Another full-pads practice commenced for the Washington Huskies on Thursday at Husky Stadium. And this time, those pads were put to use, at least for nine plays at the end of practice. That and more in our Thursday practice report.
▪ This was UW’s second full-pad practice of camp, and for the first time, the Huskies actually did some live tackling. It was contained to a nine-play, goal-line period at the end of practice, but there was certainly some riveting contact.
First, the No. 1 offense went against the No. 1 defense, with Jake Browning at quarterback — and he wasn’t wearing a gold, no-contact jersey. Quarterbacks were live in this drill, too (more on that later). On the first play (from the 2-yard line), Lavon Coleman was stuffed on a run attempt up the middle. Coleman plunged through the line for a 2-yard touchdown run on the next play, and on the final play of the series, Browning rolled to his right before throwing a touchdown pass to Dante Pettis in the right front corner of the end zone.
Jeff Lindquist was up next with the No. 2 offense against the No. 2 defense. He threw an easy touchdown pass to Drew Sample on the first play from the 3-yard line, then had the highlight of practice on the second play.
On a keeper up the middle, Lindquist lowered his shoulder into the chest of redshirt freshman safety Jojo McIntosh, who established himself during spring as one of the team’s bigger hitters. But Lindquist has three inches and nearly 50 pounds on him, so after a mighty collision, with Lindquist’s helmet popping off and rolling away, the fourth-year junior quarterback was able to surge across the goal line for a touchdown.
(Coach Chris Petersen used this as a teaching moment, stopping practice long enough to simply inform the backup holder — I believe it was Jaydon Mickens — that if such a situation had occurred in a game, he would need to be ready to replace Lindquist on the point-after team because Lindquist would have to sit out one play for losing his helmet.)
On the next play, redshirt fresman tailback Jomon Dotson bounced a run to the outside left and was able to extend the ball across the goal line just as his knee hit the ground. It was ruled a touchdown, though the defense picked up the ball and ran the other way with it as if it were a fumble.
K.J. Carta-Samuels’ series didn’t go as well. His first play resulted in an interception by linebacker Connor O’Brien after the pass deflected off the hands of the intended receiver. Freshman tailback Myles Gaskin was stuffed by freshman defensive tackle Ricky McCoy on the next play, and Carta-Samuels was dropped by Jarett Finau on a keeper on the third play.
▪ The first-team offensive line: Jake Eldrenkamp, Dexter Charles, Siosifa Tufunga, Shane Brostek, Coleman Shelton.
Second-team offensive line: Andrew Kirkland, Michael Kneip, Dane Crane, Jesse Sosebee, Matt James.
Third-team offensive line: Trey Adams, Henry Roberts, John Turner, Jared Hilbers, Kaleb McGary.
▪ Freshman linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven intercepted a pass by Carta-Samuels earlier in practice, and Brandon Beaver snagged an interception on a pass thrown by Browning and deflected by Sidney Jones. It was intended for Brayden Lenius in the end zone during a red zone drill, and Jones provided great coverage to break it up. Beaver then dove in to make the pick.
Beaver also recovered a Ralph Kinne fumble. I believe today was the first day in which the defense satisfied its turnover quota of three, which meant the offense had to run a gasser afterward.
▪ Deontae Cooper and Brian Clay are still absent while finishing their grad school duties this week.
▪ Former Huskies defensive tackle Tank Johnson attended practice.
▪ John Ross III appears to be progressing decently in his recovery from a torn ACL. Saw him on the sidelines today jumping in place a few times while being monitored by a trainer.
The Huskies are practicing at a super-duper-secret off-site location on Friday (closed to reporters) before holding another closed practice on Saturday. Sunday’s 3 p.m. practice at Husky Stadium, with Picture Day afterward, is open to the public.