Dawg Blog - SJSU

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Here are some post-game quickie stats:

Washington won possession battle 30:31 to 29:29.

Washington had 468 total yards, 300 through the ground. SJSU had 373, 323 through the air. Both had 66 offensive plays apiece.

Stanback was 16-25-1 for 168 yards and 1 touchdown.

Rankin had 10 rushes for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanback had 102 yards on 17 carries and one score, James had 53 yards on 14 carries and one score. It's the last time two Washington backs have run for over 100 yards in a game since James and Shelton Sampson both had over 100 yards against Oregon in 2003.

Catching totals were basically the same as after three quarters.

Posted by: cfetters
Game Over. UW 35-29:

Well, you can't say they are boring, right? Geez...and to think that any one of those three field goals doesn't happen if they just hold onto the ball and this game would have been over 45 minutes ago. But to get Washington's first opening day win in five years is big, no matter how you slice it. This is the way the AFA game should have finished up. It wasn't pretty, but special teams and the defense did their jobs when it mattered most. 2-9 teams don't usually have that happen. We'll see how things go at Norman and back in Seattle against Fresno, but I think Willingham has to be pleased. The accomplished the goal of winning, which is always paramount. But they have plenty of things they need to go back and clean up, so expect plenty of behind-the-scenes 'buttkicking' during practice.

Man, the refs definitely let a lot go upfront. Gunhiem held again but no call. The secondary is like a sieve now, afraid to make plays. They are letting SJSU's backup QB carve them up like a Christmas goose. Embarassing.

Posted by: cfetters

Posted by: cfetters

Rankin shows again why he's the big 'home-run' threat Washington sorely needs, taking it 66 yards to the house. That should give the Huskies some breathing room.

Posted by: cfetters

The ups and downs continue for Stanback. He rips off a great run off tackle to put the Huskies deep in SJSU territory, but can't connect on a 4th down pass where Shackelford is down the sideline all alone. He just hasn't found that mechanism where he can throttle it down a touch when he's got wide-open plays that can be made. His enthusiasm and adrenaline continually get the better of him.

Posted by: cfetters

Some quickie stats through three quarters...

Stanback 15-21-1 for 165 and 1 score, long of 24. Rankin has 5 carries for 65 yards, long of 34. James has 14 carries for 60 yards, long of 17. Stanback has 13 carries for 53 yards, long of 15. Russo has 5 grabs for 43 yards. Corey Williams has four catches for 32 yards. Douglas has 2 kicks for a 52 yard average.

Posted by: cfetters

Gunheim comes up huge once again off the edge, forcing a poor pitch on a third-down play, leading to a punt after SJSU had been able to move the ball out of the shadow of their own end zone to past mid-field. Time for the Husky 'O' to put together another 6-minute-plus drive for a touchdown to put the capper on this game. And Rankin gets them off to a good start...

Posted by: cfetters
13:00/4: Roy Lewis goes out...possible cramping or something on a play where UW is flagged for a personal foul after SJSU recovers their own fumble. More mental errors that are allowing SJSU to stay in the game.

Posted by: cfetters

Second punt of the day for Sean Douglas and the UW special teams comes up with a beaut. A perfectly spiraled boot - a 54-yarder - that went dead sideways just short of the SJSU goal, and Chris Stevens downs it at the two. Yonus Davis was completely bottled up the first half, but the SJSU coaches are trying to get him outside, where he does have dangerous speed. But the OL for SJSU just can't match the intensity, focus and drive that's being exhibited by Washington's front four. Gunheim, Ala, Te-o Nesheim and Chris Stevens have been regular visitors to the Spartans' backfield. Now all they need to do is solve the pitches and running plays out wide to Davis and they'll really be onto something...attendance just announced: 52, 256. Paid tickets, of course.

Posted by: cfetters

Chris Stevens continues to impress with his hand down. He is not going to let that SJSU QB bootleg...no way, no how. Ala has also had a very solid game all-around, and nearly came up with a shoestring tackle for another sack. Tomey gives the ghost early with another designed QB run. I think SJSU isn't really too sure what to do about UW's front four.

Posted by: cfetters

Stanback still has his flashes of 'youth'...case in point...he had Marcel Reece roaming the back of the end zone clear and Stanback, instead of putting a little touch on it, rifled it high of the 6-3 JUCO transfer. But just when you think Isaiah is going to get mental, he busts out his own number and scores on a real nifty draw from six yards out to give UW some more breathing room. A perfect way to answer the Spartans' gift six.

Posted by: cfetters

Just call Isaiah Stanback Method Man...or rather the man with a method...as in methodically tearing apart SJSU's pass defense. It's not flashy, but it's very effective. Add in some Kenny James blasts up the middle and Washington is doing it anaconda-style to the Spartans.

Posted by: cfetters

Stanback's speed has definitely improved, make no mistake about that. His pass pro is there, has been all game. He's just sitting back there, and can still get around the corner even with SJSU guys spying on him. Dangerous...looks like he's calling his number a little more right now.

Posted by: cfetters

Nice drive by the Spartans...I guess. I mean, when half your yards are handed to you on a silver platter, it's easy to score. Roy Lewis is made to look just foolish on a fade...he had absolutely no idea on the timing and jumped a good second before the ball got there. A missed extra point makes it 21-15. Right now it feels like everyone in Husky Stadium is just going through the motions...almost feels like sleepwalking. Let's see if Stanback can get things pushed up a bit on the decibel-meter...Juan Garcia came out of the tunnel late to start the half, but he looks like he's in there no problem.

Posted by: cfetters
13:34/3: The first hose-job by the refs...you knew it was coming...PI on Fountaine and the SJSU receiver wins an Academy Award. And Gunheim comes in with a sack the very next play and then gets held so bad we could clearly see it 500 feet away. And all the bounces are going SJSU's way too. Are the fates conspiring? We'll see...

Posted by: cfetters

Clearly the player of the half is Mr. James from Dos Palos. One rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown...71 combined yards in the half...the defense did the rest. They have held SJSU to 103 yards on 25 plays, including 13 rushes for 15 yards. Stanback has been rock-solid; 11-14 for 131 yards and a score. I'm not going to hold the pick on him, that was a fluky play.

Overall, what more needs to be said? If Washington doesn't 'kill themselves in the foot' - to quote famous WSU alum Jason Gesser - they'll be just fine. The offense has shown a lot, and I think it's safe to say now that the reason they didn't do too much this fall was due to a tenacious Husky D.

