Growing up in a home where sports were always on the forefront, I learned many lessons. My dad, and brother to a lesser extent, taught me certain truths about game. Dad passed down the thought that sports are as much mental as they are physical and a hate of zone defense. One of the lessons he repeated the most was that you never know what is going to happen in the first game of the season. The game is weird and often not vindictive of a team’s talent level or future record. With this thought in mind, I would caution my fellow Dawg fans to take a deep breath instead of joining in the insanity that has ensued over Husky Nation.
Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not happy with the way the Huskies played on Saturday. It was a pathetic display by the defense and the offensive line. They were not the team we expected to see this season and if they hope to better last season than they will have to play better (I’ll pick apart what needs to improve after the jump).
But, over the last 2 days I’ve heard irrationality coming from the radio, blogosphere and everywhere else I could hear about the Huskies. There have been calls for Nick Holt’s job, which is absolutely absurd. There have been people underselling how well Eastern played, which is strange since everyone under the sun was talking about how the Huskies were in for a battle last week. There have been players called out who shouldn’t have been.
UW Dawg Pound, which is a good Husky football blog that I follow regularly, said this on Saturday night:
“Alameda Ta’amu played like a big fat pile of goo. He was dominated most of the evening by players who had no business being on the same playing field with him.”
This just simply isn’t true. I was at the game and watch Ta’amu pretty closely. No, he didn’t have a monster game but he was himself, clogging up the middle and getting free more than any other D-lineman. This was with him being double-teamed the entire game. UW Dawg Pound is a blog that I agree with in most things and a blog that I encourage Husky fans to ready, John Berkowitz is a good writer and has good insight on the Dawgs. That’s why I picked this example, it’s the kind of blame game that’s going out all over this fan base.
So, should we be upset with the way the team played? Sure, coach Sark sure was in his press conference today but don’t go blowing things out proportion. A few players played poorly and the team didn’t play at full speed. I’m sticking with my pre-season prediction and I imagine the other 3 Good Guys’ are doing the same. Hey, we’re 1-0 and have the 6th longest winning streak in the nation! I’m good with that.
- For me, it’s hard to get a gage on how well Eastern played. Were they as good as the Cougars last year? Quite possibly. Those 2 games are quite comparable too. No one complained when we won that game on a last second touchdown, even though we should have won by much more. Sometimes things are a matter of perspective. Some people will think that last years version of the Cougars were much better than Eastern and I will just respectfully disagree on that one.
- Bo Levi Mitchell was very impressive. I wasn’t impressed by how accurate he was (not that he was innacurate at all) but I was very impressed by the way he handled the defense. If you were watching on TV and came away with the thought that the Huskies didn’t blitz enough, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. I could be a ways off in this estimation, but I would guess that they blitzed close to 30% of the time (at least in the 2nd half). Every single time an outside linebacker blitzed, Mitchell would read it and dump the ball off right to the spot where the guy blitzed from. It was extremely frustrating to watch, but also very impressed. Yes, the blitzers may not have come fast enough but give Bo a lot of credit. The corner blitzes did work better but you can’t call many of those without getting burnt at some point.
- Desmond Trufant also had a fascinating game to watch. Coaches said he had the best fall camp of any player and he came out and laid a complete egg in the first half. He didn’t play well in the zone and he was even worse in man-to-man. Again, give the Eagles receivers’ credit, they were good. In the 2nd half, Trufant changed though. Contrary to public opinion, he was good for almost all of the 2nd half. He was reading the quarterback much better and reacting much quicker. I watched him for a good share of the 2nd half, mainly because I didn’t want to see what was happening with the actual play, and he put himself in good position. He was ready for the fade that he intercepted, but he was also ready for just about every pass thrown his way in the 4th quarter and most of the 3rd.
- Chris Polk was about 80% and he was really good. I like that guy.
- Keith Price was effective and wasn’t asked to do much. I bet that changes some this week. His one deep throw was just about perfect and bounced off the finger tips of Kevin Smith.
- Erik Folk was the star of the game. That lets you know how the game went. Also, Kiel Rasp was really good and the coverage and return teams will better. Much like I’ll hold off judgement for a bit on how bad the defense is, I’m going to hold off judgement on how good the special teams were too.
That’s all for tonight. Leave comments and observations if you’d like. Go Huskies!