The nation knows we should have won, Polk says

SEATTLE — In the moments following the University of Washington’s 37-30 overtime loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night, Huskies quarterback Jake Locker opted out of a post-game interview so that he could cool off and not say something he might regret.

Running back Chris Polk might have been wise to use the same strategy on Monday.

Two days after the heartbreaking loss, Polk calmly told reporters that the Huskies actually beat the Fighting Irish.

“I’m at peace with (the game) because the nation knows we should have won, and they (the Notre Dame players) know we should have won,” he said. “As long as they know that, I’m OK with it.”

When asked why he felt that way, Polk went one step further. He claimed that two goal-line calls — a two-point conversion by Notre Dame’s Robert Hughes and a Polk run that was initially ruled a touchdown but later reversed — were the reason for the loss.

“Everyone knows,” he said. “If they watch the replays, they know that on (Notre Dame’s) two-point conversion, his knee was down. And they know that when I scored, it was a touchdown. They didn’t beat us; the refs beat us, in a sense.”

Polk was the only UW player or coach publicly criticizing the officiating on Monday. Head coach Steve Sarkisian, tight end Kavario Middleton and Locker all went the diplomatic route by saying that the Huskies (2-3) had plenty of opportunities to win the game but came up short.

“Regardless of those two things,” Sarkisian said of the controversial calls, “we had an opportunity to win the ball game, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Locker, who rarely — if ever — says anything controversial in interviews, was echoing his head coach’s sentiment Monday.

“It’s just like any other loss,” the junior quarterback said. “There were a lot of things we couldn’t control; there were a lot of things we could control. Neither of them you can go back and change.”

Two days earlier, after his final pass was jarred from teammate D’Andre Goodwin’s grasp in overtime, Locker skipped out on a post-game interview for the first time in his three years as the Huskies’ starting quarterback. He admitted Monday to being frustrated by the loss, but Locker appeared more disappointed with the missed opportunities than the officiating.

“It was difficult after the game; I’m not going to lie to you,” he told reporters on Monday afternoon. “I hung onto it a little bit (Sunday). But I’m excited for another week of preparation and getting ready for another conference game against Arizona (this weekend).”

Both Locker and Sarkisian admitted Monday that the quarterback was not in the right frame of mind to face the media Saturday night.

“He was emotional,” Sarkisian said. “I don’t blame him for not wanting to talk, because when you are emotional, you can say things sometimes that you might regret later. And some things are better left unsaid. … He deserved this night off.”

Locker, who watched a replay of the Notre Dame game in its entirety Sunday, felt that he did the right thing by not talking immediately after the loss.

“I didn’t feel like I was in the best emotional state to answer questions,” he said on Monday. “I didn’t want to have to sit up here (in front of the media Monday afternoon) and explain anything. I felt like it was in my best interest and the team’s best interest to take some time to cool down. That’s what I thought after the game.”

The general consensus was that the Huskies have moved on and turned their focus to the Arizona game. Even Polk was able to shrug off what happened on Saturday night.

“I’ve seen the replay, and I thought I was in, but I guess they saw it differently,” the redshirt freshman said Monday afternoon. “There’s no use crying over spoiled milk. There’s nothing you can do about it.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

West Linn’s Ryan Vandenbrink (23) runs with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Turnovers cost Lake Stevens in loss to Oregon power West Linn

The Vikings’ run of 35 straight home wins in the regular season ends in an interstate showdown of big-school state champions.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Seahawks set to host Panthers, honor past while focused on present

Seattle will honor the 10-year anniversary of its only Super Bowl championship during Sunday’s game.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Saturday, Sept. 23

Also, Friday’s non-football prep results.

Austin Roest prepares to take a wrist shot during the first day of Silvertips training camp on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Dad is an NHL bigwig, but Silvertips’ Roest carving his own path

The 19-year-old forward and son of Stanley Cup-winning executive Stacy Roest leads the Silvertips into the 2023-24 season.

Most Read