Dawg Blog - Oregon State

After their thrilling 32-31 win over USC, the Husky didn't do themselves any favors by losing at home last week to Arizona State by 10. This week, the Huskies get ready to host the always formidable and well-coached Oregon State Beavers as they continue working toward their goal or reaching a bowl game...

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:11 PM

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes

On Locker - "I thought he moved around good today. We did some things with him running, and he responded well."

On being limited in what he can do - "I wouldn't think so, but we'll obviously monitor him closely as the game goes on. He looks fine. I thought he would get back. I don't think he'll be 100 percent. There's a pretty good-sized bruise in there. It's nice to know you've got him."

On how he got the quad contusion - "He doesn't exactly know, and we can't find it on film. I don't know if it was a knee, helmet or shoulder. I'm not sure."

On if it happened early in the game - "Very early. First quarter."

On it being like a charley horse - "I don't know the specifics. I don't know the doctor's term for it, but it's a significant bruise that has affected his ability to run."

On settling on an OL group - "We're going to make that decision tonight. We'll get together and figure that out. But I like it that we have the ability to mix things up and put some different guys in different spots."

On if part of it is game-planning against OSU - "Potentially. As we do this thing, we have to be smart with our matchups and what we're doing and give our guys the best opportunity to be successful."

On Chris Izbicki - "He came back today. It was good to have him back. Again, I don't know if he'll be 100 percent, but I think he'll be able to play."

On Michael Hartvigson - "He has a shoulder injury that we're actually going to have surgery on next week. So he's out."

On if he can redshirt - "Yes."

On Devin Aguilar - "It doesn't look great. Especially in this weather today, I didn't want to push him. He did individual. The good thing about Devin is, he's smart. He's bright. All these plays we're running, he knows. So it wasn't about getting the reps of the entire practice, but I wanted to see him do some individual…he did some things there. We still have time to rehab, and that's what that injury takes. So we'll monitor him tomorrow and we'll monitor him in pre-game on Saturday."

On dropping a couple of home games - "We've got great fans and the atmosphere is so good - especially at night. We feel like we owe it to our fans to put our best foot forward, and we'll go do it again Saturday night. We're going to play hard, that's for sure."

On having a good week of practice - "Yeah. We have a mentally tough football team. They've dealt with a lot of adversity, not only this year but over their careers and they've shown time and time again to be able to battle back, and we'll come and play hard Saturday night."

On Cameron Elisara - "We have to monitor him closely and see how much strength he's playing with and how much he's allowing himself to use that arm to play the way he's capable of playing."

On Keith Price - "He continues to improve. I feel like he improves daily…for sure weekly. His decision-making continues to improve. His ability to adjust to the weather that's flying around us and everything that's going on, he's grown a lot. From the first time he got here, from a little, skinny kid from southern California, and now he's able to throw the ball around in the wind and the rain and be accurate and make good decisions and have the huddle presence that it takes…

On if the game plan would shrink if Price would have to play - "We'd run our plan."

On D'Andre Goodwin - "I'd like for him to have another game like last week…seven or eight catches would be great. It means we're spreading the ball around the way we need to spread it around."

On his comeback - "I think it speaks volumes to the type of person he is. The character that he possesses…it's not easy to get demoted and then to battle back and just to play and to earn his way into the starting lineup and to really be a significant factor in our game plan and making really big catches for us."

On his frustration level being high - "I think so, but there was also the realization of what it was going to take to get back. No one was anointed anything when we arrived. It was going to take hard work, on and off the field, to do that. It took him a little time, but he bought in, and to his credit it's paying off."

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:57 PM

Jermaine Kearse Wednesday Quotes

Extra work: Oh yeah. Had a couple drops. I went away from the things I usually do. I'm getting back to those things. I'm feeling good, I'm feeling really good.

Those things: Just things I was doing in the past, and I kind of got away from that, and it kind of showed. I'm just getting back to those things, getting back to who I am and how I play. I'm looking for it.

Meeting with Dougherty: I went to him. I had talked with coach Dougherty, coach Sark, Des Trufant - we're kind of going through the same thing - and Jake, so I understood what was going on. I knew what I had to fix, and am getting that fixed.

Fixed: I think just mentally, just like what I was doing - catching balls after practice. I wouldn't normally do that after practice. I got away from that, and am getting back to the things I did, getting back to the things that made me successful.

Feelings about the drops: I was a little frustrated, of course. After the games, I wouldn't even watch NFL games, wouldn't even watch Sportscenter. You know, I'm very optimistic about it. I know who I am, I know what I can do. I'm just going to go out there with that attitude and mindset, and come back strong.

Last week versus ASU: I just felt in the last game, there was just catches I normally just make, and what I do. I dropped those, and I thought to myself, 'What am I doing wrong?' Just getting back to all the things I did, and I believe it's going to show.

Locker confidence: I talked to him yesterday, and we had a long talk. He said he's never lost any confidence in me, and knows the type of player I am, and knows I can be that guy. That definitely helps out knowing my quarterback hasn't lost any confidence. It's good.

Locker against Arizona: I don't know nothing about that, sorry.

Surprising to drop passes: I'm not going to lie, right after the play I was like, 'How did I drop that? I make that in my sleep.' It comes with the game. I mean, people drop passes. It's what you do after that dropped pass, 'Are you going to come back with another drop, or are you going to come back with a catch and make plays?'

More work: Just catching balls after practice. You see that the receivers and the DBs are doing competition drills in the red zone. We all can benefit from it.

Hug for Des: Me and him just had a talk. He's feeling the same frustration I am, he's feeling he's not playing to the standard he wants to, and I was like, 'We've to get back to how we were, don't press the issue and just play our game.' I think it's going to show. I think he's going to come back stronger than ever, and he feels the same way about me.

No NFL after the drops: No I played FIFA soccer. I just didn't watch the football. That's the type of competitor I am. When I don't feel like I don't compete to my standard, I feel sick to my stomach. So I just go home and play FIFA.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:56 PM

Cody Bruns Wednesday Quotes

Fake field goal: Um, yeah, I just turned the corner. I missed Marek (Domanski). I saw him late. Just came around the corner, saw White and thought I could beat him around the edge. It just didn't work out.

We've been practicing all week, you know I had been running in practice where I'd just take off and run. I thought, from watching film and stuff, that they'd kind of come in more. As soon as I got around, it was kind of "Bang, bang play."

No-man's land on the play: Right about when I made the cut, and I was like, 'Shoot, this isn't going to be too good.' Hopefully we'll get it fixed, hopefully we'll run it again sometime.

Marek: It was more I just missed him, didn't see him.

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:45 PM

Jimmie Dougherty Wednesday Quotes

On bouncing back from the last game - "They've bounced back great. It's a group that, no matter what happens, and hopefully we'll get to the point where they're coming off a lot of wins and they are dealing with success…but whether we have success or adversity, these guys show up, Monday, ready to work every week. They always give us a hundred percent, and they are chomping at the bit to get back out there today and get after these guys."

On frustrations with so many guys out - "It's tough. Like coach Sark talks about all the time, you don't know when adversity will hit, you don't know what form it's going to come in…whatever. That's a sign of a good, mature football team - when they can deal with adversity like that…whether it be the weather not being the way you thought it was going to be, whether it be or a turnover, or injuries going on in your football team. That's where depth has to come into play and guys have to be ready to step in and make those plays and I think they are going to do that."

