure we can do it. Why not? I mean we're not going to wallow in self-pity. Im not like that and never have been like that and never will be like that. So I'm going to coach them as hard as if I had all my veterans back. I've just got to do things a little bit differently now.''
12:21 pm 10/10:
Cody Bruns Wednesday Quotes
On the USC game - "USC and UW - that goes back to before I was even born, back in the day…two top programs. We're just starting to get back that way and the rivalry has continued to grow."
On how he thinks USC views the program now as opposed to when he came to UW - "I definitely think we've improved as a program, obviously. I think you always go out there and gain respect from your opponent…week-in and week-out that's what we try to do is gain respect. That's one thing I'd say is gaining respect from other programs, especially USC. They've done a great job over the past 10 years or so."
12:17 pm 10/10:
Bishop Sankey Wednesday Quotes
On how much confidence he got after the Oregon game - "It feels good to be steadily improving throughout the season, so I feel like it does give me a confidence boost."
Building on it - "Just trying to get better each day at practice, still working on the things I still need to work on…pretty much just constantly working to take my game to the next level."
On knowing he could carry the ball 25 times a game - "Definitely I knew I could do it and my teammates and coaches reassured me the fact that I could do it as well."
On getting more comfortable working behind the OL - "I definitely feel more comfortable as the season has progressed. I feel like we've been able to come together and the running game going."
11:29 am 10/10:
Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes
On recent success against USC: "Obviously we've had a chance to win a couple games. I think this, Washington-SC is a classic matchup and has been for decades now and for it to be a game of importance again now today as it was a ways back is pretty cool. I think both schools appreciate it, I think the players appreciate it. We obviously have a fair amount of kids from southern California. I think it's good that the game is competitive and that it matters.''
On if he coaches to the fact that a lot of players are from southern California: "Never. I've never mentioned it, no. ... I don't think (it needs mentioning). There are just so many familiar faces for these guys on the other sidelines. And for them, too, that it just makes it natural.''
On not playing USC for a few years after this: "Seems weird. Kind of doesn't seem right, you know? But the schedule is the schedule. It seems odd that we haven't played UCLA the past two seasons, as well. But I think at the end of the day it's probably the best thing for our conference to have 12 teams and have a north and a south, so hopefully we can make the most of this opportunity and then take a two-year break from the series.''
On how long it takes a quarterback to feel comfortable with the continuity of the offensive line: "It just always varies. Everybody is different, every situation is different. That part, I don't know. I don't that there is an exact number that it happens - a day, five days, two weeks. Everybody is different and every team is different.''
On if Price is still in that process: "No, it's everything quite honestly. We addressed that with the offense already --- we've all got to do our part and be attentive to the details and be accountable because football, it takes 11 guys every snap to be successful, everyone doing their job at a high level, executing and making their plays. And it only takes one of the 11 to make a mistake, whether it's assignment error, fundamental error or technique error. If that occurs you can lose that snap. I think that's been the most glaring thing for us right now --- we'll have 10 guys right and one guy might be wrong and inevitably we're not executing in the passing game because of that. So we all have to take our part in that.''
On if run blocking is easier than pass blocking for young guys to figure out: "I don't know. I think sometimes run blocking you are allowed to get your aggression out because you are moving forward, where in pass blocking the majority of time you are moving backwards. And so for guys like a Dexter Charles of a Shane Brostek, that kind of nasty, physical type of O-linemen, I'm sure they prefer moving forward the majority of the time than moving backwards. But I think it varies for each guy. Some guys are better pass protectors than run blockers.''
On run blocking having come along more quickly for this group: "I think it fits their mentality, their makeup a little better than maybe some other guys that might have had to step in.''
On what he has seen out of Kasen Williams this season that he has liked: "He's practicing awesome. I think that's the coolest thing. He had another great practice today. And what he has understood is the total package of the preparation off the field, the taking care of himself off the field, the practicing really well in practice. All of that stuff carries over to the game and when you build all of that up, oddly enough you play really well when the games come. And we've seen that out of Kasen. He has high expectations and demands on himself but he is preparing the way a real marquee premier lead receiver should be preparing, and it shows --- that's why he's playing well.''
On if Williams thrives having higher standards: "I think he does. I think he didn't quite understand what it took initially. I think he thought 'oh, it's just going to happen.' You have to work at it and we really challenged him about the middle of spring football practice to make that change and he's done it. He had a really good summer and he had a good training camp and he just continues to grow and get better and I'm proud of him for that.''
11:29 am 10/10:
Jimmie Dougherty Wednesday Quotes
What's the biggest obstacle when developing that second wide receiver after Kasen? - "They are young players. Jaydon is in his first year. It's a learning curve. It's not an excuse and he'll never tell you that, but it's there. He's still learning everything - A to Z - from the speed of the game to the offense to you name it. He's one guy and he's been battling some things that he's been coming back from. And Dre (DiAndre Campbell), he's a good player, he's inexperienced - he's relatively a young player in our offense and in our system. He knows it really well and he's very smart, but at the same time game day is a whole different thing. He's played in some big-time atmospheres so far this year and we're happy with where he's at - he just has to keep going. Getting Kevin Smith back, that's going to help a lot. He's getting going again and he's a guy that's older, he's got some experience in games - that's huge. The game experience is kind of lacking right now with these guys, so it's a matter of getting out there and doing it and Keith gaining confidence in them and we'll be fine."
