Monday, October 30, 2006

The Monday Morning Wash

When the going gets tough the tough get going....You need to pull your self up by your bootstraps....The true measure of a man is how he performs under adversity.

All these thoughts come to mind on Monday morning as the Dawg's try to regroup, and get ready for this Saturday's game against Oregon in Autzen Stadium. The Huskies shouldn't have any problem getting up to play the Duck's. They have mysteriously started, and performed better on the road this season than at home. The main problem the Huskies will be dealing with isn't attitude, it is going to be depth, as we head into the last three games of the year the Huskies are simply running out of players. Getting James, Wells, Bonnell, and Kirton back into the fray will go along way in helping the Huskies pull an upset in Eugene.

Washington can look back at the last four weeks and realize that they could be in the catbird seat for the Rose Bowl rather than fighting to stay alive for a bowl berth. Two consecutive overtime losses are really tough to rationalize. Washington simply hasn't finished anyone off, and in the case of last weeks game never really got going until the 4th quarter. Carl Bonnell after shining against Cal last week wasn't very effective at all against ASU. He didn't get a lot of help from his line, or his receivers. The Lewis juggling act in the end zone was just frustrating to watch. You make that catch and the game doesn't go into OT and Washington wins in regulation. Funny how fate works, when you don't seize it, it tends to turn on you.

One play that really stands out was the reversal of the penalty on ASU for passing beyond the line of scrimmage. Tough to know what the officials in the booth were looking at since the replay showed that Carpenter had clearly crossed the line of scrimmage. Officiating in the Pac Ten this year has been simply atrocious, and yesterdays game was called poorly on both sides of the ball. The league really needs to address this is in the off season.

On the message boards fans are questioning the coaching, they are questioning the leadership, they question the defense, and defensive line. You name it they are questioning it. The minority like myself are looking at it this way. We only have so much depth, we don't have any playmakers, yet we went down to the wire with three teams who we weren't supposed to beat at the beginning of the year, or even be competitive with.

If you ask any opposing coach what he thinks he will tell you the Huskies are back, and that Tyrone, his staff, and his players have done an incredible job of preparing to win and being competitive this year. At the start of they year most people in the know had the Dawgs pegged at 1-11. Despite losing the past four games this team has shown it can handle plenty of adversity. That was our third string QB marching us down the field in the 4th quarter to tie the game.

They say patience is for losers, but I think this team is way ahead despite the close losses to the previous three teams. Think about it again, a couple of breaks and we are leading the conference right now. We have shown we can play with Top Ten teams, and almost beat them. That is a lot of progress for a program.

Ultimately what this team needs is depth, and play makers, the only way you can fill that need is with recruiting. Judge Ty and this program by the strength and performance of his next two recruiting classes. That is what is going to turn this program around. I think despite the close losses recruiting will be easier this year, the coaches can definitely tell a story that prosperity is just around the corner, and that these kids have the opportunity to play right away to help make it happen.

This team reminds a bit of Don James first two at Washington. One was 6-5, the other was 5-6, and going into his third year their were serious rumbles that Washington had made the wrong choice in a head coach. The complaints were that he played the wrong players, the play selection was terrible, the team lacked discipline, Warren Moon should be benched...It went on into that third year when UW started off 1-3. Suddenly it clicked, and Washington ended up in the Rose Bowl of all places. What I am trying to say is this all takes time, this current staff is light years ahead with this team then most thought at the beginning of the year.

So Husky fans, keep your chins up, because we still have three games left, a bowl is still possible, and the best days are in the future.

Tidbits

Looks like the knee injury to Jason Well's is not as serious as anticipated and there is a good chance he will play this weekend. Johnnie Kirton will be coming back form the flu, and Carl Bonnell will be able to get the start at Oregon, his concussion was described as mild. He suffered the concussion on what was deemed a late hit, but after reviewing the film it looked like a very iffy call. Kenny James and Donald Butler should both be able to play this weekend too.

The absence of a bye week is a serious disadvantage for the Washington. Almost every team from the Pac Ten has benefited from a week to rest up.

It is panic time again for the BCS. USC could have made things very easy for them. Louisville vs West Virginia looks to be a playoff game for the winner to play Ohio St/Michigan. Don't forget about Rutgers which could knock either out in coming weeks, which would open the door for Florida.

