Tag Archives: Jesse Callier

Your 2014 UW Husky Offensive Preview

Hey readers, long time no write! New content here has been next to non-existent for a while, but college football season always inspires The Good Guys. I can’t promise the inspiration will last, but we’ll at least get the season started right.

With Seahawk fever now a permanent Seattle epidemic, the Huskies aren’t getting a lot of attention yet.  I don’t know whether that will change at all, but they deserve some buzz. This team has the potential to be the best Husky squad since the Tui-led Rose Bowl team. That’s not saying a ton, and this team has questions, but there’s the chance of something special on Montlake.

I debated what type of preview to write, but I think I’m going with a good old position-by-position write-up. While a lot of these players have been around, some of the focus is shifting from the departed offensive stars to lesser-known guys. I’ll start with the offense tonight. Here we go!

Quarterback

Most fans would say this position is the key to the Huskies season, and it’s hard to disagree. I don’t know that the Dawgs need elite QB play this year, but they need an unproved guy to be dependable and reasonably mistake-free. Who the QB will be is still somewhat in doubt. Jeff Lindquist gets the opening start in Hawaii. He’s big and athletic with a good arm but next to no experience. There’s no reason he can’t be effective, but game action is the only true determiner. Lindquist narrowly beat out freshman Troy Williams, who has maybe the biggest arm and most potential of the group, but the least experience. Should Lindquist struggle, Williams could see some time. Hopefully more likely, he’ll see mop-up duty in Hawaii.

Lurking behind these two is Cyler Miles, suspended for the opener for his off-season shenanigans. The common assumption is Miles will take over week two, but I don’t consider that a fait accompli. Miles brings a bit more experience and excellent running ability, but he’s generally considered to have the weakest arm on the roster and missed all of spring practice. Should Lindquist impress at Hawaii, it’s no given he’ll lose the spot just because Miles is available.

Running Back

Replacing Bishop Sankey is impossible, but the Dawgs have the talent to maintain an elite running game. Dwayne Washington will get the first carries. He’s taller for a back and fast, but runs with a good amount of power and violence. Fumbling issues held him down early last year, but he recovered to log the most yards of any back besides Sankey. His time as a receiver should theoretically be of benefit in the passing game. RS freshman Lavon Coleman has garnered raves since arriving in Seattle. He’s a big back with star potential.

Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier are still around and should see plenty of carries. I’ve never been a huge Callier fan, but he’s a dependable change of pace from the bigger Washington and Coleman. It’s hard not to continue to hope for Cooper to regain everything he was rumored to have before his injuries. If he were to do so, he could easily take over the starting job and be one of the best in the conference. More likely, he’ll get a decent share of carries but not quite have the burst to be a star. No matter what, he’s one of the great stories of perseverance the Huskies will ever have.

Shaq Thompson looms in the shadows, awaiting the day the Dawgsignal summons him to the offensive backfield to deliver justice and retribution to Ducks and Bruins alike. 

Receivers

This is a talented and fairly deep group, but how dominant they are could depend on how effectively Kasen Williams returns from last year’s injury. He’s not yet at full strength, but he’s close enough to play this week. Kasen’s size and experience is needed as a counterpoint to the speed of Jaydon Mickens, John Ross and friends.  Mickens matured into a go-to receiver last year, and he could be a monster in 2014 if he can diversify his game a bit. Ross is the most electric player on the roster and could make a huge jump himself. There are capable bodies behind the three, but a breakout or two would be welcome.

Tight end is a little hard to figure, due to Austin Seferian-Jenkins departure and questions as to how a new staff will use the position. Josh Perkins showed himself capable of making big catches a year ago. Michael Hartvigson has never had the impact many expected, but he’s valuable as a blocker and might catch a few more passes this year. Darrell Daniels is easily the most talented guy here and one of the better athletes on the team. Hopefully he can translate all that into football skills. If he can catch the ball, he could be huge as a bigger threat to complement Kasen. 

