The stadium is shiny. The game is big. We’re finally getting close to kickoff.
Thursday, we speak with Steve Sarkisian only. Just wrapped that up. So, on to the quick hits:
> Sarkisian said Korey Durkee and Travis Coons are still competing for the punting spot. Coons will handle field goals and freshman Cameron Van Winkle will handle kick-offs.
> Recent light rain and the weeks of practice have helped pack down the FieldTurf in renovated Husky Stadium. As reporters can attest, the FieldTurf was quite loose at the start of camp. Every time you went home and took your shoes off, it ended up all over your floor. Sarkisian said they moved from spot to spot during the practice to try to mat it down and there has been limited slipping the past week and a half, two weeks.
> Per usual, Sarkisian said he will script the first 15 plays Saturday. Also, per usual, those plays are likely to be shifted around. At the very least, the team knows 15 plays it is expected to run in the first half.
> Sarkisian again pointed out that the team and staff has been progressively moving into Husky Stadium. So, Saturday will be a big deal, but won’t have the same shock level for the team as it will for everyone else.
> In the past, Washington had played crowd noise during practice and did so again this week. Sarkisian said they have tried to replicate everything that will happen Saturday night — from coming out of the tunnel, to the Dawg Walk, to signals and other mechanics of the game. The only thing they couldn’t fake well was the impact of 70,000 people.
> The season is upon us. Sixth-ranked South Carolina hosts North Carolina at 3 p.m. USC is the first Pac-12 team in action when it travels to play Hawai’i tonight at 8 p.m. (A reader points out Utah plays at 5 p.m. when it hosts Utah State, so the Utes will be the first Pac-12 team in action.)