Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 Sober Points from Last Nights Game

It's time of course to take a sober look back at last nights game to see if I have a different view of things now that the Woodfords, and anger have worn out. The funny thing is I really don't. Here are a few key area's to talk about from last night's game.

1. Fatigue....The Husky Defense was on the field way too much last night. They did a good job holding UCLA to only 10 points in the first half, but never ran aggressive schemes against a gimpy QB when they were fresh. They never really pressured Cowan much in the first half. Offensively the Huskies couldn't find any rhythm in the first half which ended up wearing out our defense.

2. Defensive Adjustments....The Husky Defense came out flat in the second half. They didn't make any adjustments, and UCLA started picking on the corners by taking advantage of the ten yard cushion. UCLA's first drive of the third quarter was basically uncontested as they drove the length of the field to take a 7 point lead. Talk about taking what you are given, the Bruins did it on this drive.

3. Play Calling....As I said earlier the Husky offense couldn't find any rhythm early last night. UW wasn't taking what UCLA was giving them. the Bruins were blitz happy last night, and what was open was intermediate routes down the middle. where is the TE, where is the FB? The Huskies hit Paul Homer for a big gainer that was called back in the second half. That was a good example of what the Bruins were giving UW if they had figured out how to take advantage of it. When you score 31 points it should be enough to win. When you are tied 10-10 at the half you are still a good position to win. However all that offensive inefficiency on the first half kept the defense on the field way too long.

4. Extremely Bad Play Call....You can pin the 60 yard interception return for a TD by UCLA in the third quarter directly on Tim Lappano. That was an extremely dangerous pass play to call against a UCLA defense that had been getting penetration all night. It was a low percentage pass thrown cross field by Jake Locker who had been running the other direction which didn't allow him to get his feet properly set. Tough play for any QB, especially a RS. At that point it was 24-10, and most of us figured that we were done, but surprisingly enough we almost turned the game around right after that point.

4. The Big Turnaround....Lady luck smiled on the Huskies when they intercepted a pass and brought it back to the Bruin twenty. Jake hits a strike to the endzone and it is suddenly 24-17, and Lappano has finally found some rythym in his play calling. The TD was a big shot in the arm for the offense. Defensively it was a big play for the Dawgs, and UCLA QB Pat Cowan was injured on the play and had to leave the game. It was right at this point that UW finally had UCLA where they wanted them.

5. Not Seizing the Advantage....On the very next series UCLA brings in the only QB left on their roster, a non scholarship RS frosh with no experience, as I said last night, you are talking Felix Sweetman. Kent Baer and UW has to know what is coming at them for the rest of the game, they are not going to let this kid pass much. UCLA is going to run the ball. You also have to factor in that the Husky defense is tired from being on the field all night. What does Coach Baer do? He lines the team up in what looked like a goal line defense without back end support. Chris Markey pops a 72 yard TD run and UCLA leads 31-17. All UW had to do at this point was be conservative as they had been all night, and play it safe. The defensive alignment was just terrible on that play....but the game still wasn't over.

Why didn't UW make the RS frosh QB win this game? Big plays happen, but this was just ridiculous, why line up that way? UW was just asking for trouble and they got it immediately.

6. The Middle....UW responds with their best drive of the football game, and the Huskies are finally showing they have rhythm. Jake Locker is passing the ball well. The 63 yard strike to Russo is a thing of beauty as UW is now taking advantage of the Bruin blitz. UW is finally taking advantage of what the Bruins have been giving them all night. UCLA leads 31-24 and we still have a chance to put these guys away.

7. Special Teams....DJ used to say that special teams are 1/3 of the game. I can't remember the last time time UW has won a game with their special teams. On the kickoff UW finally puts itself out of the game by kicking a line drive that was caught on the run at the 15 by Sprint Champion Matt Slater who returned the ball for an 85 yard TD. You know your guys are fatigued, why not have the kicker go for the corner? Why not have him squiggle it so the return threat is negated? UW didn't think of that, and suddenly it was 38-24 UCLA.

8. Big Plays...UCLA used the big play all night to beat Washington. sure they dominated statistically as UW was unable to stop the pass, or rush, but UW had a good chance to win this one if they could stop the big plays.

A. Halfback pass for TD
B. Interception return for 60 yard TD
C. 72 yard run by Chris Markey with UCLA out of scholarship QB's.
D. 85 yard kick off return

That is 28 points given up on four plays, and there is no way you are going to be able to overcome that. You give up big plays because you blow coverage, don't prepare well, or you are running the wrong scheme. UW was guilty of that all night. Take away just a couple of those big plays, and Washington wins this football game despite struggling on offense, and being fatigued on defense.

