One guy on the University of Washington offense is not scuffling.
Heck, with the flu bug making the rounds, he’s not even sniffling.
Senior wide receiver D’Andre Goodwin is back to his old, reliable playmaking self for the Huskies.
In UW’s 24-14 loss to Arizona State on Saturday, Goodwin saw his most significant work since coach Steve Sarkisian took over the program late in 2008.
He started and played on 69 of the team’s 74 offensive snaps – catching a team-high eight passes for 78 yards, including his first touchdown catch since his sophomore season in 2008.
And with teammate Devin Aguilar (hip flexor) hobbled, roommate Jermaine Kearse suffering through a case of the dropsies and position mate James Johnson playing only a few snaps per game, an argument can be made that Goodwin, a Pacoima, Calif., product, is UW’s most consistent pass-catching performer.
“D’Andre is playing at an extremely high level,” Sarkisian said. “I am extremely proud of him – maybe as proud as I am of anybody on the team right now. What he’s gone through – as in the sophomore year he’s the leading receiver on the team, and coming back last year and essentially getting beaten out and losing his job and falling down the depth chart – to see what he is doing now, I am really, really proud of him.”
In spring 2009, months after Sarkisian was hired, Goodwin was hobbled with a hamstring injury. Consequently, the new coaches couldn’t fairly evaluate him.
When freshmen Jordan Polk and Johnson came in and dazzled the coaches during fall camp, Goodwin took a back seat.
“I mean, it was tough. You never want to move down (the depth chart),” Goodwin said. “It’s life. I never stopped fighting.”
In August, roles began reversing. Johnson was the one out with an ankle injury, while Goodwin was serving notice he was back and healthy.
Two weeks ago at Southern California, he played 41 snaps – and caught the key fourth-down pass on UW’s last drive of a 32-31 victory.
Last week, with Aguilar out, Goodwin started most of the time in two-receiver sets.
Now, Goodwin is the one running with the first-string offense, and Johnson is struggling to give coaches a reason to play him more.
“James, he comes out to practice and works hard every day. I don’t see him frustrated at all, and I see him working back to the top,” Goodwin said. “I mean, we’re all competing. I want the best for him, but also we all have got to fight for our spots.”
Just exactly what ailing Jake Locker Saturday night? What sent him to the hospital after the game for IV fluids? “I haven’t gotten an exact diagnosis, I guess,” he told reporters after practice Monday afternoon. “Kind of a head congestion-type thing.” He also suffered a quadriceps bruise in the ASU game, but practiced through the scout-team portion of drills before giving way to backup Keith Price. With Erik Kohler (mononucleosis) out indefinitely, Sarkisian wants to take a closer look at another true freshman at left guard – Bothell’s Colin Porter, who will split snaps with Gregory Christine, last week’s starter. Defensive lineman Cameron Elisara (shoulder) was a full participant Monday. With three drops Saturday, Kearse got in extra work Monday with the quarterbacks during individual drills, and with receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty after practice. Kickoff for the Arizona game Oct. 23 in Tucson has been set for 7:15 p.m. It will be televised on ESPN.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 email@example.com
HUSKIES’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
NO. 24 OREGON STATE (3-2 OVERALL, 2-0 PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE)
7:15 p.m. Saturday, Husky Stadium
Radio: 950-AM. TV: ESPN.
Coach: Mike Riley, 10th season (67-49 record).
Last week: Oregon State toppled then-No. 9 Arizona, 29-27, in Tucson, Ariz. The Huskies lost at home to Arizona State, 24-14.
Against the Beavers: UW leads, 57-33-4. The Beavers have won the past six meetings, including a 48-21 triumph in Corvallis, Ore., last year. UW’s last win in Seattle was 2002 (41-29).
Washington connections: Thirteen in-state high school products are on the roster, including starters Joe Halahuni (Orting) at tight end and Alex Linnenkohl (Capital) at center. Oregon State running backs coach Reggie Davis is a former Huskies linebacker/tight end (1995-98). UW offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto spent three seasons with the Beavers (2000-02).
Scouting report: Oregon State announced Monday that star flanker/kick returner James Rodgers will miss the rest of the season with a left knee injury. The formula remains the same for Riley, who has 67 wins – and is seven away from breaking Lou Stiner’s all-time record of 73, set from 1933-48. Jacquizz Rodgers is a one-of-a-kind small running back with power and versatility in his game. Now, with quarterback Ryan Katz quickly emerging – his 393-yard, two-touchdown outing last week at Arizona netted him Pac-10 weekly offensive MVP honors – and suddenly stopping the Beavers has become a scary proposition. On defense is Stephen Paea, whom UW coach Steve Sarkisian calls the best defensive tackle in the country, and the OSU defensive line is really starting to get going, registering nine sacks in its opening two conference games.
Did you know? Reserve OSU quarterback Jack Lomax is the son of Neil Lomax, a former NFL Cardinals quarterback and a college football Hall of Famer (Portland State). The teenager’s oldest brother, Nick, played at Boise State and Central Washington University.
Todd Milles, staff writer
Sept. 4@TCUL, 30-21
Sept. 18LouisvilleW, 35-28
Sept. 25@Boise St.L, 37-24
Oct. 2Arizona St.W, 31-28
Oct. 9@ArizonaW, 29-27
Nov. 13Washington St.
Nov. 20Southern California