Offensive Line

For the first time in a long time, UW is deep, talented and experienced on the O Line. Six guys have extensive starting experience, and there’s some young talent behind them. Tackles Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva are dependable if unspectacular. LG Dexter Charles, the lone junior starter, has been considered an awards candidate in waiting since his freshman year. Colin Tanigawa supplanted Mike Criste at C this fall, potentially a good sign since Criste was a solid starter all of last year. That move could be largely about getting mammoth James Atoe into the line-up at RG. This line might not be as dominant as some of the great lines of Husky days past, but they should be better than anything the Dawgs have had lately. Count me as one who believes the coaching change could have a huge effect here too, both in performance and recruiting. Dan Cozetto’s lines never seemed to reach their expected level, and new guy Chris Strausser is renowned as a teacher.

That’s enough for tonight. Defense is next in a day or two. Go Dawgs!

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Washington-Illinois Review

The Dawgs moved to 2-0 on Saturday night against a feisty Illinois team.  From the get go it was obvious that U-Dub was the better team but the game was in doubt as late as the fourth quarter.  If you’re reading this, you probably have already read/watched/heard about the game so I’m not going to tell you what happened.  I’ll just add a few notes here and there and move on to this week.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a replay on TV (with it being on the Big-10 Network) and I’m not sure I want to hear those announcers for another 3 hours anyway.  In other words, I’m not going to do quite the breakdown I did against Boise.  I’ve made this weird little outline that pretty much encapsulates the main notes I have on the game.  Enjoy!

Distractions:  First, this trip seemed a little hectic for the Huskies.  On the radio show today, Sark said their bus showed up late at the airport when they landed.  He also mentioned that Northwestern University (their mascot is the Wildcats, if you need any more proof that they are stupid) cancelled on letting the Huskies having a walk-through on their field.  This led to the Dawgs having a practice in a large, public park in downtown Chicago.

Dumber Distractions:  Then, the officials happened.  Yes, the Huskies committed too many penalties, without a doubt.  The Huskies ended with 12 penalties for 104 yards.  I can remember 4 or 5 penalties I don’t particularly agree with.  ASJ was called for holding without touching anyone.  Danny Shelton was called for a late hit on a guy that was still in-bounds (although he did launch himself, this will usually be a penalty).  Jaydon Mickens was called for a late hit and was shown walking around while the player was being tackled, so I don’t know how it could be a late hit.  Josh Shirley was called for a roughing the passer penalty because he was pushed into the quarterback and his arm touched him.  There were a few other holding penalties that didn’t seem quite right.  If you take away just three of the four penalties I mentioned, the yardage is down to about 70 yards.  That’s not good but it’s not nearly as crippling, obviously.

Dumbest Distractions:  The Huskies also fought off a number of trick plays.  There was around ten trick plays the Illini tried.  Most of them worked for about ten yards.  One led to a big first down on a pivotal play and went for about 40 yards.  Other than that, the Huskies survived.  I hate those plays.  Not as much as my fellow Good Guys hate them but I can’t stand them.  It seemed fitting that the Huskies pretty much ended the game by intercepting a double pass.

The Real Story:  When you take into account and consider these first three points, the Huskies really dominated the game.  The offense racked up over 600 yards, led by a running back who should be considered for the Heisman Trophy.  The defense played fast in the first half and looked like the same team that played against Boise.  They had their lapses (more on those in a minute) but they dominated a team that played with a lot of confidence and tenacity.

Cause For Concern – Offense:  As I said, there were lapses on both sides of the ball.  First the offense.  In the Red Zone, the Huskies settled for field goals twice.  At the end of the half, the Huskies drove down into the red zone before stalling there.  The drive ended because of some really questionable play calling.  There was no running plays once the team got in there even though they had all their time-outs and there was plenty of time on the clock.  The other drive that resulted in a field goal ended similarly.  I know Kasen and ASJ are great Red Zone weapons but right now Sankey is our best weapon.  He needs the ball no matter where we are on the field.  I think Sark will remedy this problem but it’s something to be aware of.

