Tuesday night means another Steve Sarkisian coaches show.
Here are some of the highlights:
— Sarkisian said one of the keys to the comeback over Arizona was that “doubt never crept in” and that the players “were believing that they were going to make a play, and they made a play.”
— He said the TD pass Jake Locker threw to Kavario Middleton was a prime example of Locker learning one of the main things they have been trying to teach him, to “keep your vision” and keep looking downfield while running. He also praised the catch by Middleton saying “that was a heck of a catch.”
— He noted that UW had just 47 offensive plays, which held the offensive yardage numbers down, but that he thought “we were relatively efficient outside of the third quarter.”
— Asked about the coin toss and deciding to take the ball as opposed to kicking, as he had the last two weeks, he said he thought it was important for the offense to get back out on the field after what happened against Notre Dame and to send a statement about belief in the team.
— Asked about replay decisions turning out differently this week than ND, Sarkisian said the key is for his team not to worry about it and move on no matter the decision. He said that “maybe somewhere in this world, things even out.”
— He said on the Mason Foster interception that he initially “went nuts just like everybody else” but then had to get settled and call a two-point play as they had already talked about that following the previous TD.
— He said another key to the Foster play was that “guys were in position to do their jobs” and it was that preparation that helped pull off the win.
— Asked whether he was surprised Arizona threw the ball, he noted that there was still 2:55 left and UW had two time outs so UA needed a first down or two to end the game. He also noted the play was a run-pass option so “it was a pretty safe play.”
— Asked about Arizona’s success with the bubble screen, he said the best way to stop it is to play man-to-man but that the Huskies didn’t feel they had the personnel in that game to match up. “But I think we stopped it at the right time,” he said.
— He the play could be the kind of thing “that can help change a program” and that he’s sure some people left when Arizona kicked the finl field goal that “I hope that sets the stage” for the next time UW is in that position to show that “we will play to the finish.”
— Asked if he could imagine how Mike Stoops felt leaving the field, he said “I was there a week ago.”
— Said he thought the game was big to validate what they have been telling the players and particularly because of what happened against Notre Dame.
— Talked more about the defense and said that right now, playing a bend-but-don’t-break is what the team has to do, and that they don’t want to give up big plays but make teams have to use 12-13 plays to move down the field. “When we start giving up big plays, then it’s time to worry,” he said.
— Asked who the fastest player on the team is when football gear is on, said Locker “could be right up there” but also mentioned Adam Long and Jordan Polk.
— Asked about Locker and the NFL, said it’s something they’ll sit down and discuss it after the season and that Locker’s not thinking about it now. He downplayed the talk of the NFL labor contracts impacting it saying that’s been going on for four or five years and that’s just agents talking to try to get underclassmen to come out early.
— Asked what Stoops was mad about during UW’s last series, he said Stoops was upset that the clock wasn’t starting more quickly. Reiterated that the rule has changed so the clock is supposed to start when the ball is spotted by the officials but that Stoops didn’t think that was happening. “But I’m sure on the last drive he was glad that it didn’t, that he had all the time that he had,” Sarkisian said.
— Asked about moving Everrette Thompson back outside to DE to get more pressure on the QB, said that’s the whole reason he was moved inside. Said it’s challenging to get pressure on teams like Arizona “the way they were catching it and throwing it as quickly as they were.”
— Asked about the Wildcat, said it’s not something he would implement with UW right now, saying “I just don’t see it. I’d rather have No. 10 catching a snap than Chris Polk or anybody else.”
— Asked about offensive struggles, said the biggest issue was converting third downs and that’s something the Huskies have to again start doing better.
All for now.