Tag Archives: Chris Polk

Looking At The Dawgs – Offense

In past years, I’ve tried to do position previews before Husky football season kicked off.  Usually these previews fizzled out somewhere between the linebackers and the secondary.  In an attempt to end this, I have simplified the previews this year.  I will be previewing the offense in one post and the defense in the next.  I will do a general overview of each side of the ball first and then break down the position groups (although I’m not going to make those all that in-depth).  I don’t plan on listing all 90-plus guys on the roster over these but I will try to give an idea of what I think about the starters and the depth at each position.  With these things in mind, let’s get started with the offense!130318123323-keith-price-top-single-image-cut

Offensive Overview:

Heading in to 2012, the Husky offense was thought to be a strong point of the team.  They had lost their top receivers and one of the great Husky running backs of all time but they had a stud tight-end, a few exciting prospects at running back, a returning offensive line, a decent receiving group, and a Heisman contender at quarterback.  Things didn’t exactly go to plan.

Before the season began, the Huskies were already down a few offensive linemen.  That continued throughout the season and caused the offense to fall apart.  The tight-end was great.  A star was found at running back.  But, the offensive line couldn’t pass block, a second, third and fourth receiving option was never found, and Keith Price went from a Heisman dark horse to a guy that some people wanted benched.  The offense was a disappointment, but it was one that people could make excuses for.

In the spring, the Huskies started to implement a no-huddle offense.  This has continued and will be used this season.  Apparently, the playbook is close to the same.  While they may have simplified it some, Sark has not moved to a spread offense.  I will talk about how this affects the defense in the next post but it has yet to be seen how it will affect the offense.  If the playbook really hasn’t changed much, I think the offense has a chance to special.  Sark has always been good at taking advantage of match-ups on the offensive side and as long as this is the focus of the offense and not just ‘going fast’ I feel confident in what the team can do.  The offensive line returns almost everyone and the depth of the whole offense could make running the no-huddle effective.

Position Previews –

Starter – Keith Price (RSr.)
Keith Price was extremely efficient and productive in his first year as a starter in 2011.  Last year, he was a shadow of himself.  Price couldn’t move around very well, was constantly pressured, and made questionable decisions.  His efficiency in the red-zone, which was what made him great in 2011, slipped dramatically.  Price seemed to want to be too perfect at times and played scared at other times.  I’m hopeful that playing in the no-huddle offense will limit his thinking and get him back to just playing ‘Keith Price’ football.  He is only a few touchdown passes short of breaking the UW career record.  He’s had an amazing career, regardless of the last two games of 2012.  Here’s hoping he gets back to his improvising, accurate ways.  I’m glad he’s our quarterback.
The Depth – Cyler Miles (RFr.), Jeff Lindquist (RFr.), Troy Williams (Fr.)
It seems like what is listed above is the pecking order.  Miles has separated himself as the backup.  He is a good athlete and a play-maker.  His weakness seems to be his arm strength.  Lindquist came in with Miles and, while he may have fallen behind him now, appears to be in the running for the starting job next year.  Jeff is from Mercer Island and has a stronger arm but maybe not the big play ability of Miles.  Williams is a true freshman and was highly recruited around the country.  He is mobile and said to throw the best ball out of all of the quarterbacks (maybe not the most accurate, but the strongest and best spiral).  Expect Williams to redshirt unless everything falls apart.  Unlike last year, the quarterback depth appears to be in solid shape and they seem to be capable backups.   Continue reading


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One Last Review Of UW-Stanford

I promised a more thorough review of last Thursdays game and here it is!  Five days, a trip to Yakima and about 8 hours of homework later.  I did finally finish watching the game last night and I had a few thoughts about the game.  I’ll go by position and add in some thoughts about coaching here and there.  Before I begin, I think this was probably the best coached Husky game since Rick Neuheisal was coach.  Seriously.  I’ll get into more detail as the post goes, but as a whole this was an incredibly coached game for the Dawgs, scheme-wise, personnel wise and on the motivational side.  Anyway, here we go, by position.