Nebraska's upset loss to Oklahoma St still gives Gary Pinkel and Mizzou a chance in the Big 12 North. Down South I am already picking Texas A&M to upset Texas at the end of the year. Oklahoma at 6-2* is rebounding nicely.

Bobby Bowden squashed the retirement rumors, don't look for him to retire before Paterno.

Clemson's loss to Virginia Tech put Boston College in the drivers seat of the ACC.

Arkansas is now 7-1, who would have thought that after being drilled out of the stadium in the opener against USC. The Razorbacks are in control of the SEC West.

Boise St keeps winning, but they won't get into the BCS.

A tip of the hat to Red Auerbach who moved onto another league this weekend. There may never be another one like him. Many of you are too young to remember his Bill Russell led Celtics.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. California....The Bear's are up there by themselves, but they still need to get by the Trojans in November. Strangely enough they are ranked one spot behind SC in the polls.

2. USC....Somebody finally knocked these guys off, and it was a member of the rodent family. I have to admit I was rooting for SC.

3. Washington State....Look whose here? The Cougars have joined the top twenty five and just keep winning. Pretty good job by the men in Crimson.

4. Oregon....Washington arrives this week so throw the records out. The Duck's despite the romp last weekend have been struggling. Injuries are a factor in Eugene.

5. Oregon St....We had the Beavers listed as DOA when they arrived in Husky Stadium three weeks ago. Coach Riley's head was on the chopping block witht he season in ruins. Suddenly the Beavers are hot.

6. Arizona St....The Devils dominated Washington for most of the game even though it went into overtime. They finally figured out how to finish courtesy of the Huskies.

7. Washington....Four losses in a row have dropped the Dawgs near the basement. Washington has shown they can play with anybody, they just haven't shown they can win.

8. UCLA....The Bruins like the Huskies know how to lose the close ones, but on any given afternoon the men from Westwood can beat you.

9. Arizona.....Once again Mike Stoops has these guys firmly planted in the toilet.

10. Stanford....Thank god for the Tree. Playing them means certain victory.

8 comments:

prrbrr said...

HIE, I'm not ready to concede the season or any bowl yet. I agree with you that now a 6-6 won't cut it. It means we have to win out with the way things shook out saturday and OSU upsetting USC. I am curious if you guys watching the game on TV can feel the lack of emotion sometimes by this team. I guess I will find out this week as we watch the ducks on tv. This team needs to play with emotion to win. Something the coaches could do to help spark them is run the trick plays. I am not a fan of a steady diet of them, but the team got excited and played better when SS hit the TD pass and later the reverse by Wood again. HS came alive again and tho there weren't many of us there, we finally did get loud in the 4th (like UCLA/FSU). The flea flicker also seemed to spark the kids against Cal. It seems at times we need that spark. Even the "conclusive evidence" overturn by the replay guy seemed to spark the crowd and team. I thought the ASU defensive coordinator did a terrific job late in the 4th and OT. I don't think they were ready for JD when CB went down and after the JD orchestrated drive, he must have read the book and decided UW was on their 3rd string QB who hasn't played much at all the last two years and none at all this year, so he sent blitz packages and rattled JD never giving him the time like he did on his first drive. On the obvious hail mary attempt with 5 secs left in regulation he sent 2 blitzers. In OT he sent one each play since we were in obvious passing downs, from different positions and delays. I thought that was key. As for our D in the last qtr when we had ASU pinned down, we went with the nickel. I am surprised no one else before this has exploited the run against our nickel D. With Ala, Teo Nesheim and Gunheim as the down linemen, we are a little light in the trenches. If you have a big back, why not run against us. Torain almost got the first down but more importantly along with the punt took us into a long field with the 18 secs to play. I seriously doubt ASU was going to pass with all the mo on UW's side at the time and backed up on their 8 yd line. One other play I admired from ASU was the quick pitch to Keegan when he went 65 yds for the TD. At the time I thought to myself, that is the perfect play for us to use with Rankin and get his speed outside quickly. We also took a very long time to finally adjust and cover Torain getting the screen pass after faking the dive. I think they completed this play at least 4 times before we finally put somebody on him. All in all however, once again another wudda, cudda, shudda. Lewis drop on the sure TD, Macklin jumping offside in the OT on 1st/10 were momentum stoppers. I hope KJ is ready for the duckies, and Wells, CB etc. Right now if Wells is unable to go, I say leave Goldson at CB and start Hemphill who has done well, we just play so much better with Goldson at CB and CJ at safety. Rankin had much fewer dancing spurts but still a few. We really missed KJ. I think CB and JD are a good combination as the Ducks have to prepare for two different styles. JD actually impressed me with his decisions and passes when given time. I like smart QBs. Sorry about being all over the map with this response, and I haven't even been drinking. GO DAWGS

Health Insurance Expert said...

