2007 Spring Game
Spring games are notoriously tough to watch because you don't get the chance to see a lot of the offense, and the defense knows what is coming. Coach Willingham stated after the game to Bob Condotta of the Times, that they were using about 1/12th of the playbook yesterday. It was evident that the 1/12th they did use really didn't give Jake Locker a chance to showcase his skills as he went Jake Locker was 4-8 passing for 38 yards with one touchdown, one interception. Carl Bonnell was 8-15 for 127 yards and three TDs. Ronnie Fouch was 8-16 for 81 yards and an interception. Not a bad performance for Fouch who was with the 2's and just joined the team three weeks ago.
At first glance it was pretty evident that Carl Bonnell has closed some ground between himself, and Jake Locker. At second glance you have to factor in that the QB's are off limit, and the playbook didn't allow Locker to do what he does best, and that is create on the run. Once the contact begins most will see why Locker is going into the Fall as the #1 QB. Carl however has put himself back in contention, and in the end Willingham will go with the player he thinks he can win with.
One Dawgman poster had an interesting comment that Bonnell looks very good till he takes a couple of hits. Durability is a big factor why Jake Locker was pre ordained the starter before Spring practice. Locker is built like a linebacker.
Louis Rankin indeed looked improved out there, and frankly I think he enters the season as a potential marquee running back. JR Hasty didn't have a lot of room to run with the 2's, but he showed enough yesterday to prove to me that he will be a very capable backup in the Fall. The Huskies rushed 49 times for the day and picked up 209 yards. Homer, and Kravitz are going to really add something to the offense next season.
Marcel Reece played like a man among boys as he caught three passes for 44 yards and three TDs. Reese is going to be a force next year if they can get the ball in his hands enough. Corey Williams caught three passes for 73 yards, Anthony Russo caught three passes for 65 yards. The improvement in Williams this Spring bodes well. With Russo you pretty much know what you are going to get, and he didn't disappoint yesterday.
The Tight Ends weren't really a factor, and puzzles me a bit that none of them have emerged from the pack. Walt Winter had the best catch of the day for the TE's as a member of the white team when they scored their lone TD. Chris Izbicki is going to get the opportunity to play early next year.
On defense walk-on Safety from Hawaii, Jay Angiotti, had a great day with eight tackles, and a TD saving interception at the goal line. Donald Butler was a force in the middle and also chipped in eight. The Purple defense had a good day only giving up the late score. Jordan Reffett picked up a couple sacks. Daniel Howell missed the game because of an undisclosed illness. I think the defense will be among the best in the Pac Ten. Sure there are questions at DB, but I think they will be answered in Fall camp when the newcomers arrive.
Special teams were ugly in every respect, and it will cost the Huskies games next season if they don't get that area corrected. Ballman had a tough day punting the ball averaging only 26 "hangless" yards per kick. Hopefully Perkins will be healthy enough this Fall to compete for the job. Even with a leg brace on, kicking with his left foot, he seems to be ahead of Ballman. Falk the freshman placekicker will arrive in the Fall.
Goodwin, Mosley, and Lewis showed a little flash as a returners, but the influx of speed in the Fall is what will be needed to get that situation in order. Despite those challenges I expected better play out of special teams. Speed of course cures a lot of problems, so we will see what they look like in the Fall when the speed arrives.
Reese, Rankin, and Williams are going to be play makers next year.
Bonnell, and Fouch are going to be solid backup to Jake Locker
The defense is going to be very solid up front.
Darrion Jones is going to be a player.
This is the best group of Linebackers we have had this decade.
Homer, and Kravitz are going to really contribute in 2007.
The Huskies look much better in short yardage situations.
There was a lot of hitting going on as the toughness is returning.
The Huskies are going to be better at getting into the offensive backfield next year which means the turnover ratio is going to continue to improve.
Roy Lewis is going to play on Sunday, he might be the best cover corner we have had in quite awhile.
Forrester, and Wells are a good tandem at Safety, but neither is as polished as Lewis.
Chicago walk on Charles Hawkins looked impressive yesterday. Tough to say what that will translate to in the Fall when the frosh arrive. Same can be said of Jay Angiotti who probably one of the most noticeable guys on defense yesterday. Everyone wants to see walk on succeed, and I think it is great, but at this point it just means we don't have enough players. No knock on Jay, but it will be tough for him to keep up with the Frosh this Fall, which of course is always the fates of walk ons. The coaches go with the guys they invest in. Mike Gottleib is a current exception to that rule since he will probably start Fall as the #1 TE. Once again you hate to see it, because you have guys like Kirton who should be doing better, and a guy like Winter who was a HS All American. By the way, keep an eye on Walt because he is moving up the depth chart.
Darin Harris showed that he will be a pleasant surprise next year in a secondary that needs some depth. Nice to see him back out there at full contact. Harris is a tweener, not exactly the size you want at safety, and not enough speed for CB. If you add Hemphill to that mix you might have something. So we wait till Fall when the Frosh arrive.