In what has been encouraging about the play of the younger receivers? - "It's like anything; you have faith that if you practice well it's going to show up on game day and it's just a matter of time. We had a great practice today - I think we went 15 for 15 in our skelly drill - we're completing balls in practice. Sooner or later it's going to start showing up in games. We have been practicing well, and that's when the whole game experience comes into play. It's a different deal on game day - different speed, the whole bit. It's hard to re-create it totally…we try to in practice but those young guys that haven't played in games get wide-eyed sometimes. You just stay on 'em and make sure we're executing in practice, the details and film study - and sooner or later it's going to show up on game day."
On the WR's part in getting Keith Price back to his comfort zone - "We've got to make plays for him. He doesn't have to be perfect all the time and he should know that. If it's close to us and we gotta reach out or we've got to make a play and grab it over a defender's head - we've got to make those plays for him. He has to have faith that we can make that play. The only way we give him that faith is by doing it in practice every day and then doing it on game day - carrying it over on game day. That's our role, along with him being able to really trust us and knowing we're going to be at a certain spot. Again, that goes back to having some young players out there that he doesn't know as well. He could have closed his eyes and still know where Jermaine (Kearse) and Devin (Aguilar) were going to be just by throwing to them so much over the years. He's gaining that - it's coming with these guys. Again, the details and having Keith know that we're going to be at a certain spot and he can trust us that we're going to be there, that we're going to beat our guy in man-to-man coverage and we're going to make our plays."
On if it's been tougher to find seams and creases in defenses this year - "I don't think it's so much that. I think with the passing game you need all eleven guys - and that's true for anything in football - but you need the protection, you need a solid running game for the defense to come in and suck up to those play-action passes that maybe we had the past couple years. Bishop is doing a great job, we're doing a great job of getting our running game going, I think that's only going to help the pass game, the play-action pass, getting the ball down the field. It's a matter of the receivers - again, the details of the routes and then making the plays and Keith making the throw - it takes everybody. You can't pin it on one thing or the next. You can't pin it on Keith, you can't pin it on the offensive line, you can't pin it on one or the next; it's a matter of all of us executing at the same time on a consistent basis."
On what he's seen from Kasen from a leadership standpoint - "I've seen great maturity out of Kasen. People have to remember, he's only half-way through his sophomore year, his true sophomore year. Again, he's played in a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays so far in his career, but he is still a young player. But he's coming. He's coming, he's gaining confidence through being the go-to guy and making some big-time plays in the games. He's only getting better, he's getting better every day. I'm really happy with where he's at. As time goes on he'll take more of a vocal…more of a leadership role with these guys and we'd love for that happen sooner rather than later. As you continue to make plays and be the guy on game day you feel more confident on getting on your teammates a little bit and pushing on them a little more and not worrying so much about yourself. He's going to turn the corner pretty soon on that."
On Cody Bruns being more involved in play - "Cody's doing a great job for us. He had a couple catches in the game last week, blocked really well and executed really well. He's the guy that's really coming. He kind of calms the whole group down. He's really the leader of the group right now, being a senior and being through everything that he's been through. What a great kid. He's a joy to coach, the kids love being around him, they all respect him and he's definitely going to have a big role in the offense and it's going to continue."
On if he's seen the WR group going to Keith to take the load off his shoulders - "Yeah, that's how it always should be. The quarterback can't do it all by himself and he needs to know that. We've told Keith that many times. It happened before and maybe more true now than ever, but just that we've got his back and we'll make plays for you. That's all we're coming out here to do in practice and we've got to carry it over to game day too."
12:12 pm 10/9:
Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Pac-12 Teleconference Notes
On impressions of Oregon compared to previous years - One of the real differences is the speed of their QB. In prior years the QB had a great feel for the offense, but none of them had the speed Mariota has. Seeing it live in person, his ability to create with his feet is something very different than what they've had before. Defensively, they are getting bigger and longer up front than in the past. More of them so they can rotate more of them and there isn't a huge drop off.
On Oregon not having a big wideout - When they play DAT out there he can be a big play guy for them. Lyerla too from the TE spot. Chip does a nice job of remaining multiple and you can use those guys as big-play guys instead of having guys like Maehl like he has in the past.
On if there's too much emphasis placed on the QB when things go wrong - When win they get too much credit and when they lose too much blame. At times KP has pressed, maybe because of the loss of four OL or guys like James Johnson - but we've got to protect him to extend drives and give him confidence.
Doesn't seem like Keith has been loose this year - Need to play football, and right now he's working football. Working is not fun. He needs to play, and when he's at his best he's playing the game and not working at it.
Tru being one of the top couple pro prospects in the country - Think he's playing at a very high level. He's always been great, but one of the things he's had to do is take what he's done at practice to the game with confidence. Testament to Keith Heyward and Justin Wilcox. The first pick last Saturday was a play he forced. Couldn't be more pleased with his play.
On Tru relishing the challenge of playing Lee and Woods - I think he does. Can't take any plays off against USC. Great challenge, but good competitors embrace the challenge and I think he'll be ready to go.
On if the Stanford Thursday game felt like it went smoother than the UCLA Thursday game a couple years ago - Not sure how it was for everyone else. I know traffic was an issue for the Stanford game.
On how he feels about Thursday games - It's good for once a year.
On any disadvantage to having target on back and high expectations - No disadvantage, just know that you're going to get everyone's best shot - so you have to be prepared. At USC, you had to come to work every day because every Saturday was a championship game. That's how we looked at it, so in some ways it can be an advantage.