Emotion and momentum are key for any team, especially one that is deficent in depth and talent.

I don't think the defense is particularly flat, but the offense certainly needs help, or a little fire to get going.

The line lacks size, and a playmaker. It is all still aork in progress, but isn't it nice that we aren't watching one sided blowouts? Well, losing in the last seconds isn't exactly uplifting, but it is measurable improvement.

hairofthedawg said...

Me neither prrbrr and as usual, nice summary even if soberly rambling.:) I'm not one of the guys with TV, but what you say about trick plays and emotion makes sense. What I disagree with a little is whether a fan needs to see demonstrative emotiion for the team to have it. It's nice to see but I personally thought it a waste of energy and saved mine for after the fact. I prefer focus, although I'm not sure we're seeing that either.

Nice call on the CB/JD preparation difference and thanks again for after action report.

I also agree with keeping Goldson at corner. He seems to have more of an effect there and I like Hemphill as a replacement at safety more than what we have at CB.

John, you're spoiling me with your reporting. It's not because I tend to share your views, seriously...great job, although I do wish I had seen the Warren Moon misspelling. Even with my penchant for mistyping...I'm not sure I could have managed that.

On the bye week, with our lack of depth, yes, it is a disadvantage. I'd prefer that the league either went with it or without it. I don't really care about when games are traditionally played. I'll probably be trying to deep fry another turkey in the wind around Thanksgiving anyway.

Sorry, it's just hard to fathom Rutgers and BCS in the same thought, regardless of their record. I'll save my other thought because I don't want Kate to hit me should we ever meet. :)

Agree about Red...although he angered me to no end. I was a big Wilt fan and as fantastic an athlete as he was, team play won that battle...those battles.

BLAZER PROPHET said...

Welllllllllll, here we go again. The UW/UO game is the Huskies bowl game for the year.

Now you're seeing why ND dumped Ty. Honestly, with the favorable reputation you all have I really can't fathom why you can't get a better coach. It's been a string of either losers or cheaters since James quit in disgrace.

Add to all that, injuries have cut deep. Granted that's also been a problem at USC & UO, but those teams have more depth right now.

[sigh] Another long season.

Health Insurance Expert said...

What do we have here, our first flame from a member of the water fowl family?

Why don't you tell us how you really feel? The great thing about this game is how fun it is to beat you guys.

The Oregon tradition is barely a decade old starting with the Wheaton interception. Since that time the Mighty Duck's have gone to only one Rose Bowl....talk about dominance. Talk about prestige!

While Washington has been down the last three years and are now rebounding, the Duck's were down for most of the 20th century.

I jope you enjoy it when we dance on the "O" this weekend.

hairofthedawg said...

I guess I got my hopes up based on enjoying the Wines family site. I was expecting commentary that was thoughtful and at least partially based on fact. I wonder how the blazer prophet deals with Brandon Roy.

BLAZER PROPHET said...

Dear health insurance expert, I beg to differ as to how our great rivalry started. It has nothing to do with "THE PICK".

To me, it started many years ago. As I recall, Oregon had a very good team one year and UW was having a down year. UW came into Autzen stadium and just kicked our fannies. The UW announcers were making fun of us, and then so did the players after the game. Very classless. Next year, we did the exact same thing. Went to UW and just kicked the stuffings out of a better UW team and then trashed your team in the same way. From there, the 'game was on'.

Bottom line. I hate UW's guts and hope we lay it on with all the mustard we have. HOWEVER, win or lose, I'll be back.

By the way, my 3 favorite teams are UO, OSU, and whoever plays UW.

GO DUCKS!!!

Health Insurance Expert said...

Blazer you are referring to some games in the very early 70's, or late 60's when Jim Owens was still the coach at Washington.

Washington of course had the infamous Black Boycott going on and UCLA, and Oregon just piled on the points. Washington responded the next season by running both teams out of the stadium in a pretty dramatic turnaround.

I have a good friend who played on the Duck's offensive line during those two games.

To be truthful though, the feud goes back to 1948. You have inspired me to recount the events that led to the fuel in todays morning post.

Thanks, your a good poster, you are welcome any time!