Well, those that would know better tell me that it's just the way the 98 Rose Bowl ended for the Cougars, so I guess another game has ended just like that. Very bizarre circumstances, to say the least. The umpire can't even get out of the way quick enough for Juan Garcia to even get his hands on the ball, let alone snap it, so why did they even let the play go off?
From my vantage point, it appeared as if at least 2-3 seconds should have been put on the clock, but if you are Kenny James or Sonny Shackelford, you have to know that as soon as you make the play, you have to go down to give your team time to line up and run a play. In a game where clearly seconds were the difference between getting a play off and the final gun going off without a snap, those kinds of plays were crucial. Big ups to Stanback, who did just that on fourth-and-one. I have given IS plenty of grief over the years for missing 'football 101' plays, but his head was very focused and fully into the game at the end.
To go for it or kick? Personally, I would have gone for it. I understand why Carroll put points on the board (to take field goal out of play), but I still think with a hostile environment backed up inside your own five, that would be very difficult odds to get points from, even if you just need three to tie.
Roy Lewis had a sure picked but dropped it. Karmic payback for the dropped balls UA missed last week? We'll see.
A key miscue by USC - Pat Turner not running his route deep enough - has the Trojans punting for the second-straight possession. Whatever has happened, it appears as if UW has found 'it'. The UW fans that that come down to Los Angeles are as loud as they can be for being up in the far southeastern corner of the end zone.
Listening to the radio guys, it appears if both Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett will not be back in the game.
And Stanback to Kirton from 6 yards seals the deal. All that work with the punt machine rifling balls to Kirton has clearly paid dividends. The Huskies, despite it all, are only down three. This is, what Willingham would say, is exactly what he would have hoped for...his team being in the game at the end with a chance to win.
The Huskies really need to dig in on defense, but the toiling of the day is already starting to show itself. Goldson is cramping on the sidelines, and he's had to play in Wells' place ever since he went out early in the game.
Washington is trying to do everything they can to blow it on offense, but Stanback will have nothing to do with it. Fumbles, holding calls...he's still making plays when UW needs them the most.
Third Q thoughts:
Boy it sure didn't look like Washington was going to be dominated the way they came out of the gate, but they desperately needed to punch in that first drive. As the 4th now starts, Stanback needs to lead them on a long drive to re-establish the fact that Washington can play with USC, even in their own house.
Some quickie stats:
USC has 58 plays for 327 yards, UW 45 for 233. UW is outrushing USC 122 to 103. Stanback is 9-23 for 111, Booty is 20-34 for 204.
Gunheim tips a third-down pass, leading to USC's first punt of the day. That's the story of the day so far. The Huskies could never get the Trojans offense off the field.
The third-down passes that Washington completed in the first half are just not happening for Stanback. Other than the big run by Wood on the first play of the half, they have been completely shut out.
Douglas gets his punt blocked by Brian Cushing, a beautiful move where he just took it right off Sean's foot. Now the Huskies are once again backed up in their own end...not a winning formula for playing the No. 3 team on the road. But again, give these defensive dawgs a lot of credit...they are playing the ultimate 'bend-but-don't-break' style that is allowing USC to put up points, but only three at a time. It's also the Trojans' first 'three-and-out' of the entire game.
UW gets what it needed most; a turnover. Scott White takes the deflection off of Roy Lewis to hold USC off for the first time all day long.
UW had a great opportunity with third and long but Steve Smith burns Matt Fountaine for the first really big play behind the Huskies' secondary. But they do a great job inside their own 10, forcing another Mario Danelo field goal to push their advantage back to 7. Clearly, JD Williams' teachings are starting to sink in, because the Trojans were not able to get their shots at the goalline without them being severely contested.
On the ensuing kickoff, Marlon Wood was back there to receive it, but took a knee.
Talk about a mortar shot! All year long the Huskies have been notoriously slow coming out of the gate, so Willingham mixes it up with a 'mini pooch' by Braunstein that is perfectly executed. Lappano calls reverse on the next play and Marlon Wood takes it inside the USC 10. But the Trojans hold and force Washington to accept a field goal by Braunstein to bring the USC lead down to 4. A touchdown would have been enormous, but they got something out of it...the first points USC has given up in the third quarter all year long.
If UW ever needed a three-and-out this season, it would be during USC's first possession of the third quarter. But right now they can get 4-5 yards on a simple quick pass out to the flat, so Washington's task appears to be pretty daunting.
USC was only held to three drives, but all three found points. And if it wasn't for some serious trickeration by Carroll and co., it would be 13-10 Trojans. Overall, Willingham has to be very pleased with where his team is, but not pleased with the fact that he can't get his defense off the field.
Quick Halftime stats:
USC has 40 plays for 230 yards, UW 30 plays for 169. USC leads in rushing 86 yards to 70. USC leads in first downs 14-9. They also lead in TOP - 17:16 to 12:44.
Stanback is 7-16 for 99 yards and a score. Booty is 15-23 for 124 yards and a score. Washington has 8 carries for 62 yards for USC; James has 6 carrries for 49 yards. Patrick Turner has 8 catches for 73 yards and a score; three Huskies have two catches each, led by Cody Ellis with 38 yards.
The Trojans are spreading UW thin across the field and then running stretch plays and finding big holes...a nice move by Lane Kiffin.
A Steve Smith TD gets nullified by a holding call...instead the Trojans will go for a field goal...or will they?
Carroll is laying down the law...goes for it on fourth and two and comes up with an easy first down...UW needs a three-and-out desperately, they haven't had one all half long...
Jason Wells looks to suffer one of those 'stinger'-type injuries that happen with guys that lay the lumber. Willingham was extremely animated on the sidelines after USC tried a pump-and-go on the Huskies and it appeared as if the USC WR interfered with Roy Lewis' ability to go after the ball.
Give Washington a ton of credit for marching down the field and scoring on top of USC's scores. A 69-yard drive, capped off by Stanback finding James on an angle route from 6-yards out. Isaiah is keeping his head about him, and it's wonderful to watch.
One thing is for sure...USC's defense can be run on. The OL is doing a very good job of giving Isaiah time to scan the field, and I think IS could even be more dangerous with more semi-rolls and full-out rolls.
If you ever wanted to see a prime example of why Stanback is so dangerous, USC brought the house, and at the very last minute Stanback throws a frozen rope off his back foot for 25 yards to Cody Ellis. An unbelievably athletic play.
I expect Baer will probably back off and try to play coverage a little more, because the blitzes are just getting nothing done. And the hard thing is, the Huskies appear to have USC's touchdown pass pretty-well covered, but the Trojans just make a better play, courtesy of Patrick Turner. 14-3 USC.
Quick 1st Q stats:
USC leads in total offense 96-84. UW leads in rushing 39-29. Stanback is 3-8 for 45 yards, Booty is 6-11 for 47 yards. Kenny James has 38 yards on 5 carries, Chauncey Washington 24 yards on 2 carries for USC.
Baer is still trying to be aggressive, but USC is creasing them when they get past the first level. But give UW credit...all of USC's passing yards are being gained underneath. When Booty tries to go up top, the corners are meeting the challenge.
End of first quarter:
Looks like Berglund started per coach's decision. Braunstein gets off the schnide with three, but Stanback had an excellent look at the end zone but couldn't throttle down and find Cody Ellis coming clear along the line. If he just floats it out there Ellis gets a shot to put it away.
Willingham calls another timeout, presumably because Washington is heading toward the east end zone, which is the wide-open end. I would think he feels he has a better chance on that end, as opposed to having to go third down right into the teeth of the USC rooting section on the west end.
