The Huskies are off the practice field for another day. Tomorrow, they'll fly to Utah for their Saturday game with the Utes.
There will be considerable pageantry in that one, which will mark Utah's first home Pac-12 game. However, coach Steve Sarkisian said the visiting Huskies can’t afford to get caught up in any of that:
“We can’t be distracted. “We talked at length about this after the first road game: No distractions. This is about us. Let’s control what we can control and lock in and focus at the task at hand, and that’s the ball game. And then within the ball game it’s the next snap: Focus in on the next snap.
“(Utah is) part of our conference and this game matters as much as last week against Cal and as much as any other in our conference down the road. And our kids understand that. We obviously understand that we’ve got a bye coming up after this game, so there’s no reason for us to hold anything back. We’ve got to let go and let loose and there’s nothing to save anything for. We’ve got two weeks to get ready for the next one after that.”
A few more notes from Sarkisian's post-practice press conference:
*Because this is a conference game, a maximum of 70 players will travel. Among them will be linebacker John Timu, who left the Cal game last weekend in an ambulance and strapped to a board after suffering a neck injury. Sark said injuries won't keep home anyone but the guys with long-term injuries.
*The pass defense practiced with a heightened confidence this week.
* However, Sarkisian and his coaches loudly challenged their offensive players through today's practice. "Just to kind of send a little message to them,” he explained. “It's going to be a physical game Saturday, you know? Just want to reinforce that thought.''
* The Saturday forecast for Salt Lake City calls for a high temperature around 83 degrees. Sarkisian seemed more concerned about the heat than the city’s 4,226-foot elevation.