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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 25, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Johnson takes blame, says he’s “sick to my stomach”

UW safety Tripper Johnson, who was late getting over to break up the big pass play in the final minute of the Apple Cup, said he has been “sick to my stomach” ever since.
He talked with reporters today for the first time about the play and said he thought he was in perfect position to break up the pass of Kevin Lopina to Jared Karstetter that turned into a 48-yard gain and set up WSU’s tying field goal. Karstetter got behind UW cornerback Quinton Richardson and Johnson was then unable to stop the play, as well.
“I read the quarterback and saw he was going deep with the ball,” he said. “I thought I read it right, right away I tracked it. I was running over there and I looked up at the ball and just realized it was going over my head. I thought I had a perfect bead on it. Unfortunately I blew it. I made a bad read and that’s all I can really say. It was partly my responsibility to help out and get over there and I didn’t do it and I’m pretty disappointed in myself.”
In fact, he said he has been “sick to my stomach” about it ever since it happened.
Johnson said the team was in “quarters” coverage, a standard late-game pass defense where each of the four players in the secondary is responsible for a quarter of the field. Johnson also has responsibility to help out on the quarters bordering his.
“I kind of have to help out and get over there as a safety and I didn’t do it,” he said.
“It’s kind of a deeper coverage where you kind of allow the short passes to happen and the quarterback made a perfect throw and myself as a safety, I have to help out. I thought I was there, thought I made the right read and I came up short on the read. I feel pretty disapointed in myself that i feel partly responsible for that loss.”
Johnson also said he thought he initially had “an easy interception.”
“When I broke on the ball, I thought I was going to pick it off no problem and the ball kept sailing and sailing and it got over my head,” he said.
Johnson said he thinks he’s good at tracking the ball from his eight years playing minor league baseball so he didn’t know why this one got away. He said the wind wasn’t a factor.
He said the coaches told the defense to watch for the double-move and play it deep and play it safe before the final drive.
“I’m embarrassed and frustrated and disappointed that it had to happen,” he said.
On another note, Johnson said he thinks that the Huskies have developed a losing attitude that “we kind of expect to lose.”
He said he once was on a minor-league team that started 6-36 and the attitude was that “we expect to lose and had to play perfect to win a game. And I just kind of feel now that if something bad happens it just kind of waterfalls and just to be able to believe that we can win is the main step (to getting back to winning).”

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