3Q Thoughts: After every ND score, there's a shower of flashing lights coming from the west end zone. The Irish fans are savoring every minute of this white-washing(ton). The fake punt was sheer brilliance. I don't know if ND could have caught the Huskies any more with their pants down.
Shane Pahukoa - the bigtime safety that helped UW win a national championship in 1991 - is being honored as this week's Husky Legend. The remaining crowd summons up all they can, but it's a blip compared to a normal reception, and actually a lot worse than last week's.
It's unbelievable of me to say this - but where has the UW program gone when you can say the Huskies have made progress on defense, and have surrendered 373 yards and 27 points through three quarters? Amazing...
Quickie Halftime Stats:
First Downs - ND 13, UW 3
Rushes-Yards - ND 21-104, UW 17-33
Passing Yards - ND 134, UW 5
Passes-ATT-Comp-INT - ND 21-9-1, UW 9-1-0
Possession - ND 17:32, UW 12:28
Third-Down Conversions - ND 3-8, UW 2-8
Fourth-Down Conversions - ND 1-4, UW 0-0
Rushing: Dailey 6-19, Freeman 4-14, Goodwin 1-7, Homer 1-2
Passing: Fouch 1-9 for 5 yards
Receiving: Goodwin 1-5
Tackles: Foster 6, Forrester 4, Williams 3, Tuiasosopo 3
2Q Thoughts: How bad does it have to get where the other team decides they have a better chance at converting a 4th and 19 instead of kicking a 48-yard field goal? That's just horrible. And to add insult to injury, a great stop by the defense near the end of the half is wasted because Tyrone Willingham decided to burn the last 40+ seconds of the quarter instead of calling a timeout and trying to make a play - block a punt, get a return, something. 17-0 ND, and the defense was 100 percent better that quarter than in the first, especially along the front. They are actually knocking Clausen down a few times. Amazing!
Only problem is, ND is blitzing like crazy and UW has decided using the screen game isn't an option. Or at least they have for the first 30 minutes. Going four verticals on a blitz usually doesn't come out well for the offense, especially when the OL is having a hard time defending ND's base front.
1Q Thoughts: Brutal. Just brutal. Can't get anything done offensively, can't make a play on defense when they need a stop. On the Floyd TD for ND, it felt like Oregon State all over again. Huge holes and blockers in front. And the team is so snakebit, even when they make a great play - like Nate Williams' pick - it gets taken away due to a penalty. How does the old blues song go? If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Not only does UW not have any luck, but they've turned a proud homefield tradition into a morgue. The Husky Stadium crowd on big third down plays sounds like the old Husky crowds stuffed into a coffee can.
14-0 Notre Dame, and I suspect it's just going to get worse.
30 minutes before game time
Half-hour before the game, both teams are out on the field, and almost no one in the stands -even the students. Just peaking out toward Montlake Blvd, and it's like ants to the picnic. But inside? Hardly anyone - even the ND contingent hasn't shown up yet.
The Huskies invited a lot of HS players to this one. I'd have to say conservatively there's 150 prepsters and parents. It's nice to see.
Afternoon Practice Notes (per Jon Martone)
Craig Noble was in pads but was limited
Allen Carroll was not in pads
Darin Harris was watching
In the position drills the defensive linemen worked on a screen drill where one linemen caught the ball while another one pursued and tried to strip the ball from him.
Saw two situational scrimmages again. This time both worked out well for the defense. Both started with one minute left, down by seven, and starting from around the fifty. This was one offense versus the one nickel defense. Ronnie Fouch completed the first pass but then missed on his second and was intercepted on the third. Matt Mosely was able to return the interception for a pick six. The defense worked on their celebration in the end zone, which consisted of a lot of jumping and yelling, they seemed pretty animated about the return. The last time I saw a celebration during a scrimmage was the practice before the BYU game though.....
The second scrimmage was the two offense versus the two nickel defense. Taylor Bean completed a couple passes to Jordan Polk. Marquis Persley was able to intercept the ball though, no return on this one, but again a nice grab by the defense.
Afternoon Willingham Notes (per Jon Martone)
On the teams health- "We're in pretty good shape. Freeman has worked this week. Probably the one guy that might not be able to work and we'll see where his status is today is (Kalani) Aldrich. He's struggling just a little bit."
On Johri Fogerson- "He may see some time. He is healthy to get back in just now."
On Josh Gage- "Depending on what we play will have some impact on his play this weekend. I anticipate if we're in our base package it will still be the three linebackers of Butler, Tuiasosopo, and Foster." He said Gage's injury is to his foot.
On the combination of linebackers- He said it's something they've been looking at for awhile since you always want to get your best players on the field at the same time. He said with the injury to Butler early they wanted to have a back up for him. Now they think it's a good package for the team with him being healthier.
On if the linebacker package is faster- "I would say it makes us more athletic and more physical."
On David Freeman- He said he thinks he will be healthy enough to play based on what he has demonstrated in practice. Terrance Dailey will most likely be the starter even if he his healthy enough to play.
On how he distributes carries- He said he likes to get both of them in ball game and he doesn't know how the numbers will go. He said it depends on the play.
On what he looks for to see if the team is down- "You just watch practice, practice tells you. Good teams can be rolling well and have poor days of practice, you just look at your team and see where they are." He said, "his guys are still working hard."
