Tag Archives: Steve Sarkisian

Washington-Boise State Review

Yesterday, Matthew wrote a few thoughts on the Huskies victory on Saturday night.  It was a great night and the stadium was everything I hoped it would be.  We plan to do a further review on the stadium, complete with pictures, after this weekend.  This post is all about the game.  I wrote about 3 pages worth of notes on the game while watching the replay and tried to go pretty in-depth.  With that being said, I’m not sure how to format this so bear with me as I try to figure it out.  If I get to continue doing this for every game, these posts will get better every week.

For now, I think I will just go with a few main stats on the offensive side of the ball and then lots of bullet points.  My numbers are a tiny bit off (I must have missed a play here or there) but they are only a yard or two off in places.  Enjoy!NCAA Football: Boise State at Washington

Offensive thoughts:

I don’t think anyone is questioning the move to the no-huddle offense after that performance.  The offense did go more to spread concepts, although Sark said they may not use those as much when ASJ plays.  The quarterbacks didn’t take a single snap under center, it was all in shotgun or pistol.  Double tight-end sets were used on multiple occasions and a fullback was used in 3 or 4 drives.  One interesting formation was with Price lined up in the pistol and two tight ends (Perkins and Hartvigson) would both line up on the same side of the line.  The Dawgs had a good bit of success running behind that formation.  Both tight ends did a good job of getting to the second level and making blocks all game long.

While it looked like a completely different offense, it wasn’t.  All of these were things that Sark had used in previous years just not to the extent of what they did Saturday night.  Easy throws, a staple of the spread, were a common occurrence on Saturday night although they didn’t do that as much as I had thought when initially watching.  About 35% of Price’s throws were behind the line of scrimmage. 

These passes behind the line of scrimmage almost always worked.  I only counted one pass behind the line of scrimmage that ended up in a loss of yards.  On the first Husky touchdown drive, the Huskies faced a 3rd and 9 in which Price threw to Mickens 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage.  He took it for a 12 yard gain and a big first down.

Boise didn’t shift a lot when the Huskies sent guys in motion (which was often).  Usually the linebackers would shuffle over but nothing more.  Boise was commonly in a zone and the Huskies took advantage of that.  Our wide receivers were well prepared in who to block in what formation.

The running game was fantastic all night.  There was a good balance of running and throwing in the offense and a pretty good balance of which direction the team would run.  These numbers are a big trivial but I had the Huskies gaining 47% of their rushing yards running to the left side, 27% to the right side, and 26% up the middle.  I’m guessing a big reason for this is that Boise’s star defensive end, Demarcus Lawrence, lined up on the right side of the line so the Huskies ran away from him.  I’ll be interested to see if these numbers keep up in the next few games.

The pass blocking was very good as well.  Riva constantly dealt with Lawrence and he hardly sniffed Price.  Hatchie wasn’t noticed at left tackle, which was a good thing.  The offensive line was clearly in good shape and played well throughout the night.  Yes, Price got rid of the ball quickly but he threw down the field a few times and had plenty of time in those situations.  The one sack the Huskies did give up was on Price, as he could have stayed in the pocket much longer.

Speaking of Price, he played a fantastic game.  When throwing downfield, his receivers would find holes in the zone and sit in them, Price would almost always find these guys.  I counted Price throwing the ball more than 20 yards downfield 4 times.  One sailed over the head of Ross and the Boise safety.  Another pass was completed to Smith on a beautiful throw that fit right between the corner and safety who seemed to be playing a cover two.  The other throws were in succession to Kasen.  The first was a back shoulder throw that was perfectly placed.  Following that came a touchdown in which Kasen found himself wide open.  Why was he wide open?  The safety bit on a slant route that was really a slant and go.  Why did he bite on it?  Maybe because, up until that point Kasen had been targeted by Price 3 times.  2 of those times had been on slant routes.  All in all, Price finished 3/4 on balls that he threw 20 yards+ downfield.  You could count his touchdown pass to Perkins as another but that was right on the border of 20 yards.

