Sept. 13, 2008
SEATTLE - For Johri Fogerson, Saturday's 55-14 loss to No. 3-ranked Oklahoma was a day of mixed results.
"I was really pleased by the way I played for my first start," Fogerson said. "We weren't intimidated by them. We knew they were a tough team coming in, but we also had a chance to win, unfortunately it didn't come out our way."
Team season records aside, Fogerson has something to be excited about after recording a game-high nine tackles against one of the top offenses in the country.
"It's a tall task for a young kid to jump in on week one, but he was up to the task," said defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. "We'll look at the film and correct him, but he's a guy with really good vision and loves the challenge, so I see him as a strong football player for a long time."
Fogerson, a true freshman and local product from Kent, found himself in a position as the last man standing against an Oklahoma attack and often came out with a tackle that stopped the Sooners from scoring. Not bad for a kid who graduated from O'Dea High School just three months ago.
"After this game -- I saw a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have caught onto if I wasn't in -- so I feel pretty good about it," Fogerson said.
And while his numbers suggest he was ready for Oklahoma's offense from the kickoff, Fogerson said there was an adjustment period early on.
"It was fast. They deserved to be the No. 3 team in the nation. Hats off to them," he said. "We didn't practice like that, so it took us a little while to get used to it but we settled down, and it was fast."
While most freshmen would need an adjustment period for any Division I game, Fogerson had some extra work to do after practicing as a halfback this summer.
"I didn't really have a preference coming in, so they recruited me as a running back and I learned the offense," he said. "Being a two-way player in high school, I didn't have much of a problem."
He did say, however, that playing on either side of the ball requires a different mindset.
"Mentalities change when you're on offense -- you have to be patient -- but when you're on defense you have to fly around like a mad man," he said with a grin.
The Sooners scored a couple of touchdowns in the first quarter.
"It wasn't one person hurting us. It was hard to key in on one guy," he said. "It was hard to adjust to that."
Nevertheless, he is already looking forward to the Stanford matchup on September 27.
"I wouldn't rather play out there with anybody else other than the guys I was there with," Fogerson said. "It is a new chapter we're going to come back this week regroup and hopefully have a great game against Stanford and get a win.
"It's rough, but hopefully with rough times come good times."