12:06 pm 10/9:
Lane Kiffin Tuesday Pac-12 Teleconference Notes
Buzz for UW game - Definitely would say so. Credit to Sark for getting that done and making the games a competitive matchup. He's done a great job.
Communicating with Sark and how that's changed now - Still discuss things about other teams and stadiums and things like that. This week that slows down.
The matchup with Trufant and Lee and Woods - Tru is playing at a high level, making impact plays. Tackling well. Complete player and we'll have our hands full.
Any impressions of Oregon - Off top of my head watching scores and the game the other night, their defense is probably the best it's ever been and the offense just continues to plug people in without stopping. Their QB is probably the fastest one they've ever had. There's a reason they are No. 2 in the country.
Any disadvantage to high expectations and having a target on back from the start? - Sure, because people tell you how good you are and you don't blow everyone out what's wrong with you? Issues with expectations can take a toll.
Do you address that with players? - All the time. Talk about how we prepare and how we get our work done. It's not about what the outside thinks. It's about you and the team and your preparation.
On the offense getting in sync against Utah - Eliminating a lot of negative plays. After the first couple drives we scored on six of the next seven drives.
On Khalid Holmes' play - Thought he did well considering he wasn't 100 percent and he was going up against Star Loutulelei.
On how much he was matched up against Star - Sometimes, but not all the time.
On Silas Redd - His role is growing. Showed up two days before camp, so he's had to get worked in but he's a great kid.
On taking time to find out what he's good at - Had a lot of film of him at Penn State, so had a good feel for him.
On running the ball better since Stanford - Have run the ball well all year besides Stanford. They played very well and we didn't have our center. Hopefully we'll continue to improve.
On Zach Banner and Alex Wood - Made a decision to RS Zach, doing a great job in school and also in the scout team. Lincoln Kennedy was at practice this week, so it was weird to have a Husky there during Husky week. Alex has done a great job and when our main guy went down he stepped right in. Great job by our special teams coach to find him.
On looking ahead in the schedule - Not good enough to do that yet.
11:13 am 10/9:
Tuesday Justin Wilcox Press Conference (Video)
Click on the link for more: Tuesday Justin Wilcox Press Conference (Video)
11:11 am 10/9:
Tuesday Keith Heyward Press Conference (Video)
Click on the link for more: Tuesday Keith Heyward Press Conference (Video)
11:07 am 10/9:
John Timu Tuesday Quotes
On Cory Littleton: "He was a big contributor last week against Oregon, he helped us out with a little more speed, they are an up-tempo team, just an extra defender out there with fresh legs."
On taking Littleton under his wing and helping him out: "I think we all have, starting from when he stepped foot on this campus. We just wanted to help everybody, make sure they can contribute as fast as they can and he did that last week for us, he'll keep getting better."
On the problems USC poses: "They have a pretty good quarterback over there and a couple great targets that they have. We just got to be good and we got to finish. The ball is going to be in the air, it's a matter of competing when the ball is in the air and finishing each play."
On facing Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal: "Yeah they are pretty good. They have a solid offensive line, a couple starters from last year and they run hard. We just got to finish like I said."
On what from the last couple weeks that will help to prepare for Saturday: "Today, Coach Sark mentioned it was a short practice, to get our bodies fresh, we just got to be better from last week, forget about it, let it motivate us and come in, be ready for next week."
On facing Stanford's power offense, then Oregon's spread, and now SC's pro-style offense: "It's just like playing our own offense, it's like another practice on Saturday but it counts, we come out here and the things we do are what they do, it shouldn't be different, we just got to go out and execute."
11:07 am 10/9:
Sean Parker Tuesday Quotes
On facing Robert Woods and Marqise Lee: "They're just good football players, they got a lot of speed, they make big plays and make things happen. They turn little plays into big plays, you just got to tackle them and contain them."
On facing Stanford's power offense, Oregon's spread, and now SC's pro-style offense: "It's just a change up – Stanford we got to be physical, SC we got to be physical as well but you know they got athletes on the perimeter so we got to run to them and just tackle them."
On facing Matt Barkley and what he brings: "He's super smart, a veteran guy, he's been in the program a long time, and he's a smart football player, he knows, he's a student of the game and he's always making the right decisions."
10:59 am 10/9:
A view of Husky Stadium from the East Field (Video)
For those curious about what the south deck of the remodeled Husky Stadium looks like with a full roof, here's your chance to check it out.
A view of Husky Stadium from the East Field (Video)
5:30 pm 10/8:
Full Steve Sarkisian Coaches Show Notes
Gas brings the show in from Joey talking about a 'rough Saturday in Eugene'...frustration. Opportunities come and Sark has to be pulling his hair out. Sark said the most frustrating thing was that they were really excited about their game plan and it couldn't have gone worse in the first quarter. Got the TO, have a couple drops the first two series, muffed punt - and it's 21-0. Wanted to minimize their snaps and make UO earn their yards. After the first quarter things settled in and went better, but first quarter was disaster. If it's manageable in the first quarter maybe you kick a field goal at the end of the half and do other things to get points, but you can't turn the ball over in any game, let alone in that environment.
Bob asked at what point do you blow up the game plan when it's clear you have to do something different? Sark said he didn't want to blow up the game plan. If it was a tighter game maybe instead of 76 plays UO ran they run it in the 60's. Left arguably 14 points in the red zone and another in Price's fumble just outside the red zone. You get those and now they've scored 42 points and it could have been a different game.