On receiver drops early in the year- "It's one of those things you hope somebody doesn't bring up." He said when you play the game there will always be mistakes, some come early and some come late.
On Ronnie Fouch taking 13 hits- "It's a lot, you don't want your quarterback taking that many hits, I don't think anybody does. You'd like him to have zero ideally but that might not happen either."
On why Fouch got hit so many times- "That was too much pressure." He said the challenge is for the linemen not for Fouch. He said the guys up front have to handle the pressure. They have to identify whom to block and then physically make the block. He thinks Fouch does a good job of identifying pressure, and he thinks he has the mental part down and now it's physically doing it.
Afternoon Practice Notes (per Jon Martone)
Allen Carroll was not in pads
Darin Harris was not in pads
Jason Wells was back in pads
Chris Polk and Jake Locker were watching
Trenton Tuiasosopo led husky jacks
The wide receivers did the same drill as yesterday where one of the receivers is a corner and one is a receiver. The corners played a little more physical today, but let up after the jam. All the receivers made the catches and looked good.
The linebackers worked on a drill where one was a blocker, one a running back, and opposite of them was the linebacker. The linebacker had to shed the block from the blocker then make contact with the running back. Looked like a good drill and they were hitting pretty hard.
Saw a situational scrimmage. The one offense started on the 50 yard line down by 7 with one minute. They played against what looked like the 2 nickel defense, which actually had Jason Wells back at safety. It was good to see Wells back, hopefully starting to return to game shape to be ready to play next year since the plan is for him to red shirt this year. The offense moved to about the 25 before I had to leave practice. Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, and D'Andre Goodwin all had a good catch.
Willingham Afternoon Notes
On safeties and continuity - gives a chance for the players to get comfortable with each other. "Anytime you have a chance to get them together, being as healthy as possible, you have a chance to improve. Now they can play together, talk, communicate and start to do some things."
On Aiyewa bringing a physical element - "It has at times. But we're still missing a few too many in our secondary; plays, angles and tackles we need to make to help our team out. But there's no question - he wants to hit."
On continuity with the RB's - "Coming into the year, we were looking to have some run game that didn't include Jake. We've been searching for guys that can be consistent in the lineup and practice. When you miss days at practice, it affects your ability to be comfortable with the plays, the execution and the timing of the up-front guys and the rhythm you have as a back." Terrance Dailey is in, hopefully David Freeman is back, as well as Willie Griffin and Brandon Johnson.
On his ideal RB situation - "I like two. I like a main guy and then a guy that can step in and spell that main guy. I think most backs feel that if they get the vast majority of plays they start to get in a rhythm. If you can keep them fresh, then they can really play hard and aggressive." Added that Freeman got through practice and also took a couple of shots."
Added that he felt Daily and Freeman would have probably shown themselves out this year, even with the injury situation. "The one thing we felt we have missed is that guy in the RB position that can be like (Louis) Rankin, can give you the big run, get down there and operate on a safety and take one 50,60 yards. "You need that, I think, in modern-day football. When you can get big plays of that nature, it really helps your offense." Also said that Dailey is probably the fastest RB in that group currently.
On Ted Leland's quote about not being a 'wink at a kid kind of guy and he didn't make promises' - "That is genuine. It's a quality that has integrity and great character to it. You always want to surround yourself with young people that are goal-oriented and focused on their football and hopefully on all the other aspects of their life. My take on it is that I'm someone who goes into a home and will not say or do something or commit something that's not out of the realm of us providing it."
Injuries - Freeman practiced, Johri Fogerson practiced, Cody Bruns practiced.
On improvement from guys' first year to their second year - players like Nate Williams and Mason Foster - "Mason is so much better this year than a year ago, and he did some nice things. And he continues to get better. It's kind of like the first game to second game improvement you see in teams. This first to second year is very much the same."
Ed Donatell Notes
On Jimmy Clausen: "They have a guy with a real strong arm and really well-coached."
On Charlie Weis: "He's imaginative and does a good job. They are a pro-style attack and has the quarterback doing a lot of things with cadence and empties - he does a lot to develop the quarterback. They have excellent knowledge and command of their systems. Toward the end there, at New England I thought they were on the cutting edge and the most imaginative of the NFL offenses. They were the most unique to themselves. I think people are getting used to things, but I thought they went against the grain in how they did things and I thought it was good stuff. He's been able to take some of that into the college game and you can see that. It resembles."
On going up against Weis in the NFL: "We went up against him a few times and they were all good games."
On the linebackers and safeties leading the team in tackling: "When it's not working it's more DB's. It's not easy for defensive linemen to get a ton of tackles."
On ND's offense being like any they've seen this year: "They aren't as much no huddle and they are opponent-specific. You don't just look at a tape. You have to look at somebody and say, 'Do they see us like them?' You have to pick a likable opponent, because they will change, and that's their philosophy. And they've had a bye. They could be looking at a lot of things. They could be looking at their club, as well as how they match up with us."
On preparing week-to-week with younger players: "He ( been there a couple of years, and mainly it's the quarterback. He's got him pretty grooved. He just keeps getting better and more experienced. He went to (North) Carolina and played pretty good. He spread the field and put a lot of it on (Clausen)."
