Tuesday is the defensive discussion around these parts, which means time with defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
Wilcox saw plenty on film that had him prepping a light personnel group for the Illinois game. In that grouping, that the Huskies called “The Jetsons,” Hau’oli Kikaha is the biggest defender on the field at a mere 250 pounds. It was effective in the first half.
In the second half, Illinois shifted its strategy though it often used the same formations and personnel groupings. The Illini had not ran out of those situations prior, Wilcox said. Illinois began to call quarterback draws up the middle and also ran through the middle against Washington’s split-front light personnel.
“You have to give a little to get a little,” Wilcox said.
The get was lots of quarterback pressure throughout the first half. The give was being so light when Illinois started to run the ball.
On to the quick hits:
> John Timu did not appear to practice because of his injured shoulder. The upshot for Washington is hosting an FCS opponent this week. It should allow the Huskies to play without Timu and let him heal.
> Wilcox said they had some eye violations which led to busts. All of Illinois shifting led to players being out of position when their eyes weren’t right.
> Wilcox said yes, Greg Ducre played his leverage wrong and was beat for a 72-yard touchdown, but when a defensive lineman makes a mistake, most people don’t notice. That’s the price of playing cornerback Wilcox, a former college cornerback, said. He was impressed with Ducre sticking with it and bouncing back for a late interception against a trick play.
> NT Danny Shelton said he banged up his shoulder in the opener and did not practice during the bye week. He said it’s still bothering him some now, but he will continue to play through it.
> Shelton also said he didn’t think Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was out of bounds yet when he hit him Saturday and drew a personal foul flag. From now on, Shelton says he’ll just let the quarterback go when it’s that close to the sidelines.
> LB Thomas Tutogi said he doesn’t mind playing behind John Timu. Tutogi said Timu will always helps him out if he doesn’t understand something and Tutogi also understands his role on the team is as a downhill, hard-hitting linebacker, typically used against the run.
> Wilcox said Tutogi and Princeton Fuimaono did a solid job of filling in for Timu. One of the most important things Timu does is get Washington’s defense fitted correctly. Wilcox said the replacements did a nice job with that and handling the mechanics of the call coming in.
> Another week coming with a pass-happy, up-tempo team. Wilcox said Idaho State goes as fast as anyone they will see this year.