Dawgbytes - 10/29

With the success the Washington Huskies have had at night recently, you would think Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson would relish the opportunity to play a night contest at home in front of a rowdy bunch of Dawg fans. But he claims to prefer mid-day starts. Either way, it'll be a stretch to find 11 guys on each side of the ball healthy and ready to go Saturday as the Oregon Ducks come calling.

"When I was at Idaho we played a lot of night games in the Big Sky," Gilbertson said Wednesday afternoon. "But I prefer a 12:30 kickoff, getting up in the morning and kicking it off. And I think the fans prefer that too."

As optimistic as Gilbertson was about certain players seeing the field this weekend, he was just as pessimistic just 24 hours later.

"Not good," Gilbertson said when asked about how Charles Frederick practiced Tuesday. "You probably won't see Charles play unless there is a rapid recovery."

Also, Rich Alexis reinjured his quad muscle in his leg and will not play against the Ducks. "He reinjured it in practice yesterday," Gilbertson said. "He's getting an MRI right now. We hope he can come back in a week."

With Scott Ballew out nursing a fractured toe and Chris Singleton already out with a broken foot, the running backs left are Kenny James and Shelton Sampson. James, who got his first career start against USC, will start against Oregon. The Huskies will not entertain any thoughts of taking off Louis Rankin's redshirt, who has been the main running back for the scout team this fall.

"Tusi (Sa'au) won't play either," Gilbertson said of his starting offensive guard. "I'm not sure about the rest of the season, but I'm going to think about it for quite a while." Clay Walker and Dan Dicks will be the starting guards against the Ducks.

Kickoff return still appears to be up in the air, and Gilbertson hinted that he's thought about Anthony Russo. "Russo is a guy I'd talk to about taking his redshirt off, but I'm not sure he'd even want to at this point," he said of the true frosh receiver from Lakes High School.

Senior strong safety Owen Biddle will most likely start in place of Evan Benjamin based on his performance against USC, according to Gilbertson, who added that, "Evan will get plenty of snaps."

The NCAA will be back in town Thursday, but this time it's for their annual drug testing. The school cannot test their own athletes because of state law, but the NCAA tests on a yearly basis. They will be testing 18 football players at random, as well as 2 men and 2 women on the track team, also at random.

Dawgman.com Top Stories