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August 24, 2011

Quarterback pressure critical for UW secondary

When the Huskies lined up for their seven on seven drill Tuesday night, the secondary didn't even have a chance.

Going back and forth between Keith Price and Nick Montana under center, the offense completed 10 consecutive passes and they made it look easy.

The longest of the 10 was a pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who slipped between the linebackers and safeties to catch a perfectly thrown ball by Price for a long gain.

It was clear the secondary was tired of getting beat, but during the drill they had no answer for the in-rhythm offense.

Later in practice, the secondary found is answer in the form of Alameda Ta'Amu and the defensive line.

Both Price and Montana were rushed on nearly every pass attempt as the offensive line could do very little to block the oncoming defenders.

The physicality the defensive line brought to the field rubbed off onto the secondary and cornerback Desmond Trufant had one of the plays of the night when he "blew up" Devin Aguilar just as the ball got there for an incompletion.

Linebacker Cort Dennison also made a physical play when he broke into the backfield for a vicious tackle of Jesse Callier for a 3-yard loss.

It's not breaking news that the defensive line is important for the Huskies defense to hold opposing offenses, but it became clear in Tuesday night's practice that without pressure on the quarterback the secondary may struggle mightily this season.

On the other hand, Washington's offense may be at a huge advantage with all of the playmakers the Huskies have to spread the ball around to.

"It's a deep group," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. "There's easily seven guys that can play and play well and make plays."

That deep group of receivers will continue to test the secondary the next week and a half before the Huskies welcome the Eastern Washington Eagles into Husky Stadium to open the season on Sept. 3.

Quick hits

The team was not in full pads, but that didn't stop freshman running back Bishop Sankey from absolutely crushing cornerback Marquis Persley. Sankey took an outside handoff and quickly got to the second level before meeting and running right over Persley for a long gain. …

The No.1 offense led by Price had a 98-yard scoring drive that lasted nearly 16 minutes of running clock. It was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Seferian-Jenkins, who beat the safety deep down the sideline. …

Even though they faced plenty of pressure, neither Price nor Montana threw an interception, but defensive end Andrew Hudson nearly picked off Montana, who rushed a throw while under duress, but Hudson couldn't hold on to the ball. …

Sarkisian announced that the school is appealing the NCAA's decision to deny Marvin Hall from joining the Huskies. Sarkisian did not go into much detail on the situation. ...

No news on Chris Polk, but Sarkisian did say he is progressing well up to this point.

Follow UDubNation's Mitchell Larsen on Twitter @MLarsen_Rivals


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