Tuesday, October 31, 2006
"Next came this update from Washington kicker Michael Braunstein (19), whom The Dash gigged a few weeks back for excessive cockiness, especially in light of his modest accomplishments (he was 4 of 6 on field goals at the time, with a career long of 32 yard ):"
"So I am now 9 for 11 with a long of 47 which came in overtime. So next time you mention me in one of your articles try not to be so harsh. Thanks, Michael Braunstein University of Washington kicker"
I really don't know what to think of this kid, but as long as he keeps putting them through the uprights I am happy. I also have to say the two misses he did have were more attributtal to the holder/snapper combo then it was to him.
As Dan Patrick often says, you can't control Micheal Braunstein, you can only hope to contain him.
Washington vs Oregon is always your classic rival game. You can throw out the records, and previous stats because you have two teams that are going to be up for a game, and don't like each other very much.
This is going to be the first Oregon game I have missed since the late 1970's. I actually enjoy going to the game in Eugene because I have so many good, and life long friends who couldn't get into the UW, and had to go to school at Oregon...LOL...Just had to add that one in.
Autzen is a beautiful place to watch a game, the stadium remodel was just fantastic even though the increased size has taken away a little of the Pit like atmosphere that once prevailed. Husky fans get razzed coming, during, and going, so it is best to wear neutral colors until you get to your seats in the Husky section. Things have toned down a bit the last few years as the Oregon program has matured and gotten used to winning. The fans are starting to act like they have been there before, so the animosity has been cranked down a few levels.
One of the biggest quirks of the rivalry has been that the game has been played continuously in Eugene for the almost a decade. What exactly is that about, and how come Barbara Hedges never had the balls to complain about it? Oh ya, she wasn't born with balls. I really doubt you will ever see Todd Turner take that kind of crap, we just all saw the punishment he and LORO meted out to Gonzaga for snitching on them a few years ago. Anyway it is odd the way it worked out. After this season the arcane scheduling ends as the Pac Ten will move to a round robin schedule each year.
Oregon is a solid top twenty football team. Jonathan Stewart (when healthy), and Jeremiah Johnson offer a lot of speed and talent at RB, but at QB the Duck's haven't measured up to past teams as Dennis Dixon, and Brady Leaf have struggled at times this year. Dixon is currently the starter, but don't be surprised to see Bellotti insert Leaf.
Defensively the Duck's seem to have been slipping each week giving up a lot more points than usual. They had a lot of problems with Alex Brink at WSU who has been struggling all year, this bodes well for the Huskies. The talent is there, but like Washington, the Duck's have been slowed by a laundry list of injuries as the season enters it final phase. Oregon, like Washington is considering lifting the redshirts off some key players, especially at RB to alleviate depth concerns. QB Nathan Costa gave up his last week to play against PSU which was a curious call inserting the kid for a few plays late in the game.
Which Oregon team will show up Saturday? It is going to be a tough hard hitting one that needs to overcome making mistakes. Washington is going to give these guys a game, and like the previous four weeks is going to be in it during the 4th quarter where the game will ultimately be decided. I like Washington in this one, and it would be great if Johnny D gets a shot at his old team and puts one in the endzone for the win. Bonnell of course will start, but he is only one play away from sitting on the bench, the 7 interceptions in two games coupled by a lackluster performance last week will give willingham a short rope. Johnny D didn't make anything easier by coming in cold and moving the team down the field. While not as mobile he does set his feet better which makes him a more accurate passer. Mobility didn't seem to be a problem for him in the pocket. Sometimes mobility can be a problem when the QB doesn't set his feet to make the throw.
Defensively the Huskies need some pass rush. That has been the recipe for success all year against the Duck's. Get ahead early, make them throw, take away the running game. UW really needs to get off the ball this week and dominate the line of scrimmage. When the Duck's play from behind they make mistakes.
It looks like Montlake Jake still may see some action this year if needed according to Willingham. Don't bet on it, Ty is a smart guy that always likes to keep his cards close to the vest. Giving Oregon another contingency to prepare is smart football.
Jason Wells is most likely out this week giving Mesphin Forrester, and Chris Hemphill more playing time this week at Safety. Keeping Goldson out at CB makes us a much tougher team. Wells should be back for Stanford.
Jonathan Stewart is pretty banged up but should see action against the Dawgs.
While we all chuckled about Michael Braunstein early in the year the redshirt junior has done a pretty solid job this year. His kickoffs have been good, and he hasn't missed a PAT. After missing two FG's earlier in the season he has been perfect since. For some reason my spell checker wants to replace Braunstein with Braincell.
Kenny James is a good bet to play this week. He still is having a problem with the sprained ankle and is day to day at this point. More on that around Thursday.
There will be no TV for the Stanford game. FSN could not work out a deal with the Big 12 to get that one on. Still it has been a good year on TV for the Dawgs.
Monday, October 30, 2006
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.
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.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Washington tends to play at the level of the opponent they face, that is both good, and bad as we have seen the last four weeks. The first three quarters we just simply couldn't move the ball. You can say that once again we came out flat. Coming out with a higher level than your opponent is a tough lesson to learn for these guys, and it is the main reason we are all sulking around this morning.
What is dissapointing about this losing streak is that the team has performed better than expected this year, much better, but for some reason we haven't been able to finish in the last four games. The reason for it is simple, it is depth, and the lack of a playmaker, or two. Washington's depth seems to drop a bit more each week which makes it hard to pull it out at the end. While paper thin I still admire this team for doing it's best and showing up each week prepared to compete, and win. The losses are tough to take, but I choose to criticize only fate, and the attrition of depth that every football season brings.
I wasn't surprised to see Durocher go in there rather than Locker. The coaches made the right decision, and Johnny did not let us down, in fact he looked pretty damn good out there. This team isn't Jake's legacy, this team belongs to the kids who have been through hell to get here, trying to make the program respectable again.
So anyway as I sit here watching the sun rise this morning I feel dissapointed, a little sad, but not cheated or angry. I feel for the players, and what they are going through right now. We have three games left, and yes, all three are winnable, and yes, I still like our chances.
USC finally went down for the count against OSU yesterday. Like the Huskies they could not lick the Beavers. I guess Potato Salad booster man should have kept his mouth shut about Coach Riley. If the Beavers keep winning I wouldn't be surprised to see him move on to another opportunity.
WSU knocked off UCLA and is quietly having a great season east of the mountains. The 37-15 win on the road shows the Coug's are getting better every week and the offense has finally jelled. Continuity in coaching helps keep that program respectable.
