Dawg Blog - Oregon

Many people felt the Washington Huskies had the hardest schedule in college football last year. Heading into 2008, there doesn't seem like there's going to be much letup. For their opener, they dive head-first into conference play and go on the road at the same time. Oregon has not been a very kind host, winning their last three at home against the Huskies. What will this year bring?

Finishing thoughts - The Huskies looked pretty unathletic and slow for a team expected to have a lot more team speed on it - especially on the offensive line. They might match up better against bigger DL's, but tonight a quicker and tougher Oregon DL beat them all night long. I couldn't see many holes in there at all.

Defensively, the dam broke in the fourth quarter. Again, the Ducks were just too much up front and Bellotti knew he didn't have to throw the ball to win. They were just quicker, faster and they knew it.

Don't know what happened to the upgrade in athletes, but other than Kavario Middleton I didn't see one player tonight that could be termed a difference-maker. Quinton Richardson had a couple moments, and a couple of the frosh dlinemen did well for their first time out - but overall that is not an effort you can build off of.

Third quarter thoughts - Willingham took the wind hoping to win some field position and score to take the lead. Instead it was the Ducks that won the field position battle, due mostly to the fact that UW couldn't move the ball offensively, and when they did have them pinned, Jairus Byrd made them pay with strong returns. His 51-yarder negated a situation where UO would have most likely been inside their own 15, the worst field position by far all night.

Now the defense has to hang tight, force a field goal attempt and hope UW can muster something offensively. And they have to do it against the wind. If they can build a ground game, the wind shouldn't matter.
Halftime Quick Stats

Rushing - UW 27-67, UO 15-107
Passing - UW 7-15 for 66, UO 10-18 for 145, one TD, one INT
Rushing - Locker 10/37, Polk 9/15, Johnson 4/10, Homer 3/4/1
Passing - Locker 7-15 for 66 yards, long of 16
Receiving - Goodwin 3/31 long of 16, Middleton 3/24, long of 16, Logan 1 for 11
Tackles - Foster 6, Williams 5, Te'o-Nesheim 4, Harris 3


Halftime thoughts - After the shanked punt and the UO missed field goal, things changed a little bit. Jeff Carr and I talked about the miss being an opportunity to get back in the game, but only if they took advantage. They did, with help from true frosh Kavario Middleton, as they were able to cash in with a field goal. It also allowed the defense to get their heads back into the game, as well as get a much-needed breather.

Quinton Richardson's pick was much the same thing - take advantage and something good might happen. And even at 80, 90 - whatever percent Jake Locker is, he's still awfully tough to account for. Paul Homer's score and PAT has put the Huskies down only four on the road, and they get the ball to start the half. The Huskies have plenty to talk about in the locker room, but they've built on some good things. What Oregon does with their deferral - take the ball or wait to take the wind in the fourth - should be interesting to watch.
First Q thoughts - UW had better settle down, or they are going to get blown out of Autzen like Hurricane Gustav. As it stands, for every UW mistake, it's not as if UO is playing mistake-free either. The wind is definitely playing a factor. Oregon has started on it's own 36 or better on every drive, while the Huskies have started on their 20 every drive.

Locker is not getting any help in the passing game, big drops by Goodwin and Homer. But again, the wind has been an issue. Now that Polk has gotten baptized into the Pac-10, it's time to see what the hype is all about.
Game time - They are breaking out the new 'Duckvision', and it's pretty cool. It looks like it could be nearly 25 yards wide. They are showing UO highlights from last year's games, and of course the crowd is loving it. First was from the Michigan game - then they went old school with a Pat Johnson catch against UW in Seattle. Then a Dennis Dixon touchdown against UW last year. Then a throwback to Joey Harrington (who just got cut today). And finally - you knew it was coming - Th Pick. Frankly, I was expecting a bigger response, but it was still pretty loud. The Ducks come out of their tunnel - no motorcycle - and the place goes nuts.

The Huskies come out and are roundly booed. Quinton Richardson appears to have a gold axe with him. Butler, Garcia, Locker and Te'o-Nesheim are the captains for tonight's game. Oregon wins the toss and defers. Wind is blowing 13-18 mph, we'll see if that's a factor.
6:45 pm - Oregon is about to go into their locker room, and there's 23 minutes left on the countdown clock. UW already left. They finished their pregame with a punt, catch and gather at the far end - then came all the way back across the field to the UW rooting section.

They just finished up a quick tribute to Todd Doxsey, the Oregon player that tragically lost his life on the Mackenzie River. One UO player will be singled out to wear his number (29) each game. For this game, Patrick Chung gets that honor. The Duck players also will wear stickers on the backs of their helmets with Doxsey's initials and number.
6:15 pm - Took a look at who the Huskies had out for special teams duties in the return department: D'Andre Goodwin, Quinton Richardson, Chris Polk, Jordan Polk, Cody Bruns, David Freeman, Tripper Johnson and Devin Aguilar came out.

Just received a travel roster, and here it is: 1 - Polk, 3 - Logan, 4 - Izbicki, 5 - Houston, 6 - Johnson, 6 - McDowell, 7 - Bean, 7 - Bruns, 8 - Williams, 8 - Fouch, 9 - Aguilar, 9 - Butler, 10 - Locker, 11 - Goodwin, 12 - Ballman, 13 - Perkins, 15 - Harris, 15 - Kearse, 19 - Mosley, 20 - Freeman, 21 - Griffin, 23 - Forrester, 24 - Gage, 28 - Richardson, 28 - Chidiac, 29 - Stevens, 30 - Homer, 31 - Dennison, 32 - Kravitz, 34 - Trip. Johnson, 37 - Kirton, 38 - Persley, 40 - Foster, 41 - Aiyewa, 47 - Sylvester, 49 - Morovick, 50 - Aldrich, 52 - N. Wood, 56 - Hayes, 57 - Tuiasosopo, 58 - Garcia, 59 - D. Jones, 64 - Sedillo, 65 - Tolar, 66 - Te'o-Nesheim, 67 - Fancher, 69 - N. Scott, 70 - Rosborough, 71 - Habben, 72 - Bulyca, 74 - Ta'amu, 76 - White-Frisbee, 79 - Ossai, 80 - Middleton, 82 - Polk, 83 - Winter, 88 - Hawkins, 91 - Duncan, 92 - Thompson, 93 - Kelemete, 94 - Rasp, 96 - Matthews, 97 - Wiggs, 99 - Elisara.
6:05 pm - The UW kickers and punters come out and the UO students section had an 'F the Huskies' chant all ready to go for them.

Ryan Perkins, Jared Ballman, Kiel Rasp are the kickers that came out. Ronnie Fouch is the holder. Danny Morovick and Ben Hayes are the snappers that came out. I'll keep updating the position groups as they come out.

Also, some of the UO players have come out, to thunderous cheer. They are head to toe in gree, so no black helmets, as had been rumored. And some more UW players have come out - Jake Locker, Taylor Bean, Juan Garcia, Matt Sedillo and Ryan Tolar. They are lustily booed by the UO fans in the stands.
5:50 pm - Both teams are back in their locker roooms. Cody Bruns, Chris Izbicki were others we saw by face. Obviously the big guys like Casey Bulyca and Jordan White-Frisbee were out there too. I'll have a much more complete list when they come back out in their jerseys.