In the first half, Price managed the game.  In the second half, Price controlled the game.  Both of these were effective but, obviously, he was the better player in the second half.  He created more plays without forcing them.  Even if Price just manages the game, I think this team will be successful.

A few more thoughts on the offense:

  • Ross and Mickens were fantastic.  They will both be a handful to cover for everyone involved.
  • Deontae Cooper’s first carry was negated by a chop block penalty.  In watching the replay, that looked like a really bad call.  From what I saw, all of the other penalties looked to be right.  (More on Cooper later this week).
  • On the second touchdown drive of the second half Boise put subs in to get their guys some rest.  The Huskies absolutely ran them over.  There wasn’t a gain of less than 6 yards on that drive until the starters came back in for Boise.
  • Dwayne Washington looked great and just ran over some guys.  Him and Bishop could be a very good combo this year.

Defensive Thoughts:   Continue reading

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Keys to a Breakout

Steve Sarkisian has done a solid job of transforming the Huskies from a winless and destitute program into a perfectly average squad.  They’ve won seven games for three straight years, marking 2013 as the time to step past average.  Realizing that it’s time for this to happen is easy, but actually accomplishing it is not.

While it’s not easy for bad teams to get back to mediocre or average, it’s also not terribly difficult.  When a team is terrible, especially as bad as the 2008 Huskies were, there are so many areas for improvement.  If every area of the team is bad, each area improved brings the team up.  The players brought in don’t have to be amazing, they just have to be better than the bad ones they’re replacing.  Often, just the change in coaching or attitude summons improvement from the holdovers.  Improving from terrible is not that hard.

Improving from average to good or great is hard.  Becoming good and then great requires good and great players, and unsurprisingly, those players are a lot harder to find.  Sometimes, coaching can elevate average players, and sometimes offensive or defensive schemes can neutralize talent disparities.  Most often, a team just needs to find better talent and better athletes.  Talent often underachieves, but poor talent rarely beats elite talent.  It’s just the way it is. Continue reading

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A Few Quick Notes About The Washington Husky Football Team, Also Anagrams!

The Huskies have started Fall Camp!  Thank goodness because I can’t take any more talk of what ASJ’s suspension should be.  July is slowly becoming my least favorite sports month.  July is Mariners impending doom and endless speculation about dumb things.  Let me start over.

The Huskies have started Fall Camp!  On Monday, Steve Sarkisian had his annual ‘opening of the season’ press conference.  That was followed by, what has been, two practices.  There are no two-a-days this year, but the Huskies will practice every day aside from Sunday for the next few weeks.

There hasn’t been a ton of news, as the team isn’t even in full pads yet, but I’m going to try to recap the noteworthy information using bullet holes and then write some anagrams about the team after the jump.  Bullet holes!

  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins may or may not be suspended for the first game.  Same with Kasen Williams.  We won’t know until the first game and there is nothing wrong with that, at all.  I don’t know why so many people care about punishing college kids.
  • There were a few position changes announced yesterday.  Evan Hudson, who was a backup tight-end, is being tried out on the defensive line.  He’s a big and long guy, so there is a feeling that this might work.  Hudson played defensive end at Bothell and is being tried out at that position.  While he’s working as an end, from what I’ve read, he is on the inside of the rush end.  So, it’s almost a variation of defensive end and tackle. Derrick Brown is being switched from quarterback to H-back.  Many quarterback have gone through this change and come out successful so this seems to be worth a try.  He was blocked at the quarterback position.
  • There was also a position change along the offensive line, although we don’t know if it will stick.  Ben Riva and Micah Hatchie have flipped tackle positions.  Riva is now at left tackle and Hatchie at right.  The coaches have raved about Riva this off-season, so it would make sense to try him out at the most important line position.
  • John Ross, a freshman wideout, has been the guy who has raised the most eyebrows over the last few days.  He is a smaller guy but may have the best speed on the team.
  • Erik Kohler is the only guy that has been missing from practice and Sark said he has a foot injury.  He has had an injury plagued career and it’s hard not to wonder if this is the end.  I hope not.  Shane Brostek, another offensive lineman, was in a walking boot today after practicing all day yesterday.  We don’t know the severity of the injury.  Otherwise, injuries have been quiet thus far.  After the terrible injury bug last year, let’s hope we aren’t bitten again.
  • As a closing thought for the first two days, it really seems like this team has an attitude about it.  There isn’t much joking around in the interviews, Sark seems to have an attitude, and the goal is a championship.  The whole team is united and seems to be taking on their coach’s persona in the first two days.  They are tired of thinking of the terrible losses that closed out last year.  If they embody this edge and attitude they will be a team to watch this year.  The problem is they haven’t consistently done that yet.  Here’s to hoping that they do.