Oregon had little problem with Portland St as expected. It was a romp, and stomp!
Four Pac Ten teams are now bowl eligible, Cal, USC, Oregon, and WSU. OSU, and ASU need only one more win to get a bid. UCLA and Washington both still have a chance, but in the Huskies case 6-6 probably won't be enough to do it, they will need to win out to get to a bowl with all the parity ahead of them.
Texas held off Texas Tech yesterday in a game I thought would be closer than it was. the Longhorns rallied from 21 down to win. Like USC it is just a matter of time till someone knocks them off...I am thinking A&M.
Oklahoma St took it to Nebraska, you have to like that, and Oklahoma extinguished Missouri in a game that never was really close. Opportunity was knocking for Mizzou and they didn't answer the door. Too bad for Coach Pickle.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
For the Huskies this is all about doing or dying, no more moral victories allowed, and no more flat performances such as Oregon St are acceptable. UW needs to come out on all cylinders and put these guys away by breaking their spirit. ASU is very suceptible to that, they fold under adversity, they self destruct with loud crowd noise, and they arrive in Seattle a team that has dissapointed their fans all season. ASU is ripe for defeat, and the one thing Washington cannot afford to do is not attack from the get go.
I am predicting victory for Washington. I am predicting this is the day we get the monkey off the back, and start a 4-0 stretch run to remember. Traditionally Washington is supposed to own November, we are supposed to own the fourth quarter. When the weather gets bad, the leaves begin to fall, when there is a tint of smoke in the air, that is when Washington plays it's finest football. Today is the day we restart that tradition.
I think Carl Bonnell is going to have a fine day, I believe that Louis Rankin will go North/South first and hit the hole with power. I believe that Dashon Goldson is the ingredient that makes our defensive backfield physically click. I agree with Jeff Tedford when he says our defensive line is impressive, and our LB's are fast and physical. I believe that today we beat Arizona State and march back toward bowl eligibility.
For those going to the game, have fun, I will be here puttering around the house doing an endless list of honey do's as we continue to settle into this monster. At 6 pm central the work will stop, the beer will pour, the Laphroig will come out, and the big screen will turn on!
I expect victory!
Friday, October 27, 2006
The Pac Ten
No. 3 Southern California (minus 12) at Oregon State
USC's last game of season outside California, and the Beavers are pretty injury depleted at this point. Corvallis and Pullman all in the same season? the Trojans should be about ready to blow somebody out of the gym, and why not the Beav's?... USC 35-17.
Portland State at No. 25 Oregon (No Line)
Jesuit High School was busy this week... OREGON 47-3.
Washington State ( minus 1 1/2 ) at UCLA
The Cougars are having a pretty good season, and chalk this up as another win for the men in Crimson and Grey. UCLA can't buy a break, and Coach Dorrell isn't helping matters by being too conservative....WSU 27-24
Arizona State ( plus 1 1/2 ) at Washington
Carl Bonnell is more than an adequate replacement for Stanback, but the depth at RB has me a little worried. This is a pivotal game for both teams, if either loses the season is in danger of going down the toilet....WASHINGTON 27-17
No. 5 Texas (minus 11 1/2) at Texas Tech
The Horn's will give up some points, but in the end will vanquish the Red Raiders ... Texas 44-24.
No. 8 Tennessee (minus 5) at South Carolina
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier has won 10 of 14 against Vols whose streak of luck should run out this week. ... South Carolina 28-24.
No. 9 Florida (minus 14) vs. Georgia at Jacksonville, Fla.
Last four meetings have been decided by seven points or less, they keep it cozy at the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. ... FLORIDA 23-14.
No. 11 Notre Dame (minus 14) vs. Navy at Baltimore
The Fighting Irish have won 41 straight against Navy ... Navy 31-28.
No. 19 Oklahoma (plus 2 1/2) at No. 23 Missouri
First time since 1998 Tigers are favored over Sooners. Cany you say defining moments Gary Pinkel? ... Missouri 31-24.
No. 20 Nebraska (minus 5 1/2) at Oklahoma State
Top two offenses in the Big 12 meet and I have to go with the upset on the road. ... Oklahoma St 31-24.
Miami (plus 6) at No. 21 Georgia Tech
Yellow Jackets beat 'Canes in Orange Bowl last season, and they will do it again tomorrow. ... GEORGIA TECH 31-20.
No. 22 Texas A&M (minus 4 1/2) at Baylor
Aggies' last five wins have been by six points or fewer. Baylor has been tough all year and is capable of beating them. ... TEXAS A&M 28-23.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
At USC Shareece Wright is making a bid for some playing time, and the Trojans are focusing on getting their running game going during the bye week.
"With the USC secondary depleted by injuries, could freshman cornerback Shareece Wright be making a move for playing time? Wright, who only plays special teams right now, broke up several passes in practices last week and impressed his teammates and coaches with his play." Shareece stepped up in the bye week," starting cornerback Terrell Thomas said. "I don't see why he wouldn't play. You could see his game go to another level. He's more mature and prepared."
At California they are pondering how lucky they were to get out with a win last weekend.
"Cal looked to be set up for the easy win when Washington Huskies senior signal caller Isaiah Stanback, the second leading total yardage producer in the Pac 10, was knocked out for the season in UW's loss to Oregon State the week before. However, the Huskies proved they practice the team concept by pushing the Bears into overtime before losing, 31-24."
At Oregon State the Beavers are suffering from a lot of injuries as they enter the stretch run of the season.
"Oregon State can't afford to have any injuries at this point of the season, and that is starting to happen. Running Back Yvenson Bernard has been on crutches with a sprained right ankle. He is questionable for the USC game, although we will know further information in the coming days. It's still too early to tell for sure."
At Oregon they are reeling after losing to the Cougars on the road. I don't like the Duck's, but I really like Michael Wines, so my condolences to the Wines family. Rumor has it that there are some unhappy campers on the Oregon team right now, take it for what it is worth.
"This photo of Jonathan Stewart in the first quarter pretty much sums up the whole game. Mistakes, missed opportunities and a general lack of spirit in the first three quarters spelled disaster for the Duck's in their second loss of the season."
At UCLA is is more of the same as the Bruins Nations refuses to accept moral victories after blowing it at South Bend. Karl is safe because he just signed a new long term contract, and UCLA is notoriously cheap and won't even consider buying him out this early.
