University of Washington

Huskies go from gridiron giants to science geeks

Washington State Univerity football coach Mike Leach likes to lecture about U.S. history topics.

And Washington coach Chris Petersen apparently likes giving team presentations about what happens during a total solar eclipse.

Between lifting weights and team meetings, the players escaped the monotony of fall camp for 20 minutes Monday morning in the name of science. The last time a total eclipse was seen in the continental United States was 1979.

“It was awesome. I had never seen anything like it,” UW preseason All-American middle linebacker Azeem Victor said. “You could actually see the moon and the sun moving.”

Since this has been a topic in the news the past few weeks, Petersen decided to go all in with it on Friday night — the night before the team’s big scrimmage.

At the team hotel, Petersen explained the whole process, from start to finish, on what a solar eclipse was as part of his “Husky Magic” segment.

“And actually, we had a few participants (players) that actually rose their hands during the meeting and also explained even further what it was,” UW co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake said. “(Tight end) Will Dissly was very educated on what a solar eclipse is, and all the scientific terms with it.”

Just before 10:30 a.m. Monday, players convened at the recruiting lounge on the upper level of Husky Stadium to get solar eclipse glasses, and view the natural spectacle of the moon blocking out the sun.

“I thought it was going to be a lot darker than it was,” Huskies nose tackle Greg Gaines said. “We had 92 percent coverage or something (viewing it from Seattle), but I thought it would be like dusk out there.”

Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven thought the same thing, especially after he had seen a few images of past solar eclipses in the Arctic, the northernmost part of the world.

“It was pitch black, like night time (in the Arctic),” Burr-Kirven said. “That is kind of what I was imagining. I came out and thought, ‘It looks like daylight to me.’ But when you put on the glasses, you could see something then.”

EXTRA POINTS

The Associated Press released its preseason top-25 poll Monday morning, and the Huskies were ranked No. 8 and WSU ranked No. 24. It is their highest preseason ranking since debuted at No. 4 in 1997. Earlier this month, UW was rated No 7 in the USA Today coaches poll. ... UW started its fourth week of fall camp Monday with an afternoon practice in the Dempsey Center. ... Single-game tickets for UW home games are now on sale.

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