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Apple Cup Predictions

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Hopefully your day was full of turkey, people you love, and Mark Sanchez running into his lineman’s butt.  Worst football play ever.

One quick piece of news broke today.  Devon Blackmon, a wide receiver who recently left the Oregon program, is reportedly transferring to the UW.  He has to sit out a year but will be eligible in 2014 with two years to play (or maybe three. Not sure why that’d be, but I saw one news outlet reporting that).  Blackmon was a highly rated recruit out of high school who considered UW at the time.  I wonder about a guy who couldn’t get on the field much for a team with inconsistent receiver production, but he’s a talented, athletic guy and hopefully that will show by the time he can see the field.

Before I get to the predictions, in the spirit of the day, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the UW coaches.  I’m not sure how good the basketball team will be this year.  They’ve been spotty thus far and have less talent than in some recent years.  That said, I could not appreciate Lorenzo Romar more than I do.  Some people question his ability to take the team to the next level, and he might never do that.  Romar’s value goes beyond the court, though.  He’s one of the classiest, most respectable coaches in the country.  He has a lot of personality and great stories.  It would take the program completely cratering to convince me that the program would be better without Romar than with him.  Some people value winning at all costs, but I’m not one of them.  I love having a program that I feel good cheering for that’s also quite successful.

It remains to be seen whether Steve Sarkisian will succeed in returning the Huskies to prominence, but I think the job he’s done so far is commendable.  Sark has brought enthusiasm that was desperately needed, and he’s been a coach that Husky fans could watch grow along with the team.  While he doesn’t quite have Romar’s reputation, he’s conducted himself quite well.  He holds players accountable but also treats them well.  Mike Leach’s actions in Pullman have thrown into sharp relief how lucky we got with Sark.  Last week in Colorado, he brought the team onto the field early to watch Ralphie, Colorado’s buffalo mascot, run across the field.  It always feels like Sark takes the football quite seriously but also realizes that the football gives lots of amazing opportunities.  I think he has a nice balance, and I think that will benefit him in the long run.

Maybe the Huskies don’t have the best teams in the country, and maybe they won’t anytime soon.  Still, we’re lucky enough to have coaches that are easy to cheer for while they’re successful.  Go Dawgs!

Andrew

The Cougars lost to Colorado.  The Cougars played with ‘good effort’ last week, according to Mike Leach, and lost 46-7 to a Pac-12 team with 6 wins.  Serious question, would the Cougars get bowl eligible in the Mountain West Conference?  They barely beat UNLV, who is the worst team in that conference.  They’d lose to Boise, San Diego State, Fresno State, and probably Nevada.  Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado State might be toss-ups.  They might get to four wins in the conference.  I’m sure you wanted to know all of this….  Here’s my prediction.