USC's D breaks down, thinking pass, and Stanback deftly hands the ball off to Kenny James right up the gut for a big gain. UW definitely has the Trojans on their heels. But Juan Garcia's snaps have been pretty low all ball game and he almost rolls one out to IS on second down.
3:17/1: Stanback isn't moving them how you'd like to see...with simple, safe passes...but he's getting it done nonetheless. Russo, Shackelford and Ellis have made themselves available and Stanback is rifling them the ball.
Ben Ossai is not at left tackle right now, Erik Berglund is. Not sure why, because Ossai is standing on the sidelines, watching the action.
The Husky coaches completely get bamboozled when Steve Smith broke the huddle early, apparently headed to the sidelines, but he never actually left the field. USC took the snap and Smith ran right toward the sideline. There wasn't a UW player within 20 yards of him. Willingham called timeout because he wants the play reviewed, but he got outcoached on that one. He should have realized USC was a man short and accounted for him.
LB Scott White had the USC runner dead to rights on a fourth-and-1, but can't finish the play. But Roy Lewis does finish a nice play on Dwayne Jarrett, clearly ready to play. He was able to strip the ball from Jarrett. Add another Howell play, a strip on a handoff, and now the Huskies have USC at third-and-19.
Vidal Hazelton gets his first career catch for USC...he is an imposing specimen. Dan Howell is everywhere...first taking down Pat Turner for no gain and then almost picking Booty off on a pass intended for Steve Smith. Right now Booty has all day to throw, but appears to be a little shaky on the deeper tosses.
Stanback starts out shaky with a pass to the feet of Cody Ellis on a third-and-two, but is bailed out by a 68-yard Douglas boot, which is downed at the USC 4. Moody for USC stumbles along while UW looks like they are trying early more for the strip than the sure tackle. Willingham is imploring his guys on with both arms in a wrap-up motion. He knows how important that his defense plays well fundamentally.
2 minutes before kickoff...
The Huskies run on out, without even joining up at the mouth of the tunnel...they are greeted with a healthy chorus of boos....USC won the toss and will defer, meaning UW gets the ball to start the game.
6 minutes before gametime...
Traveler has already made his romp around the field, and the Trojans have come out...with 6 minutes left. Quite a long time to wait around while Washington gears up in the locker room...Eminem blares...Isaiah Stanback, Kenny James, Greyson Gunheim and Dan Howell are today's gameday captains for UW.
10 minutes before gametime...
The radio guys confirmed Jarrett - he's a 'game time decision' and is expected to not play but be available 'if needed'.
I chastise UW crowds for being late-arriving, but the USC fans seem to suffer from the same affliction. Can see the 'Hollywood' sign in the distance, so it's pretty clear for an LA day, all things considered...
20 minutes before gametime...
Listening to the USC announcers, and they believe UW is a 'hot team' and that Stanback is a 'poor man's Vince Young'. Said UW will go as Stanback goes, which I fully believe. That being said, I'm positive Lappano will try and initiate the running game as soon as possible.
The stadium announcer just announced Arkansas 27, Auburn 10. The place goes nuts.
One interesting fact that the radio guys are talking about is USC getting off to a good, quick start. They think that USC scoring on two of the first three possessions would constitute a 'fast start'. Said that since USC has been playing mostly night games, the Trojans need to ward off a slow start as much as possible. The Huskies are now leaving the field.
35 minutes before gametime...
Redlands East Valley DE/LB Andre Ferguson is at the game. The Huskies are interested in him, he's a teammate of Ronnie Fouch.
As far as the Huskies seeing Dwayne Jarrett, apparently he told ESPN this morning that he could be used 'if needed'...we'll see.
50 minutes before gametime...
Have to give a quick Braunstein update...
Was definitely curious to watch Braunstein kick during warmups, and sure enough...after kicking a couple through from straight down the middle, his first attempt from the right hash went wanting to the right...not that close from 38 yards...he definitely took some time to regroup and get it together, because he split the uprights the next time. Went to the left hash from the same distance and appeared to make both of those...so maybe it's merely a focus issue? We'll see the first time he's asked to put points on the board...
In other news, Grinolds is on the sidelines and sees Henry Winkler. The Fonz is in the house. I was hoping to hear about a few recruits, but instead I get Happy Days...
75 minutes before gametime...
The breeze is blowing off the coast and it looks like it's going to be a perfect day for football in Southern California. The Huskies are going to be in their purple pants, just like they were for Oklahoma. Good luck to those UW fans trying to find parking close to the stadium...coming in we saw prices ranging from 70 to 80 dollars for a place to park across from the Coliseum.
(10/5/06 5:47:54 pm)
Willingham afternoon briefing and practice notes...
Asked about whether or not he votes in the USA Today coaches poll, and he said that he does, but he doesn't discuss his ballot. Asked if his team deserves to be in the top-25, he said 'soon'. 'Playing takes care of everything'.
Asked about the national media attention from people like ESPN this week maybe getting the Trojans' attention, and he said that he hoped it got a 'lot of people's attention'. Said it's like anything else - there are good and bad things about it. Nice to know that people see that your program is making progress, but at the same time you have to deal with the time demands that it puts on you.
Found out that Isaiah Stanback, Sonny Shackelford, Stanley Daniels and Greyson Gunheim were the players interviewed by ESPN this week. Ironically, the number of player requests by national media was down this week, compared to last week.
Willingham, by conparison, was very busy. He did radio interviews with three stations in Los Angeles, and also did interviews for ESPN, CBS Sportsline and CSTV's 'Crystal Ball' show, as well as also doing a segment during USC Head Coach Pete Carroll's weekly teleconference.
Asked about injuries, and because Rob Lewis will travel, that means that one player that did travel to Arizona will not be able to travel to USC. Willingham said that he had not made a final determination as to who that player might be. Traveling teams in the Pac-10 can only take 64 players with them.
Anthony Russo and Trenton Tuiasosopo will travel. E.J. Savannah looks like he'll be sidelined until the Oregon State game. He was the only one in red today.
Asked about Braunstein and how he's been able to bounce back from a poor showing in the desert, and Willingham said that he's been pretty consistent. During practice, he was consistent...consistently off the mark.
During our 25 minutes of spectating, we got to see the team battle serious noise (USC music blaring, you know the song) while trying to move down into FG range. Both Carl Bonnell and Isaiah Stanback did a great job - but Braunstein failed to seal the drives with points on both occasions.
And for those that remember USC 2004, Braunstein had two chances to make field goals to keep UW's streak of scoring in games, but blew attempts from 46 and 47 yards out as the Huskies were shut out for the first time since 1981, when they lost to UCLA 31-0.
It's pretty clear he's become a liability.
(10/4/06 3:51:29 pm)
Willingham afternoon briefing...
Said that CJ Wallace and Scott White had 'decent work' and should be fine for Saturday. Same for Anthony Russo, but he was limited on Wednesday. Rob Lewis should be at full work today, but with limited reps. As for whether or not he plays on Saturday, Willingham said 'We'll see how he progresses'.
Trenton Tuiasosopo was wearing red on Tuesday, and he seemed to have a cast or heavy taping around his right hand like EJ Savannah. Willingham said that Trenton could play on Saturday, but Savannah would not be available.
Asked about Marlon Wood...Wood took UW's last kickoff against UA, and Willingham said that they are liking what they are seeing from Marlon in the return game right now, and he's 'closing the gap' when it comes to beating out Roy Lewis for the top KOR spot. Added that Lewis was the right guy for the job going into the season because he was performing better at that time. 'I think he's maybe starting to get his full self back,' Willingham said of Wood.
