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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 28, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Sarkisian won’t change Locker’s running

I wanted to highlight what I thought was one of the most insightful comments made by Steve Sarkisian today, that he doesn’t plan to have Jake Locker start running the ball more.
With the Huskies struggling to get a running game going the last two weeks — and really, most of the season — it’s tempting to wonder if they should take the wraps off of Locker, who has rushed just 33 times for 74 yards this season, far off the pace of his first two years at UW when he averaged 72.9 yards per game.
And in the game in which the UW offense probably looked the best — against LSU — Locker ran the most he has all season, 12 times for 51 yards. He has run just 20 times for 23 yards since (which includes lost yards on sacks — take out sack yardage and Locker has rushed 26 times for 134 yards this year).
But Sarkisian said today he thinks the running game can get going without having to ask Locker to do more.
“This thing, for his growth and his career, it’s on the right path,” Sarkisian said at his press conference today. “And no quarterback is going to play perfect week in and week out and make great decisions. Interceptions happen — that’s part of the game when you throw the ball like we do — they happen. The key is that we learn from them. I think we would be hitting the panic button today to say Jake needed to have 10 or 12 quarterback runs this week because we can’t run the ball, and then the next thing you know he gets nicked up and where are we. I think we’ve got a system in place, as we talked about, that has withstood the test of time. We have a great belief in our run game. Jake is going to get his opportunities to run the ball like he always has and will, but we are not going to hit the panic button and say here ‘Jake, here’s the ball. I think that’s a big mistake to make.”
As for what is ailing the running game — UW is ninth in the Pac-10 rushing offense at 108.2 yards per game — Sarkisian pointed to the blocking up front.
And asked what the issue there is, he said “I don’t know. I think there is a little bit of lack of communication there that takes place. We need to assess from a coaching standpoint what we are doing and how we are doing it, is it too much for these guys, we’ll assess that — but we are better than that and I know we are better than that and we just haven’t run the ball the last couple of weeks the way I know we are capable of, and that’s a huge part of our offense. . I don’t want to become a one-dimensional offense I don’t think anybody on our staff does we’ve got to be able to run the football and we are going to keep working at it.”

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