The Cougars are just awful and falling apart.  Mike Leach is accused of having players roll around in a sand pit until they vomit as a disciplinary action.  Their best player left the team.  They lost to Colorado and are currently on a 9 game winning streak and if that’s not enough, their current best player (Travis Long) is questionable for this game.  Now, I know you throw out the records for the Apple Cup, especially when it’s in Pullman.  No question, the Cougars will come out fired up and have had moments where they’ve executed this year.  But, talent does matter some, even in rivalry games.  I think the Huskies will pull away eventually in this game and end up winning by a couple of scores.  I’m excited to see if the Husky secondary can hold up against the Cougars fairly decent passing attack.  Also, when the WSU defense shows up and plays hard, they have done some good things and kept the game close.  The Huskies will need to get off to a faster start than last week and not let the Cougs linger or gain confidence.  It should be an entertaining football game and I think the Huskies will end up with their 8th win, even if it’s not comfortable for some of the game.

UW 30 – WSU 17

Matthew 

I keep trying to get worried about this game.  Apple Cups do get weird, and these Cougars have some talent.  The Cougars have been so bad, though, and the Huskies are playing awfully well.  The Huskies pass defense has become one of the best in the conference, and all the Cougars do is pass.  They have the worst rushing attack in the conference and maybe the country.  I would be really surprised if the Huskies lose.  I think it’ll be close until the Huskies can deliver a blow or two (or the Cougars kill themselves in the foot).  That might take a half, or it might take two possessions.  The Huskies have lost Apple Cups that seemed a surer thing than this one, so no guarantees, but the Dawgs should win this one without much trouble.

UW 38 – WSU 13

Joe

The Apple Cup.  First, this game means a ton to me as a Husky fan.  No other game gets me more fired up.  I want to beat Wazzu, and I want to beat them bad.  Nothing is worse than an overly confident Cougar fan who gloats over one Apple Cup victory.  I like the lovable, funny loser Coug fans, not the cocky, drunk morons who come out of the woodwork after a victory. (I realize Coug fans are actually drunk whether they win or lose…)  If I had my way the Cougars would never win an Apple Cup.  Ever.  I like normalcy in life, and normal = UW Apple Cup victories.  Sound arrogant?  Yup, but that’s the reality of things when it comes to this game.  I hate Wazzu, always will.  Ok, now onto the game.I will keep this very simple.  It’s the same thing I have been saying since before the Oregon State game:  Run the ball with Sankey. A lot.  Then play action to ASJ and Kasen.  The Huskies have been doing this with a lot of success the past four games, and it’s translating into victories.  Second, keep doing whatever you’re doing Coach Wilcox.  The Huskies have improved by over 60 spots in total defense nationally between last season and now, warranting me to officially feel like the UW defense is “back” to some semblance of it’s former glory of tackling well and reading offenses with confidence.  As well, for the first time in over a decade, I feel the UW defense has legitimate star playmakers.  Shaq Thompson and Marcus Peters are future all Pac-12 players, Desmond Trufant has been nothing less than stellar all year, Danny Shelton has been a force on the line and John Timu and Travis Feeney (who I am massively impressed with right now) have been tackling machines all year. Look at this, I’m gloating over the Huskies defense! Amazing.  I personally expect the Huskies to come out and dominate the Cougars.  I know this is a rivalry game and it’s all circle the wagons talk in Pullman right now, but the fact is this:  The Huskies are a better football team. Period. Better players. Better coaching. The only thing going against them is the game is in Pullman. That isn’t enough for the Pirate and crew.  Drew Bledsoe and Phillip Bobo ain’t walking through that door.

UW 34 – WSU 17

Dan

It will feel odd being at work during the Apple Cup, but that’s the case for me this year.  I’m sure I’ll find a way to see some of the game but I feel like this will be a predictable outcome yet again. They say you throw out the stats and records for the Apple Cup, but honestly if the Huskies lose this game, it will be because everything that could go wrong does, and the Cougs play out of their minds. That’s possible, but quite unlikely.  WSU has not won a conference game for a reason. They are dreadful in all phases of the game. There’s no telling how long it will take for WSU to make it back to respectibility and playing in bowl games. The Huskies are in nearly the complete opposite position. The arrow is pointed up for the UW program, and while I’m excited at the possibility of finishing this year with 6 straight wins, I’m already gitty about next season. As for today, I see a slow, weird start for both teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a one score game at halftime, but ultimately we will likely see a lot of Bishop Sankey, some play action pass to ASJ/Kasen, and plenty open space in the Cougars defense will . Throw in a couple turnovers on D and by the 3rd quarter, things should go according to plan for Washington.