Quarterback – Keith Price has been a somewhat forgotten man through 4 games this year.  He doesn’t have the numbers that he had last year and won’t end up with as impressive stats but he has progressed.  Last Thursday, Keith played the toughest football game he’s ever played.  It wasn’t his best but it was very good.  He was tackled in the pocket over 10 times, while only three of those turned out to be sacks.  This is a testament to him standing in the pocket and not rushing things.  At one point it looked like he couldn’t feel his right arm.  I’m not sure why Stanford was never called for a roughing the passer penalty because they went high and hard many times.  Anyway, Price was accurate and threw well even with the amount of duress he was under.  He had 3 passes dropped that would have given him about 40 more passing yards and 3 more first downs.  He generally had less than 2 seconds to throw.  Three plays before the Huskies game-winning touchdown Price lined up under center and killed the running play that was called.  This audible essentially sent the receivers deep.  The ball was snapped, Price dropped back and was pressured from the outside so he stepped up into the pocket.  His outside receiver (I couldn’t catch the number) made a double move and was about to break free but a Stanford linebacker got a hand on the ball.  It was a brilliant call by Price and a beautiful play, it was just a .1 of a second too late.  The game winning touchdown could have come 3 plays earlier than when it did and it would have looked a lot more conventional.  Price was a great decision maker and game-manager.  I hope his body feels okay.

Running Back – It sure looks like Bishop Sankey has found his niche.  He’ll never be Chris Polk.  He’s not a bruiser and isn’t as patient.  But, he’s hitting the hole harder and faster every week.  Hugh Millen pointed out on KJR today that the Huskies use more of a zone-blocking scheme this year instead of a weak-side pulling guard, man-blocking scheme.  This allows Sankey to hit the hole faster than we saw the last few years because you don’t have to wait for that guard to come across.  So, maybe Bishop didn’t find his niche, maybe Sark found his niche for him?  It takes a humble and good coach to adjust his scheme to fit his players and Sark has continually done this.  That’s overlooked an awful lot.  Moving Kendyl Taylor provided an unexpected boost to the Husky offense and he did some good things on Thursday.  I’m guessing he’ll see more and more time as we go.  The fun thing to think about is that these running backs are only going to get better.  No one playing right  now is older than sophomore status.  Sure, they’ll cause a few headaches but the more I think about it, the more I think this year is setting up for a special 2013.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Quite a bit has been made of ASJ not getting only 2 receptions against Stanford.  There was no other tight end who caught a pass either.  What isn’t being said is that ASJ had a block on Chase Thomas that helped spring Bishop’s 61 yard run.  No one is talking about how Evan Hudson lined up at fullback a few times and got into the second level to give Sankey some other big runs.  The tight ends will be used in different ways as this season goes on but don’t think they played an insignificant role on Thursday.  Every receiver was fairly inconsistent aside from Kasen Williams.  Kasen turned 2 yard gains into 7 at least 3 times.  The plan was to get him the ball in space and he showed why that was a great game plan that Sark never went aways from even when it was getting frustrating.  Anytime another receiver wants to step up though, feel fee!

Offensive Line – Yes, the pass blocking was pretty horrendous.  It’s a big problem that needs to be solved right away.  But, they were playing a very good front seven.  To their credit, the line did run block well.  It doesn’t matter how you get yards and points as long as you get them.  No one expected the Huskies to be able to rush for 150 yards but they did and that was because the line opened few holes.  I do think they wore Stanford down a little bit.  Where the Oregon defense is used to being on the field a lot because their offense scores in a hurry, Stanford is exactly the opposite.  I imagine that the Cardinal generally win the time of possession battle and they didn’t on Thursday night.  The Huskies, especially in the first half generally were on the field for at least three minutes on offense every time they had the ball.  It doesn’t seem like much but that adds up, especially when your defense is getting three and outs.  I might be the only one, but I think the Stanford defense was tired and they looked it on the Huskies last drive.  Shane Brostek got his first career start at right guard and looked pretty good in run blocking.  Him and James Atoe next to each other is probably my favorite configuration of the line.  When they’re on the right side, holes seem to open up a bit more.  The Huskies most successful running plays were runs off-tackle or which would follow Atoe, Hatchie, and, on the final drive, Criste.  The right side of the line seemed to open more holes, as I mentioned earlier, but the left side of the line did pretty well too when I re-watched the game.

