One of UW coach Steve Sarkisian’s guiding principles is a 24-hour rule following games, to either move past the high of a great win, or get over the low of a tough loss.
If anyone might have had trouble adhering to that rule this week, however, it be UW QB Jake Locker, who not only had the worst statistical game of his career Saturday against Nebraska — going 4-20 passing for 71 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown — but then was the topic of lots of discussion about how the performance might impact his future.
But Locker (shown at right scoring a TD Saturday in a Dean Rutz photo) betrayed no hint of having been permanently wounded by what happened Saturday. Since it was a bye week, today was his day to talk to the media, and he did so in the same manner as always, cracking a quick joke as he walked over about being happy to give us 15 minutes of cliche answers — a reference to his reputation for not necessarily being the most exciting quote in the history of football.
Anyway, here’s what he had to say:
On bouncing back from a game like that: “Obviously it’s frustrating. But you can’t do anything about it now. You’ve got to go forward and we still have a lot of season left and a lot of things that we can accomplish throughout this year, so we’ve got to focus on that and getting better.”
On the 24-hour rule and trying not to think about it too much: “Obviously you think about it right after and watch the film and see what you can learn from. But if you dwell on it it’s going to continue to beat you. The most important thing is coming out here and working hard, having fun, enjoying this game and looking forward to our next opportunity to go out and play. … There’s nothing I can do about it now — there’s nothing any of us can do about it now. So you don’t gain anything personally or as a football team sitting and wondering what if. So the best thing is to look ahead and see what we can improve on and try and grow as a football team, and dwelling on that is not going to help us.”
On what the film showed: “They played a good game. Hat’s off to them. They played a good game and we did a lot of things that were uncharacteristic. And against a good football team like that they will make you look like that.”
On why he asked to practice Monday when he had been scheduled to get the day off as the starting QB during a bye week: “Just to get back out here and start working. It’s another opportunity to get better and I didn’t want to miss out on it.”
Did a game like that cause any regrets about coming back? “No, no, no, no. Not at all. Like I’ve told you guys before, I made the decision because it was what I knew I wanted to do no matter what the outcome was. Obviously it was a tough game, but a game I think I will be better for going forward. I will learn a lot from it and it will make me a better football player and allow me to grow as a football player and that’s what I’m able to take from it.”
On the interceptions: “I wish I hadn’t thrown the first one. He was well-covered. The guy made a really good play, was in perfect position and yeah, probably a throw that if I could have had back I wouldn’t have thrown.”
On the second one that was returned for a touchdown: “It was a great play by that guy. He did a good job, really kind of sat on the route, did a good job at the top of the route and able to get a pick.”
Did the first interception change the way he played the rest of the day? “I saw that play really well. Like I said, it was a throw that if I could have back I wouldn’t have thrown. But I was seeing the field really well, they were just doing good things on defense and not allowing us to have a lot of open windowns.”
On if he should run more: “People used to think I should be running less, so who knows. It was just the flow of the game. We had our opportunities and took advantage of them when we had them and hindsight is 20-20 always.”
On if Nebraska was the best defense he’s seen: “Yeah, it was probably the best one I’ve seen since I’ve been in school here. They played really well and we reverted back to some things that we haven’t been doing the first couple of weeks, mistakes and mental errors that will cost you against a football team like that.”
More on wanting to practice on Monday: “Just to start working and another opportunity to get better…to get as many reps as I can. I felt good, my body wasn’t really bothering me and I didn’t need a break for any reason, and I wanted to have the opportunity to go out and practice with our team.”
On if he needed to do that to get past Saturday: “I didn’t need it, but I felt like it was a good thing for me and for our football team going forward.”
On Sarkisian talking about the competitive nature lacking at times Saturday: “He talked to us about is, and it will be a point of emphasis for us going forward. They obviously played a great game and jumped on us early and we never really were able to get back and respond and swing the momentum back in our favor.”
On that testing his leadership: “Definitely. And it’s something that we’re always growing as a football team together…guys like me and Nate (Williams) and Mason (Foster) and D’Andre (Goodwin) and guys like that that are in our last year here…Cody (Habben)…looking forward to going out the right way. It’s something where you look back and say, ‘Gosh, should we have done something more to rally them?’, but in a game like that it’s just taking care of your assignment and doing what you can control…and I think if we all focus on that in the games to come we’ll be alright.”
On the bye week coming at a good time : “We’ve got some guys…it’ll be good physically to get them healed up and ready to go and fix the mistakes that we had last week.”
On having a fresh start with Pac-10 play coming around the corner: “There’s a lot of season left. We’ve played three football games to this point. The season is not lost; there’s a lot of things for this football team to look forward to. We just need to keep working hard, practicing hard, preparing really well and going out and giving good effort on Saturdays.”
September 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM
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