Monday, September 10, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

This was a great win, the first Washington win over a ranked team in what seemed forever, and the end of the nations longest winning streak as "Cinderella" lost her slipper on the shores of Montlake.

As Tim Lappano said after the game, "The Huskies of the past two years would have found a way to lose this game." What we saw on Saturday was the start of the return of the Huskies of old, and it felt pretty good to see that again after a very long Winter.

Washington found a way to win on Saturday when their offense put up 24 points on the Broncos in the first half, but stalled in the second half. The much maligned UW defense stepped up, held the Broncos to only 10 points, and shut them out in the second half of the game. That is what Husky football is all about!

Boise State has been averaging 41.7 points per game since 1999, and the UW held this offensive juggernaut to only ten points. Washington forced four turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter in holding the Broncos to their lowest point total in the past 18 games. The key to the game as I said in the preview was stopping the Boise running game, and the Huskies held the Broncos Heisman candidate Ian Johnson to only 81 net yards.

The win didn't move UW into the top twenty five, but they did pick up enough votes to be ranked 29th in both polls.

UW faces Ohio State next week, and once again it will be a significant jump in competition level. tOSU hasn't impressed me this year, but their defense can really thump it as usual. Offensively these guys have work to do, they only led Akron 3-2 at halftime....not impressive. I honestly think the Huskies have a good chance to be 3-0 on Saturday night.

Pac Ten Round Up

Oregon State opened the week getting crushed by Cincinnati on ESPN. the one dimensional Beavers go in trouble when they fell behind because of sloppy ball handling. Sean Canfield is a liability, and it will show in every game the opponent challenges him to beat them.

Oregon surprised us all by just crushing Michigan on the road. Michigan isn't very good, and I wouldn't get too excited about the Ducks because Michigan did lose to Appalachian State last weekend. Dennis Dixon accounted for 368 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, helping the Ducks build a 25-point lead at halftime and cruise to an easy victory.

Arizona broke into the win column with a nice win over Northern Arizona. Willie Tuitama threw a career-high five touchdown passes, one shy of the school record, and Antoine Cason went 70 yards for a score on the second punt return of his career to lead Arizona to a 45-24 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday night.

California had a tougher time than expected against Colorado State. DeSean Jackson is spectacular from scrimmage and on special teams. If only he could play defensive back, California might not have to worry so much. The junior wide receiver scored on a 73-yard reverse and 10th-ranked Cal held off scrappy Colorado State 34-28 on Saturday.

Alex Brink completed a school-record 38 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns, leading Washington State to a 45-17 rout of San Diego State on Saturday. Brink was 38-for-47, bettering the 37 completed passes Drew Bledsoe had against Montana in 1992. Brink's 469 yards is the third-highest total in school history, trailing only his own 531 yards against Oregon State in 2005 and Bledsoe's 476 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl.

Arizona State had another impressive victory on Saturday. Rudy Carpenter threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns to help Arizona State rally from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat Colorado 33-14 on Saturday night. Colorado jumped ahead 14-0 in the first quarter, but the sloppy Sun Devils overcame five personal fouls, an interception and two fumbles to take a 19-14 halftime lead. Sounds like Erickson has put his imprint on this team early. he must be the career coaching leader in personal fouls.

Chris Markey ran for a late touchdown, Trey Brown returned an interception 56 yards for a score and the No. 13 UCLA defense held off a second-half BYU rally Saturday night for a 27-17 victory. Down 20-3, BYU opened the second half with a pair of touchdown drives, but the UCLA defense forced a fumble on the ensuing possession and held the Cougars to three-and-out on the next. UCLA (2-0) used a slow, 45-yard drive in the final three minutes that included a timely pass interference penalty on BYU and a Ben Olson completion on third-and-7. Markey's 3-yard touchdown run with 1:12 remaining sealed the win.

National Round Up

Did any of you see Middle Tennessee and Louisville? Talk about a track meet! "We made the big plays when we needed to make them," said Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe. "It's not exactly the way we wanted to play in every phase, but the bottom line is winning."