On Jermaine Kearse and drops - "It's all about confidence. A guy is struggling shooting the basketball, he's going to be a guy that's going to stay afterwards and shoot a thousand free throws to get it right, just to get that confidence up. And that's all it is right now. Jermaine's trying a little too hard, and I think we've got several guys that want it a little too bad, if that make sense. I know that's hard for people to see that but…guys trying to make plays…whenever the ball is in the air just relaxing and let your natural ability take over and making plays and relaxing."

On drills they can do to improve that - "Like we talked about with the basketball playing shooting more free throws after practice…it's hand-eye coordination, catching more balls. Which we've addressed and we've done a nice job of that…just tracking the ball a little bit better with his eyes. The confidence issue is huge. Right now I think he's trying just a little too hard, thinking about it too much. You just want to let him work his way through it. He's done it before and he'll do it again."

On James Johnson and getting him more involved - "I think James is doing a good job. It may not show up in terms of catches, but every time he's been in there he's playing hard, he's blocking, he'd doing all the little things right. Sometimes you just don't get rewarded with a catch. He ran some good routes against Arizona State, and the coverage didn't dictate that he got the ball in that coverage, so he's going to keep on getting playing time. And as he keeps on getting healthy and doing things right in practice, hopefully it'll show up in the stat line. But he'll tell you too - the most important thing is that we come away with the victory."

On D'Andre Goodwin - "I'm so proud of him. He's come a long way. He battled back from a lot of adversity, and you never know what form or shape it'll come in, and D'Andre is definitely a guy that has battled back from being low on the depth chart, and now he's playing really confident and well and there's a perfect example of a guy that's playing with a lot of confidence right now, and you're seeing it on the game field. We just have to keep him going. He's had a great week of practice and he's going to keep on playing well."

On OSU's defense - "They play hard. We have to match that. That's what we've talked about all week is matching and exceeding their level of hustle and effort and intensity. That's what the game is going to come down to. They are talented, but they are not the most talented group, and they make up for it with great effort. And that's what we have to bring tonight."

On analyzing the drops - "I don't think it's a physical effort or want to…there's nobody in the stadium that wants to catch the ball more than Jermaine Kearse…and all my guys, they are all competitive kids that really care about playing well and helping the team win and when they don't play well or drop a ball or miss an assignment, it hurts them. Which is how it should be. But it's one of those things, you have to get back on the horse and you have to come out here and catch more balls and dial in a little bit more on looking the ball in - simple things like that you hear about day one - football 101. Again, the confidence issue…just relaxing and playing goes a long way. Like a baseball hitter in a slump, you can want to hit the ball too bad. So I think that's a little of what goes on, so you have to help them through it from a confidence standpoint. Let them go out there, relax, have fun and make plays."

On if there can be a transference of confidence within a tight-knit group - "Yeah, it can definitely get into people's heads. If you see someone else struggling, it's almost like 'I don't want that to happen to me now'. But you can't play and play fast and play with success if you play timid or scared or afraid of making a mistake. And that's what we're trying to get through to our guys - just go out there, have confidence, play fast and make your plays when you have your opportunities."

On putting in extra work this week - "We've definitely addressed. It's not like we're turning our heads to it. We know it's an issue and you guys have seen us out here staying late…and it goes on both sides of the ball. Coach Martin having the DB's out here…we have to catch the ball when we're on defense to so we can get some picks for our offense to get back out there. And sometimes it's a matter of trying too hard. You don't know when your opportunities are going to come…oh, there's the ball in the air, I've got to make the play. It's a matter of working through it. We've addressed it this week, staying out late and catching more balls…what it comes down to is these guys relaxing and playing and having confidence that they are going to make the play."

On if there was a number of passes extra he wanted them to catch - "No. We haven't set a certain number like that. It's more or less, let's dial in a little more, let's work a little bit harder, let's stay out and catch some more balls. Simple as that."

On what Kearse has gotten away from - "I think a big part of it was just coming around the coach's office a little bit more. It's funny, because you think it's all physical, but a lot of times it's more mental than that, so that's when you start making your physical mistakes. So that's what we got on him more for…coming back into the coach's office more, studying more tape…and that helps with your confidence when you go out and play because you know your opponent that much better and you can go out and play free. I don't think he purposefully did it, and we didn't allow it, but I think maybe he just got away from that a little bit of working hard in his preparation going into the game. So he's definitely addressed that this week and has had a great week of preparation so far, and I'm looking forward to him having a great game on Saturday."

On what that tells you about Jermaine Kearse - "That he's a great kid. Nobody wants to play better than Jermaine Kearse himself. He's a kid that you don't have to motivate him. He wants to play more than anybody in the stadium, and he wants to make these plays more than anybody. It's killing him inside from a certain perspective, but he's addressed it this week in wanting to come in, watch more film and dial in his preparation, and from a physical standpoint of staying out, catching balls and doing those kinds of things. He's not a kid that shies away from the challenge of what it is. He understands what it's been, takes full responsibility for it and knows he's got to correct it. And he's doing things to address it."

On D'Andre Goodwin's challenge to move back up the depth - "It's extremely hard. D'Andre definitely went through the downs and the adverse side of things. He was down in the dumps a lot last year. We tried to pick him up and preach to him to play his role, and he's really bought into what we're doing here. He could really care less if he catches 10 balls or no balls. He just wants to play and help the team. It started out in fall camp, and you're seeing the affects of it. I told him all the time in fall camp, you're going to have a great year. The story is being written as we speak. I always thought there was a great story for him out there as far as battling back from that adversity, and now he's seeing the rewards of playing at a high level. He just has to continue it. And I told him that too, after the USC game. I told him, your career isn't done now. You're going to make a lot more plays this year. He knew that. He kind of smiled at me. It was nice getting him in the end zone too. It had been a while. He liked that feeling, we've got to get him in there some more."

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:44 PM

Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes

On agents : "You do your best to limit their access as far as obviously practice time. But at the end of the day, in my humble opinion, if an agent really wants to get to a player he will get to a player. What our responsibility is as coaches is to educate our players to the best of our abilities so when they get put in those situations and we aren't around that they make really good decisions. That's why we are educators first before coaches. ... You've got to make great decisions and we need to educate them on making great decisions.''

On Locker: and expectations for practice this week: "I didn't set any expectations because I didn't know what level of health he would be at. I thought he looked a lot better today than he did yesterday and hopefully he can do more tomorrow. But I thought he did some really good things today.''

On Aguilar: "I thought Devin did a few things for us today. He looked better. If we were playing today Devin could not play. If we were playing today I would put Jake at probable as the adrenaline flows on a game day, but I would say Devin would be doubtful. But we'll see how tomorrow goes. They are making really good improvements and we still have time.''

Is Locker's issue still being sick? "And his leg, his quad.''

On Stephen Paea: "I thought he was good last year, I thought he was great after our game. So we are giving him a lot more respect this year in that we need to know where he is on every snap.''

On when did Locker hurt his quad? "Early in the game.''

On what he needs to see from Locker tomorrow: "Just want to see him continue to improve. He took a lot of snaps today, especially in our service period and our skelly period. I just want to see gradual improvement. Fortunately we are not playing until 7 oclock Saturday night so it buys us some more hours, another basically whole day to get healthy, so I just want to see steady improvement.''