Looks like there's about 30 recruits on the sidelines with their parents. According to Steve Summers of eDuck, they are expecting 2-3 official visitors this weekend, including Diante Jackson.

One thing we noticed coming in - it's windy. The flag at the west end of Autzen is billowing quite nicely. We'll see if it dies down the closer we get to game time.

And lastly for this entry - I was given a great note by SID Richard Kilwien about today's teams that are playing purple. Right now the three teams that have played - East Carolina, Northwestern and LSU - have won. TCU, Kansas State and Washington are the three teams left on tonight's schedule that wear purple. As I type this, Kansas State is up 35-0 over North Texas, and TCU is beating New Mexico 26-3. Does it mean anything? Probably not, but it's something to think about...
5:20 pm - Just watching and looking for some of the faces that made the traveling squad. Jake Locker's hamstring is wrapped pretty well, and he's been doing some quick cuts to see how things are holding up. So far so good.

Also saw Jermaine Kearse and Jordan Polk down there. Once they come back out for their main warmup session, I'll keep track of numbers to let you know who made it on the 64-man travel squad.

It's GAME DAY. Time to start the live Blog from Autzen Stadium.
8/29/08
10:45 am

Dawgman.com Predictions

The opener is here Dawg fans! The Huskies travel south to pay a visit to the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Oregon has perhaps the best offensive line in the conference and two pretty big time running backs. Washington will need to slow the rushing attack and make a new quarterback beat them. Here is how the staff sees the first game unfolding tomorrow night. To see who the Dawgman guys pick, click on the link below.

Dawgman.com Predictions: Week 1
8/29/08
5:00 am

Friday Oregon news links...

John Hunt from the Oregonian posted three stories yesterday, including this one on whether Autzen's turf might have caused QB Nate Costa's injury...Autzen effect?

Hunt also took a look at four players, two each from Washington and Oregon, to watch in Saturday night's game...Oregon-Washington: Players to watch

Finally, Hunt notes the Oregon defense is out to prove Washington's offensive productivity against the Ducks was an anomaly and not a trend worth worrying about...Oregon-Washington: Ducks out to prove a point

The Register-Guard's Curtis Anderson has a story this morning on the reunion that the Washington-Oregon matchup brings every year for a couple Hawaiian high school coaching staffs and two of their players...UO-UW game an opener and a reunion

Rob Moseley, also of the Register-Guard, features a story this morning on Oregon All-American safety Patrick Chung and his tribute to fallen teammate Todd Doxey...Chung to carry Doxey's memory on his back for Washington game

Moseley also did a feature on the Register-Guard's season preview on Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly and why he's such a successful teacher and play-caller...Firm yet flexible

As far as predictions, Moseley sees a 10 margin of victory...but for which team? Well you need to read it here...Oregon-Washington predictions


8/28/2008
3:50 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

Said that he was pleased by yesterday's practice, but not as excited as he was for Tuesday's practice. He said that typically that's the case because Wednesday is the day where they put the majority of their game plan in. He expects tonight's practice to be better.

Asked about Mike Gottlieb. "I think it's safe to say that he won't make it."

Said that walk-ons Joshua Gage and Nick Scott have been awarded scholarships for the fall.

Asked about any memorable moments he's had with the crowd at Autzen Stadium over the years, and he said no. "I try to have to tunnel vision, tunnel hearing, tunnel everything." He added that he hopes his team can do the same thing and just focus on their jobs and what they need to do on the field.

Asked about Johnie Kirton's transition and he said that he's been happy so far with how it's gone and that Johnie has some 'natural things that are starting to show up' in his game.

Added that he didn't think the transition from TE to DT wouldn't be easy, but he's done a decent job and expects him to keep getting better.

Said that Fred Wiggs is a guy that, because of all he does as an outstanding member of the special teams, he earns his spot on the traveling roster. "You don't really see him as a linebacker, but the energy he brings on kickoffs is kind of special. And hopefully he'll expand that role to other roles in special teams and continue his growth as a linebacker."

At tight end, TW said that roles are 'still emerging', but added that Kavario Middleton is showing himself to be very productive in a number of areas. "He could end up sharing a lion's share of the time."

Asked about Roper now named as UO's starting QB, and he said that it helps to see what they do much closer, but he also believes they won't see just one QB, and also said he thinks they may have some things in their package that won't involve a QB.

Asked about Jason Wells, and TW said he's not physically ready to handle all that it takes to play in a game.

Asked about any RB's that might in the same boat as Wells, and he said yes, but because the roster hasn't been announced and won't be untill after practice, he didn't want to jump the gun.

Asked about playing a Pac-10 team right away, and he said yes. "The nature of the rivalry, the Pac-10 game, hightens everything about your preparation. The young men prepare a little differently if it was against someone not as noteworthy. So it has a lot of appeal to the team and also to the fans."

Asked about traveling by bus instead of by air. TW said they went by bus to OSU last year and had one of their best games of the year the week after (California).
8/28/2008
1:55 am

Young Linemen Pull Together

The score was 52-24, but in some ways the game wasn't even that close. Evergreen had just demolished Kennedy, led by the ferocious play of defensive lineman Senio Kelemete. The 6-foot-4.5, 260-pounder had double-digit tackles - and at least seven for loss. To read this story - written by Chris Fetters, click on the link below.

Young Linemen Pull Together
8/28/2008
1:50 am

The Transition of Johnie Kirton

After rushing for 2,675 yards as a senior at Jackson High School, Johnie Kirton joined the University of Washington football team. He started his career at fullback. After redshirting in 2004 he added 32 pounds and became a tight end. Now he is in the mix to start at defense tackle for the upcoming Oregon game Saturday in Eugene. To read more of Jonathan Martone's take on Kirton's transition, click the link below.

The Transition of Johnie Kirton
8/28/2008
1:45 am

By-The-Numbers: Oregon

It's that time again! Time to put the numbers in, crunch 'em to death and see what comes out. So what exactly do they say about Washington's chances of going on the road and shocking the world at Oregon? Read on...

By-The-Numbers: Oregon
8/27/2008
3:50 pm

Afternoon Willingham Notes

Said that the first practice of the week Tuesday went very well and there was 'great energy' and 'good focus'. Said it wasn't perfect, but it was a 'solid session'.

On the injury front, he said other than the guys that have already been ruled out (Poe and Gobern), everyone else was pretty healthy. He did add that Mark Armelin's foot will keep him out of the Oregon game, but he's hopeful that's it's only a week or two that he's out of action. Scott Shugert also has been slowed, but he practiced yesterday and Willingham said that he doesn't expect Shugert to be slowed if he's needed at all during the Oregon game.

Also said that the one major injury setback is Michael Gottlieb. Said he's 'more of a question now' than he was at the beginning of the week. "He may not be able to make it (to Oregon)." Added that Walter Winter, Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki will all be used, and depending on need they might take Romeo Savant too. "He (Gottlieb) just doesn't look 100 percent."

Charles Hawkins has still be slowed by an ankle, and TW said they are going to 'closely monitor' him.

