Dawgs Not Ready to Put the Past Behind Them

Steve Sarkisian isn't used to losing. Granted, there was a stretch with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the late 90's he'd like to forget, and the 2004 season he spent as the Oakland Raiders' Quarterback Coach was no picnic.

But the former Sociology major from BYU sounded more like his degree was in History Thursday as he talked about Washington's Saturday game with Idaho, and what it's going to take to not make the same mistakes that cost them a potential win over LSU last weekend.

"I've got a one-game losing streak," he said after his team went through roughly a 100-minute workout Thursday afternoon at Husky Stadium. "It was good (practice). "I thought it was upbeat. It was good tempo, good energy. Guys came to work, and that's something you always want to see on a Thursday. We still have a lot of work to do, a lot of areas for improvement - from myself on down. I think our kids realize that and understand that and put in a great week of work."

Be that as it may, Sarkisian's one-game losing streak as a head coach pales to the 15-game skid the Huskies are on right now. "Losing streaks are hard on everybody," he said. "They are grinding and tough and it's not fun for anybody. But if you talked to our players, they don't remember how that was before. They just know that we lost last week and we're going to do our best to get one this week.

"These guys have worked so long and so hard to battle and compete. We're just trying to get a win for these guys."

So what can the team take from their 31-23 defeat to LSU? "I think it's important to show them their successes and their failures, Sarkisian said. "We need to show them the things they did do well, where they took the coaching, where they executed what we wanted and where there was great effort. But then also show them and point out the areas where we can improve. And not just from a fundamental assignment or technique mistake, but also in the effort category. And we did both of those this week, in all three areas. We had some reshuffling of guys around, and guys are getting rewarded for their play."

Justin Glenn will play Saturday, as he switched positions with David Batts. And Talia Crichton will move up in the defensive end rotation now that Darrion Jones has been ruled of the Idaho game with a bruised knee.

"I think our guys think they have a shot to play every week," Sarkisian said. "It didn't matter if it was LSU or Idaho or SC or Notre Dame or Stanford or whoever it is. You earn the right to play on this football team. If you perform well in practice you're going to play in games - and I think that showed last week with who played."

And just as it was with LSU, there's going to be plenty Sarkisian can look at to gauge improvement beyond the scoreboard. "The fundamentals in which we play: Taking care of the football, reducing our penalties, third-down efficiency, red zone, improvement in our effort and our physicality...there's a lot of room for improvement for us," he said. "There's going to be a lot of areas where, regardless of the score Saturday, we're going to be able to assess whether we got better as a football team."

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