"It's not a big secret to anyone (except to delusional Dorrell apologists who have their collective heads in the sand) that Trojans from cross town are in love with Dorrell. Well, those clowns are doing everything in their power to keep Dorrell at UCLA"
"The only thing Dorrell has been flushing down the toilet is a team that once used to beat Southern Cal and win the Pac-10 conference."
At WSU they are relishing their first visit to the top 25 in a couple of years.
"Hope that the Cougar Nation is enjoying this week of sitting at number 25 in SOMETHING for the first time in three years. Don't know about you all, but Brinkhater has been feeling like he's been on a Hawaiin vacation. Man, is beating Daisy, Daffy, and Donald sweeeet!"
In Arizona they are discussing change, and are pondering if you can be both a football and a basketball school at the same time. Is six wins a year in football a reasonable expectation?
"The list of athletic programs that are traditionally successful in both the big two sports is shortÂ very short: Texas...that's it. Sure Washington has put together a solid basketball team and is rebuilding their football program, but neither is a traditional power. UCLA has managed some productive years on the gridiron, but not enough to be a traditional power. Syracuse? No. North Carolina? Not really. Duke? Well Steve Spurrier won an ACC title there. Kentucky? Tim Couch...Enoughh said. USC? Hoops ainÂt the priority there. Notre Dame? Good years for sure but not enough to be with the big boys. Michigan? The Fab Five ended the "glory days" for Michigan. ASU? Sorry, that joke was in poor taste."
At Stanford they have a bye this week and are using it to hit the recruiting trail while the team spends time in the training room recovering from injuries.
"The most important week of Stanford's season -- at least to now -- could be this one. The winless Cardinal doesn't play Saturday, but its coaches are trying to score a few touchdowns on the recruiting trail."
ASU is working on reducing penalties since they are the most penalized team in the Pac Ten. The least penalized team? That would be Washington. As you read the article you will find the Devil's have a lot of problem with noisy crowds so Husky Stadium should be a problem for them. Time to get the 12th man fired up!
"Quarterback Rudy Carpenter said he believes that reducing penalties should be atop Arizona State's agenda.The Sun Devils are 110th out of 119 nationally in penalty yards (68.29 per game) and 117th in penalties (8.57). That's after finishing No. 115/116 in those categories last season. ASU has had 70 or more yards in penalties in five of seven games and 95 or more in the past two. "That kills drives," Carpenter said. "Whenever you're in first and 20 or first and 15 and second and long, it's hard to dial up good plays. We really shoot ourselves in the foot and when you do that on the road, it's hard to come back. "
Redshirt UW running back Michael Houston got in some trouble over the weekend that got him suspended from the team. Reportedly he stole a Orange Cab after the driver got out to call 911 after an incident at McDonalds after a trip to Deja Vu. You would think strip clubs would be off limits. No telling what Ty decides to do on this one. He often gives second chances, but Houston was reportedly asked to leave Texas, so maybe this was his second chance.
As long as we are talking about stolen cars how about Marshawn Lynch commandeering the Cal Helmet car to drive around the field after the win over Washington? I thought it was funny, but Washington fan's, UW staff, and Cal officials weren't as amused. Look for the that to be the first, and last time that happens in Berkeley.
Notre Dame is complaing about being dumped down in the polls this week after a close win with UCLA. They need to realize over there that they aren't that good, and people are figuring it out. Would love to see them snubbed by the BCS, but they need to lose two to assure that.
Michigan State came back from an incredible deficit to beat Northwestern this past weekend. Is it enough to save John L. Smith's job? I don't think so. The Spartans are still underachieving in every area.
I mistakingly reported that Alabama had upset Tennessee yesterday, my mistake, the ticker had the score wrong, should have double checked, so the Vol's are still in it. Ihate it when you check something and they have it wrong, but I was playing catchup all weekend so excuse me for the error.
Wisconsin has put together a pretty good season, but missing Ohio State this year will prevent them from being in the mix for a conference championshipA a trip to Florida is never a bad consolation prize.
We have all talked about the gauntlet that USC needs to go through in November to get back in the national championship game, but what about Texas A&M who have put together a solid one loss season up to this point? A&M closes with Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.
Missouri has Oklahoma, and Nebraska up next. Thehaveve a great season going, but lose the next two and it starts going down the toilet, but still it is enough iColumbiaia for them to hail Pinkel a savior.
The Big East has three undefeated teams, so November will be very interesting. This is how it all breaks down.
Nov. 2 : West Virginia at Louisville. Two top ten teams square it off in the biggest game ever in the state of Kentucky.
Nov. 9 : Louisville at Rutgers. Perfect setup for the Scarlet Knights. I think they catch the Cardinals coming off the Mountaineers game in what might be Rutgers' biggest game since it started the sport with Princeton in 1869.
Nov. 16 : West Virginia at Pittsburgh. Backyard Brawl gives Panthers a chance for revenge after being ripped by WVU on a frozen field last year.
Nov. 25 :Louisville at Pittsburgh. Pitt isn't a pushover.
Dec. 2 : Rutgers at West Virginia. Potentially the biggest Cinderella story since Northwestern 1995 vsA a team that could be playing for a spot in the national championship game.
Tom O'Brien the Boston College head coach who was ready to accept a job at Washington if it was offered when we hired Ty instead could be moving along for bigger bucks at the end of the season. The ACC should have a lot of new coaches next year with 6-8 being canned, retiring, or moving on.
Georgia's president doesn't want the Bulldogs-Gators game to be called the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Oh well, why not just call it a Nascar Race?
You might have noticed on Saturday that Miami pummeled Duke. Well, by five. The expansion isn't exactly working out the way the ACC planned and the conference they pillaged, the Big East is tasting some sweet revenge right now with three undefeated teams.
Since the bye week ASU has gone to run first to lessen the load on Rudy Carpenter. Like the Beaver's they were supposed to be a high flying offense led by an experienced QB going in, but changes have been made to switch to the bread and butter of power football.
So exactly what does Washington need to do to win what is a must win game this Saturday? They need to come out like they did at Cal, and USC and approach the game with a lot of fire. Come out flat, ASU will be able to run at will with Torrain, and Herring carrying the ball. One thing ASU has done well all year even in defeat, is run the ball. The Devils racked up over 200 yards last Saturday.
Rudy Carpenter has had a tough sophomore jinx type of season after lighting it up last year as a RS frosh. One of the things besides himself that has hurt him is the relative inexperience of the receiver corps led by Miller, and Burgess. The key to beating ASU is shutting down the run, creating a lot of crowd noise, and putting the game on Rudy's shoulders. Expect the Devil's not to stretch the field much, they will keep it tight to build confidence for Carpenter and will follow the OSU blueprint.