Asked about Brandon Johnson, and he said that Johnson did well Tuesday night and that the 'rest served him well.' "He was doing the things that Brandon Johnson is accustomed to doing."

Asked about the depth chart and how that affects the players' attitudes during game week, and TW said that it's always by a 'case-by-case' basis. "Some are dejected, others step it up." He said that since this depth chart was for the first game, there are a lot of guys 'stepping up' because of the excitement surrounding the game.

Asked about Senio Kelemete and TW said that he can tell Senio is 'very excited to be where he's at' and that he's excited just for the opportunity, based on what happened with him and the NCAA Clearinghouse. Said that he's not surprised how well Kelemete has stepped up because as they got to know Senio's personality more, they got to see just how much he loves to work. "That's a special quality."

Asked about the young guys on the DL, and TW said that he's been very happy with the physical part of their play. "If you aren't physical, you can't play on the defensive line." Added that he's been happy with the other guys on the DL and that it's just been a matter of identifying their strengths so they can put them in positions where they 'exhibit their talent'.
8/27/2008
3:30 pm

Ed Donatell Notes

On Kelemete - very pleased, has had a heck of a 10 days with the team. Little behind, but brings an unusual quality of power and strength. Could be a good Husky for a long time. Great attitude about working and fits in well with the team. Doesn't see anything that can hold him back from being a good player.

Thought this year's class was going to be a good class, but a little surprised. Pleased that they are going to be that good.

Said that UO's line is quality and has to rank right up there with being one of the best. Said they are a little smaller than what UW's DL has been going through so there will be a 'tempo thing' they will have to adjust to.

Asked about trying to stop UO and he said that it's fundamentals. "If we won the game, we tackled well and leveraged well. Those are the key ingredients."

Biggest thing is that there are some veteran guys like Te'o-Nesheim and Donald Butler, as well as a great incoming class. "We know we're racing to the finish line to get everyone ready, but they are willing. And when guys are willing and they are working hard and excited about what's going on, good things can happen."

Said UO's offense is very well coached and they have a good scheme. "The numbers over the years prove that out. Our work is cut out for them, but our guys are up for the challenge and they expect to play well. The power of team can be very powerful, and I have a very good feeling about this team."

Asked about Johnie Kirton, and Donatell said that he's got 'one quarter of his career still ahead of him.' Learning a new position and there are stages to that progress. "He's making steps." Added that he'll get playing time Saturday.

He'll be on the sidelines Saturday, as opposed to being in the booth.

Said that they may use up to 10 DL in their rotation this year, but probably not that many to start against Oregon.

Said we intend to block well and play with leverage. "If I see that I'll be pretty happy. They are a big challenge. They move around a lot. You've got to find the ball with these guys. They are fast."

About last year's game - "A lot of people here have that image of Washington having a strong defense. There's no question of that. People aren't happy with the year they had last year, and we're going to do something about that."

Added that he hasn't really thought about last year's game and it's been a 'distant thing'.
8/27/2008
2:25 pm

Thompson, Ta'amu, Kelemete Notes

Everrette Thompson - 6-5, 260

"I'm pretty excited to be in the rotation. I'm learning a lot, especially from the upperclassmen, especially the techniques."

Te'o-Nesheim - "He's a strong leader. He knows what he wants. He's really pushing us, especially the underclassmen, to step up our game - to look beyond just being a freshman.

On the game - "It's really there. It's not just talking anymore."

On meeting Senio - Known Senio from the Seamount league (Kennedy v. Evergreen)

Met Alameda on a recruiting trip to the USC game. "We've just been drawn to each other, being Polynesian kids. We're always just doing stuff together."

On getting up to speed - "We've been working hard to finish things. Toward the end of practice, the older guys let us know that this is the fourth quarter, this is when we need to finish hard."

On coming to UW - "I felt comfortable with this group. I liked other schools, but I just didn't have that connection with the other players like I did at U-Dub."

On their bond - they eat together, listen to music and sing together and play board games.

Alameda Ta'amu 6-3, 348

"I didn't think college was going to hit me until the first game."

On how quickly it's come - "It was 17 days like two days ago."

Just football. It's been rough, but then there are nights, last last night (Tuesday) under the lights. "Even though the crowd wasn't there, there was this energy. I can't wait to play."

Honor to play with Te'o-Nesheim and Elisara. "I want to see how it is with them against Oregon, and then I want to see what I can do."

"I'll be really ready for next year's team."

Looking at the offensive linemen at the beginning of camp - "I was looking at them and I thought I'd be on the ground all day, getting tossed from side to side. But I got some props for what I could do."

He's a big guy that can hold a double-team. "Lately I've just been running to the ball. Coach (Hart) likes that, he likes hustling. It's like, 'Run Meda run! Get on your horse!'

On being perfect with Coach Hart - "He didn't like how big my step was. He told me to start chopping my feet, and that lowered my pads. Once you start getting the little things down, it makes the big things that much better."

Didn't like films at all. "We crack jokes, but we're still learning what we need to learn."

"It's intense, but we're having fun and learning a lot too. We do a lot of extra things. I think the defensive line is the hardest working group on the team right now."

Senio Kelemete - 6-4.5. 295

On last year's game against Thompson's Lancers - "I didn't expect to make that many plays. It's usually a team effort, but I made most of the plays, I guess."

On Thompson and the rivalry between Kennedy and Evergreen - "At first we were rivals, but I got over it. It's college now, so I forgot about it. We're teammates now."

On the atmosphere - "You can hear yourself. But college? There's a lot of people watching. You can't make any mistakes."

Started becoming a UW fan as a sophomore at Evergreen. "My junior year I really was into it. My senior year I was set on being a Husky."

Has two younger brothers. Thompson has a younger brother too. "My siblings are looking up to me, so I have to do what's best."

He went through Bridge program and then was taken out the Saturday after they had finished the class. "I was mad, discouraged. I was looking forward to getting to camp, and they took that away from me."

Took an online History class before the NCAA realized their mistake. By that time he had finished the class, but it was irrelevant.

Listening to the radio and watching the TV and seeing news about the Huskies catalyzed Kelemete while he was at home, working on the class. "It motivated me to get the class done, to get it over with."

On what's been difficult because of the time lost - "It was hard picking up the playbook. You have to pick it up or you are going to be left behind."

Had to stay up late, stay after meetings to talk to coaches for help on understanding the playbook.

On the young guys that have been there - "They help me out a lot, especially when we get back to the dorms. They help me out with plays." Te'o-Nesheim and Elisara help on the field.

Coaches hadn't prepared him for the news that he was going to be a starter. "I had my auntie and uncle calling me, telling me I was starting. I was jumping up and down."

"They told me I would have a big role." Thought it was as a backup, but now a starter.

Didn't check the depth chart beforehand.

On the pressure now of being a starter - "They expect more out of me. Instead of two hours in the film room, now it's three or four hours. There's a lot more pressure now that I'm starting."
8/27/2008
4:00 a.m.

Wednesday Morning Oregon Links...

