Practice news and notes - 8/10

With clouds threatening to break things up in Olympia, the Washington football team settled down to their home away from home and got down to the business of football. Rain or no rain, a few drops of water wasn't about to slow down the coaches. From the opening horn, the tempo was brisk and the coaches were barking like junkyard dogs. They meant business.

Whether it was Bobby Kennedy making his guys do 'up downs' for not finishing their assignments, or Dan Cozzetto going through a drill three or four times to get it just the way he wanted it, the Husky coaches set the tone for Sunday afternoon's practice. The offense, while behind during the early practices at Husky Stadium, came back strong, as Phil Snow's and Cornell Jackson's secondary troops took a bit of a beating at the hands of a young and motivated receiver corps.

Bobby Whithorne, Quintin Daniels, Corey Williams and Sonny Shackelford worked hard to impress Kennedy, as there are spots to be won on the shuttle to Columbus. Shackelford and Charles Frederick took Clarence 'Dre' Simpson deep a couple of times, and Whithorne had a gorgeous over-the-shoulder grab for 6 against senior DB Roc Alexander.

But when it came to a scoring drill, the defense stiffened up a little bit. Sam Cunningham and Eric Roy had nice stand-ups early, but then Kennedy got after his guys a little bit, shouting 'I've never had receivers that couldn't score!'. That got their attention, as Frederick juked the socks off of Alexander and Craig Chambers bulled his way through Jimmy Newell for 6. Both sides got some good scraps in.

The lines also got their shots in. Cozzetto worked with strong tackle Todd Bachert while he was going up against Manase Hopoi. It's worth the price of admission to watch Cozzetto thunder away while instructing his guys on the finer points of the game. Interestingly enough, one of the offensive linemen that had the most success was true frosh Erik Berglund from Beaverton, Oregon. Even though he stands 6-6, Berglund gets his pads low and keeps them there. It's hard to get him off-balance.

The two deeps on the lines look pretty solid, as the coaches have been playing them this way for a few days now. At the number one tackles are Khalif Barnes and Bachert, the guards are Rob Meadow and Nick Newton and the center is Dan Dicks.

The number twos are Ryan Brooks and Francisco Tipoti at the tackles, Tusi Sa'au and Clay Walker at the guards and Brad Vanneman at center.

Defensively, the first unit consisted of Hopoi, Terry Johnson, Tui Alailefaleula and Dan Milsten, while Graham Lasee, Stanley Daniels, Jerome Stevens and Mike Mapu worked with the twos.

In regard to special teams, Sam Cunningham came up with a block around end on a PAT, scooping it up perfectly and running for daylight. This is the second kick to be blocked in as many days.

Tim Galloway, Jason Benn and Owen Biddle are being used as long snappers, while Benn and Andy Heater are being looked at for FG's and PAT's. The punters all worked hard on getting their kicks off in time, being exhorted by Gilbertson all the while.

There were two periods of 11-11 action, highlighted by a couple of big pass plays. Corey Williams caught a ball in stride in the middle of the field and dodged defenders for a big gain. Only problem was the true frosh from Las Vegas forgot to wrap up the pigskin, and lost it as a defender came over the top. But tight end Ben Bandel gets huge props for hustling downfield and retaining possession for the offense.

The other big play came courtesy of Bandel, who caught a seam route with Scott White all over him. Big Ben shed White and lumbered downfield for a big gain. The hustle award on this play goes to Rich Alexis and Sonny Shackleford, who provided blocks downfield to spring Bandel to paydirt.

Not to be outdone, the defense got some opportunities of their own. Evan Benjamin picked off an Isaiah Stanback pass intended for Whithorne. And Mapu hog-collared Casey Paus as Paus was set in the pocket. Paus was wearing yellow, so the Dawgs were called off.


Notes:
Making the scene: Those spotted in attendance today included Don and Carol James and UW verbal commit Ryan Bush and his father. James will speak to the team after dinner.

Injury report: Charles Smith, a true frosh WR from San Diego who has had to wear red because of stitches in his hand, is expected back Monday. Mike Thompson's MRI on his knee is scheduled for Monday. A decision on Derrick Bradley's bruised shoulder won't be made until the team returns to campus, but he did make the trip to Evergreen. Justin Robbins did not make the trip, as he is still going through a rigorous rehabilitation regimen. Tight end Andy Heater was sick today and sat out.

Communication breakdown: There is no word on the Clearinghouse status of freshmen Juan Garcia or Chris Hemphill because it's the weekend, but Hemphill is expected within the next couple of days and Garcia could still be a 'ways away', according to UW head coach Keith Gilbertson.

Deja vu all over again: Fullback Adam Serry, a former all-state QB from El Dorado High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is going to get a shot holding for field goals and PAT's, Gilbertson announced. "They are trying to get away from using starting QB Cody Pickett as the main holder. Pickett has held the previous two seasons.

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