Tuesday night also meant the last Steve Sarkisian radio show of the season.
Here are some of the highlights:
— Sarkisian repeated again he hasn’t really talked with Jake Locker about his future and doesn’t know what way that’s headed. Said they’ll talk soon after the season to begin sorting it out.
— He was asked about guys like Devin Aguilar and Kavario Middleton potentially playing basketball and said he doesn’t mind “if a guy’s heart is really into it.” But if it’s just to take the trips and pass the time, he’d rather they not — Aguilar has said he won’t try it while Middleton has hinted in the past he might want to try but hasn’t said anything definitive lately. Sarkisian said he thought both of those players could really use an off-season of football conditioning, seeming to hint he’d rather each of them not try to play basketball anytime soon, saying that he thought each wore down a little bit in the second half of the season, particularly in their lower-body — an area he said would be worked on in the off-season. He also said each could simply use the break saying that people don’t understand is how high are the demands on the body that simply preparing to play a game each week.
— He was asked about the overall WR corps and said it was an area that played well all season. He reiterated past comments on James Johnson that he thinks he just hit a little bit of a freshman wall but said he practiced well today and hopes he can have a big game Saturday to go into the off-season with momentum.
— He was asked about the process of getting a sixth year for E.J. Savannah and said you just send the information to the NCAA and wait for a decision. Said he had no real read on it one way or the other.
— Asked about Locker’s running against WSU, he said it was both a function of calling a few more runs due to the way the Cougars play defense, and Locker being healthy and able to run better. He also said a few were designed pass plays on which Locker just took off and ran. “Ten carries is about right,” Sarkisian said, repeating the number Locker had against WSU. “That’s the number he should have.”
— In my own quick comment on that topic, Locker has had 10 or more rushes only three times this year — LSU, Arizona and WSU — all games in which the Huskies either moved the ball as well as they have all year (LSU) or scored 30 or more points (Arizona and WSU, two of only four times they’ve done that this season).
— He was asked about the uniforms Saturday and I actually missed part of his quote. But in essence he said the players liked them and hinted that that combination might be used again.
— He was asked about the Apple Cup moving to Dec. 4 next year and the prospect of extremely cold weather in Pullman and said “it is what it is.” He said it’s worth it to him to move games back to create some byes in the schedule “instead of going 12 straight weeks when you’re never going to make it.”
— Of Saturday’s game against Cal, he noted the Bears’ strong running game, the potential bad weather — in the 40s and raining — and said each team figures to try to get the running game going. He said because of that the game “might not take very long … we’re both going to come out and try to play a physical football game because it could be terrible weather.”
— He said in reviewing the tape of the WSU game that the Huskies “probably left three touchdowns out there” with the one denied by the fumble and another by a penalty.
— He said the off-season is going to be important in continuing to get the players in the proper condition. He said when his staff took over last December that the players had “essentially been doing next to nothing in the weight room for a couple of months.” He said having another year of conditioning — and this one building on the work done last year — should only help the team get bigger, stronger and quicker. He said a particular emphasis will be on the “lower half of the body” to build strength in that area to get players more powerful and athletic.
SMITH CLOSE TO COMMITTING? Also tonight is this story from Greg Biggins noting that WR/DB Kevin Smith of Compton, Calif., really liked his visit to UW over the weekend and may be close to becoming a Husky.
Here’s the scouting report on Smith, who said he may make his decision later in the week.