Sophomore OLB Ryan Bowman, it seems, will haunt the dreams of freshman QB Colson Yankoff for some time.
Notes, highlights and observations from the Huskies’ second spring practice Friday morning:
— Before we get to the (many) defensive highlights, a few words on Myles Gaskin. As the NCAA’s active rushing leader (4,055 yards), Gaskin really doesn’t have much to prove to anyone in March. And yet through two days here he already looks in August-form. He took three straight handoffs to open the final 11-on-11 period, picking up two first downs and breaking into the second level on third one. He later broke free into the secondary again for what might have been a home-run carry (plays are whistled dead pretty quickly). Even as the Huskies practiced again without pads (so no tackling, of course), Gaskin has been feisty and as energetic as anyone on the field.
— Sophomore OLB Ryan Bowman, it seems, will haunt the dreams of freshman QB Colson Yankoff for some time. None of the quarterbacks, in general, have had much time to throw these first two days. There were at least a half-dozen sacks in all today — of the roughly two dozen drop-backs during the two team periods. That, in part, is because the offensive line is a little banged up (and thin and inexperienced beyond the first-string). This sort of defensive dominance has become the norm for UW’s spring practices (and, yes, into the fall too), but Bowman in particular continues to make things difficult for Yankoff. Bowman had a strip sack of Yankoff on Wednesday; on Friday, he sacked Yankoff twice, combining with DL Jason Scrempos on a touch sack of the freshman on one of the final snaps of the day. (Should note that the No. 3 offense isn’t necessarily matching up against the No. 3 defense each series; one position group, such as the linebackers, might feature its first-team unit while the secondary might have its third-team in on any particular series).
— The other true freshman QB, Jacob Sirmon, was off target on both of his attempts in the final team period, with his final harried throw going through Bowman’s hands.
— In the first team period, sophomore CB Byron Murphy had one of the highlights of the day when he baited Jake Browning into a throw that Murphy intercepted and returned some 30 yards down the left sideline. Murphy said he was in zone and anticipated the receiver’s route on the play.
— Browning was sharp in his first 7-on-7 series, completing all four of his passes (to Aaron Fuller, Gaskin and two to Ty Jones). In the next series, Browning had a great throw to redshirt freshman WR Terrell Bynum between two defenders — including senior safety JoJo McIntosh — on the left sideline for a gain of 20-plus yards. On the next play, on the other side of the field, McIntosh perfectly jumped a route near the line of scrimmage — but dropped the sure pick-six.
— Redshirt freshman QB Jake Haener continued to lead the No. 2 offense. He looks comfortable. He made quality completions on consecutive throws to Bynum and redshirt freshman WR Alex Cook during the 7-on-7, but his next pass over the top for TE Hunter Bryant was a tad too long — tipped by Bryant and falling fortuitously into tha hands of sophomore CB Elijah Molden for an interception.
— Senior TE DeShon Williams had the catch of the day, leaping and hauling in a deep pass from Jacob Eason over a defensive back. Including that throw, Eason completed three of his four passes in 7-on-7. He didn’t get any snaps in either of the full team periods.
— Senior DT Greg Gaines had a sack of Browning in an early team period, but then made the mistake of actually taking the QB to the ground. That’s a big no-no, especially when it comes to the established senior QB. Chris Petersen quickly scolded Gaines and subbed him off the field. (Browning, by the way, was fine.)
— Sophomore LB Camilo Eifler and sophomore DL Levi Onwuzurike were not in attendance Friday morning. Eifler is expected to return to practice next week, and he’ll shift to outside linebacker (in a trade that moved senior Tevis Bartlett from outside to inside).
Next: The Huskies will have a closed practice Saturday morning, and then go again Monday-Wednesdsay-Friday-Saturday next week (those are open to the media but not the general public).