Does it matter that he misses practice: "That stuff, he'll be fine. He'll be mentally sharp, ready to go.''

On the OL: "We're just looking at some things.''

On Price: "He just handles himself really well. Keith has really made big strides from the day he got here to now he has made great strides. And that's a tribute to Doug Nussmeier our QB coach. He's really taken this kid a long, long way and we'd feel comfortable if he went in the ball game, no doubt about that.''

Kohler update: "He's cleared to be around the team just not able to practice yet.''

On the OL: "Looking at shuffling some things around, just getting prepared for possibly moving guys around within the ball game.''

On Kohler: "Just wait for when they tell me he can practice and play. I don't know that.''

On Christine at center: "We're just preparing for that. I don' t know that's necessarily what's goinig to happen in the ball game. We are just preparing to shuffle guys around. Greg's got the knowledge base like Drew that he can make the calls inside that need to be made.''

Izbicki: "He got hit in the back, his back is screwed up.''

Will he be available? "I don't know that yet.''

On dropped passes: "I thought our guys did a nice job. They are playing hard and playing fast at wide receiver and making plays. A couple drops here and there but that's every day. All the sudden you drop two balls I practice and you've got the drops, well there are drops every day. When you throw the ball that many times, percentages tell us you are going to drop a couple balls.''

James Johnson get more time: "Just depends on our personnel groupings.''

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:44 PM

Quick Wednesday Practice Notes

Jake Locker didn't participate in the team period again today, but he said afterward that Locker would have been 'probable' if the game was played today.  He also said that Devin Aguilar would be 'doubtful' for the Oregon State game.  Chris Izbicki was hit in the back, and his status is uncertain.  He was also wearing No. 83 today, which Sark said was a jersey snafu.

He also wouldn't elaborate on the experimenting going on with the OL, other than to say they are trying all combinations and they want guys to be ready to play in other spots if they have to go in.

Aguilar didn't do much today and Johri Fogerson was out. Both are suffering from hip flexor injuries.  

I'll have Sark's full quotes later, as well as quotes from Doug Nussmeier, Jimmie Dougherty and Jermaine Kearse.   


Posted by Chris Fetters
7:35 PM

Tuesday Desmond Trufant quotes

Pressing? "I wouldn't really say that. I've always got high expectations for myself. I always want to be good. I've just got to make more plays when the opportunity presents itself. That's it, really."

Different results than last year? "Not really. I've just got to make the play this year, the plays I made last year. It's going to come. Sometimes it happens like that as a corner. Two plays, you can stand out and be a hero, or two plays you can be the worst guy on the field. I've just got to keep working."

Feeling Frustrated? "It's always frustrating when you get a touchdown scored on you. I made a play on the ball. I learned from it, but I've just got to keep moving forward. It's going to work out as long as I keep working hard."

Covering tall wideouts - "You've got to time your jumps well because they're so much taller. If you miss, you jump too early or jump too late, it's over. So you've really got to play the ball well and have good athleticism."

That's what happened Saturday? "Yeah, I just mis-timed my jump. You can always get better. You learn from it and keep working."

More weight on his shoulders this year? "Not really more weight; I just have more high expectations on myself. I always want to be a good player, no matter if I'm a freshman or if I'm a senior. I always want to play good. I've just got to keep working, and it's going to work out. The season ain't over."

Defense in general - "Like Sark says, we've just got to focus on the play ahead. If the play before was good, or bad, you've just got to lock in on this play. I think we've got to get better than that, and it'll work out."

Losing opportunities on a good season? "Not really. We've got a great opportunity to play on national TV against Oregon State. That's a great opportunity, whether we were 0-5 or 5-0. It's a great opportunity no matter what. The Pac-10's so close; nobody's undefeated, I don't think. It'll be a close race to the end."

Overextending yourself at times? "Yeah, definitely. There have been some plays I could've, looking back at the film, I could've made better. But that's what happens as a corner. I'm just going to keep working, and it's going to work out."

On sensing a difference between this year and last year: "Not really. I'm better with my schemes and all that…knowing the game. I've just got to…when opportunities present themselves, I just have to go make the play and not be hesitant, not worrying about messing up, nothing like that. I just have to go out there and play and have fun. It's going to work out, trust me."

On ever going through struggles like this before - "I've hit a couple bumps before, but when you have high expectations it hurts even more when you're not playing the way you want to. I just have to persevere. It'll make me stronger in the end. I just have to keep working."

On talking to his brother Marcus about is - "I talk to him a little bit. He's like how I said it - sometimes you run into bumps in the road, but it's not going to kill me. It's going to make me stronger. I'm going to keep working and it's going to work out."

On how his spring injury (sports hernia) is doing - "No. No excuses at all. I just have to go make the plays when the play presents itself. I'm going to keep watching film, work hard after practice and during practice and it's going to change."

On making it look so easy as a freshman compared to year two - "It's really only two plays a game that I'm really not making the play where I should be making a play, so it's not the whole game where I'm consistently messing up. It's just one or two plays, but it's obvious because I'm a corner. It stands out. I just have to make those two plays when the opportunities presents itself, and I'll be alright."

On just a play here and there being the difference between winning and losing in the Pac-10 - "Definitely. That's what coach Sark was talking to us about this week. The conference is so competitive and there are so many good athletes and so many good teams, it's a game of inches. An inch here, an inch there is the difference between a touchdown or an interception. We just have to focus in on that type of stuff and do everything right every single play and we'll be alright."

On needing a pick to boost his confidence - "It's not really that; it's about not worrying about messing up or worrying about outside distractions and just focus on the game, pretty much. The plays are going to come if I do my assignment right and be in the right place to get that interception. I just have to keep working and it's going to work out."

On feeling like he's had to do more - "Not really. The coaches, they have high expectations for me and they want me to be a leader on the field. Coming with that, there's more pressure and when you mess up it really stands out to the whole stadium and everybody. The previous games, it hasn't gone as well as I wanted to, but I have to learn from it and keep working, but we're a team. We work together. Everyone has to do their part. I'm not trying to do Nate Williams' role, nothing like that. We just have to do our own parts, and we'll come together as a team."

Posted by Chris Fetters
7:06 PM

Tuesday Nick Holt quotes

Thoughts on the ASU film: "Good stuff, the guys played hard. Gave up a couple big plays that we shouldn't have. The first long pass shouldn't have given up. Had worked that play, we just weren't focused, Other than that I thought the difference was third downs. In the first half they were 6-9 third downs, we should have gotten out of those drives and I thought that was the difference. ... Second half we gave up three points, played better on third down and had a chance to win the game. I think that's how it's going to go a lot of these games down to the fourth quarter and we've got to make our plays.

On giving up 24 against ASU: "We held them to some of their lower totals of the year compared to how everybody else has been playing them. It's unfortunate we didn't get the win. Thought we played in the second half some good sound stuff but we need to play well enough so we win the game.''

On the Mike Willie fade over Trufant: "He needs to get closer and maybe squeeze the sideline a little bit better. I think he might have mistimed his jump. It's hard. He was in a good position he might have just jumped a little too early. Pin them to the sideline a little bit more.''

On the new DL: "What has happened is Everrette feels more comfortable inside so he is playing at a better level than he did at defensive end, I think. He feels more comfortable, more confident playing inside. For Cameron he played seven, eight snaps and just want to make sure that we have Cameron for the long haul because of his stingers. We just didn't feel comfortable with him playing a lot of reps. With a neck you've just got to be really careful, that's why he didn't get to play a lot, We didn't feel comfortable with him playing full speed, I think he's a little unsure, still. But I think he's a lot better now.''

