Tag Archives: Washington Husky football

Keith Price’s Beginning

The Washington Husky football team and fans have turned their attention from their impressive victory against BoiseKeithPrice to the trip to Chicago this weekend.  Before we post our predictions for that game (which will be out tomorrow night), it seemed fitting to look at one more storyline from that perfect night 12 days ago.

In the second half against Boise, Keith Price took a snap and rolled to his left to avoid pressure.  While running left, Price threw across his body into the end-zone and completed a touchdown pass to Josh Perkins.

It was a perfect pass by Price to a seldom used tight end that gave Keith the school record for touchdown passes in a career.  If I was to guess who would catch Price’s record-setting catch before the season, Perkins would have been down the list around number 10 or so.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised though.  Our smiling quarterback wasn’t always known as a prolific passer.  In 2010, when Price was a skinny backup who might not ever see the field, Jake Locker went down in a close game against USC. Keith Price sauntered into the game and every Husky fan thought, “Hand the ball to Chris Polk.”

Keith took the snap, rolled to his left and back pedaled.  He lofted a ball into the end zone and it was caught by seldom used Chris Izbicki.  It was Price’s first of many touchdown passes. (Check the 3 minute mark of the video)

Izbicki finished his career with 5 catches at UW.

I don’t know how Price’s career will end. He could become the most prolific passer in Husky history.  He could return to his 2012 version and get his job taken away.  Whatever happens, he’ll have this school record and it all started so innocently and small.

We’ll always have Price to Izbicki.

– Andrew

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Huskies Football

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Huskies Football

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Huskies Football, Huskies Position Overviews

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Huskies Football

Live Signing Day Thread

A Class Review By Positions –  No real news coming out of the press conference.  Here is the number of players at each position.  I may sign off for the day after this, so thanks for sticking around.  As always, if something happens we’ll let you know.
QB – 1, RB -1, WR – 3, TE – 1, OL – 3, DL – 4, LB – 4, DB – 4, K – 1, Total – 22

Notes From Sark – One of the points of emphasis was that this class is about quality over quantity in the press conference.  This is probably the first time in Sark’s tenure that he could say that.
Lavon Coleman (RB) is now 220 lbs. fitting the bill of a bigger running back.
Length was a point of emphasis for the class, as it has been for the last year or two.  The staff likes tall players.
Cameron Van Winkle (K) will enroll early and will participate in Spring practice.
Sark says that he would like to red-shirt more players this year.
Sark says, “We have room to expand” in talking about the class.

We’re Back – I’m awake from my nap and am ready to roll now.  Sean Constantine did get his papers in.  Jack went to UCLA.  Falah signed with USC, in a bit of surprising news.  The Huskies weren’t able to swing him but he had been committed to the Trojans all along.  The press conference starts soon so I’ll pass along anything that’s really interesting.  I’ll leave most of that to the professional writers though.  Also, if there’s any more commits I’ll pass that along as well.

Break Time – With that, I’m going to take a bit of a break.  If anything significant happens one of us will update the blog but I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary.  Constantine will go to U-Dub and Jack will probably go to UCLA.  After Constantine, that should put the Huskies at 22 for the day.  The press conference is at 2, if you’re wondering.

Kelly’s Officially A Dawg – Jermaine Kelly just sent in his LOI and is now officially a Dawg.  I wrote a little snippet about him below so check that out.  A good pickup for the Dawgs.

Kelly Announcing Soon – We should hear on Jermaine Kelly any minute and it’s all but confirmed that he’s going to be a Dawg.  From what I’ve read, USC had been talking to Kelly for about the last month and offered him a scholarship yesterday.  This is big for the Dawgs to hold on to him.  He’s a 4-star corner out of California.

11 A.M. Update – Sorry, I had to make Matthew breakfast.  He’s so lazy.  Anyway, nothing has really happened as of late.  Here are a few bits of information.  Jamie Bryant will grayshirt next season.  It’s unclear if he’ll sign today.  Joe Sanders will not be signing with UW, he is signing with a junior college.  It sounds like academics played a part.  The Bellevue guys (Jack and Constantine) will announce at 1 P.M. but don’t expect any surprises.  Jermaine Kelly will announce in about half an hour.  I may take a break after Kelly announces and then come back for the press conference.  The rest of the announcements will come later this afternoon or early evening.  I’ll keep you updated until Kelly announces though.  Thanks for following along!

