News and Notes - 10/28

Keith Gilbertson named Casey Paus his starting quarterback Thursday, ending any speculation as to who would be taking snaps from center Saturday when the Huskies travel to Eugene and take on Oregon. And to add more intrigue to UW's enigmatic offense, another receiver might be making his first career start at Autzen Stadium.

"We will start Casey Paus, and he will be our starting quarterback for the rest of the season, barring anything catastophic," Gilbertson said. "With his experience and age, particularly with the places we go on the road, he has the best grasp on what we are trying to do."

What Gilbertson didn't talk about was Paus' efforts in relief last year against the Ducks. When Cody Pickett couldn't answer the bell for the second-half with a blow to the head, all the junior from New Lenox, Illinois did was go 5-8 for 117 yards and two touchdowns, igniting a 42-point run that was unanswered by Oregon.

"We wanted one guy all along," added Gilbertson. "But some games got away from us and some guys were injured. We thought that with Charles (Frederick) and Corey Williams that we were going to have some good receivers, but things happened and we had to change our style a little bit."

That 'change in style' also coincided with Paus being benched in favor of a more-mobile Carl Bonnell for the Stanford game.

"When we lost some of our receivers, we were more of an option-oriented team," Gilbertson said. "He (Paus) is a pretty cerebral guy and a good team man. He accepted his demotion with a lot of class. But he's earned it and this is the way we're going. We didn't see this rotation happening at the beginning of the season and we didn't want it to happen. I want to try and settle things down."

Both backups, Bonnell and Isaiah Stanback, will travel with the team to Eugene and be available. "I'm not totally sure about Carl, he's about at 90 percent right now," Gilbertson said. "There's no pecking order, but Isaiah is the healthier of the two."

Things havent settled down at all when talking about the Huskies' receiving corps. With Frederick all but out of Saturday's game and Williams out for the rest of the season with wrist surgery, cornerback Cody Ellis has been asked to handle split chores. Another player has stepped up this week to earn a possible starting nod Saturday.

"Craig Chambers has had an excellent week," Gilbertson said. The 6-3, 200-pound Chambers, younger brother of former UW player Richie Chambers, was the highest-rated WR recruit in Washington's 2003 class, even garnering favorable comparisons to Reggie Williams.

"I remember when I was at Utah State, we had a guy come in that was touted as the next Merlin Olsen," Gilbertson said. "That's like comparing a guy to Paul Bunyon, no one is going to live up to those kinds of expectations. He would have had to play almost perfect.

"Craig is a young guy, and a great kid to coach. He's been very responsible about everything we've asked him to do. He's just a redshirt freshman, and it takes time to develop."


Notes:
Don't bet on it: In a bit of irony, the AFCA has sent out blue bracelets to all their head coaches in support of the NCAA's 'Don't bet on it' campaign. All the coaches will be wearing the bracelets during their games this weekend.

Afoa not out?: Wilson Afoa was not expected to travel due to a stress fracture in his foot, but things may have changed a bit for the frosh from Honolulu. "I'm not sure right now," Gilbertson said. "He's got 48 hours to rehab and treat his leg, so there's a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes, I know he really wants to play."

Reffett is there: Jordan Reffett, who switched back to DT this week, will travel and keep his current number, 59.


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