Posted by: cfetters

And just like that, they do exactly what I didn't think they would do, throw it right down the gut of the defense. This time it was Kenny James to the rescue again, coming out of the backfield and racing up the hash, while Stanback placed his pass perfectly between defenders. James waltzes in, untouched - his first career touchdown reception. An 81-yard drive that took over 6 minutes off the clock...just like Lappano would have drawn it up.

Posted by: cfetters
:26/2: Here's the problem with the blog...stuff happens while I type. It sucks. As I'm typing that Stanback needs to show some composure and some football smarts, he gets sacked, forcing UW to have to use their last time out. Now they have to use the sidelines as their 'clock-stopper', which takes the whole middle half of the field out of play.

Posted by: cfetters

Ah the hubris of the young...Stanback has the whole world in front of him, no pressure, and four yards to gain a first down on a fourth-down gamble by Willingham...he sits there, while the whole right side of the field is unoccupied...he continues to scan the field...run, for God's sake! He does, and his speed allows him to get the first down with basically no margin for error. This drive will show us how composed he is in running the two-minute drill.

Posted by: cfetters

As they showed on their first scoring drive, UW can move at will against SJSU when they feel like holding onto the pigskin. Lappano is doing a great job of mixing up safe passes with stretch runs, giving Stanback some room to make some things happen just by him having the ball.

Posted by: cfetters

Howell just stuffs SJSU on a third-and-1, a play where a sneak would have gotten the Spartans what they needed. Now they call timeout and set up for a field goal. The defense implores the 40,000 that are here to make some noise. The students are twirling yellow towels that were given away before the game. But it doesn't work, as SJSU puts their third three-pointer up on the board, a 45-yarder. If the Huskies could just hold onto the ball, it's not inconceivable that they could be pitching a shut-out. Give Baer and the defense credit...they've come up aces every time the offense has put it on the turf.

Posted by: cfetters

Chris Stevens and Greyson Gunheim have themselves a little Spartan sandwich in SJSU's backfield. Stevens gets credit with the 7-yard sack lunch. Another three-and-out that UW really needed. The Spartans have absolutely no run game to speak of and the only thing keeping them in the game is Washington miscues. And just when I type it, Mike Gottlieg coughs it up after a really pretty connection with Stanback. It's just sick to see Washington completely imploding with turnovers. Give credit to SJSU too; they are going in with the mindset that they are going to get that ball. And they have done so with great effectiveness.

Posted by: cfetters

Rankin atones! A couple of great redemption-runs for the junior from Stockton, Calif. ends up in 7 more points for UW. He did a Pachinko Palace move on one of the receivers blocking downfield that actually helped him regain his composure, cut back and elude the SJSU defenders for a 34-yard romp. Rankin is going to be the big-play counter to James' steady-as-she-goes play. Both have already accumulated over 100 yards combined in the game.

Posted by: cfetters
11:59/2: That was the UW D everyone was waiting to see. Brandon Ala was all over the place, making the tackle screaming in from the outside and then playing DT on the third down draw that went nowhere. Quick first-Q statline: James, 7-42-1, Stanback 5-7-1 for 50 yards. Corey Williams has 2 catches for 17 yards and Shackelford, Russo and Lewis have one catch each.

Posted by: cfetters
14:10/2: Lappano finally calls Stanback's number. First three and out for UW, so they went a whole Q without punting the ball. Douglas hits a beauty, and it's downed on the SJSU 16. Morovick with a very nice snap, Sean had all day to get his boot off.

Posted by: cfetters
:28/1: Spartans put three more up. A holding play effectively killed their drive, so the Husky D is playing 'bend but don't break'. And as far as the game speeding up due to the 'change of possession' rule, I haven't seen it. Because the refs have to take their time sorting through whether or not there's been a change of possession to begin win, it gives both side ample opportunity to figure out what they need to do in either situation. So in essence, the rule is fine because it's really not having any impact on the game, at least early on.

And for those that are looking for improvement on Washington's miserable 2005 return game? Nothing yet. It's still awful.

Posted by: cfetters
2:24/1: The Huskies are letting SJSU get away with making mistakes by supplying plenty of their own. I chalk it up to first-quarter jitters, but they need to get over it fast.

Posted by: cfetters
4:57/1: Rankin gets caught making an effort mistake. He had just picked up 12 yards, but in dragging a couple SJSU defenders with him he allowed them to strip the ball away. On the ensuing offensive play, Daniel Te-o Nesheim gets his cherry popped, of sorts, when he gets the SJSU QB. It was a gain of a yard, so he won't get any credit, but he was a happy guy nonetheless.

Posted by: cfetters

Boy, the Dawgs nearly had a pick six with Fountaine out on the edge, but the SJSU pass was underthrown. Classic case of the WR reading one thing and the QB reading another... a three-and-out is just what Kent Baer was looking for after a UW offensive score. Now it's time to really get the positive momentum flowing...by the way, true frosh Paul Homer has already seen his first action as a Husky. He's wearing No. 30 today instead of 25.

Posted by: cfetters

The Dawgs are having success putting the ball in James' hands, and he just scores off the option draw, a pretty play from around 17 or 18 yards out. Kenny is running with authority! The Dawgs are using their TE's with abandon during their 79-yard scoring drive, a lot of two TE sets. Rob Lewis caught a nice drag route, and as soon as he was done, Kirton came right in. I expect to see them rotate as much as any grouping today.

Interesting kickoff scheme...Matt Fountaine and Roy Lewis, as the gunners, were a full 15 yards off the line of scrimmage. Also 15 yards off was Chris Stevens, who was right around Braunstein on the kickoff. But we didn't get a chance to see the new scheme in action, as Braunstein took the prevailing wind and put the ball seven yards deep in the endzone for a touchback.

Posted by: cfetters
9:43/1: Shackelford just gets lit up but holds onto the ball. A nice throw by Stanback. Looks like UW is going to attack the double-eagle-flex with the spread option...and for those that were wondering about the 'three tight end sets', we just saw one on third and short that was converted for a first down.

Posted by: cfetters

SJSU gets first blood on a FG, but two penalties killed a promising drive. On third and 8, it almost appeared as if Tomey was settling for a FG by calling the SJSU QB's number on a keeper to the middle of the field. Now that UW is down, we'll see how resilient they are and how mentally prepared they are to play a full 60 minutes of football.

