BY Todd Dybas 08:28PM 09/20/2010

Sarkisian: ‘We lacked the competitive nature’

UW coach says team backed off in Nebraska game.

Steve Sarkisian was not happy with his team's effort against Nebraska. (Drew Sellers/Sports Press Northwest)

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said there is a 24-hour rule for wins and losses. Let either marinate for a day then dispatch.

The time statute had elapsed prior to Monday’s press conference but the coach may have been more irritated 48 hours later than he was after Saturday’s game against Nebraska.

“I thought in the second half there were moments there that we lacked the competitive nature that this program prides itself on, and I was disappointed in that,” Sarkisian said. “That will never happen again.”

Washington was kicked in the pants and sent on its way by the Huskers. The performance reminded of the doldrums of 2008 when the team went 0-12. Those comments are another reminder of the lost season.

“It doesn’t matter what the score is or what we are playing, what uniforms we are wearing, who we are playing against,” Sarkisian said. “Our ability to compete is something we pride ourselves on and we didn’t do that, in my opinion, especially in the second half Saturday.”

Washington vaulted back into the game in the second quarter, cutting Nebraska’s lead to 21-14. What ensued was clarity of the separation between the teams.

Nebraska ran the ball up the middle for half the field. The Huskers could have called timeout, explained to Washington what they were going to do, and it would not have mattered. Eight consecutive rushes up the middle ended in a touchdown shortly before halftime.

“They put together a drive where they really kind of just ran the football down our throat and we didn’t respond in the manner that I think we should have,” Sarkisian said. “And I don’t think it was because guys weren’t battling at that point. I think we got a little consumed with staring at the quarterback and worried about the quarterback running and we lost sight of the fact that they were running inside zone right at us and we’ve got to fit the run better than we did.”

A lack of physical play is not exclusive to the linemen. Nebraska corners (weren’t they all?) talked after the game about the lazy routes by Washington receivers tipping if a play was a run or pass (Sarkisian dismissed this suggestion). That lack of ambition is just as telling and disappointing.

Sarkisian expounded on his point during his afternoon radio show.

“I don’t know if Nebraska respected the Huskies at the end of that ball game Saturday, and that’s not okay,” Sarkisian said. He went on to repeat the point. “I don’t know if they respected us at the end of that game so its been addressed and it won’t happen again.”


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