Defensive Line – Stopping the run starts up front, so here you go.  I don’t know much about defensive lines so I won’t try to explain anything and there wasn’t a ton that stood out.  Pio Vatuvei got extensive action.  Josh Banks saw his first action of the season and made a very good tackle on Stanford’s last drive.  Not a lot shows up in the box score from these guys but they freed up space for the linemen to make plays.  It took Josh Shirley about a half to get his pass rush going but he was definitely felt in the second half.  This group continues to get better.

Linebackers – The Dawgs haven’t had linebackers tackle like they did in this game since who knows how long.  If you think back to the game, think about how many times Stepfan Taylor broke free from a tackle for extra yards.  It didn’t happen.  Even re-watching the game, I can’t think of a time.  Tutogi, Timu, Fuimaono (although he didn’t play as much), Feeney, and Shaq were all in position and made the tackles.  I’m still amazed.  Their pursuit was incredible, their tackling was the best I’ve seen from a Husky defense, and their effort was off the charts.  I don’t expect them to be able to keep this up but if they do then what was thought to be one of the Huskies biggest weaknesses has all of a sudden become one of the best positions on the team.  As one of my favorite wrinkles that Wilcox threw in, Talia Crichton played a hybrid linebacker.  He rushed the passer some but he was used to stop the run a good amount.  It was just another big body who wouldn’t be pushed around.

Secondary – Desmond Trufant was the only corner on the field about 30% of the time for the Huskies.  What a responsibility that was and he handled it extremely well.  Right now he’s an all-conference player and is deserving of All-American recognition.  Two pass breakups, one interception and shutting down one side of the field.  The other corner spot is a bit concerning still but they did okay this game.  Marcus Peters saw quite a bit of time on the field.  Especially in the second half.  Sean Parker played a great game, blowing up screens and flying around.  The defense looks fast and he is one of the players that looks the fastest.  Travis Feeney lined up as free safety sometimes to stop the run which was another wrinkle.  Justin Glenn also played a good game with a couple of pass-breakups.  There were a few blown assignments but that’s to be expected especially when there was such an emphasis on stopping the run.

Special Teams – Travis Coons was the first half MVP.  He made a career long field goal, had a pretty good yards per punt average and punted one left-footed which saved the Huskies field position.  That was a great play that I’m not even going to try to explain.  Marvin Hall is fast and will break a return soon.  He’s been very close in the last two games.  He’s a game changer and I’m glad Sark pulled the red-shirt off of him.  Not literally.  They don’t actually wear red-shirts.

After watching the game again, this game was something that all Husky fans should feel proud of.  But, it’s time to turn our attention to our bitter rival down south.  It’s been fun to bask in this game.  I doubt we’ll have this feeling next week but it seems like these Dawgs like to surprise.



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2012 UW Running Backs

Looking at the current roster, with minimal attention paid to the 2012 recruiting class.

Who They Lose

Only Chris Polk, maybe the best running back in UW history.  On a play-by-play basis, Napolean Kaufman and Corey Dillon and probably a few others may have been more dangerous, but no one was as consistently dominating, punishing and dependable as Polk.  He ran incredibly hard and was the perfect back to run behind a mediocre offensive line.  I wish we could have seen what he would have done with some better running room.

Sarkisian has said several times that no one has better embodied the type of program he wants to run than Polk.  He was mainly talking about his toughness and physicality, but I think it could be applied to Polk’s personality as well.  He’s known as a talker, a little bit brash, but a huge competitor, teammate and leader.  He will be sorely missed and remembered as a true Husky Legend.

