Practice report - 8/13 PM

Greg Carothers was a happy man. When he heard 'Sweet Home Alabama' loud and clear during warmups this afternoon at Husky Stadium he had a big grin on his face. There's another reason the junior from Helena, Montana should be happy - tomorrow he gets to put on pads. This evening's workout under the hot autumn sun had the defense making their move to show dominance as tomorrow afternoon's practice looms like Lennox Lewis. They are just waiting to hit somebody.

Dick Baird must've liked what he saw today from the defense, as the former linebackers coach took in the sights this afternoon. Then again, some of the biggest offensive threats were once again in absentia. Reggie Williams, Paul Arnold, Wilbur Hooks Jr. and Braxton Cleman all sat out. Cleman did work out on the sidelines, doing ladder drills. Justin Robbins and Patrick Reddick did play this afternoon and performed well after a bit of a shaky start.

On the one-on-ones, both Robbins and Eddie Jackson got the better of Derrick Johnson, although the cornerback from Riverside, California showed that he is back from his foot injury. He's only practicing once a day, but that practice is always at 100 percent full go. He doesn't seem to be limping at all afterwards, another good sign that his recovery is right on schedule.

Patrick Reddick and Sam Cunningham got into a little bit of a disagreement after a collision during the one-on-ones, and shortly afterwards is was discovered that Cunningham had a broken finger in his right hand.

The lines really went after it today, getting a good 20 reps in with individual matchups. Anthony Kelley had a great practice, getting by Nick Newton twice and also coming up with a couple of touch sacks during 11-11's. He's running really well, as evidenced by him catching up with Rich Alexis on an off-tackle play. AK was hustling.

Ty Eriks also earned the praise of Coach Neuheisel during 7-7's for his ability to cover both inside and outside. There's no question the redshirt frosh from Seattle has the physicality to play the position. Now all he needs is time to assimilate all the information.

For the defensive line, Terry Johnson looked the most impressive during the evening session, getting two touch sacks and making Aaron Butler's day just a little more difficult.

One thing that was especially encouraging defensively was their ability to create turnovers. When Tusi Sa'au gets an interception, it's been a good day. QB Casey Paus was trying to set up a screen that big 61 read perfectly. When Tusi snared the ball, the entire defensive sideline erupted. Only problem with the play was that Donnie Mateaki jumped offsides a count too early.

Redshirt frosh James Sims Jr. also had a pick, when Andy Heater wasn't able to corral a pass from Taylor Barton. Heater unknowkingly tipped it right to the incoming Sims, who caught the ball in full stride and took it the distance.

Even the true freshmen got into the picture when it came to thefts. Nate Robinson played the ball perfectly, as Casey Paus got caught telegraphing a pass to Eddie Jackson. Nate was reading Paus' eyes all the way and went high to snag the ball a few feet in front of Eddie. The veteran defenders like what they see in Nate and he is getting a serious look so far.

There almost seems to be one fumble a day by the running backs, and today was Rich Alexis' day to cough up the pigskin. It never looked like he had the transition from the quarterback, as the ball went tumbling into a pile of players. The ball was neatly scooped up by Joseph Lobendahn, who went flying down the sidelines.

That play marred what was a great day for Alexis, as he has clearly taken over the top rushing spot for the Huskies. The injury to Cleman cleared the way for Rich and he has taken full advantage of the situation. Chris Singleton is also looking big and fast.


Offensive play of the afternoon: To be honest, there really wasn't one. I'm going to give it to Justin Robbins and Charles Frederick for their continued good play. Both Justin and ET look to have really stepped up and are going to give the veterans a run for their money when they return.

Defensive play of the afternoon: With all the picks and fumbles, I'm going to give it to Tusi Sa'au and his heads up play. Besides, when am I ever going to give it for a nose tackle getting a pick?

Fountaine out: Frosh cornerback Matt Fountaine left this morning's practice half-way through, then came back later in sweats. He also sat out this afternoon's activities. He has a pre-existing medical condition and the doctors need to perform some tests before clearing Matt to continue playing. Coach Neuheisel hoped to have Matt back by tomorrow afternoon, as his last test will be done tomorrow morning.

Rock Concert in Dempsey: Neuheisel had the offense go into Dempsey indoor this evening to work for the first time with piped-in noise. With various sounds, from Van Halen's 'Eruption' to the theme from 'Coach', the offenses attempted to move down the field. It was also very hot inside and there was no air conditioning to cool off the players.

Kaligis a busy man: Pete Kaligis was everywhere this afternoon. In between various players needing some help with stretching, Kaligis was seen working with Paul Arnold and Reggie Williams during the first part of the afternoon practice, then putting frosh Stanley Daniels through the paces as the big man from San Diego ran stairs. His clearinghouse issues are yet to be resolved and there is no time limit right now as to when his status will be officially known.

Lingley back in action: Matt Lingley sat out all the practices, suffering the after-effects of a car accident he was in during the summer. However, with the departure of Andre Reeves, there was a spot available on the 105-man roster and Lingley took it. He did play during the 7-7's this afternoon.

Dashon, we're not in Kansas anymore: Kevin Lustgarten of let us know this afternoon that Dashon Goldson has enrolled at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. Word has it that he may redshirt, but reports out of Coffeyville already suggest that Goldson is looking the part of a player that could contribute right away. We'll see. Once he enrolls, he'll need to get his AA before being eligible to enroll at a 4-year institution.

Tomorrow's schedule: The morning session will be pads and shorts, and the afternoon will be the first time they go in full pads. If you ever wanted to go to a Husky practice, this will be the one to see. It's a little after 4 tomorrow. There is also a scrimmage on Saturday at 12:30PM and it's open to the public. Top Stories