On having continuity at safety for the first time all year: "I'm excited. You said that word continuity. Continuity is a good thing, it just is. More weeks, more likeness, more sameness. That helps, no matter what. These offenses changing in college, that's the way it is - but keeping the same continuity in guys no matter what helps us."
On being more physical against OSU: "We fit their runs better. You can do the math and it's not good if you look at the reverse and the screen. Those are the things that got us."
On Aiyewa bringing a more physical attitude: "I don't point to one guy, but everybody chipping in helps. Tuiasosopo brings something, Victor brings something, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Donald Butler. I don't want to leave anybody out. But anyone that can bring some right now is good stuff. It helps us grow."
On Aiyewa: "He has a great desire to be good. He's constantly working and he is more mature in the way he handles himself. But he's still playing in his third football game."
On ND's spread: "They are going to line up with a back in the backfield, a tight end and three guys out a lot. They'll line up and just let the guy (Clausen) operate. You're going to need more than one way to play against these guys. And that's what Charlie does. He schools a guy out to know what's going on out there."
On UW giving up a high percentage of completed passes: "I think it's a combination. There are some good players. That kid from Oklahoma (Sam Bradford), he completes the ball and he has some really good blockers. And until he got up against Texas and some guys that could cause a difference, he got all day. He's got to be up there. And the guy from BYU (Max Hall) has an experienced line and he's thrown pretty good against everybody."
On Clausen's improvement due to getting rid of the ball quick: "He's got good receivers. He throws the ball well deep. He's got some tools. I think it's more in the coaching, when to and when not to get it out of your hands. That's where the coaching he's getting shows when to and not to. He's got a big arm, and if you give him time or you play a lot of coverage he's going to wait and try and hit you big. If you are loading it up, the ball is coming out of his hands."
On pressure or coverage being more important when getting stops: "Pressure. It's always the first place to start. Pass rush and making him speed up when there is some coverage."
On improvements in ND's OL - "They look like they belong. They all look like they are Notre Dame recruits. There doesn't look to be a major weakness anywhere."
Afternoon Practice Notes (per Jon Martone)
Josh Gage was practicing
Johri Fogerson was practicing
Darin Harris and Jason Wells were watching
Allen Carroll was not in pads
Jake Locker was watching. Looked like his cast changed, now it looks like a hard cast
Cody Bruns was practicing and looked to be running fine
David Freeman was praticing but looked limited in the amount of time I saw
The offense worked on simulating plays without a defense. With the ones was Terrance Dailey at running back. With the twos was Willie Griffin at running back. Also Cody Bruns was in the rotation with the two offense.
After that drill all the offense broke off into position groups. I watched the wide receivers do a drill where one of them played corner back and the other one was the receiver on 20 yard pass. The corner didn't actively try and defend the ball, was there to jam the receiver and run with him. All the receivers did pretty well in this drill and made the catches. Devin Aguilar had a really nice catch over his shoulder.
Tim Lappano Notes
On ND - Going to be a 'fire zone clinic'. 50 percent blitz. Little bit of pressure from inside, but mainly outside. Single-safety looks. They give up about 367 yards a game. UW has seen a lot of zone during their two-a-days. Saw it a lot against Oregon State too and also against most teams they've seen. But it's nothing they haven't seen before. "This is going to be another week where they bring the heat against us."
On Oregon State - They threw the ball over the top a lot because that's what OSU gave them. Don't want to expose Ronnie Fouch like that, but they had nine times over the top. Hit some and they interfered a couple of times and missed a couple. Plan against ND will probably be a little different.
On pass protection - Combination of the QB and the front being on the same page, making calls. Missed a couple, but those were physical mistakes, got beat. Happened early and got it corrected.
On Terrance Dailey - Got jacked up big time by Afalava. That's the way the game should be played. They told him he would be back in the game, he told them differently and made them pay with a 59-yard run. He was in TL's hip pocket demanding to get back in and he loves to have players like that. To have a 100-yard game in his first start was a great effort. He played well. Missed a blitz early, but that's going to happen. Is patient and has speed. Ran 10.7 in high school. Provides a home run threat like Rankin did last year. Hasn't heard Husky Stadium that loud in a long time when he made that 59-yard run. Very coachable, and went off during the scrimmages during the first bye week - that's when they decided they wanted to play him. Proved them right during OSU. He's their No. 1 guy, but David Freeman is coming back Tuesday and TL is hopeful he can stay healthy. That's two guys that give them a spark, provides some depth. At the same time, if one guy can establish something, leave 'em alone.
On the OL providing enough blocking, and TL said they would see on Saturday. Agreed with OL Coach Mike Denbrock that they played better in the run game and had more movement against OSU than they have in the past few years. Can take that and move forward.
On Cody Bruns - he will go this week, all depends on how well his hamstring holds up. "If he pulls it, he pulls it. That's part of the reason why we didn't want to play him Saturday. He didn't feel good going into the game, and if he pulls it again he could be out 4-5 weeks. "Trust me. He's a great kid, and the last thing we want to do is mess with him. That's not the idea. The idea was to put him on ice and then get the rest of the season out of him. Hopefully it won't blow up on him."
On the opening play - "I'll take full responsibility." Said they script the first 15 plays and go through all of it Friday night. As soon as the kick happened, they gave the play and then the guys ran out to the sidelines. It's their job to see if the clock is running down and to try and alert the QB any way they can. They had the right personnel, the right play, everything. And they haven't had that problem before.