Posted by: cfetters

Stanback gets hit by the turnover bugaboo again, but it wasn't his fault. Russo slipped and SJSU CB Dwight Lowery made a great play on a tip. Tomey comes out firing with a slant down the heart of the UW D. Time for the Huskies' D to step up right away.

Posted by: cfetters
13:50/1: Stanback completes his first pass, to Corey Williams. Nice to see the two of them hook up early for an easy completion. A Stanback sneak and they get their first first-down of the year. A solid start.

Posted by: cfetters
Gametime: Whole sections of Husky Stadium with just handfuls of fans...never thought I'd see it that bare. UW wins the toss and takes the ball. Luke Kravitz is the other player alongside Roy Lewis, but he isn't at the same depth Roy is. Looks like he's more of a blocking guy. SJSU tries a pooch on Kravitz' side and he gets it and moves it to the 29.

Posted by: cfetters
5 minutes before gametime:

Just finished the national anthem...I still think it's one of the best presentations in all of sport - college or professional - with the flag (25 yards wide), held up by the 'human post' made up of the UW band...it's a special deal. The SJSU team just came out, boos from the students. And the feet are now pounding and the cheers are coming...game captains lead the team out...Stanley Daniels, Isaiah Stanback, Kenny James and C.J. Wallace. The bullet horn sounds...it's time to finally play some football.

Posted by: cfetters
15 minutes before gametime:

A quick sweep of the recruits in attendance yields no real top prospects today. The kickoff classic at Qwest Field has as much to do with that as anything. Both teams are back in their respective locker rooms, getting ready. It's open-air up here in the booth, and it's still very warm, even with a nice comfortable breeze floating through Husky Stadium. In short, you couldn't ask for a better day to kick off the season. Those that decided to not show because of non-renewal would enjoy this day just on principle alone. The student section is now pretty full, but the west end is just awful by comparison.

Posted by: cfetters
30 minutes before gametime:

Almost time to kick this season off, and the shiny new bleachers on the east end almost have more people in them than the rest of the stadium right now. Perched directly over the south side, I can't see how many are sitting there, but I would have figured the sun and hot temperatures would have at least gotten the sunbathing fans out en masse. They just showed that Mike Gottlieb is going to start at tight end. That's a great story right there. Expect Rob Lewis and Johnie Kirton to get their touches today against the San Jose State Spartans. And by the way - the Husky Legend for today is Chico Fraley!

Posted by: cfetters
(8/31/06 4:49:21 pm)

Afternoon practice observations

Not too much going on different from a normal UW practice session. No redshirts on today, so that's a good sign.

The DB's were doing a 're-routing' drill, where the DB would push the offensive player and re-route them to where they wanted to go, disrupting their original route. C.J. Wallace and Dashon Goldson were particularly fired up during this session.

Greyson Gunheim and Stanley Daniels broke the team down today.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/31/06 4:06:49 pm)

Afternoon Willingham briefing

Asked about the Bellevue-Skyline game (son Nathaniel is playing for Skyline), and he said that playing in high school games like that is huge because you want your players to have played in 'big-game atmospheres' with that kind of excitement and intensity.

Said that he feels that his team is coming into the game in relatively good shape. Gunheim has pretty much participated in everything this week, Goldson just a little less. Added that Quintin Daniels has done enough where he could probably play if needed, so guys like Goldson, Daniels and Chris Hemphill (thigh bruise) would be likely 'game-time' decisions.

Asked about the QB's wearing their game jerseys on Wednesday, and he said that he would have ideally liked to have the whole team wear their game jerseys during the last major scrimmage (one week ago), but they weren't able to facilitate it. But it was important that the QB's got a chance to get a feel for what it's like to throw in their jerseys so that the equipment guys could make any last second alterations.

Asked about the kicking game, and Willingham said that he's been very pleased with Braunstein and Douglas, said that they have done a very good job of doing what they can to 'take their position to a new level', and be creative as weapons in UW's system.

Asked about Braunstein's range, and he said that Braunstein hit a 51-yarder a couple of days ago, but ultimately weather conditions will determine game-day range.

Asked about his feeling going into the first game, and he said the last time he had butterflies was back in 1968, but that doesn't mean he isn't excited on game-day.

Asked about Kick-off and Punt returners. Said that Roy Lewis will be the main KOR guy, and Marlon Wood will be the main PR guy. Wood, Russo, Shackelford, Sampson and Fountaine will be other guys Willingham will use for KOR (the player alongside Lewis has yet to be named), and Shackelford and Russo will be backing up Wood on punt returns.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/31/06 12:25:15 pm)

By the Numbers is here!

Click on the link to check out the numbers crunch between the Spartans and Huskies.

Huskies vs. SJSU By-The-Numbers

Posted by: pthrapp
(8/30/06 4:34:32 pm)

Afternoon practice observations

Chris Hemphill was wearing red today instead of C.J. Wallace. He was the only one on the team to be wearing red.

It appeared as if a scout from the San Diego Chargers was there. He spent some time talking to Chris Tormey before warmups.

Matt Fountaine was the one that broke down the team and ran them through Husky Jacks.

The quarterbacks changed into their Saturday jerseys, it appeared, to be able to get used to throwing the ball with a tighter jersey. The game jerseys are noticeably tighter than the ones the team uses to practice with.

WR Quintin Daniels didn't appear to have a cast on his arm anymore and was catching with two hands. But it's still doubtful that he'll play on Saturday due to Willingham's prognosis on Monday.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 3:50:48 pm)

Afternoon Willingham briefing...

Said that yesterday's practice was 'upbeat, energetic and positive'. Said that the pace was good but that it still wasn't perfect. 'I'm hoping perfect comes on Saturday'.

Said that Wallace did everything but contact yesterday, hence the red jersey. No new injuries or academic updates to report.

Felt that after yesterday's workout, pretty much everyone that went through fall camp will be able to play (minus Ellis and Daniels, per Monday's presser). Said weather won't play a factor in the rotations as much as who has stood out in camp. Mentioned Brandon Ala and Caesar Rayford as two players that have worked their way into the rotation at DE.

Asked about Stevens' role now that Scott White is No. 1 WIL, and Willingham said that he's still so versatile because he can play with his hand 'up or down', and that kind of flexibility is a real plus for the team.

Asked about getting guys like Tuiasosopo and Savannah 'game-ready' for Saturday, and Willingham feels that they've been put through 'game-like situations' with 'game-like intensity' against the first team, so that's going to help them as much as anything else be ready to go.