Also asked about the 'fair catch' signal that Wood used, and Willingham said that it was explained to him that while the ball is in the air, any motion by the return player is considered a fair catch signal, thus the play is dead when it's touched. This is different than an illegal fair catch signal, which would be something like putting your hand up, but not waving it to signal.
He said that, the way it was described to him it makes things a 'little strange' for the returner, because they have no way now to be able to signal his guys away from the ball without it being called dead. And you can't do it vocally either, because you can't be heard like that out on the field.
And from my personal standpoint, I've seen many times where returners have had hand gestures or broad, sweeping motions to ward off blockers from possibly getting in the way of a bouncing ball. I think the mitigating factor here was that the ball was still in the air - thus the ruling.
He added that the Pac-10 usually sends back their report on the game either today or tomorrow, and that he would be in communication to make sure that he understands the rule the way it's supposed to be used for any future situations where it might come up.
Willingham was also asked about the PI call that was waved off after bottles were thrown on the field by UA fans, and he said he never thought it was PI...he thought it was a blow to the head. But when he saw the replay, he knew it wasn't that.
(10/4/06 1:57:44 pm)
Spoke with S Jason Wells...
...and I asked him about his comfort level now through five games and he said that he's doing well. 'I'm almost there. There are still things I need to correct, but I feel like I'm being trusted more by the defense to get done what I need to get done'.
And that goes for coaches as well as players.
Asked about the defensive measuring stick of the game 'slowing down', and he said that it's coming along 'game by game'. Said that San Jose State and Oklahoma games were fast to him, but all the other games since have been a lot 'slower' to him. 'I knew where I needed to be and my assignments that I need to get done'.
Also said that he's getting more familiar with how teams play and what to look for, and that really helps slow the game down too. 'Watching film, I'll be able to figure out what they do before they snap the ball just based on formations and the way the offensive linemen are set up. Some linemen lean back, so I can tell where they are going. I'm still a student of the game, so I'm still looking for stuff like if a receiver is in a different stance, what will he do? And how he gets off the ball. Watching film really makes that easier.'
Asked about his penchant for hitting the snot out of people and he said that his teammates tell him that he knocks himself out. 'When I hit somebody, I usually hurt myself'. Said that they are just little stingers or burners, but they never keep him from coming out of the game.
No nicknames so far. 'They just tell me that my biggest enemy is myself because when I hit someone I hurt myself.'
Being a SoCal native, he has friends on the USC team, so it's going to be a big one for him. Played against Will Harris at Charter Oak. 'I'm going to go out there and play hard and try to come out on top'. But said that bragging rights is not a big thing for him.
Asked Wells about whether or not the veterans on the team ever talk about just how far this team has progressed in the past two years to get to the point where they are now 4-1, and he said that they really don't talk about the past that much. 'They expect to be here. They feel that we should be 5-0 instead of 4-1.'
(10/4/06 1:24:07 pm)
Spoke with DT Wilson Afoa...
...and we had talked right at the beginning of camp about putting forth the effort to be successful, and he said that they've come to a point where they understand what they are doing so they don't hesitate. 'We're having pretty good success, but I believe our defensive line can be way better than what we're doing.'
Asked about what's improved to the point where the front guys can take it to the next level, and Wilson said that Coach Hart always stresses to them the importance of getting to the quarterback, so that's one of the keys - and they are getting better at it.
With Gunheim, Te'o-Nesheim and Ala in the nickel up front, he said that it's a little frustrating to 'set the table' but not get a chance to finish it off, but he just wants to do whatever it takes to help the team.
Said he has never been on a defense that has held a team to negative yards on the ground, not even at St. Louis. 'It was really weird. After the game I looked at the scoreboard and the rushing yards was blank, so I thought something was wrong. So Sunday, when Coach Willingham told us we had held them to minus seven yards, I was shocked. It was a great feeling, but I think we can do way better than that against other teams'.
Added that since they haven't put it together for four quarters yet, it's even more exciting. 'We can be one of the best defenses in the Pac-10 if we wanted to, we just have to put full games together. We haven't put our best game out yet.'
Asked why it's been tough for the defense to 'pick up where they left off' in the second half, and he said that they can't give teams leads before they get going. 'We harp on that, starting fast'.
Asked about the 2004 game and he said that the defense did good for the first half, but had 'mental breakdowns' in the second half. 'We fell off'. He said he was struggling all year long with his back, so he didn't feel like he played all that well. 'Coming into this game, I'm going to put in my best effort'.
Added that they weren't really all that fazed by USC and playing at the LA Coliseum. 'It wasn't a matter of being scared or anything...it was just a matter of going down there and trying to win all our games that year, and we couldn't do that'.
Asked about this year's USC team and what he's seen on film, and he said that 'they haven't lost anything'. 'They may have lost two Heisman Trophy winners, but they are still a great team. They may not have the depth that they had last year, but they are still technically sound. They are still playing at that level where they play with high speed and energy.'
(10/4/06 12:54:30 pm)
Spoke with DC Kent Baer...
...and he said that even with USC losing players like Leinart and Bush, they are still the most talented team in the league. 'They still have the best offensive line that we'll see all year and the best QB and best group of receivers. They are extremely talented.'
Asked where the holes might be compared to last year, because they aren't scoring at the same clip, and he said that last year's team was truly special and that he really didn't see any holes. 'There's not going to be any bulletin board material here'. 'They can lose 8-9 starters on offense because they are so talented. It might be a little different on Reggie Bush, because there's just no one like him...but they have great backs, just not as veteran.'
Said that John David Booty is 'strong, got a great arm, great release, athletic, can move out of the pocket'. 'He is young but extremely talented. I can't say enough about him'. 'When he rolls out of the pocket, you can't get to him'.
One thing he did say was that the team wasn't going to be able to give their QB as much as last year's team was going to be able to give a guy like Leinart simply because of the lack of experience, 'but in time they will'. 'Watching tape, they've been adding to the offense every week, and they'll do the same thing this week. It's a smart thing to do for a young team'.
Baer said that, when preparing against a good team like USC, you also watch what their own defense does, because the offense prepares against them every day, and he said that their D 'does a lot of different things'.
Asked about his own defense, and he feels that - even though Arizona threw for 300 yards last week ('every play the second half was a pass outside of two runs'), his guys are 'competing for more balls'. Said they've forced 10 fumbles this season and have only recovered one (7 in the past two games). 'We need to get our share'.
Asked about Dwayne Jarrett, as it's getting more and more likely that he'll play on Saturday, and Baer said that his size is the biggest thing that causes problems for defenses. 'When the ball is in the air, he really competes. He's not afraid to get hit. He's dangerous in the red zone because of his height and also on crossing routes because the QB can lay it up there higher than anyone else. He's a mismatch everywhere. If you double him, you're weak somewhere else, and you can't do that with a team that has a Steve Smith and a Vidal Hazelton. You can't sit on one guy'.
Said in regards to USC's running game that they don't change plays or blocking schemes depending on who is running the ball, so that makes it even more important that the defense understand personnel and also understands the tendencies of each back and what they like to do (slash, bounce outside, etc...)
(10/3/06 3:50:59 pm)
Willingham afternoon briefing
Said nothing new on injury front. White and Wallace may be full-go, but they might be in red too to 'taper' them into the week to make sure they stay healthy for the USC game.
Also said that they will see this week if Rob Lewis is ready to go. TW expects Russo to be fine after suffering a concussion against Arizona.
