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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Locker talk, Apple Cup edition

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For the last time during this regular season, Jake Locker held his regular Monday meeting with the media.
Here’s some of what he had to say.
On growing up with Apple Cup: “Yeah, obviously it’s something being from the state of Washington, it’s something you watch every year and you follow, and you’re always on one side or the other. So yeah, it was a game we paid attention to when I was little.”
On always rooting for UW: “Yeah, my godparents were huge Husky fans, so they always pushed the Huskies on me, and made sure that’s who we were rooting for on Saturdays.”
On his health: “I’m just sore – general soreness. I don’t have really any pain. It felt pretty good, for the most part (against Cal) – took one hit and hurt a little bit. Yeah, I thought (it was) really good, and I felt like I was able to do everything I wanted to.”
On possible cold weather in Pullman: “That’s not a big deal. I’ve grown up here, practiced a whole bunch in high school when I was young, and played in that weather. I’m not really worried about it.”
Impressions of WSU QB Jeff Tuel: “I thought he’s done a great job. He’s really made some plays for them. When you watch film, you obviously are seeing other guys play when you’re watching the defenses week-in and week-out, and have had an opportunity to watch some of their games. The one thing I think really stands out with him, he’s throwing the deep ball really well, he’s been able to create some explosive plays with some of their receivers down the field. I’m very impressed with how he’s been able to do that.”
On the meaning of the Apple Cup: “For a lot of reasons, but I think this year, like you’ve touched on, because of its importance, it’s like, as Coach (Steve Sarkisian) told us three weeks, each game now, you’ve got to treat it like a playoff game where you lose, you’re done. That’s kind of the reality of it now. There is a lot of excitement around the game year-in and year-out because it’s Apple Cup and it is a rivalry game. A lot of people want to make it bigger than just a football game, but for us as a football team now, it is a big one for us – one I think we need to approach the same way we’ve approached especially these last two weeks, and get prepared really well and understand what we’re doing offensively and defensively, and go out and have fun and play fast, and let the results take care of themselves.”
On having friends on the WSU team: “I have a Cougar cousin (safety Casey Locker). It’s not like I’m not going to talk to him, or hate him this week. I’ve followed him all year, and wished him the best all year. A little different this week – I don’t wish him as good this week. It’s not like that. Ask any player, you’re not going to hate those guys, and those people you’ve had in your life all your life. It’s just hoping we come out on top this week, and not them.”


On the importance of getting to a bowl: ”Obviously it’s been a goal of ours since the beginning of the season, and something I believe is every team’s goal going into the year, to be able to play an extra game on their schedule. I think it would mean a lot to this program, a lot to this team and a lot to the players on it.”
On the added importance for a bowl because he returned as a senior: “No more than anybody else. Everybody in that locker room wants to make it to a bowl game, and I don’t believe there’s one, or two, or three guys that want to more than anybody else. That’s why I’ve really been impressed, to a guy – in practice, in the game, everything – you can see the sense of urgency, and how much it really means to everybody on this football team.”
On watching bowl games in the past and what it would be like: “I’m a huge college football fan, I’ve told you guys that before. When I go home, I just check the paper and see what game’s on every day, because I really enjoy watching football, and especially college football. Yeah, I watch every game. There wasn’t a whole lot that I missed when I went home. Yeah you definitely try and put yourself there. They show all the cool specials about what the guys did all week, and the events and stuff they took them to. It’s something yeah you wish you could be a part of at some point.”
On if he’s seen the 1992 Snow Bowl: “Yeah, I’ve seen that, yeah. … Just another element to the game that I think would bring a little more excitement to it. Again, I don’t know if it should change the way we approach it, or prepare for it. It would be something that would create a little more buzz about the game, I guess.”
On the feeling the moments after the Cal win: “I was asked that after the game, actually. When I thought about it, it would probably for most people it would rank among the top, but you look back at some of the games we’ve had this year, it’s hard to compete with some of the other ones, so I’d say it’s right up there with a couple other finishes we’ve had this year.”
On elevating his play in the last drive against Cal: “Umm, I was pretty sure, and I think everybody else in the huddle understood, it was probably the last time we were going to get the ball, and the last opportunity we had to go down and score and give ourselves the opportunity to win the game. And I think that was something that everybody, like I said, recognized and understood. I know for me, and you can ask everybody else in that huddle, they were going to do whatever they could to get us to that point. So yeah, if it was a little bit more competitiveness or whatever it was, I think it was a common goal, we’re not going to go out this way.”
On running more on the last two drives: “Like I said I told you guys, I wasn’t going to play if I didn’t feel confident in myself and my body. Those are things that, yeah when the game is on the line like that, you’re going do what you can to put your team in position to win. You don’t think about those things (injuries); you don’t worry about them. Yeah, honestly it was an afterthought at that point. It wasn’t something that went through my head, or that I considered during that drive, definitely.”
On the 46-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse on the last drive and whether it was a good pass: “Nah, I just kind of threw it up and gave him a chance. I got back in the pocket and saw that they had single coverage on him down field. I didn’t see somebody, but I felt something from my right side, so I thought I’d just get the ball up and try to give him a chance. A little farther inside than I probably would have liked but he made a great play on the ball and was able to get us down there in a position to be able to punch it in so that was awesome.”
On being on the sidelines in 2006 when UW beat WSU to deny the Cougs a bowl: “Obviously. I think anybody would be disappointed and frustrated in themselves. Like I said, I expect Wazzu to come in with that same attitude and that same approach. We’ve got to be prepared for that. We’ve got to be ready to come out and play our best football game this year.”
On the uniqueness of the Apple Cup: “It’s different just because it is a rivalry and it’s such a huge rivalry. I think that Coach probably touched on it but the records don’t really matter in games like this. It’s not relevant. It’s two teams that have a lot of history and mark it on their schedule every year. And I think the atmosphere and how excited all the fans get creates an atmosphere and environment that anything can happen. As a player I think you have to understand that.”
On whether the Locker family will be divided this week: “I don’t think you could ever call the Locker family divided because I don’t think that’s ever the case. It’ll be a friendly rivalry I guess among the family. I’m sure that they’ll have their Cougar stuff on. My parents and everybody will have their Husky stuff on. I’m sure they’ll talk some smack this week and get each other all riled up but at the end of the day we are family. We’ll probably all be hanging out afterwards together no matter how the outcome is.”
On if Casey will hit him as hard as anyone else: “I’m sure he’ll try to hit me harder than he tries to hit anybody else.”
On if he thought in 2008 UW could get to a bowl two years later: “Oh yeah. Definitely. I understood the talent and the potential that this program had from the people that support this program to the athletes that we had and the coaches that we had. And I think that it was just changing the culture and finding ways to win games like we did last weekend. They’re not always going to come out like the drama. I think that when you’re able to kind of will yourself to victory is when you’re showing signs of a program and a team that is headed in the right direction. I think that’s what we were able to do (Saturday) and it’s pretty neat to be a part of.”

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