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Facing Heisman winner Griffin doesn't motivate UW's Sarkisian

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By Scott M. Johnson
Herald Writer
SEATTLE -- Steve Sarkisian didn't waste any part of his weekend watching the Heisman Trophy presentation. The University of Washington football coach was too busy hosting recruits, and ... well, it didn't really matter to him who took home the prize.
The fact that winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor will take on Sarkisian's Huskies later this month didn't motivate Sarkisian to give in to the Heisman hype. And he said it won't motivate his players when they face Griffin in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl.
"I hope not, quite honestly," he said. "If he didn't win the Heisman, we wouldn't try as hard? I doubt that. We're going to try really hard."
Two UW defensive players said Sunday that there will be some added incentive now that Griffin has been named the country's top player.
"It just means it will be a bigger bonus when we win," freshman linebacker Johnny Timu said in a tone of voice that lacked bravado and any intent at predicting a UW victory.
Defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu said a part of him was rooting for Griffin to win the award.
"It made me happy," Ta'amu said. "I get to get after the Heisman."
Sarkisian and the UW defenders have spent the past eight days expressing their respect for Griffin, but perhaps the greatest form of flattery has come in the fairly new apparel of an offensive star. UW quarterback Keith Price has been wearing a glove on his left -- non-throwing -- hand since the Apple Cup, which gives him a bit of an RG3 look.
Both Price and Sarkisian said there is no real competitive advantage to wearing the glove.
"I think that's just the cool thing to do these days," Sarkisian said.
Price said he first decided to put on the glove during the week of the Apple Cup game because the Huskies were practicing outdoors in driving rain. He liked the look and feel of it, so Price has continued to wear it.
"I like the grip," he said. "That's it."
On to the Bears
The Huskies formally wrapped up the first part of their pre-bowl practice schedule with a scrimmage for the young players. Quarterbacks Derrick Brown and Nick Montana each ran an offense, but neither team got into the end zone during the 30-minute session.
The top offensive play went to wide receiver DiAndre Campbell, who made a nice catch on a medium throw from Montana and turned it into a big gain. Cornerback Marcus Peters made the play of the day on defense, with an interception he wrestled away from a UW receiver.
The coaches will start game-planning for Baylor this week, with practice resuming Thursday as the plan is installed.
One player who has enjoyed the down time has been Price, who is still nursing a sore knee.
"I feel good," he said after watching Sunday morning's session. "I'm getting healthier and healthier every week. Hopefully I can continue to get healthy."
Story tags » Huskies Football

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