November 12, 2011 in Sports

Huskies play Trojans in Los Angeles

Bob Condotta Seattle Times
 

SEATTLE – Deep snappers pretty much crave anonymity.

Kind of like umpires or officials, they tend to be noticed only when something goes wrong.

Washington’s Brendan Lopez, though, will return today to a venue – the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – where for at least a moment he felt the heat, if not the spotlight.

Last season, the Huskies beat USC on the famed Coliseum turf 32-31, when Erik Folk kicked a 32-yard field goal as time ran out.

Washington plays there again this afternoon.

It was Lopez, a senior from Bellevue High, who executed the first part of that winning play – a snap back to holder Cody Bruns.

And while it’s Folk whose name made the headlines, he said it’s the players up front, led by Lopez, who should get the credit.

“It’s really the front nine guys that make it happen,” Folk said. “They are the ones that if they don’t do their job, it gets blocked. As long as they do, every kick should go in.”

The entire unit, however, had to wait through two USC timeouts.

Lopez acknowledges those were tense minutes.

“I was like, ‘C’mon already – let’s snap this,’ ” he said. “It’s a big moment and if you are not nervous it’s like, ‘C’mon man. It’s a big moment.’ But you practice so much and you try to stay calm and keep your emotions under control.”

It all worked to perfection as it has almost all the time for the field-goal unit since Lopez took over as snapper before the 2010 season.

Actually, his career began ominously when his first snap on a punt sailed over the head of Will Mahan for a safety.

But since then, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said, Lopez has been just about flawless.

“He has been excellent,” Sarkisian said of Lopez, who was among those honored as a senior last Saturday. “He’s had a nice career for us. There is a lot of pressure if you apply pressure to yourself. Brendan doesn’t. He accepts the responsibility and does a good job.”

That was the plan when Lopez transferred to UW in 2008 from Michigan, where he had gone for one year as a walk-on. He walked on at UW, as well, and spent two years as a backup to Danny Morovick before earning the starting job in 2010 when Morovick graduated.


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