"Hopefully we'll do everything that's necessary in the next 48 hours to tighten down our concentration and hopefully see great improvement from our first game. That is the goal. Obviously we'd love to win the game but if we improve, I think we'll be that much further along."
Idaho is not expected to be a pushover as they rallied at the end to give the Arizona Wildcats all they could handle two weeks ago. "They'll come in expecting to win this game. I know their coach and I know this will be a stern test for us. Hopefully get through it and find ourselves 2-0 at this turbulent beginning to the season," said Neuheisel.
John Anderson showed off his leg strength near the beginning of practice when he drilled a 57-yarder through the East goal posts. The kick would've been good from about 65 yards out and was right down the middle. Later during a two-minute drill the first team offense moved the ball and set Anderson up for a 45-yarder to the West goal. His kick caromed off of the left upright and through for three points.
Charles Frederick had another great practice and should have his coming out party on Saturday as both a return man as well as a receiver. He looks both quick and confident on returns, and he's now catching on to his routes.
"He may be the one guy that has benefited from the lay off. He kind of caught up because he missed so much of training camp. Hopefully he can play a little bit," said Neuheisel. Frederick is in the mix with Elstrom, Reddick, Hooks, Arnold, and Williams. Justin Robbins is expected to sit out the game and prepare for Cal next Saturday.
On defense, Roc Alexander went high to tip a ball and Greg Carothers made a diving interception. During the two-minute drill, Alexander made a great leap and knocked a ball away to keep the offense out of the endzone.
Freshman safety James Sims also looked active today, although he'll redshirt this season. Sam Cunningham had a marvelous pick deep in the secondary and also knocked a couple of passes to the turf.
Jerramy Stevens will start the game on Saturday, his first this year after sitting out the first half against Michigan. Stevens and Pickett were on the same page today, connecting on several passes of various lengths and routes.
On punt returns, Neuheisel still has three guys back there vying for time. Willie Hurst handled that chore against Michigan and his sure hands will once again be deep on punts against Idaho. However Charles Frederick and RayShon Dukes were also both getting looks. Frederick is so elusive and instinctive on his cuts when he catches the ball. He will remind some of Andre Riley for his ability to make the first man miss.
Robin Meadow continued to work at second team tackle ahead of Andre Reeves in what Neuheisel said is hopefully a motivational move. "The plan is still to redshirt him. My hope is to save that year but it's definitely productive for him to be working on that area of the practice field. We have to guard against unfortunate circumstances," said Neuheisel.
Fullback position open: Neuheisel left the starting fullback position open for debate. "It remains to be seen whether it will be Matthias Wilson or Kenny Walker. Walker was nursing a sore hamstring but he's back now," said Neuheisel of the 6-1 235-pound Hawaiian.
Marona still dinged: Defensive end Spencer Marona is still nursing a sore shoulder and Neuheisel believes he'll be available for limited duty. If he cannot take many snaps, look for Alaskan true freshman Tui Alailefaleula to come in and back up Marcus Roberson. "With Spencer's injury, he's the next guy in line. We're probably going to go ahead and play him," said Neuheisel.
Biddle questionable: Owen Biddle is still nursing a hamstring back to health and may be limited in his play on Saturday. In his place will be Jimmy Newell, backing up Wondame Davis.
Doug Clark returns: After spending the last couple of years as a student coach, Doug Clark was cleared to return to the playing field at safety. He has suffered multiple concussions and was told to retire, but he has been officially cleared by the NCAA to resume playing. "Because he worked in our athletic department we had to get clearance on that as well," said Neuheisel. Clark had been a student coach working with defense last year and was working with the offense this year. At the request of Bobby Hauck, Clark had been attempting to get back onto the field since after the Rose Bowl. At 6-3 and 200, Clark is a big safety that was a scholarship receiver at Air Force before deciding to come back home and play for the Huskies. He had made an early rise up the depth chart before suffering a series of concussions. He was welcomed back by having to run the gauntlet between the offense and defense from sideline to sideline. He will be a sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining. Welcome back, DC.
Huskies put game faces on for Saturday
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