Bob talked about not being able to move the ball, then the defense still forcing the punt and getting the muff - was there a point where it fell apart? Sark said there was some frustration going into the third quarter and that resulted in a few penalties. Have to understand how to deal with the frustration, but the effort was there all game long.
Bob talked about Oregon and how they took advantage of everything UW did wrong. Sark agreed saying they didn't drop passes when open. When Mariota ran, they couldn't sack him - which was huge. But they could never get in the flow of the game after being down 21.
Bob asked about the pace of Oregon's game and how hard it is to simulate it - Sark said they do a great job even when they substitute and Kelly is always on the refs to keep it going. Mariota can really go and you can't really simulate that in practice. He's that fast.
Gas mentioned Nick Saban and how he wants to give defenses more time to sub. Will they put in rules to articifically slow the game down? Sark queried - is it good for the game? He said Nick was talking more about the safety of the players. Like anything - like when the wishbone was the vougue - that's what everyone was supposed to do. Then BYU and Miami with throwing - then spread with passing and now spread with running is the fad. Eventually something will grow off of this style. Doesn't think they are going to make drastic rule changes but it will change over time - it always has.
Gas brought the show back in talking about silver linings from the Oregon game - running the ball. Not sure if Bishop Sankey is Chris Polk yet, but still very impressive. Sark said it's the third straight 100-yard game for Bishop...the one TD run he's not sure they blocked anyone and he still scored. He's not Polk, but they are going to give him a chance to run the runs he runs well. They rushed for 200 yards which is big for them.
Bob talked about an improved game for the OL despite the score. Sark said from the week before to go to Oregon the OL - especially the three young guys - Atoe, Brostek and Charles - did very well. One false start in a hostile environment.
Bob asked Sark about Dexter Charles - Sark said he has a chance to be very special. For a redshirt frosh, he has the athleticism and strength, but he also adds a great nasty mentality. He's going to still get beat from time to time, but he's got the mentality to be very good.
Gas said on offense the one thing that jumps out is Keith Price - good or bad. What are the coaches seeing in him this year from last year? Sark said he had a long meeting with Keith about it this AM. Said that there were some struggles last year too that people may forget, but his last game last year was about as good as you can play - so that's the only thing people remember. They've lost some experienced linemen and receivers, so it's been on him more to take control. But now he just has to take care of him to do his job. He can play better but the guys around him have to play a lot better too.
Bob played a sound bite of Keith talking - used 'locquacious' to describe Keith's answers and how revealing he was in his struggles to personally get better and be a leader of the offense. Mentioned how Princeton Fuimaono came up to him and told him he wasn't being himself. And he acknowledged that if people are seeing it that's not a good thing.
Sark said that if you look at the team the year before Keith became a starter, that was a serious team with Jake. When Keith started, it was a lot more carefree and loose and having fun. With big expectations this year, he got serious - which is not him. He's got to get back to that, and when he does you'll see a lot of what he was able to do last year. And as a result that will also relax the guys in the huddle, especially the younger guys.
Bob talked about Keith being a leader, whereas he probably didn't have to be that guy last year. Sark said in his own way he did lead because he created that environment - even with guys like Kearse, Aguilar and Polk. If he feels good about what he's doing, the rest feel good. That's his personality, and he'll get back to that. But they have to be better around him.
Bob asked - can you flip a switch like that and all of a sudden get back to that? Sark - 'We're gonna try'.
Q from gallery - On Oregon trying to score at the end of the first half up 35-7. Sark said he's been on both sides of the scenario and the natural thing is to play the game for the first half and then re-evaluate. Maybe UO thought UW could come back. Bottom line - go in respecting the game and the players.
Bob said he gets the feeling Sark really respects Kelly and Sark said he does. Said he feels they are gaining ground on UO even if the scoreboard didn't show it. They are trying to catch them.
Q2 from gallery - If you see that it's going to rain on a game day, does that mean anything to a game plan? Sark said it can. It used to be more of a factor when at USC. As you go through spring and fall you have more opportunities to play in it so it gets to be normal. One of the more difficult things to do is the center/QB exchange, so sometimes it's easier to do it in the shotgun, for instance.
Gas brings the show back moving away from the Oregon game and talking about Washington's opponent this week - USC. Any other questions about Oregon?
Bob asks one - UW closing the gamp on UO maybe, but if the scoreboard is the same as it has been it's doubtful fans feel that way. Sark said it's hard to believe that they are playing three top-10 teams in a row and four out of the last five weeks. As a voter, what would some of those top-25 teams' record would be if they played a similar schedule? Relatively young team but improving every week and expect to improve even more next week.
Bob asked about Cory Littleton and his first start - Sark said opening kickoff he knocks a guy down, did it the next kickoff. You're going to see more of 42 this weekend.
Bob talked about Josh Shirley and how much pub there was for him in the season, but it hasn't clicked for him. Sark said they are trying to put him in position to make plays but beauty of the system is that it's based on competition - and Littleton and guys like Hudson are playing better. And Shirley isn't waving the white flag either, so he expects Josh to up his competitive level.
