UW plays without starters Aguilar, Kohler on offense
Sarkisian won't blame absence on offensive struggles
Seattle Times staff reporter
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The Huskies began the game Saturday night against Arizona State without two offensive starters — one expected, the other a surprise.
True freshman Erik Kohler, who had started the past two games, sat out with a case of mononucleosis. He hadn't practiced since Tuesday while out ill and he had been labeled as questionable to play.
In his absence, senior Greg Christine got the start. He started the first two games of the season at left guard before being replaced by Kohler prior to the Nebraska game.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said later it was uncertain how long Kohler would be out, that mono is typically a four- to six-week deal but that it's unclear where Kohler is in the process.
Also out was receiver Devin Aguilar, who suffered a pulled hip flexor on the last play of practice Thursday. Sarkisian said at the time he thought Aguilar was fine, but it turned out to be worse than expected.
Aguilar suited up and went through part of warmups, but was unable to play and returned later in street clothes. Sarkisian said it is unclear how long Aguilar — who was second on the team in receptions with 11 — would be out.
Sarkisian said he didn't want to blame the offense's struggles on their absence but said "I don't think it helped," and "It wasn't the ideal situation."
In Aguilar's place, D'Andre Goodwin, James Johnson and Jordan Polk all saw more time early. Polk had played sparingly of late and came into the game with just one catch, in the season opener at Brigham Young.
It was Polk that UW threw to on a fade route in the fourth quarter that was intercepted by ASU's Omar Bolden on what turned out to be final offensive play of the game for the Huskies.
Kearse struggling with drops
Jermaine Kearse dropped a high but catchable pass from Locker on a fourth-down play late in the first half that proved critical when ASU went down and scored on the other end.
It was the latest in a string of drops for Kearse, who had three drops against BYU in the opener and two against USC, and unofficially has seven on the season.
Sarkisian said later that the weather might have been a contributing factor and "that stuff happens. That's football.
"He's still catching a lot of other balls. It's something we will address with Jermaine, but I suspect he'll be fine."
Burfict sits out early
Arizona State's best defensive player, starting middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, was benched as the game began because he head-butted Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz at the end of a game last week.
As the second quarter began, he was still on the bench, with senior Gerald Munns playing in his place. Finally, with 12 minutes left in the first half, Burfict made his first appearance.
• Washington senior defensive lineman Cameron Elisara, who missed most of the USC game with a shoulder stinger and then sat out most of practice, returned to action and played in a reserve role.
• Daniel Kanczugowski, a former walk-on from O'Dea, again saw some time as an extra offensive tackle, wearing No. 91. He usually wears No. 63, but has to wear a different number when he lines up in what is technically an eligible receiver position. His first appearance Saturday came on a play when Jake Locker ran in for a 2-yard touchdown in the opening quarter.
• Tight end Michael Hartvigson, a freshman from Bothell, was not in uniform. He suffered a shoulder injury during practice this week.
• Tony Parrish, a safety who played at Washington from 1994-97, was honored as the Husky Legend.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
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