UW 30 – WSU 17

Go Dawgs!

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The Schedule and 1 Impressive Stat

My biggest pet peeve with college football is not the lack of a playoff system, the absurd Pac 12 referring, or even Oregon fans. I don’t like any of those, but far and away I most detest the inconsistencies related to scheduling, which often makes it difficult to evaluate teams. I could go on and on about this, as most of us can when we get to talking about our pet peeves, but I’ll try to keep this concise and get on to the Husky talk.

For starters, we’ve seen how a Boise State team can beat 1 good opponent and 11 nobodies, and back into a BCS game. Or how about Notre Dame, currently ranked 3rd in the country, despite playing 6 of its first 7 games at home, and having just 4 road games total! As for our rival, Oregon, well they managed to not step foot on another school’s campus until their 7th game of the season. Meanwhile, UW has had to go through murderer’s row, but folks (media included) generally ignore this stuff because we prefer to look at a team’s W-L record and decide how good they are. That works in most sports, just not college football. You see, the Huskies are 1 of 13 FBS teams with s 5-4 record,  but our schedule through 9 games has been historically brutal, a factor that ought to be weighed. And weigh it we shall!

Consider this. In games 2-8 this season, 5 of the Huskies 7 opponents were ranked top 10 in the country. If that’s not crazy enough, another foe in this stretch was a night game in Tucson, and we all know how that went. Thank God the Huskies won 2 of those games, otherwise we’d be sitting at 3-6 and fans would be calling for Sark to be fired. Again, fans look at records, which I understand in a bottom line business, but to form reasoned opinions you have to look at the whole picture. When 66 BCS conference schools play just 12 games each, and each school gets to pick 3-4 of these games, records can get pretty misleading. The Huskies are 5-4, but give Sark the schedule that the other dozen 5-4 teams have, and we might be talking about a 7-2 or 8-1 team, and a top 15 ranking. That’s pretty dang annoying to me.

My point is this, we are starting to talk about a team that could go 8-4, and at this point there’s probably a 40-50% chance UW wins 9 games total in 2012, despite that unprecedented 7 week stretch. I’ll be ecstatic if this happens because the program will continue its upward trajectory in the Sark era. We all know Rose Bowl talks can’t happen until the gap closes with Oregon, and until the Huskies learn how to play decent against good teams on the road, but still, 8 or 9 wins (with this schedule!) just 4 years removed from 0-12 would be awesome.

Finally, and somewhat unrelated to this rant about scheduling, as I was watching the ugly game vs. Cal on Friday, I started thinking how much trust I have in Sark when the game is close. I decided to see what Washington’s record is in games decided by 8 points or less (a 1 score game), in Sark’s 4 years. I discovered an impressive stat, which is that after starting 2-5 (remember those brutal losses in year 1 at Notre Dame, ASU, UCLA!) since then, the Huskies are 10-0 in games decided by 8 or less. 10-0! You’ve probably heard this Husky team called inconsistent, but actually this team is consistently good at home, consistently good in close games, and consistently awful on the road. It’s about as simple as that, except not really. When evaluating Sark, the Huskies, et cetera, remember to weigh these factors, and remember that the Cougs lost to Colorado at home. That happened, and it ought to cheer you up daily.

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The Huskies Earn A Signature Victory

Growing up, I always heard and saw highlights of what a ‘Husky defense’ was supposed to look like.  The legend of the defense was talked about with every coach who was hired, and later fired, for the past decade.  Every coach wanted to restore what ‘Husky defense’ was supposed to be.  Sometimes there were glimpses.  The crowd would stand up, yell louder than they would for any touchdown, and the defensive ends would fire off the ball for a sack on 3rd down.  We saw glimpses but hardly ever complete games.

That Was Awesome!

