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Thompson: 'Something Special About Third Carry'

Sep 6, 2014

By Mason Kelley
GoHuskies.com

Something special happened every third carry. When Washington moved linebacker Shaq Thompson into the backfield in practices this week, he always seemed to make a play the third time he touched the ball.

So, when the junior broke away from the Eastern Washington defense for a 57-yard touchdown, it came as little surprise the big play unfolded on his third carry of the game.

“There’s something special about the third carry,” Thompson said with a laugh after the Huskies 59-52 victory over the Eagles at Husky Stadium.

When asked about the key to breaking free on his first-quarter score, Thompson deflected all the credit to the offensive line.

“It’s not me,” said Thompson, who had three carries for 66 yards and the touchdown. “It’s all thanks to my linemen. It starts up front. They had great blocks. They opened up the hole and I just hit it.”

Since Thompson wouldn’t take credit, his teammates made sure they praised his performance.

“Shaq’s a freak, man,” quarterback Cyler Miles said. “I knew he was going to break one. I knew it. He had some great carries in practice. You’ve got to bring the wood if you’re going to tackle Shaq, so I’m happy for him.”

Receiver John Ross added, “Honestly, I look at Shaq and it’s overwhelming. He’s great on special teams, on defense and, just to see him transition from linebacker to running back and take one carry for 57 yards, I look up to a guy like that.”

Thompson said he knew he was going to spend some time on offense this week, but he kept it quiet.

“I made sure nobody knew,” he said.

When asked to play both sides of the ball, Thompson said it is important to keep the roles separate. After he made his way into the end zone, he celebrated with his teammates, but his attention quickly shifted to back to defense.

“When I was on offense, it’s just all offense,” he said. “On defense, it’s defense. It’s just a mindset.” 

Thompson wasn’t happy with his performance in the Huskies’ opener against Hawaii. He felt like he had something to prove this week.

“I played better than last week,” he said. “I had a chip on my shoulder. I felt like I didn’t have a good game last week. Coaches said I had more room to improve so, hopefully, I took some of that space down.”

After finishing with a game-high 14 tackles and a sack, Thompson believes he took a step forward.

But, “There’s a lot of space still there,” he said.