Dawgbytes - 10/2

It's a coach's constant dilemma - do you stick to what you know, understanding it's a tendency, or do you try and out-think your opponent? That's just one of the many sub-plots bubbling below the surface as Washington takes on UCLA Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

"Ax (Steve Axman) and I were on the same side of the ball for four years," Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson said Thursday. "But I don't think Ax and (Phil) Snow have gone against each other.

The former Washington quarterbacks coach and the current UW head coach are both known as offensive masterminds, yet each had a certain method of delivery specific to them. "Ax was more of a 4-vertical kind of guy, whereas I like more layers in my attack," Gilbertson said. "More crossing routes, more 'man-beaters'."

Gilbertson also talked about a thing he used to do to help break his own tendencies. "I used to look for what I call 'what afters'," he said. "I would study each play I did and then I would say, 'OK, if that play got 4 yards, what would I do after that?'. I'd study the good plays and the bad plays. I was also keen on looking for patterns. I wanted to see if I was running on first down, then passing, or passing on first-down and then running. You're always studying yourself."

UCLA defensive coordinator Larry Kerr isn't going to have to same supposed benefits Axman and Snow will have. "John (Pettas) has only called four games, so I don't think that will really be an issue. It's different if you've been the offensive coordinator for a number of years."

When the subject of slow starts comes up, Gilbertson is quick to defend his players and his system. "I really think too much is made of that," he said. "The game is four quarters long and the first series of the game rarely determines the outcome.

"I just want our guys to be playing as hard at the end of the game as they are in the beginning."

It takes patience and some pragmatism to keep your head and stick to your gameplan when things seem to be slow-going. "Actually, I learned a lot of my patience in the NFL," Gilbertson said. "Look at how close most of those games are. There's a lot of parity out there and more overtime games all the time."

The average margin of an NFL game is three points.

On the injury front, Joe Toledo is definitely not traveling with the team and Charles Frederick is still suffering from flu-like symptoms. "He hasn't been consistent," Gilbertson said.

Rob Lewis had his wrist successfully repaired via surgery Thursday morning.

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