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Sarkisian: Tempe heat will test depth, conditioning

Post by Christian Caple on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:13 am with No Comments »
October 17, 2013 11:13 am

Steve Sarkisian met with reporters Thursday for the final time before Washington travels to Tempe for its game Saturday at Arizona State.

Here are the highlights:

— Asked whether this will be the biggest test of the Huskies’ conditioning, Sarkisian said he thinks it’s more about depth, saying he plans to play “a lot of people at a lot of different positions, and I think definitely we have the capability of doing so. We have quality backups that are going to play quite a bit Saturday. I think that’s to our advantage, quite honestly. I love our depth, I love the condition that we’re in as a football team and I’m excited for all these guys to get an opportunity to play.”

— If LG Dexter Charles (shoulder) can’t play Saturday, Erik Kohler will likely take his place in the starting lineup, and James Atoe would likely be the backup, Sarkisian said. He also mentioned Shane Brostek.

— Sarkisian said Travis Coons will again handle the kickoff duties in place of Cameron Van Winkle.

More from Sarkisian …

(New facilities help with health recovery time?) “I think a lot of it’s added up to that. I think we’re a really well conditioned football team. I think from an efficiency standpoint for our players, the opportunities to get treatment now because of the proximity has been very helpful. But again I think we’re reaping the benefits of all of it, from the summer conditioning to the facilities that we have now to I think the maturity of this team, taking care of themselves. All in all I think we’re in great shape and in really good health.”

(Is team aware of possibilities of finishing 10-2, good bowl game, etc?) “I want them to know it but it can’t be the focus. The focus needs to be on this ballgame because when you start looking ahead and looking down the road, which is OK to do so you can understand the path, that path isn’t presented to us if we don’t take care of our business on Saturday. We understand that there’s possibilities down the road, but the focus is on, and has been on, our preparation for Arizona State and then ultimately how we play at 3 o’clock Saturday. And I feel really good about it. I feel good about where we’re at. This is a resilient group who have had two hard fought battles the last two weeks and have not wavered and have come back this week and practiced great. We understand that everything we do counts, and it’s not just on the football field. In the classroom, in our personal lives. This team understands it and they show up every single day with the mindset ready to work, but yet they have fun with one another doing it, which is really cool.”

(Play more than six o-linemen?) “Every game takes on its own personality and who would have thought Oregon and Washington would face off and we’d only run 74 plays a week ago. So we’re prepared to play more than five or six. We’re prepared to play more than that, but again, we’ll see how the game goes.”

(More on playing in the heat) “We haven’t made it much of a big deal outside of we’ve got to make sure we’re really well-hydrated and really well-rested. I think hydration is the big key, but your sleep is big too. So we’ve been really focusing on getting proper sleep and hydrating ourselves. It can’t just come on Saturday. We have to do it all week long. That’s the same approach we used for the Stanford game, so we really haven’t changed that model of that approach. So I think we’ll be fine.”

(Ever a good time to go on the road?) “I think there’s something to be said about that. It’s about coming together as a football team and how united you need to be and how close you need to be, because you get on the road, I know we’re going to travel great. I’ve heard the numbers of how many tickets have been sold, which is awesome. Our fans are tremendous. But ultimately, you have that feeling on the road of you need to be even stronger as one as a team, and for us at this time of the year, this juncture of the year, starting the second half of the season, it’s not a bad thing.”

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