Who Is Back

Jesse Callier- Junior

Bishop Sankey- Sophomore

FB Jonathan Amosa- Senior

FB Tim Tucker- Junior

There are other running backs on scholarship (see below), but Callier and Sankey are the two who received extensive playing time last year.  Callier has received a good number of carries the last two years, mostly as a change of pace to Polk.  He gets a lot of end-arounds and runs outside the tackles, and even runs the wildcat (WildDawg!) on occasion.  Callier has been solid, if mostly unexciting.  He doesn’t seem to quite have the electricity to make up for his apparent lack of physicality that keeps him from being more effective between the tackles.  That being said, his chances have been limited and I’ll be curious to see what he can do if he gets more regular carries this year.  He was a ridiculously productive high school player.  I’m skeptical he can be an above-average starter, but he’s an excellent back-up at worst.

Sankey, about whom much has already been written, mainly due to his spurning of the Cougars, received more carries as 2011 went along and made the most of them.  He seemed a bit more effective than Callier at running up the middle, and he showed a good burst of speed to match.  Out of the two, he seems more likely to grab hold of the primary job.  He did nothing to dampen my hopes for him and probably even raised them a few notches by forcing his way into some playing time. Continue reading

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Montlake’s Going Crazy!

The last week has been a wild one for University of Washington football.  Between the Alamo Bowl, coaching changes, and recruiting news, there have been no shortage of emotion swings.  I’m going to save the recruiting talk for a future post, but I want to offer some thoughts on the rest of the news.

Plenty has already been said on the Alamo Bowl, so I’ll keep it short, but it’s hard to ask for much more out of a bowl appearance.  Besides a win, that is.  Everyone expected a shootout, but this one went to a completely different level.  I’ve heard people say that the lack of defense was embarassing, and I suppose that it probably is.  I certainly wish the Huskies would have pulled out the win.  Still, I can’t get overly upset about it.  That was one of the craziest things we’ll ever get to see.  I talk a lot on here about how I increasingly watch sports for the chance to be amazed.  Winning is great, but I want to see great performances and events that surprise me.  The Alamo Bowl had both. Continue reading

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UW vs. OSU Predictions

Can any state match the Oregon universities for region-appropriate but completely unthreatening mascots.  Beavers are super-cool, but what are they going to do on the football field?  Gnaw your leg off and wap you with their tail?  Slowly build a dam that will funnel the opposing offense toward a waterfall?  That dam defense bends but doesn’t break!

I have to admit, ducks are among my very favorite birds, and I really like birds.  They have a certain je ne sais quoi.  Mystery hides behind their bills and well-groomed feathers.  But put them on a football field and you just get this.


UW comes into Corvallis licking it’s wounds after two straight weeks of getting thrashed by superior conference foes.  Oregon and USC exposed so many weaknesses in the Dawgs top to bottom, I’d bore you to death with the details.  All you need to know is they got rocked.  Thankfully, they get Benny the Beaver this week, and he is not a superior foe.  OSU has struggled all year to be competitive (except for the beat down they administered to Wazzu), and I expect that to continue this Saturday.  It’s senior day at Reser, so emotions will be high, but that’s all they have going for them at home.  A porous defense that has given up over 800 yards on the ground over the past three games should be a welcome sight for the Huskies. With Nick Montana making his first ever start, I expect Sark to called Chris Polk’s number all day. I better see 30 carries from #1.  I have a good feeling Polk will deliver. Sean Mannion is a legit, strong armed, up and coming QB in the Pac 12. Even though just a freshman, coach Riley has handled the program over to the young signal caller. He’ll play with confidence and throw a lot to his stable of solid WRs.  Since the UW secondary is terrible, expect to see OSU throw and throw often.  In the end this game will be about tempo and ball control.  If UW expects to win, the ball must be in the best players’ hands, i.e. Polk, ASJ, Kasen. If Montana finds those guys, I like the chances of winning.

