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It is going to be a brutal week of practice for the Washington Husky football team. Rightfully so, as they are 0-1 in the race for the Rose Bowl. As the players prepared for practice, they were still smarting from the loss to the Golden Bears.

Defensive lineman Josh Miller said, "I still feel pretty bad about Saturday. I feel that I could have done more as a player and got more up the field in terms of pass rushing and putting more pressure on the quarterback. I should have made more tackles because a I missed a couple and I could have used better techniques."

The 6-3 275-pound sophomore didn't feel that the Bears had dominated them in any way. "I didn't really notice us being slow and beaten off the ball and what not. I don't think there was any confusion for us. We came up to the line, and tried to do what we had to do."

Unfortunately two long touchdown passes and two short drives were too much to overcome.

"I believe the defensive line has to work on the pass rush more. As in getting more sacks, tackles for loss, and getting our money's worth," said Miller.

Next up is Arizona, who will be without their all-conference tailback Clarence Farmer. Miller's approach won't change because of that.

"We don't really look at exploiting freshmen tailbacks because they are young; we try to exploit their offensive line. We try to examine the opposition's offensive line and how they work together because in all honesty we have to get through them first before we get to the tailback."

"We're not getting out-physicalled because were stopping the big drives. If we were giving up big drives, then obviously we're getting pounded on. But we're not getting pounded on by anybody. We're just giving up big plays."

Now that Kyle Boller is gone, Mahdavi is now scouting Arizona's Jason Johnson, a local product from Puyallup, and Johnson's favorite target - WR Bobby Wade.

"Jason Johnson is a good quarterback. He's been there for a while and has been the starter for a couple of years. I played against him in high school. Bobby Wade is one of the leading receivers in the Pac-10 so he's doing his part as well. He's an exciting player to watch."

Mahdavi won't be tackling Farmer on run stops, however. It will be Mike Bell instead. "Obviously even if he's a true freshmen he's earned his spot as the starter. So I'm not going to look at his as just a freshmen but as the starting tailback."

6-5 300-pound tackle Khalif Barnes believes that he may need to be more vocal on the field. "If that's what it's going to take to win more Pac-10 games then that's what it's going to take. I think I do need to be more of a leader out there. I think I do need to be more vocal because great teams have great leaders. They don't usually have one either but a few. Everything can't always come from the captains but from also the supporting role. This team needs supporting captains, and I'm just going to call myself one of them and just go out there and do it."

"I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help this team win more football games."

Did Saturday's loss to Cal deal the Husky confidence a blow? "It's hard for me to say right now, but I would have to say no. I hope not," answers Barnes.

"If your confidence has taken a hit, it means that you're going into the tank. When this team won the Rose Bowl, they lost their Pac-10 opener to Oregon and went 7-1 to win the Pac-10 and the Rose Bowl. That's what I'm going to use as sort of a motivation for me to get better right now. If those guys did it, then we can do it. I don't care if I lost the first game. We have seven more to play."

"It's interesting to see how our program will respond after a loss like this and I am eager to see that," added the starting weak tackle.

Cal's defensive line was quoted as saying the Husky offensive line looked fatigued and confused. Barnes addressed that.

"I don't want to say were tired because were in good shape, I want to say it was more clustering and frustration. When you're down in a two-score game, you have to move. You have to move and pass and be thinking about a lot of stuff. The Cal defense had nothing to worry about because they knew we were going to pass. They knew we weren't going to run when you're down by two touchdowns with four minutes left. We need to work on (a balanced attack) more in practice, and when we do, we have to do it with more energy and more up-tempo. We have to be fierce about it and if it takes staying after practice to get it right, then so be it."

Senior OG Elliott Zajac was back on Saturday after an ankle injury had sidelined him through the first four games. "My leg feels good. It's right there around 99% and its almost healed. I just got to focus on blocking it out and not thinking about it anymore and just moving forward."

He graded his performance as ‘decent.' "I watched the replay and I think overall I did a decent job but my goal is not to be average this year. I want to stand out but I think overall for the first game coming back it was an OK job. I definitely have a lot of room for improvement."

Does the offensive line need to prove a point on Saturday? Zajac scoffs and looks at the bigger picture. "I don't really think we have to prove a point. We just got to go out there and do it. It was apparent that we cannot win one-dimensionally. I don't think we're out there to prove a point or prove to the world and Arizona. We got to do it in order to try to win the game. Our backs are to the walls. There's no ifs ands or buts about it; we have to run the ball."

Zajac continued. "All of our starters are real mature and all of them have good experience. Just because they are sophomores or juniors, I don't really see that as an excuse. I really think we just kind of accepted the passing game instead of being really starving or hungry for the running game. That's what we have to get back to; just being hungry. We have to be balanced or we're not going to win. It's that simple. Our offense has all the skills and all the tools to do what it needs to do be a great offense and I think that this week is just huge. We have to get it rolling and we have to become balanced real quick and real soon or were going to be out of the Pac-10 race."

It all starts Saturday against the Wildcats, a team the Huskies were projected to roll over before the season started.

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