Aztecs coach explains decision not to kick
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian described Washington's 21-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday night as just a little odd. Indeed it was on...
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington coach Steve Sarkisian described Washington's 21-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday night as just a little odd.
Indeed it was on a number of fronts. And maybe at the top were the decisions of San Diego State coach Rocky Long to eschew kicking extra points and field goals throughout.
SDSU missed both of its two-point attempts, the latter of which proved critical, leaving the Aztecs behind by more than one possession when it scored its final touchdown with 12:06 to play in the game.
Later in the fourth quarter, SDSU faced a fourth-and-six at the UW 8 and went for it rather than try a field goal that might have made it 21-15. That, too, failed.
Said Long of going for two: "We went for two reasons. One, you should be able to get 50 percent of them, which gives you the exact same number of points. So if you make 50 percent of your two-point conversions you score exactly the same number of points. At the same time, you are improving your ability to make points on fourth downs. It's extra practice time for when you want to go on fourth downs."
Long also noted that his kickers have struggled, saying, "If you looked at our field-goal percentage last year, we don't have any better kickers than we did last year. At 40 percent (SDSU was 6 for 15 on field goals last year) you have just as much of a chance making it on fourth downs."
Interestingly, UW's new kicker, Travis Coons, was a commit to San Diego State early in the recruiting process for the Class of 2012 before signing instead with UW.
Sarkisian questions first TD
Another odd play came on SDSU's first touchdown when QB Ryan Katz threw a 47-yard touchdown to receiver Tim Vizzi, who was hidden unnoticed near the SDSU sideline. The play came on the first play of the second quarter.
Sarkisian questioned the play, saying he thought there was an intent to deceive, which he said should be a penalty.
"I still don't know if it's legal or not," Sarkisian said. He also said he thought he had gotten a time out called, which the officials didn't grant.
Long said of the play that the receiver "was still 6 yards from the sidelines."
Vizzi said, "We huddled on the sideline, broke the huddle, came inside the numbers, walked off a few yards from the sideline and they didn't take notice of that."
Frosh see action
Seven true freshmen saw action for the Huskies.
Most were expected as Sarkisian had said earlier in the week that at least five would play — receivers Jaydon Mickens and Kendyl Taylor, punter Korey Durkee, safety Shaq Thompson and defensive lineman Pio Vatuvei.
One was a surprise, running back Erich Wilson II, who had been thought to be on the redshirt track. Wilson, though, came in during the second quarter after starting tailback Jesse Callier left with a knee injury that could be serious. Also somewhat of a surprise was long snapper Ryan Masel, who had been listed as co-starter with David Butler.
Starting right tackle Ben Riva, a redshirt sophomore from O'Dea making the first start of his career, left the game late in the first half with a broken forearm.
He was replaced by fellow redshirt sophomore Mike Criste, who saw the first significant action of his career.
It didn't take long for Tre Watson to make his presence felt in his first game as a Washington Husky.
Watson, a Kennedy High grad who transferred from Central Washington, got the start at one cornerback. And just five plays into his UW career, he had his first interception, picking off a pass and returning it 34 yards to the San Diego State 35.
The Huskies needed just five plays from there to score their first touchdown.
• The attendance was 53,472, the lowest at home for UW since the 2006 San Jose State game (52,256).
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org