Huskies Insider Blog

Beastly pass rushers will test Locker's make-you-miss mettle

Arizona's Ricky Elmore, the Pacific-10 Conference sacks leader (six), is always up for a formidable challenge.

And none, at least from the quarterback-hunting end, are as daunting in this league as the one he'll face Saturday when Washington's Jake Locker comes to town (those are his words, not mine).

"We haven't played against a quarterback of his athletic caliber," said Elmore, one of the Wildcats' fifth-year senior defensive ends. He has partner Brooks Reed on the other side.

"He never gives up easy sacks. He’s a guy who will stiff-arm you, roll out on you.

"If you get to him before he gets outside the pocket, it's a huge accomplisment."

Earlier in the week, UW coach Steve Sarkisian declared the Huskies' top priority had to be stifling Elmore and Reed, the league's best bookend defensive linemen, and in the conversation as the top pass-rushing duo in the country.

In fact, only Fresno State's Logan Harvell and Chris Carter (141/2) and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers and Andre Branch (12) have more combined sacks by a defensive-lineman duo than the Elmore-Reed pair's 101/2.

"Our coaches are really high on us containing (Locker), not letting him get too far up field," said Reed, who was injured and did not play in last year's 36-33 Huskies' win.

Other stuff Wednesday:

* Of course, it is not a complete certainty that Locker will play a whole game Saturday, or have the entire playbook at his disposal because of lingering soreness from the Oregon State game.

On Wednesday, the senior only went through the team's pre-practice walkthrough, then sat out the entire practice. Backup Keith Price took all the work with the No. 1 offense.

"Kind of his whole body, really," Sarkisian responded when asked what about Locker kept him out of practice. "He took some pretty good shots last game.

"I think he’ll play. He could be limited, yeah."

Sarkisian said Locker likely will get practice repetitions Thursday. He did some team-session work Tuesday.

* Looks like the UW will take another crack at the same offensive line Saturday - left tackle Senio Kelemete, left guard Ryan Tolar, center Gregory Christine, right guard Colin Porter and right tackle Drew Schaefer.

"I liked the way we took care of the edges (against Oregon State)," Sarkisian said. "I thought we were stout at guard against good defensive tackles - not assignment-perfect, but I thought we were stout. And I thought we were all on the same page, for the most part, with Greg making the calls."

* Some injury updates: Receiver Devin Aguilar (hip pointer) and offensive guard Erik Kohler (mononucleosis) practiced. Sarkisian anticipated both will see limited snaps, but are unable to play a whole game. ... A day after running back Johri Fogerson (upper leg) practice, he was out Wednesday - and will not play Saturday. ... Defensive end Talia Crichton (right knee) is still sporting a brace. Sarkisian said the knee will get examined again Friday to pinpoint the exact injury. ... Linebackers Victor Aiyewa and Cort Dennison had their practice repetitions limited Wednesday because of general wear-and-tear.