Wilson Afoa, Greyson Gunheim, Isaiah Stanback and Kenny James are in this week's 'Victory Club'. When asked why so few are a part of this week's club after a win, Willingham said they set a 'great standard'.
Asked about the Sunday pool workouts to help recover, and he said he's used it before at 'various places' and it's something they always consider using here because running always takes a physical toll, and if they can get the same cardiovascular workout in the pool with less stress and strain on the body, they do it.
Asked about USC's penchant to get turnovers, and he mentioned a stat that says if you get a TO and score off of it, you win 90 percent of the time. Willingham's 2002 ND team led the country in turnovers. 'It's an attitude'. Said USC plays 'fast and fearless' and when they make mistakes it's quickly covered up because everyone else is playing fast and can make up for it.
Asked if he feels his defensive service team can capture the things they need to replicate USC's ability to create turnovers, and he said no. He said that he'll run more 1's versus 2's and 1's versus 1's to get that speed. 'Their ability to respond quickly is probably as big a reason whey they produce turnovers'.
He's assuming that Dwayne Jarrett will play on Saturday.
(10/3/06 2:27:57 pm)
Spoke with WR coach Eric Yarber...
...and he was asked about Marlon Wood. He said he's a backup 'z' receiver with good speed that could take a reverse or punt return to the house. 'He's got a little magic to him'.
Added that Wood is pretty mild-mannered, so he probably won't have extra motivation against USC, the team he was injured against last year, and the team his Dad played for.
Said that with a deep receiving corps, he goes with his starters for a couple of series and then gives them a blow by bringing in the second-team guys. 'I continue to do that; two series with the starters and a series with the backups'.
Asked about the biggest thing he's been stressing this year, and he said it's work ethic. 'Your mom and your daddy determine how fast you are and how quick you are, but they don't determine the effort you give. If they give great effort all the time, the execution will take care of itself.'
Asked if he tried to specifically coach his guys to be 'go-to guys', and he said that he just tries to teach all his guys to be playmakers. 'Whenever you have an opportunity to make a play, make a play. If it touches your hand, you should make the play'. Added that subconsciously, if a QB knows that a certain WR is making plays, he'll look to him first. 'It's a natural progression, human nature'.
Asked what his biggest issue he has with a full, healthy corps, and he said figuring out playing time. 'That's the biggest battle I face, but they make it easy on themselves. I'm going with the guys that give great effort and continue to make plays'.
There has been a switch in the lineup for the SC game, with Shackelford taking the top spot at 'z', while Corey Williams has moved to back up Anthony Russo at the 'x'.
Asked about the role blocking plays in his teaching the position, and he simply said that 'if you don't block, you don't play, and they know that'. 'Any run over 15 to 20 yards come when you have receivers blocking on the perimeter'.
(10/3/06 1:59:48 pm)
Spoke with QB Carl Bonnell...
...and I wanted to get his take about coming into the Arizona game 'cold turkey', something he's really never had to do before - especially with his team driving for a key score.
He said that he was practicing holds for the field goal unit when everybody started yelling at him to go in. 'I was thinking, 'It's second down, I'm not going in! What are you guys doing?' He found out and he said he wasn't expecting a pass play either, but he should have had the play.
Added that it's the primary role of a backup QB to always be ready and knowing what the situation was. At that time, they wanted to drive it in and score, but he knew his primary role was to hold onto the ball and get the for-sure field goal (that was eventually missed) that would allow them to be up two scores.
Asked about the Oklahoma experience and how that might help them this Saturday. He said that he remembers 2004 being Isaiah's first start and that he knew he probably wasn't going to play. Said it's 'always a great feeling to be out there against one of the great teams of the nation'.
Asked about some of the aspects of the LA Coliseum and Coach Willingham's comment that the visitors' locker room was apparently designed to help throw opponents off their game a little, and he said that he didn't remember anything real different about it, 'but being the visitors, you kind of expect things to be kind of second-hand on everything'.
(10/3/06 1:47:40 pm)
Spoke with OT (Sir) Aaron Mason...
...and he said that the holdup was that he didn't get the grade on an independent study class he took at Santa Monica JC, so in August he had to go back and study and retake it to make sure he got cleared. Got cleared the Monday before school started. He said that he was never feeling any stress about getting into school because he felt comfortable that he was going to make it in. Eric Yarber was the coach that kept in contact with Aaron while he was getting his academics in order.
Said because he was busy trying to get into school, he 'lacked up' staying fit. Said he's working hard in practice and also with Trent Greener to get to where he needs to be. Said that since he's redshirting, he knows he has time to get there. He was measured in today at 6-5.5 and 286 pounds. Added that he had a Mexican girlfriend when he was in California and her Mother cooked '24/7'. Said that enchilladas that were 'pretty nice'. Said he'd like to juggle it 'around 300, but athletic'. 'I don't want to be out of shape'.
He started the last season at Santa Monica at 270 and ended up 249. 'They don't have what we have here - training table and all that. A lot of times I hit practice without a meal in my stomach'.
Asked about what he saw from the fall practices that he went to and he said it was 'hit and miss'. 'They gave me a playbook, but because I was so focused on getting my grades right and my transcripts done and everything else, some stuff I picked up but nothing concrete or the way I wanted to.'
Said that he'll be at left tackle battling with Ossai and Rosborough.
(10/3/06 1:20:59 pm)
Spoke with OC Tim Lappano...
...and he said that USC's defense is still fast and physical and their front four 'is probably the best front four we'll see all year'. Said they redirect well and are good pass rushers on the inside and outside.
Asked about what he saw in the USC-WSU game, and he said that he didn't see too many cracks in the USC D. Said that there are going to be a couple of chances to run the football and that you might be able to take some shots outside and deep. Said that Notre Dame last year tried to attack USC's young corners, but they are very athletic.
Said that the biggest thing UW needs to do is not outthink themselves and they absolutely cannot turn the ball over. Last year they moved it pretty well against USC, but then gave it over to them in the second half. You can't do that against a team that's opportunistic like the Trojans. 'If you do, you have no chance'.
'We feel like we can go down there and play with them. We moved the ball on them last year, but then shot ourselves in the foot. You can't give them points and teams are still doing that'.
Lappano said, from a crowd and away game standpoint, the Oklahoma experience should get them more than ready. 'The field at Oklahoma is actually closer, and he added that the noise they pump through at their own practices is so 'loud and aggrevating' that it's done the job in terms of not creating any procedure penalties on the road. 'It's helping'.
Said the biggest change in the offense so far is the fact that they believe in themselves. Said that in the second half against Arizona, he probably got too conservative in his play-calling, but they didn't have a lot of good down-and-distance situations (said they didn't have any 3rd-and-1 or 3rd-and-2 situations all game long).
Said Stanback's confidence is growing. Said that even when he wasn't connecting with throws in the second half, he was 'adamant' on the phone to the booth that he could make those plays and would make them. Added that Isaiah has proven that he can throw the ball and beat you doing it, so defenses will have to come up with different things to try and take him away.
Asked about Marcel Reece and Lappano said that he's a guy that, as soon as he's done thinking about things, he'll be able to play a lot faster. 'He's a guy that will get better every week'. Also said that there are some linemen, like Ben Ossai and Juan Garcia, that are also in the same boat in terms of really learning 'on the job'.
Said that Stanback and Shackelford are 'starting to get on the same page, and that's been fun to watch'. Added that it's not a thing where Isaiah is always looking for Sonny, he's going through his progressions. Said it's the same reason why a guy like Corey Williams hasn't been that involved. 'Isaiah and Corey are real close', so Lappano just chalks it up to IS finding the open guy at that time.
