Monday, October 16, 2006

The Monday Morning Wash


Well I start out by saying I hate to look back at a game like this one. What a missed opportunity for our boys in purple. Beat Oregon State and you are in the drivers seat for a bowl game. Lose to them, and possibly lose Isaiah for the rest of the season and suddenly the whole atmosphere begins to change. One second euphoria, and the next severe depression, isn't that the recipe for a bi polar disorder?
Well this team certainly had one on Saturday because they just fell apart on offense after IS left the game. I am not saying they were great before that, but all hope seemed to drain out of the offense when he left the field. OSU was still giving us chances at this point, and I would never write off IS till the last play of the game, but when Carl came in the bottom seemed to fall out. I don't think it is his fault, they were blitzing almost every single play, but I really think IS makes a very average offensive line look good because of his mobility.

Was fatigue, plus wear, and tear a problem Saturday? I think it most certainly was. Teams used to lose the week after playing the old Washington teams regardless if they had beaten the Huskies, or not. The hitting would take a toll on them, and the following week they wouldn't play as well. I am certain the Huskies are starting to wear down, and wouldn't a bye week be good about now? We were thin going into this season so it was bound to happen at some point. The Defense didn't get a lot of rest yesterday, and the Huskies were down two key performers (Wells) (Goldson) for a good portion of the day.

The one thing Washington did not do was play at a high tempo like they had done the week before at USC. The defense didn't wrap up on tackles, and the coaches were very slow to make changes to stop the OSU running game from getting going in the first quarter. Adjustments in the second made by moving Wallace up closer slowed Bernard down. Taj Bomar didn't play well yesterday, he was contantly out of position. I wonder when we are going to see some Trenton Tuiasosopo in the lineup? I thought they were about even going into the Fall with Butler also making a serious stab for playing time. Could it be time for those guys to be worked in?

One thing we had going was the running game early. Lappano kept trying to stick a square peg in a round hole throughout most of the game. James had around 80 yards at halftime on around eight carries. With that type of production they should have stuck with him like OSU did with Bernard. It was pretty obvious that IS wasn't throwing well yesterday so why not take some of the load off his shoulders if the run is working? Another thing I am critical of is the play calling while Bonnell was in there. We had a little time and we really didn't give him much that was easy to do. Isaiah would have had a tough time making those plays. One thing is for sure, we didn't help ourselves with the play calling Saturday.

Scott White had a great game coming up with two interceptions. He leads the team with five for the year. Washington missed Wells at Safety yesterday. Not being able to line up Goldson at CB takes away so toughness. The defensive line was terrible. Afoa was double teamed all day, and Mateaki just wasn't a factor. Dawgman said the Reffett had basically taken over his job. What a difference it would make to have a healthy JWF on this line.

We gave up almost 500 yards to Oregon State? What is that about? Well it is about not tackling Bernard at the point of contact, and leaving some WR's amazingly open on a few big plays. that 80 yard TD in the third quarter just let the air out. It was ridiculous. What do you think Cal is going to do this week? Yikes!

Where exactly was Johnnie Kirton yesterday? I don't think IS looked at him once. Where was Reese? He could have helped out quite a bit over the middle. IS seemed locked on Sonny early, even though he hit the big one to Russo to start the game. After that he locked on Russo, he didn't seem to be using the entire field. At times we have five receivers out there....try to get them all involved! What about getting Marlon Wood more involved? Did the butterfingers scare them off?

On special teams Braunstein hit a long one, that is three in a row for the Groza Award candidate. Marlon Wood put the ball on the carpet a couple of times but we recovered them. Return wise we haven't done anything special all year, but we did look like we were a half step from breaking one yesterday. We didn't do too bad on coverage against one of the better return teams in the league, so that was a positive. Coye Francies looked like the real deal yesterday, too bad he didn't end up being a Husky.

