After last weekend’s heartbreaking affairs, the Good Guys felt it was time to gather together and face the hard questions. Okay, they aren’t really hard questions but there are some answers to a few questions. Enjoy everybody!
After Saturday’s game, do you think Stanford is a top-5 team? Does that mean the Huskies are a top-10 team based on their performance?
Dan: I’m not sure if Stanford is a top 5 team because the offense and defense both seem good but not great. Top 5 teams have an elite “something” and I don’t see it’d on Stanford. I think both UW and Stanford are in the 7-10 range. Look, if your only loss is by 3 points on the road to the #5 team, and you outplay them in nearly all facets, you belong in the top 10.
Joe: I agree with Dan that Stanford is a top 10 team, and that UW could be a top 10. The problem I have is Stanford hasn’t been tested on the road yet, with two home games vs ranked teams, and in both cases, ASU and UW moved the ball just fine on their defense, out gaining Stanford in both games. But I understand a win is a win, so I’ll let that sleeping dog lie. I think Stanford is a very good football team, very well-disciplined, they just don’t beat themselves, and that’s why they are undefeated right now.
Matthew: I think Stanford is capable of beating anyone in the country, but I don’t think they’re good enough to go undefeated and win the championship. I don’t know if that puts them in the top five or not, but I imagine they’ll hang in that range most of the year. I see them losing to Oregon and maybe one more team. I would have the Huskies in the 10-15 range right now. If they keep playing like they have been, however, I don’t see them losing many more games. They could easily be a a top 10 team, and I think they’re playing like it right now. It’s just a matter of keeping it up.
Andrew: It appears that I’m in the minority here but I do believe Stanford is a top-5 team. Outside of Alabama, I’m not sure that anyone has a better resume than Stanford right now. I think their front 7 is elite and is probably the best in the country. As for the Huskies, they really do look like a top-10 team to me. I think they can play with anyone because of the weapons on their team and because of the growth on the coaching staff. This weekend will go a long ways in showing whether the Huskies are or not.
What was your favorite play from Saturday’s game?
Dan: I thought the 3rd and 1 stop with 2 mins left was amazing. Peters was off-balance and Hogan appeared to have an easy path to getting a yard or 2 outside, but Marcus recovered and made a phenomenal play that only elite D’s pull off.
Joe: Any play that involved Bishop Sankey doing something awesome, and then seeing Grandpa Sankey go nuts.
Matthew: I’ll second both of those. Grandpa Sankey was great, but that third down stop by Peters was incredible. I’ve been raving about it ever since. It came out of the same formation as Stanford scored (I think) their last touchdown: 8 lineman, shotgun, two backs beside the quarterback. It’s very symmetrical and looks like a goal line offense. Because of that, UW got sucked into the middle on the touchdown, and Tyler Gaffney was untouched going off-tackle to the right. There are so many different plays that can be run out of that alignment. They can hand off either direction, go right up the gut, slip the tight end or a back out for a pass. This time Hogan kept it, Peters mostly stayed home and then closed and made a difficult tackle. Given the circumstances and level of difficulty, that was one of the better defensive plays we’ll see all year.
Andrew: I can’t disagree with the Peters play. It would have been my favorite UW play, maybe ever, if the Dawgs had pulled the game out.
What was the worst call made by an official on Saturday? What about on Sunday?
Dan: I thought the unnecessary roughness on Daniels during the kick return was the worst call once you saw a replay, but in the moment refs are told to flag anything that looks to be a shot to the head, which is what the ref must have thought he saw. Thinking more about it, the fact that targeting was not called on a couple late hits Price took was awful. Stanford had a guy flagged and kicked out the week before vs. WSU, so refs should have been on high alert. The one flag they called for roughing warranted an ejection per the new targeting rule. In the Hawks game, I was perplexed by the safety not being called a TD. Johnson had possession as he slid through the end zone. Seemed like a really easy call to me.
Joe: The worst call in the UW game was bar done the personal foul on the kickoff, so I’m again agreeing with Dan. It was simply atrocious. The worst call on Sunday for me was the PI call on Sherman early in the 4th qtr. The Colts were losing, needing a TD to take the lead, 3rd down and long on their own 20 yard line. Luck was pressured, threw to TY Hilton on a little come back route, the ball was under thrown, Hilton simply fell down on his own, and the ref calls PI on Sherman. Never mind the fact that Hilton faked being pushed (there we go again with faking something), but the fact is both teams were getting away with murder on the outside all day, and the ref then chooses that moment to call a PI? The PI call in general gives the referee too much leeway to determine what is and isn’t a penalty. I still don’t know what PI technically is. But the fact that ref chose that time of game to call that penalty gives referees *way* too much power to determine the outcome of the game. It’s akin to FIFA refs stopping play for no reason and awarding a free kick, again, for no reason. And by the way, the Colts went on to score that drive. The drive should have ended, the Seahawks should have got the ball back, and who knows, maybe kill a lot of clock in the 4th and win. The game momentum completely switched on that play.
