Observations from the UW Huskies’ fifth practice of preseason camp
Washington’s fifth preseason practice was a mixed bag for Dylan Morris and Austin Mack. With standout starter Michael Penix Jr. throwing in individual drills but sitting out scrimmage drills for the second consecutive day — something coach Kalen DeBoer repeated is not cause for concern — Morris and Mack again took the first- and second-team reps, respectively.
Morris got off to a sizzling start, finding wide receiver Rome Odunze behind the defense for a 55-yard score against busted coverage. He later dropped a pair of arcing dimes for additional touchdowns — a 20-yarder that Jalen McMillan hauled in behind safety Asa Turner’s reach in the corner of the end zone and an 18-yarder that Odunze out-leaped cornerback Darren Barkins to corral. And yet, the junior quarterback’s three touchdowns were dampened by three interceptions as well.
“Husky” nickel Tristan Dunn pulled off a remarkable pick, falling and then snaring a Morris pass in a 1-on-1 drill from the flat of his back. Sophomore cornerback Elijah Jackson was also the recipient of a lucky bounce, as an accurate Morris slant pass clattered off wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk’s hands and into Jackson’s waiting grasp. Junior linebacker Carson Bruener got in on the act near the end of practice, stepping in front of a telegraphed pass over the middle.
Likewise, Mack — the 6-foot-6, 226-pound freshman from Folsom, Calif. — found both touchdowns and turnovers in reps with the No. 2 and No.
3 offenses. He twice found sophomore wide receiver Germie Bernard for short completions over the middle that turned into scores, with Bernard coasting into the end zone from 35 and 60 yards. The freshman’s lone interception came on a throw wide of receiver Denzel Boston that sophomore cornerback Davon Banks easily snared.
Mack also struggled in collapsing pockets for the second consecutive practice — as edges Sekai Asoau-Afoa, Lance Holtzclaw and Jacob Lane, and linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala all picked up touch sacks. Extra points A day after being shaken up following a diving interception, sophomore safety Makell Esteen did not practice Tuesday. Redshirt freshman tight end Ryan Otton and freshman defensive lineman Ellineus Davis continued to sit out as well.
Sophomore defensive lineman Jayvon Parker appeared to pick up a minor injury during practice and watched the rest in street clothes, while redshirt freshman wide receiver Denzel Boston came up hobbling after an attempted reception and spent some time in the injury tent before returning to play. This was sixth-year senior tight end Jack Westover’s most impactful practice to date, as the veteran Bellevue product snared a pass from Morris up the seam for 25 yards and later added a significant gain on a tight end screen. Sophomore running back (and former Nebraska wide receiver) Will Nixon showed off his reliable hands Tuesday, twisting to snag a Morris pass along the sideline for a 35-yard gain.
Linebacker Ralen Goforth was unable to stick with Nixon on the play, an advantageous match up for the offense. Junior Cameron Davis and Nixon continued to earn the majority of first-team reps, with Mississippi State transfer Dillon Johnson working in as well. Senior Richard Newton and junior Daniyel Ngata earned reps with the second team.
Sophomore edge Maurice Heims earned praise for maintaining his edge and snuffing out an end-around to Odunze for a significant tackle for loss. UW returns to practice at 9:20 a. m.
Wednesday for its sixth practice of preseason camp. .