Another Cause for Concern – Offense:  After really impressing in the opener, Dwayne Washington really struggled on Saturday.  He had 2 carries and 2 fumbles.  Not exactly the ratio you want.  Dwayne will get it right, but it was a tough day for the freshman and the Huskies need him to be effective as the season goes on.

Cause for Concern – Defense:  The big plays that were prevented against Boise came against Illinois.  The defense had a few blown coverages and Ducre was burnt for one long touchdown.  That touchdown kept Illinois in the game when it looked like the Huskies were about to put it away completely.  After being so sound defensively in the opener, the Huskies need to clean up some assignments and their mental game to prevent the big play.

Another Darn Cause for Concern – Defense:  In the second half, John Timu sat out because of a shoulder injury.  It is expected that he’ll be able to return, if not this week, next week.  It was apparent that Timu is very important to the defense.  In the second half, Illinois moved the ball pretty well and often ran right up the middle.  The defensive line got pushed around a little bit and the linebackers weren’t as effective because of that.  I’m curious to see if power teams will have success running right at us, even with Timu in.

Lots of Offensive Good News – Now that we have the lowlights out-of-the-way, let’s get to the good stuff.  The whole offense played really well.  I’ll just go position by position here.  Price played a great game.  He was very accurate and made good decisions.  He made a few really good plays and otherwise simply controlled the game.  At running back, Bishop Sankey was the star.  The guy is on fire and might be the best player on the team, right now.  Jesse Callier had a great return and added a few huge plays.  The receivers weren’t quite as good as the opener but were still dynamic and exciting.  Mickens and Smith continue to look fantastic.  I expect a big game from Kasen soon, as he seems to catch the ball every time it’s been thrown at him ASJ looked a little tired and didn’t perform his best.  He was on the field for over 80 snaps, which probably wasn’t the best move for his first game.  The offensive line had one of the best games in recent memory.  They gave Keith sufficient time and dominated the line of scrimmage.  Price was sacked twice but one of those he literally ran to the defender on his right and made sure he was tackled by him.  It was as weird as it sounds.

Don’t Get Defensive, There’s More Good News!  While the defensive came out to be the weaker link this week, they still did plenty of things right.  On the defensive line, Shirley had maybe the best game of his career.  He recorded three sacks, but what I think is more impressive is his two tackles for a loss.  Shirley has been called a liability against the run but he proved to be solid against it on Saturday.  Danny Shelton is not putting up numbers but the defense is noticeably worse when he’s taking a rest.  Hau’oli Kikaha continues to get better and better.  The rest of the D-line was so-so and many of the pressures were due to good coverage.  The linebackers looked very quick in the first half and were often in good position to make plays.  Their tackling, again, wasn’t the best but they are still one of the best groups on the team.  Timu truly makes a huge difference.  The secondary has played really well so far.  Ducre gave up the touchdown, but that was a great play by the offense, and then came back and sealed the game with an interception.  There were a few more blown coverages but the man-to-man defense was great.

Review and Preview:  All in all, it was a great victory by the Dawgs.  After the horror of the Apple Cup last year, the team didn’t buckle when Illinois made a run at them.  The Huskies toughened up when they needed to and ultimately dominated the game statistically.  As they move ahead they get an easy game this week against Idaho State and a home conference opener against Arizona.  The Huskies should be 3-0 and about to breach the top 15 by the time they open Pac-12 play.  It’s been too long since we’ve gotten to say that.

Until next time, go Dawgs!

Scott Lawyer!!

Scott Lawyer!!

– Andrew

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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 –

Quarterback:
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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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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The Dawgs Defend And Win!