Asked about a 'clearer idea' as to which frosh would play. Said Butler will probably do some special teams, and Homer will do the same, with the added possibility that he could get some actual game reps.

Asked about giving 'second chances' to players and he said that it's a chance you take for the team in the hopes it works out, but he has not given second chances before and could do so as early as tomorrow if the situation required.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 3:27:00 pm)

Just given a Harris Interactive release...

that announces their final 'panel' for the 2006 Harris Interactive College Poll, commissioned by the BCS. Included in the group are names like Mike Adamle, Earle Bruce, Pete Dawkins, Boomer Esiason, Seth Joyner, Mike Lude, John Mackovic, Bill McCartney, Ted Miller, Alex Molden (Oregon), Craig Morton, Brad Muster, George Perles, Steve Preece (Oregon State), Tommy Vardell and Jim Walden.

Over 114 panelists are included, including former coaches, players, administrators and current and former media. It was created after a random draw of more than 300 nominations supplied by the 11 D-1A conferences.

(8/30/06 2:17:31 pm)

Talked to Donald Butler...

Asked about coming into fall camp and playing...he said that there were some questions at the middle 'backer position and he didn't want to redshirt. He said that the coaches have told him that they are going to 'play the best player' and that he has a chance to play.

Asked about the biggest adjustment...he said that the speed and the mental aspects of the game have been the hardest to adjust to. Said that about two weeks into camp, he hit that wall with the realization that this was a lot for a freshman to handle.

Said that he turned to God and prayed a lot, and that's what really helped him muster up the strength to stay physically and mentally strong through the rest of camp.

Asked about the feeling going through the tunnel on Saturday and he said that it's 'going to be crazy'. Said that 70,000-plus fans screaming for the Huskies is a 'once in a lifetime' experience and that he's going to try and soak it in and just have fun out there.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 2:12:33 pm)

Talked to Trenton Tuiasosopo...

Asked what it's going to be like to get out there on Saturday, and he said it's 'almost everything that he's been waiting for', said he's been waiting for it ever since he had his head injury. Said he's had to learn all the 'little details' of the game from guys like Joe Lobendahn and Scott White and Evan Benjamin. Now he just wants to go out and play and he can't wait.

Asked about the layoff that he's had since when he played last, and he said that it's going to be just like the last game he played and just go from there. Said that it's still just football, even though there are going to be more people around and it's a bigger stadium.

Asked about the competition with Tahj Bomar, and he said that while it has been a competition, he also considers it a 'brotherhood'. Said he's learned a lot from him and Scott, but at the same time he's doing what he can to try and start.

Asked about the fact that both were probably going to play from the get-go, and he said that it helped ease the stress a little bit, but he said he doesn't mind at all being behind Tahj, because he's still trying to learn all he can.

Asked about going through camp 100 percent healthy, and he said that it is a blessing and honor that he was able to do that, but now it's time to go out and play. Said he knows that God will be watching over him and the whole team on Saturday.

Asked about that first hit after coming back, and he said that he'll never forget it. It was in the spring game against Mark Palaita and after that, he knew that God was taking care of him and that there were not going to be any more setbacks from his injury.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 2:02:56 pm)

Talked with Scott White...

...and Scott said flat-out that his potential departure from the team had nothing to do with the coaches ('I was always committed to the coaches', but his own need to 'get things straight' with himself. Said that the team welcomed him back with open arms. 'They were happy to see me and they knew that they needed me on the team', he said.

Said the best advice he's gotten since coming back is to just work hard and 'just play'.

Said that since the scrimmage it's the best he's felt in awhile, shaking off hamstring issues and a concussion to regain a starting spot. Said that moving from SAM to WIL is not a big deal because he's played all three positions while at UW and started his career at WIL behind Marquis Cooper. Said that under Phil Snow, there was a lot of 'cross-training' between positions, so the transition has not been that tough.

Said that he'll be doing so many things (nickel, SAM, ILB), that he's going to be the guy that 'moves around when something happens'.

Said that he definitely felt that inside is the best position for him. Said that last year he got isolated a few times out there and it hurt his consistency of play. Said that now that he's inside, he's right in the middle of the action - like Evan Benjamin last year.

So now he's really focused on working and being a 'better leader' and 'better influence'. Said that there's only one Coach Tormey, and with such a young group it's up to him to be another voice for Coach.

When he came back to the team, he was told that he would have to start at the bottom and work up, and he embraced it - said he would do whatever he needed to, even play on scout team. He thinks it's actually brought the guys around him even closer together.

Asked about the concussion - suffered during first full pads scrimmage with Ben Ossai coming around the corner. Called it a 'stalemate', with both guys ending up with concussions. Said he had 'blurry vision' and bad headaches , but he knew how important it was to be out there and playing...but the trainers shut him down and told him to be patient with it.

Asked about there being more head injuries than in previous camps, and he said that it all stems from Coach Baer and his want to see how physical people can play. 'Everyone is stressing tough, physical football', he said.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 1:36:01 pm)

Talked to Kent Baer...

...about what he expects out of SJSU. Said that no matter where he's gone, from Utah State in the old PCAA to Cal, Stanford and now Washington, San Jose State has always had speed on their roster.

Said that now SJSU also has bigger lines than they used to, which is making them even more competitive. And like any season-opener, the UW coaches have watched film of all the SJSU games, including their last two that they won over Idaho and New Mexico State. He said that they 'looked good' and that it's a tendency to 'overprepare' for everything they saw, including looking at the earlier games in which the Spartans stuggled.

Said that he has shown the defense the Fresno State game from last year, one that SJSU played well in. Apparently the Spartans didn't turn the ball over at all at the end of the year.

He said that their running back, Yonus Davis, reminds him of Maurice Drew, and one of the real keys for the UW defense is not allowing SJSU to get in a 'running rhythm'. Also said that he was impressed by 81 (Broussard).

Asked about their QB's, said that Flynn is a LA Harbor transfer (along with their TE), so they watched LA Harbor game film to prepare. He's a lefty, a little bigger version of last year's starter (Tafralis), but he's dinged up. Based on what Dick Tomey said on Monday, both Flynn and Tafralis could play.

Asked about Scott White. Baer said that White has always wanted to play an inside linebacker spot since he's been at UW, so they started to look at it in 'nickel' situations and then also in their base package. Because Chris Stevens is in so much of what the team is trying to do (including special teams), Baer said the move to SAM allows to ease Stevens' responsibilities a little and also give them an opportunity to get their three best guys out on the field at the same time.