A little depth chart and Oregon J.C. news from the Oregonian including which backup QB will see time on Saturday...Krout and other Ducks J.C. news

Tuesday night, the Register-Guard's Rob Moseley talked with the man who has been impersonating Jake Locker for the Ducks this week in practice... Thomas as Locker

Moseley also has quite a few notes regarding Oregon's lineup... Masoli expected to share time with Roper against Huskies

And, as if we needed a reminder about how loaded the Ducks are in the backfield, here's Moseley's story on Oregon's top two backs...Catch 'em if you can


8/27/2008
1:20 a.m.

The Pac-10's Monstrous First Month

With the football season about to start, the Pac-10 has a slate of games through September that will go a long ways toward setting its national reputation. Former Husky and current ESPN broadcaster Ed Cunningham chimes in with his thoughts.

Click on the link below for the full interview with Ed.

The Pac-10's Monstrous First Month
8/27/2008
1:15 a.m.

Scott Follows Family to Montlake

SEATTLE - When Nick Scott travels with the Washington Huskies to Eugene, Ore. Saturday night to take on the Oregon Ducks, it will become pretty clear that the former Drake Bulldog isn't playing in the Pioneer League anymore. Nowdays, it's all about the Pac-10 Conference - the Conference of Champions.

Click on the link below to read the full story.

Scott Follows Family to Montlake
8/27/2008
1:10 a.m.

"He's Fast. I'm Quick."

"He's fast. I'm quick." That's how Jordan Polk described the difference between himself and his cousin and UW teammate Chris Polk. Even though they haven't known each other that long - they met at a camp a couple years back - their relationship has grown to the point were Jordan describes Chris like an older brother.

Click on the link below to read the full story, written by new UW intern Jonathan Martone.

"He's Quick. I'm Fast."
8/26/2008
8:15 p.m.

Evening Practice Notes

Tuesday night is the only practice we get to see this week, and it was nice to see everyone out there in pads - no red. As we were walking into Husky Stadium it started to rain a little bit and continued to rain during the course of our time there.

Byron Davenport wasn't fully involved tonight, running off to the side. And Mark Armelin had one of his feet in a smallish boot and participated in some pre-practice drills, but wasn't seen around after stretching.

Brandon Johnson appeared to be running with a very slight limp. Michael Gottlieb participated tonight, and looked good on the hoof. He didn't seem to be limping at all and was practicing with the rest of the TE's.

Watching the DL before practice and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim was working with Everrette Thompson a lot on some moves. It's clear the four-year DE is doing what he can to make sure the freshmen DL are as up to speed as possible.

The entire starting OL led the team in Husky Jacks tonight - Ben Ossai, Jordan White-Frisbee, Juan Garcia, Casey Bulyca and Cody Habben.
8/26/2008
5:15 p.m.

Tim Lappano Notes

Asked about Locker's health, and TL said that it's really good right now and that he's as 'close to 100 percent' as he's been since the hamstring injury and that there are really no limitations at practice.

That being said, they are still very closely monitoring his leg and have tried to quickly blow the whistle on some plays where Jake could turn it up and run full-speed. "I blow the whistle, but he doesn't want to stop." Added that he's run probably a little harder than they'd like him too but that's actually helped because it's shown that he's very close to full health.

And of course, the silver lining in all this was the fact that Ronnie Fouch got to lead the team for two weeks and has really benefitted from the time. "He's got the confidence in his teammates now. For those two weeks he played really well. The team has a lot of confidence in him. Now we have two quarterbacks that can win at the Pac-10 level, and not too many teams in our league can say that."

Added that there could be a time when Fouch is used anyway, even if Locker isn't hurt. Cited the fact that with the 15-week schedule, it feels more like an NFL schedule than ever before. "It's a long time and guys get beat up."

Asked about Jordan Polk and what he's seen from him away from special teams, and Lappano said that he has natural instincts and is very, very quick. "He can make people miss in tight spaces." TL added that he has 'instant acceleration. "He has football speed. He can go from 0-20 like that. He's got that top end. We call him Lightning in a Bottle.

Added that because of his size, Polk is a 'little man that plays with a big chip'. "He plays bigger than he is. He's physical, and he's been banged up a few times this fall, but he's rarely - if ever - missed a practice. That's what I like about him. He plays extremely physical."

Asked about the running back position, and Lappano said that they are going to go with a three-man rotation for Oregon. "With four players, no one gets a feel for it. I played the position in high school and in college, and I don't believe in playing musical chairs with four running backs. I believe the good ones get better as the game goes on."

He wouldn't speculate on who might emerge from the depth chart other than Chris Polk, who has solidified his spot as the No. 1 RB. The position battle appears to be ongoing, with that third spot to be determined based off this week's work.

TL added that the RB position has now become a strength. "We have six or seven players we can win with." He said that now all they have to do is go out there and do what they've been doing in practice and in scrimmages. "There's no reason they shouldn't be able to do it with the lights on."

Asked about Polk and pass protection, and TL said that he's willing to get better at it, and that's the most important thing. "If you are going to play tailback for us, you are going to block. But he's willing to get better. He's doing well, but he's not all the way there yet."

Added that Paul Homer is probably the only back that is up to speed on the technique and blocking ability. "He's very good at it."

Asked about receiver depth, and TL said that even though there's just four on the depth chart, six will probably play on Saturday. "There's no veterans on the team. I tell Flea (D'Andre Goodwin) that he's the old man of the group, and he's hardly even played!"

He believes that the freshmen that have come in are not going to be fazed by things. "There are some four and five-star guys there, and I don't think the bright lights are going to affect them. I think they are going to show why they were highly recruited."

"That's why you come to Washington. You aren't going to play against a D1-AA school. You're going to play against Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU. I don't think this is too big for them. Are they going to make mistakes? Yes. Jake Locker made a lot of mistakes last year. But he also did a lot of brilliant things. So they'll make mistakes, but they are also going to make some plays where you say we get to see this for three more years of this. That's what I believe. I've seen them for 26 practices and I think I know how they are wired. They are wired for the big stage."

Asked how the coaches try to prepare the young guys for a game like Oregon on the road, and he said you talk about the history of playing in games like this. On the road, noisy place... all of that. We have to worry about what we can control, and that's what you start with. That's all you can do."

Asked about the OL leading the way - "That's why I've been feeling confident, as far back as when last season was over. Guys like Jordan White-Frisbee have a year of experience under their belts. Along with Jake Locker, that's the strength of this football team.

On White-Frisbee - "He could be as good as anybody in this league. Physically and athletically, he is. If he utilizes his technique on game day, the sky is the limit, because he has all the tools. He's got it."

On Nick Scott - "I remember Mike Denbrock told me there would be a guy coming in that we needed to talk to. He came in and looked great on the hoof. He started a little slow in camp, but he's whittled off 20 pounds in camp and with that started to come the athleticism you were hoping for. He said he was tough and he is. He's going to be a nice addition. He's going to play a little bit this year, I guarantee you. He's gotten a lot better this last week. That was a nice addition there. We were a little thin."

On Mike Gottlieb - "It's wait and see until tomorrow. He's been out almost as much as Locker. He's been out a while."

On having Garcia back - "Leadership wise he helps us out a lot. He's well-respected. He's one of our team leaders and our guys like him. Just the fact that he can line up to play is a remarkable story. And he deserves it."

Alvin Logan - brings experience. "He knows what he's doing. He can play inside or outside. He's pretty physical and can help us with run blocking on the perimeter. He's a big target on our intermediate routes. We wouldn't play him if we didn't think he could bring something to the table. He's a big target the quarterback can see."