UW 31 – OSU 24


These next 2 games will define the season for the Huskies.  If they beat OSU and WSU, which they should, then the season will be seen as a success and another step forward for the program.  If they drop one of these games then it’s hard to be as excited about this season.  So, this game means more than just playing a team with 2 wins.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why the line on this game is so low.  The Huskies are clearly a better team even if they have their backup quarterback.  Oregon State isn’t very good, but they will play hard and will play with emotion.  If the Dawgs are able to get their running game going and play decent defense they should win this game by double digits, but it’s hard to know if that will happen after the last couple of games.  I’m thinking that Chris Polk will make sure his team is ready to go.  As for Nick Montana, I think he’ll be efficient and will wow us and then make us scratch our heads every once in a while.  This game has me nervous, but not nervous enough to pick against the Huskies.

UW 38, OSU 27


My emotions are swirling heading into this game tomorrow. That’s not terribly unusual, but this game in particular has me anxious. A month ago, the Huskies were rolling and the Beavers were playing like the Beavers we remember from the 90’s. As it stands today, UW has lost 2 in a row, and coming out of its toughest stretch of the schedule, the team is beat up physicially, emotionally, and most likely mentally. The Beavers are not exactly surging having lost 3 straight, but they are as healthy as they’ve been, and from what I’ve heard the team is practicing hard, and in no way resembles a typical 2-8 football team. No matter how you dice it, the Huskies are better at nearly every position, on both sides of the ball. The offensive line’s struggles have been well documented, but the truth is all 5 starters would probably start for the Beavers. The talent gap is large, but that has never prevented the Beavs from competing well, especially in November. I expect a heavy dose of Chris Polk tomorrow, but then again I expect that every week, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. For me, the 2 factors that scare me most are the Keith Price injury, paired with the weird juju that often occurs at Reser in November. I smell an upset, and a frustrating afternoon.

Beavers-38, Huskies-31


With Nick Montana getting the start and the Huskies’ recent swoon, this game had me pretty worried.  Then I realized how bad the Beavers have been most of this season.  I guess I’m so used to the Beavers being a tough game, especially late in the season, that I just assumed the Huskies would end up with the loss.  I could still see that happening, but OSU isn’t a major threat.  The rushing numbers are so heavily in UW’s favor that they should decide the game.  We’ve heard things like that before, of course, and it often doesn’t work out.  I have a feeling that this time, it will.  Montana should be good enough to keep the defense honest, and Polk should have a huge day.  Go Dawgs!

UW 34, OSU 20

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‘The 2-Hour Rule’

On Thursday night I wrote about what tonight’s game meant for the Washington football program.  A win, or even a respectable, hard-fought loss would have earned this team national respect and shown that the Dawgs are another step up Sark’s metaphorical mountain.  Well, instead of that happening, the Huskies took out their toboggans and sled down the mountain as if it were the historical December of 2008 (Ty’s last game as Husky head coach).

Being out of the game at halftime was a sight Husky fans have grown accustomed  to seeing but we thought it was behind us.  Tonight it wasn’t behind us and that’s a pretty disgusting and annoying feeling.  The defense didn’t move and the offense, while racking up quite a bit of yards, didn’t have the firepower to stay with a physically dominant Stanford team.  The Huskies will be elite again soon, we’ve seen flashes of it, but that doesn’t change how frustrating that game was.

There.  I’ve said it and it’s out my system.  As far as the Good Guys go, Dan and Joe are usually the emotional reactors.  They have no problem telling us about how much our teams sucked it up.  There’s value in that because without it, you get the Cougar syndrome (I’ve coined this phrase right now and I do apologize Cougar fans) and then, you justify your team keeping a coach for a 4th year even though he’d won 2 pac-10 games in his tenure.  Matthew and I usually take things a little differently then that and try to be a little more optimistic (as hard as that is with Seattle sports).  There’s value in that too, especially when talking about the Huskies this year.  It’s easy to get greedy, and start dreaming of Rose Bowls but the truth is this team is still only 3 seasons removed from 0-12 and has made steady progress each year.

