Saturday, October 14, 2006

A few pregame notes

Another Saturday is upon us, and Oregon State comes to Seattle looking to try to salvage a season that in it's most mild term can be called disappointing. Think of Oregon State as a wounded animal that needs to be put out of it's misery before it turns around and attacks with everything it has to simply survive. The key to today's game is to come out and put the Beavers in their place from the get go and watch them fold like a bad hand in a celebrity poker tournament.

Washington actually is favored by over ten in this one. I think it is the first time since the SJSU game that we are actually favored going into a game. Will being favored against a struggling opponent open up the Dawg's to complacency? If that is the case then it really plays to OSU's advantage. The Beavers despite their record aren't bereft of talent. Moore is capable of putting together a good outing. Bernard is still one of the top RB's on the coast, and Serna is capable of putting up three's all day if the Dawgs bend enough on defense as they are prone to do. The Beaver D has standouts like Linehan who can wreak a little havoc too. Despite those weapons the Beavers are lacking cohesiveness, and Riley is losing the attention and control of his team.

Washington on the other hand is 110% behind their coaching staff, the players believe in what they are doing, and the positive results so far are starting to give them a swagger we haven't seen since the start of the decade. As we have seen the mental part of the game is making up for the lack of talent, and depth on the Washington roster. Football is a team game after all, and Washington is playing like a team. Bob Condotta mentioned the other day that the sum total of the Huskies is much greater than it's parts. Statistically UW isn't all that impressive, but the only statistic that really counts is wins and losses, and at 4-2 with #5 on the immediate horizon things are looking good for the Dawgs.

Probably the biggest factor, besides attitude in the Huskies rise this season has been the lack of injuries. When was the last time you saw an OL play all season w/o substitutes? This is probably the healthiest UW team I can remember. Credit Trent Greener first for the conditioning and flexibility that is keeping the Dawgs healthy. Credit the coaching staff for limiting contact during the week and adding the pool sessions. We always said that if the Dawg's stayed healthy they have a chance to accomplish something.

One key to the game tomorrow is jumping on the underdog, and keeping them down. OSU folds under adversity, so going after Moore from the start and forcing mistakes is key to putting this one to bed early. UW can't afford to keep these guys in the game with a 50 yard toe like Serna lurking on the sidelines. UW needs to establish a running game, and they should be able to run on the Beavers. The rush opens up a lot of things for IS, things like long passes down field when we line up second and short. Look for Washington to open aggressively, attack on defense, and control both lines of scrimmage. Look for the crowd to be loud, proud, and vocal. The 12th man will help force Beaver errors, and fore up our defense.

Be sure to pop by the Oregon State blog for the X Box simulation result of tomorrow's game. The Beavers are undefeated in X Box simulation. They have that going for them. Zach from UW Dish has an interview up on the OSU blog concerning the game that gives his slant on what to expect tomorrow, while his counterpart at OSU is doing the same thing on his blog.

I will be over at the Dawgman chat room during the game, so if you are not able to be in the stands stop by Dawgman to chat during the game, it's a blast.


hairofthedawg said...

The wounded animal analogy about the Beavers is apt, but I think it applies to the Husky football program as well. Except that the Dawgs are playing lately in a more controlled manner than a wounded animal.

I don't think it will lead to complacency, mainly due to what you mention in a later paragraph. The team has bought into what the coaches are selling them, and I'm certain the coaches aren't selling the Beavers short this week.

Trent Greener might be a good candidate for the 20 questions too. I'd like to know what he's doing different, and if he feels the differences in what he's doing are truly the reason for(knock on wood) so few injuries this season. I attribute it to luck, but would love to be proven wrong.

chat at ya' later...

Health Insurance Expert said...

I don't think the Dawgs will have any problems if they come out and put the Beav's away early. You can't let the underdog stay in the game.

Greener would be a good candidate in the future if he is willing. Tough to get these guys to be willing during the season due to their regular duties, but later in the winter some directly attached to the program may be willing.

What I am trying to do each week is be different than the other media outlets (this isn't really a media outlet) and take a different tack than they do. So when I do twenty questions it usually will be someone you don't expect, adon't hear from very often if at all.