Monday, June 11, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Let me start Monday a little off topic.

Steve Kelley returns to the Seattle Times after a two month vacation....let me ask did anybody miss him? I certainly didn't, Kelley is the biggest pompous ass currently writing in the Seattle area. The Philadelphia native has never become a true Seattle type of guy....hard to imagine he was the replacement for the legendary George N. Meyers. The Times did get it right when they made the recent hire of Jerry Brewer. Jerry does his homework, and even though he isn't a Seattle native he has made double the effort that Steve has done in his twenty plus years at the Times in understanding the local sporting intelligencia. Kelley has only one area of expertise, and that is the NBA, hopefully if the Sonic's move on to Oklahoma City they will take him with him.

Ah, back at last! So ... what did I miss? (Steve you missed that nobody missed you, and the circulation of your paper probably increased in your absence.)

Washington senior Ryan Brown capped his illustrious UW career with a third-place national finish in the 800-meters Saturday, leading Washington's men to its highest team finish in 22 years at the 2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Brown was one of six Washington athletes to earn All-America honors at the four-day meet at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex, which concluded Saturday.

Brown was one of six Huskies to earn All-America honors at the four-day meet, including five UW men. Those outstanding performances - including a third-place long jump finish for junior Norris Frederick, a sixth-place hammer finish for senior Martin Bingisser, an eighth-place pole vault finish for freshman Scott Roth and a 10th-place finish for quarter hurdler James Fredrickson - lifted the 11th-ranked UW men into a tie for 15th in the final team standings with 16 points, equal to No. 14 Baylor and No. 15 Oklahoma.

Six more Washington baseball players were drafted on the second and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Friday. Third baseman Matt Hague, right-handed pitcher Brandon McKerney, right-handed pitcher Harrison Bishop, right-handed pitcher Johnny Durocher, first baseman Curt Rindal and shortstop Danny Cox were all drafted.


Boise State Preview


Think Dan Hawkins wouldn't mind having his old job back?

The 2006 Bronco's hit that elusive goal of going to a BCS game, and they actually beat Oklahoma in one of the most exciting bowl games in years. The Bronco's aren't Cinderella anymore. Did you ever think Boise State would be the dominant football program in the Northwest? They are right now, and they visit Husky Stadium for the first time looking to cement that fact in a game which will have as much meaning for that program as the Fiesta Bowl. Make no mistake, this is a Bowl Game for Boise State and they will treat it as such.

Boise State completed spring practice with their annual spring game, a competitive contest won by the offense, 27-26. The score doesn’t matter at all. Coaching staff 's are looking for individual efforts much more than which team won.

Offense

Bush Hamdan will be Boise State's starting quarterback when the Broncos open their season against Weber State under the lights at Bronco Stadium on Aug. 30. Hamdan, a redshirt junior, took the lead in the Broncos' four-way quarterback derby during spring practice — even if Boise State football coaches aren't conceding that anyone is a favorite to succeed Jared Zabransky.
Now Hamdan must hold his slim lead over Taylor Tharp through summer workouts and fall camp to make the prediction stand up. Hamdan has the best mix. Impressive arm strength. An ability to make plays when they aren't there or buy time with his feet.

Who will be the go-to wideout? That will be determined in the fall, when the Broncos identify their top five or six receivers and let them jell with the eventual starting quarterback.
Sophomore Jeremy Childs and junior Vinny Perretta are the top candidates, but junior Toshi Franklin had a breakout spring, sophomore Aiona Key improved and converted tight end Julian Hawkins developed into a nice target over the middle.

The offensive line was shuffled by an injury to center Paul Lucariello, who will miss the entire season, and the absence of All-WAC left tackle Ryan Clady for much of the spring due to a minor injury. Junior tailback Ian Johnson rested his banged-up body for the entire spring. Will senior Pete Cavender, who missed all of last season and the contact drills this spring, return to the starting lineup at right guard? The line at the end of spring featured Andrew Woodruff, the starter at right tackle last season, at right guard and Dan Gore, a defensive lineman until last August, at right tackle. If Cavender starts, Woodruff likely will move back to tackle.

