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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 9, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Locker talk

Monday also means our weekly interview with UW quarterback Jake Locker. He discussed his return to Corvallis, where he was knocked out of the game in a scary hit by then-OSU safety Al Afalava in 2007, the interception at the end of the UCLA game, and UW’s red-zone issues.
What do you remember about the 2007 game? :“The whole on-the-field experience is kind of cloudy for me. Like I said after I didn’t think there was any intentions of them trying to take me out of the game, any cheap shots. I thought it was a clean hit and he caught me just right. Obviously a scary deal, something you hope to never go through again, but it won’t change the way I play the game or the approach I take to it.”
Any different thoughts on the interception after having a day or two to think about it? “No, at the time, like I said after the game, it felt like the right thing to do. Jermaine (Kearse) had made plays all day and when he was in 1-on-1 situations and I felt confident going to him and I knew he was confident going up to get the ball. I didn’t throw it as well as I would have liked to. I could have given him a lot better chance to catch that ball, left it too far inside and that’s what led to it being intercepted.”


More on the interception: “Obviously wasn’t the outcome I wanted. Just kind of disappointed that we weren’t able to at least have a chance to win the game there at the end. We were moving the ball really well and it’s really easy at that point to second guess what you’ve done and done something else with the ball, but looking back at the time i felt good about it. I felt that was one of our best options. You can’t take it back and it happened the way it did for a reason.”
Coach Steve Sarkisian mentioned some mechanical things that have come up — can you talk about those?: “One thing that we’ve talked about that has been a point of emphasis all year and that’s my feet are in the right spot and in the ground and being at the right spot at the right time.”
Did Locker know he was going to Kearse all along? “We had a quick play called so it wasn’t a drop back pass or anything, I got the ball and he knew I was going to give him a chance.”
UCLA safety Rahim Moore said you telegraphed that last pass. Any thought on that?: “Like I said, it was one step and I threw the ball, so he could have known pretty quickly where I was going with it.”
On comparing this season to past seasons: “I think the way we have played this year is something we can be proud of. We’ve had a chance to win a lot of football games. For one reason or another we haven’t been able to pull them out in the end of some of them, but we’ve been in them and given ourselves the opportunity to win them by playing hard and giving it everything we have. As a football team we are heading in the right direction and we just need to get that one win to get us over the hump and understand what it takes to win all of those close games.”
On why they have struggled so much with red zone offense: “It’s tough because we moved the ball down to that point really well. We really didn’t have any problems getting into the red zone but when we got down there we tended to stall out a little bit. I think it goes back to the same thing, it’s the most critical situations. The field shrinks down there, things happen a little bit faster, they don’t have as much area to cover. I think we need to look at ourselves and focus on our execution and make sure all 11 guys are doing what they are asked to do on every play. I think when we are able to do that consistently we will have more success in the red zone.”
On whether the red zone problems are being caused by lack of confidence: “I don’t think it’s an issue of confidence at all. We need to understand that when we get into the red zone, If anything our focus needs to heighten when we get there and our knowledge of our assignments needs to be that much better.”
More on red zone: “We went back and looked at the film and it was one or two guys here and there not doing their assignments right. It goes for me and every other guy on the offense, where we can put it all together and all do the right thing on the same play.”
On losing so many close games on the road: “They are tough. It’s difficult to lose games when you know that if one or two plays go differently throughout the course of a game you could have come out on the other end. So it’s hard, but I also think it’s nice to have the opportunity and be that close. It’s nice to be in a football game and have a chance to win with the ball in your hands with a minute to go. It’s hard but were growing and going in the right direction. We just need to keep playing and keep working on understanding that once we can get one of these games and teach ourselves what it takes to win in close games like this it will start to carry over.”
Shouldn’t the win over USC helped with these close games? “I think so. Definitely from the stand point that we were able to take the ball in that situation at the end and do what we needed to do and win a football game. I thought we were able to take a lot from that and I thought we matured as a football team in that experience. We had an opportunity later on in the season [against Notre Dame] when we were able to do it in regulation but couldn’t get it done in overtime. It has been a lot of difference situations I think, but I thought we have responded well to it, competed, and given us a chance to win those football games.”

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