Defensively the Devils have given up a lot of points this season, but are a pretty deceptively tough unit that can get to the QB, in fact they led the Pac Ten in sacks during the first half of the season. The mobility of a Carl Bonnell coupled with his accuracy should help minimize the threat of sacks, but expect him to be hurried at times from the end. ASU like all teams Washington has played this season will try to plug up the run from the get go and let the QB try to win the game. Washington while 4-4 has played better than their .500 record indicates. Both teams are entering the stretch runs of their season and view the game as must win to have a successful season and become bowl eligible.
I guess the first key to victory for Washington on Saturday is not to throw five interceptions. Personally I think last week was a fluke as Carl was breaking in against one of the best defensive backfields in the country. The second key would be stopping the ASU ground game, and finally Washington must be able to get Louis Rankin going with Kenny James most likely limited if he plays at all. Third down and short just killed us last week, and most of it had to do was with Ranking hesitating or dancing rather than hitting the hole hard with the proper pad level. Louis has the ability to do that, but for some reason he just involuntarily dances rather than powers the ball.
Ty Willingham, and his staff have to guard against a letdown after three straight close defeats. Last weekend may have been a moral victory, but those type of disappointments as we saw against USC are hard to bounce back from. Bouncing back after ASU with Isaiah being sidelined for the year was impressive, but they need to do the same against struggling ASU.
Don James was worried before the OSU game and commented that the Beavers had better talent overall than Washington did. Expect more of the same this week with ASU who despite the record have recruited very well the past few years. Last season they closed strong and pulled in a half dozen kids at the end who were on the Washington list. The Huskies need to realize that if they are going to win out they need to approach every game mentally like they did Cal, and SC, if they don't they could finish 5-7.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I listened to the game while moving on XM radio this past weekend and it was a trip listening to the Cal announcers. They were pretty condenscending toward Washington and expected an early blow out like most of us did. As the game went on they grew more concerned, the fun, and games were over. They talked to Jeff Tedford at halftime and asked him if it was Washington, or was California merely self destructing? Tedford replied that it was partly Cal, but mostly UW. They asked him if he was going to make adjustments in the second half, and he started laughing and said, plenty. I think Washington suprised the hell out of them. That is the usual recipe for a potential upset.
We didn't have the greatest third quarter as we let the Bear's back into the game, but we just didn't die, and kept fighting...pretty amazing. The final play of the game was hard to believe as it was described on the radio. The announcers were just stunned, as I am sure everyone was. I can hardly wait to see it on the replay this evening. It was interesting hearing them, they were the old Cal again, blowing it.
There has been discussion in the paper why Ty didn't go for the two point conversion? I think it is damned if you do, and damned if you don't. You miss it and everyone second guesses you the other way around. I had little problem with the decision, but it meant stopping Cal on defense one more time, which we did not do.
Another unfortunate thing that happened was Kenny James ankle injury. I think Washington wins the game if James had stayed healthy. Louis Rankin needs to learn to run straight ahead. Too bad we can't afford to bench him till he figures it out. 3rd and short with rankin is a number that probably won't be called much for the rest of the year. Give it to Palaita for god sakes, at least he keeps his feet moving forward. How about a keeper by the QB?
Carl Bonnell had a great debut, in fact despite the five interceptions, he cemented the job with the outting. This basically will assure that Jake Locker won't need to play this season unless Carl is injured. I think they still use Durocher for a play or two if needed here and there. From what I heard on the radio, two of the interceptions were the receivers fault rather than his. Anyway I think Carl can lead us to victory over Arizona State in a must win this coming Saturday.
Around the Pac Ten
Arizona State had no problem with Stanford this past weekend which was little surprise. I don't think Idaho would have much trouble with them either.
Washington State upsetting Oregon was great. Every time the Duck's lose it is a great thing. I didn't watch or listen so I have no idea how the Duck's could allow the Coug's to score over 30 points? Did Alex Brink suddenly have the game of his life?
UCLA lost a heartbreaker to Notre Dame on the last play of the game. From what I heard UCLA blew it by being too conservative similar to what Lambo did when Lou Holtz brought the Irish to Seattle for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Oregon State reverted back to their former selves in struggling to get by Arizona. A win is a win, but the Beavers don't impress me and it seems strange they beat Wahington, but I guess they wanted it more than us...lesson learned.
Things are going to be as usual for the rest of the season as I don't have any other travel planned, weddings, moves, or dreaded couple showers planned for the rest of the year. So expect a couple of daily posts as we catch up and get ready for the Devils.
The Big East has three undefeated teams rolling into November, and Rutgers is very much for real and a threat to go to a BCS bowl. West Virginia, and Louisville are the front runners, but Rutgers is very capable of beating either team.
The Big Ten is still all about Ohio State and Michigan, the winner will play for the national championship. USC is till the likely opponent. The Trojans had a bye this week as they prepare for the grueling stretch run of Oregon, Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame. They win those four and they deserve to play for the title.
Nebraska gave Texas everything they could handle last Saturday, and if they can get by Missouri will play a rematch in the Big 12 championship game. Keep an eye on Texas AM who are quietly having their best season in years and could easily upset the Longhorns at the end of the season.
Clemson took care of Georgia Tech, and Boston College knocked off Florida State in the ACC. BC's early win over Clemson is turning out to be a big deal since they are both in the same division which would keep the best team in the league out of the championship game if BC wins out.
Alabama knocked off Tennessee in the SEC which derails the Volunteers fine season. There is a a lot of parity down "y'all" country this season, and probably no national championship.
Pac Ten Power Ratings
1. USC.....Trojans move back to the top in a bye weekk because for the second consecutive week Cal showed they are indeed mortal. With a bye this past week to prepare I think Troy is right where Pete Carroll wants them.
2. California....The Bear's escpaped Washington by the skin of their claws. Were they looking ahead to USC? I think they were because that is all they talked about the week before the Washington game. I doubt they let down again.
3. Washington St....Knock off Oregon and I have to reward you with the #3. the Coug's are having a great season and this win put's them on track for a bowl.
4. Oregon....Pullman is a tough place to play, but the duck's could ill afford to lose this one after losing ugly at California.
5. Washington....The upper division is in reach for the surprising Huskies depite three straight close losses. Stanford will be a win, but ASU is a must win. Oregon, and Wazzu are on the road, and Washington has what it takes to win those games too. 8-4...I think it is pretty doable.
