Spring tour: Washington

2013-05-16T12:00:00Z 2013-07-05T14:41:49Z Spring tour: WashingtonBy CLIFF KIRKPATRICK, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

An improved defense will be vital for the Washington football team to make moves in the Pac-12 North Division.

The defense looked strong coming out of spring practice by dominating the spring game. However, coach Steve Sarkisian kept the offensive approach vanilla to keep the intricacies hidden.

Sarkisian, however, promised that won't be the case in the fall. "We've implemented so much offensively," he said. Expect to see a super-speed no-huddle used.

The offense also has four returning offensive linemen, quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey.

"We have a lot of young players who continue to grow," Sarkisian said. "We have a good amount of talent. It's about finding the right combination. Fall camp is going to be big for them. We have good depth."

The defense must replace cornerback Desmond Trufant, a first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons. So there's some rebuilding there. Sean Parker is expected to be the new leader.

"Our secondary had a very good season," Sarkisian said. "(Defensive coordinator) Justin Wilcox and (former OSU DB coach) Keith Heyward did a good job. The numbers don't lie. The increase of play, pass defense and turnovers speaks volumes to developing players."

The Huskies were slowed by several injured players during the spring, but Sarkisian expects them to be back in the fall. 

"So far, so good," Sarkisian said. "We feel good about where we are at (with injuries). Our training staff has done a good job rehabbing and they are working hard to get back."

The Beavers face the Huskies on Nov. 23 in Corvallis, the lead-in to the Civil War. Both those games are usually wild ones, so the Beavers have a challenging finish to the season with Northwest rivals back-to-back.

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at cliff.kirkpatrick@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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