Keyshawn Bierria Is In – Bierria signs with the Huskies, which, again, isn’t a huge surprise.  Bierria had Oregon State as his favorite before coming to U-Dub on a visit last weekend.  He’s a linebacker from California.

Oops – As Matthew pointed out, Kelly is still expected to sign with the Huskies.  I forgot him down below his comment, so three verbals to go plus Bierria.  That would put the Huskies at 23 commits if all four of those guys sign.

More on Enewally – Matthew here for a second. Enewally has supposedly secretly committed to UW and UCLA numerous times, and had offers pulled at several schools because of how he handled his recruiting.  That said, he’s a talented guy.  He’s expected to play safety, so it shouldn’t say anything about Jermaine Kelly.  Everyone expects Kelly to UW still, just taking a while.

Two Verbal Commits To Go – Unless I’m missing something, the Huskies only have 2 verbal commitments who haven’t signed their letters of intent.  Those two are Sean Constantine (LB) and Jamie Bryant (DT).  Constantine is from Bellevue and I’m fairly sure they do some sort of Signing Day celebration.  I’m not sure what the hold up is for Bryant but I haven’t heard anything about him not getting in.  Of course, it sounded like Bierria will be a Husky.  Aside from those three, I don’t really know who to really expect.

Lavon Coleman signs – The Huskies get their running back as Lavon Coleman signs from Lompoc, California.  Coleman is 6’0, 210 lbs. and I’ve heard him described as a poor man’s Chris Polk.  Coleman is the only running back who verbally committed to U-Dub, so the Dawgs are probably done at that spot.

18 and Counting… The Dawgs are up to 18 signed players counting Williams and Walker.  I’d guess there’s about 7 more to go.  I’ve been saying 22-25 today, but at this point I’m thinking it will be 25.

More Surprises to come? – It sounds as if that won’t be the only surprise today.  It looks like the Dawgs may be trying to fill the spots they left open for the Robinson twins and Hall.

Patrick Enewally is the surprise – Enewally had a very strange recruitment but has decided to sign with the Huskies.  I hope this doesn’t mean anything bad on the Jermaine Kelly status.  Enewally is a corner from California who is 6’1 and played safety in high school.  He’s ranked as a 3-star recruit by Scout.

Connor O’Brien Is In – O’Brien is from the same school as Crane so no surprise that these came at the same time.  This also isn’t the ‘surprise’.  Connor is a linebacker who is 6’3, 205 lbs.  He did play safety in high school but it looks like he’ll be a linebacker.  Scout ranks him as a 3-star recruit.  UPDATE:  The school website lists O’Brien as 230 lbs.  That’s a big discrepancy between Scout and the school so we’ll see.  He could be a rush end type player at that weight.

Dane Crane Signs – This isn’t the surprise.  Dane Crane was ranked the number 3 center in the country by Scout.  He’s from California and is a very good pickup.  Crane might be the best of the offensive linemen the Huskies have so far.  He is the highest rated, at least.  Crane has been fun to follow throughout the process as he seems very excited to be a Husky.

“A Surprise Is Coming In a Few” – The Husky chat just said these words.  I don’t know what this means and it might not be anything different from what we’ve already said.  But, stay tuned.

Kevin King Pushes It To 15 – We have our first defensive back of the day (if you don’t count Trevor Walker).  Kevin King has signed with the Huskies.  He’s a cornerback out of Oakland, California.  He is 6’2 and was ranked as a 3-star by Scout.

Notre Dame Saying “That Was A Mistake” – So, I guess Vanderdoes isn’t supposed to be on that list.  Either that’s a rule infraction or he has sent in his papers to Notre Dame and they accidentally let it slip before his conference at 5 P.M.

Vanderdoes to Notre Dame? – It sounds as if Notre Dame just released that Vanderdoes has sent in papers to them.  That takes out some of the intrigue if it’s true.  Not many thought he would sign with the Huskies so this isn’t really a loss or anything and it’s nice that he didn’t sign inside the conference in that case.

We’re Up To 14 – If you include Troy Williams and Trevor Walker, who are enrolled, the Huskies are up to 14 guys who are in.  The Dawgs won’t take more than 25 (unless all the big names decide to pick him) and probably won’t take less than 22.

Oregon Up, USC Down – Oregon has picked up some good prospects today and it seems like USC is losing a guy about every hour or so.  Oregon could be ranked pretty closely to U-Dub at the end of the day but that was somewhat expected.