6. Oregon State....Ok you beat Washington, then Arizona, but Washington is still ahead of you? Well I am not buying into the Beavers. I think they lose more than they win the rest of the year.
7. UCLA....Tough loss at South Bend, but the Bruins despite the loss show they have some bite left in them. Dorrell is having a tough year.
8. Arizona St....Washington is a must win for these guys, win it and they can go about salvaging a dissapointing season.
9. Arizona....the Beavers did their best to hand the Wildcats a win, but there were no takers. you have to wonder how long Stoops has left.
10. Stanford....The Tree is injury, and talent depleted...Walt Harris needs time, lots of time.
Friday, October 20, 2006
This is going to be an unusual weekend for me, usually I wouldn't miss a game no matter the circumstances in Berkeley because it is such a fun trip to make. Crumbling Memorial Stadium located in Strawberry Canyon, atop the San Andreas fault, with a view of San Francisco off in the distance is one of my favorite scenes in college football. Always fun to watch the freeloaders on Tightwad Hill above the stadium, great view, and an ambience not unlike being across the street from Wrigley Field.
This has been a busy Fall for me with getting married, going to Hawaii for three weeks, and finally this weekend moving into our new house. (I know it sounds terrible...lol) On Saturday the moving truck comes around 11:00 AM and by game time, 3 1/2 hours later the truck should just be about emptied at the new place. I will either head to a bar at that point, or I will have to listen to it on XM radio since the Direct TV, Phone, and Internet won't be hooked up until Monday. That is kind of a bummer but it beats the excuse of going to a couples shower!
Okay on to this weeks games!
I only had time to go over the Pac Ten this week.
Washington at California
I would love to pick Washington this week but since this is the real world I am going to have to go other way. California is the best team in the Pac Ten, and they are also one of the top teams in the country. Only way Washington catches them if they fall asleep and Carl Bonnell and the rest of the offense put on a show.
California 42 Washington 17
Oregon at Washington St
The Duck's are a good squad, but like they showed against California they ahve the ability to be plucked when they have a bad day. A bad day is more prone to happen when they face a good defense on the road. The Cougars aren't California, but they have a good defense, unfortunatley they don't have the offense.
Oregon 24 Washington St 17
Stanford at Arizona St
The SunDevils will have no problem with the Tree, in fact it will be just like another bye week before they face Washington in Seattle.
Arizona St 35 Stanford 3
Arizona vs Oregon State
Oregon State is coming off a big win and that should breed enough confidence and points to get by the Mildcats. The Beavers are entirely capable of losing too, but don't bet on it.
Oregon St 21 Arizona 10
UCLA at Notre Dame
I hate the Irish, and I would just love it if Karl Dorrell marched into South Bend and pulled out a victory. I don't think the Irish are a great team, certainly not a top ten team, but they are as good as the Duck's. The problems the Bruins are having at QB are too much to overcome.
Notre Dame 31 UCLA 17
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Upsets do happen, in fact almost every week we are surprised, and elated when an Arkansas knocks off an Auburn, or a Wake Forest beat a Florida State...once again upsets happen. Why not this week in Berkeley?
Have you ever thought that maybe we have the Bear's where we want them?
They are at home, thinking about nothing but USC...that's right the Bear's are completely pointed to that game they think that will decide the Pac Ten championship in November. They think Washington will be a cakewalk without Isaiah in the lineup. Washington is just another bump in the road to these guys. Right there is the essence that makes college football great each week and superior to the pro game. Let downs happen, and California could be looking past Washington. Let's go another step further, and that is they are definitely not taking UW seriously.
Washington is in the same position that Oregon State was last week. They have been pushed to the edge. There is no margin for error, and every player on the team knows that they need to pull together tightly to save the season. That kind of neccesity works wonders! Cal on the other hand is thinking of USC, the Rose Bowl, and the BCS, and probably not taking Washington as a serious threat. Why should they, without IS, they saw on film what happened, our offense did not move even though OSU was more than generous in giving us an opportunity. They know how they have just beaten us terribly three years n a row, don't you think that breeds some over confidence?
(On a side note I think Washington fell into the same trap against Oregon St last week, and the underdog everyone had written off won and is now on track to salvaging their season.)
The truth of the matter is that program insiders feel that Carl Bonnell is going to do just fine in the closing weeks of the season. I saw him play in person in the second half against Notre Dame, and it was obvious if Gilby had started him it would have been a much better game. Carl can play, and if he stays healthy he has the ability to lead Washington to a bowl game this year. I sat with Bill Fleenor much of that second half of that game and we debated the future of the program, was it lack of talent, coaching? In hindsight it was both. Washington may not have the talent level where they want it this week, but coaching and motivation are no longer the problem.
Ty's biggest challenge this week is convincing these guys they can still win out....that's right they aren't going to be talking two wins, they are going to be talking about winning out the rest of the season as a tribute to their fallen comrade who left it all out on the field. Ty and his staff are up to the task as proven by starting 4-1 against teams with probably for the most part a higher talent level.
Washington can beat California on Saturday. The stars are aligned for an upset over the very confident Bear's who probably consider this just another bye week. I am telling you the Bear's are ripe if we take advantage of it and come out and play some smash mouth football.
College football is all about emotion, and that is why it is so much better than the pro game and it's regulated parity. College football is about fight songs, tradition, a wisp of smoke in the Fall air, and the beauty of the weekly upset when the underdog catches the favorite looking ahead to bigger things.
Chant the mantra...."Washington Will Upset California"
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
California, and Washington are the only teams that have participated continuously in every season since what is now the Pac-10 was founded in 1916. It is one of the longest continuous rivarlies in the West. Washington vs California used to be the biggest game West of the Mississippi in the teen's, and twenties. The two schools have lots of traditional ties in education, football, and most particularly Crew.
At USC they are accepting the fact that being #2 in the nation and undefeated isn't too bad a position to be in. The Trojans have a mid season bye this week. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Washington had the same?
"In this game, college football, young players take two steps forward, and one step back, and occasionally, vice-versa. For the third consecutive week, USC has a won a Pac-10 game by a one-play margin. The Trojans won at Washington State by six. They beat Washington by six. Saturday night, they beat Arizona State, 28-21."
At Oregon they ponder the visit to Pullman where just about anything can happen. WSU is a team that can play with and beat the Duck's. The Cougars are due.
