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Originally published September 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 4, 2007 at 12:27 PM

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UW Football | On second look, Locker wows coaches more

Washington quarterback Jake Locker was the first one in the coaches' office Sunday to review film of the 42-12 win over Syracuse two days...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday

Boise State @ Washington,

12:30 p.m., FSN

Washington quarterback Jake Locker was the first one in the coaches' office Sunday to review film of the 42-12 win over Syracuse two days before.

Not that there was much for the coaches to tell him.

After calling Locker's performance "so-so" following the game Friday, UW coach Tyrone Willingham revised his assessment to "very good" by Monday.

What changed?

"I just had to wait to look at it," Willingham said with a smile.

The immediate reviews from observers were that it was one of the best debuts ever for a Huskies quarterback -- Locker ran 10 times for 83 yards and two touchdowns and completed 14 of 19 passes for 142 yards. And after reviewing the film, coaches agreed.

"He missed about one or two reads in the option game and really, that's it," said UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano. "Pretty impressive."

Left equally awestruck was Boise State coach Chris Petersen, whose team travels to Seattle to play the Huskies on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

"He can do it all," Petersen said.

Much has been made of the changes in some of UW's schemes that debuted with Locker.

But Petersen said it was more player than playbook that he thought made the difference against Syracuse.

"What's scary is, Syracuse had guys in the right position," he said. "And the guys still couldn't make plays."

Mastering the playbook, though, is also one of Locker's biggest attributes.

"He's wearing me out," Lappano said with a smile about Locker's constant presence in his office.

Such film study is indicative of the work ethic that draws raves from UW coaches.

But the importance of it was reinforced for Locker in July when he served as a counselor at a camp run by Peyton Manning and his family in Thibodaux, La.

Manning typically met each night with the counselors, many of whom were college players, to go over aspects of playing quarterback.

Locker said one of the most interesting things Manning related was the importance of watching entire football games from start to finish and not just cutups of individual plays organized, for example, by down-and-distance or by formation.

"He said he watches full games and watches them over and over again, just looking for something different each time," Locker said. "You can watch the cutups, but I agree with what he said, that you can get a feel for what a defensive coordinator likes to do [watching a full game]. After a big play, does he like to blitz, what are his tendencies? You get a feel for that watching a complete game."

That Locker was the first one in the office Sunday appeared to validate coaches' feelings that Locker isn't about to let a little success go to his head.

"Good things can be just as destructive as bad things," Willingham said. "Your head can get inflated, and you think you are better than you are, and all the sudden you get the crap beat out of you. It is the person who can balance both of those things and stay in the present, in the now, those are the guys who can be successful, and I think Jake has a lot of those characteristics in his makeup."

Lappano said Locker will likely be called on to utilize more of the playbook this week. The Broncos play a lot of man-to-man defense, which could mean UW will have to be more varied in its passing game and throw deeper routes than it did against Syracuse.

Kravitz sidelined

Willingham said fullback Luke Kravitz will likely miss Saturday's game with a broken bone in his hand, an injury suffered in the game against Syracuse. He said it was uncertain whether surgery will be needed but said he thinks Kravitz won't be out long.

To fill in for Kravitz, the Huskies will try true freshman linebacker Austin Sylvester at fullback this week as a backup to starter Paul Homer. Sylvester, of Reno, Nev., played fullback and linebacker in high school. He started at Bishop Manogue in Reno before going to The Hun School, a prep school in Princeton, N.J., his senior season. Willingham said the 6-1, 245-pound Sylvester will split time at both positions this week. Also listed at fullback is true freshman walk-on Tobias Togi of Evergreen High.

NOTES

• Willingham said players such as WR Byron Davenport, G/C Matt Sedillo and WR Cody Ellis, who all sat out the Syracuse game with injury, may be available this week. All three are listed on the depth chart as backups.

• UW's players of the week as selected by the coaches were RB Louis Rankin (offense), DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (defense), and P/K Jared Ballman (special teams). The scout team players of the week were TE Romeo Savant (for offense and special teams) and DE De'Shon Matthews (defense).

• About 3,000 tickets remain for Saturday's game, UW officials said. Tickets are also available through season-ticket packages.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. Read his blogs on Washington football and basketball at www.seattletimes.com/huskies.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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