In 2010 the Husky defense dominated a one-dimensional Nebraska team in the Holiday Bowl.  In that same year, the Husky defense kept the team in the game against Oregon State by shutting them down in the second half.  In 2009, the defense played pretty well against USC, Cal, and Wazzu.  We can go back farther.  The 2001 Rose Bowl team had a good defense who was opportunistic and often rose to the occasion.  But, as the college football game evolved, the offense has been ahead of the defense for most of the last 15 years.

Tonight the Huskies played their best defensive game since…. I don’t know.  Maybe the Holiday Bowl was more impressive to you?  Not to me.  This effort was complete against the most physical team in the Pac-12.  Stanford shoved their way to 65 yards and 6 points.  Stanford didn’t score a touchdown for the first time since 2007.  The Dawgs just didn’t let any plays break them.  Stanford didn’t have a rush for over 7 yards.  Last year, they had 10 over 15 yards.

I could throw out stats all night that show you how well the defense played but I think you get the point.  This defense tackled better, pursued better, and played with  more effort than I’ve ever seen.  Tonight was maybe my best glimpse of what a ‘Husky defense’ is supposed to look like.  Do I expect them to go into Oregon next week and shut down the Ducks.  Not at all.  Hardly anyone does that and it will be a different type of game.  This was a giant step in the right direction though.

Later on, I (or another one of the Good Guys) will break down this game more thoroughly.  Tonight is for soaking in victory though.  We don’t need to think about how the offensive line can’t pass block or about the emergence of a 3rd receiver.  We can focus on a defense that was nothing short of phenomenal.  We can focus on a surprising running game.  We can focus on the play-maker Kasen Williams is turning in to.  We can focus on a quarterback who repeatedly gets taken to the ground while throwing balls on target and then gets up and smiles, no matter the outcome.  Tonight we saw a team who deserved to be a top-10 team.  And what do you know?  They did.

Go Dawgs!

Andrew

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Around the Pac-12 – Week 3

Before we get to the other teams in the Pac-12, I’ll get to the Husky news of the day.  If you haven’t heard by now, Steve Sarkisian has decided that the U-Dub will not talk about injuries anymore.  Also, reporters who are at practice can’t report on who sat out of practice or about any strategy being used.  In the long-term, this isn’t a big deal.  Sooner or later the NCAA will force teams to put out injury lists, like the NFL.  Until then we’ll have to deal with this.  In the short-term, it is irritating.  No, the Huskies aren’t the first team in the conference to do this (the Ducks and Trojans came first) but I don’t support the program limiting access to reporters or fans.  Tyrone Willingham treated the media poorly and the fans were closed off from the program.  Closed programs are reminiscent of bad times to recent Husky fans.  Anytime we hear about the football team limiting access, we shudder now.  If we were Oregon, this would be okay because we’d be winning.  When you aren’t a top-10 program though, the little things add up to be annoyances.  Anyway, I don’t think any less of Sark but I don’t agree with him on this issue.  Also, it’s bad when reporters aren’t allowed to report.  It hurts what is already a declining industry.  Coaching and quality players win games, not keeping injuries secret until the other team can see them during warm-ups.Anyway, on to the real point of this post!  Last week was a great week for the Pac-12, even considering some terrible losses.  The Pac-12 upsets outweighed the Pac-12 getting upset.  This week sports a few challenging games, but also some cupcakes.  Not real cupcakes, because what do cupcakes have to do with football.  Also, the cupcakes have been much better across the country this year.  They are banana cupcakes instead of vanilla.  Away we go!

Arizona – Beat Oklahoma State 59-38 – Coming Up: vs. South Carolina State

The last of the upsets came last Saturday night when the Wildcats beat the Cowboys.  I guess the cowboys weren’t very quick on their draw.  In their defense, wildcats sound like a hard thing to deal with.  Oh yeah, football.  Arizona’s offense obviously looks explosive and they are looking like a much tougher opponent.  Their defense is still in question but I wouldn’t want to face this team right now.  Unfortunately for South Carolina State (something I never thought I’d type), they don’t have that luxury.  Bulldogs are awesome and that is South Carolina State’s mascot.  These weekly blog posts are just turning into a study on mascots.

