The extension of summer into late September in Seattle has been a gift from the weather gods. For Huskies practices this week, the temperature was near 80 degrees every day.
And that should come into play today. We're almost 90 minutes before kickoff, and, folks, it's pretty warm (high 80s).
As reported earlier by media outlets, a couple UW players, notably defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and receiver Jordan Polk, cramped up with dehydration and were given fluids. It was a lesson I'm sure other players have taken to heart preparing for the warm conditions today.
Here is what coach Steve Sarkisian in addressing the topic:
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"We've really benefited from … a heat wave this week. I think guys will be fine with it," the coach said. "We will have to be ready at halftime to get some guys IV'ed and do a good job hydrating prior to the game."
• I spent a couple hours walking to shopping malls and other outlets around campus. Honestly, outside a big group of Stanford fans camped out watching the Cal-Oregon game on a flat-screen TV, most of the people I saw were Husky fans clad in bright purple.
A few marching-band members (I'm assuming that since they were carrying trumpets around) came into a Stanford apparel shop and clean it out of its shot-glasses. One woman said it was to celebrate a win today. We'll see.
• UW assistant Jimmie Dougherty is on the field, exchanging hugs and high-fives with a few of the Stanford assistants whom he worked with at San Diego under Jim Harbaugh.
• A cool sight in the middle of the field. Former USC defensive lineman Kenechi Udeze, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Huskies, just huddled up with a bunch of the Huskies defensive linemen (along with running backs Johri Fogerson and Curtis Shaw) and gave them a stern warmup greeting.
Sarkisian has said throughout fall camp, Udeze's words of encouragement, considering he played in the NFL and has battled cancer, have carried lots of weight with the players.
• As many of you know, I picked the Huskies to lose to Stanford – 27-20. Hate me if you want. Call me a "Cougar" even. But here's the reason: The UW has to show me it can win on the road. Three games in Seattle was hugely beneficial to a 2-1 start (and playing LSU tough). In fact, it's the reason why I would not rank the Huskies at this point. They have to do it on the road. Period. If they do, it will carry a lot of weight with me.