Said that with the depth at WR, it gives him a lot of options to have plays specifically designed for guys, like Marlon Wood. 'We try to hide him around, sneak him around'. Lappano also said he was pleased with how Marlon returned punts against UA and said that Cody Ellis and Quintin Daniels are two more guys that are getting healthier and healthier and will continue to be in the mix.
Asked about the turnover issue with USC and how they are so good at creating them, and Lappano said that it's key the scout team just goes with the mindset this week that they are going to simulate the 'hitting and stripping' that the USC D does so well. 'They are the best tackling team we're going to face all year. When they hit, they wrap up, so we really need to lock the ball down at all times.'
Asked about their talent, and he said that when you win a bunch of games like USC has over the past few years, 'you just reload'. Also said that there is a lot of blue-chip talent in SoCal. 'That's where we want to get to here'.
Asked specifically about Taylor Mays and what role he's playing so far, and Lappano said that USC is leaving him back there to utilize his speed and run things down. 'They are trying to play smart with him, not put him in bad situations'. Noted that the former O'Dea player had a key interception to help beat WSU last week.
Said that because 'we don't want teams to sit on us', UW will continue to take their shots and throw deep. Said that Arizona's DB's were good, especially Michael Johnson.
Also stressed that they need to come out in the second half (if they have a lead) and 'blow it open'. 'We've had our chances, like with San Jose State and Arizona', but couldn't keep it going. He wants to see the offense come out in the second half and show that they can pick up right where they left off.
(10/2/06 8:27:00 pm)
Spoke with QB Isaiah Stanback...
...and he said that he 'remembers everything' when it comes to the 2004 game, the first he started in. 'I try to put everything in my memory bank...so when I'm faced with a similar situation I know what to do or not to do.
Asked what he's going to remember most from the UA game and he said 'consistency'. 'I need to be a lot more consistent. There were throws in that game that I should have hit that I didn't hit. I wasn't accurate. That's something I'm going to be working on this week.' Added that the one quarter they executed and the others they didn't - that was the difference.
Said that his leg is 100 percent and he'll be fine for USC. Said that it wasn't frustrating to go out late with the leg bruise knowing that they had a great chance to punch it in and really put the game out of reach. 'That's just what happens in a game, but that's also why you have great players behind you pushing you, so that they can come in if they need to'.
Said that USC, when he was in high school, was recruiting him the hardest and he could have easily gone there, but didn't. 'Recruiting is a thing you have to be aware of. They (USC) said that they were recruiting me as a quarterback, but they also wanted to recruit me as an athlete. I didn't feel good about the situation, so I came here'.
Stanback was the QB MVP of USC's team camp the summer before his senior year, but in his words, 'that didn't mean anything.' 'You haven't seen many quarterbacks like myself playing at USC'.
Said that this team is a lot more solidified and in a better position to take on USC now than in years' past. 'Ever since I've been there there have been changes, so it's hard to put together a cohesive team when everything is changing around you'.
One word - confidence. 'Second year with the system, second year with the coaches...whenever you have stability, it helps'.
(10/2/06 7:38:10 pm)
Spoke with LB Scott White...
...and he feels pretty confident about what their chances are on Saturday.
Said that losing has been especially hard on him because he only lost one game in high school. 'And we had a lot of starters suspended for that game and we still almost won'.
Said that you can't take anything for granted in the Pac-10. 'Nothing is promised'. Added that the program's recent bout of losing has actually helped them get perspective when they are winning. 'Because we now what it takes to win, how much hard work it takes.'
Asked about the game two years ago and it was a tale of two halves. Said they called 'field strike three' on the defensive scheme where Matt Leinart found Reggie Bush open over the outstretched arms of UW corner Derrick Johnson. 'He just mis-timed his jump a little. If we make that play, it could have been 3-3 at the half. But we came out and started the second half with a turnover. I think that was the year we led the country in turnovers. They had short fields all night on us. I played a lot in that game - I think they had something like 92 plays'.
Asked about how well the team was able to adjust to playing in the desert without cramping up or having heat-related issues (it was 87 degrees at gametime), and he said that they've started a new thing - a pool workout on Sunday - that has really helped to get needed recovery time for the players. 'Our strength and conditioning staff and our coaches have done a great job keeping us fresh during practices too, so that's really helped us at the end of ballgames'.
Added that it's geared toward recovery, to get the soreness and the lactic acid out of their systems so they can go hard the following week. 'Last week's effort won us the game, and we were fresh in the heat'.
Asked about bragging rights for him (he's from Lemon Grove, a suburb of San Diego) and he said that this is his 'farewell tour through the Pac-10' and that everyone from his neighborhood is going to be there and everyone is calling him up, asking for tickets. 'It's going to be a lot of fun'.
Asked about having Dashon Goldson back, and he said that it's helped a lot. 'He's smart and fearless.' Added that he trusts Goldson implicitly and knows exactly what he's going to do. He said that at one point during the Arizona game, Goldson was actually calling out what plays UA was going to run. 'One time he said that they were going to run a screen pass, and they did. He knew it right away. He's so smart and savvy'.
(10/2/06 7:18:26 pm)
Spoke with LB Dan Howell...
...and was asked about what he saw on film watching the UA game and he said that he didn't start out as fast as he wanted to, but they shut the 'Cats out in the fourth quarter and had a 92 percent success rate on third down...'there are a lot of pros'.
Said that it's super important for him to start out fast..it's just engrained in him being as competitive as he is.
Asked about being the first out of the tunnel, and he laughed. He said his frosh year he found himself kind of bringing up the back of the group and he didn't like that. 'I can't be last. It's just one of those drive things'. 'If we were walking to Subway, I'd make sure I was first in line'.
Said that drive translates well to the football field, 'because it sets a tone in my mind'. 'I came up here to do big things and I'm going to act like it'.
Asked about the idea that the team might be so hyped up and energized pre-game that some of that energy gets lost there and it takes some time to regain it, and he said that it could be like that, but 'I have a way about my business'.
He added that, as early as high school football, he's been trained to be a 'silent assassin'. Said that Coach Harrington at Hart talked to him about that. 'I came out one game and was whooping and hollerin', because that's what I thought I was supposed to do it, and he said, 'No. That's not how we do it. You go in, you do your job and then you get off the field, like you were never there...like the way the Seals would do it. I just really adopted that mentality. I like to get in and get out without being noticed.'
Asked about how close he is to just playing the game instead of reading and reacting, and he said that he's close. 'I think I'm at the level of reacting, but I want to get that killer instinct...that keen edge that Ray Lewis has. It's just mean. That's where I want to get to, not only to the point where I react, but I react violently. Once I get to that point - and I think it's coming on soon - I think I have the ability to do amazing things'.
Asked about bragging rights and he said that he's not into bragging about that stuff. 'I think there's a little extra edge about it, though'.
Added that it's never been in his makeup to believe in that kind of thing. 'If I never get remembered as being a great linebacker at Washington, I'm OK with that. As long as I impacted those around me to do good things, that's all I care about. Honestly. I believe in how you can affect other people. You only live so long. If you don't remember my name but can remember what I did and what I stood for, that's all I care about'.
(10/2/06 7:05:22 pm)
Spoke with OG Stanley Daniels...
...and just like every other player - he reiterated that they are playing well, but they are nowhere near their goals. 'It feels good to be where we're at, but we have a long ways to go and we're going to work hard to get there'.