Arizona State – Beat Illinois 45-14 – Coming Up: at Missouri

ASU winning last weekend wasn’t an upset but the way in which they won was very impressive.  Then again, it was the Sun Devils against the Illini.  It was sunny.  What chance did Illinois really have?  So far, Arizona State has been the surprise of the conference (along with Arizona and UCLA).  I didn’t think their offense would put up this many points against anyone, much less against BCS conferences.  This week they face a much tougher task in Missouri.  While Missouri isn’t at the top of the SEC, they are a good road test for the Sun Devils.  Expect a shootout and hopefully the Pac-12 can come out with another upset.

California – Beat Southern Utah 50-31 – Coming Up: at Ohio State

The Golden Bears are off to a shaky start.  Cal was able to pull away from Southern Utah late in the fourth quarter last week.  They had fallen behind for a while but they did rally back.  This was a week after losing to Nevada.  This week they play Ohio State and, while I’m usually hopeful that a Pac-12 team can pull an upset, I wouldn’t bet on Cal in this one.

Colorado – Lost to Sacramento State 30-28 – Coming Up: at Fresno State

The Buffalo have upstaged Cal in getting off to a bad start.  They lost to Pac-12 killers Sacramento State and are now 0-2.  Colorado had one of the easier non-conference schedules in the conference but could easily start 0-3 this week.  If they don’t take advantage of playing the Bulldogs this week, it could be tough for them to find a win this season.  Also, I think buffalo and bulldogs would be good friends in the wild.

Oregon – Beat Fresno State 42-25 – Coming Up: vs. Tennessee Tech

Oregon again jumped out to a large lead and then let Fresno add-on some points against their backup defense.  The Ducks are surely very good but we won’t be able to see how good for a few weeks when they actually play a quality opponent.  On Tennessee Tech’s home website they have a virtual admissions adviser.  They named this virtual adviser ‘Awesome’.  Also, this match-up is the Ducks vs. the Golden Eagles.   We’ve seen golden things struggle this year in our conference but I have a hard time seeing a duck ever beating an eagle in a brawl.  Too bad this is a football game that doesn’t have to do with mascots.

Oregon State – Beat Wisconsin 10-7 – Coming Up: Bye

The Beavers beat the Badgers.  Again, I don’t know why everyone was so surprised.  Oregon State’s defense was fast and ferocious in this game.  I was thoroughly impressed and if they keep playing like that, they’ll be one of the best teams in the conference.  Their offense needs to improve though.  Everyone will have played 3 games after this weekend except the Beavers, who will have only played one.

Stanford – Beat Duke 50-13 – Coming Up: vs. USC

Stanford probably got sick of hearing about how close their game with San Jose State was and then thoroughly dominated Duke.  Of course, Duke isn’t good and their true test comes this week against USC.  Stanford probably isn’t what they used to be, but they have been playing well against USC of late.  This is a game to keep an eye on.

UCLA – Beat Nebraska 36-30 – Coming Up: vs. Houston

UCLA is the darling of college football right now.  They deserve it with their hot start but I’d advise people to ease off their enthusiasm.  This start is reminiscent of the start Rick Neuheisal had there.  This week they should improve to 3-0 though and will remain the dark horse in the Pac-12 South.

USC – Beat Syracuse 42-29 – Coming Up: at Stanford

USC let Syracuse hang around for a while before putting them away in the second half.  The game had a weather delay and not a lot of rhythm if you’re looking for an excuse for the Trojans. I prefer to just wait until this week before I decide whether they are overrated.  Trojans vs. Cardinal seems like a no contest because cardinal is a color and can’t fight.