On Oregon's secondary - ranked No. 3 in the country. "It's a good test for us early. If we can have success, we're pretty good. That's a good secondary. That's not hype."

On overall health - other than Gottlieb they are pretty healthy across the board on offense.
8/26/2008
3:55 p.m.

Mike Denbrock Notes

Asked about JWF's ascension into the starting left guard position - "He's just picked up the position so quickly. Sometimes it takes OL a while to learn the ins and outs of technique and when to use power. He's really surprised me with how fast he's picked it up and how natural he seems to be at it. The things he brings to the table are his toughness and the way he goes about playing the game. He's a big man and he can move some people around in there. He's got every conceivable tool that you look for as a line coach."

Asked when things clicked in for White-Frisbee - "It was probably at some point in the middle of last season, about four or five games into it. During fall camp I think he finally came to the realization that he was an offensive lineman. He had four or five games to master the techniques and really did a nice job of taking off. Toward the end of the year he was playing a lot of minutes. There was a point where everything started coming together. Anytime a guy changes position, especially to the OL, you can't just play on instinct. It takes time to master and get comfortable. And it's not just for you, but it's also getting comfortable around the guys you are playing with."

Asked about seeing Juan Garcia back for Oregon - "It helps you to believe that all things are possible. None of us would have stood here in the spring and thought it was even conceivable. Things have fallen together. He's worked his tail off in rehab, and our training staff has done a great job helping him along. Just the sheer inspiration that comes from watching someone struggle with potentially a career-ending injury and go through the rehab process to put himself in a position to start is remarkable. I care about Juan Garcia way more as a person than as a football player, and I'm pretty fond of him as a player - so that should tell you what he means to me. What's unique about it is that there isn't one player on the team that doesn't feel the same way. He just has that way of rubbing off on you. He's a great guy to be around."

On amount of playing time for Garcia on Saturday - "We're going to keep a close eye on him and wait until we get him in the heat of battle, especially early. Fortunately he has enough respect for me that if we need to make a change we would. And he's not going to do anything to jeopardize the success of this team by any stretch of the imagination, that's just that type of person. But the more snaps he plays, the better off we are."

On Ryan Tolar - "I consider Tolar our sixth starter, if you can have such a thing. You can only have five starters, but he's a starter in my mind and in his mind too. He's going to play a very significant role on our team. He's right in the mix with any of those other guys."

On having a lot of depth inside - "It's a happy problem to have, but it has to be managed. It's just making sure you have the lines of communication open and they know where you stand. They all know they are talented and all know they are deserving to play. They might not agree with it in the heat of the moment, they understand."
8/26/2008
1:10 p.m.

Juan Garcia Notes

He said that when he goes into the locker room he hears about how he's become an inspiration for the team, and he said that even now he can barely believe that he's back and he's going to play on Saturday.

"I'm too old to be nervous. I'm just excited. I wasn't supposed to be getting ready for Oregon."

Said he talked to Coach Denbrock during camp, and he said that he was so thankful to coach for everything he's done for him, and because he has so much respect for coach, he told him that if he's not getting it done he's fine being a backup. He's here to win games and be there for the team, and if that means being second-string, he's cool with.

He said he can get the OL calm. Even if he's just in there for a series or two, he can calm them down and that would be good enough. If he wasn't in there, he said Casey Bulyca would be the guy that could 'hold it down'.

The last four months have been hard. "May and June were the hardest. There were a lot of second thoughts if I did the right thing. In July I got the boot off and started to get energized again."

On the decision to forego surgery. "It's just me being stubborn. I don't know why I did it. I second-guessed myself and it turned out OK. I'm amazed by it. But I love being a Husky, and if I had the surgery that would have been it."

Won't celebrate until the game is over and they've won. "That's when I'll say that I did it. I didn't quit on myself."

Asked about his minor setback during camp, and Juan said that it was actually a good thing. Jordan White-Frisbee tripped and landed on his foot and he heard it pop. But it was only sore. It ended up loosening things. It finally happened, so it's a good thing. Now if someone lands on it I know it can take it.

He has no doubts he'll play the whole game. "Unless I totally choke or get blown off the ball - and that's not going to happen... I'm playing from the first play to the last play."

He thinks he can handle it physically. "I think I'm in better shape than I was last year. I didn't want to come back and be average. I wanted to make sure I could help the team out."

Is at 320 right now, but wants to get down to 315, his playing weight the last two years.
8/26/2008
11:50 a.m.

Willingham Tuesday Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

He was asked about Justin Roper and TW said that with Nate Costa out it brings a little more clarity to the situation. He thought there would be more than one QB used. It's unfortunate Costa is out, but it does clear things up a little bit.

Asked about attacking RB's with Jonathan Stewart gone, and TW reminded them that Andre Crenshaw had 100 yards against UW last year, so they will be talented. Have to limit their scheme and be there at the right time. Have to be very sound in all their defensive principles.

He couldn't remember starting a true frosh at RB before. Might have had one (Coy Wire), at Stanford, but wasn't sure.

Asked about what he sees in Chris Polk, and he said "The Wow factor. As a coach, you watch him make plays and you go wow. It's like watching Jake and what he does. Anxious to see them both on the field together."

Asked about what he will tell a true frosh at RB going into a hostile environment? All depends on the man. Have to understand his personality. Might be a different message to someone else. Try to factor that in. It's going to be noisy, going to be hostile. Playing a great football team, but can't be distracted by what's going on outside the football field. Give them the confidence and comfort to go out there and perform.

Asked about the improvement in the defense and he said that, "our offense can go a long way toward helping our defense." Added that there is a level of communication that has been stepped up in terms of understanding the packages and what they need to do." Added that he expects his players to play with 'passion, energy and improved techniques that will help us play overall better defense.'

Asked about Jake Locker, and TW said that the QB has to have the skill to use the other teammates. Can't be his show. He's one of the more unselfish players he's been around. Work and utilize the talents of the other 10 players and then find the right time to put himself in the mix. It's all about his decision-making, and that's what all great QB's have. Coach Lappano has done a wonderful job of illustrating that to him through film and also by looking at other QB's.

Asked about the Oregon secondary and TW said he had an opportunity to see Patrick Chung at the P-10 kickoff and he looked like he had a strong, solid build to him. When you put him in the mix with the other DB's, they make up a very strong group. They will disguise their packages very well to confuse UW's young receivers. "We need our guys to pick up things very quickly, so that they can understand the nuances of Oregon's secondary."
8/26/2008
7:02 a.m.

Tuesday Morning Oregon news links...

The Register Guard's Curtis Anderson takes a look at what the Oregon coaches and players are focused on as they try to prepare to stop Washington QB Jake Locker and they haven't left anything out... D's keys for Locker? Everything

Everyone seems to be aware that projected Duck starting QB Nate Costa will undergo surgery and miss most, if not all, of the regular season and the Register Guard's Rob Moseley takes a look at the signal-caller situation for the Ducks here... Surgery puts Costa on shelf

Moseley is also the Duck blogger for the Register Guard and he noted that junior LB Kevin Garrett has been dismissed from the team and that "Spencer Paysinger is now expected to start there, backed up by Riley Showalter."

