When Bishop Sankey watched the Washington/USC game on Oct. 8, it was probably an odd feeling for the Tennessee Titans running back. On the one hand, Sankey played for Washington. On the other hand, his Huskies were going against his former college coach, Steve Sarkisian.
But make no mistake: Sankey was rooting for his alma mater, which beat the Trojans,17-12.
“I was really excited,” Sankey said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I was screaming and yelling at the TV. It’s cool that we were on in the middle of the week. Some of my teammates saw it down here in SEC history, so they were giving credit to the Dogs and that’s always good.”
Sankey, a second-round pick in 2014, knows plenty of guys who still play for the Huskies.
“I know what that game meant for them,” Sankey said. “Having played our old coach, Coach Sark, I know it meant a lot to the guys and it definitely meant a lot to me watching it.”
That game, of course, was Sarkisian’s last as head coach at USC. He was fired days later following yet another alcohol-related incident.
“It is surprising,” Sankey said. “I didn’t know to what extent he was dealing with everything that’s been going on in his life. It’s really unfortunate because I know how good of a coach he is and how much of a role he’s played in my college career – and really my life – during my college years. So I think giving him time, he’ll be able to get himself together and come back and be a successful coach somewhere. But like I said, it is an unfortunate tough situation for him and his family.”
There were reports that Sarkisian had an alcohol problem at Washington, where he coached from 2009 to 2013. Sankey, 23, doesn’t know whether that’s true or not.
“I didn’t see it personally,” he said. “If it was going on (at Washington), I wasn’t aware of it. But hearing what he’s been going through with his family and everything and his alcohol problems, I just wish the best for him. I hope he’s able to recover quickly.”
The Titans, meanwhile, hope to recover from their current four-game skid. They lost to the Colts and Bills by a combined three points before losing 38-10 to the Dolphins on Sunday.
“Definitely it hurts,” said Sankey, who has 232 yards and two touchdowns on the season. “A loss is a loss. There’s no stat for almost winning. I think for us the last few weeks have been frustrating just knowing how hard we’ve worked and how well we’ve prepared throughout the week. It’s really just a challenge. This league is tough. Each week is going to be a new challenge. I think we just got to keep preparing, keep chugging along, looking on to next week. We got a tough opponent in Atlanta. We just got to do all we can right now to get prepared for them.”