Notebook | Huskies set school mark for most freshmen played
The Washington Huskies not only lost another game here Saturday night, 48-14 to the Arizona Wildcats, but they also lost two more redshirts...
Seattle Times staff reporter
TUCSON, Ariz. — The Washington Huskies not only lost another game here Saturday night, 48-14 to the Arizona Wildcats, but they also lost two more redshirts as true freshmen running back Terrance Dailey and receiver Cody Bruns played their first games of their careers.
And while some fans might question the wisdom of inserting the players this late in the season, meaning this will now count as a year of used eligibility, coaches defended the moves later.
"If it's going to be a debate, we'll let them debate it," said UW coach Tyrone Willingham. "I made the decision to put [them] in."
Washington has now played 12 true freshmen this season, a school record.
One, Chris Polk, will likely receive a medical redshirt after having shoulder surgery. But the other 11 will almost certainly have this counted as a year of eligibility.
Dailey said he was happy with the decision, saying he wanted to play this season.
"You always want to play," he said. "You get three years after this so you might as well get some experience of how the game is, game speed."
Dailey entered in the second quarter after starter Brandon Johnson suffered a bruised thigh. UW was already thin at the position with starter David Freeman left home with bad ankles.
Dailey had an 8-yard carry on his first run and finished with 18 yards on six carries.
The graduate of Vacaville (Calif.) High was sick early in the week with a virus, missing practice on Tuesday to stay in bed, but said he felt fine Saturday.
Bruns, a graduate of Prosser, didn't enter until the third quarter with UW already trailing 38-7. He was in for just a handful of plays and didn't have a pass thrown his way.
Bruns was one of two true freshman receivers to make their first trip for the Huskies — Anthony Boyles also suited up. But Boyles didn't play and may still redshirt.
The Huskies thought they might need to use one or both of them after D'Andre Goodwin suffered bruised ribs last week against Stanford. Goodwin made the trip but didn't start and was apparently in for just one play.
Asked if he wanted to play this season, Bruns said: "I'm willing to do whatever the team needed, whatever they needed me to do."
UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said he expects each to see a lot of action the rest of the way.
"We have seven more football games to play," he said. "They came to Washington to play and play early. They want to play."
UW athletic director Scott Woodward said he would not interfere in the decision of which players to play.
"Who plays and who doesn't play, that's up to the head coach and that's between he and the players," he said.
Tight end a tough matchup
The Huskies knew Arizona would look often to tight end Rob Gronkowski. But it didn't matter much as the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Gronkowski caught five passes for 109 yards with three touchdowns.
"We couldn't find the answer for the tight end," said cornerback Quinton Richardson. "It was the same play, same play. They pretty much ran only four plays all game."
Linebacker Mason Foster said, however, the Wildcats unveiled some different plays the Huskies hadn't seen.
"They came off that bye and they had some unscouted looks we hadn't seen," he said.
Keeping the faith
Richardson said after the game that he still had hope for a big turnaround for the Huskies.
"You never say never," Richardson said. "So I feel like we can. We've still got a bowl chance, so I still feel like we can get there."
Said Woodward: "We have seven games to play and miracles happen."
get a sack
It took four games, 5 minutes and 32 seconds, but UW finally got its first sack of the season when Daniel Te'o-Nesheim got to Willie Tuitama to stop Arizona's second drive of the game.
Te'o-Nesheim had another sack late in the first half and another in the second half but didn't feel much like celebrating given the final score.
"It felt great to finally have a sack, but ... " he said, letting the thought die there.
• UW suffered two new injuries — RB Brandon Johnson left with a bruised thigh and S Nate Williams with back spasms. Neither came back to the game after departing.
• UW's game captains were linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo, Te'o-Nesheim, tight end Michael Gottlieb and guard Casey Bulyca.
• Gottlieb caught the first TD pass of his career in the fourth quarter, a 20-yard pass from Fouch.
• A Rose Bowl representative watched the game from the second row of the press box. He likely wasn't there scouting the Huskies.
• Tuitama completed 13 of 14 passes in the fourth quarter of last year's 48-41 comeback win. Tuitama didn't cool off, connecting on 17 of 21 passes against the Huskies, including 14 straight completions for 193 yards and three touchdowns before leaving late in the third quarter.
• Arizona had the No. 1 pass defense in the country entering the game, but gave up a 62-yard pass play to Jermaine Kearse. It was the longest play the Wildcats have given up this season.
• Tailback Nic Grigsby's 4-yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter was his eighth of the season. The sophomore has scored in each game this season.
• Arizona is 2-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since the 2000 season.
Freelancer John Moredich
contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
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