LSU didn't need any small-school sacrificial lambs on its early season schedule to post a couple of gaudy blowouts. The tenacious Tigers made Virginia Tech look like a pushover instead of the ninth-ranked team in the nation. Keiland Williams ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Matt Flynn led LSU to scores on four of its first five possessions as the Tigers cruised to a 48-7 victory over the uncharacteristically hapless Hokies on Saturday night.

TCU was selling "Beat Texas" T-shirts before the season started. If the No. 19 Horned Frogs were going to be taken seriously as one of the top teams in the country, it would start with a win over the Longhorns. Surely there's a car wash or good charity out there looking for some rags no one wants anymore. Colt McCoy passed for a touchdown, set up another with a long run, and a dominant performance by its defense carried No. 7 Texas to a 34-13 win Saturday night, turning TCU's hopes for an upset into a second-half disaster.

Wisconsin needed some good fortune to get out of Sin City with a win. Tyler Donovan scored on a 29-yard boot leg with 1:53 to play and the fifth-ranked Badgers held on for a 20-13 victory over UNLV Saturday night.

The Buckeyes' defense forced befuddled Akron to punt 14 times, including after 12 consecutive three-and-out series, and beat the Zips 20-2. The Buckeyes led Akron 3-2 at the half.

Sam Keller nearly gave away the game during his first road start at Nebraska. Zack Bowman jumped up to take it back for the Cornhuskers. Three plays after Keller threw an interception deep in Nebraska territory, Bowman picked off a Wake Forest pass in the end zone and the 16th-ranked Cornhuskers held on to win 20-17 on Saturday.

No. 14 Penn State's defense bottled up Jimmy Clausen, the Irish freshman quarterback making his first start, Derrick Williams returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown and Austin Scott ran for two second-half scores in a 31-10 win at raucous Beaver Stadium.

Jesse Hester Jr. caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Matt Grothe to lift the Bulls to a 26-23 overtime win over No. 17 Auburn Saturday night and give USF a victory over a ranked team each of the last three seasons.

Louisiana Tech didn't want to give Colt Brennan another chance, so the Bulldogs went for the winning 2-point conversion in overtime. However, No. 20 Hawaii was up to the task. The Warriors knocked down the pass attempt to preserve a 45-44 victory on Saturday night.

Steve Spurrier tried to downplay his latest win over Georgia. Of course, he couldn't resist one little dig at the Bulldogs. Spurrier, who beat the Bulldogs regularly while at Florida, guided South Carolina to a 16-12 upset of No. 11 Georgia that may indicate the Gamecocks are finally ready to contend for their first Southeastern Conference title.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. Southern California...The Trojans had the week off, and play Nebraska next week. Since they have only played Idaho we don't really any idea off paper how good they are. I haven't been impressed with Nebraska since Callahan took over. (Holding)

2. California...The Golden Bears had a letdown against Colorado State but prevailed by 6 points. No question about the offense, but the defense leaves a lot to be desired. (Holding)

3. Arizona State...Win number two of the Erickson era, and plenty of personal fouls which unfortunately seems to be an Erickson trademark. (Rising)

4. UCLA...BYU was a tough opponent and UCLA did pretty well holding off a late rally. I still have doubts about Dorrell as a head man. (Holding)

5. Washington...UW has a big one next week against Ohio State, and if they win that one they will be back in the top 25. The win against Boise State sends a very positive message about the return of Husky football. (Rising)

6. Oregon...Impressive win over Michigan, but Michigan is obviously not very good after dropping two in a row. Dennis Dixon had a great game, but the Ducks don't have me convinced...yet. (Rising)

7. Oregon State...The Beavers were favored on the road, but the roof caved in during the 3rd quarter exposing the one dimensional OSU offense. Riley has a lot of work to do with these guys, but last season started the same way and they ended up beating USC. (Falling)

8. Washington State...Alex Brink had one of his best games as a Cougar, and WSU is in the mix. the cougars are never as bad as you think. this offense can move the ball, but can the defense stop Pac Ten opponents? (Rising)

9. Arizona...Stoops breaks into the win column over Northern Arizona, but the Pac Ten isn't the Big Sky. (Falling)

10. Stanford...The Card play for all the marbles in Silicon Valley next week against SJSU. this game will be a decent measuring stick on how the rebuilding is going. If they don't win, they might not win a game this year. (Holding)

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