9. Coaching....I wouldn't say that either team had an edge in coaching last night, but give Dorrell credit where credit is due for the way his team came out to start the second half. That first drive they put together was the result of making adjustments in the locker room at half. UW on the other hand didn't make any defensive adjustments to counter it. How about Bob Simmons and special teams? The guy is zero for 2 1/2 years leading Husky special teams, he has to go. Lappano wasn't on his game, but he did make the adjustments that allowed the Huskies to have a chance to win and put 31 points on the board. If Baer and Simmons were doing their jobs that should have been more than enough.

10. Woodfords Special Reserve....My wife brought home a surprise for me last night from Costco, and I have to say that I went through a good portion of the bottle watching the game. I would have to say that she, and that bottle where the MVP's from last nights game. The Huskies are a lot better than they played last night. Jake Locker is going to be a Heisman candidate before it is all said, and done. As for Ty Willingham the jury is still out, but he is starting to run out of time, and in my opinion he may not be around for the dedication ceremony of the new Husky Stadium.


dcdawg said...

HIE, after this game, does this change your answer to the question I asked based on Meamber's criticisms: should be we worried?

I went to bed at halftime (midnight here) (I guess I should be glad I'm not in the Middle East, eh?) so I missed the collapse, but it doesn't sound pretty.

hairofthedawg said...

You are probably the lucky one dc. I was until whatever time the game ended, probably about 0830 over here and even though it wasn't on TV, it was depressing listening to it and chatting about it.

Just like Ohio St, this one was winnable and we gave it away. The Bruins gave us plenty of help with their own poor play and penalties, but we returned the favor.

The frustrating part for me are the occasional glimpses that lead me to me believe they're on the verge of getting it. All the parts of our offense have been there, but only on occasion, never consistently. The same with the defense when the coaches put them in the right situations.

I know the coaches don't have all the tools they'd like at their disposal but the results are falling more and more on their shoulders in my opinion. Yes, young players will get beat and throw the wrong pass sometimes, but when it becomes habit that the team loses games this way, the coaches need to adapt.

Ty's the CEO. He needs to fix this.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I gave Meamber his due last week with reservations, this week I have to say that he was 120% on, and they looked even worse. Young kids make mistakes, a coaching staff with so much experience shouldn't be making so many. the coaches need to give these kids a better chance to win.

That Locker kid is special, he doesn't give up.

prrbrr said...

HIE, I have cooled down, but there was so much wrong. I have lost confidence in this regime. TWs loyalty to his assts is wrong. So even if he were forced to can Simmons later this year, its too late. Was Meamber right? 2. Once again, Baer makes an average team look all amer. The starting QB practices only 4 days this year and torches you. His walk on RS Fr never played a snap replacement comes in and you overstack the box? Morons. You can cheat up a little, but my gosh. 3. We r trying to recruit Kavario M as a TE, but would you come to an offense which threw 1 pass to a TE in 2 games, even though UCLA was giving us that play.
4. Did you notice that the replacement guard for UCLAs Tevaga jumped off early at least 3 times in first half. DO we exploit that, no. 2 100yd rushers in game, esp when you have the RS walkon.
5. Jake L is the real deal, but he is young. TL is trying to hit homeruns with him, look at what UCLA did with Cowan, short outs to get the confidence in.. JL is at the stage where he still locks on, and is barely able to get past his primary. Put him in a position to succeed. 6.The staff talked about Ellis, and Goodwin (to stretch the field) but just talk. Our long threat is Russo, too slow to get separation. Reese is an enigma, poor concentration on routines but always 1 spectacular.
7. 3rd and 1, two fullbacks, too slow. Rankin needs to be relegated to KOR and maybe slotback where he can be in space. As for the RB coach, 3 yrs to coach it out of him or replace him and neither has happened. Solution replace RB coach Miles.
8.Davenport is an upgrade, not much McDowell, hope we haven't ruined his psyche ala Roc and Massey.
9. Special teams were very special this game in the negative. It is past time to suggest to an old friend(s) its time to retire with dignity, some people don't get it.
10. Our OL is below average. DL was vastly overrated in preseason. LBs have already been id'ed.
11. I would not give TW the 5th year. The kids are willing and trying, but the coaching both startegically (game plans) and tactically (lack of adjustments) are poor.
12. I think our best hope is to show some improvement to hopefully recruit well enough to let the new regime (tba Dec2008) a solid foundation. It is time to to discretely identify candidates, no more retreads, find the next Urban Meyer, Jeff Tedford. It can be done.
12. Lastly a funny quote from the RB by a UW fan as he was leaving that stinkeroo, "we want Gilby".
13. As for me, life goes on, the RB/UCLA jinx continues, and I have decided on Baer after actually giving his scheme deep thought. This game only added more coaches to the list. JD Williams and maybe Bagget are the only ones that should be retained if at all. TW is not CEO, friendship has clouded his bottom line.
14. Sorry for a too lengthy rant, but I had to get it off, this after a cooling off. Noticed you went off both here and at Dman too, so we can both be excused.