Moseley also posted in his blog who was out of practice today and who returned...Moseley's Blog


8/26/2008
12:45 am

Offensive Line will Lead Huskies into Battle

SEATTLE - Willie Hurst and Rich Alexis led the Huskies in rushing as true freshmen and started a season's worth of games between them. But Chris Polk will be doing something no other first-year running back has ever done at UW; start an opener. And he won't be alone. According to Washington's official two-deeps, the Huskies will be playing eight newcomers on either their first or second team.

To view the whole article - written by Chris Fetters - click on the link below.

Offensive Line will Lead Huskies into Battle
8/26/2008
12:40 am

Baptism Under Fire

Regardless of what the released two-deep says, the Washington Huskies are going to be a young team to open the season. Look for as many as 20-22 first-year players to be on the field against the Oregon Ducks. You are who you are, and this team will have lots of red-shirted and true freshman playing in their very first college football game come this Saturday night.

To view the whole article - written by Dick Baird - click on the link below.

Baptism Under Fire
8/25/2008
5:00 pm

Oregon depth chart announced
OFFENSE 
Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl.-Exp. 
WR 4 Jaison Williams 6-5 242 Sr.-3L*
 86 Garrett Embry 6-1 208 Fr.-HS
LT 57 Fenuki Tupou 6-6 330 Sr.-1L* 
 69 Bo Thran 6-5 303 So.-SQ*
LG 54 Jordan Holmes 6-4 285 So.-1L*
 63 Jon Teague 6-2 290 Sr.-3L*
C 60 Max Unger 6-5 300 Sr.-3L*
 51 Jeff  Kendall 6-4 281 Sr.-3L*
RG 71 Mark Lewis 6-4 300 Sr.-3L*
 79 Mark Asper 6-7 323 Fr.-RS* 
RT 78 Jacob Hucko 6-7 312 Sr.-3L*
 68 C.E. Kaiser 6-4 290 So.-1L* 
TE 83 Ed Dickson 6-5 243 Jr.-2L*
 26 Malachi Lewis 6-3 220 So.-1L
WR 23 Jeff Maehl 6-1 175 So.-1L
 89 Aaron Pflugrad 5-10 174 So.-1L
WR 8 Terence Scott 6-0 171 Sr.-1L
 19 Jamere Holland 6-1 185 So.-RS*
QB 11 Justin Roper 6-6 204 So.-1L* 
 2 Jeremiah Masoli 5-11 214 So.-JC 
RB 24 Jeremiah Johnson 5-10 200 Sr.-3L 
 9 LeGarrette Blount 6-2 229 Jr.-JC

DEFENSE 
Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl.-Exp. 
LCB 32 Jairus Byrd 6-0 205 Jr.-2L*
 17 Willie Glasper 5-11 188 Jr.-2L* 
DE 39 Will Tukuafu 6-4 272 Jr.-1L*
 88 Brandon Bair 6-7 250 So.-1L*
DT 91 Ra'Shon Harris 6-5 300 Sr.-3L* 
 43 Mike Speed OR 6-4 260 Sr.-3L*
 95 Tonio Celotto 6-3 275 So.-1L 
DT 97 Cole Linehan  6-4 290 Sr.-3L*
 90 Blake Ferras 6-6 290 Jr.-JC
DE 49 Nick Reed 6-2 248 Sr.-3L
 58 Kenny Rowe 6-3 215 So.-1L 
RCB 6 Walter Thurmond III 6-0 180 Jr.-2L*
 37 Talmadge Jackson III 5-10 182 So.-1L
SLB 13 Jerome Boyd 6-2 215 Sr.-3L*  
 38 Eddie Pleasant 5-11 223 Fr.-RS*
FS 2 T.J. Ward 5-11 201 Jr.-2L* 
 14 Javes Lewis 6-1 185 Fr.-RS* 
MLB 40 John Bacon 6-4 240 Sr.-2L*
 55 Casey Matthews 6-2 235 So.-1L
WLB 35 Spencer Paysinger 6-3 216 So.-1L* 
 54 Riley Showalter 6-3 220 Jr.-1L*
ROV 15 Patrick Chung 6-0 210 Sr.-3L*
 1 Marvin Johnson 5-11 199 So.-1L*

SPECIALISTS 
Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl. 
PK 85 Matt Evensen 6-2 197 Sr.-3L* 
 23 Morgan Flint 5-9 163 Jr.-SQ*
P 80 Josh Syria 6-3 249 Sr.-1L*
 26 Tim Taylor 5-11 182 So.-TR* 
KR 22 Andre Crenshaw 5-11 196 Jr.-2L 
 6 Walter Thurmond III 6-0 180 Jr.-2L* 
PR 32 Jairus Byrd 6-0 205 Jr.-2L*
 89 Aaron Pflugrad 5-10 174 So.-1L
LS 87 Zach Taylor OR 6-5 225 Jr.-JC
 59 Jeff  Palmer 5-10 193 Fr.-HS
HLD 11 Justin Roper 6-6 204 So.-1L*
 26 Tim Taylor 5-11 182 So.-TR*

8/25/2008
12:50 pm

Jake Locker Notes

Asked about his hamstring and Jake said it feels pretty good and it's still a 'day-to-day' thing and he'll see how it feels on Saturday. Added that he doesn't feel like he's behind at all. Said he was able to stand back and help other players out and talk about what they were looking at. "I saw things from a different perspective and I think it really helped me out."

Asked about playing in Autzen Stadium, and he said that he did go down to UW's last game there and he didn't play but he enjoyed the atmosphere and he's looking forward to it.

Asked about the run/pass ratio based on what he learned last year, and he said that in some cases there are called runs and other times it's just his call. "I'll do whatever I feel gives us the best chance to win and our team the best chance to have success."

Asked about UW's defense and if they are starting to learn things that will help them against another spread offense, and he said that UW and UO do run similar offenses, so hopefully their work will carry over to Saturday.

Asked how much the offense gets the better of the defense and vise-versa, and he said that in many cases some drills are designed for one side of the ball or the other. "It's kind of gone back and forth all camp. They are a good defense. They will surprise some people on the outside, I think."

Asked about playing at night as opposed to playing earlier in the day, and he said there's no difference other than you just start later. "You have all day to get focused, get your mind on the game and get going." Added that he likes playing under the lights and knows that his teammates do too.

Asked about his notoriety as being the face of the program nationally, and he said that it's an honor but 'it takes all of us on the field to have success and get to where we want to be.' Added that being known outside the city of Seattle has never been a goal of his. "We want to win games, and that's what we're focused on. And when we do that, others will become more nationally known."

Asked about getting settled into the game with the youth at the skill positions, and he said that there shouldn't be any adjustment time. "Coach told us the first day of camp that we had to play older, and I think guys have. Hopefully that'll show on Saturday."

Asked about Juan playing, and he said that Juan showed how much he cared about this team by what he's done. "We've gained a leader and someone to look up to. And with his experience, you can't match that."

Asked about Chris Polk, and Locker said he's an 'explosive back'. "Sometimes when things don't look like they are there, he can make a big play and that's exciting. Whenever you can give the ball to a guy that can score any time he touches it, that's fun. You like playing with guys like that. He's worked hard and it's going to be exciting to watch him."