Kevin Shelton to Idaho – Kevin Shelton, who is a tight end from Auburn, was thought to be a preferred walk-on for the Huskies but it looks like he took a scholarship at Idaho.  It’s hard to blame a guy for taking a scholarship, so good for him.

Andrew Basham signs – The Dawgs break the dry spell with a big boy from Lynnwood.  Basham is a defensive tackle who is 6’4, 305 lbs.  Apparently he’s really good at shot-put, as well.  Basham is ranked as a 3-star recruit by Scout.  It’s possible that he will be switched to the offensive line.

Slowing Down – For whatever reason, things seem to be slowing down.  The Huskies have about 10 guys left to sign and they will trickle through here at some point.  We’ve gone about 20 minutes without a new letter in though.

UW’s Overall Class – I think it’s easy to get caught up with the ceremony and decisions on Signing Day and forget about the overall class.  So, while losing Daeshon Hall is bad, the overall class still looks very good.  It’s a top-15 class and top-3 in the conference.  Most of the verbal commits will sign with the Huskies.  So, don’t get caught up if a guy has a Husky hat on the table but picks up a different one.  Most of the groundwork for this class was laid a long time ago.

What We’re Missing – The Huskies are waiting on about 12 more guys to sign.  None of the DB’s have signed.  Jermaine Kelly was offered by USC last night, so that’s a guy to keep an eye on (although he seems pretty firm to U-Dub).  The Dawgs are also missing 3 linebackers and 3 defensive linemen.  So, most of the offense is filled up (missing C Dane Crane and RB Lavon Coleman) but the defense still has quite a few guys to add.

Bob Condotta on KJR – Condotta is on KJR right now if you’re by a radio.

UW’s Gained and Lost – So, the Huskies have lost out on some big fish so far.  The Robinson didn’t switch and stayed at Oregon.  Daeshon Hall chose A&M.  The Huskies do appear to be picking up Keishawn Bierria and Joe Sanders though.  Those aren’t quite as big of names but are still solid pickups.

Damore’ea Stringfellow signs – The Huskies appear to have all of their wide receivers locked up for the day.  Stringfellow is probably my favorite wide receiver of the group, but they all are ranked highly.  Stringfellow is 6’3, 215 so another big, outside guy.  11 guys have signed.

10 Letters In – As of 8:08 A.M. there are 10 Letters of Intent in.  So, we probably have 12 to 15 to go.

Joe Mathis signs – Joe Mathis is a defensive end out of California.  He’s 6’4, 255 and is ranked a 4-star recruit by Scout.  Mathis is a really good player and also helps soften the blow of Hall.

More on Bierria – I’m guessing that Bierria took the scholarship that they were holding for Myles Jack as Jack sounds like he’ll be going to UCLA.  I doubt there’s much chance that Jack is going elsewhere, although he hasn’t signed as of 8:05.

Coleman Shelton signs – OL Coleman Shelton, who committed this weekend has now signed with the Huskies as we’re about an hour into the day.  Shelton is the second offensive linemen in the fold, and we’re only waiting for Dane Crane now.  Of course, the Dawgs could add another guy later, hopefully Falah.

Hall to A&M – Daeshon Hall just announced that he is going to Texas A&M.  That’s the first real bad news of the day.  This will hurt the Dawgs in the recruiting standings but if Bierria and Sanders sign (as well as Falah) then it will soften the blow.  Nonetheless, bad news for the Dawgs.

Keishawn Bierria to U-Dub – The Huskies pick up a commitment from California linebacker Keishawn Bierria.  This isn’t really a surprise but he had yet to commit.  His LOI isn’t in yet but it sounds like it’s only a matter of time.

Van Winkle Stats – The Husky website is reporting that K Cameron Van Winkle made at least 6 kicks from 42 yards or farther.  His long is 49 yards.

Spring Practice Update – The Go Huskies chat says that the Huskies will announce the spring practice dates in the next week or so.  They don’t know where the spring game will be yet but will soon.

8 Players Have Signed – Victor, Qualls, Kirkland, Daniels, Farria, Ross, Ajamu, and Van Winkle have signed.  So, not counting Walker and Williams the Dawgs have 8 in.

Cameron Van Winkle Signs – The Huskies have their kicker as Mt. Si’s Cameron Van Winkle signs with the Dawgs.  He is a good kicking recruit and has range to about 55 yards from what I have read.  I had heard that he’d be enrolling early but I’m guessing that this won’t happen.

