12-19 Practice Report

The Huskies returned the Dempsey Indoor Practice Facility early this afternoon for their second-to-last Seattle practice of the 2001 season. With temperatures near freezing outside, the team opened all the doors to the building to give it a crisp feel for the duration of practice.

The team will practice tommorow and will then fly to San Diego Friday morning. Head Coach Rick Neuheisel said that Friday will be a day for the players to enjoy San Diego. Practices will resume on Saturday, which will be "big, big days" for the team, according to Neuheisel.

Playing in shells, the team played inspired enough to impress Neuheisel.

"We did not play as phyically as we have in the last two days because we were just trying to get more teamwork done and also we have a banquet tonight, but I thought it was good and I think we're on schedule," said the head coach. "I think that tomorrow's practice will be important, as will the pre-Christmas practices down there (in San Diego). Those will be really important."

Neuheisel said the team will practice the morning of Christmas Eve, then again Christmas evening. "There will be about a 28-hour period between those practices where guys who live close to home can go home and enjoy Christmas," Neuheisel explained.

One aspect that helped the concentration level of the team today was the fact that most players had finally finished their finals for their classes.

Asked if the guys played with more fire today, Neuheisel didn't hesitate.

"I thought it was better," he said. "It's kind of a natural progression. As we get later in the week more kids are done with finals and their concentration is back. We need full concentration starting tomorrow."

Cody Pickett had an up-and-down day throwing the ball. He often found Charles Frederick, who's looking quite comfortable with the offense these days. One of his best passes came on a dart thrown to Jerramy Stevens near the sidelines. He also made a beautiful pass to Paul Arnold on a skinny post that the receiver leaped into the air to bring down.

Adam Seery, who started practice running with the second team offense, also threw to Frederick a lot. While many of his passes were on target, his lack of armstrength caused a few of them to fall short of the receivers on deep balls. Midway through practice, Taylor Barton got word that the charges had dismissed against him, and he then returned to the field as the backup quarterback. Relieved to get his old job back, he was very accurate for the remainder of practice.

On the offensive line, Todd Bachert got praise from offensive line coach Brent Myers for his stellar blocking. This comes just a day after Bachert had struggled stopping Anthony Kelley. The redshirt sophomore is the team's most versatile offensive lineman, and showed great quickness today to fend off Jerome Stevens.

Defensively, Greg Carothers had a good day. He picked off a pass over the middle of the field by scout team quarterback Joel Deis, and also laid some wood on a scout team receiver coming across the middle. Fellow safey James Sims Jr. also had a sweet interception and drew praise from Jelani Harrison afterwards.

On special teams, John Anderson began practice by missing two field goals. The first one was partially blocked, and the second missed wide left. He recovered by hitting two in a row after that to please Neuheisel.

Will Conwell, a redshirt freshman from Kentwood high school, got time working as the team's long snapper today. His first two snaps to punter Derek McLaughlin sailed over his head, causing the coaches to give a collective sigh afterwards. He, too, rebounded with several accurate snaps shortly after. Even so, he found himself running after practice due to his high snaps.

Husky Notes:

Ware Situation Unchanged: "Kevin Ware is still charged with a felony, and because of that I want him to concentrate soley on his defense," said Neuheisel after practice today. "He will not participate in the bowl game."

Stevens' Announcement to Wait: Tight end Jerramy Stevens indicated today that though he is leaning one way for his future plans, he will not make an announcement regarding his decision until after the Holiday Bowl.

Statistically Speaking: In the four years that Omare Lowe saw the field at the UW, he managed to compile 100 career tackles (the stats from bowl games don't count toward career totals). What is miraculous about this figure is that he recorded 10 his first season, 20 as a sophomore, 30 in his third season, and 40 this year. It's hard to be more even-numbered than that.

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