UW Notebook: Injury opens door for UW frosh Jamora

SEATTLE — What the University of Washington football team did not know as of Monday afternoon was whether it would have starting defensive end Talia Crichton again this season.

What the Huskies do know is that they’re in good hands either way.

A few hours before the results of an MRI on Crichton’s injured knee were available to the coaching staff, head coach Steve Sarkisian was already trumpeting the emergence of true freshman Hau’oli Jamora, Crichton’s backup at defensive end.

“He plays the game the way the way you want it to be played — with tremendous effort, with passion,” Sarkisian said two days after Jamora recorded his first collegiate sack in an overtime win against Oregon State. “He’s not always right; he’s still a true freshman. He makes his mistakes. But he plays the game you want it to be played.”

Crichton’s knee injury in the OSU game paved the way for Jamora to see his most extensive action of the season. The true freshman responded with five tackles and 11/2 sacks.

Sarkisian said Monday that, in the event Crichton can’t play against Arizona this Saturday night, Jamora would be the starter.

Crichton was one of the few Huskies to sit out Monday afternoon’s practice. He wore a large brace on his right leg and was limping along the sideline.

Crichton, a sophomore, has 12 tackles and two sacks this season. He has started all six games and was still listed ahead of Jamora on the depth chart as of late Monday afternoon.

During his weekly radio show early Monday night, Sarkisian still not gotten results of the MRI but said that he expected Crichton to be out an “extended” period of time.

Sarkisian is likely to have an update on Crichton’s status during his segment on the Pac-10 conference call sometime between noon and 1 p.m. today.

Kohler’s back

Freshman offensive lineman Erik Kohler was one of the more pleasant additions to Monday’s practice. Kohler, who started two games at left guard but missed the past two due to mononucleosis, saw action at left tackle with the No. 1 offense Monday.

But if the team’s official depth chart is any indication, he’s still at least a week away from returning to the starting lineup. Kohler is listed as the backup left guard, behind Ryan Tolar, on the new depth chart that came out Monday.

The starting offensive line that took the field for Saturday’s game was back in place on the team’s depth chart. That means true freshman Colin Porter will remain the starting guard, former center Drew Schaefer will stay at right tackle, and senior Gregory Christine will continue to be the starting center. Cody Habben, who started the first five games at right tackle, is now listed as Schaefer’s backup.

Saturday’s unit marked the fourth starting offensive line the Huskies have used this season.

The defensive line also had its changes finally put in print. Cameron Elisara, who started the season at defensive tackle, remains a starter at defensive end. Former end Everette Thompson is now listed as Elisara’s replacement at defensive tackle.

A ‘ridiculous’ performance

When it comes to the UW defense, it’s no secret who has been the biggest playmaker this season.

Senior linebacker Mason Foster, who moved from strongside linebacker to the weak side, is leading the team with 72 tackles — 4.5 are tackles for loss, and two are sacks — and has also forced two fumbles.

On Saturday night, Foster had a team-high 12 tackles.

His season average of 12 tackles per game ranks fifth in the nation.

“Mason, he’s ridiculous,” Sarkisian said, shaking his head. “I looked at the stat sheet, he’s got 72 tackles halfway through the season. He’s on pace for 150 tackles in a year; it’s ridiculous. So he’s playing great.”

Welcome back

In addition to Kohler, two other offensive players returned to practice Monday.

Starting receiver Devin Aguilar, who has missed the past two games with a hip injury, participated. So did reserve running back Johri Fogerson, whose hip injury has cost him five games.

Elisara, who is nursing a recurring shoulder stinger, also practice but wore a red jersey to signify no contact.

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