More on Daniels – Via the school’s live chat, Daniels is 6-4 and ran a 10.74 100 meter.  No real news there but that’s the time and sizes the coaches have on him.

David Ajamu signs – Ajamu is a TE from Washington who had been committed to Oregon State before flipping a few months ago.  He gives the Huskies some depth at TE and will probably red-shirt this year.  Ajamu is 6-4, 255.

Hall to Texas A&M – Lots of rumors out there that Daeshon Hall is headed to Texas A&M.  This would obviously be a big loss but we’ll wait and see.  Official news should come any minute.

Darrell Daniels is in – Daniels is another 4-star receiver.  This is a class that should keep the U-Dub receiver group strong for the next 4 years.  Daniels is a bigger guy than Ross and is more likely to play on the outside while Ross is more of a slot guy.

Andrew Kirkland signs – The first offensive lineman of the day signs.  Kirkland is out of Portland, Oregon.  He is listed as an offensive tackle by the school so that may or may not be telling.  He is a 3-star commit.

John Ross Signs – John Ross, one of the 3 4-star wide receiver commits, has sent in his LOI.  John Ross is supposedly the fastest of the receivers and is a little smaller than Daniels or Stringfellow.

A Surprise? – Rumors are swirling that Joe Sanders, who visited when Reuben Foster, is going to sign with Washington.  This is a big surprise if it does happen.  I don’t know if this bodes well for Hall signing but you take all the good players you can get.  Sanders is a 3-star defensive end from Georgia.  Here’s his Scout profile.  If he is signing with U-Dub, a tornado drill is holding up the process.  That’s a new one.

Robinson Twins Going To Oregon – I can’t say I’m really surprised, but the Tyrell and Tyree Robinson showed up to their signing wearing all Oregon gear so it looks like they’re headed there.  It’s too bad but it’s not really a loss since the Huskies never had them.

Azeem Victor Is In – Azeem Victor, a linebacker from California, has signed his letter and is in the fold.  Lots of letters starting to come in now.

Elijah Qualls Signs – The big 6’4, 280 DT/FB is the second guy to get his fax in.  He is one of my favorite players in the class.  He hits people really hard and is athletic for his size.  He is a 4-star recruit and a very solid new player for the Dawgs.

Robinson Twins Going To Oregon? – There was a tweet just sent out that makes it sound as if the Robinson’s are headed to Oregon.  Nothing official but I’m guessing that it’s correct.

Hall Announcing at 7:30 – It sounds as if Hall will announce at 7:30 so we should know soon on him.

More Farria – Farria is ranked as a 3-star commit by both big recruiting services.  He may have gone up in those rankings but didn’t attend many summer camps.  He seems to have some upside.  Here is his scout profile.

7:05 A.M. – Now seems like an appropriate time to remember that S Trevor Walker and QB Troy Williams have already enrolled in school.  They still have to send in papers today, but their isn’t much drama there.

7:00 A.M. – And we’re off as Marcus Farria is the first to get his letter in.  Farria is a defensive end out of Arizona.  One of those long, lean guys that the Huskies have recruited in recent years.  He’s about 6’4, 220 and will look to add weight when he comes into school.  He’s a part of a very strong defensive line class.

6:54 A.M. – I just realized this is my 300th post at the blog.  It’s fitting that it comes today on one of my favorite events to cover.  Thanks for everyone who has followed along over the last few years!

6:40 A.M. – Good morning, Dawg fans.  We’re up and running now at just past 6:30 for one of the more interesting sports days of the year.  Today, the Huskies, and about 120 other teams will add around 25 players to their roster.  In no other sport does that happen and that’s why this day is interesting.  Sure, people over-hype players but it’s somewhat ignorant to say that it doesn’t matter where these kids sign.  These ‘kids’ will be a teams core in 4 years and, while coaching is probably the most important aspect of college football, you can’t teach a player true talent.

Anyway, throughout the day I’ll be posting updates here about the NLI’s that come in.  They should start rolling in here any minute.  The Robinson twins are supposed to announce anytime although they just sent out a tweet that said, “Would that b crazy if I don’t sign today.  That’s how I’m feeling.”  So, who knows what will happen there.  Daeshon Hall is supposed to announce at 8:30.  Eddie Vanderdoes is announcing at 5 P.M. today so we’ll have to wait a while for that one, although it doesn’t sound like the Dawgs will get the big man.  Others will decide throughout the day, although I don’t think the Huskies will get more than 1 or 2 surprises.  We’ll keep you updated here and hopefully everyone will decide early so that way I can take a nap.

