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Day 8 scrimmage tests young UW players

8/14/2012

SEATTLE -- Washington gave its young players an extended chance to prove they can play in a simulated Saturday setting during the Huskies' eighth day of fall camp Tuesday afternoon.

The offense lined up on one side of the field, with the defense on the other. The coaching staff sent the players out on the field and let them make decisions.

The Huskies scrimmaged for a majority of practice, providing a chance for the coaching staff to assess where the team is and where it is headed.

“This was the first time we let them go out on the field and have to play, without a coach in their ear telling them what to do, without being able to look at a script to see what might be coming,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian said the end result was “pretty good.”

The offense spent too much time in the huddle and some of the young players on defense struggled with communication, but Sarkisian was encouraged. Any issue can be addressed and fixed.

“I didn’t see something glaring where, jeez, we’re playing the wrong guy at the wrong spot,” Sarkisian said. “It’s about being confident. It’s about doing what you’ve been prepared to do throughout camp. We’ve got to go look at this thing and then point out those errors, those mistakes that are definitely correctable.”

The practice was an opportunity to put freshmen like cornerback Brandon Beaver and receivers Jaydon Mickens and Kendyl Taylor in similar situations to the ones they will see on Saturdays.

Sometimes they succeeded -- Taylor caught a 35-yard touchdown from quarterback Keith Price. Sometimes they didn’t -- receiver Marvin Hall beat Beaver deep, catching a 45-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Cyler Miles.

Sarkisian said he sees progress from the offense and defense, a significant improvement since spring practice. But there is still plenty to improve on.

“I thought there was plenty of good things out there, but I know we can be better,” Sarkisian said.

Price provided the play of the day, hitting on a 47-yard scoring strike. Safety Sean Parker picked off Price and linebacker John Timu provided a welcome-to-college hit on running back Erich Wilson II.

But both Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox see room for improvement.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Wilcox said. “There were way too many mistakes today. We showed some good things. There were obviously some bad things.”

Quotable

When asked about Taylor and Mickens, Sarkisian said, “They’ve both had great camps. I feel like I talk about them every day. Again, they are going to have probably a handful of plays they want back from today as well, but that’s all part of putting them in the same situation and letting them play.”

Notes

• Safeties Justin Glenn and Shaq Thompson missed a second day with mild concussions, but there were no new significant injuries.

• Miles continues to make a case for securing the backup quarterback spot as a freshman, tossing a pair of touchdowns.