Last night on his show on KJR, head coach Steve Sarkisian hinted that if the Huskies would have had to play this weekend, Jake Locker and his sore quad might not have played.
It’s something that UW fans have seen happen the last few seasons – Locker missing games because of injury.
Sarkisian believes that one of the reasons, Locker has stayed healthy is curtailing his willingness to run or the plays called him for running.
“If I let Jake have 150 carries up to this point, he wouldn’t have made it through two or three of our games. I don’t know if we would have won three games up to this point,” Sarkisian said.
Well, I know this, if Locker doesn’t play, they don’t win any of those games, including the Idaho game.
How do I know?
After watching two days worth of practice featuring Ronnie Fouch working with the No. 1 offense, the Huskies would have struggled immensely. We saw it at the end of last year. Granted, Fouch hasn’t had much for game reps. But he lacks accuracy and poise in the pocket.
My feeling is that had something happened to Jake early in the season, the coaches may have pulled Keith Price out of redshirt and played him, not necessarily started, but played . He’s very talented. If I were the head caoch, and Jake were to leave for the NFL, Price, not Fouch, would be in line to start next season.
Over the last two days, Price has showed great feet, superior presence in the pocket and great athleticism avoiding the rush, as well as a stronger and more accurate arm than I thought. He’s made some serious improvement since fall camp. Of course all of this was happening against the No. 2 defense as well.
However, Price’s skillset isn’t exactly conforming to what Sarkisian wants to do offensively. And realistically, as Times Husky guru Bob Condotta pointed out to me, Fouch’s skills are more suited for Sark’s system. Still, he truly lacks the accuracy I think that Sark expects. If he has the accuracy, I have yet to see it in the reps he’s gotten this season in practice. And he’s played in all of one series in games – three and out — with one completion.
Still, it does illustrate a problem as far depth for next season, if Jake, and I say “if” leaves (I think he should come back).
You have Fouch, Price and freshman Nick Montana. Not exactly a wealth of proven talent.
So for those of you who cry for Jake to run more (and I am one of them), remember it puts him in harm’s way just a little more. And any injury to him that would make him miss a game would automatically crush the slim bowl hopes the Huskies are clinging to.