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HuskyNation mailbag Sept. 13

9/13/2012
Tom Hauck for ESPN.com

SEATTLE -- When asked about how far away his offense is from putting things together, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said the goal right now is to “go out Saturday and put a good drive together.”

After being kept out of the end zone for seven consecutive quarters, the Huskies are still looking to find their rhythm heading into Saturday’s game against Portland State.

“I think we have the people in place,” Sarkisian said. “Are we in an ideal situation? No. I think we’re all aware of that. But I think we have enough pieces in place to be a very good offensive football team, but we can’t expect to just look at the end result. We need to get right initially in front of us and then take the next step, and the next step.”

To get the offense untracked Sarkisian wants to relieve the pressure on quarterback Keith Price, allowing the junior to make plays.

“He’s not going to throw seven touchdowns on one pass,” Sarkisian said. “He’s got to go out and allow the plays to work and he’ll get his plays as we go.”

While Washington works to get its offense ready for a breakout game Saturday, it is time to tackle the mailbag.

Have a question? Need an answer? Send submissions via Twitter to @MasonKelleyESPN or e-mail: MasonKelleyESPN@gmail.com.

Here is this week’s HuskyNation mailbag:

Biggeazy205 via Twitter: What is UW’s perception among recruits? Are we still an attractive school despite some rough patches? I believe so. Your take?

A: If there was one positive to take away from Washington’s 41-3 loss at LSU, it would have to be the reaction of recruits. Despite the lopsided defeat, prospects remain excited about the direction of the program.

I talked to linebacker commit Caleb Tucker (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish) after the game -- he watched it at Tiger Stadium -- and he said, “I’m still UW-bound. I’ve heard about the recent injuries that the team had. Plus, you lose some, you win some, but God gives us opportunities to wake up every morning and get better.”

The Washington coaching staff has a strong reputation when it comes to recruiting and, barring a complete collapse in 2012, the Huskies should reel in another top 25 class.

DAWGFATHER91 via Twitter: If Sark gets to a bowl game after all the injuries, could we call that his best coaching performance since taking over UW?

A: Combine the injuries with a schedule that includes games against five ranked teams the first seven weeks and the Huskies haven’t been handed any favors.

Washington faces a rough road and, if the Huskies cobble together six or, maybe, seven wins it would be safe to consider 2012 a success. Depending on how things play out it might end up being Sarkisian’s best coaching performance if the program gets its offense going and finds a way to take the next step that was expected heading into fall camp.

GO_DAWGS_UW via Twitter: Do we need to see the o-line come together and dominate to save (Dan) Cozzetto, or is he safe either way?

A: For the brief time the offensive line was healthy and on the field at the same time, things went well for Washington. The Huskies moved the ball and scored two touchdowns.

Since Ben Riva suffered a fractured forearm against San Diego State, the line has struggled to find continuity, with injuries becoming an issue. Cozzetto can’t be blamed for a lack of healthy linemen. It is an unfortunate circumstance that I don’t think can be pinned on the coaching staff.

However, there are still a lot of games to be played, so the challenge is to find a fit along the line that allows the program to pile up enough wins to earn a trip to a bowl game.

Steve, Seattle, Wash.: Sark is great at recruiting skill guys, but what are you hearing about star linemen coming to Washington?

A: The Huskies have done a very good job lining up linemen for their 2013 class. The group is highlighted by center Dane Crane (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita) and tackle Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente).

Washington has also added tackles Poasi Moala (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde), a three-star prospect, and Andrew Kirkland (Portland, Ore./Jesuit).

With the four prospects in the current class, the Huskies have added talent and depth and don’t be surprised to see the program add another lineman to the class before signing day.