The senses are blooming, and that's even outside Husky Stadium.
Preparations for the University of Washington football home opener Saturday against Syracuse are happening all over. The grass has been mowed. The marching-band drum-lines are going over their sets, over and over again.
Concessions tents are being set up throughout the main corridor (and don't expect any new vendors; pretty much the same as 2009).
The end zone grandstands are up.
And the football team went through its final practice this week Thursday, with limited contact. It ended with a short birthday brouhaha for receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty in the post-practice huddle.
All seems normal. Loose. Ready.
No need to control the burst of excitement for game day. UW coach Steve Sarkisian has a plan on how to monitor that – early-game plays.
"We're going to run the stuff on both sides of the ball we do really well, and not try too hard with different stuff … so we're in a real comfort level with the stuff we're trying to execute," Sarkisian said.
Some stuff Thursday:
• Johri Fogerson (upper leg) is out for Saturday after missing the past three days of workouts. He spent time jogging the stairs of Husky Stadium.
Jesse Callier will move into that multi-purpose role, and should see his playing time increase substantially.
"He's the replacement for Johri, essentially in that role, along with doing some other stuff at running back," Sarkisian said. "It's a natural fit. And he's been doing that all camp long, so it's not like he's learning new stuff. He's been doing it all camp."
• True freshmen Erik Kohler and Colin Porter will see more time, too, on the offensive line in a reserve role. Kohler has been shifted from tackle to guard this week in practice, and it seems that is where he'll stay.
"I think just from a transitional point of view and the first time you're in a game as a true freshman, sometimes it's a little easier to have a guy on each side of you than being on that island by yourself," Sarkisian said.
• Receiver James Johnson (ankle) is expected to return to game action after missing the BYU game. For how many snaps, Sarkisian isn't sure since it's Cody Bruns who has earned the time on the field.
"Cody is not just giving up the spot. To his credit he is working at it, he's earning it," Sarkisian said. "James is fighting like crazy, too."
• Sarkisian didn't sound hopeful Kalani Aldrich (knee) was going to see much time, if any, in the second game.
• Mentioned to the coach by a reporter was some of the smack-talk from Syracuse defenders back in New York and how they were going to go after quarterback Jake Locker.
Without expression, Sarkisian muttered four words: "Good luck to them."
• Expect Michael Hartvigson and Marlion Barnett to see an expanded role Saturday at tight end.
• Chris Polk and Callier remain the primary kickoff returners, but Kevin Smith will work into the rotation. So, too, might Sean Parker and even Desmond Trufant, who have taken repetitions this week.
• These days, as shorter as they are becoming - and as long as they are becoming for the coaches – Sarkisian no longer drives his Cobalt power boat across Lake Washington to work.
"I'm here too late," he said. "Don't want to (fall) asleep at the wheel going across the lake.''