For their final preseason-camp practice open to the public — and their 11th fall-ball session overall — the Huskies did a lot of situational live-period work at Husky Stadium.
And on Friday, the defense had the upper hand.
“Yesterday (on Thursday), our receivers made some plays. And today, I thought our (defensive backs) showed up and made some plays,” UW coach Chris Petersen said after practice. “So it is that back and forth. As the head coach, it is very frustrating. I am always mad because someone is not right. Today, toward the end, the offense was not right, and that can be frustrating.”
Here are three takeaways:
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1. Byron Murphy, and not Jordan Miller, is the No. 1 cornerback on this defense: It was kind of a quiet day Thursday for Murphy, the Arizona native.
And then Friday came, and the standout from Saguaro High School reappeared in a big way.
Murphy registered two more interceptions during live work — one apiece off each of the top two quarterbacks.
Frankly, it was not Jake Browning’s best day throwing the football. When he tried going downfield in the middle of the field to Aaron Fuller on a play, the pass sailed high, and right into the arms of Murphy.
The second turnover was receiver Andre Baccellia’s fault. K.J. Carta-Samuels tossed a swing pass in the right flat that clanked off Baccellia’s hands and went straight into the air.
Two defenders were in the vicinity, but it was Murphy who not only grabbed the football, but somehow kept his feet inbounds along the sideline.
2. Fuller continues to have a banner second week: With Dante Pettis and Chico McClatcher locked in as the starting wide receivers, others have improved their stock this fall camp.
Despite the miscue Friday, Baccellia has been running with the starting group, and deservedly so. True freshman Ty Jones is a tall presence the Huskies could need.
And don’t forget Fuller, the sophomore out of McKinney, Texas.
Getting behind the secondary, Fuller caught a long touchdown pass from Browning on Thursday. And he made a handful of really quality catches Friday.
Fuller is another heady, shifty receiver who just seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Petersen also mentioned him as a possibility on punt returns, too.
3. McClatcher does his best work in the middle of the field: Yes, John Ross is gone. Therefore, a starting spot on the outside opposite of Pettis is open to the cast of receivers.
Coaches have given McClatcher time out there, but it is clear that he is best-suited in the slot.
The former Federal Way High School standout knows what angles to work, and most importantly, how to get unnoticed working in between the hashes. He caught two passes from Browning, including a 14-yarder for a score, on one live-period drive. And he then hauled in another 23-yarder from Carta-Samuels weaving in and out of traffic.