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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 18, 2010 at 6:27 PM

More post-game thoughts from Sarkisian

Here are more post-game thoughts from UW coach Steve Sarkisian.
On addressing big plays in bye week: “We need to have tackling drills, I know htat. We need to tackle better than we did tonight. We’ve got to assess what we’re doing in practice, and how we’re practicing in our team setting and maybe have more live settings of tackling so guys can understand not just drills, but doing it in the midst of 22 guys and angles and different things. We just didn’t tackle very well tonight.”
On whether the game was a step back: “I don’t ever like to refer to it as a step back. I wish we would have just played like we’re capable of playing, and maybe I wished I would have coached the way I think I’m capable of coaching, because I don’t think Nebraska, as good as they are, is that much better than us. But we didn’t play … the way we’re capable of playing. If it’s a step back, it’s a step back. I just think we are capable of more than that, and we’ve got to continue to strive to play to a level of play is suitable and accepting for us.”
On being able to do that during the bye week: “Especially with some of our younger guys. There is going to be some guys that are going to need a couple days. We’re a little beat up right now. Those were three physical football games, from BYU to Syracuse to Nebraska. Those games can take their tolls, so the bye is coming at a great time for us – to get healthy but also to push our young kids and get them even more game-ready than they maybe are.”
Impressions of Garret Gilliland, who started in place of Cort Dennison: “I don’t know. He survived it. I don’t feel like Garret Gilliland was the reason they rushed for how many yards they rushed for. I’m sure he had his moments where he made some plays, and he had some moments where he made some mistakes. For a true freshman starting at middle linebacker against that running football team, it’s a tough task.”
Injury update: “We’ve just got some hamstring things with Sean Parker and Nate Williams. Outside of that, just more bumps and bruises – shoulders and quads. Nothing serious to where they’re out out. We’re beat up.”
Was it a game that defines where UW is right now? “No. I don’t think so at all. We played three non-conference football games, and we’re 1-2. We played three pretty good teams – in my opinion, three levels of teams, in a sense. I wish we would have been 3-0 coming out of these three ballgames, but unfortunately we’re 1-2. In two weeks, we start Pac-10 play. Our goal every year is to win the Pacific-10 Conference. So we’ll battle, compete, fight and claw to make that a reality.”
On Nebraska being better than UW right now: “I think so, you see why that football team was a second away from beating Texas that played for the national title last year. And I think they are better offensively this year than they were last year. They are an explosive offensive football team right now. So it gives you a little bit of an idea where you are at. But I also believe we are better than we played today too, you know. That one is hard for me to swallow just to say that that team is that much better than us. That one is hard for me to accept but I guess I have to until we prove otherwise.”
On whether Jake Locker was pressing on that first interception: “Uh maybe a little. We thought we were going to get something coverage wise and get a little reaction out of the backer. We didn’t get the reaction we were hoping for and maybe a little of him pressing wanting to make the play early, the excitement the adrenaline of the game and they got the interception.”
On Locker feeling pressure in the game: “There was potentially a little pressure today. He was going against a great pass defense and I think he wanted to come out and play well like he does every week. With that comes alittle pressure, but pressure is natural and that’s what great athletes, they thrive on it and accept it and love it and I don’t think any differently of Jake, I think the same way. Can he play better than he played today? Sure he can, and he will throughout the season and we’ve got to continue to work to put him in situations to give him opportunities to perform at a high level and to his capabilities.”
On Erik Kohler: “For a true freshman making his first start against an All-American defensive tackle it felt like he played pretty good. For Erik Kohler to go against that caliber of a defensive tackle in (Jared) Crick and us not really notice him? Probably feels pretty good, but until we look at the film I don’t know.”

On why they started Kohler: “They were a physical team and those two defensive tackles they had were very concerning to me throughout the week and I felt like we needed a little more strength and size inside that’s why we went with Kohler at guard and moved (Ryan) Tolar over to the other guard to get us a little more strength and size inside.”
On whether there was a thought to play Keith Price earlier: “There was. I thought we were going to get the ball back there with another drive. I wanted to get Keith a drive where I could get him throwing the ball and running and moving around. The thought was on Jake’s last drive to put him in but I wanted to get Jake a little rhythm too before the game ended and we went three and out, so we thought about it, we said let’s give Jake one more series and we should get the ball back for one more and unfortunately we didn’t.”
On the scoring drive and why they didn’t stick with that running game plan: “I think the score dictated it, the game got to a point to where it felt like gosh we can run and sustain it but are we playing to win or are we just running plays? So wanted to make sure we gave our guys a chance to go win the game but yet still execute and play at a high level. Not that we abandoned the run by any means, what it forced us to be in was some third-down situations and we were unable to convert it.”
On the comments to concerning Reggie Bush not being meant for publication: “It’s a little bit of an unfortunate situation in that the quotes came out of a production meeting for this ballgame. In general, those production meetings are not for print media, or they would have all you guys with us when we were talking about the ballgame. It was a conversation – part of a conversation – where there were quotes on both sides. It’s unfortunate. It’s a great learning lesson for me about what things get said around media, they’re live. For me, I really respect Reggie Bush. I loved having him as a player at USC. My point to all of that was, whatever happened with Reggie Bush off the field with himself or his family was not the reason why we were the No. 1 team in America, and was not the reason why he won the Heisman Trophy. We prepared better than anybody, we practiced better than anybody, and we played better than anybody – more consistently for an extended period of time. That was my point to it. If he did something wrong, give the Heisman back. If he didn’t do something wrong, keep it.”
On whether he contacted Bush to explain it: “I did.”



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