"For the sixth time in seven seasons the Ducks are traveling to Pullman this week. Maybe they should just invest in a local motel?"
At Oregon State they finally have something to be happy about and they rank this win right up there with the Eastern Washington victory. By the way the X Box simulation had the Beavers beating Washington, so the Beavers are still undefeated in X Box simulation. The Beavers need to keep their heads out of the clouds against Arizona this coming weekend.
"We always win here....Those four words are the exact four words that the Washington Huskies didn't want Coach Riley to be saying in the locker room following tonight's game. This game gives Beaver fans a little less to be worried about, and less to make noise about. Moore rebounded well this week, and the strong win gives Beaver Nation less grief to throw Riley's way. However, we need to keep in mind that this is only one game. The Beavers looked very strong against Eastern Washington, a week before falling flat on their face against Boise State. Granted, Eastern Washington is Eastern Washington, but still the Beavers were clicking on most cylinders."
At California they feel they have the best team in the conference and are looking ahead to USC. I doubt Tedford and the Bear's are looking ahead. Washington is always a big game.
"The Cougars seem to think that Cal is the best team in the conference, and they get no disagreement here. The Golden Bears will have to beat USC in Los Angeles, but with that offense they’re capable of it."
At Arizona they are still unimpressed after the big Stanford win and suggest that Stoops keep Tuitama on the bench. Oregon St is a winnable game for these guys if they can produce some offense.
"Can you believe it? Arizona actually got a win against a Pac-10 opponent. In the process, they amassed 200-plus yards on the ground and gave up just 52 yards of offense. The problem – nobody cares. In fact, Saturday’s 20-7 victory over winless Stanford proves nothing (except that Stanford is by far the worst team in a BCS conference – maybe in all of major college football). To make matters worse, the loss of Adam Austin likely means this team will struggle just to avoid getting blown out for the remainder of the season."
At Arizona State they turned the team over to a sports psychologist during the bye week. The result is they cut their margin of loss by quite a few touchdowns. This weekend against Stanford they should bust back into the win column just in time before they play Washington.
"The East Valley Tribune reports today that a sports psychologist worked with some team members, including Carpenter, during the bye week. Among those to take their stab at figuring out Carpenter in the last two weeks was a sports psychologist. The man, who went unidentified, worked with several Sun Devils over the bye week."
At UCLA Karl Dorrell remains less than popular after the loss to the Ducks. I wonder if they ever consider that Oregon just may have better talent? I would love to see the Bruins beat Notre Dame this weekend in South Bend. I don't think ND is that great and would love to see them miss the BCS.
"Of course now the latest excuse from Westwood is that Karl the Quitter didn't have the team in a hurry up mode because of Cowan's throat injury didn't allow him to make the calls at line changing protection or calling audible."
At Stanford they ponder life after losing their last blue chip player on offense.
"T.C. Ostrander, a senior, will replace Edwards this Saturday against Arizona State, assuming his bruised left knee doesn't worsen. He will be backed up by redshirt freshman Tavita Pritchard from Tacoma."
At WSU they wonder if the offense will return for Oregon, but they are happy with the defense.
"Hope you all are nursing the hangover from Saturday's miserable offensive showing against CAL. While Brinkhater was not surprised by what happened on offense, he was VERY happy to see how the defense performed. Word from the CAL radio networks was that the Cougar defense was of "championship" quality. So, kudos to Akey and the group for coaching these kids up and for such a big turnaround from last year!"
Local Media Tidbits
The local media has about finished writing their tributes to Isaiah Stanback and is now moving on to previewing Carl Bonnell, and Jake Locker.
Bob Condotta wrote an excellent article in his blog on Isaiah Stanback and his contributions as a Husky. This is a real must read for any Husky, and a superb tribute to IS.
"His injury is one of the most devastating I can remember. Obviously, nothing can top what happened to Curtis Williams. But for the sheer magnitude of what it could mean to the team, and how it will affect everyone involved with the program, this is one of the worst injuries UW has endured in a long time."
Ted Miller at the PI waxes nostogically about Rick Neuheisel.
"And if the Huskies overcome the loss of Stanback and manage to reach a bowl game, amid the good will such a surprising development should inspire, perhaps Slick Rick deserves a begrudging acknowledgment, even if that includes a mumbled expletive or two."
Greg Johns is the first to get down to the business of exploring Carl Bonnell and what has led him to his first start in a couple years this Saturday.
"Bonnell has been around the block a couple times. He's 23 years old, five years removed now from his glory days as starting quarterback for Class 4A state champion Kentwood High. He's been through two universities and four head coaches, having originally signed a letter of intent with Mike Price at Washington State before being wooed to Washington by Rick Neuheisel after an odd "gray-shirt" season in Pullman when he was never officially part of the team."
Jim Moore chimes in at the PI with his traitor angle concerning Carl Bonnell.
"For one, it's another reason for the Cougs to root against the Huskies. Four years ago, Bonnell was a brilliant kid from Kentwood who committed to Washington State. But when Mike Price took the Alabama job, Bonnell bolted for Washington, which makes him a Coug defector, guilty of football treason."
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
What California brings to the table is excellence, and balance. The defense is one of the finest units in the country, and the offense can beat you with the run as well as the pass. The Bear's usually score a lot of points so last weekends 21-3 win over WSU while a quality win surprised many because of the low amount of scores in the game. It looked like Cal would roll big time after going up 21-3 in the first half, but the Cougars to their credit held them scoreless in the second half.
The Bear's are a pretty good bet to win out the rest of the year, but that one early loss may keep them out of the BCS title game. Texas, and Auburn need to lose again for that scenario to happen, and Texas simply doesn't have anyone left on the schedule that can take them. So in the end the Bear's may just have to be happy with a Rose Bowl. Since they haven't been to a Rose in quite some time I am sure that works for them.
On offense the Bear's are led by QB Nick Longshore, WR DeSean Jackson, and TB Marshawn Lynch. These guys play at a high level and are the best in the conference at their respective positions. The Bears are precise and deep on offense. Washington will be playing against the best guys in the conference at most positions, and the Bear receivers are by far the best group in the Pac Ten.
Defensively the Bear backfield shuts teams down. Even if the offense has an off day like last weekend against WSU they shut teams down. The defense is the main reason I feel the Bear's are playing better ball than anyone else in the country right now. The Bear's have become the old Huskies. Players that used to go to Washington from the Bay Area such as the Hoffmans, Fountaines...Etc... Are now going to California. Even local Washington players are gravitating toward the program as they have snagged a couple Washington coveted from O'Dea the past two years.
