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Locker And Road Woes Oklahoma's Main Concern

On paper Oklahoma is far superior to Washington in talent but you know and I know the old saying that the game isn’t played on paper.

 

Washington’s offense matches up better against Oklahoma’s defense than their defense does against the Sooner offense. Like every offense the Huskies are centered around their quarterback.

Stopping Jake Locker will be the main focus of Oklahoma's defense.   

 Jake Locker is the only skill position player who touches the ball on every offensive down. He’s only completed 48% of his passes and has tossed one touchdown with no interceptions. You can’t go to sleep on him though because he can burn you on the ground as well. He leads the team in rushing with 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Here’s how John from UW Dawg Pound describes Locker.

Jake is a mobile QB with great size and speed. He can score from anywhere on the field and he has the uncanny ability to make people miss. Jake’s passing is still a major work in progress. He missed three sure TD passes against BYU when his receivers were three steps ahead of the opposition. Until he makes people respect the deep ball teams are going to stack the line of scrimmage to contain him.

When your quarterback is your leading rusher out of opportunity its one thing. When he’s your leading rusher out of necessity it’s a whole other issue. So far the Huskies haven’t proven that they have anyone else who can carry the load. The person closest to Locker’s 119 yards is Chris Polk who has 33 yards on 20 carries.

Washington’s offensive line could be at fault in the team’s failure to run the ball because most of Locker’s yards have come from scrambles and not necessarily on called running plays. The o-line consists of all returning starters but in the words of our man John have been underachievers to this point of the season.

Center Juan Garcia is a sixth year senior on all the national watch lists. Seniors Jordan White-Frisbee, and Casey Bulyca flank him. Ryan Tolar is also in the rotation at guard. Out at tackle we have sophomore Cody Habben, and junior Ben Ossai. The line is supposed to be a strength this year because all of them are returning starters and they have great size. I think the line has underachieved in the first two games of the year. They will have to elevate their game on Saturday.

Outside of not opening up holes for the running backs the line is also giving up 3.5 sacks per game. You have to believe that total would be more if Locker wasn’t as mobile as he is. This should be an advantageous match-up for Oklahoma’s defensive line.

So how is the Washington offense against the Sooner defense a better match-up than the other way around? The Huskies have some talented receivers and while Oklahoma’s secondary grew up last week in the second half against Cincinnati this week brings a new challenge because the Sooners are on the road. I want to see if they can maintain that intensity. Who are they up against? Let’s go back to our source from UW Dawg Pound. 

   

Kavario Middleton is a true freshman TE who has a lot of potential. He has been averaging around 3-5 catches per game. David Freeman is a true freshman TB who will start against the Sooners. He has a nice burst and finish. Sophomore D’Andre Goodwin is the go to guy at WR. He has good hands, and speed. He will also be returning punts. Jermaine Kearse, and Jordan Polk are serious deep threats even though they are true freshman.

Oklahoma’s road problems are well documented and while they face a team that is 0-2 in Washington it doesn’t mean that things are going to come easy Saturday night. Husky Stadium won’t be sold out but John still thinks it will be loud and a great football atmosphere.

To view the entire conversation between myself and John, including my responses to his questions about Oklahoma, click here.