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Defense shines in Washington’s spring game

Sun., April 29, 2012

SEATTLE – Cornerback Marcus Peters leveled wide receiver James Johnson, blowing up a would-be screen play, then strutted on the field.

That encapsulated Washington’s spring game on Saturday.

The defense dominated a hybrid-style spring game, winning 36-10 in front of 11,802 at sunny CenturyLink Field.

A lack of healthy offensive linemen forced Washington to invoke a scoring system that credited the defense with three points for each stop, and used the normal offensive scoring rules. Washington was not able to split into two full teams, ran a small portion of the playbook, and sprinkled in entertainment for the fans between quarters.

When there was action, it was controlled by the Huskies’ defense under new coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Defensive lineman Andrew Hudson led the team with six tackles. But, it was the secondary that made numerous plays. Peters’ big hit was complemented by knocked-down passes from Greg Ducre and stout coverage by cornerback Tre Watson.

Wilcox has shifted Washington into more of a 3-4 defense.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys out there running around, it takes a little more of the thinking out,” senior safety Justin Glenn said. “More of just letting us play.”

The Huskies recorded seven sacks. That number comes with the caveat that there was no tackling to complete a sack. Once quarterbacks Keith Price or Derrick Brown were touched, the whistle blew to stop play.

Regardless, getting there is progress for the maligned defense that finished 11th in the Pac-12 last season in scoring and total defense.

Price finished 14 for 28 for 168 yards and the day’s only touchdown, a 23-yard pass after a scramble to fullback Jonathan Amosa.

Running back Bishop Sankey (Gonzaga Prep) had 11 carries for 35 yards. Jesse Callier, expected to share many of the total carries, ran just twice for 4 yards.

Wide receiver Kasen Williams had two catches for 31 yards.

Sept. 1San Diego State
Sept. 8at LSU
Sept. 15Portland State
Sept. 27Stanford
Oct. 6at Oregon
Oct. 13USC
Oct. 20at Arizona
Oct. 27Oregon State
Nov. 2at California
Nov. 10Utah
Nov. 17at Colorado
Nov. 23at Washington St.

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