On the goal-line stand - "The worst call I made was the QB sneak. Ronnie wanted to go over the top and he needs to burrow down in there with his shoulders and move his feet." Also mentioned on the bootleg and drag action with Middleton running along the back end, the hole was there with UW's 'show' team, so Ronnie tucked it in and scored. Against OSU, the hole was there, and as soon as he decided to do the same thing, it closed right up. But bottom line, it's just unacceptable. The push was there from the OL. "You've got the get the ball in there. If you have to run somebody over, you have to run somebody over."
On putting it to bed - "Sunday did I like it? No. I wasn't in a good mood. But it's a whole new week and we have to put that away." Got to go to work, can't bitch and moan about what happened. Learn from it yes, but can't dwell on it. Tuesday you use it as motivation for this week's game.
On the players being able to move forward - A lot of guys were in the office watching film, guys from both sides of the ball. "There are a lot of kids still want to win, and we owe it to them to give them the best plan we can to help them succeed and win a game. That's what we want to do."
On getting in a rhythm calling a game - TL said that he thinks he's now got a solid idea of what Ronnie likes to do, what plays he wants called. "I thought Ronnie played better Sunday after watching the tape than I did Saturday. He got his 13 times and made some damn good throws. I think he played pretty good, and he's tough. He made some long throws with guys right in his grill."
On putting that number of hits in context - "Usually there should be only three or four at most. 13 is way too many."
Charlie Weis Teleconference Notes
On Fouch- He said in his last game he moved well in pocket and he's willing to hang in the pocket.
On Dailey- He said had a big week last week, there have been so many guys banged up that he didn't know much about Dailey until the last couple weeks.
On the wide receivers- Goodwin is definitely the go to guy, he has good hands and does well to adjust to the ball in the air and he thinks he is good receiver. On Jordan Polk he said he is Washington's fastest wide receiver and is the gadget guy, used for reverses and fakes. He said even though he is only 161 pounds he has jitterbug ability.
On UW linebackers- He said Butler has been moving around but has settled on the outside and he plays very physical. He said Foster is as productive as anyone UW has and he is a playmaker.
On UW corners- He said since both played safety they will play very physical and try and rough them up.
On overlooking UW- Having the break at this time right now we have raised the bar from where we were two months ago. Washington is the first opportunity we have to raise the bar from where we were a couple weeks ago.
On rivalry with Willingham- "I think the only time in my case came into play was when we played them in 2005. It was so soon after the change over. Once we got past that game, him and I were both happy to get past that game." He said that game was the biggest hurdle they had to get through and he has gone his way and Tyrone has gone his way.
On feeling he has to win because it is Willingham- He said he felt that way in 2005 but now he doesn't feel that way. He said it's the second half of the season and they need a good start and Washington happens to be the team they are playing.
On how he feels about Willingham losing- He said he never wishes bad on anyone because when you wish something bad on a coach then his family, assistant coaches, and their families are all affected.
On recruiting- He said he always knew he would like recruiting. "I didn't realize the magnitude of the internet. You can't do anything without it being on the internet and recruiting is only one of the subjects." No matter what you do or where you go there is multiple people that know about it.
On how well he knows Willingham- "We don't know each other very well. We're cordial when we see each other. I don't call him and he doesn't call me. The last time I saw him was last January at a coaches convention, but other then that we don't call and see how the families are doing or anything."
On similarities between ND and UW problems with running the ball- They have two issues, they have had a whole bunch of running backs get hurt and number two, one of their best runners in their quarterback got hurt. He said the difference between the running struggles is different because of Washington's injuries. He said as far as ND they have evolved as group and they need to do what ever they need to do to put them in a position to win, either running or throwing.
On what bowl he is thinking about- He said Washington is enough on the players plate right now and they don't need to be thinking about a bowl game yet.
On the ND environment- As the head coach of Notre Dame you have to understand you're a national figure whether you like or not. You're a head coach at one of the finest universities in America and you will be scrutinized for everything you do. One of the negatives is you don't have a personal life any more, and you become a marked man.
On the programs going in other directions- He said he won't speak about the UW program but that ND is 4 and 2 and he feels very good about the development of the program right now. He said until the kids get a little bit of success it's tough for them to get the same vision that the coaches have had, but he thinks that is the direction they are heading.
On Jimmy Clausen- Physically he is so much a different specimen then last year. Last year he weighed 194, now he is around 215 to 220 pounds. He is able to withstand a totally different game this year. The things that have progressed are his mental pickup of the offense and his leadership. He has turned into a guy that the offense turns to, before he was just the guy playing quarterback.
On the difference between his team last year and this year- He said there are bunch of guys on the team that last year they got their first year of playing experience. He said that after guys first year of play no matter what year they are in is when they have their most significant progress.
Willingham Pac-10 Teleconference Notes
On Fight against MS - Coaches association decided it was critical to shed light and help cause to cure MS for young men. This weekend asked all programs to bring this awareness to the public. Armbands will be worn on Saturday.
On home field advantage - Everybody puts a premium on 'holding court'. Playing in front of your fans, no travel - have to use those advantages and capitalize on them. Dominate your home turf.
On Nic Grigsby - Saw too much of all their guys in loss to Arizona. He was very effective in slipping our guys and making them miss. With what Tuitama was doing, he was a great compliment to their offense.