Matthew: Have to agree on the personal foul on Daniels. I’m sure Dan’s right about it being harder to call in person, but I don’t think that’s enough of an excuse here. They didn’t call it as a block in the back, and it was clearly on a player involved in the play. Maybe they thought he got him in the head, but they didn’t say that either. If a guy in the middle of a play like that is going to be deemed defenseless, football has some things to figure out, because at that point they’re literally keeping a player from playing football. If he slows down to hit him softer, he doesn’t get there in time to make the play and the defender makes the tackle. I’m sure the ref just saw the ferocity of the hit and threw his flag before he gave himself time to think about it. Still inexcusable. As for the Seahawks, the phantom offensive PI on Golden Tate was a completely made up call. The interference never happened. Luckily, it didn’t keep them from scoring.
Andrew: There are plenty of things to choose from here. I heard someone say that the Huskies played well enough to overcome their special teams or the refs, just not both. I completely agree with that. The penalty on Daniels for hitting a guy too hard was awful. The overturned replay that shouldn’t have been overturned was the most pivotal. Those were probably the worst two. The Seahawks one’s that were already covered were the worst. That offensive PI was so stupid.
Who has been the best player on the Huskies on each side of the ball this season? Who has been the biggest surprise?
Dan: Offense-Keith Price. Quickly becoming one of my all time favorites for how he’s overcomed adversity and given everything he has to lead the team.
Defense – Shaq Thompson. He’s just everywhere. I think he sets the swarming, ball hungry tone for the D.
Biggest Surprise-Marcus Peters. We needed him to step up with Trufant gone and while only a sophomore, he’s close to a lockdown corner.
Joe: Ya, Keith Price to me was a superstar Saturday night. Made all the throws, scrambled when he had to, was demonstrative in his leadership. You could tell the team believed in him. He was a joy to watch. Defensively it’s hard for me to pick one to be honest, they all played so hard. I’d take the defensive line as a unit. They slowed down and stuffed the Stanford running attack, and got just enough pressure on Hogan to cause him to be a very average QB.
Matthew: Offense- Price has been the most important, and his turnaround is in some ways the most surprising. I can’t pick anyone but Bishop Sankey as the best, though. The guy is completely dominant. I’ll pick Jaydon Mickens as the most surprising. He looked like nothing special last season, but this year he’s matured tremendously to give the team the quick threat they’ve needed.
Defense – The great thing about this defense is each player is playing a huge role. I can’t think of anyone getting regular minutes who is a weak link. As for the best, I’ll go a little off the radar and pick big Danny Shelton. He’s the key to the D and has dominated the line at times and been a solid contributor continuously. There’s no one else like him on the roster. Marcus Peters may not be a complete surprise, but I didn’t think he would become this dominant this quickly. His physicality is a great addition to the defense.
Andrew: Offense – Price is one of my favorite Huskies of all time but I have to go with Sankey as well. At this pace, he could catch Corey Dillon for best season of all time at running back. A surprise on offense has been Micah Hatchie at LT. He missed a block on the interception last week but that was more a great play by the DE than anything else. Hatchie struggled a lot last year but has been solid thus far. He’s been a pleasant surprise.
Defensively, I’d have to go with Shelton as well. He has really controlled the middle int he last two games. This weekend will be another huge test for him. Surprises on that side of the ball are Princeton Fuimaono and Will Shamburger. Both are seniors who have stepped up and played really well so far this season.
What physical object would you give away if it meant the Huskies would beat Oregon on Saturday?
Dan: Not sure which object but I would allow up to $400 be removed from my bank account immediately.
Joe: I don’t own anything of real value… I’d give away my glasses and not see. Basically I’d give up my sight for a win.
Matthew: Not sure about this either, but I’d happily give up my ticket for the next game for a win. Not that I’m offering!
Andrew: Like everyone else, I don’t have much that has real value. I have promised that if the Huskies win and we rush the field, I will go straight for that stupid Duck mascot and try to push him over. Hopefully the authorities don’t trace me back to this blog.