Friday, September 07, 2007

Washington / Boise State Matchups

Here is a rundown on how Washington, and Boise State matchup.

Quarterback - Washington - Jake Locker showed me enough in the first game against Syracuse that he is definitely in the upper division as far as QB's go in the Pac Ten. He showed great touch once he settled down, and the ball just exploded out of his hands. Tharp is a good QB with more experience, but he can't run, or throw like Locker. Lockers feet, and size set him apart from just about every QB in the country.

Running back - Even - Ian Johnson comes in well hyped as a Heisman contender with adequate depth behind him. Louis Rankin is coming off his best game as a Husky and has been impressive all spring, and during Fall camp. The guy that does the best is going to be running behind what will prove to be the best offensive line. Both teams also have pretty good FB's. Homer will only keep getting better as a blocking, and short yardage back.

Wide Receiver - Washington - Washington veteran crew held onto the ball really well last Friday, and ran really well after the catch. We haven't see the deep game yet, but expect to see more of it against BSU. Boise lost their three top receivers to graduation and Jeremy Childs looks to be their go to guy this year. Vinny Perretta is a former walk-on who did a little of everything on offense last year with 17 catches, 55 rushes. Evan Surratt arrived last year as a safety, but so good as a WR on the scout team late last year the coaches decided to make him a wide receiver permanently. Tanyon Bissell will be busy this year as a slot receiver, occasional trick-play quarterback, keep an eye on him.

Tight End - Boise State - We didn't see much of the Tight End in Washington's offense last week as only Rob Lewis caught a ball during the game. Look for UW to try to get the TE's more involved over the middle this week. Boise State counters with Chris O'Neill who had an outstanding performance in fall camp and emerged as the tight end most likely to stretch the field in the passing game. The Broncos are loaded at tight end this year. In fact, they will list two tight ends as starters, senior Ryan Putnam and sophomore Richie Brockel, although one will technically be called a fullback.

Offensive Line - Even - The Huskies did a very nice job protecting Locker and opening up holes that led to 300 yards in rushing lat week. It is still a work in progress, and BSU's line is very good, but UW has the size that just wears a smaller D Line down. What we have going on here is size Vs quickness. Boise State counters with LT Ryan Clady (6'6, 315, sr) who was named a Playboy All-American during the off season. LG Tad Miller (6-4, 297, sr), C Jeff Cavender (6-2, 285, sr): Has started 38 consecutive games — 12 at right tackle, 13 at center and 13 at right guard. He played center in 2005. RG Andrew Woodruff (6-3, 336, jr): Moved from right guard to right tackle in 2006. RT Dan Gore (6-5, 302, sr) rounds out the startin lineup.

Defensive Line - Washington - UW had little help from the LB's and DB's picking up seven sacks. BSU doesn't have anyone that can block Rayford, and Gunheim all night. The middle of the line is solid and deep. Syracuse was unable to run against UW. The Broncos lost some key players on the defensive line, but return a pair of starters at defensive end in Nick Schlekeway(6-4, 262) and Mike T. Williams (6-4, 243).

Linebacker - Washington - The Huskies have good speed, and size, Boise's linebackers on the other hand are on the small size and will have problems taking on Locker, and Rankin when they reach their part of the field. The Huskies covered well last week against the Syracuse passing game which was good to see from this young group. Boise is going to have trouble with Washington's bigger athletes and improved team speed.

Defensive Back - Boise State - Boise has more depth and experience back here, and there isn't a lot of fall of from last year at this position for the Bronco's. UW played very well last week by keeping everything in front of them. The two freshman did very well in their debuts and will keep improving each week. Depth gets better for Washington as Byron Davenport returns to the fold at CB. CB Gerald Alexander has great size, and leaping ability for a CB, and he will be testing UW WR's all day Saturday. The smaller Rashaun Scott should line up at the other side. Free Safety Cam Hall was probably their MVP on defense last year, and he returns this year for another stellar campaign. Austin Smith, and Marty Tadman will split time as the undersized rovers. UW will try to create a mismatch with Marcel Reese against this position. On paper you might give the edge to Boise on past accomplishments, but I think it is pretty close.

Special Teams - Even - Both teams did well last week with new kickers, and punters. Ballman did an exceptional job for UW. Perkins wasn't tested doing field goals, but was perfect kicking PATs. The Huskies have some work to do on coverage teams, and they didn't exactly spring any big returns either even though Johnson looked strong returning kickoffs.


Greg O'Byrne said...

heh. I don't know how you can rate Rankin and Johnson even... I like Rankin and he appears to have it all working this year, but Johnson is better.

Keep up the good work. I'm here daily now.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Greg...good question...when you factor in Homer, with Rankin, and you also factor in the quality fo the depth at running back this year it is close to being even.

If it is just Johnson vs Ranking head to head, I give the edge to Johnson based on past accomplishments, but Rankin is tremedously improved this season.

Anyway that is how I came about my reasoning.