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As the Husky football players roamed the Don James center yesterday afternoon, they were excited to see what would become of the week of practice they had just completed. With practice being held at night in preparation for Saturday's 7:00 PM kickoff, the Dawgs are hoping for a little Saturday Night Fever.

Washington' defensive line looked as good as it has all season in the second half against San Jose State. DT Josh Miller had a big part in that turnaround, and was the catalyst for Terry Johnson's interception for a touchdown. Miller feels that his group is getting better with every practice.

"We were very productive last week because we didn't have our scout team. We were in our individual (units) periods this whole time so it was a good, productive weekend for us to get better and work on our techniques," said the 6-3 275-pound sophomore.

Miller did a road trip on Saturday to take in some football. "I went down to Corvallis to watch the Oregon State/UNLV game. I went to Corvallis to watch my friend Keenan Sanchez play. It makes me anxious and makes me want to play every weekend and not have a bye week."

Linebacker Marquis Cooper went a bit stir-crazy this week. "I hate bye weeks because all we do is practice so it can be at times very boring to just wait out your turn to play, " said the starting Weakside Inside linebacker. "I went camping to Mount Vernon with friends to try to get away from football a little bit, fished a little bit, then came back to watch some football all weekend long. I caught a small perch and that's about it," he added with a laugh.

Now he is ready to knock heads again, with 0-3 Wyoming. "We just have to go in the game and think that we're playing a team like Miami so we have to keep our focus in the game and just keep beating the team off the line."

Cooper is waging a terrific battle for the starting WIL job with Joseph Lobendahn. Say's Cooper, "He (Lobendahn) is a very good player so everyday is a battle for the spot and I just go out their and do the best that I can."

Senior WR Pat Reddick took the time off to polish the finer points of his game. "I just try to work on the little things and pay attention to detail, as Coach Neuheisel would say. Personally, I like to watch a lot of Pac-10 games. It was exciting this weekend. It's a good conference and I just know we have to hit it hard every week."

Reddick isn't about to let his teammates take the Cowboys lightly. "College football is so great because on any Saturday, anybody can pull out a win. I think that happened last week with a lot of upsets and a lot of things going on so we're not going to take anybody lightly. I can't give you a game plan, but I can tell you that we're going to play hard. That's all I can tell you right now."

Reddick isn't a vocal leader, but he does try to set an example and a high standard for the younger players to try to emulate. "I let everyone know by my play. Basically when you throw me the ball, I'm going to catch it. I just try to make plays when I get the ball," said the sure-handed senior.

Senior REB Kai Ellis has been outstanding in his first two games, and his knees are staying healthy. He practiced this week and enjoyed every minute of it. "Watching other teams doesn't get me excited, but working with my own teammates and working on our mistakes was more exciting," said Ellis of his week of work.

"I did watch a lot of games this weekend. I watched Cal, Nebraska, Iowa State, and Iowa. I want to just see how far people are, watch the other defensive linemen, and see how well they are doing. You cannot take anybody lightly as we saw Nebraska going down to Penn State. You have to be ready to play at all times. I'm pretty sure Washington State could have done a lot better against Ohio State as well."

And now Ellis prepares to strap his helmet back on and hit someone not wearing purple. "It all begins as soon as we start on the field, it all starts with the warm-ups all the way until the fourth quarter. Everybody just needs to be ready to play and everybody just has to be responsible for themselves."

QB Isaiah Stanback is going to redshirt, unless the unthinkable happens. It was no surprise to the fleet-footed strong-armed freshman. "It's been pretty much the way I was expecting. I knew it was going to be hard with some struggles but we bounce back like always. I have a lot of learning to do but I don't have too much pressure," said Stanback.

"The mental part of the game has been the biggest adjustment. There's a lot more mentally, with learning a whole new system, and not too much on the physical aspect."

Stanback feels that his team is now ready to get on a roll. "We're just going to go harder. I think the first couple of weeks, was kind of slow while figuring out your teammates but it's going to pick up. If you bust your butt, everything is going to come together."

"I'm going to take it however it comes. If coach needs me to play, I'm going to try my best to be ready. If he wants me to red-shirt, I'm still going to bust my butt throughout my redshirt year to get where I need to be next year," said Stanback.

"I'm not going to stop working."

You love to hear that from a true freshman. His mentor, Cody Pickett, felt that the time off will recharge the batteries a bit for the Huskies. "It's a time for us to come back and get fresh," the junior quarterback said of the bye week. "We're going to be more anxious to play as we sat back and watched everybody else play on Saturday. It makes you feel kind of wronged, and you feel like you should be playing, so it's just a time to sit back and get fresh again as far as our bodies go. "We just need to come out early and get a couple of first downs, to get rolling. If we come out and get a first down or two, we'll be fine."

Playing under the lights doesn't faze Pickett. "There really is no difference with the lights, Its more of a high school feel playing the night games and we're going to practice tonight under the lights just to get the feel for it and just go from there."

Senior TB Braxton Cleman has yet to garner any minutes, due to a hamstring injury. "I've been out for a while not practicing because of my hamstring so the bye week came at a perfect time for me," said the 5-11 215-pounder from Oroville, Washington. "I got three good days of practice last week and I can get my full practice this week so the bye week helped me out a lot. Unfortunately, their wasn't a reward at the end of the week like playing a game but knowing that team and myself got better makes us feel really good about things."

Cleman isn't exactly sure how many carries he will see on Saturday. "Rich Alexis is doing a great job so I'm sure they (the coaches) aren't going to do anything to throw him off anywhere with his routine. Hopefully I can just get in there for a couple of series and produce. I'm healthy and ready to go this Saturday. If the coaches want to use me sparingly and as a change of pace, that's fine for me as I get to get ready for Pac-10 play."

FB Zach Tuiasosopo spent the bye week getting healthy. He's had a few dings at the beginning of the season but played through them. "It gave us time to rest and the biggest thing is to get everyone healthy. It was mainly a time of rest and it was important to get everybody healthy for this week. I'm feeling good now. The anticipation kind of built up because we want to play on Saturdays. Everybody is working to be a 100% and hopefully we can just go out and be successful."

Tuiasosopo was pleased at what the Pac-10 showed this week. "To see the Pac-10 go out and be successful was just great. It's good to see the conference schools go out and show what the schools are about. The conference schools are always strong so we always have to go out with our "A-game" and not take anyone for granted."

Tuiasosopo doesn't worry about how many (or few) carries he gets, preferring to concentrate on how he can make the team better. "Coach Gilbertson and Coach Neuheisel come up with great game plans. That's something that I don't worry about. I'm happy with where I'm at, and I'm happy with the move to offense."

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