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As we approach the Husky players that are now enjoying a week off, their only one of the season, it is easy to see that they are now ready to get down to business. The Michigan game was a heartbreak and the San Jose State game was a nightmare for 30 minutes, and now their focus is on what they can improve as Pac-10 play draws closer.

DL Josh Miller had a big game against the Spartans. He and his trench-mates made some progress this week. "We noticed that when we were watching film that they like to stay on the line a lot so were just going to go to school and penetrate. I guess that's what we did. We ran a lot more line stunts than we did a week before so we 're satisfied," said the 6-3 275-pound defensive tackle.

He will now enjoy the bye week. "It comes at a great time for me because we played two teams already and it gives us a chance to know what we have. It gives us time to contemplate on the details we have to improve on."

JC transfer WR Eddie Jackson has been an early success for the Husky offense. His choice of Washington as a school was an interesting one, considering he went to prep school in Virginia and was originally from Ohio, where he had hoped to attend Ohio State. ""It was a good choice and I couldn't pass it up. With Coach Neuheisel, I knew they pass a lot yet it was a balanced offense," said Jackson, who has caught every ball thrown to him thus far.

"I had no doubts that I could play here but I had to work hard because at (Coffeyville) JC, only around 12 out-of-state players could play at once, so those skill-players are going to play. I knew I had to work hard when I came up here so hopefully it keeps paying off."

Jackson had a large rooting section for him at the Michigan game. "Some of them came from Ohio and some were just friends and family. It was nice to have the support of all those people because I had the jitters at first. I just can't wait to go to Columbus to play there next year."

LB Ben Mahdavi had this to say about the Huskies' sluggish start on Saturday: "Our main emphasis for every game is to start fast and finish strong, and we didn't start fast at all. It was really flat and it took a while for the guys to get excited. I don't know what it was but we gave up a lot of yards on 3rd downs. 1st and 2nd yards, we pretty much stopped them but 3rd downs killed us. We just needed to adjust to that type of offense with the reverses, the screens and stuff."

"Maybe we were just trying to analyze it too much instead of just playing football, where in the 2nd half we just came out to play football. That's what we did and we stopped them. We came out with some intensity in the 2nd half."

Mahdavi, a captain on the defensive side of the ball, now will try to prep his charges for a Wyoming team that throws the ball a lot. "Our defensive backs will get a lot of work. We need to work on our zone coverage and I'm sure Wyoming will give us an opportunity."

OL Khalif Barnes has been a leader on the offensive line, and lauds the play of newcomer Dan Dicks in the absence of senior Elliott Zajac. "He played great against Michigan. What he did was a very hard thing to do as he came in and started his first game as a visitor. He went to the big house with over a 100,000 people and played a fantastic game. He had a key block on one of Rich's (Alexis) touchdowns and I think he played great. We knew we were going to have to buckle it up and tear away when a Husky goes down. Another guy has to pick up the slack and keep going as if nothing ever happened and I think that's what theses guys are doing. Aaron Butler is doing well and the whole unit is getting our chemistry back. I believe we're getting better," said the 6-5 300-pound sophomore weak tackle.

The running game has been slow to materialize, but Barnes is still very upbeat about it. "Its not frustrating at all. We have confidence in Rich. He's a good running back and I think his vision of seeing holes opening are getting better as each game progresses. "

TE Kevin Ware has done an admirable job in his first two starts. The senior from Spring, Texas, feels good about his role in the offense. "I'm still kind of sorry the first game didn't go the way we hoped for but we got to San Jose pretty good. The first half was pretty shaky but we got the job done."

Ware hopes to build on what his offense has learned in their first two contests. "I think we could take a couple lessons out of this game we just played as we came out kind of slow in the first half but we got it going in the 2nd half but against Wyoming, I think we need 60 minutes of putting a hurting on them."

Ware was robbed of a touchdown by an errant official call. "Everybody saw the tape, it looked like it was in to me and I think I actually had two feet in, but obviously the referees didn't see it that way. They kind of wanted to hate on me a little bit, but I'll get more opportunities the rest of this season," said Ware with a tongue-in-cheek grin on his face.

DE Manase Hopoi had his coming out party against SJS, netting four tackles for loss. He was prepared for the gimmickry that the Spartans threw his way. "We kind of expected all these trick plays and stuff, as they kind of run more of a high school type of offense."

Hopoi is a true sophomore and has started his first two games of his career against Michigan and San Jose State. He is not a strong player, yet, so he wisely has focused on technique, with success. "I feel pretty good. I feel the spring made me a better football player so I'm trying to use those same strategies that I used in the spring game and concentrate more on my hand and foot techniques. I don't have too much of a strength advantage so I feel I have to use what I have. This spring was a big confidence booster towards the rest of my career," said Hopoi.

Senior WR Paul Arnold hasn't seen the ball much so far in the early season, but it doesn't bother him. ""I know we have a lot of good receivers and I know we have to spread out the opportunities so that everyone can play. I feel like I'm getting my share and everybody is getting theirs so everybody is happy."

As the starter opposite Reggie Williams, he's bound to see more balls come his way, and soon. "It's got to open up thing for me because he's so big and talented that he's going draw a little bit more attention. You can't leave him unattended so it's definitely going to open up things for all of us."

Arnold was slowed with an ankle injury this fall but he's on the mend. "I'm fine. I do extra things so to make sure my ankle stay strong but other than that my ankle is just fine. I'm definitely going to use the bye week to get in more work for my ankle, and just make it stronger by getting extra treatment and getting in more reps"

Arnold is cautious when asked to look ahead to the Pac-10 race. "We never want to look to far ahead of ourselves because you don't want a team you overlook to come out and bite you. But we are excited about starting play in the Pac 10.
,br> "But first we have to take care of non conference (games)."

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