Washington vows to bounce back quickly from rout at Stanford
Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said that tending to the psyche of the players — who were riding high after a 5-1 start — will be a key part of preparing for Saturday's game against Arizona.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington quarterback Keith Price said the trip back to Seattle was all he needed to know that the Huskies will rally quickly from Saturday's loss at Stanford.
Price said he witnessed more raw emotion following the 65-21 loss than "even after the Nebraska game. This game was just humbling, just getting our butts beat like that. I seen tears, I seen it all, and I'm happy that people actually care about that.
"We are going to bounce back. Trust me. You'll see Saturday."
Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said in his Monday news conference that he won't take any chances, acknowledging that tending to the psyche of the players — who were riding high after a 5-1 start — will be a key part of preparing for Saturday's game against Arizona.
"I wouldn't feel any better or any worse if Stanford kicked a field goal with no time left to beat us than I feel right now with them beating us by 44 points," Sarkisian said. "We can sit and dwell on it and feel sorry for ourselves. But the reality is, we are 5-2. We are 3-1 in conference play, and there's a lot of football left to be played. And we need to get right, and we need to get right today.
"We can't afford to sit in a lull right now of feeling sorry for ourselves and let this one ballgame linger and turn it into one, two, three, four ballgames."
Instead, what the Huskies need to do is set about improving a defense that was once again exposed Saturday as the Cardinal rushed for 446 yards.
"We're not proud of the fact we're not playing defense the way we all think we can," Sarkisian said. "We're not excited that we gave up 60 points this past Saturday. There is frustration, but I also think we understand there is room for improvement."
Asked if the defensive struggles are bothering coordinator Nick Holt, Sarkisian said: "I'm sure it's wearing on him. Nick is a tremendous football coach and has had a great deal of success in his career, and it's frustrating for all of us."
Sarkisian said he thinks what is needed most is for some of the team's younger players — the Huskies are starting just three seniors on defense — to get more experience.
"I think it's a work in progress," he said. "But we're in a situation where we're playing a lot of young guys. Not only mentally, but physically, those games can take a toll on you.
"They (Stanford) physically and mentally ... really impose their will on you. If you would have told me going into the game Saturday that Andrew Luck would throw for 160 yards but we'd get beat by 44 points, I wouldn't have believed you."
It was the third straight year Stanford used a power running game to blow out the Huskies (34-14 in 2009 and 41-0 in 201) leading Sarkisian to say, "We'll obviously have to re-evaluate our schemes and how we try and defend Stanford, and also how we try to attack them."
Later, on his radio show, Sarkisian said he thinks the Huskies have to get more aggressive.
"For me, the biggest concern that's going on with our defense right now is our ability to play aggressive, attacking football, especially at the line of scrimmage, mostly with our front seven," he said.
"So I think we are obviously looking at some things to generate that from a calling standpoint, to call more pressures and put our corners in some positions where they are going to have to play some more man-to-man coverage. ... We need to be more aggressive, so if we are not going to do it in our base calls, we are going to have to do it by developing more pressure-type calls to get after people."
• The Huskies announced that their Nov. 5 game against Oregon will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on ROOT Sports. That will be the final game played at Husky Stadium before it undergoes a $250 million renovation. This week's game against Arizona will also begin at 7:30 p.m.
• The school is promoting a "Black Out" theme for the Arizona game, with the team wearing all-black uniforms and urging fans to also wear black.
• Price is one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best quarterback.
• There were no significant injuries Saturday. Sarkisian said safety Justin Glenn hurt his foot late in the game but it wasn't serious.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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