Bob brought up the punt muff and Marvin Hall and how UW will try and communicate to the returner during the punt. Sark said that the middle of a punt going off may be the quietest a crowd will ever be - for whatever reason - and so they can yell at Hall to give him a heads up as to what to do. Sark said he overcoached that play and fully admitted it. He would take it back, and he'll learn from it. Hall has a lot of great plays ahead of him. He'll be back.
Bob talked about the turnovers being a killer especially since they had a +4 TO margin going into the game. Sark said it was the biggest part. Pick six and fumble is 14 points right there, and if they don't turn the ball over that could have changed the complexion of the game quite a bit.
Gas brought the show back in talking about how unpredictable the Pac-12 has been this year. Sark said there's a lot of parity. Look at what OSU and ASU has done, so that's why the USC game is so important. Get to 2-1 with a lot of games left.
Bob talked about how UA is the best 0-3 conference team in the country. Sark said everyone was looking at the first six games of their schedule and talking about those games, but he thinks the last six are maybe even more important.
Bob asked about USC and how Sark said during his noon presser that he believes they are the most talented team in the conference. Sark said they are; the thing they may not have that teams like Oregon have is the ability to platoon so many players because they are limited.
Bob talked about last year's game in LA - went in there with a banged up QB and he got knocked out in the third quarter. Used a fake against them and UW shanked a punt and things unraveled. Have to get to Matt Barkley and score points. Have to use the special teams to their advantage. Other than the muff, they covered punts and kicks well against a talented UO return unit.
Bob talked about Marquise Lee and Robert Woods and how Lee might be the best WR in America. Sark said he might be the best player in America. If you watch him block, he's incredible. He plays the game hard. They are going to try to get him the ball a 'million ways' and Lee plays like he's never going to be tackled. It's great because if you are a competitor you want to face those guys to raise your game.
Bob mentioned how Barkley has never played in Seattle and Sark said that's why they need the UW fans to be behind their team in full force. Bob said Barkley has been to Seattle a few times (GF is from there) and Gas gave Bob props for the scouting. Bob also said she's hot.
Gas asked Sark if he's starting to get comfortable with CenturyLink and if he's started to notice how loud it can get. Sark said he definitely noticed it the second half against Stanford, but for some reason it's just not quite the same as it is at Husky Stadium.
Gas brought the show back thanking everyone for coming out to Joey for the show. He mentioned ASJ and how he sat out second half against Oregon with ankle sprain. Will he be good for USC? Sark said they got encouraging news but not 100 percent sure if he'll be ready for USC, but is still hopeful he'll play.
Gas mentioned how blocking as a receiver or TE isn't as easy as you might think - Sark agreed. Said that he's been happy with the way his guys have blocked on the perimeter.
Bob mentioned how USC puts twitter handles on their depth chart. Gas asked if Bob is going to be on Twitter soon? Bob: "That's never going to happen."
Bob talked about how USC hasn't been shut out since 1997...asked Sark to just go out there and do that. Sark said it's going to be a really tough task.
Bob said he's looking forward to seeing Lee and Woods against Desmond Trufant. Sark said that they have a lot of NFL scouts come through and they are talking about how he might be the No. 2 corner in America.
Bob said if he's Kiffin, maybe he's looking the other way - Peters, Ducre and Watson - Sark said it's going to be a great challenge to those guys and there's definitely going to be a big 'chess match' going on with how UW is going to try and take away Lee and Woods and how USC is going to try to use them. Sark also mentioned about opportunities in special teams and taking advantage.
Bob mentioned how you go from Oregon and 'Star Wars' to something Sark might be more familiar with in USC. Sark said he familiar with them but you still have to take care of your business - like execute, make tackles, etc...
Bob talked about USC and National Championship aspirations. Sark said they are playing hard and play the game the way it's supposed to be played. That's why guys like Barkley stayed. We'll see if that means something to him on Saturday.
Bob queried if Barkley is taking a 'light load' of classes now like Matt Leinart did his final year. Wished Sark good luck for Saturday.
End of Show.
2:17 pm 10/8:
Keith Price Monday Press Conference Quotes
Are you taking too much on your shoulders? - "Yeah, I think so. I guess that's just natural for a quarterback. Against good teams, you can't turn the ball over three times and expect to win the ball game."
On watching film of the Oregon game - "There's nothing good about losing by 30 points. It was just as bad. There were some reads that I messed up on, that I wish I could've had back. I've just got to do better, and I'll do better next week."
What happened on the missed reads? - "Just trying to do too much, trying to make a play that's not there. It's sticking to my camp rules and just being disciplined."
How different it is this year being under constant pressure? - "Oh, yeah, definitely. It's definitely a different ball game. I have to kind of channel my emotions, learn to just be disciplined. When things aren't going good, it's just trying to stick to the system and not try to do my own thing and try and make things up."
Injuries and graduations being reasons why he's off this year? - "There's no excuses as to why I'm off. I just have to play better. Obviously, we want those guys back, but there's nothing I can do about it. I have to come up with a different way of being successful."
What are camp rules? - "Just simple reads. Being on one side of the field against a certain coverage. The system has an answer to a lot of defenses. And I've been getting away from that; I got away from that last week, and it cost our team."
Why is that happening this year, in Year 2 as a starter? - "Trying to make up. Trying to make up for all the things that I've lost. I'm just trying to press too hard instead of letting the system work for me and just letting guys make plays for me.
Do you have to just forget about last year? - "Oh, yeah, definitely. We've definitely got to forget about last year. This is a different offense than last year. Obviously, we've had some very important injuries for us - up front, James Johnson was supposed to be big for us, Jesse Callier. So it's definitely different. It's a different challenge."