Also said that Howell, because of his play this fall, kind of forced the issue a bit. Also said that the defense has some very good ILB's, but they are young and inexperienced - but they have to bring them along at the same time because you want to have ideally 6-7 linebackers you can count on during the year.

Asked about Stevens and rushing the QB. Baer said he thought he remembered Stevens saying that he thought his favorite position to play in HS was offensive line, perhaps center. Said he just likes to really mix it up. He's strong and has great speed.

Asked about Goldson and Gunheim coming back, and Baer said he thought both 'looked really good' yesterday, but cautioned that it's just Gunheim's first day back, and you never know how things like knees react to that kind of situation. Clearly they'll know more as the week goes on, but it looks promising.

Said that Gunheim won't play a full game, but doesn't expect anyone else on defense to either, especially if the forecast of 85 degrees happens.

Asked about the DT battle between Mateaki and Reffett and said that if they played today that Mateaki would start. Said it doesn't really matter though, because both can play well and they have confidence in both to come in at any time. Said he's pleased with how they are building depth.

Asked about freshmen playing...he said that one guy that has done a nice job in practice is Donald Butler, and that he's got a chance to play. Said that he's probably going to be seen a lot in special teams. Also talked about Elisara and Mosley getting opportunities if injuries came up.

Asked about Derek Kosub, and he said that the Reno frosh is doing well. Said that his position (DT) is a hard one to play, but he's naturally strong and tough and has seen some things him that are the sign of a naturally-instinctive football player.

Asked about Wells...said that the best part about it is that he's got three years to play...said that he's showed a lot this fall, still making some mistakes that newer players make, but he shows a lot of 'want-to' and a strong work ethic. Said that in the collision with Wallace and Russo that he also laid his hat on a couple more guys that day and never skipped a beat.

Asked about guys like Trenton Tuiasosopo and E.J. Savannah - guys that have had to wait that extra year to play in a game...Baer said that the key for the coaches is to make sure the players understand that they have been going up against great skill players and lines and that the game won't be that much different...but he also understands that when the 'lights go on', human nature kicks in and it'll take a little bit of time for them to get completely back in the swing of things.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/30/06 12:55:08 pm)

Talked with E.J. Savannah...

...and he told me he feels his shoulder is '90-95 percent' back to health, and that at the linebacker spot you're always going to have stingers because of the hitting, but he feels as healthy as he has been in quite a while. Said that he actually had a couple in the spring, but didn't tell anybody about it because he was trying so hard to come back and play.

Asked about the Bellevue-Skyline game and he sounded supremely confident in the Wolverines' chances to win. Said that he actually went to Fort Warden for a while to camp with his former high school team and said they really worked hard and came out of that camp looking really good.

Said that the competition between him and Chris Stevens has been great, and that with Scott White now starting over them, it's still not going to take away any minutes from him. Said that because of Stevens' ability as an edge rusher, there will be some situations where all three (White, Savannah and Stevens) will be on the field at the same time. Said that he first found out about White getting the nod the day after the last big scrimmage (Friday).

Asked about Saturday's game, and he said the biggest adjustment he'll have in actually playing football again is getting used to the speed of the game and picking that up.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 4:35:38 pm)

Afternoon practice observations

Not too much going on. C.J. Wallace was in red, but he looked to be participating in all the workouts.

Kenny James broke the team down after warmups.

From watching them work, looked like Rob Lewis, Mike Gottlieb and Johnie Kirton were running 1, 2, 3 when they were working the sled with the OL.

Evan Knudson stopped by to say hi to the kickers and punters.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 3:52:34 pm)

Willingham afternoon briefing

No personnel changes, said that all the players that have been trying to get their academics straight are still trying to do so, but they are all still 'pending'. Said that the drop-dead date would be closer to when the new quarter starts, which will be in about a month.

No new injury issues. Said the only ones that probably won't play will be Cody Ellis (collarbone) and Quintin Daniels (hand).

It's anticipated that Gunheim will start, but Willingham wouldn't guarantee it until he sees Greyson work this week.

Asked about the kickoff luncheon and he said he sensed that Husky fans are anxious for the season to get on.

Announced that fullback Mark Palaita and tailback Shelton Sampson have both been awarded scholarships for this year. Willingham went on to say that it's his policy that scholarships will be awarded to walk-ons only if they have earned it and deserve it. Said he feels the team appreciates that approach and respects it.

Said that there will be no daily 'gold jersey' winners for this fall, but there will be players that will be put in a group called the 'Victory Club' - based on film evaluation after the game. Could be one player or the whole team, according to Willingham. 'They get the privileges of membership for a week', he added. Also said that the Victory Club winners will be announced weekly win or lose the weekend before.

This will be different that the Players of the Game, which I guess is sponsored by Pepsi.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 2:33:19 pm)

Talked to Mike Gottlieb...

...he said that his goal wasn't to create competition, but to get back to his 'normal pace' and get back to the way he wanted to play, and the competition arose from that. Said it's helped all of them.

Said that one constant in his game is that he plays every play with passion, Said it would be a guarantee to UW fans. Said he loves the game and he wants to win and will bring the passion and effort every game. Said he prides himself on it.

Asked about the idea of not being that No. 1 guy coming out of the fall like he was the spring, and he said that he couldn't say he was disappointed. Said he wants to play and as much as possible. Said his focus was on making sure he is ready to play and to 'keep plugging away'. Said right now he's focused on beating San Jose State, and whoever the coaches put out there is best for the team, and that's what he wants.

Asked about his biggest focus this fall, and it's been on consistency in everything he does. Said he tried to get himself in the best shape possible over the summer so that he could focus on making the most out of every play this fall.

Asked about the journey from being a walk-on to earning a scholarship. Said that, 'so far, so good'. Said he expected to come in and be a player, and that hasn't happened yet. Said that either way, when he looks back on it, it'll be with no regrets. Said that he's not happy with where he is right now and he still wants to keep his game rising every day.

Asked about personal goals for Saturday and he talked about just getting his feet wet, getting comfortable in that environment. Said that he's going to prepare the best he can and 'up his focus'. Said he's more anxious than nervous or excited to run down the tunnel.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 2:23:44 pm)

Talked to Johnie Kirton...

...said the battle has been great for him because it's been the first time in his athletic career that he's had to really fight for a position, and that's made him better. They are friends, yet it's also fun too to make it a competition in practice.