The reason we lost Saturday is we got away from what we had been doing over the past few weeks. We let the underdog have some success and that built confidence, and it was all over before IS was hurt. The Beavers beat us up physically, we came out second in this street fight.

California is next, and we couldn't have picked a worse time to visit Berkeley. That being said, we need to show up and play hard. They play the games because anything can happen in college football. I will make my prediction at the end of the week, but right now it seems it is just a matter of how many, how fast, and how soon it will be over. Staying respectable similar to WSU would be highly desireable but very unlikely. Washington needs to win three of its next five. Arizona St, Stanford, and WSU are games we can win. I think we can give Oregon a game if Isaiah is back, but California looks ugly to me.

I am moving the Pac Ten Power Ratings to Monday, I think it fits in better for the start of the week. I am also unveiling the National Top Ten since we are now headed into the stretch run of the season. Just for fun we will throw in current bowl predictions for the front runners.

Around the Pac Ten

California broke the Pullman jinx with a 21-3 win over WSU. This game was closer and more low scoring then most people thought it would be. Cal's defense is almost as scary as the offense. I have to give WSU a lot of credit for keeping it close.

USC beat ASU with a late touchdown 28-21. The Trojans once again played a close one. What is wrong with the Trojans? Not much, they know how to win, the only stat that counts is the W. I think Oregon and California will beat them.

Arizona brought home a W with a win over Stanford. I was rooting for the Cards, but they just can't get anything done on offense.

Oregon is back, they had little trouble with UCLA yesterday. I thought UCLA would give them a better game, but the Bruin defense could not stop the Duck running game.

Nationally

Rutgers is still undefeated after hanging a 34-0 loss on Navy yesterday. I expect the Midshipmen to give Notre Dame a game, so I have to say Rutgers is truly a BCS contender. President McCormick actually on the field? Cat's going out with dogs? Some type of Vortal Equinox?

Boston College cooked Virginia Tech 22-3 much to Kate's delight on Thursday night. The ACC is a mess this year.

Auburn upended Florida which is great news. I hate Florida, it was time for them to lose.

Michigan, and Ohio St both came out with victories this Saturday. Looks like it will be #1 vs #2 in Columbus at the end of the year. I have a question, can two teams from the same conference play in the BCS title game?

Texas rolled over Baylor but gave up over 30 points.

Indiana beat Iowa in the shocker of the day after dispatching Illinois the week before.

Vanderbilt upset Georgia in a win that has been waiting to happen. Georgia hasn't played well in any game this year despite being 5-1 going in.

Texas A.M. took the bloom off Gary Pinkels fine season at Mizzou 25-19. Tough loss for the Tigers.

Tidbits

Down and out in Miami. The ACC suspended 13 Miami players and the Sun Belt disciplined 18 from FIU for their involvement in a sideline-clearing brawl Saturday night in the Orange Bowl. Miami fortunately will be playing Duke while the suspensions take place. Saturday night's fight was the third major incident involving Miami in its last seven games. You can count on Larry Coker being dismissed at the end of the season.

I am watching Boise St play New Mexico St and they have some native indian play by play announcers who broadcast the game in Navaho which is pretty cool. Boise won the game 40-28. Giving up 28 points to NMSU? Boise St has moved to 15 in the BCS poll.

Stanford gained only 52 total yards in a 20-7 loss to Arizona. The Cardinal gave up six sacks, two more than the number of first downs it made. We shouldn't have a problem playing with the Tree. So no matter what happens five wins are probably a lock for Washington.

When Vanderbilt kicked a field goal in the final seconds to beat No. 16 Georgia, it was more than just a rare SEC road win for the Commodores. It was the end of the longest losing streak against ranked teams in the history of the AP poll, which has been around since 1936. Entering Saturday, Vanderbilt had lost 54 straight games to AP-ranked teams going back to 1992. It was also the first win for Vandy away from Nashville against a ranked opponent since the 1955 Gator Bowl...Wow!