The offensive line is going to be fine. I think the interior is going to develop into a strength as the season progresses. Bulyca looked very good yesterday, and there was a noticeable fall off when he wasn't in the game. The second string offensive line isn't very good yet, they need another year to season. Habben, Tolar, and Sedillo aren't ready for prime time. Mason is undersized, Bush who has had a decent Spring seems to be the #3 guard, and #2 center. Berglund is the #1 back up, and I expect him to earn back his scholie after all the smoke clears in the Fall.
Depth is still a big problem. We have some players, but we still don't have enough of them. The class coming in this Fall, and the one they are currently recruiting for 2008 should remedy that situation. There is wide gap between the #1's and the #2's, that has to do with quality depth. When you see a Spring game where the 2's make more of a game of it, and that should be next year, you know the program is truly healing.
Jake Locker has some work to do over the Summer, by his own admission he isn't close to being an All American yet, but he has a good idea on what to work on over the summer. I am betting that you will see a lot of growth between now, and then.
When is Johnnie Kirton going to wake up, and play to his potential? He should own this position, but that move still hasn't happened, he better watch out for Izbicki who is the complete package. He also better watch out for Walt Winter who looks like he is really catching on. That was quite a TD catch yesterday.
I think Murchison, and Mosley played well yesterday, but we really need some help from the incoming class. Davenport needs to come in ready to play, too bad he wasn't here this Spring.
Morovick needs to get better. He was brought in to ease the woes at the snapping position, but he didn't set the world on fire Saturday.
#1 Washington outraces Cal in the Montlake Cut
The top-ranked Washington men's varsity eight crew handled crosswinds early in the race, then held off a late challenge by second-ranked California on the Montlake Cut on Saturday morning.
As a result, Cal left for home with less luggage — the Golden Bears surrendered the silver Schoch Cup for the first time in three years. "There is no more storied boat race in this country, including Harvard-Yale, than Washington-California," said Cal coach Stephen Gladstone at the awards ceremony, where both crews basked in the tradition of the race that began in 1903.
I am a little disappointed in the UW Athletic Administration that they don't do a better job promoting crew races. Saturday's race was one of the biggest events int he past 50 years of Washington rowing and the athletic department treats it like a cross country race. If I was AD I would insist that all the crew races would be called live on the radio. It's not that big a deal to do it right, and with a vantage point like the Montlake Bridge it isn't that difficult to have a guy with microphone calling all the races which last only about an hour and a half at tops.
Next week we have Opening Day where we race against Purdue, and the New Zealand National team. That of course will be on the radio, but the event pales in comparison to Saturday's match up with Cal.
The Stranger Chimes in on Willingham
How do you tell if a college football coach is any good? You can't measure by wins, because you have to take talent into account -- even Don James couldn't coach Physics 201 to victory over USC. That's roughly what the NFL draft tells you: How many players on each college team were good enough to play on Sundays.
Jeremy Stevens Signs with Tampa Bay
Stevens, a first-round draft pick in 2002, was an unrestricted free agent who the Seahawks were no longer interested in retaining after the player was arrested last month in Scottsdale, Ariz., for investigation of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said the Bucs met with the 27-year-old tight end, who has had other run-ins with the law, and is confident he’s learned from his mistakes. “I think Jerramy Stevens is a good young man,” Allen said. “He is focused on doing things right for us. ... But more importantly, he understands that he has to do things right.”
Stanback and Goldson go in the Draft
Former Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback was selected by the Dallas Cowboys while former safety/cornerback Dashon Goldson was chosen by San Francisco today, on the second day of the annual NFL Draft. RB Kenny James reportedly signed as a free agent with the Seahawks.
No. 11 Washington used a one-hit shutout by ace Danielle Lawrie and five extra-base hits to run rule Oregon 8-0 in six innings Sunday in front of 804 fans to complete the three-game sweep against the Ducks. The Huskies improve to 32-13 overall and 9-6 in the Pac-10, while Oregon dips to 39-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play.
Alex Slovic fell in his bid to become the first Husky to win the Pac-10 Singles Championship, losing to Stanford's Matt Bruch on Sunday. The Huskies did not go home empty handed though as Derek Drabble and Andy Kuharszky won the Men's Invitational doubles championship.
Matt Hague and Danny Cox each hit two homers to lead the Washington baseball team to a 20-7 win over Utah Valley State Saturday at Wolverine Stadium. Hague, the Husky third baseman, went 4-for-6 with four RBI. He also extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest of the season for the Huskies. Cox went 3-for-6 with seven runs batted in and Bradley Boyer, who also homered, was 3-for-6 with five RBI. The Huskies (21-20) avoided a three-game sweep with the victory while the Wolverines dropped to 19-25 on the season.