There’s plenty of other places to catch the information today.  Bob Condotta always does a great job covering whatever comes his way.  The school website has some cool formats and information on the new players.  UW Dawgpound has some player profiles that are well done.  I’ll pass along more links throughout the day.  So, here we go!

Leave a comment

Filed under Huskies Football, UW Football Recruiting

A Few Thoughts On The Dawgs

I couldn’t bring myself to do an actual post-game analysis after the debacle against Arizona this weekend so instead you get an array of bullet holes.  No sense in wasting time, let’s get to it!

  • Saturday marked the low point in the Steve Sarkisian era and there’s no doubt that his seat is getting a little warmer than it was to start the year.  With that being said, everyone needs to step off the ledge for a moment.  Yes, this year has been a disappointment through 7 games and 8 wins doesn’t seem likely.  But, a 3-4 record is about what we all had the Huskies pegged at through this point.  Let the year play out and then make a judgement on the coach.  For the record, Sark won’t be fired this year unless the Huskies lose every single game (and even then it doesn’t seem likely).  It’s next year when the real expectations kick in and, frankly, I think that he’s earned that.
  • The offense continues to struggle and I think that it’s time to panic as far as that goes.  The running game is the only part that seems to be decent right now and, for whatever reason, the coaches went away from that in the last 2 weeks.  The offensive line looked awful, once again, in pass protection.  Micah Hatchie played his worst game of the season.  Drew Schaeffer even looks lost on blitzes.  When you can’t play with the same 5 guys every week there isn’t as much communication.  That’s a basic rule in sports and it’s coming into play right now as we see blitzers running right by linemen who aren’t blocking anyone.  The receivers are bad too.  They really should be better and I don’t know what to say about them.
  • Keith Price deserves his own bullet hole.  His head is muddled right now and he is just lost.  He is visibly upset after turnovers or bad plays and doesn’t seem to be having any fun.  It’s not the Keith that we saw last year or even in his first start of his career against Oregon.  Price clearly has the offensive line on his mind as he is just missing reads.  He isn’t trusting his receivers.  If you watched Matt Scott on Saturday, he threw the ball well before his receivers had turned or looked for the ball.  On fly routes the receivers would take off, Scott would find a spot he could throw it and the receiver would spot the ball in the air and just stop and make the catch.  Has Keith done that this season?  Maybe a few times early in the year but not lately.  He has the capability and flashes it a couple of times a game.  But, then he throws an interception, fumbles or just doesn’t trust anyone around him to make a play.
  • The defense clearly can not keep up with a high-paced, spread offense.  It’s interesting, because before the year that’s what I thought they’d be able to deal with best.  Thankfully, there aren’t really any of those teams left on the schedule.  The Cougars I guess could fit the bill but to put them in the same category as Arizona and Oregon is laughable.
  • Arizona is good.  They’re a scary team especially at home.  They’re not as good as the Huskies made them look, granted.  But, that was a good team the Dawgs lost to.
  • Oregon State now comes to town, in the top-10 and undefeated.  In a way, I think this Oregon State team is a year ahead of the Huskies.  They had a disappointing year last year.  Their receivers were talented but inexperienced, their running backs went MIA a lot of the time.  Their offensive line struggled but gained experience, their defensive line had bright moments but lacked consistency.  There are quite a few similarities and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskies took a similar route as the Beavers have.  With that being said, I think this will be a tricky game for Oregon State.  They have yet to blow the doors off of a team and Sark has proven tough in close games.  Sean Mannion will be back as the starter at quarterback for Oregon State and that is a big boost for them.  Like I said though, the Huskies have had much more success against these type of offenses as opposed to spread offenses.  Marcus Peters and Desmond Trufant will have to step up and the offense has to get rolling.  But, this has been a different team at home and it should be a decent game.  If it’s not, expect the boo birds to come out early.

I suppose that’s enough for now.  This is a defining moment in the Sark era and how the team responds will go a long way in telling us if we have a long-term coach or just one who got us to mediocrity.  Let’s hope for a pissed off Husky team to show up and play their best game of the season on Saturday.

Andrew

1 Comment

Filed under Huskies Football, UW Game Previews, UW Game Recaps

One Last Review Of UW-Stanford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Huskies Football, UW Game Recaps