Having said that, Dan was the one who sent me a text to remind just how far the Huskies have come in a short amount of time and how great this coaching staff has been for the program.  There is progress being made and there’s no reason to doubt that progress won’t continue, even after tonight’s debacle.

No, maybe the Huskies aren’t quite ready for a regular slot in prime-time.  They are a good football team, who clearly wasn’t at their best tonight, that is fun to watch and will continue to grow.  If they plan to continue to grow they have to forget about this game quickly.

Sark has a 24 hour-rule, where the team is allowed to think about the game for 24 hours afterwards whether it’s a win or a loss.  From what I can tell in his tenure, this rule has worked and the team has generally shown up to play the week after an ugly loss.  Maybe this week the 24 hour-rule should turn into a 2 hour-rule though.  And maybe this rule should go for fans this week too?  There is no point in dwelling on this game.  There may be a few teachable moments for the team, but mostly they got beat by a much better team tonight.  That might not be the case next year, but it is this year.  Because of that, it’s time to move on.  Once the team gets off that plane tonight I hope Keith Price is smiling, Sark is scheming up some more amazing offensive game-plans, Nick Holt is coaching instead of screaming, and our Dawgs are ready to beat the crap out of Arizona.

A few more thoughts after the jump and then the 2-hour rule (it might be 3 hour-rule by the time I’m done writing this) kicks in. Continue reading

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UW vs. Stanford Predictions

A couple of quick thoughts before we get to the predictions:

Most people have probably heard about the Arizona-UCLA game Thursday night.  It had a lot of implications for a Thursday night game between two bad teams, namely that it’s probably the game that ensures Rick Neuheisel will be fired and it might signal a bit of an awakening for the Wildcats.  The most interesting part of the ingame action, though, came with 8 seconds left in the first half.  UCLA was lining up for a possible Hail Mary when someone ran on the field from the stands.  Like usual, the cameras didn’t show him, instead focusing on a shot of a referee and some players.  Suddenly, those players took off running and a full-scale brawl broke out.  When it was eventually broken up, two players were ejected, Kevin Prince threw an unsuccessful pass toward the end zone, and both teams walked off, the coaches looking disgusted.

I understand why they don’t show streakers or other people who get on the field.  I personally would rather see what’s going on, but the idea of not giving these people attention is fine.  However, I find it ironic that they won’t show some dummy running through the end zone, but they’ll show a fight between 100 college kids that perfectly embodies the poor sportsmanship that society discourages.  I’m not saying that TV should show the guy on the field or shouldn’t show a brawl.  I just think that if the choice is between having someone toilet paper my house or break in and beat me with a baseball bat because they don’t like how I care for my yard, I know which option I’m picking.

Moving on, I came across this article on WSU running back Carl Winston.  Winston has 224 yards rushing on the year, with a high of 47 in one game.  In the article, Paul Wulff names Winston as his offensive MVP so far this season.  I’m not trying to pick on Winston, and I honestly don’t remember seeing him play, so maybe I’m underrating him.  Still, let’s compare him to the Husky options for offensive MVP.  The clear choice is Keith Price, who is on pace to obliterate most UW season records for a quarterback.  He is currently fifth in the nation in passer efficiency and second in touchdown passes.  If not for that guy in Stanford, he’d be the clear choice for all-Pac-12 QB, in my opinion.  Even if you don’t want to go with him, Chris Polk has about 500 more yards than Winston and is second in the conference in rushing.  I’m not meaning to pick on the Cougars here; they are significantly improved this season.  Wulff’s comment just reminded me of the Huskies in the last few Willingham years.  I’m sure it’s at least partly coachspeak.  If he had to pick one offensive guy on his team, I’m guessing Winston would be at least third, behind Marquess Wilson and either quarterback.  Wulff’s reasons for calling Winston his MVP consist mainly of his excellent blocking and toughness.  Not sure where I was trying to go with this, but I guess I’m just glad that the Huskies can now recognize players for their incredible production, rather than for their incredible toughness.

On to the predictions!


Well, this is an exciting game!  One team has only lost once in their last 10 games and the other has the longest winning streak in the nation.  The whole world thinks Stanford is the better team, and rightfully so.  They are older and the more proven team.  A writer for uwdawgpound.com pointed out that they execute extremely well and don’t make many mistakes.  But, he also pointed out that Stanford doesn’t have any absolute stars on the defensive side of the ball (especially now that Skov and Howell are out).  When you think of their offense you think of power running, tight-ends, and a quarterback who is the best in the nation.  Now, the Husky D isn’t set up to stop the quarterback, no one is, but it seems built to do well against the others.  Stanford will get yards, no doubt about it, but I see a little reason for optimism.  I don’t see any reason to doubt our offense won’t score either.  They are too good not to score.  Stanford has been incredible in the 3rd quarter though (and the 1st quarter but so have the Huskies), and that’s what scares me.  It’s what happened against Nebraska and I’m scared that the Dawgs won’t be ready for the fateful 3rd.  If they are, I see them winning to be honest.  There’s more NFL talent on the Husky roster in my honest opinion, it’s just young talent.  Maybe I’ve talked myself into something bad here.  The Huskies will either get blown out or win a close game, that’s what they do in these games.  But, I’m thinking that tomorrow we win.  This team has been doubted too much and, dang it, I’m ready to believe in them and believe that they’re going to win every single week.  Plus, they’re playing trees… While big, they aren’t agile.  Let’s do it Huskies!  Forget the Holiday or Alamo Bowl, after tomorrow lets be talking about the Rose Bowl!
Huskies – 42 Cardinal – 38


When I analyzed the schedule this past summer and tried to project outcomes, at Nebraska and at Stanford were my only lock losses.  I just could not envision a scenario, at the time, where the Huskies would march in and win either of those games.  I still don’t think Washigton has a great chance today, but I certainly feel better than 3 months ago, when I see Stanford on the schedule.  This game can be broken down a million ways.  The 41-0 loss last year seems like it should be part of the conversation, the fact that this game is on national tv is intriguing, luck vs. price, etc.  To me, it’s as simple as this: Stanford offense-GOOD, UW offense-GOOD, Stanford defense-GOOD, UW defense-BAD (maybe average).  I think UW is at a point where we can keep this game fairly close most of the way, but until our defense is top 25 good, we won’t win many of these games.  I just don’t see us stopping Stanford, not for 4 quarters anyway.  The only scenario where a win is possible, in my mind, is if the defense forces some turnovers, the offense scores TDs rather than FGs, and we get lucky…impossible to do this post without one luck pun.

Stanford-45, UW-31


It’s still really hard to predict what these Huskies will do on a weekly basis.  I think Stanford is still notably better, at least on defense.  The Husky offense is so balanced and creative, but this is the best defense they’ve played.  The UW offense is the best Stanford has played as well.  This might come down to who makes mistakes, which isn’t usually Stanford, but it isn’t really the Huskies either.  I really want to pick the Huskies, but when I think about this game, all I see is Andrew Luck throwing to his tight ends on third down.  Here’s guessing the UW defense isn’t quite ready to stop him.

Stanford 41, UW 31

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UW vs. Utah Predictions

Here’s a joke:

A midget’s walking down the street.  As he’s turning a corner, he runs into Wilt Chamberlain.

The midget looks up and says, “Utah!”


This game is a tough read. The Dawgs are scoring points and moving the ball well. Keith Price is playing at an All-American level. With an offense as potent as UW’s, it’s hard to count them out of any game. The Huskies have already played one tough game on the road in Nebraska, so they will not be intimidated by the rowdy Utes crowd. They played at BYU last season in the altitude, so they should know what to expect. Nevertheless, they are 10 point dogs. I understand why. This is Utah’s Pac-12 home opener, it’s homecoming, the Utes are coming off a beat down of rival BYU, and they just had their bye. Those are all very good signs for Utah. I’ve watched Utah play a couple games this year vs USC and BYU. I wasn’t too impressed with them at USC, and I am not sure how good BYU is, so while the crushing of the Cougars is impressive, just how impressive is yet to be seen depending on how BYU ends up.

