SEATTLE — So excited was Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the sideline Saturday that game officials gave Washington a warning because of his over-exuberance.
The suspended tight end had veered too far into the end zone to join teammates in celebration of a touchdown catch by his backup, Josh Perkins.
The No. 20 Huskies (1-0) are, no doubt, just as excited about the offensive possibilities with the return of the preseason All-American tight end against Illinois next week. UW unveiled its hurry-up offense in a 38-6 rout of Boise State in Saturday’s season opener, racking up 592 yards of total offense while playing without its biggest weapon, the 6-foot-6, 276-pound Seferian-Jenkins.
“For us to put up those numbers, and to look that much better without Austin playing, it’s kind of crazy,” UW receiver Kasen Williams said. “This is his first game back, so we’ll see how much better we look.”
Seferian-Jenkins needs to get back in shape first.
“I’m not where I want to be — yet,” he said after practice Wednesday. “But today I feel like I was running with the first team just as good as everyone else. … I can be in excellent shape by next Thursday (when the Huskies depart for Chicago). I’ll be in top gear by then.”
UW coach Steve Sarkisian suspended Seferian-Jenkins for one game after the star tight end pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving charge in July.
“I’m ready to just move on,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I think everyone here has moved on. I think the guys on the team have moved on, and everyone else has moved on. That’s the most important — what the guys on the team think and what the coaching staff thinks. All we’re thinking about is getting better every day. That’s a thing in the past now, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow … and winning as many games as possible this season.”
Seferian-Jenkins had a pin surgically inserted into his broken right pinkie on Aug. 15, but said he is now practicing without any concern about the injury.
“It’s just a little sore here and there, but it’s fine,” he said. “I’m catching the ball, blocking people, so it’s an afterthought.”