Adjusting to offensive line - "Actually, they're getting a lot better. Last week, I think we only gave up one sack. That's a credit to Coach Cozzetto, and that's a credit to our offensive line. They're taking pride in their pass blocking. I congratulated them the day of the game. I told them: 'Hey, great job. I just have to play better for you guys.' Hopefully, we can put everything together - our running game, our new pass protection, and hopefully we can get the passing game going this week."
Chemistry with o-linemen - "It's a bit different. The receivers, I can talk to them a certain way than I have to talk to my offensive linemen, of course. But they understand the task at hand, and they understand that protecting me is a key to our success. And I think they're taking more pride in that."
On his first touchdown pass at USC: "Oh man I was excited. My first touchdown pass back at home, I will never forget it. But now I've got a different task of being the starter. We got blown out last year so hopefully we can bounce back this year.''
On the process of getting back to where he was: "I've just got to focus on myself. I think that's been the theme all year is not worrying about everyone else. It's so hard to do and I've been struggling with that and I have to enjoy the game. I don't think I've been enjoying the game the past couple of weeks. I haven't been playing with the same passion as last year and the same people, the same confidence, the same swagger. I've got to get back to that and I just met with coach Sark earlier and I agree with him and he agrees with what I just said, and just me getting back to the way that I play football and having fun and not worrying about being a coach on the field and letting the coaches do the coaching and letting me do the playing. I'm just anxious to get back to that and you guys are going to see a lot of that this week.''
More on worrying too much: "Oh yeah definitely and I think I've been pressing too hard and trying not be something that I am not. I can feel myself being too serious instead of my carefree attitude, and just getting back to that. and I think guys respond better when I am like that. When guys see me tense up that's how our team is offensively and defensively and they look at me. It was funny because Princeton Fuimaono came up to yesterday like 'hey man, what is up with you? You don't seem like yourself.' And I know if guys are noticing that then I am doing a bad job of it.''
On how to get the swagger back: "Getting going, just getting goind. I don't feel like we have that rhythm that we had last year, that just consistent rhythm of just moving the ball at will and scoring touchdowns in the red zone at will and part of that is on me, you know what I mean? Just not doing too much and having fun and just making sure that the guys around me are believing in the system and believing in me. And I don't want them to feel intimidated by me being frustrated, or them getting nervous or thinking that I am mad at them when I am frustrated. So it's just me getting back to being me and leading the way I know how to lead. It's hard to truly have fun when you are frustrated and I just need to go back to playing the way that I know how to play and sticking to my rules and keeping it easy and when you have a completion, just complete the ball and if I have a stick route, don't throw it two feet above the guy, and just getting back to the way that I know how to play fooball.''
On if he has snapped at anybody: "Not really. I haven't really snapped on too many people, but it's just the way that I've been carrying myself, that confidence, that confidence level and just knowing that 'hey, we are going to score, we are going to score at will and there is nothing that the team can do to stop us.' And we need that as an offense. That's what I've been missing and I can't expect anybody else to have if it I don't have it, that mentality. But it will get better. I feel a lot better, a lot more confidence and things will change this week.''
On what the proper reaction is when things go wrong: "Let the coaches handle it, I'm just going to let the coaches handle that and I am just going to continue to play my game, and when things do break down I have to make plays and make more plays for this team and just having fun doing it and enjoying what I do, and I don't think that's what I've been doing the past couple of weeks is really enjoying what I do. All the work I have put in over the off-season and during the in-season, I'm sure it will pay off, and I've just been having a though break of it these past couple of weeks. But I will get back on the horse.''
On how he needs to play: "I think I am at my best when I am relaxed and not worried about everybody else around me, that's when I'm at my best. When I am worried about 'hey, is he going to do the right thing?' and worried about my protection and then trying to worry about about what the defense is doing to me, I just need to cancel out all of those components and just stick to what I see and stick to my preparations and just make those plays when I need to make those plays.''
2:10 pm 10/8:
Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Quotes
Opening Comment - "One of the beauties of football, college football - is that when things don't go your way in a ball game - unless it's the last game of the year you get a chance to get back on the horse and get back to work. And that's much needed for our football team - the opportunity to get back going again in preparation for another tough Pac-12 opponent in USC. I think we've got plenty to learn from from Saturday's game at Autzen versus Oregon, but also a lot of things that can get cleaned up and cleaned up relatively quickly so we can move forward and get better as a team."
On coaching against Lane Kiffin and it if means more to him than coaching against other coaches - "I don't think it's different in that Lane and I are primarily offensive coaches. It's not as if…if we were on the same staff at SC when we were younger and he was a defensive guy and I was an offensive guy and then now we had moved and then we were calling plays against one another I think it would be a bit different. In that we're calling plays for our own offenses and then we've got defensive coordinators in Monte (Kiffin) and Justin (Wilcox) that we are calling against I think is why it doesn't feel so different. I obviously have a great deal of respect for Lane and what he's done there, that hasn't been an easy task. He's done a nice job, they've got a good football team."
On what the feeling is coming out of Saturday's game - "Frustrated. As much as we have youth on this team, as much as we've dealt with the significant amount of injuries - I think we've got a pretty good football team. Unfortunately we weren't able to put that on display Saturday night because of how that football game began in the first quarter to fall behind 21-0. I believe we had a good plan in all three phases - we just weren't able to execute early on to put ourselves in position to have that plan take shape over a four quarter span."