The last time we saw the Husky football team on the field, they were in the process of giving up 67 points to the Baylor Bears.  That night, the defense was incredibly bad.  So bad that I’ve washed most of it from my memory.  Tonight was the first time the Dawgs had been back in a competitive game.  They gave up 12 points.  67-12=55.  You could score 12 points in 5 football games and still be a touchdown and a PAT away from 67 points.  I’m good at math and it’s 1:20 in the morning.

A lot will be made of how ugly the offense looked for the last 3 quarters of the game.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  A lot will be made about Rocky Long’s decision-making  in this football game.  His decisions were bad but he had said that his team would do this.  He stuck to his word, and it worked out for the Huskies.  After those two things, people will talk about the defense.  That’s a complete reverse of what it should be.  We’re all so cynical.

Justin Glenn is asleep.

The Huskies gave up 12 points, and 6 of those were on an illegal play.  Yes, San Diego State did drive for some yards and you could say that if they had settled for field goals, the game would have been much more uncomfortable.  That’s true, but remember that the Aztecs, on their only touchdown drive, went for it twice on fourth down.  If they settled for a field goal there, then they don’t get their touchdown, obviously.  There’s two sides to every coin.

Now, Ryan Katz and the San Diego State offense isn’t USC or Oregon.  But, they appeared to be a formidable foe, especially at some points.  The defense appeared faster than it has in a decade.  Desmond Trufant locked down his side of the field, until his injury.  The secondary was the best I’ve seen in… I’m still think about that because we haven’t seen a dominant secondary in a long time.  There was one blown coverage tonight and the trick play the Aztecs ran.  Can you think of any other time a receiver ran completely wide open?  Can you think of a time when bubble screens didn’t work against this team?  It was refreshing.  For most of the game there was a pass rush.  Containment on Ryan Katz wasn’t very good but I won’t be overly worried about that going forward.  The defense was good and people should talk about that first and foremost.

I’m going to keep this recap pretty short because I haven’t watched the game for a second time and it’s time for bed.  I’m just listing things about the defense now anyway and that isn’t beneficial to anyone.  I’ll just skip ahead to a few bullet points and then we’ll have a more thoughts as the week goes.

  • About the offense.  They were great in the first quarter.  They could do whatever they wanted and do it well.  Then, they kept moving the ball but didn’t score.  That truly is how I see it.  In my opinion, people are overreacting about an offense that was very vanilla and was saving things for next week.  Remember last year after the opener that Sark said he was embarrassed that they didn’t have a reception over 10 yards.  Then, the next game the Dawgs came out, threw vertically, and dominated offensively.  This was the same game plan.  How many times did the Huskies throw down field tonight?  I can remember 2.  One was a bad decision by Price and one was a touchdown called back that came on a broken play.  There were a couple of 20 yard passes but nothing that I would qualify as ‘taking a shot deep’.  This was Steve Sarkisian letting his playmakers beat the opponent and saving his intricate playbook for next week.  Of course, I could be proven wrong next week but I don’t think I will.
  • The one part of the offense that does worry me is the rushing attack.  They were bottled up in the second half and didn’t do much of anything.  Mike Criste struggled in trying to fill in for an injured Ben Riva.  Jesse Callier was injured.  There were things that didn’t break right for the rushing attack tonight but they need to be better than that.  They were pushed around and should be past the point of getting beat physically like that.
  • The injuries I mentioned above are the big ones.  Riva fractured his forearm and will be out for a couple of weeks.  Callier injured his knee and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out for the year.  Knee’s just aren’t a good thing to injure.  Trufant is a little banged up but he should be fine.  Princeton Fuimaono may have suffered a concussion but I can’t confirm that.
  • I worry that the defense may struggle against power running teams like they did last year.  They are clearly fast and will do better against a spread team but the Aztecs seemed like they could have run the ball pretty effectively.  The numbers don’t support that but that’s the impression I came away with.  Also, the open field tackling against the running back was not good enough.  Give him some credit, but that can’t happen next week.
  • Keith Price was good and this was a bad day for him.  If that doesn’t make sense, just know that Price is very good.  Let’s hope that the offensive line can keep him healthy.  He took way too many hits tonight.  Slide, young fella!

