Washington coach Steve Sarkisian met with reporters for a little more than five minutes on Thursday morning, answering a few final questions about the Huskies’ game against No. 2 Oregon on Saturday.
Sarkisian said, among other things, that quarterback Keith Price “looks really good. He’s in a really good place physically. I think he’s in a very good place mentally, which is always important for a quarterback. I think he’s going to go out and play hard and play physical and really give us an opportunity to win. I think he’ll embody everything we want physically, mentally, emotionally from our entire team. I think we’re going to see that in 17.”
Price had his thumb taped yesterday when he met with reporters after practice, but Sarkisian said then that he didn’t miss any reps that he would normally take.
Sarkisian also said it’s “likely” that Travis Coons will handle the team’s kickoff duties with Cameron Van Winkle still bothered by a back ailment.
Here are the rest of Sarkisian’s remarks:
(Will you see Lane Kiffin, who is here for GameDay?) “I don’t know. He’s working. I’m working. It’s good for him. He’s staying involved in the game and being active.”
(How does this week compare with USC in 2009?) ”It was so long ago and we were such a different team. I do know that I think we went in with a good amount of belief, just like we’re going into this weekend in what we’re capable of accomplishing. I remember one of the key components of that game was the football and creating turnovers, creating turnovers in the red zone and then offensively, taking care of the football. I thought that was really the key component in the ballgame. I think that’ll hold true here Saturday. I think the team that can really win the turnover battle’s going to have a good opportunity to win the game.”
(On playing faster now and not worrying about slowing Oregon down) “For sure. We played that way for quite a while where it was be efficient but yet give ourselves an opportunity in the fourth quarter to win. I think we’re a much more aggressive football team now. I think we play aggressively from the opening whistle and attack mode on offense and on defense. I think it’s evident in just our caliber of play right now and the quality of players we have, and then the schemes that we’ve implemented.”
(Will you do anything with GameDay set?) “It’s just a tight window with the 1 o’clock kickoff. I think it would have been a little easier if it was a 5 o’clock or 7:30 game. But the 1 o’clock kickoff, we’ve done some pre-tape stuff but nothing live.”
(Any recommendations on a guest picker for the show?) “I’m not an expert in that stuff. I said they could pick me to come on there. I know who I’d pick.”
(Feel around campus?) “I really haven’t been up there yet. I’ve been kind of in the bunker here trying to get a good gameplan together and get our team in the right frame of mind. I know there’s a pretty good rally tonight and things of that nature, which is great. That’s what college football’s all about. It’s about that pageantry. It’s about the excitement for the student body, for the university. I think we’re getting a really good amount of exposure for our university, which I think is a great thing.”
(Still feel like a normal week for the players?) “It sure feels normal to me. They still yell at the DJ at practice when there’s a song on there they don’t like. They’re a unique group that way. I think they really focus on themselves and have fun with one another and challenge one another and work with one another. I think they’re just really concerned with what they’re doing. That’s a good place to be. That’s no disrespect to Oregon or anybody else of the opponents we’ve played or who we’re going to play. It’s just our focus on ourselves and our ability to stay focused on the task at hand. We’re obviously aware and excited about the opportunity but that comes at 1 o’clok on Saturday. It’s almost 11 o’clock on Thursday. We’ve got a lot of things to get done and to work on before those 48 hours show up.”
(Planning for De’Anthony Thomas to play?) “I think we have to anticipate for him to play. That’s for sure. We have to anticipate that because he’s such a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, and he can create openings for other guys when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. We have to prepare for him and deservedly so. He’s a tremendous player, so if he doesn’t play, they’ve got a lot of other fast guys that will step in there.”
(Special teams improving?) “It’s been obviously a work in progress all week. We’ve spent a great deal of time on it. We want that to be a strength of ours, and not something that is a weakness, in a sense, and I think that our guys have embraced it. I think they understand it. It’s interesting to see the guys that are really battling and competing for spots, which is exactly how it should be, because that’s how it is on offense and defense. I think we’ll go out and play really well.”
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple