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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 11, 2007 at 1:46 PM

On the offensive

As always, Tuesday is our day to talk to offensive players and coaches, which means our weekly meeting with offensive coordinator Tim Lappano.
Here are some of the highlights:
[b] Right out of the gate Lappano answered one of the questions that has been raised here by some of you. Is Ohio State just big on defense, or big and fast? “They are not a big, slow defense, they are a big, fast defense,” Lappano said. “These guys can run, now. They’ve got speed.”
But Lappano also said this will be the most physical game UW has played this season, as well.
[b] Lappano said he may throw more on the plate of Jake Locker this week in terms of throwing the ball. Lappano said he hasn’t wanted to call any plays that Locker hasn’t been comfortable with, but that Locker told him this week “don’t worry about appeasing me — do what you’ve got to do to win the game.” Lappano said he thinks Locker has thrown the ball well in the two games. “I thought his downfield throws were pretty good,” he said.
[b] Lappano said there is a concern about running Locker too much. “We can’t run the kid into the ground because he will,” Lappano said. That’s one reason, he said, why Locker ran so much early then didn’t for a while. Lappanno said Locker has taken a few shots so far, including a hit to the shin at Syracuse. Lappano said Locker was also suffering from some cramping against Boise State. He said he talks with Locker after every series to get a sense of how he is feeling physically and then decides which direction to go with the next series.
[b] Lappano said he thinks Louis Rankin got in “panic mode” against Boise State and was looking to break the big one every time after having had so much success against Syracuse. Lappano said coaches talked to him again this week about “just take what they give you.” That’s obviously something that has happened a lot before, so we’ll see how Rankin responds this week.
[b] Lappano said it is “important” that the team identify a backup running back. J.R. Hasty has been limited with an ankle sprain and the coaches have been concerned about putting true frosh Curtis Shaw and Brandon Johnson into situations they aren’t ready for just yet. “We have to have somebody we trust with the football,” Lappano said. That is particularly important against Ohio State, he said, as the Buckeyes are especially good at forcing turnovers. “Ball leverage this week will be critical.”
[b] Lappano said the offensive struggles in the second half were due mostly to execution problems. He cited the pass Locker threw for an interception which should have gone to the other side of the field, and the first play of the third quarter a read option that Locker took for nine yards. He said if Locker had gone the other way with it it might have gone for a touchdown. There were also the dropped passes and a few other problems. “We had an opportunity to to score a lot or points and gain a lot of yards and for whatever reason we didn’t in the second half,” he said. “We can’t operate like that against anybody left on our schedule.”
[b] As for gameplanning Ohio State, he said the Huskies have looked at the film of the Florida game as well as several others. But he said “we aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel here. We’re going to run our offense,” he said. Still, there are some wrinkles the Huskies have yet to show, so there could be some new things visible Saturday.
[b] The tight end position remains as it has been, with all three sharing time and responsibilities. Lappano said Johnie Kirton is fine physically but it just hasn’t worked yet for him to catch a pass.

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