Washington quarterback Jake Locker met with the media Monday under happier circumstances than he had two weeks ago following the Nebraska loss. Locker said one reason for the improved offensive play in a 32-31 win at USC was running a little bit more against the Trojans — he had 12 carries for a season-high 110...

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Washington quarterback Jake Locker met with the media Monday under happier circumstances than he had two weeks ago following the Nebraska loss.

Locker said one reason for the improved offensive play in a 32-31 win at USC was running a little bit more against the Trojans — he had 12 carries for a season-high 110 yards.

“(In) looking back at the first three (games), it was something personally for me that I felt was missing,” he said. “It was a part of my game that I think creates more of a challenge because you can’t account for it. For me, it helps me stay in the game, I believe. It was something not consciously trying to run more, but taking advantage of the opportunities when they’re there, to just trust my feet and trust my eyes and take those lanes.”

Running more, though, meant Locker took a few hits, including one from USC cornerback Shareece Wright near the goal line that knocked him both a little woozy and short of breath.

Locker returned to the game after sitting out a play and said Monday he is fine.

“When I was able to get up and start walking there, I felt normal,” he said. “That’s why I was telling the trainers, hey man, I’m fine. I’d know if something was wrong, and I don’t feel weird. I remember everything and I know where I’m at. They did a great job of making sure they ran me through all the proper tests.”

And while Locker and Wright had a few other meetings in that game — it was Wright who grabbed him from behind and punched the ball out in the second quarter — Locker again lavished praise on the USC defender Monday.

“He was the first guy I looked for after the game to congratulate him,” Locker said. “Let him know that, hey man I respect the way you play the game.”

Bob Condotta