On areas of focus for Keith Price this week - "We all need to get better. We need to have a better game plan, we need to call better plays, we need to pass protect better, we need to run better routes, we need to catch the ball when we throw it to you and we need to make good, quick decisions at the quarterback position and be decisive and be accurate and play the game the way we're capable of playing. And so the passing game in general is an area of focus for us for us to be a complete offensive football team. I think we've addressed our run game and our run game has responded. Now we need to really focus and address our passing game so we can become a complete balanced offense."
Chris Polk and the play action helping out Keith last year - “That's stuff for a quarterback is always tremendous. Doesn't matter if your Drew Brees to playing pop warner football when a quarterback has a good running game and can utilize the play action pass to throw the ball down the field and get yards in chunks because guys are open that's always a quarterbacks best friend. If we can do that that's great but that can't be our sole and primary passing game we can't just rely on that.”
Is USC still is the same as wen Sark was down there? - “I think offensively they're very similar. Lane has kept that system intact. They do a nice job obviously of getting the ball to Lee and to Woods and utilizing the zone run game and utilizing the good play action pass game and Matt throwing the ball down the field so I think offensively very similar. Defensively pretty different from where we were under Pete. A variety of fronts and really quite a bit of coverages to what they're doing now. Not that their not good very good I think this is an excellent USC defense. I think probably a bit underrated I don’t know what you guys think of them but on film they're a very good defense. They've played really well this year they have an excellent front four, active defenders in the back seven. They don’t do a whole lot but what they do they do really well.”
On the offensive line and pass protection - “I thought we got better last week. I really did. I was proud of our guys up front. We weren't perfect and obviously Oregon’s an excellent front seven but I thought we improved last week. We gave up one sack one sack that was given up like to think we could maybe get rid of that ball. I think that as we grow together as we play more together as we can rely on one another as we can communicate better as we get more experience up front we should improve and that's what we've seen so far.”
Any changes in Lane's offense? - "In Lane's? I don't think there's been as much of a major change. Lane's a creative guy. He finds a variety of ways to get the ball in Lee's and Woods' hands, whether it's the quick-screen game, whether it's bringing them out of the backfield, whether it's getting them one on one on the perimeter with corners, whether it's with double moves down the field, he does a nice job moving them around. They don't line up in one spot. And Matt really understands that and can play that style. Some guys don't respond that way at quarterback -- they like to know where their guys are. But No. 2 and No. 9 are all over the field, and Lane does a good job of moving them around. But, no, I don't there's anything drastically different."
What's up with ASJ? is he fully back? - "I don't know yet."
Any sense Keith is going through a 'sophomore' slump as a junior? - "No."
Has Price been too hard on himself? - "I think he's been too hard on himself. It's not fair for him to do that to himself. You know, he lost some guys that I think he was probably counting on up front. He lost a veteran receiver that he was probably counting on (Johnson). He lost a couple veteran running backs that he was probably counting on. And, in turn, (he) probably but too much pressure on himself to try to make everybody else right around him, rather than keeping the focus on himself and allowing us to fix the things that are going on around him. That's hopefully what we can get him back to. But to do that, everyone else has to do their jobs really well."
Are Woods and Lee the biggest challenge your defensive backs will get this season? - "Yeah. They are really good. I think it's a combined, oh, 85 catches, 87 catches so far on the season for them. So it's not a real secret where the ball's going. You've just got to find a way to cover them."
On Matt Barkley - "He’s got a really vast understanding of that system. He’s been in that offense now for four years. He’s got a very quick release to take advantage of all the quick throws they like to call to get the ball out on the perimeter, but also has got the arm strength to really throw the ball down the field with all the double-move stuff that they like to do, and the deep post and the dig routes. And then he shows good composure in the pocket. He’ll stand in there and deliver the ball when people are around him. He’s a very good player, he’s an excellent leader. Matt’s a good person."
On what you tell Keith to do when he's frustrated - "Just play within the system."
On if the game was more frustrating to watch afterward on film - "I was pretty frustrated after the game, so I don’t know if I could get any more frustrated than that. But it just kind of reinforced, I guess, some of the frustration – that’s a better way to put it. There were some plays there that, in all three phases, that I thought really impacted the game right in the first quarter that we just haven’t done all year. We haven’t dropped a punt all year. We’ve had some blown coverages, but there were really two in particular that we really haven’t done all year. And then Keith making a mis-read that he really hasn’t done all year. I know he throws the Pick-6 against Stanford, but it was a heck of a play on a screen play by their defensive end; this was just a poor read. So those three things just jumped out at me as frustrating. If we just played the way we had been playing, maybe it’s a 7-0 game, we’re into the second quarter, hey, let’s keep playing. We had a good plan, and once we settled in, I thought we could’ve hung around and made that thing a much better ball game into the fourth quarter."
On if playing at Autzen was a part of the problem too? - "I don’t think so, quite honestly. I think maybe their tempo, offensively, caused the coverage breakdown. I thought I tried too hard, as a head coach, in getting the return by Marvin, when that had been a fair-catch situation for us in the previous four games. Allowed him to return that punt, whereas if it had been any of the previous four games, we fair-catch it, we get the ball right there. All of the things in the passing game led Keith to maybe force that throw – not forcing it, but making the mis-read. I don’t know if that’s Autzen. I don’t think the moment was too big. I think we had maybe one false start in the game, and that was on a third-and-short. Outside of that, I thought our composure was good. We just fell behind against a good team. At the end of 15 minutes, if you’re down 21-0 against Oregon, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing at Roosevelt High down the street – you’re going to be in trouble."