Said that you can't make mistakes against a team like USC and be able to get those mistakes back. 'You can't have mental lapses, you can't keep giving a team like USC chances to score, chances to win the game - because they'll do it'.
Asked about the difference facing them this year, and he said that it's different for him because he's all grown up. 'I'm a senior now, I'm not a redshirt sophomore.' Added that he's gone up against a lot of good defensive tackles - 'some even in the NFL now' - and that he has more confidence and the team is the same way. 'We're a mature team...more focused, more ready and able to play against a team like SC'.
Said it would be 'huge' to knock off the Trojans. 'That's what we have our mind on.'
Asked about bragging rights for this game (he's from San Diego), and he said to him, it's more about pride than bragging rights.
(10/2/06 6:58:02 pm)
Spoke with S C.J. Wallace...
...and he said that he had a slight issue with his shoulder/rotator cuff that kept him in red last week, but it definitely didn't affect his play down in the desert. Wasn't sure if it was the same thing Scott White had.
'I felt pretty good during practice, but I didn't want to do anything that would have it weak going into the game. But it was a good week'.
Asked about his recollections of playing USC down there in 2004, and he said that the Trojans had a lot of good field position and that never allowed UW to get going. 'They had a real good team that year'.
Asked about Cali bragging rights, and even though C.J. is from Sacramento, he still knows a lot of guys that play for the SoCal teams. 'Regardless, we're trying to go out there and get another win'.
Said that having Dashon Goldson back is big right now for them. 'We just keep getting better and better.'
Asked about Oklahoma preparing them for USC, and he said that 'it doesn't get much worse than that' in terms of having to go through a hostile situation. 'We've already been through that and we feel like we had a chance to win that game'.
Asked about expectations changing on the team with more victories being racked up, and C.J. said that it's an attitude that they've had from last year. 'We found a way to lose games (last year). We know what we can do and we want everyone to know that we're for real now'.
(10/2/06 6:50:52 pm)
Spoke with DE Greyson Gunheim...
...and he reiterated the mantra of how they've played well, but they haven't put four quarters together, and that's what keeps them motivated and working hard.
Asked about USC, and he said that they've always been ranked really high since he's been at UW, and 'they are going to take their shots and we're going to have to match them'. Added that the defense is going to have to play faster.
Said this time around playing SC is already a little different because they are winning, and 'now know what that feels like'. 'This year entirely is different. Our attitude, our whole work ethic...everything. Our coaches are getting after us a lot more. We want to put that perfect game together and we haven't done it yet'.
Asked what he remembers about the 2004 SC game and he said that the second half was 'horrible' and the Trojans came out faster. 'We need to start out fast and finish faster'.
Added that there's maybe a setback that doesn't allow this team to get back on track as fast as they need to sometimes, and that might account for sluggish play at times. 'But we can't afford to do that against SC'. 'We have to do that in order to get a win down there'.
Asked about how well the team held up last weekend in the (relative) heat of a desert night and he said that they really did a good job hydrating the week leading up to the Arizona game, and they'll do the same against SC.
(10/2/06 6:43:59 pm)
Spoke with P Sean Douglas...
...asked about the perceived 'issue' surrounding outkicking coverage, and he said that in a sense that could be an issue if the other team could have a big return but he doesn't think about it too much.
Asked what he takes more pleasure in - an 80-yard kick or a 35-yarder that ends up inside the 5 - and he said that it all depends on the situation. 'Either way it helps out the team'.
Asked about any special teams differences between what they did under Gilbertson, as opposed to Willingham - and Douglas said his sophomore year they didn't have any directional punting. 'I don't know if it was because of the Gilbertson era or if I was a sophomore and they just wanted me to get a good punt off.' Also said that they had the (swinging) gate, the rugby punt, and other things during the Gilbertson era, whereas it's been a pretty straightforward scheme during Willingham's tenure. 'It's more solid. I think they have more confidence in our blockers and also more confidence in me to hit it to one side or the other.'
Asked about the importance of having a scholarshipped long-snapper, and he said that Danny Morovick is still a very young guy and it's a demanding position. Because he didn't play at all at JC, it was nearly two years before he was able to snap in an actual game. He said the same thing happened to him his first year, because he didn't punt as a frosh. Morovick also has guys to block too and he's starting to understand his role and doing a good job. 'High school is completely different than college'.
Asked about post-season honors and if he looks at stuff like that and he said that it's hard not to. Being a competitor, it's hard not to look. He said in high school he wanted to be the best punter and kicker in the state, so you have to follow what the competition is doing (he ended up being the best in both). Mentioned guys like Geoff Price from Notre Dame as a guy he watches because they became friends during kicking camps in high school. 'If you're out there trying to be the best, you have to know what your best can be'.
(10/2/06 6:10:50 pm)
Spoke with DB Dashon Goldson...
...and he said that USC is explosive. 'They start fast and they stay fast. We have to go out there and match them.'
Said that this year's USC team is just as talented as recent USC teams.
Asked if the Oklahoma game will help get them ready for Saturday, and Goldson said that it will help, but they've been in that kind of situation a lot already (playing ranked teams on the road).
Said that everybody is really starting to believe what's going on, and a win Saturday would be 'huge' - but at the same time, they have to treat this game 'like it's just the next game on the schedule - no different'.
Asked about what the defense took away from the Arizona game, and he said that they now know that they can be good. 'We still haven't played our best game this year though, so when we do that for four quarters, we're going to shock a lot of people'.
Asked about keeping the idea of thinking about a bowl out of his mind, and he said that's easy right now. 'We're just focused on winning games right now'. That's all they can do right now.
Asked about his ankle and he said that it feels really good right now. He got a lot of reps at strong safety and corner during last week. The trainers are taking a lot of time to get him ready, especially on the road.
Asked about bragging rights being a kid from SoCal, and he said that it means a lot to him.
Asked about whether or not he's seen improvement in the defense from last year in terms of hitting and just being more aggressive, and he said definitely. Said that 'we're putting hats on guys now and we're trying to bring that back'.
(10/2/06 6:03:14 pm)
Spoke with WR Sonny Shackelford...
...and since this game is in LA, he was asked about catching flak for going to Beverly Hills High, and he said all the time. 'I just have to keep telling people that I just went to high school there, I don't live there. I'm just a regular kid from LA'. Added that his house is actually closer to USC than UCLA.
Said his mindset going into LA for the final time is to get a victory, because that's just one more win that helps get them to their goal of getting to the Rose Bowl. 'And this is just another stop'. Said that all the undefeated Pac-10 teams are playing against each other this weekend, and he hopes that UW is one of the two left withouth a blemish in conference play.
Asked about being a big underdog, and he said that they don't see it that way. He said that the team looks at themselves as a good team that can go in and beat anybody. Said that this weekend is no different - they have to put points on the board and the defense has to keep the other team from scoring.
Asked about USC's tradition and what a win at USC would do for the program, and Shackelford said that it would take it 'to a whole new level'. 'It'll set in stone what we've been telling everybody - we're a contending team that can deal with anybody'.
Asked about his recent string of good play, and he said he doesn't know why. 'Isaiah just sees things sometimes, and I just want to make the play. I do my job and he does his'.
Asked what he takes the most pride in as a WR, he said 'blocking'. 'When our tailbacks spring big, big runs, that's because the receiver made key blocks to spring 'em.'
Asked what's changed from Gilbertson to Willingham, and he said the growth has pretty much all happened under Willingham. He said he led the team with 21 receptions his sophomore year under Gilbertson, and 'that's not a lot'.
(10/2/06 2:58:18 pm)
Willingham noon briefing...