On breakthrough for younger players - Hoping breakthrough comes this year, as they get maturity, understand the speed of the game and all the rest. For a lot of the younger players, they want to play. Once they have added experience, their focus changes. They also becomes physically stronger. They have more experience, more awareness, and that helps them make a bigger jump from year one to year two.
On the 2005 ND game and now - Wasn't as personal for him. Went through that when going from Stanford to Notre Dame, so he experienced the same media buildup. Learned to focus on the game. Did say when things like that swirl around, it adds a level of excitement, a new level of energy that's a plus. And he expects that will be the case on Saturday as well.
Victor Aiyewa notes (per Jon Martone)
On getting more experience- "Yeah, I mean experience is like a library, you have to go through all kinds of stuff to be able to become a better player. I felt more comfortable in the first I came back, and as the season progresses I'll get more comfortable and more comfortable and be able to play to the best of my abilities."
On if he is 100% physically- "I mean the groin bothers me sometimes but it shouldn't take away from my game."
On him and Nate Williams starting- "It was cool. Me and Nate have a good chemistry back there, we communicate and stuff. Right now we're trying to get the vibe back we used to have in spring. Me being injured and coming back, we're getting back together."
On how the chemistry was formed- "Last year we were freshmen we always talked about how we want to take the team to the top and have our team on ESPN. We really just didn't like the feeling of getting beat like we did last year. So we wanted to be impact players and be an impact team this year, but injury happens like that."
On what him and Williams bring- "We communicate there, I feel that as a secondary group we communicate well back there and now we have to get to the point where we make game changing plays."
On him and Williams rotating safety spots- "It's the same role. Safety is safety. We both like to tackle and we both like to cover, so it's pretty much the same role."
On if he prefers strong or free safety- "It's a safety and in order to play safety you have to do everything, run and coverage. I think that's a good thing that we both know how to play both."
On ND coming in- "For me I don't think it makes a difference." He said he is focused on getting a win. He sees this game as another way to turn the season around.
On giving up big plays- "I got to make plays. That's all I can say, I didn't make any game changing plays. I don't know how other people feel, I don't know how other players feel about them." He said he missed a couple tackles and he needs to make those tackles, and he needs to make people fumble and make game changing plays.
On if he is rusty- "I don't know really. I don't know if I'm rusty. I know I can play better then how I have been playing. As the season progresses I'll get better and better."
Mason Foster notes (per Jon Martone)
On the ND game- "There's always a little extra, but it is just another game. I'm looking forward to winning, trying to get a win. It's about the next game you play."
On the combination of linebackers for the OSU game- "It was nice playing with two older veteran guys that have a lot of experience. It made a lot of adjustments real easy, it was fun playing with those two guys."
On if that is the best combination of linebackers- "It was the first game we had a little bit of success, so it seems like it's working, but we have to go through another week of practices to see if it's the best match. I think it is, it feels good."
On the big plays- He said it was tough to stop a lot of plays but then get hit with a huge screenplay. He said they need to play through the big plays though.
On if he has any doubts- "I have a lot of confidence so I never doubted myself or doubted any of my teammates ever. No matter what the record, no matter how we're playing, I have confidence in my team and my coaches, I think we should have success."
On ND tradition- "They have a lot of tradition and coach Willingham coached for them for a period of time, but they are just another team. They have a lot of highly recruited guys on that team, it's going to be fun, a big fun game, I love it."
On if the first win would be special being ND- "Yes sir definitely. It's a team that gets recognized nationally, a lot of people know about Notre Dame, a lot of fans. It's going to be a big game on national television so that would be a great win to get things started here."
Ronnie Fouch notes (per Jon Martone)
On the ND defense- "They use more of a zone-blitzing scheme this year. I got a chance to watch some of that on film today. I think we're going to approach it the same way, same game plan. We have to establish a run game and complete high percentage short throws. I think that is going to help us move the ball and on third downs we have to convert and get first downs and score when we get in the red zone."
On if Willingham is approaching this game differently- "He's taking this like any other game. He's the leader of this time and you can see he is very poised for this weekend and he knows what we need to do to win and we have to step are game up. Notre Dame is coming into to our house, we got to come out and play like the huskies do in their home stadium and beat Notre Dame."
On if the team is approaching this game differently- "It means a lot because it's our next game. We're 0 and 6 and it's the next game we play so it means a lot to us." He said the coaches have told them they need to step up their game and they need to play their best this week.
On positives from the OSU game- "I thought we had some positive plays on offense in our passing and running game. Terrance Dailey ran really hard this weekend for his first start as a true freshman and I was really impressed with that. I was impressed with the play of our receivers. D'Andre Goodwin made a lot of big time plays and big time catches as well as Devin Aguilar." He said they had a great bye week and him and the guys got together and drew a lot of routes. They have a lot trust in each other, and he said it's fun to watch the receivers make big time plays like they did against OSU.
On not finishing drives- He said third downs were the problem. On one of them a DB made a great play to break up a slant route to Devin Aguilar. "We settled for a lot of field goals down there. It's a matter of punching in it. Every time we get down in the red zone coach Lappano wants us to be able to score and keep the kicker off the field. That's our main goal on offense, whenever we get down there we need to keep the kicker off the field and we need 6 points every time."
