Huskies Insider Blog

Kool and the (UW) Gang ... Let's Celebrate!

If this were 2009, and the mass enormity of celebrating arguably the greatest University of Washington football team in school history loomed around an all-important game Saturday - coach Steve Sarkisian might be harried.

The former Brigham Young quarterback might have even pulled some of his dark-colored hair out.

On Saturday, as the Huskies set to host sixth-ranked Oregon, they will also being holding one heck of a party - honoring the UW's 1991 national-championship squad in its 20-year anniversary.

Not to mention, university officials are planning a few closing-to-remodel-Husky-Stadium moments Saturday as well.

As all of this spins nearly out of control on the periphery, Sarkisian showed supreme confidence that his older, more-mature team will handle the moment just fine.

"We’re not naïve enough to think that, 'Oh, we don’t recognize that this us the last game at Husky Stadium, or that (former coach) Don James is doing the coin toss, or that the ’91 team is getting recognized, or that our seniors are getting recognized.' We understand all of that’s happening," Sarkisian said. "What I’ve been proud of about our guys is that they recognize it, they’re embracing it, and they will embrace it Saturday night ... yet the process of preparation is what’s been key to us."

Starting Friday, things are about to get a little busy. While Sarkisian has not extended any formal invitations for a certain football alumnus to stop by and address the team, he has opened the team's afternoon walkthrough to any of the former championship players.

Former linebacker Donald Jones is scheduled to lead the team's chapel service Friday night.

"I have invited those guys to be around - whether it's a team meeting tomorrow or the walk-through tomorrow or even stopping by the hotel," Sarkisian said.

One of those 1991 UW players - defensive back Josh Moore - was a former teammate of Sarkisian's at West Torrance High School in California. It was because of Moore that Sarkisian paid close attention to that Huskies' era of football.

"I watched the 1991 team quite a bit, as much as I could," Sarkisian said. "That was a very physical team. I think they really put a stamp and a brand on Husky football of the way you want to play the game."

Other stuff:

* As of Thursday, UW athletic officials have estimated between 70 and 80 players from the 1991 national-championship squad will be in attendance.

* Seniors will be honored before their final home game as well Saturday - but not juniors, even though they will play their final home game at Century Link.

* Sarkisian said receiver James Johnson (ankle) and defensive end Talia Crichton (knee) will be game-time decisions Saturday.

* The reason practice was closed Thursday? It was not uniform-related. "I wanted to makes sure we were focused on the things that needed to be focused on," Sarkisian said.