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As I was making my way through the pass gate a half-hour ago, a Husky Stadium usher checked my computer bag, and gave an unsolicited remark about how the venue was filling up.
"I've seen more of them," he said, "than us."
Pretty impressive sight, indeed, on what has turned out to be a surprisingly calm morning, weather-wise (dozens more boats are anchored out on Lake Washington today than last week for the Syracuse game). Clouds loom on the fringe, and we could be in for some stormy weather later.
Again, as the UW team came off the bus at roughly 11 a.m., players and coaches huddled at the 'W' in the middle of the field, then went on to the locker room. Was told they did this last season (although for the life of me, I can't remember them stopping for as long as they do now – maybe a "pause").
** UPDATE: Running back Johri Fogerson (upper leg), as expected, is in street clothes standing around his position group in pre-game warmups. He will miss his second consecutive game, leaving a bigger workload for true freshman Jesse Callier. … The linebacker group isn't out yet, but word is middle linebacker Cort Dennison (illness) is out today, leaving true freshman Garret Gilliland to make his first career start (I'd suspect Matt Houston will seen plenty of action, too). How long can the Huskies get away with playing newcomers, anyway? … OK, just saw Dennison come out of the tunnel in the back of the linebacker group – in just his jersey, next to Victor Burnett (concussion), who is also out. … And, yes, another true freshman in the lineup today – Erik Kohler, who in pre-game stuff is running with the No. 1 offensive line at left guard (just like he did all week in practice).
Who is Gilliland, anyway? Here is what UW coach Steve Sarkisian said about him after practice Thursday.
"He's a really bright football player. He comes from a great football program - Orange Lutheran High School (in California) - been in a lot of big games before. He was extremely well-coached in high school, which has enabled him to be ready to play at our level. He's a very bright kid, yet he's still athletic. He's a former running back and a linebacker in high school, so he's got the athleticism and the smarts … and he's done fine every time he's been in." – Sarkisian