On taking so many hits- "I was pretty sore this weekend. It was part of our game plan. They play a lot of man blitz pressure defense so we had a chance to get guys like D'Andre down the field one on one with their safeties, who we thought we had a better match up with out receivers. So I had to stand in there and take some hits to get those receivers guys a chance to catch the ball. So I had to stand in there and take hits, but I'll do it for this team and this offense to succeed, I'll do whatever it takes."
On if he likes that kind of game plan- "I don't mind getting hit, it's part of the game." He said he loves throwing the deep ball and any time he gets a chance to throw it he'll do it.
On the deep ball- "It has always been my favorite throw. It's accredited to our receivers and how fast they are and how big of plays they can make. Guys like D'Andre, any time I can get him one on one down the field I'll take a chance with that because I trust he'll come down with the ball and he trusts I'll put it there."
On the goal line stand- He said it was tough not punching in on the goal line but they'll put it behind them.
Terrance Dailey notes (per Jon Martone)
On what he learned- "I learned it's a lot faster, they hit a lot harder, and this whole week I need to watch a lot of film and learn the defense a little bit better."
On establishing himself as the starter- "Hopefully I can be that guy. I'm not really sure, coaches haven't really said anything. Hopefully this week in practice I'll know."
On Notre Dame- "Notre Dame, as a little kid you watch them on TV play USC. It's a big time team so I'm looking forward to getting to play them."
On the losses- He said it's tough, he only lost 3 games in his entire high school career. "I think that we definitely have a good team and I think we could be 6 and 6 if we really try hard."
On how he felt Sunday- "I didn't feel too good. I have some bruised ribs and a pretty messed up mouth."
On if the team wants to win the ND game for Willingham- "Every game you want to win for coach Willingham." He said he is only focused on getting the win and not the other stuff.
On if his sore ribs could limit him- "It's football, you're going to be hurt. There's a difference between injured and hurt. Injured you cant play and hurt you can still play. I'm just hurt so I keep on going."
On the touchdown- He said there was a big hole and he saw the safeties and he wanted to split them and then he got away from the corner.
On if he expected to have impact this season- "Everyone wants to come in like that. Of course I thought I could come in here and play the first game and start. I definitely think now I can make an impact if I keep working hard."
On if he is better for not playing until game 5- "I think if I played game one I would of been better because I would have more of a feel."
Mike Denbrock notes
Said that even out here, they try to keep an eye on and follow their progress and hope they do well. David Bruton and David Grimes were his recruits. And Maurice Crum played a lot for them. Asked if he would have done anything differently there, he said they are so separated from that situation now there's no way to know. If asked when he first got to UW, he would have had a better answer. "To be honest, I don't let myself go back to those days. I've loved being here, I consider myself a Husky and I'm happy to be here."
Asked if the current players understand why Notre Dame is a special program, and he said not really, especially in today's world. Years ago, ND had an exclusive TV audience, and then college football on TV hardly existed. Now everybody is on every week. That's changed it a lot. When you were the only game in town, everyone watched. It's not nearly as unique as it used to be. But he said a lot of his guys hopefully would know a little bit about the history and tradition of ND football.
Said this game has a lot of meaning to them, but only because of the situation they find themselves in. "This is our next opportunity to go out and get a victory this year. That's the most important thing we've got going on."
Asked about the ND animosity toward Willingham, and he doesn't understand it at all. Said he only personally saw it a couple of times. "It's a very high-profile place to be. And anytime there's a perception that you're not doing as well as you need to be doing, some people are going to be angry. I think it's unfortunate if they do feel that way, because Tyrone Willingham, in my opinion, did a lot for the University of Notre Dame."
On the OL play against OSU - "There were some bright spots in some of the things we did. I felt we were a little more consistent in the run game. Pass protection-wise, we only gave up one sack, but we gave up way too many hits on the quarterback. That's a concern to me. We've got to find a way to keep Ronnie (Fouch) healthy. I'd like to see us play better in that area. I thought overall we did a nice job physically getting after Oregon State's front. I thought they got after us sometimes; I thought there was some good give and take going on out there, and that hasn't always been the case with them."
On Juan Garcia and his injury - "Somebody fell on the back of his leg, so they re-wrapped it on the sidelines. Juan's a warrior. He's fighting through a very sore foot and now his ankle is sore. He won't come out unless I shoot him with an arrow and drag him off the field. He's healthy enough to play and he wants to play and battle with his teammates."
Going from Locker to Fouch affects how the OL does scheme-wise, but no wholesale changes. "We've had to adjust our run game without Jake being a threat to take it the distance every down. I think we're comfortable with what we're doing. I think they fit with the guys we're playing with and we'll have more success."
Said that Matt Sedillo and Morgan Rosborough are the main guards fighting for that third guard spot in the rotation. Scott Shugert continues to improve, but he'd look to those guys first.
He was asked about Willingham's comment earlier in the day about taking himself out of the equation and having it just be about the two teams on the field. Denbrock said you have to focus on the things you can control. His time at ND has come and passed. If you are focused on what's ahead, you can't look back. Willingham has put it behind him. It's a bigger story for the media than it is for him.
Willingham press conference notes
Opening Statement - "I think the best thing I can say, and I think this sentiment would be echoed by our players, is that not enough good things came from the (OSU) ballgame, but we saw the opportunity to play better. What we need to do is eliminate the mistakes and get some things done right and put ourselves in a position to win the football game. If we can do that, and this week we've got another quality football team coming to town, we have to play physical, we have to get after it and we have to put ourselves in a position to eliminate mistakes so we can be in a position at the end of the game to win."