So you told Marvin Hall to try to catch the punt? - "We’ve taught that, in that particular block, that it’s an automatic fair catch. And when the ball got punted, we try to communicate with our returner to let him know if he’s good or if he has pressure and to fair-catch it. We let him know he was good, I did, so he tried to make the return. Their gunner got pretty close. You can see the shots of him on video, of his eyes coming off the ball and looking at the gunner that’s close to him. In that scenario, if it’s a fair catch, he never takes his eye off the ball, and I’d like to think he catches it."
On Cory Littleton: "Cory played a really physical football game the other night from The Opening kickoff --- he went down had a knock down. I thought he played a physical game for a guy making his first career not only his first career playing time but his first career start. Really, really pleased and excited for his future. He has improved immensely since he's been here. He's put on upwards of 20 pounds since he's been here. His understanding of what we have been trying to do since training camp and into the first few weeks of the season has just gotten better and better and better --- he's a very bright guy. I'm excited about Cory's future.''
On working on the passing game and how much of a key it is to find a second receiver: "Well we've got a pretty good second receiver in Austin (Seferian-Jenkins). I think he's the second leading tight end catcher in the country. It doesn't have to be a receiver. We lose Austin there into the second half but he has two catches going into halftime, probably should have been three --- we don't make a play on the sidelines. And he probably makes 3-4 in the second half he ends up with seven catches again. We had to change a little bit in the second half where that ball was going. But that kind of is our second receiver, it's a tight end.''
On going the rest of the season with just Austin as a second receiver: "Sure.''
On if teams are defending ASJ differently: "No. Nope. I donn't think so at all. Again, I don't know exaclty what his number is but somebody just told me he's second in the country amongst tight ends in receiving and catches so obviously the ball is going his way a significant amount of time and probably another handful or so plays that could have been for him that probably would have made him the No. 1 guy right now. So he's doing a nice job. Thought he had a really nice second half of the week last week in practice and that carried over to the game. In the first half this was one of Austin's better games. I know a lot of times we just look at the catches and the yards and the touchdowns but he played a pretty good first half of football against Oregon and hopefully we can continue that.''
On the team being frustrated: "That's a good thing. If the team would have accepted it then we would really be in trouble. I think we went in there with an expectation to win. Didn't happen and we will get back on the horse. This is a tough-minded group. We've known that about them --- we had a good nice meeting last night, good work with them last night and we'll get back at it tomorrow morning.''
On which offensive linemen stood out against Oregon: "I thought Dexter Charles has dramatically improved from his early on playing time. If you looked two weeks ago from Stanford to Oregon, Shane Brostek in the seven-day span how much he improved. So those two really jump out. And when you don't talk about guys that's a good thing and we haven't talked a whole lot about Micah Hatchie at left tackle so that means he's probably playing pretty good."
On what Silas Redd as added to USC's run game: “Last week’s game was Silas’ best game running the football. he ran confidently. He broke tackles at the second level. I think again, SC as much as we think of them as a passing team they love to throw the football. Obviously this system and their system works best when you have a balanced attack where you can run it and throw it and I think he offers up a balanced attack, the ability to run the football and utilize the play action pass to get those guy 1 on 1 scenarios down the field.”
How much of your offense now is what you called at SC?: “We’ve changed because of somewhat what we inherited. We inherited an offense that had been a spread offense a zone read offense for I don’t know exactly how many years before we got here. We had a quarterback in Jake that was comfortable in that style of offense so we had to have some give and take. We wanted to implement our offense but yet put some things in that he was comfortbale with, the guys were comfortable with so we had to meet in the middle in a sense. And after a couple of years doing that with Jake and Keith growing up in that system we enjoy it. We enjoy being in the gun a little bit more. We enjoy some of the zone read stuff and things that can come off of it. That doesn’t mean we neglect the two-back runs and running the football and being under center. We’ve kind of worked our way more towards the spread than when we first came from SC but I think it’s all been for positive stuff."
Is SC still a top level team?: “I think they’re an excellent football team. They’re very talented. I know Lane hates when I say this but they’re probably the most talented team in our conference. You just look at their starting 22 they are really really talented group. They are well coached in all three phases, so they present a great challenge. As far as a national title contender or not, a lot of that is probably more up to you guys than me.”
Run of playing against Top-25 teams and if he's happy to moving past it: “It’s actually top 10 teams, four of the last five. I don’t know if I’m looking forward for it to be over. I think there is something to be made about the psyche of a team and the mental makeup of a team and the mental toughness of a team to embrace these opportunities and I think we do. I think we go in with our fists up and our sleeves rolled up and ready to go to battle and compete. And the next six are not going to be a whole lot easier. WE’ve got some other guys down the pipe that are pretty good teams too so you can’t worry about who you just played, you can’t worry about who is coming, you just focus on the task at hand and we have USC this week. A very good football team, we get them at CenturyLink Field, it will be great to get back in front of our home crowd, we’re expecting a great atmosphere and I think our guys will really thrive off of it.”
11:17 am 10/8:
UW's depth chart versus USC is now posted.
11:16 am 10/8:
USC's depth chart versus UW is now posted.