News and Notes - 11/2

With the news that he would be replaced after the season out of the way, Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson is hoping the focus of the football team can actually be about football. The Dawgs do have a game coming up this Saturday, against a team they share the Pac-10 cellar with - Arizona. While this matchup doesn't have the makings of a Saturday night, prime-time event, Gilbertson does expect a lot of pride to show itself.

"They will play hard, I know they are excited about playing," he said when asked about the mental health of his team in the wake of Monday's announcement. "It was a good (Monday) practice. We don't go very long on Mondays, but we got a lot done."

In short, nothing out of the ordinary. But in a year where nothing has been ordinary except the product on the field, it's difficult to believe the Huskies' focus will be razor-sharp. "I think it's going to be pretty emotional, I think there's going to be a lot of energy on the field," Gilbertson added. "Their offense has had a lot of the same struggles we've had. They've left a lot of offense out on the field with turnovers in the red zone. Their defense has played some good football."

Gilbertson mentioned the Wildcats' two defensive ends - Marcus Smith and Andre Torrey - and their two safeties - Darrell Brooks and Lamon Means - as standouts.

For his own team, there has been little movement on the depth chart, including quarterback. "Casey (Paus) is still our number-one quarterback," said Gilbertson. "Carl (Bonnell) didn't do much yesterday. We'll see how he is today. We're waiting on Charles (Frederick) to make a showing. He ran a couple of routes yesterday, but he did that last Monday too. He's the guy that's lingering the most."

Safety Dashon Goldson hurt his non-surgically repaired shoulder against Oregon and it will probably require surgery at the end of the season. Quintin Daniels had successful knee surgery this morning.

The only other player Gilbertson is concerned about right now is receiver Anthony Russo. The frosh from Lakes hurt his ankle in last weekend's lost to the Ducks. "All the pictures were negative, but we'll limit him early in the week," Gilbertson said. "If he can't go, hopefully Charles will fill in. If he doesn't, Sonny Shackelford would return punts and the kickoff rotation would be with Matt Fountaine, Louis Rankin, Derrick Johnson and Shackelford."

So while the Huskies' staff prepare per the usual week-long grind, the phone calls and well wishes from those in and out of the football coaching community are a reminder to Gilbertson that his final days on the sideline in purple and gold are at hand.

"It's a gratifying thing getting calls from coaches that you've coached against and from ex-players," he said. "I've got a lot of friends in this business. I've been at this thing a long time. You can't piss everybody off. It hasn't been good, but it is what it is."

Another person sure to offer his own salutations is first-year UA coach Mike Stoops. "I really don't know him very well," Gilbertson said. "The first time I met him was last winter in LA, during recruiting. We happened to be staying in the same hotel." Top Stories