Utah – Lost to Utah State 27-20 (OT) – Coming Up: vs. BYU

In my opinion, Utah had the worst loss of last week.  Colorado’s was terrible but no one really cares about Colorado.  The Huskies was ugly, but a loss was expected.  Utah was supposed to challenge for the Pac-12 South but losing to a below-average team isn’t something champions do.  Utah could rebound, they remind me of those mid-2000’s Mike Riley Beaver teams that always started slow but this is definitely a bump in the road.  Utah plays an interesting game this week

Hey Reb!

and could really help themselves with a victory.  BYU proved to be a pretty good team against the Cougars.  Then again, Cougars.

WSU – Beat Eastern Washington 28-24 – Coming Up: at UNLV (Friday)

Wazzu got a victory, and that’s about all you can say.  Eastern is a fine program (as Husky fans found out last year) but WSU should have won this game easily.  It was fairly similar to the Washington-Eastern game last year.  Now the Cougars go on the road to face those rebels of UNLV.  This should be an easy win as well but who knows.  The Cougars vs. Rebels?  I’d probably choose a cougar in that fight.  But, it does depend on what kind of rebel we’re talking about.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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UW – LSU Recap

I’m a few days late on this but I was a bit busy and don’t have much to say about this game.  I’ll keep it short and then talk about the rest of the Pac-12 tomorrow.

Before I recap the disaster that was Saturday night, I’d be remiss to not mention the announcement that the Sonics Arena Deal will be passed.  Chris Hansen has bent over backwards to get this deal done and now, we’re only a few steps away from getting an NBA team here.  Hansen seems to be one of the most likeable guys around and the whole city needs to send him a few thank you cards.  Our city will be better because of this deal, not just because of the enhancement of the NBA being here but also because of the traffic problems being taken care of and the cleaning up of the Sodo District.  It’s a great day to be living in Seattle.

Also, I’d like to thank any veterans and members of the military on this day we remember.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost someone on this day 11 years ago.

So, on to Saturday night.  There’s not much to say, because I generally try to stay positive.  The Dawgs were beaten, stepped on, beaten, and then curb-stomped a few times.  Sure, the game started well on the first play and the Huskies took an early lead, but the game was over once the Huskies had to settle for a field goal.  Who knows what happens if Bishop Sankey or Jaydon Mickens holds on to the ball and the Dawgs get a quick 7 on the board.  They still would have lost, but an early bit of confidence could do a young team wonders.   It was like LSU was going to play rope-a-dope with the Dawgs, then felt their measly jab to the ribs, and decided to just K.O. them sooner rather than later.

Thomas Tutogi and Danny Shelton had good games.  Otherwise, can you point to anyone who had a good game?  I can’t.  If you can, let me know in the comments.  Erik Kohler was lost to another injury.  Travis Feeney might be out for a few weeks.  The team was just dominated physically.

My general feeling is that I’m tired of watching that happen.  I thought this team would compete with the best this year and they definitely didn’t.  They’ve been bit by the injury bug, but that’s not an excuse for getting beat 41-3.  It’s one game, but for the first time in the Sark era, you have to worry about progress a little bit.  He’s done a great job with this program and by no means is in the hot seat but the team can’t keep getting blown  out in these games.

This week they need to throttle Portland State.  They need to beat them the way Oregon would.  It will put everyone’s mind at ease.  They need to average 5 or 6 yards a carry.  Keith Price needs to have a high completion percentage, look efficient and then get out of the game by the 4th quarter.  The defense needs to score a touchdown (they have in both games so far, unless you count that blown call by SEC officials) and limit yardage.  No, they don’t need to do these things to win but they need to do them for their own confidence and to keep the fan base patient.  Stanford comes in a few weeks later and the Huskies need to have shown that they’ll be ready.

Shane Brostek will play in his first game on Saturday.  He is a true freshman who will see time at right guard.  I wish he could have red-shirted but the offensive line needs help and if he can make them improve then I’m all for it.  This week is a chance for the Dawgs to get healthy and dominate in all aspects of the game.  Let’s hope they get that done.  After Saturday, they could use something that goes according to plan.

Andrew

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