On Oregon State: "They are just a good, good solid football team. Got a good little running back, and they are no different than what they have been the last couple years. A really good, good offense, very balanced, good play action. Their quarterback is playing really well now, he's got a ton of arm. He's a heck of a football player. Their offensive line they are all starters coming back, been three-year starters, a bunch of all-conference guys on the offensive line. And No. 2, their receiver is very explosive, so they are a very, very good football team.''

On seeing anything different with no James Rodgers: "Not really, they kind of do what they do, the other receivers can do what James does. Maybe not as well but they will still do it, I think, and just as good.''

On schedule: "Our schedule has been pretty tough, too, in our opinion and their stats are very similar to ours. That's what you get when you are playing tough teams.''

On Jamora: "He's getting better every day, you just wish he were bigger and stronger, but that will come. It's unfortunate he's got to play. It really is. ... He's a football player, a natural football player. Got great instincts and football savvy and picks up things real well. He's not the biggest guy but he makes up for it by playing fast. He kind of reminds me of a smaller, younger Daniel Te'o. Obviously Daniel got to redshirt and this kid doesn't get to redshirt. But that's kind of what he reminds me of, his motor and football intelligence.''

On the four safety look - "That was last week, right? That was when Arizona State was going four receivers, so we went basically dime. Justin Glenn was really a corner last year. He can play inside on receivers. A couple of times he didn't do as well as we wanted him to on third down. We thought we had good matchups and it didn't work out that way. And a lot of it is, he's rusty…hadn't got to play a lot, quite honestly. Justin is coming back, I think he feels more comfortable with his injury, so we need to get him out on the field a little more. But they were in four-wides almost the whole game, except for 8-9 snaps when they got into two-tight stuff. So we were trying to match up on some calls, especially on third down so we could play a little man-to-man."

On Desmond Trufant - "I think he wants to play really well, and maybe he's pressing or trying too hard, instead of just relaxing and letting it flow. I think he wants to be such a good player and there's so much expectation of him, like there is with a lot of the kids, that they press too much. They've just got to relax and let it happen. I think it's common at his age and stature. Hopefully he'll fight through it. He's a good player.

On the difference between this year and last year for Trufant - "It was just one of those things where he made the plays last year and this year they haven't happened for him yet. I'm sure they will if he keeps on working hard. You watch him out here, he does a great job. He'll get it turned around. I'm happy. His effort is fantastic. He'll come back. I think he'll battle."

On Mason Foster and his progression the last two years - "He's our best defensive player. When we first got here we really didn't know what we had. Being around him for two years, he does a great job with everything we ask him to do, whether it's rushing the passer, whether it's covering…all the different scenarios he does do. He's a fantastic football player, and I think he gets better every day. I really do. And he can…he can get better. He has some room to grow."

On giving Foster more responsibilities, like calling plays - "Cort does that. Cort does a real good job with that. Mason gets himself lined up and he can help get others lined up, but he's really good at what Mason does."

On Adam Long's development - "Adam Long…Adam's development…he was a starter, and now he's no longer a starter. So I don't know if that's a development, that's a regression, not a development. We got to get him going. He was one of the culprits on one of the big plays, not doing what he was supposed to do. So we have to get him back, because he can run and he's done some good stuff. Hopefully we can get him back playing well for the second half of the season. But as far as his development, he hasn't gotten all the opportunities yet."

On Greg Ducre's development - "Broken thumb, hurt shoulder - one minute he's in, one minute he's out. He has to get more consistent, he has to get more healthy. I'd love to have him play, and he's had his opportunities and he hasn't taken advantage of them. And then he's gotten hurt…broke his thumb last week, and has a hurt shoulder. So if it's not one thing, it's another. He's still a freshman. On Saturday night, I don't think we, as a staff, felt comfortable playing him because he was still real sore. So we played the other guys. We'd love to play him, quite honestly, but he's not healthy right now, consistently."

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:29 PM

Quick Tuesday Practice Notes

Major overhaul on the OL today. 

The OL used to look like: Kelemete, Christine, Schaefer, Tolar, Habben (for the ASU game)

Today, the ones were Kelemete, Tolar, Christine, Porter, Schaefer.
the twos were Fancher, Wood, Ikehara, Kanczugowski, Habben.

J. Fogerson, Kohler and Aguilar were all there, but not practicing.  According to Nick Holt, Greg Ducre broke his thumb last week, but he was practicing today.  

Jake Locker practiced all day, but didn't take any reps during the team period.  Those were handled by Keith Price and Nick Montana.

Erik Folk was 4-4, with a long kick of 47 yards.  


Posted by Chris Fetters
6:00 PM

Full Sarkisian Show Recap

Gas opened up the show by talking about how the weather was better.

He talked about margin for error and how UW had a number of little things go against them that added up. And you can't do that against teams in this league. If you don't play well, you can't expect to just waltz through games in this league.

Bob said that Sark used the word 'scary' all last week in describing ASU and they played well. They hadn't fully realized their capabilities, but they did Saturday - despite the weather. And UW didn't have the energy they should have. It was apparent. The flu and colds going throughout the team contributed, but that wasn't the reason they lost.

Sark shows up. Gas talked about the mood swings from week to week and their narrow margin for error, and Sark agreed. Frustrating and disappointing for everyone involved. 11 minutes left in the game and it's a one-possession game. Struggling with a lack of execution. Mentioned go route to Kearse - their most reliable WR - and can't get it. ASU goes and gets a field goal.

ASU only had four penalties and one turnover - so they played well.

Gas asked about why the execution issues persisted. Sark said he didn't like their energy level. Easy to say it's because guys were feeling under the weather, but for whatever reason he didn't feel the passion. It's his challenge to make sure when they are put in that situation again that it doesn't happen.

Bob said sometimes people just assume it'll bode well for UW because they have the crowd, and the crowd was great. Sark agreed, and said that the team didn't do enough to continue keeping the crowd in the game.

Bob mentioned how things mount up - the illnesses, Kohler, Aguilar - and wondered if Sark ever thinks that sometimes things just are going against them, and he said he does and they are going through growing pains. Through it all they will be better from it, and they need to be because they have another tough opponent coming up in OSU. And just like ASU, the OSU game is going to come down to the fourth quarter and the last few possessions.

They need to 'get right back on the horse' and have a great week of practice.

Bob said that ASU was a good team that eliminated some of the things they had been doing wrong - Sark said they were an extra point from taking their game at Wisconsin to overtime. But they had been leading the conference in penalties, and they didn't make those mistakes against UW.

Gas brought up how ASU had lost eight straight conference games - going back to last year - and how maybe the law of averages was working in their favor. Gas asked Sark about Jake's troubles and what were the thoughts going through his mind? Sark said it crossed him mind. He got Price warmed up. Jake was reassuring that he was OK. Down 7, he's done it so many times and he did it last week - so we went with it. "I stuck with No. 10 and went with what I believed in."

Bob asked about Aguilar and his hip flexor - Sark said that not having him was tough because it happened so late in the game week. If you knew it on Monday, that's one thing. By Thursday - 'The Hay was already in the barn by then'. They were 5-14 on 3rd down, and Aguilar has always been a key contributor, so it probably hurt there too.

