The Washington Huskies conducted their 11th practice of the spring on an overcast Friday morning in Seattle. It was mostly uneventful, as most spring practices are, but there were a few things worth documenting, and here they are.
--- First, your Friday injury report. Players limited or not participating: LB Ben Burr-Kirven, WR Brayden Lenius, WR Quinten Pounds, DB Austin Joyner, DB Brandon Beaver, DL Jason Scrempos, DL Jared Pulu, DL John Clark and OL Kaleb McGary. DB Trevor Walker was back as a full-participant. LB Keishawn Bierria was seen on the trainer’s table early in practice having his right leg examined. I didn’t see him do much the rest of the day, though he remained at practice.
--- During the final 11-on-11 period, UW’s No. 1 defense featured Elijah Qualls and Greg Gaines on the defensive line, Joe Mathis, Azeem Victor, DJ Beavers (filling in for Bierria) and Psalm Wooching at linebacker, and a nickel package of Kevin King, Sidney Jones, Darren Gardenhire, Budda Baker and Jojo McIntosh in the defensive backfield.
UW’s No. 2 defense had Vita Vea and Jaylen Johnson on the defensive line, Sean Constantine, Matt Preston, Connor O’Brien and Tevis Bartlett at linebacker, and a nickel package of Gardenhire, Jordan Miller, Brandon Lewis, Ezekiel Turner and Walker.
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No changes to the first-team offensive line, which featured Trey Adams, Jake Eldrenkamp, Coleman Shelton, Shane Brostek and Andrew Kirkland, and the second-team offense line still featured Jared Hilbers, Michael Kneip, Matt James, Jesse Sosebee and Devin Burleson.
--- After the defense had its way during Wednesday’s practice, the offense was at least able to score some measure of victory near the end of Friday’s workout. The team moved to the game field inside Husky Stadium for a hurry-up, 11-on-11 drill that gave the offense the ball near midfield with 50 seconds on the clock.
Jake Browning’s first series did not go well. After completing a pass to Dante Pettis for a first down, Browning threw three incompletions -- one that was broken up by Jones, and one that was forced by Wooching hitting Browning’s arm as he threw -- and then was sacked by Qualls and Mathis on fourth down.
Tony Rodriguez took the next series and picked up first downs on completions to Connor Griffin and Forrest Dunivin, setting the offense up at the 18-yard line. But he was sacked on 3rd-and-4 by Bartlett -- the sophomore also had a couple of sacks on Wednesday from the buck position -- and missed an open Andre Baccellia at the goal line on 4th-and-10 from the 18.
Browning took over for the third and final series, which began at the defense’s 48-yard line. Completions to David Ajamu and Nik Little picked up a first down. Another completion to Little, then a third-down scramble, picked up another first down, and about an 8-yard toss to Ajamu set the offense up with a second down inside the 15-yard line with just one second on the clock.
Needing to score on the final play, Browning rolled right, scanned the field and found Little open in the end zone. He went to the turf to haul in the pass, much to the delight of his offensive teammates, though Petersen changed the rules and made the offense go for a two-point conversion in order to “win” the drill.
On that play, Browning threw incomplete -- King broke up the pass -- though it appeared he might have been “sacked” before getting the pass off, anyway.
--- Right at the start of practice, co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake instructed the defensive backs to take off their helmets and go through a tackling drill. He emphasized the “eyes through the thighs,” rugby-style tackling technique -- a safer method that doesn’t involve contact to either player’s head or neck -- made popular recently by the Seattle Seahawks. The Huskies have been teaching that for a couple seasons now, too, but it was interesting to watch it drilled up close. You can see a clip of it here.
--- The Huskies will hold a closed practice on Saturday.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple