Tag Archives: Hau’oli Jamora

Looking at the Dawgs – Defense

A few days ago, I wrote about the probable starters and depth on the Huskies offense.  Today, we move over to the defense.

This picture is too pretty to leave out of this post.

This picture is too pretty to leave out of this post.

Defensive Overview: Heading into 2012, expectations weren’t exactly high for the defense.  They had just come off one of the worst seasons in school history (statistically) and even a decent jump in performance wouldn’t put them at average.  The change of the defensive coaching staff was sure to be an upgrade but how much was hard to predict.

The season started, and the offense sputtered.  Thankfully, Wilcox, and staff, performed a minor miracle and transformed the Husky defense to slightly above-average and in the top half of Pac-12 defenses.  They led the team to wins against San Diego State, Stanford and Oregon State.  The defense was led by a lockdown corner in Desmond Trufant and a slew of young linebackers in Travis Feeney, Shaq Thompson, and John Timu.

Heading into 2013, it’s still a little strange to think of the defense as a strength but it appears to be just that.  I don’t know if the unit as a whole will be way ahead of the offense but they should at least be equals to the other side of the ball.  While the offenses switch to a hurry-up offense was to benefit themselves, I do think the defense will reap benefits, as well. The defense has struggled against fast-paced spread teams for the last 10 years.  Practicing against the fast-paced can not hurt.  Also, the coaching staff has recruited a different type of athlete that’s leaning towards a longer, faster player (just look at the linebackers).

There are certainly questions on this side of the ball, but for now the positives outweigh them.  The D is young, fast, and physical and I’m excited to see what they could do this season.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the best defense Washington has had in over a decade.

On to the positions.

Defensive Line:
Starters – DE Andrew Hudson (RJr.), DT Danny Shelton (Jr.), DE Evan Hudson (RJr.), RE Josh Shirley (RJr.)/Corey Littleton (So.)/Hau’oli Kikaha (RJr.)
Andrew Hudson and Shelton have been mainstays on the line for the last few years and have performed admirably.  Andrew is more of your typical D. end in that he’s a little longer, isn’t quite as heavy and excels in rushing the passer.  Shelton probably has the most potential of any guy on the line (especially if you don’t consider the true freshmen).  He was solid last season in his starting spot but has had the breakout that fans and coaches have hoped for.  He should be a force in the middle and his penetration will be a key in stop the run game.  Evan Hudson is a converted tight end who looks like he’s set to start next to Shelton.   The position is listed as a defensive end because the team runs a bit of a 3-4 defense but really Hudson is almost like a defensive tackle as well.  He’s another tall guy who weighs in at 280.  Maybe the defensive line was in such bad shape that they need Evan to start or maybe he truly is that talented on this side of the ball.  I’m guessing it’s a mix of both but I do feel a bit uneasy about him coming in and starting right away.  The rush end spot is up for grabs with Josh Shirley, Corey Littleton, and Hau’oli Kikaha (formerly Hau’oli Jamora) all battling for the starting spot.  Shirley has been a very one-dimensional player in the past in always just trying to speed rush right past the tackle.  With that being said, he is probably the best pass rusher the Huskies have and could challenge for double-digit sacks this year.  Littleton saw a few games last season as a true freshman and played about how you’d expect a freshman on the line to play.  He’s said to be much improved in practice and may have been playing in front of Shirley at times during the camp.  Hau’oli has suffered 2 straight ACL tears in the last 2 seasons and has battled back to have an impressive Fall Camp.  Before the tears, he was one of the Huskies best defensive players.  If he can get to that level, the Huskies pass rush will definitely be a much stronger force.  The rush end position is one of the more intriguing spots on the team with three talented guys at one position.  I will be excited to watch it play out over the season
The Depth – DE Joe Mathis (Fr.), DT Sione Potoa’e (Sr.), Lawrence Lagafuaina (RJr.), DT Josh Banks (Sr.), DT Drew Schultz (RJr.), DE Connor Cree (RSo.), DE Jarrett Finau (RSo.), DT Elijah Qualls (Fr.), Damion Turpin (RFr.), DT Taniela Tupou (RSo.), DE Marcus Farria (Fr.)
The depth on the D-line is slowly improving during Sark’s tenure.  This group of players could look really good in a year or two but for now there are a few decent guys and then question marks.  Joe Mathis, a freshman, is challenging for a starting spot and will probably play this year.  If he doesn’t redshirt, which is highly unlikely, expect to see him on the field quite a bit.  Potoa’e, Banks, and Schultz have all played enough defensive tackle to feel okay about.  Potoa’e was a very impressive recruit but has never reached his, thought to be, potential.  Lagafuaina tore his ACL last year and is still getting up to speed, but when he’s in the game he takes up a lot of space in the middle.  Cree and Finau saw limited action last year and provide decent depth.  Qualls may or may not redshirt but he was a heralded recruit.  The other guys might get some action in the game but have figured in to the rotation as prominently as the guys I have listed above them.  Farria will probably redshirt.

Linebackers:
Starters – OLB Shaq Thompson (So.), MLB John Timu (Jr.), OLB Travis Feeney (RSo.)
On paper, this is easily the best position group on the team.  They are quick, young and physical.  They close fast to the ball and could be the best position group the team has had in years.  In my last post, I said ASJ was the best player the Huskies have had in at least a decade.  By the end of Thompson’s career here, he could hold that title.  Shaq is incredibly talented, bringing a mix of speed and size that you don’t see often.  He could be an All-American by the end of the season.  Timu continues to grow and improve.  He was very impressive in a few games last year draws rave reviews from the coaching staff for his intelligence.  Timu did struggle against power teams last year and I wonder if that has improved this season. As good as the other two were last year, Feeney may have been the best linebacker on the team.  He also has great speed and loves to hit people.  All of these guys were safeties in high school and you can see that athleticism in their linebacking.  The only concern is against the power teams of the world.
The Depth:  Princeton Fuimaono (Sr.), Thomas Tutogi (Sr.), Jamaal Kearse (RJr.), Scott Lawyer (RSo.), Connor O’Brien (Fr.), Azeem Victor (Fr.), Keishawn Bierria (Fr.), Sean Constantine (Fr.)
The depth helps make this position the best on the team.  Fuimaono has been challenging Feeney for his starting spot and will be the first guy off the bench as a linebacker.  Princeton can probably play both outside linebacker positions.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a package where the three starting linebackers are on the field with Fuimaono.  This coaching staff is pretty good at getting their best players on the field.  Tutogi proved to be a valuable piece of the puzzle last year at middle linebacker.  He played quite a bit against the power teams and was a very physical force.  I’m curious to see if he’ll play in Timu’s spot against power teams on running downs.  I expect to see a lot of Tutogi and Fuimaono on the field plenty this year. Kearse has had an interesting career and is a very capable backup.  He’s started a few games in his career and come up with some big plays.  Lawyer has impressed people in camp and will start to see a lot of time come next year.  He’ll play on special teams quite a bit this year.  I’m hoping all of the freshmen get to redshirt but some may have to be used on special teams.  They’re an impressive group with a lot of size.   Continue reading

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Around The Pac-12 – Week 2

The first week of college football is done and over with.  That’s kind of sad when you think about it, but there’s no time to reflect because we must press on.  Before I move on to telling you dumb things about the rest of the Pac-12, I’ll cover just a few Husky notes.  The expected news broke today that Jesse Callier and Hau’oli Jamora will be out for the rest of the season.  Callier is a blow and the running back depth is very low.  He was the guy with the most experience back there and one of the most talented.  The true freshman, Erich Wilson, will now be the second running back and I expect him to play pretty well (he did in the opener).  He could have an impact that Callier did his freshman year.  The Jamora news was expected, but it’s too bad for the young man.  Also, tonight Sark admitted on the radio show that he kept the offense vanilla for the opener.  He said they have other running plays in their back pocket that they think will be ran effectively.  I truly think you’ll see a different offense this week.  Of course, the opponent is a very stiff test.  Anyway, on to the rest of the Pac-12!

Arizona – Beat Toledo 24-17 OT – Coming Up: vs. Oklahoma State

Arizona’s game against Toledo wasn’t an over-inspiring opener for Rich Rodriguez.  They did gain a ton of yards and would have scored a bunch of points if it weren’t for turnovers.  This week, they play a team who just scored 379 points in one game (not really).  Oklahoma State will test the Arizona defense and probably over-match them.  The Cowboys have beat Arizona 73-24 over their last two years of playing.  Good luck, Rich Rod!  I can’t believe I haven’t called him that yet.

Arizona State – Beat Northern Arizona 63-6 – Coming Up: vs. Illinois

The Sun Devils played spoiler to Northern Arizona’s dreams of a perfect season.  That’s a ridiculous thing to say but I bet the Northern Arizona players were dreaming of a perfect season, so stop being so disrespectful.  A much stiffer test come this against Illinois.  No, Illinois isn’t a top 25 team but they are a mediocre Big-10 team who could challenge for a bowl.  We could learn more about Arizona State this week!  Unless we don’t watch or read about them.  It’s hard to learn about something without observation.

California – Lost to Nevada 24-31 – Coming Up: vs. Southern Utah

This was probably the Pac-12’s worst loss of the week.  I didn’t think the Golden Bears would lose and I expected them to be in the upper-echelon of the conference.  This could be a blip on the radar or it could be the beginning of the end of Jeff Tedford.  This week they play Southern Utah.    Southern Utah’s mascot is the Thunderbird.  Cal will probably drop their wrath on the Thunderbirds.  This is because Southern Utah is bad, not because a Thunderbird isn’t powerful.  They sound very powerful.

Colorado – Lost to Colorado State 22-17 – Coming Up:  vs. Sacramento State

Colorado had the other bad loss for the conference this week.  No one expected them to be good, so it’s not surprising but it doesn’t help the Pac-12’s reputation.  This week they play Sacramento State.  I would make some remark about Sacramento State but they beat Oregon State last year so they’ve earned some respect.  Still, this shouldn’t be much of a game as Sac. State lost to New Mexico State 49-19 last Thursday.

Oregon – Beat Arkansas State 57-34 – Coming Up: vs. Fresno State

If you hadn’t already heard this score, you’d probably think, “Wow!  That’s a lot of points Oregon gave up!”  It’s true that they gave up a lot of points but they were also ahead 50-3 midway through the second quarter.  Good for Chip Kelly to not be like Oklahoma State and score 522 points (they didn’t really score that many).  Although it is a little strange that the Duck’s backups gave up that many points.  I still wouldn’t really look far into that.  This week the dreadful team from Eugene continues it’s non-conference gauntlet against a mediocre at best Fresno State team.  At least we’ll get to find out more about Oregon’s backups these first few weeks!

Oregon State – Postponed vs. Nicholls State – Coming Up: vs. Wisconsin

It’s amazing how quickly something can change your perception on a game.  For some reason I thought that the Beavers played at Wisconsin this week.  I didn’t give them a chance.  Once I looked it up and saw that wasn’t the case I thought that an upset could occur.  Wisconsin is a very good team who should beat Oregon State but that’s a tough place to play.  Unfortunately for the Beavers, they weren’t able to get the kinks out last week because their game was postponed.  An upset would be a stretch, but I’m guessing that this game might be a little closer than people think.  I’m usually wrong though, so sorry Beaver fans.  Some of you seem nice and I don’t mean to ruin your chances.

Stanford – Beat San Jose State 20-17 – Coming Up: vs. Duke

If you’re feeling bad about the Huskies opener, I suggest you look to northern California to feel bad.  The Golden Bears lost to a team from Nevada, which shouldn’t happen and the Trees had to do everything in their might to beat a state team from a city.  If you can make sense of that sentence, congratulations.  Stanford looked bad in their opener.  Maybe worse than everyone aside from Wazzu.  I don’t expect them to be bad going forward and I think that if you survive the first week you should celebrate.  Still, they have some major question marks and didn’t look like the physical team we’d grown accustomed to.  This week they face off against Duke in a battle of very smart football players.

UCLA – Beat Rice 49-24 – Coming Up: vs. Nebraska

Of all the Pac-12 teams, UCLA might have had the most impressive opener.  They went on the road and beat a team by 25 points.  That’s not an easy thing to do, even if that team was the Rice Owls.  This week they face a much stiffer test, because they’ll be sore.  Wait, that’s not right.  They’ll face a much stiffer test in opponent in Nebraska.  I have my doubts about the Bruins putting up another 49 points against Nebraska but I don’t think a win is out of the question.  UCLA has been known to surprise in their non-conference schedule.  Plus, I’d take a Bruin over a Cornhusker any day.

USC – Beat Hawaii 49-10 – Coming Up: at Syracuse

USC’s first offensive play of the season was a touchdown.  There will be many more of those plays coming.  The Trojans are very good and look to improve as they face Syracuse in New Jersey this Saturday.  This shouldn’t be much of a game, as Syracuse is about the same kind of team as Hawaii (that being mediocre).  I’ve heard that Matt Barkley will stay and play for the New York Jets on Sunday, as well.  Take that Tebow and Mark Sanchez fans!  Are there any Mark Sanchez fans?

Utah – Beat Northern Colorado 41-0 – Coming Up: at Utah State (Friday)

Utah beat a bad team.  This week they’ll play a slightly better team and will probably win, but by fewer points. How’s that for analysis?  Some team’s pre-season’s just aren’t fun.  I’d rather see my school play against one really good team (or at least a unique team) than a whole bunch of uninteresting team.  I’ll see how I feel about this thought after LSU injures every single starting player the Huskies have.

WSU – Lost to BYU 30-6 – Coming Up: Eastern Washington

Wow, the Cougars looked bad.  I didn’t expect them to have such a difficult time scoring.  If the team plays like that for the rest of the season, Jeff Tuel will be injured and they’ll only win 3 or 4 games.  This game is one that they will win.  They should have no problem with Eastern Washington, although we’ve seen bad things happen against the Eagles.  I think we’ll see improvement from the Cougars as the year goes on.  I just hope it happens at a Paul Wulff improvement rate.  Sorry Coug fans, I couldn’t help myself.

Over all, it was a pretty underwhelming week for the conference.  There were a few close games that shouldn’t have been close and a few losses that should have been wins.  The Pac-12 has a chance to make a statement this week, although week 1 didn’t boost anyone’s confidence.  Here’s to a few upsets!

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Defensive Line

Matthew wrote a post a couple of hours ago that is previewing the Husky team as a whole.  I’m posting over it a little bit too soon, so here’s the link because you should go read it.

We’re to the defensive side of the ball in this series and I’ll probably only keep the defensive side to three posts.  Like the offensive line post (which is a few scrolls down from this one), the player information will be less than a skill position.  Linemen don’t often have much to say and I am not able to analyze them as well.  Plus, there’s a lot of them.  I’ll try to cover everyone who will play and I’ll start with the guys who are listed as the starters.  The guys who are going to red-shirt or are buried on the depth chart probably won’t be listed.  If you have any questions about them, leave it in the comments.  Also, Hau’oli Jamora is injured and looks like he could be out all season so I’m going to leave him off on this post.  And here we go!

DE – Talia Crichton (Sr.)

Every time I’ve heard it mentioned this camp that Crichton was a senior I did a double-take.  It seems weird to me.  Talia was a guy who probably should have red-shirted his first year but the depth wasn’t so good and he was needed.  He was over-matched that year and never has been a huge factor on the defense.  Now, he gets his chance as a senior, with Jamora out, to make a real contribution.  The coaches all say that he’s had a good camp (although, what else would they say?) and has gotten better and better.  He has definitely beefed up since his younger years, playing at 265.  With that being said, he is probably the biggest question mark on the line and doesn’t have proven depth behind him.

NT – Danny Shelton (So.)

I think there are a few guys on the defense that we can expect to take a big step forward this year and Danny leads that charge.  A lot has been thrown at the big fella but he looks to be ready to handle it.  With the Dawgs switching to a quicker, smaller defensive line this year, Shelton has to be the guy that stops the run.  He needs to demand double teams so he can let the athletes at safety and linebacker to make the play.  The coaches wouldn’t have tried this defense if they didn’t think Shelton was capable so I think we have to trust their judgment.  I think by the end of the season, Shelton will be one of the three best players on the defense and he showed flashes of that last year.  This is all as a true sophomore, by the way.

DE – Andrew Hudson (RS So.)

This position could also be called defensive tackle.  If you look at the defense as a 3-4 (3 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers), then Hudson is the defensive end.  I think of it more as a 4-3, which I’ll get into more in a minute.  Hudson had to add some weight to play this position and will also be counted on to help against the run.  Just to reiterate the point, this is not a tradition defensive end position.  Hudson started 2 games last year at end and played in all of them.  He was another guy who got better as the season wore on and I think we’ll see a big improvement from him this season.  When the Huskies play against teams that want to pound the ball down our throat (think Stanford, LSU, and Utah) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hudson move over and share time with Crichton, leaving this space for Tokolahi and Potoa’e  Before I move on, keep an eye on how young these guys are.  It’s the same theme as the offensive line, there are a whole lot of sophomores.  I think that’s when a good share of guys show the most progress (especially if they’ve red-shirted).

Rush End – Josh Shirley (RS So.)

This is a new position to the defense that many aren’t familiar with.  This position, in my mind, is still a part of the defensive line but the player may be standing up more (like a linebacker).  The focus of this position is to rush the quarterback so a guy who stands up and rushes off the edge will be playing here.  Josh Shirley is that guy.  He came to U-Dub after being kicked off the UCLA team a couple of weeks after he went to school there.  It turned out that the incident wasn’t a big deal and after a red-shirt year and a solid freshman campaign, people are expecting big things from Shirley.  This position was essentially made for him and he should be solid in it.  He’s a little undersized to be considered a conventional defensive end but his quickness is what will scare teams.  He had a great game against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl and looks to continue that going forward.  Don’t be surprised if once in a while he isn’t rushing, but will stand up and drop into coverage.  That probably won’t happen much but it will enough times to make the quarterback think of it.

5 Others To Watch:  DE – Pio Vatuvei (Fr.), N/DT – Semisi Tokolahi (RS Sr.), NT – Lawrence Lagafuaina (RS So.), DE/T – Sione Potoa’e (Jr.), RE – Connor Cree (RS Fr.)

Pio Vatuvei will probably be slowly mixed into the rotation.  He is a freshman that flipped from USC to U-Dub late last year in the recruiting game.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an impact like Hau’oli Jamora did his freshman year.  If he does, that would be a huge boost to this Husky defensive line.  Semisi Tokolahi was great in 2010.  He was one of the best lineman on the team and then he broke his leg in the Apple Cup and never made it all the way back last year.  I expect him to start (or play a lot) against running teams.  I’ve read from many places that he looks fully recovered from the injury.  Lawrence Lagafuaina is another big guy who could fill the middle.  He’s got a few guys in front of him on the depth chart but he’ll be used in goal line packages to stop the run.  Sione Potoa’e is a little bit of a forgotten man.  He came to U-Dub as a heralded recruit, and rightfully so.  He had to play his true freshman year and that may have hurt his development or confidence.  He still has the makings of a very good player.  He’s another guy I’d expect to see in against running teams quite a bit.  This is the most quality depth the Huskies have had at defensive tackle in quite some time.  I expect to see Connor Cree in on special teams more than anything else.  He is built like Josh Shirley and could be valuable rushing off the edge.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Wide Receiver

Camp is almost half over and the first game is 2 weeks away.  It seems as if training camp has brought a new injury with it everyday.  When you list everything out (which I will do after I run through the wide receivers) it doesn’t look as bad as what the perception is.

I’ve written about quarterbacks, running backs, and fullbacks so far in this series and I move on to receiver today.  The position is going through what seems to be a little bit of a face lift this year, with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar graduating.  Those two had very good careers at U-Dub, although they both came with their fair share of frustrations.  Most fans agree that, while the 2012 group is young, they have a good amount of talent and shouldn’t see a huge drop off in production.  On to the names!  I’ll include most players (I will probably leave off some walk-ons who I don’t see as contributors this year).  The order I list them is in the order I perceive as the current depth chart.

Kasen Williams (SO.)

I was just reading Ted Miller’s blog (which is fantastic) and he was asked to compare Kasen Williams and Marquess Wilson.  He said that it wasn’t a fair comparison in comparing someone who is an All-American and someone who is mostly based on potential at this point.  This is exactly right.  Kasen Williams has as much potential as any receiver in the Pac-12 and maybe the country.  No, really he does.  He flashed it at times last year but he has hardly proven himself.  He’s not in the Pac-12 elite but I would be surprised if he wasn’t in that group by the end of the season.  Every Husky fan (and a few WSU fans) have the picture of Kasen leaping over a defensive back in the Apple Cup cemented into their memory bank and these are the type of plays that we hope to see all year.  Last year, Kasen caught 36 passes for 427 yards.  I expect him to double those yards.  By all accounts, Williams should be a star at some point, the question is if that will happen this year.  I sure hope so.

James Johnson (SR.) 

James Johnson has had an interesting career as a Husky.  He scored the first touchdown of the Sark era, as a true freshman.  Johnson then went on to have a great freshman year (39 catches for 422 yards), particularly in the first half.  He was then injured before his sophomore year and somehow got lost in the mix at the position.  He never really saw the field, aside from a few plays here and there.  Last year brought something of a comeback for Johnson (28 receptions for 366 yards).  He would have a few great games (Nebraska comes to mind) and then disappear for a game it seemed.  He did miss a few games due to injury.  This year is off to an ominous start, as he’s suffered a dislocated wrist and a few torn ligaments.  Sarkisian said that he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  This is a blow to the Dawgs for the first few games as most people had James penciled in as the number 2 receiver.

Cody Bruns (RS SR.)

Speaking of interesting careers, I’m not sure any player could top Bruns in that category.  Cody Bruns played in his first game half way through his freshman year because Ty wanted to run some trick plays.  Cody would get on the field for about 3 plays a game and it wasn’t usually to catch passes.  Bruns was a bit lost in the depth his sophomore year and then played a little more his junior year.  He’s been labeled as a player who could do everything from holding on field goals, to passing the ball, to punt coverage, to actually receiving.  Last year, he was dealt an emotional blow as his father passed away.  The coaches and Bruns decided that a redshirt year would be best for all involved.  Now Bruns enters his last year and figures to be an integral part in the receiving corps.  He may be used in a more conventional way than usual but don’t be surprised to see him be on the field in many different capacities.  He has surprising speed and is said to be a sharp route runner.

Kevin Smith (JR.)

It’s easy to forget that Kevin Smith didn’t play all 4 years of high school football.  He started later but his athletic ability made up for however raw he was.  Now he’s an upper class-man who could be a pretty big contributor (208 yards receiving last year).  Smith is still recovering from an ACL injury and could be limited for the first month of the season.  If he does come back to 100% healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the Huskies 4 best receivers.  You may also see him back returning kicks and showing off his speed.

Jaydon Mickens (FR.)

Mickens was rated as a four-star recruit coming out of California and has been turning heads in the first 2 weeks of camp.  He has even been running with the starters in the last couple of days due to injuries ahead of him and his good play.  Mickens is the smallest of the receivers (5-10, 170) but has a ton of speed.  He’s almost assured to play this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in 2 weeks.

Kendyl Taylor (FR.)

Much of what I said about Mickens rings true for Taylor.  He was a highly rated recruit coming out of Arizona who has been making plenty of plays thus far in camp.  He’s also 5-10 but a little bulkier than Mickens.  His high school mascot was a Husky so that’s cool, I guess.  Taylor will see plenty of playing time, especially as Johnson and Smith work their way back as the season progresses.  Sure, these 2 freshmen probably have their best days a few years down the road but we don’t have the luxury to wait for that since the Dawgs need them now.  I’m guessing they’ll come through with only a few hiccups along the way.

A few more guys and notes after the jump. Continue reading

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Fullback

Just in case anyone missed Matthew’s post below, here is the link.  I can’t say enough about the post.  If you haven’t read it, go do that now.

Today we get to know our Dawgs who play fullback.  This falls at a convenient time since there are two of them and I’m on vacation so I don’t really want to write that much.  Suckers.  With that being said, there is a few notes after the jump about the first week of the Huskies training camp.

Jonathan Amosa (SR)

Who scored the first touchdown of the 2011 Husky football season?  If you had Jonathan Amosa in that pool, you were probably the only one.  You were also correct.  Amosa was thrust into the starting role last season after Zach Fogerson retired due to injury.  The word I’d use to describe Amosa’s play is adequate.  He got the job done but nothing too much more.  He seemed like he blocked pretty well but he’s nowhere near the Stanley Havili type player that Sark had at USC.  He came to U-Dub as a walk-on but was awarded a scholarship two years ago and has since became a regular.  He seems like a good guy to root for.  I would expect him to be on the field about half of the offensive plays, splitting time with Dezden Petty and off the field when the Dawgs go with a one-back formation.

Psalm Wooching (FR)

Psalm has the best name on the team.  That’s a quality that really can’t be looked over.  While Amosa is adequate, Wooching has a chance to be something more.  He could be more of the Stanley Havili type I had mentioned above.  With that being said, it looks as if this Hawaiian is headed for a redshirt year.  I’m excited to see what Psalm could become but that might not come for another year or two.

More notes after the jump. Continue reading

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Recapping Cal and Looking Ahead

On Saturday, the Huskies won a thrilling game against California 31-23.  You’ve all probably either watched the game or read the stories, so there’s not much point in me giving a blow-by-blow recap.  I will point out a few things that stuck out to me.

First of all, what a great birthday.  Saturday was my 21st and I got to spend it with my family and my girlfriend.  As far as I can remember, this was the first time my entire family had gone to a Husky game and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  To many guys, Saturdays are their day off to spend in front of the TV (or at a game) getting some time by themselves and drinking a few beers.  That’s all good and I don’t mind watching a game by myself now and then, but Saturdays in the fall are family affairs at Husky Stadium and I’m so incredibly thankful for that.

It was also a great birthday because the Huskies won.  As we’ve all grown somewhat accustomed to, they won in a nail-biter.  Our Dawgs have won 7 of their last 8 games and only 2 of those wins have been by double digits.  It sure would be nice to beat a time by a couple of touchdowns but, in a ploy to make more people buy season tickets because every game is nerve wracking, the Huskies have decided to make sure they win in the last second, if they win at all.  Matthew and I were talking about if they will ever win in a blow-out.  We decided that will happen in about 2017.

With that paragraph full of sarcasm out of me, it’s amazing how far this program has come in a short amount of time.  This would have been the kind of game the Huskies easily would have lost a few years ago.  A few years ago, this team would have been 1-3 after 4 games.  0-4 wouldn’t be out of the question right now.  Sark has done a phenomenal job and it says a ton about how far he’s taken us when we say that we expect more out of this team.  And we all should expect more because this team can be quite a bit better.

Some bullet holes on the game and what lies ahead after the jump.   Continue reading

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Huskies at the Quarter Pole

It’s hard to believe, but the Husky season is already at the quarter point.  Our Dawgs’ have the record we all expected them to have after 3 games, 2-1, even if they’ve taken a strange route to get there.

September started with a game against Eastern Washington where the Huskies were outplayed in almost every area of the game.  They got the win, but panic ensued around Husky nation and people were upset.  Next, Hawaii came in and the Dawgs came out on fire.  They jumped to a 21-0 lead and seemed like a team who could compete with the best of the best.  Then they let Hawaii back into it and held on for a victory.  The Huskies were 2-0 for the first time since 2007 but neither victory provided a ton of confidence in the team.

Yesterday, they went into one of the toughest places to play in the country.  They stood toe-to-toe with Nebraska in the first half, and by all accounts would have had the lead going into halftime if it weren’t for a terrible call.  Then, the third quarter started.  A three-and-out, a terrible call on a punt, a touchdown, a fumbled kick-off, a touchdown, a turnover on downs, and a touchdown later the Huskies were down by 24.

It was a terrible stretch to watch and, judging from post-game interviews, was even worse to play in.  Now that I’ve cooled off and watched the rest of the game, I’ve realized that those stretches are one of the many reasons why I love college football.  On any Saturday, a team can be totally swept up in the momentum of the game and anything can happen.  These players are taking calculus and history classes during the week and all of a sudden they’re dealing with poor officiating and bad bounces of the ball and they completely lose their composure.  That happened to us on Saturday and I’m not saying it’s acceptable, it’s not, but that’s college football and it’s part of the reason why it’s so exciting.

Anyway, the Huskies regained their composure and went on to battle back, fighting valiantly to the finish.  It wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for, but it was probably the best game the Huskies have played all season.

I’ll break down each position after the jump.  Continue reading

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Filed under Huskies Football, Huskies Position Overviews, UW Game Recaps