Bob asked about Jermaine Kearse - Sark said it was a combination of things. Jermaine probably wasn't feeling his best. And with Devin out, he probably felt like he needed to pick up Devin's slack, and he didn't need to do that.

Bob said UW has 41 guys from the state of California on the roster, and he's sure they'd never seen rain like that before. And ASU - circling the wagons - they just played through it. Sark said it looked like ASU almost embraced the weather. No fumbles.

Bob talked about how it affected both teams in terms of special teams. Sark said he was watching both kickers beforehand, and they were both struggling. That's why it made it tough when they stalled drives out around the 30 or 40.

Bob asked about the fake FG, and Sark said it looks better on film because they had a guy (Domanski) available, but Cody Bruns didn't see him.

Bob asked Sark if he thought about punting in that circumstance, and Sark said that most likely the ball ends up in a touchback, so the gain in field position would have only been 11 yards. Call of the week - Locker pass to Goodwin for TD.

Gas asked Sark if he was worried that Jake didn't run it, and he said yes until they scored, then it was a great play.

Bob talked about D'Andre Goodwin, and Sark said he's been great for them all year. During the off-season he took the mindset that he was going to get back to where he was. He came to camp hungry and has earned his spot. He's still as fast as he's ever been, and he's a great blocker. To come back, it shows the kind of heart he has.

Gas talked about the WR blocking, and Sark said it's a tribute to coach Dougherty.

Text - no James Johnson. Sark said since he doesn't play the same position as Aguilar, he doesn't move up.

Text - how is the team affected with so many fourth down misses. Sark said there's probably something to it, just like it helps lift a team when you do convert. Team knows they are going to play it aggressively.

Bob asked about first down playcalling, and Sark agreed that they weren't very good on first down Saturday. Said any completion is considered a plus, and any run of four yards or more.

Bob asked why Chris Polk didn't have 28 carries instead of 18. Sark said that when you look up and it's 21-14 and ASU gets the ball back and is up 10, it's probably too late to get back to the run game. But he'd like to get Chris up around 25. He said they were also a point of emphasis with Aguilar out. Said that Polk and Callier probably brought the most juice to the team.

Bob brought up the idea of Callier in special teams, and Sark agreed that he's very versatile and he's showing up. And in special teams in general, they did better - but wasn't totally there.

Sark said he showed the team 14 plays that were just a matter of inches, and how if just a few go their way that could have changed the whole complexion of the game. Gas mentioned that James Rodgers has been ruled out for the year. Sark said that was disappointing, and as a coach you never want to hear news like that.

Dave in Shoreline - asked if two-minute warning should be implemented in the college game, and Sark said he wouldn't mind seeing it.

Dick in Edmonds - asked about using Polk more - especially on 3rd and 1. Sark said he was trying to get it in space to Callier, and if Callier goes down the sideline for a TD, you'd think he's a genius.

Joel in Everett - Defense wins championships. No pressure from the front four. Are they not tough enough? Sark said that he's right - one of the biggest areas for championship teams is up front. They aren't there yet, so they have to create pressures in other ways. If they don't do that, QB's can just sit back. And with pressure, sometimes that means bigger plays. Said they are working with young DE's, who are coming.

Bob said that if you looked at the defensive numbers, they were manageable. Sark agreed. Said that if you could limit ASU to 24 points, and three in the second half, he would have taken it.

Bob talked about the defense making changes, and Sark said they used more nickel packages and also pushed Mason Foster up and had him play some DE at times. They tackled a little bit better, and it's something they'll use from time to time.

Bob asked about Desmond Trufant and how he's struggling - Sark said he's probably putting too much pressure on himself. And when you're tense, it's hard to react the way he needs to. He's better than what he's shown, and he'll be better as they go on. Conversely, Bob talked about Omar Bolden and Sark agreed. He's a tremendous player. A look back to a great play from last year - Locker to Kearse, 39-yard TD against OSU.

Sark said they'll keep throwing to Kearse.

Gas said it goes back to guys being out of games and others pressing and feeling like they have to do more. Sark agreed, and he just needs to do his thing and get mentally right.

Bob talked about the OSU game last year. Sark said going into that game last year, they were wondering too much about the what ifs and they lost focus of what the task at hand was.

Bob talked about how important the ASU game was in terms of bowl goals and what not. Sark said it does them no good to talk about stuff like that. What is important is getting ready for this one game. just go play and worry about the ramifications later.

Bob talked about the highs and lows going from one week to the next. Sark said maybe there was something to guys getting caught up thinking about the wrong things. They need to focus on the snap right then - not what just happened or is down the road. It wasn't a let down; they had a lot of respect for ASU and knew it was going to be a tough game.

Bob talked about the difference between playing with great energy, as opposed to playing with great effort. Sark agreed. Said they need to just make sure they focus their energy in the right direction and doing things the right way.

Jake had a light day Monday. Aguilar did a little bit. In time they'll get healthy and they'll be ready to go on Saturday. Bob asked about Kohler. Sark said his fever is gone, so he can be around the team now. But they'll still monitor things and they are taking it very seriously.

Bob talked about losing Kohler in the continuity of the OL, and Sark said that - even for a true frosh - he brings a lot of confidence to that OL. And losing him may have meant losing a little bit of that confidence. Big guy on the mic - Another plea for people to buy tickets and make a difference. The crowd was great, but they need to get 70,000 people in there and be loud from the first play.

Sark said they need to feed the crowd. The crowd is a big part of it, and the team will be up to give them something to cheer about.

Bob talked about OSU, and Sark said that they've been playing really well, and every game they've been in has gone down to the fourth quarter, and he expects Saturday's game to be more of the same.

End of show.

Posted by Chris Fetters
5:40 PM

Jake Locker Monday Quotes

Thanks to Todd Milles for his help in putting these together.

End the suspense… what is your illness: "Yeah, I'm a little under weather, I'll be all right."

On what the doctors are saying: "I haven't gotten an exact diagnosis, I guess. Kind of a head congestion kind type thing."

When did it come on: "Last week."

How much of a factor in ASU game: "I don't know. I don't know if it directly affected me a whole bunch. I had a hard time keeping enough fluids in my body, so maybe a little bit that way, just going through more than I normally do. Besides that, not much."

Fatigue: "A little bit, yeah – harder to catch my breath than normal."

Taking knee during timeout: "It was hard to catch my breath. Like I said, it was weird. I just had trouble catching my breath sometimes."

Did it affect the game plan and the way you played: "No, no I don't think it changed how I played. No, not at all."

Not taking snaps during team period Monday: "Yeah, I think we were getting Keith some work today, and kind of go forward from here now, Tuesday and Wednesday."

Drops versus ASU: "No, it's something you talk about, definitely. Like I said before, I'm not perfect. I don't put every ball where I need to put it. Those guys are really talented receivers, and they expect a lot out of themselves. If anything, they're the first ones to come say something to me. I let them know, 'Hey, you know, if we need stay after and throw a few balls, whatever it may be so we're comfortable and we feel good about it,' we'll do that."

Kearse getting extra work Monday: "Yeah, like I said, these guys want to be good. It's not an expectation they have to drop the ball. I have full confidence in them. Like I said last week, (if I) throw it to them again, they'll catch it."

