Full Steve Sarkisian Coaches Show Notes

Here is a recap of the Steve Sarkisian Coach's Show live from Joey in South Lake Union, hosted by KJR's Mike Gastineau and the 'Voice of the Huskies' - Bob Rondeau. They talked about Washington's 52-21 loss to Oregon, Keith Price and his struggles and what to expect when USC comes to Seattle Saturday afternoon.

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 1990, which was the 'All I saw was purple game'...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.

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