The Huskies are off the field following their Monday practice, their last full-pads workout before Thursday’s game against UCLA.
And the big news is that Husky Stadium is still standing after one of the windiest practices there I can ever remember, and that Jake Locker — who missed UW’s last game against Oregon on Oct. 30 with a broken rib — said he expects to play against UCLA.
Locker again participated fully in the two-hour workout, his third straight day of practice, and made his weekly visit with the media afterward stating that he expects to play against the Bruins.
“Yeah, I expect to,” he said. “We’ll meet with the doctor tomorrow and do a final evaluation.”
Locker has not yet been medically cleared to play. But he looked and sounded like a guy who anticipates that he will be.
He said that “I feel real good” and that he hasn’t felt limited in any way physically during practices this week.
And asked if he could imagine not playing on Senior Night, Locker said that “I can’t imagine not playing on any night.”
But he said that ultimately he will do what the doctors say.
“Yeah, I’ve expected to play from the beginning,” he said. “Like I said, we’ll trust our doctors. They’ve done a great job until this point. Nothing has changed from that standpoint.”
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he again was encouraged by what he saw of Locker.
“I thought he looked good,” Sarkisian said. “He showed me some things from a movement perspective that I was very encouraged by. His ability to change direction and make some throws, obviously in these elements as well, was very impressive.”
Speaking of the elements, there were heavy gusts throughout practice (and for the record, UW did not have its normal film crew up in a lift taping the practice). It blew enough that at one point benches on the sideline tipped over and a garbage can flew onto the field disrupting a play.
Sarkisian joked that “I just wanted to make sure Jordan Polk wasn’t flying with them” a reference to UW’s smallest player.
It isn’t expected to blow like this on Thursday, but Sarkisian said he still thought it would help the Huskies to make it through a practice in those elements.
“I’ll tell you what, I thought all in all, he (Locker) and Keith (Price) and the receivers, for 35-mile-an-hour winds, that was a pretty impressive performance,” he said. “They did a nice job. The forecast doesn’t look like this is what it will be like from a wind standpoint Thursday but it showed me a lot. … I thought as a team we handled it extremely well, We’ve kind of taken on a mantra of ’embrace the conditions’ and I thought we embraced them today.”
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Here’s Locker on playing his last home game: “It’s kind of weird to think about playing a last game here. It is another game within the season, and that is how we’ve got to approach it. We can’t let the emotions and everything else everybody else will put on this game make it more important than it is, or add more emotion than needs to be added. It’s a football game that we need to win to keep our season alive, and have the opportunity to keep going after our 12th game. I think it’s something for us we just need to approach it that way, prepare for it that way, come out and have fun and play the game of football.”
— He also said he definitely feels a lot better than he had before sitting out. “That was the point of the doctor holding me out last week was to allow me another week to heal and get better,” he said.
— And here is Locker’s scouting report of the UCLA defense: “They don’t do a whole lot, but they’re really good at what they do. They’ve got some really good athletes, so we’re going to have to make sure we’re sound in our blocking schemes and our pass protections, and that we’re crisp in the passing game, in routes and in completing passes – keep the sticks moving – and try and extend drives throughout the duration of the game.”
— And his thoughts on the black uniforms: “It’s just a uniform, it’s just one of those other things that you can’t let become a distraction, I guess.”
— Also, Sean Parker wore red today but was in uniform and practiced. There were no new injuries evident.