Asked about working with so many true freshmen, and he said that he had to take more of a leadership role, be more vocal and understand completely what he's supposed to do so he can help them with their assignments. "What I really like is that they are really eager to learn. They come to me and ask me. They want to get better and they want to understand it, and it's fun working with guys like that."

Asked if being able to move the ball last year against Oregon has given them any confidence, and JL said that last year's game is in the past and this year is a new team and that they just have to go down there and execute to the best of their ability. They are going down there expecting to win and play well.

Asked what the biggest change is for him from last year to this year, and he said he didn't know what to expect at this level in a game. "I wasn't sure what the speed was going to be like." But having that knowledge now means he'll be more relaxed and comfortable knowing what they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish.

Asked about the fourth quarter letdowns, and what has to change, and he said that they had the confidence going into halftimes that they could play with these teams. "It wasn't a fluke." Said that having that confidence and attitude is something that will make the difference, as well as mental toughness. "We're good enough to be here, we shouldn't be surprised to be here. We should expect to be in this situation and take advantage of it."

Asked about the speed on offense and how it's improved, and he said it's true and when you have that kind of speed it can put stress on a defense and it's fun to give the ball to them and let them 'make the highlight reel plays'.
8/25/2008
12:30 pm

Tyrone Willingham Press Conference Notes

Started off by saying how 'consistent' camp has been this fall, and how others have had their ups and downs, but the intensity and enthusiasm has been there all fall camp.

Added that he feels like the team is pretty healthy, at quarterback especially, but there could be a question mark at tight end. Also added later that because of the 64 travel limit, those that have been hurt are right now on the bubble, and travel determinations for those players will be made in the next day or two.

"We are eager to get started."

Asked about having Juan Garcia there to start against Oregon, and Willingham termed his recovery 'amazing'. "It's a testament to him and our trainers and staff." He added that there was one minor setback in camp regarding some 'scar tissue', but everything else has gone very well for Juan. "We anticipate that he will start."

Asked about seeing Justin Roper against Oregon instead of Nate Costa, and TW said that more than anything, it brings 'clearer insight' as to having to prepare for only one experienced quarterback. "But whoever they put in the system, they have a formidable offense." Added that LeGarrette Blount adds a different dimension as a power back.

Asked about playing a rival this early, and TW said that the enthusiasm for this game went back all the way to the off-season. "Once we knew we had a conference opponent to start the season, it changes the focus. We knew we would have to get out of the box really quick."

Asked about the younger players playing their first game at Autzen, TW said that there's always going to be butterflies whenever you play an important game. "The backdrop for this game is pretty special. There is a lot of player-fan contact and there's no way to prepare those guys for that kind of environment." He added that the young players expect to exceed expectations and would be 'primed and eager' to play in that kind of environment.

Pressed about specific young players that have stood out, and TW mentioned Jordan Polk and how he has the ability to 'make people miss'. Said there was an incident where the entire team cornered him and then applauded Polk for his effort and his elusiveness.

Asked about Senio Kelemete's rise through the depth chart, and TW said that of all the high school players they saw they felt that he could be one of the best in regards to 'holding the point' and get to the football. Coming to camp late has made things exciting, but he was given a fair opportunity and has shown himself to do things just a little bit different than the others.

Asked about Garcia's presence at a game so important, and TW said you could tell just how important it is to Juan to play in this game, and when you see such a 'graphic example' of it, it has to impress players and coaches. "Football is a game of courage, commitment and sacrifice. When you see it, it's truly enriching to everyone."

Asked about Ryan Tolar not in a starting position, TW said that Tolar could be considered the MVP of the OL, just because of the versatility to be able to compete at all three of the interior positions. Added that Jordan White-Frisbee has done a 'wonderful job' of taking advantage of an opportunity. "Hopefully he's worked himself into a powerful position on our offensive line."

Asked about stopping Oregon's spread, and TW said that when all phases are working, it's a difficult task for defenses to handle. He said the first thing is to identify key plays, like the sweep with Stewart and then you have to defend the option. "You have to have somebody for the dive, for the quarterback and for the pitch." He said that UO doesn't allow you to rest on the fundamental things, because they'll throw a wrinkle at you, like a bubble pass. To have success, the Huskies have to eliminate the 'individual plays', the 1-1 plays. He wants to always be in a situation where there are two defenders on the play.

Asked about Darin Harris starting in front of Victor Aiyewa, and TW said that Harris, even when hurt with his back injury a couple of years ago, 'refused to die'. He kept pushing himself. He plays physical. TW said he watched last year's game and Stewart collided with Harris and Harris turned him around. TW added that Aiyewa was 'hurt' by the injury in terms of lost practice time, but 'that is not being disrespectful to Darin at all. Darin is playing very well."

Tripper Johnson is listed as a sophomore in eligibility, but TW said that they are still working on trying to get a final answer as to how many years the former MLB'er will have at UW. Earlier in the fall Johnson told the media that he was guaranteed two years by the NCAA, but some classes he took at BCC were being looked at to determine just how much extra eligibility he might be able to receive after eight years playing professional baseball.

Asked about the defense, and TW said that he likes the defense and even though they might be inexperienced in some places, they also bring an enthusiasm and intensity by being new. "They are untarnished, not having some of the blemishes that we've had in the past. They bring a little different attitude. They don't know, and sometimes it's a good position not to know." That also extends to the new coaches.

Asked about Jared Ballman missing the last couple practices, and TW said that Ballman was away from the team to attend to a death in his family. Ballman is listed as the No. 1 punter and backup placekicker for the Oregon game.
8/25/2008
11:55 am

Mike Bellotti Notes

Opening Statement - "We're excited to start the 2008 season. Obviously every team at this time in the year want to find out how good they can be, and what better way than to start against a conference opponent and a great rivalry. We're happy to play at Autzen Stadium on national television. I think our frame of mind as a football team is pretty good. We had some ups and downs last year that we learned from. Overall I like the spirit of this football team. Early on we'll probably be led by our defense. We have a very talented secondary led by Patrick Chung. We've got sort of an untested group up front, but Nick Reed makes a lot of plays for us.

"On offense, the big question is the quarterback situation, and I don't have a lot of news on that. Nate Costa is going to have an appointment at 10:30 with our doctor who has looked at his x-rays and MRI, and he's going to go through a thorough exam and make a determination. I don't think he's going to play this week. But we are led by our offensive line with Max Unger at center, Jaison Williams at wide receiver and Jeremiah Johnson at running back. We have some weapons, but we're just going to have to wait and see. But we're excited again at the start of the season."

On Costa - "He hasn't had any setbacks; and in fact he's walking without a limp and the swelling has subsided. We're optimistic there may be a chance, but we'll know more after his exam."

On Justin Roper - "Justin is amazing athlete. He's 6-6 and he high jumps 6-6. He's the fastest of our quarterbacks. He's deceptive in that regard. One of the stronger arms on the team and he has the experience of the bowl game. He was a little rusty in the spring, but in the last two scrimmages that we've had he's been the most outstanding quarterback. He's done very, very well, so I'm pleased with that. He's proven he can do this. His development during the bowl practices was instrumental in our team's confidence for that game."