Asked about his biggest improvements and he said blocking and technique. Said he went back and watched games from last year and he said he basically had no technique blocking. Now it's a huge difference for him, and he thanks Coach Simmons, as well as Gottlieb and Lewis for that.

Asked about running the ball again, and he said it's just like 'riding a bike'. He said Coach Lappano knows that he's willing to do it whenever it's necessary. Said that the only part of his running game that's rusty is receiving the handoffs. He said he needs to make sure that he gives the QB's a nice pocket to receive the ball.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 2:19:26 pm)

Talked to Rob Lewis...

...asked him about the competition for the starting spot. Said that everyone has gotten better because of it, blocking, catching and also in terms of confidence. Said that it doesn't matter who starts at this point, he feels they will all get the same number of reps.

Asked about being the 'elder-statesman' of the group and whether or not that gives him a little edge. He said it was a little frustrating because he has the most experience, but flat-out said that if Mike Gottlieb is the best guy to play, that's only going to motivate him to step his game up and be better.

Said he's worked the most on being consistent on his blocking, going hard all the time. Said having Kirton and Gottlieb side-by-side improving has really benefitted him too.

Asked about the relative strengths of the three turning the position from a question mark last year to a strength this year. He said that it has to because they've all gotten better and Lappano is putting them out in the routes more than ever before.

Said that Husky fans will see Rob Lewis being a leader of the tight end corps and that he's going to do everything he can to get wins.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 2:13:04 pm)

Talked to Bob Simmons...

Asked about the battle with the three guys. He said that Gottlieb had a great spring and because of that, he created the competition with the other players. And with that competition, they've all gotten better.

Rob Lewis has done a better job in blocking and getting stronger.

Johnie Kirton has improved in learning the position from a technique standpoint.

Said that everybody will fit. Kirton has size, athleticism and good hands. Gottlieb is tenacious, really stays with blocks. Lewis is a veteran that can do both and has a lot of experience.

Said that all of them are going to bring something to the table. In UW's offense, it calls for two and three tight ends in some of their sets.

Asked about Kirton and getting a chance to run the ball a little bit, and Simmons said that it's great for him because Johnie loves to have the ball in his hands and he loves to have that spotlight. Said that's a good thing because you need to have some guys like that to 'step up to the plate'. Said he's working to be a complete player and it just adds another dimension to his game.

Asked about what they had to work on the most and Simmons said blocking. Said the TE blocking techniques are the same that the offensive linemen uses. Said using their hands is a big part of their role in the offense, so catching while breaking out of routes and timing was also big too. They emphasized on 'being smooth' coming out of their routes and not catching the balls in their stomachs, which isn't good with QB's like Stanback, because they'll bounce a lot. Have to catch with hands extended.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 2:03:49 pm)

Talked to Tim Lappano...

He said that they are expecting to see that 'double-eagle-flex' defense that Tomey used at Arizona so well. Said that the main two keys to having success would be making sure they take care of the middle linebacker (who normally pulls back at least a yard or two from normal depth to be able to run sideline-to-sideline) and to also 'feed the corners', meaning take advantage of SJSU's corner's on an island when the opportunity presents itself.

Said that having a mobile QB in Stanback is a real plus for UW and hurts that kind of a defense, because it makes them have to play 'hat on hat'. Said that kind of defense also helps a runner like Louis Rankin, because he is more of an outside runner and the double-eagle-flex is designed to stack the box and clog up the inside running game.

Said that Morgan Rosborough will be UW's 6th OL coming off the bench, regardless of position (assuming another player would move over to center). Said he thinks Rosborough (nickname is 'Big House') has the potential to be a heck of an offensive lineman for the Huskies. Also said he doesn't expect Ryan Tolar will see action on Saturday. The game is just too fast right now and there's too much learning going on to play instinctual football for a player just out of high school.

He did say that true frosh Paul Homer is in the mix, and at 245 pounds can help the team out right now. 'Paul Homer will play this year', he said. With Mark Palaita working through lower back issues, he's 'chipped up', so it's going to be important to also have Homer and Luke Kravitz in the mix to play.

Also said that if injuries necessitated, Johnie Kirton would most likely lead the mix at 4th tailback, but don't discount a guy like Kravitz.

Said that if teams like SJSU are going to try and blitz on UW, they have to be able to make them pay. Said there's nothing better than putting a touchdown on the board to make the other head coach out of blitzing fast. Used the Apple Cup last year as an example of a team that came after them and they couldn't make them pay because they overthrew guys and couldn't connect when guys were open.

Asked about the tight ends and he said that all will play. Said that they are, for the most part, interchangeable. Said they are all playing better than a year ago.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 11:56:26 am)

Games 1 through 3 are crucial...

And so with that in mind, here's my latest opine! Click on the link below for more.

Dawgman's weekly Op-Ed

Posted by: Dawgman
(8/29/06 11:39:14 am)

Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

I listened into the teleconference this morning, here are some notes on what the coaches said about their teams and their upcoming games this weekend.
Mike Bellotti - UO plays Stanford this weekend.

Said it's interesting that Stanford is the first game, because it's going to be on the books for a while as far as Pac-10 play, so the players are taking it maybe even more seriously than a normal opener.

Garren Strong, Brian Paysinger, James Finley, Cameron Colvin and Jordan Kent were all receivers mentioned by Bellotti. Said that the Paysinger/Finley and Colvin/Kent battles have been great to see.

Asked about rule changes - said he hasn't changed his mind. Said coaches challenge is 'ludicrous'. Said somebody is trying to shorten the game, but no one is stepping up and taking responsibility for it. Said that the committee passed the clock rule despite the coaches' overwhelming vote against it. Said that if the coaches have anything to do about it they'll probably overturn it.

Said the biggest suprise on the team defensively is DT Jeremy Gibbs. Said he'll play immediately. Said moving Chris Vincent back to tailback has also been a very nice move.
Walt Harris - asked about Evan Moore's comeback...said it was hard on the team last year and excited he's back and healthy (maybe even better, because of his flexibility), but still new to their system.

Asked about Trent Edwards, now that he's healthy. Harris said now that he's had a year in the system, that's going to help him a lot. Said he has a lot of talent and a great attitude. Added that you can't put a measure on the experience he has at the position.