Willingham started his press briefing out with two things. First he said that the team is excited about beating Arizona on Saturday. 'Going on the road and having success is a big thing for a team that's still learning and growing.
Also wanted to give those that went to the closed-circuit broadcast of the game huge props, saying that close to 7,000 at BoA 'speaks volumes about the passion that surrounds this program'.
Asked about whether or not he'll ever think about silencing the critics that didn't think he would be able to win at UW, and he said that he has not thoughts like that. Said that his record speaks for itself and he doesn't feel the need to step up and pronounce anything like that.
Added that he hadn't realized that he's done anything at UW yet. They have a full-season ahead and 'they don't award bowl games for 4-1'. 'There's a lot of work that still needs to be done'.
Willingham was the Head Coach of the team that last went into the LA Coliseum and beat USC (Stanford 2001). He said that the fact is basically irrelevant now, because the Washington team he's bringing in will be different, and they'll be facing a different USC team. 'It won't affect what happens in the present'.
Added that they would be going in for a walk-through on Friday, to get comfortable - 'to tear down a few walls'. Said that the LA Coliseum is a place 'you have to get used to'. Said the visiting locker room was apparently designed to not make you feel as comfortable as you would like to be. Also said that the crowd can be very hot and cold, depending on conditions. 'They can be active, or they can be sitting on their hands'.
Asked about Scott White being named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, and he said that it's not just a reflection of Scott showing up on their radar and playing well, but now he's on the national radar. Willingham added that it's also a reflection of the coaches and their ability to put White in a position to succeed.
Asked if he felt that the UA game was a 'must-win' game for their bowl hopes, and Willingham said that every game is a 'must-win'. 'I don't know any coach that would think otherwise'. He added that 4-1 is a 'great place to be sitting', and that they have more steps that need to take place.
Asked about USC's defense, and Willingham said that they are very talented. Said that Rey Maualuga is 'fantastic' and 'so is (Keith) Rivers. And (Brian) Cushing, we tried to recruit him when we were at Notre Dame.'
Said that because they are still pretty young and still learning how to play together, it can make the USC defense 'look human at times', but Washington State played well and also took advantage of mistakes to make it a football game last weekend.
Added that if UW plays it's best ball game, they can have success on Saturday. He said that they hope they can use the experience gained playing at Oklahoma to their advantage 'going into a big-time atmosphere'. 'We have enough history with that, so it should help us'.
Asked about Braunstein going 0-2 against UA, and Willingham said that one kick had 'timing and communication' problems, and one was 'just missed'.
Asked about injuries, and he said that Stanback's bruised leg is fine because he came back in the game. White's shoulder problem should be gone because he was able to get in against UA and finished well. 'Hopefully he's back to 100 percent'.
Added that WR Anthony Russo suffered a concussion and that he believes Russo will be fine.
Said that they might get TE Rob Lewis back (broken foot), and that E.J. Savannah (broken hand) will be able to move around this week and may be available for the Oregon State game, but that is subject to change.
Asked about Dashon Goldson, and Willingham said that he's also moving around pretty well after getting his most extensive work of the year at Arizona. 'He stepped in and added a physical presence'.
Asked about the nation recognition UW has been getting of late, and Willingham said that it's obviously important, because that means you're doing something well. 'It's an overall acceptance of your program. It says you are being successful'.
Also said that while they've found a way to win, they still need to find ways to improve because they haven't played the way they are capable of.
Asked about Taylor Mays, a player UW recruited and he said that there was 'no question' he was going to be a good player, but he's probably playing sooner than he anticipated. 'It was just a matter of time before he got into the lineup'.
Asked about his own defense, and he said that he's not happy with the amount of yards the team has given up, but they've done a nice job the past couple of weeks. 'It's been up and down', but when you don't hold people down like you're capable of it's a concern.
(10/2/06 2:26:50 pm)
Pete Carroll press notes...
Said that they are pleased to be 4-0, and they've been on the road in some hostile conditions for three of those first four games, some 'difficult settings'. Said that he has a young football team that are trying to find ways to win, trying to find their 'rhythm'.
He said that he's expecting a tough game against Washington. 'They could easily be undefeated'. 'It should be a heck of a matchup'.
Asked about Dwayne Jarrett and whether or not he'll play on Saturday, and Carroll didn't know. Said that it's 'day-to-day' and that he won't practice on Monday and they'll know more tomorrow once they consult with the doctors and trainers.
Asked about Seattle native Taylor Mays, and Carroll said that he's done a remarkable job of jumping in and starting so early. He's done a great job of applying himself and getting himself ready to play and start, beating out other players already in the program. He added that Mays has done a good job of keeping things in front of him and in general, 'not looking like a first-year player'.
Said that it looks like Washington has a lot of the same guys in their lineup, but they have 'grown up'. Added that they appear to be more physical and that they have a good OL and running game. Also said that Stanback is a QB that can create problems. Said the defense is playing well and is 'squared away'. 'Basically everything is better. Everything is more precise'.
Asked about John David Booty and the ability to replace stars, and Carroll said that it's almost impossible to replace three-year starters, but JDB is doing about as well as they could have expected him to play. Added that you can just 'look at the stats' to see how he's doing, and that despite opening the season with three of four games on the road 'he hasn't been flustered for a moment'. 'He's played beautiful football for us'.
'We aren't running as well as we expected,' but they'll keep at it. 'We won't change our formula'. Said that RB Chauncey Washington has not had a full week of practice 'in years', and that he got his first full week of practice in against WSU, so he expects him to continue to get better.
Added that they'd like to get Jarrett back because he's such a big playmaker, but they got a great performance last week from Steve Smith.
Asked about ILB Rey Maualuga, and he said that he's a kid with California ties (grew up in Ventura, went to HS in Eureka), and that he's a fantastic, high-energy player. He has the speed, the hitting ability and the instincts to be great, he just needs to get consistent in all areas. With only two seniors on USC's defensive depth, all the playing time has allowed the younger players like Maualuga to learn and grow. Also said that the close nature of the WSU game on the road for huge for those guys as they are finding themselves and their identity. 'You need those experiences to grow'.
Asked about Washington tradition, and Carroll put it in two different eras; pre-Neuheisel and post-Neuheisel. Said pre-Neuheisel that they were known for their aggressive defense. Said that post-RN, 'they put it in high gear'. Said that Washington has always had everything going for it - great school, great tradition, great location and that they've always had success. Said they've had a dip lately, but it's no surprise that they are getting it back together. Added that this fact is 'disappointing' to them, and they are going to have to battle with UW from here on out.
(10/2/06 11:40:38 am)
Scott White named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week
Despite a shoulder injury that kept him from practicing much during the week and also from starting the game, White led the Huskies with 10 tackles, eight of them solo stops. He also had three tackles for loss and two QB sacks.
White was also the Pepsi Defensive POW for UW. Isaiah Stanback was the Offensive POW, Marlon Wood was the Special Teams POW and Jake Locker, T.J. Poe and Mark Farney were the service teams players of the week.
(10/2/06 10:12 am):
Here are the official Washington Huskies two-deeps for the USC game, as released by UW Media Relations.