Coming out of this game, had some 'wonderful sparks', like Terrance Dailey and D'Andre Goodwin, and have to build on those things. QB has given us chances. We have to get out of the doldrums and get consistent to put ourselves in the winner's circle. But losing is always hard to swallow. But there are positives that show our guys are fighting. If can find a way to eliminate the big plays OSU had, you never know what could happen.
Tries to look at this game the same as any other. It is Notre Dame, and he doesn't harbor any resentment. He always tries to take the Tyrone Willingham out of things. It's not about him. It's about the two teams that are going to line up and play, and the team that plays best will win. He added that it's not impossible to do, even given the climate he finds himself in. After the press conference he'll be focused on winning the game.
Asked about the players being able to act the same way, he said that it will always be about what they see and what they read and how locked in they are. "Hopefully our guys have seen enough this year and have heard enough that they can lock in and focus on playing football and leave all the rest out of it."
ND fans still apparently care so much about what he's doing at UW, and he said it's important to never minimize the fact that people care. He said that hopefully at both places he's done the right things and tried to put the teams in a position to win both on and off the field. "As we know it comes down to one simple fact - let's win the football game." Added that now, four years out, he's moved past what happened at Notre Dame.
When asked about Notre Dame's team, he said he thinks there's been 'radical changes' made to their offense, especially with their empty package and moving the ball around a lot. Puts a lot of pressure on a defense. WR's have unique skills and Armando Allen is a very versatile player. "They threaten you at a lot of places." Also said that whatever ND's offense has done, the other team has been able to do too, so hopefully that affords UW the chance to get some things done and put themselves in a position to win.
ND's quarterback - Jimmy Clausen - is an excellent QB with a strong arm. Sometimes hard to see that on film, but 'his ball moves'. He can get the ball to his receivers deep. Doing a good job for them, over 60 percent completion rate. He's making their offense go.
He admitted that this year has been very difficult on him personally. "It would take me too long to tell you."
Asked about lack of success since leaving Notre Dame, and he said that they haven't been able to make happen what they've needed to have happen at the right times. They've made mistakes and done things that keep you out of being in a position to win. "We've had some wonderful efforts along the way, but effort isn't what it's about. It's about finishing the task, and we have not done that." Need to find a way to finish.
Said throwing deep Saturday night was a reflection of their game plan because of what Oregon State was doing defensively.
On his linebacker rotation, TW said they'll stick with it only if the game plan necessitates it. Because ND is a little more wide open, they might go with a different look, maybe more of a nickel look. If it was a team that was more base in scheme, the three LB's they used on Saturday (Tuiasosopo, Butler and Foster) would fit well.
He was asked about Notre Dame and how people get excited for a game like this, and TW said a lot of that is based on history and tradition, not to mention their connection with the Catholic church, which makes a big difference.
Even though this is considered a national game, he's not getting any more requests for interviews.
He was asked about how he's changed since his time at ND, and he mentioned a book written about Warren Buffett and how the author talked about one of the most interesting characteristics of Buffett was his ability to continue to grown and learn. "I'm not in the class of a Warren Buffett, but at the same time I'm a person that continues to grow and learn as I do my job. You're always trying to get better at it, trying to learn more and adjust and change with the times." Added that the most difficult part of growing and learning is finding a way to keep fighting through when there's disappointment. "It tests your resiliency, it tests your emotions, it tests your energy. It tests everything about you. It may be more emotional than anything else."
Asked if his team has been able to do that, and he said 'not well enough'. "We haven't bounced back and gotten the win yet. When we get that, we'll have reached the pinnacle we need to reach."
"The records might say that, but there's still a lot of growth in our program. We're having to work through a lot of youth right now in a lot of starting positions. There's no substitute for experience, but at the same time that's no excuse and we've never made one for it."
Asked about what stood out about the first year coaching at ND, and he said it was about the defense. "Our offense wasn't the most productive that year, but we had an unbelievable defensive team that literally scored points. When you have a defense playing in that matter, it helps everything."
On Locker's recovery, TW said it's very much on schedule. The timetable (6-8 weeks) is still accurate, but right now it's looking like more of the 8 weeks. As far as rest of the injuries, everyone looks to be available for Notre Dame that played against Oregon State. When asked about some of the players that didn't play - like David Freeman and Johri Fogerson - it's going to be wait-and-see this week.
Terrance Dailey will make his second career start, and if he continues to develop he could make that a permanent position. "It seems to be very promising. He has tremendous energy. It's like the commercial with the bunny that beats the drum. He just has boundless energy. He loves to play, he loves to compete and he loves to be good."
With respect to the field goal kickers, TW hasn't really decided on a kicker. Decided to go with one short and one long. "When we can find one that can really step up and can give us what we need, we'll go with one." Said he uses the 40-yard line that separates the use between Perkins and Ballman.
On giving up 60 percent on 3rd-down, it's been a variety of things, like tackling or giving up too much ground given down and distance. "It's not just one thing we can point to."
Victor Aiyewa is doing some things well, and they need to keep giving him time. When you look at that position, the coaches have shuttled in a number of guys through that safety spot opposite Nate Williams to get some solid safety play.
