One of the things we all noticed this weekend was the quality of coaching going on during the game. The player involvement with coaches on the sidelines was really impressive. I don't know if I have ever seen teaching at that level going on during a game before.
The sidelines were alive for 60 full minutes. The headsets were never taken off. The encouragement going on was just tremendous. We have seen some very good coaching staffs at Washington but I have never seen anything like this. You are talking pure magic and energy!
One thing I have always admired about Pete Carroll is he takes nothing for granted. He is located in the most talent rich area of the country and has the ability to get recruits from any part of the country. Despite that type of natural advantage his staff traditionally outworks every other staff in the country. You can tell that Sarkisian and Holt picked up quite a bit from Carroll in addition to implementing some personal things they have always wanted to do.
The key to getting ahead in college football these days is simply outworking your opposition in every single facet of the game. Whether it be recruiting, practice, or simply relating with boosters, fans, and the media they key is doing your best 110% of the time. Working that hard takes a lot of energy and this young Washington staff seems to have it in spades.
When I watch the replay of the game the one thing I really marvel at is all the activity happening on the Washington sideline. Compare that to Oregon on Thursday, WSU on Saturday, or Washingto under Willingham and Gilbertson. You are talking night and day.
As Nick Holt says...Awesome!
Washington was well prepared for LSU, but I am not buying into Les Miles statement that we had been preparing for LSU all year. Maybe ten days Les at best. The focus has never been on a single game as anyone can tell you that has been to a Washington practice this pre season.
The most comical statement on Monday was LSU Coach Les Miles trying to explain that the game was so close because it was a "set up" game. I don't think anyone from Washington to Louisiana is buying that one. Washington simply outplayed the more talented Tigers most of the night. Even more apparent to the naked eye is that Steve Sarkisian and his staff out coached LSU most of the game. I think the realization of that hurts Miles enormous ego more than anything else.
Miles has been more gracious than usual this season. Eveyone remembers when the big blow-hard called out the Pac 10 for no particular reason a couple of years ago. Once Miles put a little distance between himself and Seattle the old spin machine came out and fans in Seattle and even Baton Rouge aren't buying it. One look at Saturday's stats tell you that Miles with all the talent and depth advantages he has at his fingertips didn't prepare as well as Sarkisian did. The best thing to do when that happens is just congratulate your opponent and keep your mouth shut.
Washington's gamble to bring in top rated recruits for the LSU game seems to have worked well. We haven't heard of anyone verbaling at this point but every single recruit came away impressed with what they saw on Saturday night. Most of these kids want to take a few if their visits before they decide to commit anywhere. The game showcased the Washington program well.
Keep tuned to Dawgman for all the latest recruiting news.
Is it possible for a team on a 15-game losing streak to be overconfident?
That is the question the Seattle PI's Greg Johns asks as we head into this week. Kudo's to Greg for being part of a two and a half man sports department. I have been a fan of his at every stop of his journalistic career.
"Sure, I worry about it," Sarkisian said. "To me, this is a very challenging week for our coaching staff to get these guys re-energized and refocused because so much got put in and made up to that game, not necessarily from us, but from the fans and media, that there can be a natural letdown.
"This has to be our week where we motivate better than ever."
Everyone in the country slapped Washington on the back Saturday night and said nice moral victory. Sarkisian who has spent most of his coaching career at USC isn't used to that. He appreciates the support according to the Seattle Times Jerry Brewer but getting that first win this week will get a big monkey off the programs back.
"First of all, that's new to me," the rookie Washington coach said Monday, two days after his head-coaching career began with a 31-23 loss to Louisiana State. "I have never been congratulated so much for losing. It was nice to get the praise for playing hard, but we're trying to win the game."
My Private Idaho
Excerpts in the Spokesman Review from Idaho Head Coach Robb Akey's Monday press conference.
On the task of taking on Washington on Saturday: “I think it’s a big challenge coming up. It’s a Pac-10 opponent … that’s got new life with a new coaching staff. I know those guys are going to bring a lot of energy to what they’re doing over there.
“Looking at Saturday’s ball game, that was a darn good football team they played in LSU, and they were right there in the thick of things. That quarterback (Jake Locker) is a very, very talented player. He throws the ball well; he can also run very, very well. He’s got very good speed.”
Kibbles and Bits
Coach Sark had this to say about the switch of Craig Noble and Nick Wood from the defensive line to the offensive line. Sark said that they made the move to get more athletic overall, and by doing this they hope to become more athletic along the OL. And by doing this, it also opens up spots where they can recruit more defensive linemen. He added that they are looking at this move long-term, like they did by moving Senio Kelemete to the OL.
Pat Forde of ESPN grades Steve Sarkisian's and Chip Kelly's coaching debuts.
A-minus -- Washington's Steve Sarkisian (31). The new head Husky might have overseen the program's 15th straight loss, but the enthusiasm and attitude in the tenacious loss to LSU augur better times to come in Seattle. Specifically, better times should arrive Saturday in the form of visiting Idaho.
F -- Oregon's Chip Kelly (35). That absolute fiasco in Boise has to go down as one of the bottom five debuts in collegiate head-coaching history. No more need be said about it -- well, other than banging on Kelly's knuckleheaded running back below …
ESPN's Ted Miller still has Washington ranked ninth in his Pac 10 Power Poll. I guess it will take a win to impress Teddy Football.
The Huskies lost impressively to LSU, piling up 478 yards against a super-ferocious SEC defense. Still, as new coach Steve Sarkisian said, there are no moral victories. The Huskies should end their 15-game losing streak on Saturday against Idaho.
This in from the Every Day is Saturday Blog
We had no idea Ty Willingham was a class 1 narcotic. This is the only explanation for the passionate, intelligent, and capable play of Washington against LSU Saturday night. Washington outgained LSU 478-321, had 25 first downs to LSU’s 17, and came within a pair of turnovers from beating your 2007 BCS champions in their first game under Steve Sarkisian. Jake Locker played well, but you knew he was top-shelf liquor being thrown into cut-rate cocktails by Willingham and company. The pleasantly shocking bit was the impassioned play of the defense, who looked like different people than the morose crew who finished 2008 prone and staring at the ceiling weeping after a loss to Washington State. The whole effect of revival was made better by watching it on tv, where the cameras were shaking thanks to Husky Stadium’s suddenly vibrating crowd rocking the upper deck. Lane Kiffin had a solid performance, sure, but Sarkisian gets the early blue ribbon in Pete Carroll’s class of Young Coaching Achievers From Camp Win Forever.