OFFENSE WR 5 Anthony Russo 5-11/185/JR 18 Corey Williams 6-2/195/JR 19 Quintin Daniels 6-0/195/SR LT 79 Ben Ossai 6-6/300/rFR 70 Morgan Rosborough 6-6/375/rFR LG 74 Stanley Daniels 6-4/320/SR 72 Casey Bulyca 6-6/320/SO C 58 Juan Garcia 6-3/315/JR 73 Ryan Bush 6-2/305/SO RG 63 Clay Walker 6-4/305/SR 65 Ryan Tolar 6-6/325/FR RT 75 Chad Macklin 6-8/300/JR 69 Erik Berglund 6-6/290/JR TE 37 Johnie Kirton 6-3/270/SO 86 Michael Gottlieb 6-5/245/SO 92 Walter Winter 6-5/250/SO 82 Tim Williams 6-6/230/rFR QB 4 Isaiah Stanback 6-3/215/SR 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3/210/JR TB 8 Kenny James 5-10/215/SR 9 Louis Rankin 6-1/205/JR 7 Shelton Sampson 5-11/210/SR FB 43 Mark Palaita 5-10/245/SR 32 Luke Kravitz 6-1/225/SO 25 Paul Homer 6-0/225/FR WR 21 Sonny Shackelford 6-2/180/SR 3 Marcel Reece 6-3/240/JR 29 Cody Ellis 6-0/185/JR 83 Marlon Wood 5-10/185/JR DEFENSE DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4/245/rFR 41 Brandon Ala 6-3/260/SR DT 91 Donny Mateaki 6-5/285/SR 95 Jordan Reffett 6-6/295/JR DT 74 Wilson Afoa 6-3/290/JR 77 Erick Lobos 6-3/285/JR DE 7 Greyson Gunheim 6-5/265/JR 41 Brandon Ala 6-3/260/SR OLB 34 Dan Howell 6-1/225/JR 20 Kyle Trew 6-2/235/JR ILB 47 Tahj Bomar 6-2/225/SR 57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2/240/SO OLB 4 Scott White 6-1/235/SR 29 Chris Stevens 6-0/215/SO FS 26 Jason Wells 6-2/210/SO 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2/205/SO SS 1 C.J. Wallace 6-0/210/SR 3 Chris Hemphill 6-5/235/JR CB 6 Matt Fountaine 5-11/180/SR 8 Dashon Goldson 6-2/205/SR CB 28 Roy Lewis 5-11/187/JR 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2/205/SO SPECIALISTS P 17 Sean Douglas 6-2/230/SR PR 14 Michael Braunstein 5-8/185/JR 11 Michael Book 6-3/195/SR HLD 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3/210/JR SNP 49 Danny Morovick 6-3/230/rFR KOR 28 Roy Lewis 5-11/187/JR 6 Matt Fountaine 5-11/180/SR FR 83 Marlon Wood 5-10/185/JR 21 Sonny Shackelford 6-2/180/SR
USC's two-deep depth chart, as announced by USC's Sports Information Department:
OFFENSE SE 1 Patrick Turner 6-5/230/So OR 8 Dwayne Jarrett 6-5/215/Jr 7 Vidal Hazelton 6-3/200/Fr 19 David Ausberry 6-5/215/Fr LT 79 Sam Baker 6-5/305/Jr* 71 Charles Brown 6-6/285/Fr* OR 60 Drew Radovich 6-5/305/Jr* LG 60 Drew Radovich 6-5/305/Jr* 53 Jeff Byers 6-3/285/So* OR 70 Alatini Malu 6-4/330/Jr* C 67 Ryan Kalil 6-3/285/Sr 76 Nick Howell 6-5/265/Fr* 63 Travis Draper 6-5/285/So* 53 Jeff Byers 6-3/285/So* RG 66 Chilo Rachal 6-5/300/So* 70 Alatini Malu 6-4/330/Jr* 74 Zack Heberer 6-5/285/Fr RT 78 Kyle Williams 6-6/300/Sr* 70 Alatini Malu 6-4/330/Jr* 68 Butch Lewis 6-7/300/Fr 77 Thomas Herring 6-6/330/Fr* TE 83 Fred Davis 6-4/260/Jr 89 Dale Thompson 6-4/255/Jr 86 Anthony McCoy 6-5/240/Fr OR 88 Jimmy Miller 6-5/260/So* 81 Gerald Washington 6-6/255/Jr FL 2 Steve Smith 6-0/200/Sr 82 Chris McFoy 6-2/200/Sr* 17 Travon Patterson 5-11/180/Fr 48 Brad Walker 6-2/205/Jr QB 10 John David Booty 6-3/210/Jr* 6 Mark Sanchez 6-3/225/Fr* 16 Michael McDonald 6-2/185/Jr* FB 30 Mike Brittingham 6-1/210/Sr* 35 Jody Adewale 6-0/230/Jr* 18 David Buehler 6-2/225/So TB 26 Emmanuel Moody 6-1/195/Fr OR 23 Chauncey Washington 6-1/220/Jr* 25 C.J. Gable 6-1/190/Fr 22 Desmond Reed 5-9/180/Jr* OR 13 Stafon Johnson 6-1/210/Fr 21 Allen Bradford 6-0/230/Fr DEFENSE DE 96 Lawrence Jackson 6-5/265/Jr* 97 Alex Morrow 6-6/270/Jr* NT 75 Fili Moala 6-4/295/So* 49 Sedrick Ellis 6-1/295/Jr* 99 Averell Spicer 6-2/295/Fr* OR 56 Alex Parsons 6-4/260/Fr DT 91 Chris Barrett 6-5/265/Jr* 75 Fili Moala 6-4/295/So* 94 Walker Lee Ashley 6-4/305/Fr 90 Derek Simmons 6-4/275/Fr DE 10 Brian Cushing 6-4/245/So 84 Kyle Moore 6-6/260/So 54 Jeff Schweiger 6-4/255/Jr SLB 42 Dallas Sartz 6-5/240/Sr* 10 Brian Cushing 6-4/245/So 47 Clay Matthews 6-4/230/So* 46 Michael Morgan 6-2/200/Fr MLB 58 Rey Maualuga 6-3/250/So 45 Oscar Lua 6-1/245/Sr* 41 Thomas Williams 6-3/240/Jr* 52 Luthur Brown 6-3/235/Fr* WLB 55 Keith Rivers 6-3/230/Jr 43 Kaluka Maiava 6-0/225/So 41 Thomas Williams 6-3/240/Jr* CB 7 Cary Harris 6-0/180/So 15 Kevin Thomas 6-1/180/So 23 Vincent Joseph 5-10/185/Fr FS 29 Taylor Mays 6-4/225/Fr 9 Mozique McCurtis 6-1/225/So* OR 6 Antwine Perez 6-1/190/Fr 14 Garrett Green 6-2/200/Fr OR 18 David Buehler 6-2/225/So SS 4 Kevin Ellison 6-1/220/So 9 Mozique McCurtis 6-1/225/So* OR 21 Allen Bradford 6-0/230/Fr 39 Alfred Rowe 6-2/210/Fr CB 28 Terrell Thomas 6-1/200/Jr* 9 Mozique McCurtis 6-1/225/So* 24 Shareece Wright 6-0/185/Fr SPECIALISTS P 44 Greg Woidneck 6-0/195/So* 16 Taylor Odegard 5-9/175/So* PK 19 Mario Danelo 5-10/200/Jr*-PK 17 Troy Van Blarcom 6-3/225/So-KO 18 David Buehler 6-2/225/So-KO SNP 50 Will Collins 6-2/225/Jr* 30 Mike Brittingham 6-1/210/Sr* HLD 16 Michael McDonald 6-2/185/Jr* 44 Greg Woidneck 6-0/195/So* KOR 25 CJ Gable 6-1/190/Fr 21 Allen Bradford 6-0/230/Fr OR 7 Vidal Hazelton 6-3/200/Fr PR 22 Desmond Reed 5-9/180/Jr*