What will the tailback rotation look like? It starts with Johnson and freshman Jeremy Avery, but freshman Jarvis Hodge and incoming recruits Doug Martin and D.J. Harper will compete for the leftover carries. Avery, who ran a 4.44 40, capped an impressive spring with 107 total yards in the Spring Game. The 5-foot-9, 161-pounder showed he could take a pounding on a team that played just two tailbacks after spring break.

Defense

The future at safety for the Bronco's looks good as Freshmen Jason Robinson and Jeron Johnson, junior-college transfer Garcia Day and senior Austin Smith delivered some big hits and broke up five passes in the Spring Game. Robinson, in particular, proved he can provide a physical presence. The second safety job - alongside senior starter Marty Tadman - remains an open race going into the fall. Robinson, Johnson and Day are learning quickly on the job.

Boise State lost two of the top defensive playmakers of the school's WAC era in linebackers Korey Hall and Colt Brooks, yet the position remains one of the team's greatest strengths.
Juniors Kyle Gingg and David Shields, who shared the weak-side job last year, move into starting roles. Junior walk-on Tim Brady, promising freshman Derrell Acrey and potential role players Josh Bean, Ellis Powers, Dallas Dobbs and Garrett Tuggle give defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox flexibility.

Gingg didn't hit much this spring as he continued to recover from a broken ankle suffered in the first quarter of the Fiesta Bowl. He was a force in the Spring Game, though, including a nasty hit that caused a fumble. The third starter could be Brady, who would force Gingg or Shields to move to middle linebacker, or Acrey, who is a natural middle linebacker.

On the Defensive front the Broncos will enter the fall with a four-man tackle committee led by senior Ian Smart and junior Joe Bozikovich. Senior Sione Tavake and junior Phillip Edwards also are in the mix. The group improved in the spring, but none showed he was ready to replace Browning - a three-year starter, All-WAC first-teamer and the unsung hero of the Broncos' run defense.

Consensus Opinion

The general consensus on Boise State is that they are young, they have holes to fill, and while they are capable of competing for the WAC title, another BCS berth in 2007 is unlikely. The 2006 Bronco's were very good, and they could compete against anyone in the country. This years version while following the same blueprint will have a hard time living up to that. The Bronco's are going to be breaking in a new QB, new recievers, and dealing with a shuffling offensive line. they will have growing pains. Washington is still going to have to play a complete game to beat these guys next year. They need to get it in to their mindset that they need to bury these upstart Bronco's and let them know that the Pac Ten is on a much higher level than the WAC. The Bronco's are still made up of guys the Pac Ten didn't want, and the talent level has to tip strongly to Washington. Don't expect a rout, expect a game like last year when we played San Jose St, a game we could have easily lost. This is going to be a fight to finish, but I am pretty sure Washington will prevail if they control the ball and don't cough it up for easy one's.

5 comments:

Greg O'Byrne said...

Man I wish I shared your optimism. I think the Huskies are improved, but the start of next season is brutal and I think if we go 2-4 in the first six I would be satisfied...sheesh, has it come to that?

Health Insurance Expert said...

Hi Greg, thanks for chiming in! I think we win the first two, we have to do that or the program simply isn't getting better. Ohio State is going to be really tough, but they graduated a lot of guys, and we have them at home. UCLA on the road is never good, but we have outplayed them the last two years. We went to the wire with SC last year, but I don't see us taking them anytime soon. then comes ASU, and we are better than ASU on paper. So I think 4-2 is realistic, 3-3 wouldn't be bad, and 2-4 would be tough to stomach.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I want to add that if you can't beat a rebuilding WAC team at home, or a down Big East team you are in big trouble. That being said I like where Willingham is with the squad at this point, and I think 2007 will see the Huskies bowling again, if not Ty will be on a serious hot seat in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Describing Steve Kelley as a pompous ass, is an unwarranted upgrade, and a serious insult to the true pompous asses of the world.

Tom

Health Insurance Expert said...

Tom...you make an excellent point, let's hope that he decides to take a gig elsewhere if the Sonic's move to Oklahoma City.