For Washington to win, or even keep it close it is going to take a Herculean effort. Even with Isaiah as QB Washington was going to be faced with a lot of challenges based on there most recent outing against Oregon State. Like PrrBrr said Ty is going to have to throw everything but the kitchen sink against them from the get go to have a chance at being competitive against a team that has handed Washington three straight humiliating trouncings.
Expect it to be business as usual for Tedford. No matter who the QB is he is going to apply pressure from the get go because he isn't going to be frightened to give up a long one provided Washington can find the time to throw the ball that long. Washington needs to be able to run the ball to keep the California D honest. Washington also needs to be able to burn them deep when Cal sends everyone. Whatever our coaches come up with it will be a daunting task.
Can Washington beat California?
The old saying is that on any given day any team can put together an upset of mammoth proportions. For Washington to win they are going to need plenty of turnovers and a short playing field. Washington's defense would have to play at a higher level then they have played in any game this season. Good example would be how they shut down UCLA in the second half, but Cal is way more potent than UCLA ever dreamed of being. Bonnell, or whoever they go with is going to have to have an incredible day. I think everyone on the team including the coaches would have to put together their best performance ever to have a chance to beat California.
Isaiah's injury isn't that common today among athlete's, but two other Huskies in recent years have had similar surgery. This injury was common in the 18th century for horsemen who fell out of their saddle and were hung up in the stirrup. Lisfranc injuries occur at the midfoot, where a cluster of small bones forms an arch on top of the foot between the ankle and the toes. From this cluster, five long bones (metatarsals) extend to the toes. The second metatarsal also extends down into the row of small bones and acts as a stabilizing force. The bones are held in place by connective tissues (ligaments) that stretch both across and down the foot. However, there is no connective tissue holding the first metatarsal to the second metatarsal. A twisting fall can break or shift (dislocate) these bones out of place. Operative treatment is needed to stabilize the bones and hold them in place until healing is complete. Pins, wires or screws may be used. Afterwards, the patient will have to wear a cast and limit weightbearing on the foot for six to eight weeks.
Stanford announced Tuesday that senior quarterback Trent Edwards will miss the final five games of the season after breaking a bone in his foot early in Saturday's game against Arizona. Edwards finishes his Stanford career seventh on the school's career total offense list.
These players are done for the season and will be sorely missed by their teams: Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson (broken collarbone), Georgia tailback Thomas Brown (torn ACL), Navy quarterback Brian Hampton (dislocated knee).
The ACC should ban the Hurricanes from playing in a postseason bowl game as punishment much like Clemson and South Carolina did after those teams fought during their 2004 finale. The hot-tempered Hurricanes probably wouldn't enjoy Boise, Idaho, in December anyhow. If you got a chance to see it on TV it was pretty out of control.
No coach has had a more trying 2006 than IU's Terry Hoeppner (15). He had offseason brain surgery, then three weeks into the year had to have additional surgery to remove scar tissue. By the time Hoeppner came back to the sidelines his team had lost at home to I-AA Southern Illinois and UConn. Then came an utter crushing at the hands of Wisconsin and its renegade band. But the Hoosiers and their coach showed some remarkable resilience the past two weeks, rallying from 20 points down to beat Illinois on the last play Oct. 7 and then shocking the No. 15 Hawkeyes. Hard not to applaud that.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Willingham said that "without surgery, they don't heal correctly, so you have to go in and make repairs so he can be able to walk and run again.'' Asked if Stanback could be back by late December if UW were to make it to a bowl game, Willingham said "we are talking longer than that.''
Stanback will wear a cast and limit weightbearing on the foot for 6-8 weeks following surgery. Normal rehabilitation can take 8-12 months, which will hamper his efforts to make it to the NFL. They said Stanback did not suffer a fracture, but that surgery is needed to insert screws and probably a small plate to stabalize the foot. They said it is similar to the injury that cornerback Derrick Johnson suffered in 2001, which caused him to miss the whole season. It is also the same injury that Donny Mateaki suffered in the spring of 2005.
So there you have it, Carl Bonnell is going to be the quarterback on Saturday, and if he does well, he will complete the season at the position and be the leader going into Spring to claim the starting job if he is succesful. If not, we are going to see Jake Locker a year early.
As for the injury Ty once again reiterated that it was to the foot, and it involved quite a few torn ligiments. Once again the full extent of the injury won't be known till later this evening, or tomorrow morning. Husky Digest has a gruesome photo of the injury as it is happening. Isaiah's foot is contorted quite a bit as he looks like he was rolling his entire foot, and ankle. An injury of this nature can keep a player out 4-8 weeks if it is severe. Hopefully in a worst case scenario he has a good chance to be back for a bowl game, and the post season all star games. Best case maybe the final two games. Anyway they will have the official word soon.
Moving forward it seems Washington is going to go with Bonnell and try to avoid taking the redshirt off of Locker this week. I think it is the prudent thing to do in this case, and Carl deserves a fair shot.
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 especially 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.
(This is a great post from man who believes if we have to go down this weekend, we can't concede defeat and we must throw everythng in the kitchen sink against California on Saturday. I just love the spirit, and tone! We are getting a lot more visitors, in the neighborhood of 100 or so per day now which is great, and I thank you all for visiting. Feel free to post when you are here. You can do it anonomously, or you can register, takes 30 seconds using any name you want, even your Dawgman user name. The Husky Blog is open for everyone to post their opinions! Since the end of June when I started this we have gone from 2-3 viewers a day to over 100 so it must be at least mildly entertaining...so feel free to post to add to the fun!)
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Carl isn't as mobile as IS, and he doesn't have as strong an arm, but few can say they have better raw tools than IS. What Lappano needs to do is reconfigure the offense around Carl's strengths, and also get some better production out of his running back to take the pressure off. That isn't going to be easy against the Bear's who have one of the better defense in the country. Carl is going to need a lot of help, and this offense is going to have to pull together if the Huskies want to not only be respectable this week, but go on from that to salvage the season.
The next option according to the coaches would be Johnny Durocher who moves up to backup on the depth chart. Durocher had a terrible debut last year in terrible weather against this same Oregon State team. I expect Johnny to get some time in the second half if the Bears put it out of reach early. No, we arent going to see Sweetman.
Finally you have true freshman Jake Locker on the bench.
Is he ready?
He has spent most of his time with the scout team imitating other teams offenses while learning to execute the UW playbook. He has a total of 2 1/2 months in the program.
