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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 25, 2009 at 8:31 AM

More post-game reaction

Here are some more thoughts from head coach Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt following UW’s 43-19 loss to Oregon Saturday and with the team now heading into a bye:
Sarkisian on what the team does now: “We’ve got to assess what we are doing schematically and from a personnel standpoint, and it’s going to be great to have a bye. We are obviously a pretty nicked-up football team right now so the bye couldn’t come at a better time to hopefully get our guys back fresh, get our minds fresh, and go into this last quarter of the season with a vengeance and finish strong.”
Sarkisian on Jake Locker’s running and whether his aggression is being taken away: “That’s a natural concern. This is a very fine line that we are operating on with him in that we are trying to change a guy’s game, the complexion of his game, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen over night, and obviously he had some early success, as we did. And we’re going to have our growing pains. That goes without saying. And not just Jake but as a football program, we are going to have growing pains, and this is one of them. The challenge for us and for Jake is to learn from these games and learn from this style of play and where is the happy medium? Where can he take the running style he had previously and where can he fit it in this scheme that we’re running so that it flows. And the challenge is on me as well to call things that allow him to play within a system but also utilizing some of his strengths.”
Sarkisian on why Johri Fogerson didn’t really play: “It just wasn’t there. We wanted to go with (Demitrius) Bronson more and it’s hard to get three tailbacks going, so we went with those two guys (Chris Polk and Bronson).”


Sarkisian on the missed opportunities: “I thought we did some things to move the ball and had some breakdowns that hurt us, put us in third and longs. I felt like we had plenty of opportunities. We are in the red zone three times and only score three points, and that’s disappointing to me. That changes the complexion of the game. Our point total should have matched our output total. When you have 400 yards of offense (technically 395), you should have more points.”
Sarkisian on what needs to be done with the offense: “We’ve got to back to the discipline within the offense and doing things right and trusting the system, I think, whether it’s from me as the play caller standpoint or him (Locker) having the ball in his hands. We might have been trying a little too hard instead of just getting completions and getting into the rhythm of the offense, so that will be a real challenge the next two weeks.”
Sarkisian on what happened in the second half defensively: “Sooner or later water keeps filling up and you are not doing anything on your end of it, that dam is going to break pretty soon, and that dam broke in the third quarter and they got rolling real quick.”
Sarkisian on going for it at the goal line in the second quarter: “I felt like the way our defense was playing if they don’t score they get the ball first and 10 on their own 2-yard line I like those chances — okay our defense is playing good, we had pretty good momentum. Unfortunately we throw the pick so the thought process, the logic kind of got thrown out the window.”
Sarkisian on overall goals now: “Our goal is we’ve got to just get back to playing football the way we are capable of playing it. Like we were playing reallly early in the year of being fundamentally sound, being technique sound, trusting our schemes and playing good effort. Feel like right now we are getting away from it a little bit and as a coach that’s a major disappointment for me because that’s why we practice so we will have to assess what we are doing and how we are doing it so we can get back to playing that brand of football and when we get there, if that’s good enough to win, great. But I do know that’s going to give us a better chance to perform at a level that’s capable of winning. That’s the first goal. The second goal is to get ready for UCLA. That’s a tough ball game and we’ve got to get ready to go play.”
Sarkisian on the motivation during the bye week: “It’s an opportunity for some guys that maybe aren’t playing as much as they want to put themselves out there to get an opportunity to play more. And the positive is we are playing hard still. Our kids are trying hard. We’ve just got to get back to playing our brand of football. … I’m proud of our kids’ effort, the way they practice and play. We’re playing hard, and the last thing I want to see is the morale of the football team down and gone and woe is me, here we go again. That’s not our guys’ mentality. We’ve got a fighter’s mentality, and that’s a great thing to have that we can build from.”
Holt general thoughts on the Oregon game: “They got on a roll there in the third quarter, the fourth quarter, and that was the ball game right there. I thought the first half was really good defensively. The kids executed, played their butts off, made some really good plays, and we just didn’t get any turnovers in the second half and allowed them to convert a bunch of third downs.”
Holt on Jeremiah Masoli: “The biggest issue was the quarterback. A couple times we had pressures and he got out and made some big plays running the ball. That happened late in the third quarter, in the second quarter, so my hat is off to him. We thought going into the game he might be injured but he was fine. He’s a good, little nifty player. A good player.”
Holt on the bye week: “We need to get healthy and come back in the weight room and get strong and fresh. They are working hard and doing some really nice things out there. Just have to stay focused and go to class and stay on top of our academics and have a good time practicing and get fresh. We’ve got four games left, five games hopefully, and come back and get right, and keep the attitude going, because the attitude has been really good.”
Holt on some of the third downs Oregon converted: “Got to come up with a stop. And we stopped them on that third and long where they threw the middle screen (to TE Ed Dickson) and we told them ‘watch the middle screen’ but we got blocked. Maybe should have been in a softer defense instead of pressuring but we still had some guys around the ball and you’ve got to make some tackles and we could have gotten out of that drive and stopped the momentum. … The huge issue was we didn’t get any turnovers on defense and we need to. For how well we played early in the game we need to get the ball back for our offense so we have more opportunities to score.”
Holt with more on that third down play: We’re dialing it up and doing some good things and we’ve got to stop them and get them out. We got them in third down and in a hole because we are pressuring and got them in third and 15 and can’t let them off the hook with those little dinky middle screens, and we let them off the hook.
Holt on the third-and-26 play to Oregon TE David Paulson in the second quarter: “We’ve got to make the play. Donald (Butler) is all over the guy — get the ball out. And we’ve got a corner crashing (Adam Long) — get there, cheat your lineman, go get the guy. He came free but the quarterback got rid of the ball. Those things, we need to make the play, maybe make another call, too, I don’t know. But we’ve got to make the plays, too.”
Holt overall thoughts on where the team is now: “We need to just keep recruiting, keep recruiting. It’s not that big a disparity (between UW and Oregon.) We let the game get out of hand in the third quarter with some big plays, that was it…. There are some things we are getting better at every week. I don’t think we wore down or anything like that but it will be nice to get a little break, get caught up on some stuff and get healthy and come back fresh. … We need to be able to put our guys in the right position every snap to be successful and I need to do a better job with that, really.”

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