Offense struggling past midfield vs. ASU: "We had some penalties that hurt us, and we just made some mistakes in our assignments – uncharacteristic of what we had done the week before. We weren't able to capitalize on all of our drives."

Why so good vs. USC, so bad ASU: "Yeah, I can't tell you. You can't pick out a couple things that stand out. We just have to have a confidence in what we're doing, no matter who are opponent is – worry less about the guys across the ball from us, and more about ourselves, and I think we'll be alright."

Went to hospital Saturday after the game: "Yeah, we went over there, got an IV and stuff just to make sure I got hydration back in my body."

Treatment rest of the week: "Get rest, and like I said, it's not really a big deal. It's just something I try and get over as fast as I can so I don't got to deal with it."

Quad contusion: "Yeah, nothing like last year's. It should be fine in a couple of days."

Was Saturday the worst day for illness: "Yeah. I don't know. Maybe it just caught up to me on Saturday, I don't know what it was. Like I said, I just at times I felt more tired than I ever felt. "

On the trend to feeling better now: "Definitely, definitely."

Last year against Oregon State which was physical: "They always play physical. They play hard. We understand that. Like I said, more than anything this week, we need to focus on what we're doing, and worry about where we're at and the things that we need to do offensively and defensively to have success."

Posted by Intern Sabrina
5:30 PM

Cort Dennison Quotes -

When putting more DB's out on the field… "I think it helps out with a lot of speed, it puts more speed on the field I think- You know it gives it a different dimension, something that the offense may have not seen before. But I think the main thing is speed."

On Oregon State being one of the more physical football teams in the Pac-10… "Yeah, they're definitely a very physical football team. I know they take pride in that. They pound the rock, just as well as anybody. We got to be ready this week for being ready to get hit, because they're definitely going to hit. Hit us in the mouth. There is a reason why Jacquizz is so good, obviously he's just a great player but he also has a great offensive line In front of them, and they do a great job. So we really got to bring it this week, because they're a really good football team."

On Oregon having a reputation of cut blocking… "I think all teams cut block. The game is evolving now, and I think the cut block is becoming more a part of the game. So you can't worry about if they're going to cut block you or not, you just got to be in tuned to your assignments, and play as fast as possible."

What makes Jacquizz (Rodgers) difficult? "He's the total package. He's fast, he's strong, he can run over you, he can run around you, he's got great vision, and he's smart. He's one of the better players in our conference, and we're going to have a great challenge this week ahead of us."

What differences did you see this last weekend compared to USC? "You know, I just think we didn't put four full quarters of football. I think we had spurts in the game last week. And in the USC game, we just played a more complete game."

On the weather and players being ill… "Yeah, there's always going to be- obviously when players that play a lot are sick, it's obviously going to affect their play a little bit. But that just means other people have to step up. Take their game to another level. The weather obviously isn't ideal conditions, but we're used to it, we play in it all the time. So we can't have that as an excuse. The bottom line is that we got beat--- simple as that."

What do you think you have to work on this week in order to be successful against Oregon State… "I just think we need to watch as much film as possible. These guys run a lot of different formations. We got to get in tune with our keys. We got to stick to the coach's game plan, and then we got to work on our tackling still. Jacquizz is one of the best players in our conference, and he's a hard guy to tackle so as much tackling work we can get done this week, to help us out possible is what we need to do."

Posted by Intern Sabrina
5:30 PM

D'Andre Goodwin Quotes

What was last year like for you personally? With moving down the ladder? "I mean, it was tough, you know you never want to move down, you always want to move up. I mean it's life, I never stop fighting, I continue to fight, and strive to be the best every day."

Why did that happen? "I just wasn't performing like I should. It had nothing to do with anything else, it was all on me. I wasn't doing a good enough job to be the number one guy."

Do you see similar frustrations in James Johnson? "No, I mean I see James, he comes out to practice and works hard every day. So I don't see him frustrated at all, I just see him working towards getting back to the top."

Are you going to let him get back up there? "We're all competing. I want the best for him, but also we all got to fight for our spots. I want the best for our core. The harder he works, the harder I work that just makes us better as a unit."

Is there a re- focus in you personally, especially with your senior year? "Yeah, but also like I said, it has a lot to do with my team mates. They never, and my coaches never gave up on me. I do what I'm coached to do, I have a great coach. I've been helped by other people, it's not just me. Other people have stuck with me, that helps out a lot."

On being healthy… "Yeah, being healthy does help a lot. You can play to your capability, full speed. So that plays a huge role."

On you and Jermaine and dropping passes… "I just take it one week at a time. I just go out there and try to do the best that I can for my team. Jermaine is a great player, it happens to the best of us. He'll bounce back."

Is he showing signs about being down? "No. He'll come back today, and make sure he's concentrating and focusing on coaching the ball. He'll be back to himself on Saturday."

On the energy level on Saturday… "Yeah, our energy wasn't—I don't know what it was. But I felt a difference than the USC game and the Arizona State game. I don't know if the weather had anything to do with it. We obviously wanted to win the game. We went out there and played hard. But the energy just wasn't as high as it was when we played SC.

Did you notice it in the locker room? "No. Just—I don't know. I noticed during the game. I just felt like we didn't finish like the way we wanted to finish."

On dropping the ball in your receiver corps… "Nobody wants to be known as dropping the ball as a receiver. We spend time after practice doing a machine. We're going to get that correct. We're not really worried about it, because we know we can catch balls. So we're just going to continue what we're doing."

On not performing as well last year… "I got hurt the spring right before season. Guys were playing better and I was trying to recover so I wasn't playing. I was trying to play catch up. Trying to hard out there—and when you try too hard, sometimes things don't go your way."

Posted by Intern Sabrina
5:30 PM

Nate Williams Quotes

On playing closer to the line… "I like to be in the box because I feel like that's where most of the action is. Just making more tackles and everything, and just running around to the ball as much as I can."

On blitzing… "I would agree with that. I think part of that also is the fact, is when I am able to make my plays, the coach obviously notices that, so he'll just calling them. I don't mind, I like to take my shot on the quarterback every now and then. I like it.

On seeing Justin Glenn out there… "I'm happy to see him out there. His first game he played was at USC last year. I think just him; I think he saved us 21 points, last year. It was a terrible thing he hurt his leg, the Notre Game, I think it was. I'm really happy to see him back. He's one of the kids that was here for the past couple of years, so it's always nice to see one of the guys come back from an injury like that, and keep playing hard."

On the Rodgers boys… "I heard one of them was out already. I think we're just going to see Jacquizz. He's a really good running back. They do a lot of things with him, moving him to wide receiver, running him out of the backfield on routes, and screens and all of that. We have to prepare really well for that. We're going to watch the film, we're going to make all of our adjustments. We're going to work really hard this week of practice to get ready for that, we're going to be alright this weekend."

On the energy level. Did you see it? "Kinda. But that's not an excuse. We have to find a way to get just as hyped up for a game against AZ State, or WSU, or Oregon. Like we do for USC, and Oregon I should say. I don't know if that's the coach's job, or if that's my job, or Jake Locker's job. We have to find a way to get hyped up for every single game, whether we're on the road or whether we're at home."

On James not being in there… "Previous years, they used him on the fly sweep a lot, and that's a really tough play to stop, whether you're in man or whether you're in a zone. I don't know who they have after him, but taking him out—in a way you could say, eliminates that threat a little bit."