Would I play him against California?
I wouldn't play him against California unless I was convinced he was the guy you could count on to get us 2-3 more victories and a bowl bid.
I wouldn't play him until I was convinced that Bonnell, and Durocher could not do the job. You wouldn't play Locker if you can get by for a week or two with Carl.
I wouldn't want to start him this week so I could concentrate on getting him ready the following week if needed when we have a very winnable game.
I wouldn't play him against California if IS has a chance of coming back for the final two games of the year.
Carl Bonnell has earned this shot at this point of his career. He is a guy that had been written off who now has a chance to make a big impact this season. He looked pretty decent in camp, and many thought he would beat IS out after the season started. It didn't happen, but it will be interesting to see how well he does when he isn't being blitzed on every play.
My experience with foot injuries is they take awhile, especially if he snapped a metatarsal. Not much you can do but wear a tight boot, and let it heal. I snapped a metatarsal one time and it felt like a gun went off in my head. It took a long time to heal, be able to run, or even walk. So lets hope it isn't a break.
Fractures to the metatarsal bones can be caused by direct trauma, excessive rotational forces or overuse. There are two common types of fracture to the fifth metatarsal: the Jones fracture refers to a transverse fracture through the metatarsal and an Avulsion fracture is when a muscle (contracting to prevent a sprained ankle) pulls so forcefully that it pulls off a piece of the metatarsal bone. You are looking at 6-8 weeks for this type of injury to heal.
If it is a sprain he can be out anywhere from a week to two months depending on the severity. A foot sprain is a tear of ligaments, the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to one another inside a joint. Sprains range in severity from Grade I to Grade III.
Grade I - The injury is fairly mild, causing microscopic tears or stretching of the ligaments.
Grade II (moderate) - The ligaments may be partially torn, and the stretching is more severe.
Grade III (severe) - The ligaments are completely torn, so the foot may be unstable and no longer able to bear weight.
Treatment for sprains is simple, (RICE) Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevating the foot to reduce swelling. Only in rare occurances does it require surgery. From looking at the film it looks like he came down on it wrong like a Ballet dancer would. That would usually result in a Avusion Fracture, a mid foot sprain, or a combination of both.
Washington is not going to release any official word till Tuesday, and they may even delay that longer to give Jeff Tedford more to prepare for during the week. These things always look worse on the sidelines during the game. Usually you know better about what you are dealing with a day, or two after the injury. I think at best he is back in two weeks, at worst he is out till the bowl games.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
We all hope Isaiah is ok, but if he is going to be out an extended period of time you will see Jake Locker behind the ball next week against California. Did I just say that? Wouldn't that be sacrificing the lamb to the lions after the way our OL was eaten up this week? Stay tuned for word on Isaiah's latest injury, lets hope it was just a twisted ankle and a bump on the head. As you saw today life without IS is not something we want to see this year. I am sure this topic will have a lot of legs this week.
It's early after the game, but a big impression I have is Washington didn't play nearly as fast as they did against USC. We were never able to establish a tempo on either side of the ball. Not sure if that was the coaches fault, the players, or IS who kept overthrowing all day, or his receivers who couldn't bail him out by holding on. We just never established a rhythm, or went with what is working. The whole day was like putting a square peg in a round hole. Lappano probably called his worst game since he has been at Washington. Why he didn't let Kenny run the ball when he was hot, and we only needed a TD to put us up by 10 is hard to fathom. We just let this get away from us. You keep the underdog in and this stuff happens.
Here are the burning questions we have this evening.
1. Will IS be able return this week or even this season?
2. Are Bonnell, and Durocher capable of leading the team in his absence?
3. Will Ty take the redshirt off of Locker this week?
What do you guys think?
OSU starts from the 20. Dawgs start off with some missed tackles as Bernard gains 11 on a draw. He is stuffed on the next one. Gunheim goes down and is shaken up. Moore hits Stroughter and into UW territory over Medfield. Moore not getting any pressure. Stroughter takes it down inside the ten on a nice little screen by OSU. Time to panic for UW. More arm tackles on the next play as Bernard takes it to the 3. He takes it in on the next play and it is now....OSU 27 UW 17
Washington has its work cut out for them as they start at their own 20. Stanback is sacked from the shotgun on the next play...Wow. They smell blood. OSU is just dominating this game. James is slammed down for no gain on the next play....Wow. 3rd and long and the wheels come off again as the pick up a false start. IS makes along run just short of a first down and goes down with an injury. Bonnell is warming up. IS looks like he is seriously injured, could be head or shoulders, not sure. UW punts as IS is carried off the field.
You can hear a pin drop in Husky Stadium right now. OSU starts on their own 30. Moore is incomplete on the first one. Funny the Beav's are still throwing the ball...Not smart. OSU picks up a dumb personal foul. 3rd and long for the Beavers and they hand it off and decide to punt. Good choice. Poor kick gives UW the ball on the 50.
Bonnell starts his first meaningful drive in a couple of years from the 50. Hits James on a screen on the first play for a yard. Good play to start him off with. Next pass is a duck, 3rd and long. Bonnell sacked on the next one. Time to punt.
Beavers go three and out on the next series and the Huskies still have life with 4:47 left in the game. UW goes after the kicker and Woods runs into his own guy and goes down near midfield.
UW starts off at the 45. Bonnell throws a pitch in the dirt on the first play. Goes long on the next and misses. 3rd and ten and Bonnel is flushed out and sacked. This one is about over, we cant move the ball...And the Beavers own us. 4th down and the Dawgs are going to have to go for it. Bonnell hasn't show that he is capable of throwing the ball or having enough speed to run the ball. Bonnel hits Lewis for a 1st down and we are still alive. Bonnell is sacked in the backfilled as Macklin is eaten up again on the line. 2nd and ten from the 47 and Bonnell goes down again. Washington isn't getting open, and Bonnell isn't getting protection. Offsides on OSU so UW gets a free play. Bonnell intentionally grounds it as he is being sacked. 4th down with 3:10 left and UW tries to find a miracle and stupidly overthrow a long one. The playcalling has been atrocious in the second half.
OSU takes over on downs and proceeds to run down the clock and collect the win. Great job by Oregon State today.
Terrible job by UW who came out flat, and stayed flat. Worst game I have seen them play since last year. I think if IS hadn't been hurt we would have made it interesting, but with him out we may have to reconfigure our recent thinking on the season. It may be Jake Locker time since Carl Bonnell showed today that he isn't close to being able to compete in this conference.