News and Notes - 10/27

If football had been played in Ancient times, you would find it in Greek mythology. It is a three-headed quarterback - let's call it a Tribacubus. Keith Gilbertson has dug so far down into his offensive bag of tricks, he's created his own tribacubus to help create some firepower as his Washington Huskies take on Oregon in Eugene this Saturday.

If Joe A. Huskyfan was to design his own Tribacubus, it might look like this: the arm and legs of Isaiah Stanback, the brain of Casey Paus, and the accumen and drive of Carl Bonnell. Unfortunately, Gilbertson's Tribacubus has certain limitations: it can only be one of the three at any given point in time. But the message being sent to the Ducks is clear - beware the Tribacubus.

But what is the message being sent to the Oregon coaching staff? "There is no message," Gilbertson said Wednesday, when asked about the possibility of three quarterbacks playing on Saturday against the Ducks. "We're just struggling for some offensive consistency."

Consistency is the antithesis of the Tribacubus, especially the one native to the state of Washington. UW is still the only D1-A college left in America unable to complete 50 percent of its passes in any one game in 2004. The emergence of Bonnell's health has given rise to UW's three-headed QB beast, and has also raised more questions as who will start.

"He (Bonnell) practiced yesterday and his treatment yesterday went well," said Gilbertson. "They all had good practices. We'll see how they do today." He stopped short of naming a starter, saying that he just wanted to go back out to practice on Wednesday, see how they perform again, and go from there. All three look to be available Saturday.

One player that looks to be definitely out is receiver Charles Frederick. His hamstring injury has been slow to heal. Cody Ellis, in his second day catching passes, looked better Tuesday than Monday. "And I hope that today he looks better than yesterday and that he looks better Thursday than today," said Gilbertson. "He's a quick guy. He's catching the ball OK right now, every once in a while you see him double-catch a ball, but he hasn't had the same amount of practice as the others."

The stress fracture in Wilson Afoa's foot is slow to heal, meaning the redshirt frosh from Honolulu is out against the Ducks. "The trainers think it would be a stretch for him to be ready this weekend," Gilbertson said.

It's a shame that the Pac-10 upped the number of available road players from 60 to 64 this year, because Washington won't travel the maximum number of players. "We probably won't take as many as we can, just because we don't have that many available guys," Gilbertson said. "We are trying to preserve as many redshirts as we can while still trying to compete at the highest level. And there are some positions where young guys can come in right away and compete. But at offensive line, for example, it's really hard to come in right away. It's just a lot tougher."

Tackle Nathan Flowers is in the offensive two-deeps, but the coaches are doing everything in their power to keep his year of eligibility intact until next season. "We've done everything we can to not play him," said Gilbertson. "It was either him or Jovon O'Connor, and we just thought that Nathan might be a little ahead. He's getting experience with the twos and he's learning the playbook. But we wouldn't not like to play him, honestly."

Another move that has been made the past couple of weeks has been the off-and-on play of walk-on Mark Palaita. Palaita, a walk-on from Kennedy High School, was playing linebacker for the scout team last season before being asked to move to fullback.

"Mark is a tough, tough guy," Gilbertson said of the 5-10, 240-pound Palaita. "He was playing linebacker last year, just blasting people, so we asked him if he had ever played offense before. He also puts some nice hits together on kickoff returns."


Notes:
It's a kick, part 2: Still no change in the placekicking contest between Mike Braunstein and Evan Knudson. Has there been any thought to seeing what Sean Douglas can do? "We actually tried that once, but the joggers were in danger," quipped Gilbertson. "He has a really strong leg, but placekicking just isn't his forte. I also think that kicking off all the time affects how he punts."

Zach attack on track?: There's a chance that fullback Zach Tuiasosopo might be available to play in the Apple Cup, said Gilbertson. "There's an outside chance," he said.

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