On the fly sweep play. Why is it so difficult? "Because I feel like the running back can take it outside, or he can take it up. Against that play, everyone needs to run to the ball-- If everyone's not running around, then he can hit it outside or he can hit in up the middle."

Why is Jacquizz such a great running back? "Because he can do a lot. They can use him as a wide receiver, or he can run in between tackles, or he can run a toss, he can catch screens. There's just a lot of things that he can do. He is also a hard runner. He's not one of the largest ones out there, but if you're not bringing it, he will."

Is it tough to find him? "Kind of. When he's running in between tackles it is. He's not really tall or whatever. But you just have to keep your gap integrity and just take care of your one job, and you'll eventually find him."

On the energy level… "I don't really know why we didn't really have energy last week. It might've been the rain, or a couple guys had a cold and what not. I don't know what it is-- I think we play such a huge team at USC, we had to win against them again, so you know people kinda lost sight that we have to play hard at home. It's not a guaranteed win, just because we're at home. You have to bring it every week. Week in and week out. Whether it's WSU, Oregon or UCLA. Whoever it is, you have to prepare really well, that week of the game and bring you're a game on the weekend."

On what you have to work on… "Energy. Our energy level really. I feel like we have to execute early in the game lie we do late in the game. I don't know what it is. Every week I feel like we come out a little over anxious, and you know we're just trying to do too much, and then we get hurt. And then later on in the game, everyone is relaxed, and then that's when we start to execute well. I think that's what we need to do earlier in the game, and then we'll be alright.

At 2-3, is this a must win situation? "Every week is a must win for us. Whether we're 0-9 or 9-0. Every week is a must win for us. Just because we're 2-3 or whatever, not this particular weeks a must win. Last week was a must win, Week 1 was a must win. Every week that we're out here, we're expecting to win and it's a must win for us."

Is Oregon State one of more physical teams? "Yeah—Yeah they are."
Posted by Chris Fetters
2:40 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Quotes

Opening Comment - "Well, just as the 24-hour rule applies after wins, it applies after losses. As we looked at the film from Saturday night's ball game, we really recognized the fact that the margin for error right now for our football team in the Pac-10 Conference is minimal. We made some mistakes in that game that, ultimately, as you add them up from the first quarter on, that had an effect on the outcome. I thought the guys played hard, as we thought, Saturday night. I thought we had a nice plan. Unfortunately, when it came down to it, they made some plays and we didn't. It comes down to a game of inches, as Al Pacino tells us. Their inches, they were able to make their plays, and we weren't. It was a little frustrating, obviously. But I don't think it's time, by any means, for us as an offense or defense or special teams football team to abandon ship with what we're doing. I think our kids are continually playing hard. We're playing good football. It's just frustrating. It was a frustrating loss, but we've got to get back on the horse, as we touched on. We've got another tough opponent in Oregon State coming to town in what will be another hard-fought, Pac-10 game that's going to come down to the fourth quarter again. If you can point to one area of the game that I think is going to be important, where we were unable to execute last Saturday night, was in the fringe area. We crossed the 50-yard line numerous times, and I think four separate occasions we stalled out between the 30- and 40-yard line, whether it be a missed field goal, a fake field goal attempt, an attempt on fourth down, a punt. We just stalled out there. If we can convert there, to create and generate more points for us early in the ball game, the ball game's going to have a different outcome. So it'll be a big point of emphasis for us.

Surprised that Oregon State, after losing two early, is one of only two unbeatens? "I'm not surprised at all. I think the world of Coach Riley. Does a tremendous job coaching his football team in all three phases. They play hard. They execute well. They've got better players, I think, than people think. They're a good football team. I'm not surprised. They played TCU and Boise both very tough. They were in a hard-fought game versus Louisville, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona State, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona. They've been in really tight ball games; every one of them have come down to the last possession or two possessions in the fourth quarter. They're showing the mental toughness to continue to execute in those situations, regardless of what happened early in the year. So I'm not surprised at all."

On Erik Kohler's status - "Well, we're monitoring him. His fever is gone now. So he's allowed to be around team activities again, and we're going to just monitor him as the week goes on. It's something we're taking very seriously. We're not counting on him playing, but we're not counting him out either.

Two-part question regarding Oregon State and James Rodgers - "The first thing, with James may or may not play, they dealt with this earlier in the year, and they used Marcus Wheaton in the same role of James Rodgers, so I don't think they'll change. Obviously, you've got to know where No. 1 is. He's the guy that makes their engine go on offense, and Katz is playing at a really high level. I think he's really improved as the year's gone one. And on defense, everything starts up front with them. Paea's probably the best defensive tackle in the country, so you'd better try and block 54 in the run game and the pass game if you're going to try and get a first down."

On Ryan Katz - "I've known Ryan since high school - Santa Monica High School - and I thought he was a great get for Oregon State then. He's an athletic kid with a very quick release and can really spin it. He's doing a great job in their system. I think he's fitting in exactly what they were hoping they were getting out of the kid."

On margin for error for the rest of the season - "I'm not even looking at that. I think we get in trouble as a football team when we start looking at the 'what-ifs' down the road and the consequences of a loss or the what ifs if we win. I think that's when we get in trouble. We need to focus on the task at hand, and that's playing Oregon State Saturday night, 7:15. And when that game comes we need to have the ability to focus on the snap at hand and not get caught up looking at what's ahead in the ball game, or not get caught looking at what just happened…just focus on the task at hand."

On new QB's flourishing in the Pac-10 - "I don't know. (Ryan) Katz has been in their system, he's grown up in it. (Steven) Threet, I think (ASU) adjusted their system to fit his strengths at Arizona State…stand in the pocket, big kid. I think the quarterback play in our conference right now is very high. Guys are playing at a high level, whether it be starters or backups, and why all that is, I'm not sure. There's a variety of systems that are taking place, but everybody's playing at a high level at the quarterback position."

On Jake Locker's health - "He's still a little under the weather. He won't be at the press conference today, you guys can get him after practice. He's at a doctor's appointment, so he's still a little under the weather. 'Tis the season. We all have the sniffles and coughs going right now, but nothing more than that. He had a little bit of a quad contusion in the game as well. Outside of that, it was just…the common cold I guess is the best way to describe it.

On Devin Aguilar - "Devin is going to work his way back into individual stuff today. As of right now we're anticipating that he's going to play Saturday, but we're going to monitor it very closely as the week went on."

On the sickness showing up on the game film - "I thought our energy level wasn't where we've been. I thought I saw that with Jake. I thought I saw it with Jermaine (Kearse). All week, that can add up…if you're not sleeping as good as you can sleep all week long, and you're tossing and turning and waking up…as the game rolls around and you're in your 35th, 45th, 55th play of the game and you're out there, I think your energy level can drop some. Our football team as a whole - not that we didn't try hard or not that we weren't excited to play - I thought our energy level wasn't as where I've seen it before."

On Kearse being sick - "I think he was a little under the weather too. I think everybody kind of gets it, I guess. When you're in that locker room with 105 guys, it's easy for things to spread, I guess."

On using Colin Porter - "We're going to give him a good hard look this week. It happened so late in the week to me, I just didn't feel like it'd be fair to him to throw him in like that. But to have a whole week of preparation, I'd like to get him at least 50 percent of the snaps in this ball game."

