Washington quarterback says he didn't want to say something he'd regret after tough loss at Notre Dame.
Jake Locker sat at a podium Monday and addressed the media with no cleanup required from Saturday night.
Which is just how he wanted it. Locker, Washington’s junior quarterback, had skipped talking to reporters after Saturday’s 37-30 overtime loss at Notre Dame and he explained Monday that he did so in large part so he didn’t say anything he’d regret.
“I didn’t feel like I was in the best emotional state to answer questions,” said Locker, who showered, dressed and boarded the bus before just about anyone else on the team. “I didn’t want to have to sit up here today and explain anything [that he might have said Saturday]. I felt like it was in my best interest and the team’s best interest to take some time to cool down. That’s what I thought after the game.”
It was the first time Locker had avoided the media, and UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he felt his quarterback “deserved a mulligan on this one.”
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Locker said he could have used mulligans on a few plays Saturday, specifically the inability to get into the end zone on quarterback sneaks in the second half and a nine-yard sack he took on the second play of UW’s possession in overtime. The sack forced the Huskies into having to try long passes on their next two plays, each falling incomplete.
“Yeah, that was my fault 100 percent,” Locker said of the sack. “I thought they were going to come with the blitz … but they were good enough at disguising it, and they dropped out of it. I should have just handed the ball off to the running back. I got caught in between. Yeah, it was a critical, critical situation. It’s something I can learn from.”
As for the sneaks, Locker said he thought he was in on a third-and-one play late in the third quarter. He was then stopped on fourth down, denying UW a chance to go ahead 31-19.
“I thought possibly on the first one we had [that he had scored],” Locker said. “It was hard for me to tell because I got spun around and I was backing up, but I got pushed back a little bit, so I thought I might have been in. But that’s the one I thought I got closest on.”
Sarkisian said Monday that calling the second straight sneak in that situation was the decision he regretted the most.
“He was so close on the first one I almost challenged the first one [for a replay] because I really thought he had gotten in when he spun and he had the ball on his left arm,” Sarkisian said. “I felt, ‘Man, we are getting enough push that he can get into the end zone on another one.’ Hindsight is 20-20. You look back at it, probably should have done something else on that play.”
Woodward asks for review
Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said he has asked the Pac-10 office to review two controversial calls in the game — the two-point run by Notre Dame’s Robert Hughes and the reversal of an apparent Chris Polk TD, both in the fourth quarter.
“The non-review of the two-point conversion was a mistake,” Woodward said of a play in which some thought Hughes was stopped.
Woodward said one of his biggest issues is the fact that there was a split in conference responsibility with a Pac-10 crew handling the on-field officiating and a Big East team in the replay booth.
“My concerns are about the integrity of the replay booth and it being split and, going forward, how we deal with that and how do we talk about it,” he said.
A review wouldn’t change anything about the game. However, Woodward says he feels accountability is necessary.
“There are going to be mistakes in every game,” Woodward said. “What you try to do is get better and fix them so it doesn’t happen [in the future]. … [Officiating] will continue to get better as long as we continue to question and judge what goes on. It’s human nature.”
One UW player outspoken Monday on the officiating was running back Chris Polk, who said he was at peace with the game “because everybody knows if you watch the replays, they know that the two-point conversion that his knee was down, and that when I scored it was a touchdown. They [Notre Dame] didn’t beat us, the refs beat us, in a sense.”
The Huskies might announce this week that they are getting out of a home-and-home series with BYU in 2011 and 2012 and will instead play home games against Eastern Washington and Portland State.
Those will be the first games UW has played against lower-division schools. Washington had been just one of four schools — USC, UCLA and Notre Dame the others — not to have played a lower-division team. One reason for the switch was to add a home game in 2012 when UW would have had just five.
The Huskies are also expected to announce series with Hawaii and Wisconsin, the latter a home-and-home in 2017 and 2018.
• Free safety Justin Glenn is out for the year after breaking his fibula in the third quarter Saturday. He will have surgery Wednesday. Greg Walker and Victor Aiyewa are likely candidates to replace him.
• WR D’Andre Goodwin and SS Nate Williams each suffered concussions Saturday but Sarkisian said each should play Saturday against Arizona.