Well, that was annoying. Last night, the Huskies lost 24-14 to the Sun Devils of Arizona State. It was a wet, rainy night that produced a somewhat sloppy game from the Dawgs. The Huskies moved the ball, only one three and out, but had too many mistakes to ever keep the drive alive. It was like the Arizona State 35 yard line had a stop sign on it. One drive would stall because of a dropped pass, the next would be a holding penalty and so on throughout the night. It was frustrating, especially considering the outbreak the offense had last week.
So, what went wrong with the offense? Several factors came into play. First off, we need to give Arizona State credit. Their defense is solid and may have finally showed what people were raving about before the season began. Their front 7 caused a lot of problems for the line and the secondary was quick to the ball all game long. They were attacking and looked a step faster all game long.
Then there was the health issue. Erik Kohler was out for the game with mono. Devin Aguilar was out with a hip flexor injury. Jake Locker was sick and at about 70% strength. These are players that are vital to the offense. With Aguilar out, Jordan Polk got more snaps than he had all season long. He was okay, but Aguilar is so much better. Why James Johnson or Cody Bruns didn’t get some of J. Polk’s snaps is a mystery to me. Erik Kohler might be the second best offensive lineman the Huskies have. That’s saying something about Kohler, a true freshman, but it’s saying more about the offensive line. His backup, Greg Christine, gives great effort but just doesn’t have the talent to be an every down player. He was called for 2 holding penalties last night and was bad in most aspects. Sark said that Jake being sick affected how he called the game because he couldn’t catch his breath after running games. I saw him on the bench after one drive and he looked gassed. That was in the first half. He didn’t look nearly as explosive as he usually does. With these 3 not at the level they usually are, our offense is not near the weapon it was against USC. These guys need to get healthy, and fast.
Still, the Dawgs were in the game and just couldn’t take advantage of any opportunities. Jermaine Kearse had more drops. Nate Fellner dropped an interception that he could have run back quite a ways. In the first half, there were 3 or 4 “almost” fumbles by Arizona State that came on backwards passes or passes that were dropped. If any of those close calls were ruled the other way they could have been defensive touchdowns. Unfortunately, they didn’t and the Huskies lost a game they desperately needed to win. The schedule doesn’t get any easier and a bowl becomes much less likely. This weeks game against Oregon State becomes a must-win. But, we can hope that offense that showed up for the USC game comes back. If they do they can play with just about anyone. For now, they’re nothing but an inconsistent football team.
More notes after the jump.
- The defense looked bad again in the first half. They gave up 21 points and were picked apart by an average quarterback. Then, they turned in their best half of the year. They held ASU to 3 points in the second half and under 140 yards. They gave the offense opportunities. The defensive line wasn’t good, but it was much better. The linebackers had their best game of the year. The secondary was not good for most of the game but again they kept the team in the game. They tackled better than they had all year.
- The defense went to 3 defensive lineman for a lot of the game. It makes sense because I don’t think the Huskies have 4 Pac-10 quality defensive lineman with Cameron Elisara out, which he was. It wasn’t a 3-4 though, the defense was a 3-3-5. Sean Parker was the extra defensive back most of the time. The extra defensive back makes you wonder why the secondary was bad most of the game. You’d think that help a little bit.
- Justin Glenn saw his first extensive action since breaking his leg last season. He wasn’t particularly good but it’s good to see that he’s recovering.
- Quinton Richardson played most of the game and didn’t regain any of my confidence. I really wish there was a different corner in his spot right now. I don’t know what has happened to Adam Long and Will Shamburger. They seem to have disappeared. Hopefully, the coaches find them sooner or later.
- I also wonder why Colin Porter and Mykenna Ikehara didn’t see some action. Ikehara played well last year on the offensive line and Porter has shown promise this season. I think that either would have done a better job than Christine did last night. Again, Kohler needs to get rid of that mono. It was disappointing seeing a team double the amount of sacks they have in a season against us.
- Dear Sark, please get Polk and Callier more carries. These guys run the ball really well. I know, there aren’t usually holes for them to run through but they still somehow manage to get positive yards time and time again. Barring injury, Polk is on pace for another 1,000 yard season. Once again, he’s doing it without anyone really noticing.
All for now, thanks for reading.