Asked about playing a conference road game off the bat - he said it just puts that much more pressure on them, but that's exciting and the reason why you play the game. Said UO has size and speed and 'have it going'. Said Autzen is the toughest home environment to play in the conference.
Mike Stoops - UA plays BYU this weekend.

Asked about the biggest jump in the past 24 months...he said it's been in recruiting...top 20 recruiting classes back-to-back builds up depth and competition on the team. Also mentioned chemistry across the board and how his team has come together and 'in the boat'.

Asked about Tuitama - said he's still young and inexperienced in some area, but his decision-making is better, said the game has slowed down for him. Said there's nothing he doesn't feel comfortable doing.

Asked about being able to be competitive without a pro-style QB, and he said that if teams take something away from you, you have to have that balance, and he said that Tuitama has the ability to do all those things. Said he has 'huge talent', but he'll need help with the OL to allow Willie to throw. If forced to throw, he can throw it 40-45 times a game. Said they have more options now than they've ever had.

Asked about the first game, and he said that they are generally more cautious because of all the unknowns, not only for the other team but for his own. Said that you probably 'overprepare' because of that.

Asked about the QB being more important in the Pac-10 and he said no question, especially because of the need to score so many points to be competitive.

Asked about BYU...said there are probably some similarities in the programs...said they play hard and are well-coached and he said they hope they do the same at UA.

Asked about winning openers - said it's important but his team knows it's going to be a long season. Said their OOC schedule in the past hasn't been real 'conducive' to getting off to a good start.
Mike Riley - OSU has a Thursday game against Eastern Washington.

Asked about the SEC and Pac-10 playing against each other (three games this weekend) and he said it's great because of the contrast of styles and also the general unfamiliarity.

Asked about Matt Moore...said that most of the picks made were just bad choices...but now he has been in a system two years in a row for the first time in his life and that should be a big deal.

Asked about the lack of a real marquee QB name in the conference...said that last year graduated a bunch (Leinart, Olson, Clemens) and called this year a 'changing of the guard'.

Asked about season opener...said he always has a 'question mark in my head' about what his team is actually going to be like. Always has nerves, because of the time invested and the excitement level.

Asked about TB rotation...Clinton Polk is clearly No. 2 behind Yvenson Bernard, and he wants Polk to get 10-15 carries at least.

Asked about true frosh punter (Kyle Loomis) ...said he's pretty unflappable, but still inconsistent. Said that with time passing, he'll be an excellent punter.
Pete Carroll - USC is at Arkansas this weekend

Asked about Jarrett's homesickness...Carroll said it was 'classic homesickness' and he had the players talk with him and his Mom was great about making sure he stuck with his commitment and his decision...once he got comfortable he was fine.

Asked about Booty and how in this day and age if he hadn't gotten early time he could have transfered and Carroll said that he's always been committed to the program and now it's paying off for him.

Asked about Arkansas, Carroll said it's just 'another great opener'...said similar to going to Auburn, opening on the road in front of a hostile crowd...very similar to that game, when Leinart was making his debut, and Carroll is using it as a 'similar theme'. Also mentioned how they weren't sure about the younger guys stepping up at Auburn, but now they know that freshmen will step up and make plays.

RB competition is 'wide open'....said Gable was the most consistent early and Moody was the most improved. Said Bradford has elevated because he's the big guy that can move piles and that Stafon Johnson has battled too.

Asked about the 71 points against Arkansas last year was in part a chance to impress pollsters and he said they've never had that mindset. Said that it had more to do with the fact that Arkansas is a great program and that they wanted to 'play great' in respect to that fact. Said he totally expects Arkansas to take that personally and want to 'rectify' that fact. Said they expect Arkansas' best shot. 'They are going to come out smokin'.

Asked about being seen at high school games...said it's a byproduct of trying to make in-person evaluations...said it's part of making an 'all-out great effort' in recruiting. 'You have to go out and work'. Said that if it wasn't for the NCAA-imposed time-limitations, they'd 'go crazy' trying to out-work others and go all over the country to see recruits.
Karl Dorrell - UCLA hosts Utah this weekend

Asked about losing Eric Bienemy and the after-effects in recruiting, and Dorrell said it's actually been better. 'It's as good as it's ever been'.

Asked about Ben Olson...said he's progressed faster than any other QB they've ever had, well ahead of the curve. Said the maturity gained by going on mission has helped him. Said the one thing he hasn't been able to do is play in games, and once he does that ... 'he'll take off'. Said he has all the tools you want.

Asked about the 'mystery' of the QB position in the Pac-10...said that UCLA and the public are all 'very interested' to see how Ben Olson performs.

Asked about adding Jim Colletto to the staff...said that he brings a whole lot of experience to the table and depth of knowledge.

Asked what he knows about the Utes...said they are dangerous. A well-coached program. Said they'll be a formidable foe year-in and year-out. Said they've made some tremendous in-roads. Said it'll be a great challenge for UCLA this weekend.
Dirk Koetter - Arizona State hosts Northern Arizona on Thursday

Asked at Rudy Burgess...said he'll be in the starting rotation at wide receiver and may 'get a few turns' in the cornerback rotation. said he's one of those rare players that will do what is asked and will do it with a smile on his face...does the little things to help win games.

Asked about the Pac-10/SEC games over the years...he said he thinks they have had great games in the past because they have the best players, especially when it comes to speed.

Asked about Carpenter and how he's done...said Rudy has always had the respect of his team, leading the nation in passing efficiency last year.

Asked about depth at QB...that's where they've taken the biggest hit. True frosh Danny Sullivan is backing Carpenter up. Went from having two proven guy to one proven guy and a frosh. Said that just last year, Carpernter was in the same boat Sullivan is in now.
Bill Doba - Washington State is at Auburn this weekend

Asked about Al Borges and what to expect from Auburn's OC ...said they'll be a few similarities when Borges was at Oregon and UCLA, but they are still a good screen team.

Asked about Kenny Irons...said he's a 'stronger Jerome Harrison'. Said he's a patient back, but his acceleration is what scares him the most.

Asked about making the transition to all-football after losing his wife last year...said it's still be very difficult, but that football has been 'his savior', and the fact that he isn't home all that much during the season is a blessing.

Asked about kicker...said that Abdulmohammedi (sp?) won the battle, but then slumped and then Langley got it but then got sick. Said Langley probably has the slight edge right now because of his experience and ability, but he was 'sporadic' early on at camp.