Asked if he had the voodoo that assured him one win this year, which win would it be, he said the first game - because that would give him a chance at an undefeated season. 10/20/08
Notre Dame's Depth Chart released
Offense X 23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So. 18 DUVAL KAMARA 6-5 219 So. LT 77 MIKE TURKOVICH 6-6 305 Sr. 70 Matt Romine 6-5 292 So. LG 55 ERIC OLSEN 6-4 303 Jr. 72 PAUL DUNCAN 6-7 308 Sr. 76 Andrew Nuss 6-5 304 So. C 51 Dan Wenger 6-4 302 Jr. 67 Thomas Bemenderfer 6-5 300 Sr. RG 59 Chris Stewart 6-5 337 Jr. 78 Trevor Robinson 6-5 306 Fr. RT 74 SAM YOUNG 6-8 330 Jr. 75 Taylor Dever 6-5 301 So. TE 9 Kyle Rudolph 6-6 252 Fr. 87 Joseph Fauria 6-7 245 Fr. Z 11 DAVID GRIMES 5-10 177 Sr. 3 Michael Floyd 6-3 215 Fr. QB 7 JIMMY CLAUSEN 6-3 217 So. 13 Evan Sharpley 6-2 215 Sr. FB 44 ASAPH SCHWAPP 6-0 257 Sr. 30 Steve Paskorz 6-2 235 So. HB 5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So. 33 Robert Hughes 5-11 237 So. or34 JAMES ALDRIDGE 6-0 225 Jr. Defense DE 94 JUSTIN BROWN 6-3 277 Sr. 53 Morrice Richardson 6-2 255 Jr. NT 95 Ian Williams 6-2 310 So. 93 Paddy Mullen 6-3 300 Jr. DE 96 PAT KUNTZ 6-3 283 Sr. 9 Ethan Johnson 6-4 275 Fr. 91 Emeka Nwankwo 6-4 295 So. SAM 22 Harrison Smith 6-2 212 So. 41 Scott Smith 6-4 235 Sr. 46 Steve Filer 6-3 236 Fr. MIKE 58 Brian Smith 6-3 245 So. 49 Toryan Smith 6-1 244 Jr. JACK 40 MAURICE CRUM JR. 6-0 235 Sr. 48 Steve Quinn 6-2 225 Sr. WILL 90 JOHN RYAN 6-5 264 Jr. or 56 KERRY NEAL 6-2 246 So. 45 Darius Fleming 6-1 236 Fr. LCB 8 Raeshon McNeil 6-0 190 Jr. 4 Gary Gray 5-11 188 So. FS 27 DAVID BRUTON 6-2 212 Sr. 31 Sergio Brown 6-2 205 Jr. SS 28 Kyle McCarthy 6-1 203 Sr. 6 Ray Herring 5-10 198 Sr. RCB 20 TERRAIL LAMBERT 5-11 195 Sr. 12 Robert Blanton 6-1 180 Fr. Special Teams PK 14 BRANDON WALKER 6-3 202 So. 39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr. P 43 Eric Maust 6-2 177 Jr. 39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr. SNP 39 Kevin Brooks 6-2 240 Sr. 86 Paul Kuppich 6-3 232 Sr. HLD 43 Eric Maust 6-2 177 Jr. 13 Evan Sharpley 6-2 215 Sr. PR 5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So. 11 David Grimes 5-10 177 Sr. 23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So. KR 5 Armando Allen 5-10 195 So. 23 Golden Tate 5-11 195 So. 19 George West 5-10 196 Jr. KO 39 Ryan Burkhart 5-11 190 Jr. 14 Brandon Walker 6-3 202 So.
UW's depth chart versus Notre Dame
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. 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. RG 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. 80 Kavario Middleton 6-5 255 Fr./Fr. 83 Walt Winter 6-4 254 Sr./Sr. QB 8 Ronnie Fouch 6-1 203 RFr./So. 7 Taylor Bean 6-1 199 RFr./So. 12 Luther Leonard 6-2 193 Fr./Fr. TB 27 Terrance Dailey 5-11 194 Fr./Fr. 21 Willie Griffin OR 6 Brandon Johnson 5-9 207 So./So. 20 David Freeman 5-7 190 Fr./Fr. 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. OR 15 Jermaine Kearse 6-1 180 Fr./Fr. Defense DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 263 Jr./Sr. 50 Kalani Aldrich 6-7 240 RFr./So. 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. DE 59 Darrion Jones 6-2 245 Jr./Sr. 92 Everrette Thompson 6-6 255 Fr./Fr. 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 260 So./Jr. OLB 9 Donald Butler 6-1 242 Jr./Jr. 24 Joshua Gage 6-2 226 Jr./Sr. OR 5 Matt Houston 6-0 232 So./Jr. ILB 57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 243 Sr./Sr. 9 Donald Butler 6-1 242 Jr./Jr. OLB 40 Mason Foster 6-1 229 So./So. 29 Chris Stevens 6-1 218 Sr./Sr. FS 41 Victor Aiyewa 6-1 209 So./So. 34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr. OR 36 Johri Fogerson 6-2 190 Fr./Fr. SS 8 Nate Williams 6-0 207 So./So. 34 Tripper Johnson 6-1 210 So./Jr. 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. 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.