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September 25, 2012
Another day of practice down gets Washington one day closer to their first Pac-12 game of the season against Stanford.
Desmond Trufant and Keith Price both said practice went pretty well on Monday, but they still made some mistakes and have some things to clean up.
The energy level from the bye week into game week has seemingly remained consistently solid. Part of that could be attributed to the coaches and players not treating last week like a week off by any means.
But now, it's game week, and Kasen Williams said he thinks the energy level may have spiked a bit because of it.
"We're getting more amped coming closer to game time," Williams said. "I think we're well rested from our bye week and now we're ready to go. We're just ready to get out on our field."
The Huskies are treating this game against Stanford like any other game, except this game is on a Thursday instead of a Saturday.
One of the challenges this week?
Keeping the days straight.
Williams said they're starting to get the days a little confused, but besides that, "we're just taking it like every other week. It's just another game, getting ready to get back on ESPN national television and make a statement."
It could be argued it's not just a statement the Huskies want to make. They're statements. Plural.
First, they want to prove that they're a good football team. After their loss to LSU, Washington bounced back to put on a show against Portland State. Now, they want to continue that.
"We're focused on ourselves now. I feel so much better," Price said. We got the bad taste out of our mouth last week and now we've got another opportunity to show people what we're really about."
The other statement they want to make: that they can bounce back from last season's 65-21 loss to Stanford.
"We never want to get embarrassed like that," Williams said. "You still have that bad taste in your mouth from years past, you want to get back at it someway, somehow and you got a whole year to do it."
Williams said he thinks this year is going to be a different story because he felt like last year they just weren't really in the game.
Price agrees. He said the last time they played Stanford was awful.
"I didn't play my best game and I'm sure a lot of guys felt that same way," Price said. "We just have to be ready to play this time."
It seems the guys know what they need to do in order to win.
And they are making sure they bring it to practice so they are well prepared this time around.
"We know the type of opponent we're facing, so you got to bring it every day," Trufant said. "Everybody's been into it and we've been practicing hard."
The younger players on the team have continued to practice hard because they know they need to stay focused when going up against a team like Stanford.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to them anymore. The young guys know what it takes to win, and after LSU, they know what it's like to play a high caliber team.
"They've been through it already. They know what to expect. They know it's not easy to just go out and beat solid teams. They were embarrassed last time on ESPN. They know the attention to detail that it takes in order to play at this level," Price said.
Price knows what he has to do, too ? he has to continue focusing on himself for the good of the team.
He learned that lesson when the offensive line had to start rotating guys. Now, Price has to continue applying what he learned then as lots of guys are getting rotated through the third receiver slot.
And he won't let the uncertainty of who's going to be there next phase him.
"That's just something I can't control," Price said. "That was my problem the past couple games is worrying about things that I can't control and just playing with the guys that I got."
Washington has just a couple more days to prepare for Stanford and a chance to make those statements that they are a football team that can bounce back from some adversity.
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