Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday Notes

Interesting week coming up in the conference

Cal, and USC have moved into the conference lead as the conference had a little seperation over the weekend. UW, UCLA, Oregon, and WSU are all still in the race too. The conference champ probably won't go through the nine game gauntlet undefeated this year.

The Huskies host turnover plauged Oregon St in Seattle this weekend. We will start previewing the game and the Beavers on Monday. Win this and we are 5-2 which means only one more win to clinch a bowl game.

Oregon has to bounce back at home against UCLA next week. The Bruins have had a couple of weeks to heal from the Washington loss. Last week I would say the Bruins had no chance, but as always they have talent, so can never be counted out. Oregon on the other hand is coming off a humiliation which makes them ripe again. UCLA has a goo defense, and they also have the ability to take away the Duck's running game which seems to be the key to beating the Ducks.

Arizona plays Stanford in what may be the only opportunity for either team to gain a conference win. I will root for Stanford because I think the Wildcats are more of a recruiting competitor than the Cards are. Neither team has show they can score. I guess this would be the Pac Ten version of the toilet bowl.

USC has the pleasure of hosting ASU at home. Was Koetter able to heal the Sun Devils problems over the bye week? I am sure he made some progress, but I am also sure a beating by SC will seal their fate for the rest of the year. This game was going to be a marquee matchup going into the season, intersting how things work.

California travels to Pullman next week. Will the real WSU Cougars please show up and give these guys a game? This contest will give you a pretty good contrast between USC, and the Bears. Can the Coug's give these guys a game at home?

Washington at USC

Fantastic game on Saturday against USC, one we all will remember for awhile. The one thing that struck me the entire game was how fast Washington played. We made mistakes, nothing completely fatal, but they all add up at the end of the game. Statistically the game was pretty much a draw with Washington actually outrushing the Trojans. I said you can't kick field goals and beat SC, and mistakes in the red zone led to our undoing more than the ref's at the end of the game. We didn't convert when we should have a couple of times. As Lappano said if you take care of business before that you aren't put into that position. We had plenty of opportunity.

I like the class the coaches and players had after the game even though they had been jobbed. Things like this are better handled in private after review than in the press conference. You can be sure that Ty, and Todd will be on the phone with the Pac Ten office Monday morning concerning the clock, and the fake FG.

A lot of people on Dawgman called Pete Carroll the new jerk of the Pac Ten. I don't see it that way, and his teams have always been classy. I think it is ok to celebrate after the game in a respectful manner, and they did that. The entire Trojan team was very complimentary of the Huskies. He treated it like the big win it was. I like Carroll, admire what he has done, and will happily wave goodbye to him when he heads to the NFL after USC goes on probation.

One thing I saw yesterday was a lot of improved tackling. A couple I saw were absolutely crushing and text book in form and technique. Nice to see Washington hitting and wrapping up again for the most part.

Special teams weren't exactly special. I think it is more of a component of depth than anything else and will take care of itself over the next couple of years. Morovick needs size, experience and strength, those things will happen.

One California paper called IS the goat of the game, I disagree, I don't think you get into a position to win without IS. I watched the game with some ex Wisconsin Badger players and they were pretty impressed with IS. People have to remember you are playing USC. We all felt like throwing our drinks at the Plasma TV after the game.

Washington should be able to build on this game even though it wasn't a victory.

Oregon at California

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise, as Gomer Pyle used to say. The Golden Bears wiped the field with a team that most figured to be their equal. The game was over at halftime, or maybe after the first quarter. The Bears treated the Duck's like they have recently treated the Huskies. I figured this would be a pretty tight game that would be high scoring and go down to the last minute, it wasn't. ASU must really suck, because Oregon looked like a Top Five team the previous week. Key to the victory was stopping the Duck running game. Only 69 yards for the Ducks. That put everything on Dixon who coughed up three interceptions. The running game contributed a fumble. When you turn the ball over four times chances are you lose against a quality opponent.

Stanford at Notre Dame

Notre Dame wasn't exactly impressive after needing a strong 3rd quarter to put space between them and the Tree. This is the second straight week the Tree has stayed in the game for the first half if you are a fan of the glass in half full theory. 31-10 I guess isn't an embarrasment to the Irish, but you would expect much better at home. For Stanford scoring 10 points is a minor victory.

Washington State at Oregon St

How good are the Cougars? Playing on the road is always tough, but you would think they would jump on the Beavers. Pretty ugly game, no style points for either school. Brink was 19-32 for 270 with 1 TD, and an interception, but obviously the Coug's couldn't find the endzone in Corvallis. The Huskies play the Beavers this week so we have another comparison to make between the two teams after the game. Right now I would say Washington has the edge. I guess you can say that Riley is moving closer to the hot seat.

Arizona at UCLA

Patrick Cowan got his first opportunity of the year and led UCLA to a nice 27-7 victory over Arizona. Arizona couldn't rush the ball and was held to negative rushing yards for a second consecutive week. UCLA scored once a quarter and UA couldn't keep up. It will be interesting when the Wildcats play Stanford who does not have a offense either. Cowan was 20-29 for 203 with two TD's. Olson was 3 for 4 when he went out so I am not sure if a QB controversy is next for the Bruins. UCLA moves to 4-1 which isn't a bad start and still keeps them in the race. I would love to see UCLA knock off Notre Dame.

Sunday Notes

The Daily News in LA has the Trojans take of the last few minutes of the game and understood the Huskies pain. Just shows you the type of class they have on that team.

Nose guard Sedrick Ellis probably put it best. "You never know what that play would turn out to be," he said. "I know their center was pretty mad. He threw his helmet and was running around."

"We should have ended it with one last play," linebacker Oscar Lua said. "It would be a lot more interesting for the fans and players."

Bob Condotta did a little research and has surmised that the fake FG which resulted in a TD was legal. Bob's blog is pretty good especially since they are letting people comment again.

Apparently, that is a legal play, and here is the section of the NCAA rule book I was referred to by a school official in the press box Saturday.

Oregon Live calls the UO/Cal game a meltdown pure and simple.

"It seemed like they were in every gap," said Stewart, who entered the game averaging 7.9 yards per carry.

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