Tough break for Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson. On the day his father saw him play for the first time in eight years, OU's magnificent tailback broke his collarbone against Iowa State and likely saw his college career end.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. California...The Golden Bears are currently the class of the league boasting both the best offense and defense in the league. Even with one early loss the Bears are putting themselves in a good position for a BCS berth. Can they play for the title? It looks to me like a one loss team will play either Ohio State or Michigan, why not Cal or USC? USC has the inside track if they keep winning. (Rose)

2. Oregon...The Ducks are a very solid team who showed some moxie this week bouncing back against UCLA. I think they have the talent to beat SC, but I don't think they have a chance at getting a title shot. The win over Oklahoma provides a pretty big asterisk. (Holiday)

2. USC...The Trojans are still king till somebody beats them, and ASU forced them to score late to do it. With Florida's loss the Trojans should move to #2 nationally, but Michigan is right there too. All USC has to do is win out to play in a 4th straight national championship game, and it is doable, but I think Cal or Oregon trips them up.(Fiesta)

4. Washington St...The Coug's impressed me yesterday. Hanging in against Cal like that after a tough one the past week with OSU tells me these guys are for real. Oregon is next and I think if they can get their offense going again after a two week stall they could beat them. (Sun)

5. Washington...Cal is playing UW at the right time. If Stanback is out it could be ugly. Will Jake Locker get a shot this year if Bonnell is unable to lead the team? I think he would, but I would be very happy if Carl can fill in till Isaiah gets back. (Emerald)

5. UCLA...The Bruins were never in it yesterday against the Ducks. Despite that I think they are a team on the rise. It will be interesting to see how they perform the rest of the year. I think they will win the one's they should. (Las Vegas)

5. Oregon St...The furry wounded animal showed that it had a lot of life left in it. The Beavers finally put together a complete well coached, and well played game. Take away the three turnovers and it could have gotten very ugly. This win probably saved Riley's job. That's good, I like Riley. I wonder what Mr Potato Salad thinks today after his threat last week. Pretty bush league if you ask me.

8. Arizona State...The Devils played their best game of the year, and came up short. The bye week obviously helped. Washington looked worn down after playing USC, and the Devils may just be in the same shape after another loss. This team can't be in very good mental shape after running this three game gauntlet. things don't get any better with WSU on tap for next week.

9. Arizona...A win is a win even if it is over Stanford. Stoops really needed this one.

10. Stanford...The little Tree that couldn't, and lost the last winable game on its schedule.


National Top Ten

1. Ohio State 6-0...The Buckeyes have been the leader since opening with the win against defending champ Texas. They play Michigan to end the year so they might actually have to play three national title type games in one season to win it all.....Wow. Don't count out a rematch against Texas. (BCS Championship Game)

2. Michigan 6-0...The Wolverines have had a quietly successful season as they prepare to finish strong and face OSU in Columbus in what may be a mini national title game. (Rose)

3. USC 6-0...They keep winning each week, but with each close win you know they are getting closer to possible defeat in November with a schedule that includes Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA. If they get through those four then yes they deserve to play for the title. Think 1984 Washington, a team that just kept winning without style points. (Fiesta)

4. West Virginia 6-0...These guys need to get by Rutgers, Pitt, Louisville, and surprisingly tough Cincinnati. I don't think they finish undefeated. (Orange)

5. Texas 5-1...I don't see any defeats left on the schedule for the Longhorns. A rematch with Ohio State is probable if they get through unscathed. (BCS Championship Game)

6. Louisville 6-0...I don't think we will see a national title in the Big East this year. I think a couple of these teams will knock each other off in the second half. Cincinnati gave these guys all they could handle. (Gator)

7. California 6-1...Cal could be the best team in the country right now. The Bears are a long shot for the title game because Texas probably isn't going to lose. That loss at Tennessee hurt. (Rose)

8. Auburn 5-1...The Tigers bounced back to upset Florida which removes the SEC from the national title picture for now. the BCS has these guys rated higher, but I don't see it in the long run. Nobody that loses to Arkansas should get a title shot. (Sugar)

9. Tennessee 5-1...The win over Cal, and the last second loss to Florida show that the Vol's are a pretty good team that could get a chance if they keep winning. If Cal, and the Vols win out there will be some interesting arguments going on at the end of November. Cal would beat the Vol's now. (Fiesta)

10. Florida 5-1...Three one loss SEC teams in the Top Ten. Florida is the latest to go down. Parity in this league will keep it from playing for the title this year. I am just glad to see this train derailed. (Citrus)

On the outside looking in...

