It was a fine afternoon for football practice on Montlake, where maybe 100 or so fans came out to watch the Huskies’ first open practice of the season at Husky Stadium. They witnessed UW’s defense continue its dominance of UW’s offense during team periods, particularly the final 11-on-11 drill of the day in which the offense failed to get into the end zone in four series. Notes and observations from Day 3 ...
--- This was the Huskies’ first shoulder pads practice of camp, and while there was more hitting than usual -- safety Jojo McIntosh unloaded on tight end Michael Neal, and cornerback Darren Gardenhire had a pretty big hit on tailback Lavon Coleman -- it still wasn’t a full-contact practice, and there was no tackling.
--- The first-team offensive line looked the same, from left to right: Trey Adams, Jake Eldrenkamp, Coleman Shelton, Shane Brostek and Andrew Kirkland. The second-team offensive line remains the same, too: Jared Hilbers, Michael Kneip, Matt James, Jesse Sosebee and Kaleb McGary.
--- When the Huskies went with their No. 1 nickel defense, here’s what it looked like: Vita Vea, Greg Gaines and Elijah Qualls up front (though this group rotates personnel quite a bit); Joe Mathis at buck, Azeem Victor at MIK, Keishawn Bierria at WIL and Psalm Wooching at SAM; and a defensive backfield that included Budda Baker, Jojo McIntosh, Kevin King, Jordan Miller and Darren Gardenhire.
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--- There was only one turnover: freshman linebacker Amandre Williams recovered a fumble by tailback Jomon Dotson.
--- But this was still a dominant day for the defense (have we written that before?). The final 11-on-11 session of the day actually started off pretty well for the offense -- tailback Myles Gaskin took a handoff about 20 yards through a hole on the left side of the offensive line. But he was stopped for no gain on the next play, he was stopped by Damion Turpin for a two-yard loss on the play after that, and then Jake Browning was “sacked” by linebacker Connor O’Brien and defensive lineman Jaylen Johnson on third down. Series over.
Tony Rodriguez lined up at quarterback for the next series, and that didn’t go so well, either. On first down, Dotson was dropped for about a four-yard loss by Gaines. And after Rodriguez completed about a five-yard pass to receiver Quinten Pounds, then threw an incompletion on third down, Williams and Jusstis Warren combined for a fourth-down sack to thwart that series.
K.J. Carta-Samuels began the next series by throwing an incompletion, tailback Gavin McDaniel was dropped for a one-yard loss on second down, and Carta-Samuels threw a third-down pass in the direction of receiver Forrest Dunivin that was easily deflected away by cornerback Brandon Lewis, who was step-for-step in coverage the whole way.
Browning came back in for the fourth and final series, and at least helped the offense move the chains a couple times. He threw about an 11-yard completion to Dante Pettis to begin the series, and the offense later picked up a first down when King was called for pass interference on a 4th-and-long pass attempt.
The offense was in its best position of the day when a personal foul penalty against Miller moved the ball to the defense’s 24-yard line, but that was as close as they would get to scoring. Dotson was dropped for a loss on a first-down carry. Browning just missed Chico McClatcher on a throw into the end zone on second down. Browning threw incomplete on third down. And he threw incomplete on fourth down, a desperation pass over the middle that linebacker DJ Beavers nearly intercepted before safety Trevor Walker got a hand on it.