This game is very simple, if the Huskies defense plays well, and by well I mean get a few 3rd down stops and don’t give up bone headed plays in the secondary, the Dawgs have a very good chance to win because their offense cannot be stopped, I don’t care how good the Utes D is. My problem is I don’t trust the defense. I just simply have no faith they can put together four quarters of solid defense, and on the road, you can’t afford silly mistakes. They haven’t eliminated the mistakes, so until they do, these games will always be brutal, what could have been finals. Another heart-breaker:

Utah 35 – UW 31


I used to intern for David Locke at 950 KJR, and he is now a radio host for KFAN in Salt Lake City.  I follow him on twitter and I’ve learned this week that Utah is buzzing over this game.  In fact, ask a Utes fan and he will tell you this game is the most anticipated since the Fiesta Bowl in 2005.  This is not a rivalry, nor a matchup of ranked teams, but Utah is playing its first ever Pac 12 home game.  Apparently this is a really big deal; heck, even a pre-game fireworks show is planned.  In games like this, the first quarter is crucial.  If UW comes in and shuts up the 45,000 “mini” sea of red, then I like our chances to keep it close until the end.  It’s obvious that Utah’s strength is their defense, and their weakness is putting up points.  The Huskies are prolific on offense, but far from great on defense.  Home field advantage, turnovers, special teams, and weird stuff will all loom large, but I think the side that can elevate their weakness will win this game.  My guess is the bye week gives Utah’s offense an advantage, and the atmosphere inspires the defense.

Utah-38, UW-27


Does anyone have any idea what’s going to happen in these games?  Why do we make predictions in the first place?  Why does the sun come up in the morning?  One of these has to do with science and the other two questions I’m truly looking for an answer to.  All this pressure of making a prediction just makes me so nervous for the game because I start to think about the game even more than I do in my everyday life (which is quite a lot), and then I get nervous a full 24 hours earlier than I would otherwise.  To summarize, these things are dumb!

But, you want my take on the game?  I think Utah has been talked up way too much.  They beat BYU by 44 points because BYU turned the ball over 8 times.  8 times!  That is ridiculous!  Their other games, they’ve looked solid but nothing more.  That sentence could have been said about the Huskies too.  The Utah offense is suspect, but so is the Husky defense.  The Husky offense is very good, but so is the Utah defense.  It’s a stalemate.  Does that mean it comes down to special teams?  That would mean the Huskies would have a slight edge.  But, I’m picking Utah because this is a game that top-20 teams in the nation win.  I don’t have the faith that the Huskies are quite there yet, but if they win then, for the first time since 2001 (or maybe 2002) I’ll truly believe the Huskies can win any game.  Go Dawgs.

Utah – 34  UW – 27


The Huskies seem to be continually faced with games which could possibly come to define them as a football team.  Some, such as the Nebraska game, they’ve lost.  Some, they’ve won.  And still we’re not sure what this team is.  Tomorrow’s game seems like the latest and most definite of these defining contests.  If the Huskies are a better than mediocre team, they should beat Utah on the road.  At the very least, they should keep it competetive until the end.  The truth is, we have no idea what will happen in this game because the Huskies are still incredibly unpredictable, and until they can play well consistently, no single game is defining.

All that being said, this has the makings of a great game, and a win really could be a catalyst toward a big season.  As Joe said, it’s going to rest with the defense.  If they can figure out how to get off the field on third down even half the time, the Dawgs will run away with this game.  I’m not really sure what Utah is.  They are always well-coached, they have solid talent, but their offense is probably the least threatening UW has seen thus far.  Their defense is solid, but the Husky offense is better than that.  Utah is coming off a blowout of BYU followed by a bye.  As Andrew said, BYU had 8 turnovers and almost lost to Utah State tonight.  BYU isn’t very good.  That doesn’t mean Utah isn’t good, but I’m thinking the Dawgs grow up in Salt Lake City tomorrow and pull out the win.

UW 34, Utah 27

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