Notre Dame... These guys are pretenders who have a cake walk till they play USC. UCLA, and Navy could give them some problems. Damn you John L. Smith. (Sugar)

Oregon...The asterisk hurts them, the huge loss to Cal hurts them. Pullman is a dangerous place. (Holiday)

Clemson...The ACC is down, and Clemson is the class of the league even though they may not win their division title even if they win out because of a loss to Boston College. Georgia Tech is also a formidable opponent if they do reach the championship game. (Orange)

Georgia Tech...I think these guys are pretty good with only a close loss to ND blemishing their schedule. Tech is a lock to play in the ACC Championship game so if they win that they get a BCS invitiation. (Gator)

Nebraska...6-1 I don't think these guys are that great. They still have some hurdles before the end of the season. They won't beat Texas, that is for sure, and will have a problem with Missouri. (Cotton)

Rutgers....6-0 - they haven't played the meat of their schedule yet, but that was an impressive win over a very good Navy team. These guys could move up quickly in the second half and push themselves into BCS contention. These guys are darkhorses who are still in it.

Boise State...Another 6-0 team with even less credibility in the weak WAC. I know they are pretty good, and they could give most Pac Ten teams a run for the money, but we will never know that because they haven't played any other than OSU. The Bronco's need a lot of teams to lose in front of them to qualify.


3 comments:

prrbrr said...

John. Against Cal I believe its time to sell the farm and go down fighting and not on our knees begging for life. Its time to run the ball at them, 3 step drops to Wr/Te across middle and a host of trick plays to keep them honest. Its time for flea flickers, lateral pass to Shackelford who passes deep to Russo. Daniels, Ellis or Williams. A reverse for Wood plus any other creative ideas should be considered. On defense, its time for Baer to sell out also, cheat CJ up closer and hope Jackson doesnt burn us deep, bring pressure from a corner, safety or LB every other play. Drop a DT into the middle when we do bring a safety blitz. On STs time for the fake punt and FG. I realize these are the acts of a desparate man, and yes I am there. it's time for a fighter pilot to perform his last ditch maneuver and die trying to kill the enemy rather than get a missile crammed up my privates. I do not believe we can beat these guys straight up, so its time to at least give them big doubts on our plays, and also bang them mostly with KJ. No Rankin dancing and whiffs on blocking getting CB hurt. The OL and esp the DL must step up and play balls out. The team must play for 60 minutes, they must come out for the opening bell ready to kick some Longshore(man) off the docks. They must play with passion and smarts. If they are timid and hesitant from the get go (season normal), it will be over by the first qtr, and then like you said by how much. where and how. I refuse to concede this game so IMHO its time to let it all go and try out the wrinkles. An epic upset if we were somehow to prevail. I will now finish my bottle of wine and drink a toast to my downed Garfield alum.

hairofthedawg said...

Well stated prrbrr and thanks for pointing it out John.

I didn't think we could play SC straight up either. I'm hoping the team finds some extra motivation to win one for Isaiah as well as themselves. Combining that with your suggestions will make for an interesting day. Coach W has shown he's willing to take chances for the right reward and I hope he reads your post.

Health Insurance Expert said...

"I didn't think we could play SC straight up either."

Interestingly enough it was USC who could play UW straight up and win the game. What a difference a week makes.

I think Cal is much better than USC, so we really need to find a way to level the field without IS in their.