Did you consider playing Keith Price on Saturday? "I did think about it there, but I just felt like No. 10 has done so many good things for us and has given us opportunities to win ball games before that I felt like I owed it to him. He makes a couple of throws there that unfortunately we weren't able to make the plays on that might have a different outcome on the game. It's 21-14 with 11 minutes left and he throws a go route on the money and we don't make the play. to say it was all because he was winded I'm not saying that. I think that played a factor in it but we as a group didn't execute the way we're capable of executing."

How do you handle drops in the passing game? "We assess it one, is it a technique thing. are our hands in the right proper places. are our thumbs together or are our pinkies together depending on where the ball is. are we snapping with our head when we're coming out of our breaks and our hands are coming two. so we assess one, the fundamental aspects of it but two, i'm a big believer in physical mistakes are going to happen. At times we all trip over a curb. that happens. although we step on the curbs over and over and over, at times we trip. Those things happen. I tend as long as fundamentally we're sound I don't make a big deal about it because I think physical mistakes are going to occur. as long as we're in the right place at the right time and unfortunately if we drop them, we drop them."

Were Jermaine's drops due to illness? What about all his previous drops? "No, I'm not giving him that's why that happened. I just think he wasn't able to make a couple of plays. that doesn't mean I don't love Jermaine Kearse. I love him to death and that doesn't mean we're going to stop throwing the ball to him. He just unfortunately didn't catch it."

Is lack of execution part of a rebuilding, growing program or should you just be past it by that point? "I just think when two teams are playing and they are very evenly matched and one team makes some plays and the other doesn't make plays, that's how you lose by 10 points. That's what I think happened in that game. So the week before we executed really well and unfortunately this week we weren't able to. So now we have to get back on the horse, get back down at practice and make sure we're sound fundamentally, make sure we have our schemes in place to give our players the best opportunity to be successful and make sure we're getting enough practice reps so they're comfortable and believing in what we're doing."

How much can you rely on Cameron Elisara the rest of the season? "It's going to vary. I just have to monitor it very closely. the stinger thing is real. this strength in his shoulder isn't where he wants it to be. that's why we moved him from inside to outside. it affected him in that ball game and we'll monitor him again this week and it will be a week to week deal. I don't think i can just write him off for the whole season and I don't think we can count on him playing 80 snaps every saturday either. we're just going to have to monitor it very closely."

On Senio Kelemete's play against ASU - "I thought he played ok saturday night. He's had better games. This was a unique game for him in that at one defensive end they had a big guy at 6-7 and almost 300 pounds and then the other defensive end that lined up on you was 5-11 and 235 pounds. The disparity and different types of pass rusher he got from snap to snap varied and for a guy who hasn't spent much time at left tackle, that can be challenging because it's a different set you have to take depending on who is rushing you, it's not just taking a normal pass set every time. I thought he struggled at times identifying the type of pass rusher he was getting and how that pass rush was coming and what he could do to combat that."

On Jordan Polk - "Well, I thought Jordan did a nice job. He kind of got thrown into action there late with DA going down and he stepped in and performed. I was proud of him. He'll have a role no doubt. He provides a real speed factor to our offense."

Why wasn't james johnson getting those looks in place of Aguilar? "Well, James plays a different position so it didn't fit. James is an 'X' and Devin Aguilar is a 'Z' and that's what Devin Aguilar and Jordan Polk play.

Besides execution, what was the difference between the ASU game and the USC game - "Again, I just thought our energy level. I looked at our sidelines -- you can se it on film, you can see it on the TV copy -- it's a 21-14 ballgame with 11 minutes left and I just didn't see the same energy level, enthusiasm, excitement that I saw on the sidelines during the USC game. For whatever reason. That's what we have to continue to assess, to get that energy level back to where it needs to be. Then, even though we go three and out and when punt, then we need the defense to get that stop, to give us that opportunity. So I think that was something that is a big focus for us. We have to make sure we are playing with a passion that I know we are really capable of playing with. That doesn't mean we're not trying hard. Just the excitement, the level of confidence and the belief in what we're doing."

On having any regrets going for it so many times on fourth down - "No, I didn't feel bad. I feel bad that we didn't coach the fake field goal better. Marek Domanski is wide open for a touchdown on the corner route, which we thought. And we gave Cody a two-way go to run or throw, and he didn't see it. So, I feel bad about that, that we didn't coach it better. But the situation is what it was. We were getting stuck there at the 35-yard line. And it's a tough place to be on fourth down, because at that point in that weather it was too far for field goals for us. I felt it was too close to punt, so we went for it and we weren't able to convert."

On D'Andre Goodwin - "I think D'Andre is playing at an extremely high level. I am extremely proud of him -- maybe as proud as I am as anybody on the team right now. What he's gone through, as in the sophomore year he's the leading receiver on the team and coming back last year and essentially getting beaten out and losing his job and falling down the depth chart. And then to watch him put in the time and the effort in the offseason and to see what he is doing now, I am really, really proud of him. For a senior, I think that's great."

On their run-pass balance - "We're about 50-50, which is right where we want to be. We're always striving to be balanced. We're always striving to be good at both, to not be a one-dimensional football program. I think we're running the ball well, not only in between the tackles but on the perimeter. I think we're doing a nice job, when Jake's healthy, of doing some run-option stuff, and I think Chris and Jesse are both playing at a high level."

On when he realized Jake's illness was going to have an impact on the game - "Early. I didn't feel his speed. The week before when he'd run, I mean, you felt it. There was no doubt. We all felt it. This ballgame when he'd run, not only did I not feel the explosiveness we've felt out of him, it had a lingering effect on the plays after. When you are kind of congested and it affects the way you are breathing, I think that kind of effected our tempo and getting in and out of the huddle. He was just trying to catch his own breath. I thought then that this might be a factor, so we kind of moved away from him running and moving around as much and using Chris and Jesse and even Jordan carrying the ball. But in turn, it made us more of a conventional team and left him in the pocket. And they were able to attack him later in the game and put pressure on him."

On knowing it was going to be a struggle on Saturday knowing Jake was sick - "Well, yeah, he was sick, there was no doubt. I mean, we were dealing with it all week."

On Jake's condition 24 hours later - "No, I think he will be OK. We just want to make sure he's healthy. He'll be out there today."

On running the ball more coming out of the locker room for the second half - "The score dictates it. You're down 14, and of course I wanted to be able to run the ball. But against them and against their defensive coordinator, if you become one-dimensional they'll kill you. I thought that's what happened late in the game when they knew we had to throw and they killed us. They are a very good defensive football team. I wanted to continue to fight for balance and fortunately enough the one touchdown drive I thought we did have good balance in the second half."

On not having enough time to run the ball late - "When we got the ball back, it was 21-7 and we took a shot to Jermaine down the sidelines. I thought it was a good play call for us, and it gave him an opportunity to make a play he's made many times for us. We ended up running it on second down and got five or six yards, and it put us in a third-and-four and we threw a pass that fell incomplete. We punted the ball and bang, they go down and kick a field goal. They are up 10 with five or six minutes left in the game. At that point I just didn't feel like we had the time to just grind-it-out drive 'em. We went three-and-out on three straight passes."

On Jake being healthy enough at that point in the game - "Yeah. He gave us the best chance to win."

On Sean Parker and Kevin Smith at KR - "We're looking at it. I think Kevin might be able to do it, but Jesse (Callier) will still be back there as well."

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