Asked about the mystery at QB so far in the Pac-10...said that historically teams with senior QB's in the league have done very well, so that's why a lot of people think it's a 'pretty fair battle' for the championship this fall, just because there isn't those marquee names out there.
Jeff Tedford - California is at Tennessee this weekend

Asked about changing the culture at Cal...said it was all about creating a positive atmosphere and using positive reinforcement.

Asked about QB...said it's either Nate Longshore or Joe Ayoob and it'll be an end-of-the-week decision. Said it's a 'strong possibility' that both could end up playing against Tennessee.

Asked about Ayoob coming back...said his mindset is totally different now. Said there was a lot of pressure on him last year, but he's mentally tough and worked hard on his fundamentals.

Asked about the environment at Tennessee...said they've been able to recreate the noise pretty well, but the humidity is hard to re-create. Said they are going to do their best to just concentrate on what's going on 'between the lines'

Asked about the hugeness of the game...said it's still just one game and they've prepared hard for it. Said that playing them and then playing Minnesota is not something you want to do every year, but it is what it is.

Asked about RB's...Marshawn is the key guy, but keeping him fresh with Forcett and O'Keith is a nice luxury.

Asked about Lynch and his comfort level in the spread...Tedford said he's good in both because of his blend of vision and power.

Asked about spread...said it's added 'another option' that we can go to and they have 'mixed and matched' very well to it.

Asked about Tennessee...said they have great tackles and overall team speed and athleticism. Also good corners.

Asked about losing Mixon...said that having Desean Jackson at returner and Syd'Quan Thompson at corner will be able to fill in, but there's no experience for Mixon's experience and leadership.

Asked about the Maleles...said Matt is a real clogger in the middle...Norris is in the mix to start at right guard...said both have been fighting injuries, but when they are healthy are very good players.

Asked about identifying pass rushers...said Cal's scheme is predicated more on 'team pass rush' than having someone on an island with no other responsibilities.

Asked about the great games between P-10 and SEC schools...said that there's a lot of parity in both conferences and also athleticism.

Asked about travel plans to adjust for humidity...said they are going to do it like it's a west coast game...so it'll be like a 2:30 game for them.
Tyrone Willingham - Washington hosts San Jose State this weekend

Asked about Locker...said that the focus has been on Stanback and Bonnell and thinks Jake has an excellent future in front of him.

Asked about SJSU...said that he knows Tomey is going to give them some surprises. Said they expect an attacking defense and an offense with a productive runner, a balanced attack. Said it's going to be a 'worthy challenge'.

Asked about the first game...said he understands all the energy and excitement that comes with an opener, but he is focused on the game and what needs to be done.

Asked about Stanback and how he is better...said that he hopefully is at that stage where the 'game is slowing down'.

Asked about his run threat...said that he wants that threat to emerge naturally, because when things are forced, bad things can happen.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/29/06 8:22:28 am)

Coach's Corner is here!

...how good will this defense be? We're about to find out. Coach B loves their personnel. Click on the link below for the full story.

Coach's Corner

Posted by: Dawgman
(8/28/06 1:13:29 pm)

Spoke with Dan Howell...

Asked about his impressive camp experience, and he said it wasn't a goal of his to have an impressive camp, just to make big strides from the spring and keep that 'flow' going.

Asked about taking the starting WIL spot from Scott White and he said it was great to have a motivator in front of you, but at a certain point he had to look forward. And that drove him to work hard enough to get to the point. He said he just worked hard and did what he was told.

Asked about what it was about his game that got him the starting spot. He said it's probably his physicality, aggressiveness and discipline that probably stood out in terms of the coaches coming to the conclusion that he was the best on the team at playing that specific position.

Asked about the linebacking corps in general, and he said that this year will give a bunch of games a lot of game experience. He thinks that they will all play very well and that there's a first time for everything (in terms of playing, adapting and adjusting to the speed of the game).

Asked about a sleeper or two in the LB corps. Howell immediately mentioned Trenton Tuiasosopo ('he's been reading keys like a professional'), EJ Savannah ('When you see him come into the game, you know he's going to do big things') and Chris Stevens ('he's even playing REB in certain packages). Said it's only going to take them a few plays for them to get comfortable. Said you don't have a few games to get ready, and he's not worried about them adjusting at all. 'Realistically, you only have a few plays to get it, or it's going to fire right by you'.

Asked about playing the rare role of favorites, and he said that that's all just numbers. He's more about playing. He said that he didn't know about the spread, but he'd probably forget about it by lunch, because it doesn't matter. Compared it to the weather, and how you can try and predict all you want, but you don't know until it actually comes. 'It's not going to affect how hard I play'.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/28/06 1:08:46 pm)

Spoke with Isaiah Stanback...

Asked about playing the fall without the burden of really having to compete, and he said that he doesn't feel like he ever puts himself in the position where he has to earn something because he's always going to work hard and he's always going to compete. Also said that he takes nothing from granted, and the competition always makes the team better.

Asked about the move more toward him being an equal run/pass threat, and he said that the coaches have always given him room to run, but he wasn't comfortable last year. He was trying to learn as he was playing, and that was tough. 'Now I have the confidence to know what the right read is' and there's nothing that can replace experience.

Asked about what he's told the OL, and he said that he's told them that he's going to bust his butt for them on every snap and that he expects the same from them, and that's their 'agreement'. Said they also talk to each other for 'motivation' from time to time.

Asked about whether or not he's going to offer incentives to the OL, like Dan Marino did with the Isotoner glove commercials, and he laughed. 'I don't have enough money for that!'

Asked about how he's seen his leadership develop over time, and he said that he feels like he's a different person this year. 'I've learned a lot from a lot of different people'.

Asked about the biggest lesson he's learned in the past year, and he said that, in a football sense, it's to take one play at a down. 'You can't think about second down when first down hasn't happened yet'.

Told him that I watched the 2003 Apple Cup and how he dropped a pass in that game. Asked him when the last time he had thought about playing receiver, and he laughed. 'I was sitting a long time in that game'. Added that he's been through a lot since that time and is now a better person because of it.

Posted by: cfetters
(8/28/06 1:00:45 pm)

Spoke with Wilson Afoa...

Asked about Dick Tomey's connection with Hawaii and he said that other than growing up remembering that he was UH's head coach, he doesn't have any other connection.

Asked about the DL accompishing what they wanted to this fall, and he said that they were able to work on their pass rushing skills a little more and they also stopped the run well this fall.

Asked about what it's going to take that next step in the program, and he said injuries. He added that they are coming int

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