I’ve gotten away from the Q-and-A’s on here of late, in part because of the regular chats we’ve been having. But some questions have come up pretty regularly the last few days, and I want to get back to doing some of the Q-and-A’s.
So I’ll answer a few here, and feel free to chip in more questions in the comments section for answering at a later date:
Q: What was the deal with the third-down play where the Arizona WR fumbled the ball in the end zone and it looked like Mason Foster came out with it but they gave the ball to the Wildcats?
A: I think that’s one of those plays that probably left neither team happy. I know the Arizona view is that Delashaun Dean had recovered the ball in the end zone when the whistle blew, Foster then coming out with it after the play was dead. So I know some on the Wildcats’ side felt it should have been a TD for them. Obivously, Foster thought he had it. I think the officials may not have been sure what to do with it and just decided to put the ball at the 1, give it to Arizona on a fourth down, and let the two teams sort it out. Neither side asked for a review of it, however, so there was no look at it by the replay officials.
Q: Is it illegal for reporters to ask Jake Locker if he’s going to the NFL next season? With all the talk about it, why does no one ask him about it?
A: Some of us have, trust me. I asked him about three weeks ago when I wrote this story. He said he’s not thinking about anything like that now and will let it sort itself out after the season. That’s what he also said last week to Dave Mahler and what I’m sure he will say to anybody else who asks from now to the end of the season, so there’s really no point. He’s not going to say anything definitive now. All I would say is that the fact that he doesn’t say there’s no way he’ll think about obviously indicates he will think about it — and any rational person should realize he will. But nobody makes a public declaration of their intentions at this point in the season.
Q: I thought they mentioned that Desmond Trufant could return kicks when he signed. Have they tried him there?
A: I haven’t seen that of late, but they are obviously looking at all their options in the return game as they rank last in the Pac-10 in kickoff returns at 18.3 yards per attempt. For now, they want to give Chris Polk a shot at it. That may seem like a lot to ask of a starting RB, but UW did it with Louis Rankin a few years ago and Oregon with Jonathan Stewart throughout his career. But I would imagine they will keep trying guys out to see who can help there, and maybe Trufant will get a look at some point. But that also seems like a lot to ask of a true freshman who is being counted on to play the entire game now at a demanding position such as cornerback. And I know they were asking that of Richardson, as well, but he at least is more veteran, a little bigger.
Q: Why did they never adjust to stop that screen Arizona ran like 20 times. And has Nick Holt said anything about it?
A: Holt generally only talks to the media on Wednesdays unless he does so after games — he didn’t after this one. UW coach Steve Sarkisian indicated yesterday that the players had the option to defend that play more aggressively earlier but didn’t and that he thinks learning when to be more aggressive is part of the learning process for the players as they adjust to the team’s new scheme. I also think, however, the coaches called a pretty conservative defense due to the two new safeties starting, including true freshman Nate Fellner. I think they were content to keep those to small gains and not take the chance they turn into big ones, especially as long as the game stayed within a reasonable reach, as it did. You obviously can’t count on getting that kind of a comeback very often. But reality is that for all that happened, UW was down just five with 2:55 left. Their defensive goal was to stay in the game, and that’s what happened.
Q: Why does the depth chart lists some positions with two starters and does that mean the players are of equal ability or there is an injury, or what?
A: It can mean both of those. I think the specific question here referenced Nate Williams and Victor Aiyewa being listed as co-starters at strong safety this week. That’s due to Williams’ health. It’s common for a player coming off an injury to be listed as a backup or a co-starter until he shows he’s 100 percent ready. Williams was deemed not as ready to return last week as D’Andre Goodwin, who is back listed as a starter, so I think they were being cautious in their listing until they see how Williams progresses through practice.
All for now.