Final comment:  I’ll just summarize by saying that these are the type of games we should start to expect from Steve Sarkisian openers.  Try to hold the opponent at an arm’s length away and don’t show much offensively.  Next week, I expect to see many wrinkles in the offense.  It may not be enough, but the offense will take more chances next game.  The defense won the game for the Huskies and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that.  They really played well.  There were a few mistakes but they were miles ahead of last year.

Again, one of us will probably add some more thoughts about the game in the next couple days but I thought I’d throw out some of my thoughts before I get some much-needed sleep.  We’re 1-0!  11 more to go!  Go Dawgs.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Running Back

Fall camp started yesterday for the Huskies and the Good Guys will keep track of any major news that breaks.  At this point in time, the only news that would be of major significance is an injury so hopefully we won’t have to update on any of those.  I started a series about the Huskies position groups about a week ago, talking about the quarterbacks.  Today I’ll move on to the running backs.

The running back position has been filled over the last 3 years by one of the most successful backs in school history, Chris Polk.  He ended his career as the second leading rusher in school history and has since moved on to the NFL. This year brings us the first year of uncertainty at tailback in the Sark era.  There seems to be plenty of talent available but talent and proven talent are two different things.  I’ll order these guys in what I think the depth chart looks like right now.

Jesse Callier (Jr.)

Callier has been Polk’s backup for the last 2 years and has done pretty well in that role.  Sark made up ways to get him the ball (the fly sweep is the main way that comes to mind) and he usually succeeded with the ball.  The question about Callier is if he’d be able to handle running between the tackles and picking up the tough yards.  I tend to think that he can’t but I don’t have a ton of conviction in that thought.  Jesse did run in between the tackles in high school and was given an enormous amount of carries (43 in one game).  He doesn’t seem to have a huge history of injuries, so it’s not that I don’t think Callier couldn’t handle being the feature back.  He hasn’t shown that he can pick up yards after contact and that’s what Husky fans have grown used to.  Maybe he can but that’s yet to be seen.

Bishop Sankey (So.)

I’m a little higher on The Bishop.  He’s quick, strong and looks the part of a feature back to me.  Again, I don’t have a ton of evidence in these thoughts but it’s just what I lean-to.  Sankey played sparingly as a true freshman but showed flashes of potential.  Sark often put him in when the team ran a toss sweep play.  That speaks to Sankey’s speed.  He’s short, like Callier, and weighs about 200 pounds so the question of endurance comes up with Sankey.

Deontae Cooper (RS So.)

Matthew wrote about Cooper last night and I don’t have a lot to add.  I saw him before his two knee surgeries in almost every practice of the spring and he was every bit the legend that people have conjured up.  If he comes back and is that guy, the Huskies will have found their running back for this year and the next 2 years.  At this point, that would be close to a miracle.  But, it seems like the Huskies are due for a break as far as these things go.

Dezden Petty (RS Fr.)

Remember how the USC Trojans used  Lendale White back in their glory days?  This was the role Dezden Petty was billed to be in.  He’s a large back at 225 pounds and, if the Dawgs go with a running back by committee approach, will probably have some sort of role on this team.  I could see Petty coming in during goal line situations and he could also line up at fullback.

Erich Wilson (Fr.)

Wilson is the freshman of this group.  He didn’t come in with a bunch of hype and I don’t expect him to make an impact this year.  The depth in this group is lacking though, so who knows what could happen.  We probably won’t know much about Wilson for another year or two.

I left off Cole Sager and Willis Wilson but they are walk-ons who probably won’t be used outside of special teams and mop-up duty.  The group is young, talented and unproven.  It will be interesting to watch in camp and see if anyone claims the job.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew

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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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