First, to update the Matt Mosley situation, he is indeed transferring, apparently for the obvious reasons — that he wasn’t playing.
He hadn’t played this season, appearing to fall out of favor with the coaches.
Now, for notes from Steve Sarkisian’s radio show tonight.
— The first topic of the night was the red-zone issues against UCLA. Sarkisian said there was “no excuse” to lose that game after getting five turnovers and so many red-zone opportunities. He said “we have to find a way to win those games” when UW has gotten so many close chances.
— He talked again about how close the team has been to winning a few more games if a few of those red-zone situations had worked out differently. “We’re three, four, six plays away from being a 6-3 team,” he said.
— He called the Terrence Austin KO return after UW went ahead 23-14 a key moment in the game and said if that and UCLA’s subsequent quick score hadn’t happened that “that was a game I think we could have run away with.”
— Of the Jake Locker interception at the end, he said there were other options that might have been better to Devin Aguilar and Chris Polk but that Locker was “riding the hot hand” in trying to again go to Jermaine Kearse, which had worked earlier for two TDs.
— He said Kearse helped contribute to the play’s unraveling, as well, by not getting a great release at the line of scrimmage, possibly due in part because he didn’t really think he was the primary receiver on the play. He said that aspect of the play indicates that “we have some communication issues we have to learn from” and that it’s a lesson to WRs to “always expect the football.”
— He said until then the last drive had been developing just as he had hoped. He said having the ball past midfield with a minute left and three time outs was just where he wanted to be. “A minute is an eternity when you have three time outs,” he said. “That was not the issue.”
— There was talk about the play-calling against UCLA and Sarkisian said that the plan was to try to beat UCLA with the pass, that he didn’t think it made sense to try to bang it up inside a lot against the Bruins due to their stout DL. But he said in reviewing the game that “I might have called some things to go at them more” if he had another chance.
— He said two things that impact play-calling are preparing the team for making the play work against the different looks the opponent may give, and practicing that during the week. He said the direct snap play to Polk unraveled because UCLA came out in a look UW hadn’t practiced the play against. He said that’s an example of wishing that the Huskies had practiced that play one more time “to give them that look.”
— He was asked about the comments of UCLA safety Rahim Moore, who made the interception at the end, that Locker telegraphs his throws. Sarkisian said players sometimes say things in the post-game emotion to try to make themselves look better and that’s what he thinks happened here. “I don’t think Jake telegraphs his throws by any means,” he said. He said Moore, “made a nice play and wanted to get more ink than he deserves and I’ll leave it at that.”
— He said that the team has come back from the loss and practiced really well the past two days which is a continuing sign of its resilience and a good sign for the future.
— Asked about the health of Jason Wells he said he hopes Wells will be able to play Saturday.
— Asked about Cody Bruns, he said Bruns is practicing really well and that he hopes to be able to get him in the game. But he said it’s simply hard right now to take out Aguilar, Kearse or James Johnson the way they are playing. “Those guys are playing at a high level,” he said.
— Talking about Aguilar, he said he’s become “our third down go-to guy” and said the off-season will be key for him to get stronger and more physical.
— A caller asked about wishing the defensive backs were playing more aggressively and Sarkisian said that’s the hope of the coaches that the DBs can progress to play more aggressively as they get more experience. But he said lack of experience leads to some hesitation.
— Asked again about not getting a replay on the controversial Austin TD, he revealed that Pac-10 director of officiating Larry Cutaia had been in the replay booth on Saturday (something Cutaia didn’t tell me when I spoke to him yesterday) and that Cutaia told them that they saw three replays in the time before UCLA kicked its PAT and didn’t get a look that would over overturned the call. Sarkisian said that he’s looked at the TV replays and that he doesn’t think they are definitive and wouldn’t have overturned the call.
— He said he does believe that the replay officials could have seen the play three times in that time span, though co-host Mike Gastineau seemed skeptical.
— Asked about the Donald Butler hit on Kevin Prince he noted that officials are making an emphasis this year on helmet-to-helmet contact and that he understands why a flag was thrown and why the UCLA side was upset saying if Locker were hit in such a situation the Huskies would want a flag thrown. However, he said again that Prince was diving and trying to get yardage and he’s not sure what Butler did wrong. “He tackled him — it’s tackle football,” Sarkisian said.
All for now.