On the backup - "That's Jeremiah Masoli, who was hampered with a wrist injury early in fall camp, but has come on lately, and Chris Harper, a freshman that may or may not play. I'm still not certain of that. It's difficult to plan for three quarterbacks."

On LeGarrette Blount - "He reminds me of Reuben Droughns, who played for us several years ago who still plays in the NFL. He's a bigger back, he's 238 pounds. He's strong through the contact zone. He's a power back. I think he'll compliment Jeremiah well in that regard. I don't think he'll make us forget Jonathan Stewart, but he's ready to play and ready to help and contribute right now. They will be a great 1-2 punch."

On Facing new players from UW - "There are also going to be some new faces on their coaching roster too. I don't know really what their defense is going to be like and their special teams. I think their offense starts up front - it's junior and senior-dominated along the offensive line. And they have Jake Locker back. I know they have some young skill position players, like Chris Polk and Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar. I don't know much about them; we recruited some of them so we are aware of their skill and talent.

"On defense it's a relatively new group, just a couple of seniors. So anytime you have youth combined with new coaching people, you're kind of hamstrung. On a first-game basis, we try to prepare for everything and prepare in a semi-generic mode. It might be a little more of that simply because you have some new coaches along with some new players.

On Jake Locker - "We have a healthy respect for what he can do. He's the fastest, biggest, strongest quarterback in the nation, in my opinion. I think he's one of the most dangerous threats out there in Division-1 football. He can throw the ball, and he can run. And he's not going to run out of bounds; he's going to run and move the pile or run away from you if he can. I have great respect for Jake Locker. He's a tremendous young man. I know that he's a great leader based on meeting him and his family. He's a guy we definitely have to deal with."

On Juan Garcia - "It's sort of a miracle that he didn't have the Lisfranc surgery and has repaired itself. That's an amazing deal. He's certainly a staple as a center and as a senior. I'm happy for him only from the standpoint that I'm not happy for us, but I'm happy for him."

On Oregon's 2007 season - "Last year was the best of times and the worst of times. We played as well as anybody in the nation, and if we had been able to sustain that we certainly had a chance to play for the national championship and get to that level. I think it creates a desire and hunger in our coaches and our players, and we certainly learned a lot from that. But that doesn't mean a lot. Every year you have to re-establish the chemistry, the unity, the hunger and what you want to accomplish. So you learn from both the positives and negatives so we can be better this year."

On getting adjusted to seeing new personnel and coaches during the course of a game - "It takes a couple of series. There are two things you look at; schemes and how they are lining up and what you perceive they are doing. And that might take a quarter or a half. Then there is the personnel matchups. On a first-game basis, with no film of this team and no knowledge of what they are going to do on defense...I've read where they are going to do 4-3 or 3-4 or Bear... we're going to be on the learning curve. Both teams will probably be feeling each other out early and trying to figure out where to focus their efforts."

On being the Dean of Pac-10 coaches - "I like it better than the alternative. I don't claim that title very often. I don't think of it in terms like that. I've got an accumulation of older plants and plaques in my office. I have less space. Those are things I think about more than me. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy coaching at Oregon. We have a great group of young men and I look forward to finding out how good we can be."

On playing Washington this early in the season - "It wasn't my choice, but the fact that we're playing a rival and a Pac-10 game - we're going to find out very quickly what kind of team we are. And sometimes you may play somebody where you don't know even after the game how good you can be. We're going to know. This is a test for both teams."
8/25/2008
9:35 am

UW's depth chart announced
Offense

WR 11 D'Andre Goodwin 5-11 175 So./Jr.
9 Devin Aguilar 6-0 195 Fr./Fr.
LT 79 Ben Ossai 6-6 332 Jr./Sr.
69 Nick Scott 6-4 337 Jr./Sr.
LG 76 Jordan White-Frisbee 6-5 368 Sr./Sr.
65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr. OR
70 Morgan Rosborough 6-6 382 Jr./Sr.
C 58 Juan Garcia 6-3 305 Sr./Sr.
64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 320 So./Jr. OR
65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr.
RG 72 Casey Bulyca 6-6 339 Sr./Sr.
65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 321 So./Jr.
RT 71 Cody Habben 6-6 316 So./Jr.
67 Skyler Fancher 6-5 294 RFr./So.
TE 86 Michael Gottlieb 6-5 249 Sr./Sr.
83 Walt Winter 6-4 254 Sr./Sr. OR
80 Kavario Middleton 6-5 255 Fr./Fr.
4 Chris Izbicki 6-3 249 RFr./So.
QB 10 Jake Locker 6-3 222 So./Jr.
8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So.
7 Taylor Bean 6-1 199 RFr./So.
TB 1 Chris Polk 5-11 200 Fr./Fr.
6 Brandon Johnson 5-9 207 So./So. OR
20 David Freeman 5-7 190 Fr./Fr.
21 Willie Griffin 5-8 198 RFr./So.
FB 30 Paul Homer 6-1 239 Jr./Jr.
32 Luke Kravitz 6-0 228 Sr./Sr.
WR 3 Alvin Logan 6-2 218 RFr./So.
15 Jermaine Kearse 6-1 180 Fr./Fr.

Defense

DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 263 Jr./Sr.
92 Everrette Thompson 6-6 255 Fr./Fr.
96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr.
DT 99 Cameron Elisara 6-3 289 So./Jr.
74 Alameda Ta'amu 6-2 348 Fr./Fr.
DT 93 Senio Kelemete 6-4 260 Fr./Fr.
37 Johnie Kirton 6-3 296 Sr./Sr. OR
91 Tyrone Duncan 6-2 278 RFr./So.
DE 59 Darrion Jones 6-2 245 Jr./Sr.
50 Kalani Aldrich 6-7 240 RFr./So. OR
96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr.
OLB 24 Joshua Gage 6-2 226 Jr./Sr.
5 Matt Houston 6-0 232 So./Jr.
ILB 9 Donald Butler 6-1 242 Jr./Jr.

57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 243 Sr./Sr.
OLB 40 Mason Foster 6-1 229 So./So.
29 Chris Stevens 6-1 218 Sr./Sr.
FS 8 Nate Williams 6-0 207 So./So.
34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr.
SS 15 Darin Harris 5-11 208 Sr./Sr.
41 Victor Aiyewa 6-1 209 So./So.
CB 28 Quinton Richardson 6-0 200 RFr./So.
6 Vonzell McDowell, Jr. 5-9 178 So./So.
CB 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2 202 Sr./Sr.
19 Matt Mosley 5-10 180 So./Jr.

Special Teams

P 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr.
17 Erik Folk 5-11 199 RFr./So.
13 Ryan Perkins 5-10 205 Jr./Sr.
FG/PAT 13 Ryan Perkins 5-10 205 Jr./Sr.
12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr.
KO 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 186 Sr./Sr.
HLD 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So.
SNP 49 Danny Morovick 6-4 213 Jr./Sr.
KOR 82 Jordan Polk 5-8 161 Fr./Fr.
28 Quinton Richardson 6-0 200 RFr./So.
PR 11 D'Andre Goodwin 5-11 175 So./Jr.

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