Washington's Jake Locker was ill but won't use it as an excuse
Quarterback was one of several Huskies that seemed to lack energy against Arizona State.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Jake Locker could sadly identify the Arizona State defenders who sacked him Saturday night.
He's still a little unsure of what else it was that slowed him during Washington's 24-14 loss to Arizona State, however.
"Kind of a head, congestion type of thing," Locker said of the illness that forced him to take oxygen at one point during the game, and take a knee on the field during a timeout in the fourth quarter.
He said he hadn't gotten an exact diagnosis, but that "it was weird. I just had trouble catching my breath sometimes."
He said it began to come on last week and that "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."
Locker briefly visited the hospital after the game because he had trouble keeping in fluids.
"We went over there, got an IV and stuff, just to make sure I got hydration back in my body," he said.
The good news is that he says he's on the road to recovery.
He rested during much of Monday's practice as backup Keith Price took the majority of the snaps, but said his illness is "really not a big deal" and that he should be fine for Saturday night when Oregon State visits for a 7:15 p.m. game.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said Locker's illness caused him to limit some of the play calls that had worked so well during the previous week's win at USC, specifically those aspects that called for Locker to run.
Locker, though, didn't want to use his illness as an excuse for how he performed, saying, "No, no I don't think it changed how I played."
Locker was held to a season-low 6 rushing yards on 11 carries and his 209 yards passing (completing 23 of 38 attempts) was the lowest other than the Nebraska game.
Locker instead said it was assignment mistakes and penalties that were the biggest causes for the lack of production, though he admitted it was a bit of mystery why the team would play so differently than it had against USC.
"I can't tell you," he said. "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 our opponent is — worry less about the guys across the ball from us, and more about ourselves, and I think we'll be all right."
Locker has a quadriceps contusion, but said it is minor and he doesn't expect it to affect his play Saturday.
out for season
The Huskies won't face Oregon State receiver James Rodgers on Saturday as the senior was declared lost for the season Monday after suffering a knee injury Saturday against Arizona.
Rodgers will apply for a medical redshirt year so he can return for a fifth season next year (though the school won't know until March). He is the older brother of OSU standout running back Jacquizz Rodgers, and led the Pac-10 with 91 receptions last season.
James Rodgers had 16 catches for 215 yards this year and also missed a game against Arizona State on Oct. 2 with a concussion.
Sarkisian noted that OSU has already played one game without Rodgers, using sophomore Markus Wheaton in his place. Wheaton has 13 catches for 202 yards this season.
"They dealt with this earlier in the year, and they used Markus Wheaton in the same role of James Rodgers, so I don't think they'll change," Sarkisian said.
• In reviewing the ASU loss, Sarkisian said one thing that stood out was the team's lack of energy throughout.
"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 where I've seen it before," he said, adding that the sickness of several key players could have been a factor.
Players agreed that the feeling wasn't the same as the week before.
"I don't really know why we didn't have energy last week," said S Nate Williams. "Maybe it was the rain or a couple of guys had a cold or what not. I don't know what it is. I think we play such a huge team in USC that we had to win against them again, so people kind of lost sight that we have to play hard at home and it's not a guaranteed win just because we are at home."
• Sarkisian said he anticipates WR Devin Aguilar will be able to play Saturday after sitting out against ASU with a hip flexor.
However, Sarkisian said he is uncertain if LG Erik Kohler can play. Kohler sat last week after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. He attended Monday's practice but did not participate.
True freshman Colin Porter of Bothell could step in for Kohler. He is listed as a co-starter at the spot with senior Greg Christine, who started against ASU but struggled at times, getting called for two holding penalties.
• The Arizona game Oct. 23 will kick off at 7:15 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. That will be the third straight kickoff after 7 p.m. for the Huskies.
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