Saturday, September 01, 2007

Willingham, You Sly Old Devil

Just when you thought you knew everything you needed to know about boring, and stoic old Ty Willingham you find out that he pulled the biggest rabbit out of the hat since Jim Owens when he started Sonny Sixkiller against Michigan State in 1970.

In public practices Willingham ran nothing even resembling what the Huskies rolled out last night against Syracuse, and just like 1970, another Northwest legend has been born. So I guess it is time for the media, and other observers (including me) who complained about the secrecy to give Ty the tip of the proverbial hat for pulling it all off. Everyone knew that Locker would be good some day, but certainly not that good from what we had seen in practices. Most observers who did watch practice came away with the feeling that Carl Bonnell looked better than Jake, and was more polished. Perhaps with the old offensive scheme, but certainly not with the "pistol".

The "pistol" as it is known by, is the West Virginia Veer offense which is designed for a QB who can both run it and throw it. For the first time in what seems forever the Huskies won't be running a derivative of the West Coast offense which as we saw from Syracuse last night can be tedious, boring, and overused.

The West Virginia Veer is a triple option offense run out of a shotgun which actually makes it a quadruple option offense because it integrates the passing game with ease. It just happens to be the perfect offense for Washington.UW probably only used about 20% of it's playbook on Friday demolishing Syracuse. When you chart the game you realize that UW just kept running the same stuff over and over until Syracuse stopped it, which they did not.

UW got very conservative in the fourth quarter, in fact they had backup Carl Bonnell running pretty much what most of the media saw in practice to not run the score up to high. What was impressive though is that UW kept moving the ball up the gut with their frosh RB's running dive left, and dive right. What that means is the interior of the line was still giving people room to run.

Year three has been a very important year in the history of Husky football coaches. Jim Owens, and Don James both led their teams to Rose Bowl's in those third years after long UW bowl droughts. DJ often talks about the pressure he felt that year, especially after a humbling 1-3 start. Despite a very supportive AD, Willingham feels the same type of pressure.

Willingham while not expected to lead his program to the Rose Bowl in his third year is expected to show at least considerable improvement, and most fans demand a record over .500 which would result in some type of bowl invitation. Willingham and his squad go up against the toughest schedule in America this year, and the Pac Ten just may be in one of those cycles where it arguably may be the best league in the country. To say the least it is a tall order.

So once again, a tip of the hat to Ty Willingham, that sly old devil! With Tim Lappano, Jake Locker, Louis Rankin, and eighty some other underrated pieces at his disposal, he just reignited interest in a sleeping giant. Pac Ten beware, Washington Husky football is back on the map.


hairofthedawg said...

Nah, if he were really sly, he'd suddenly invite the media in for full practices the first two days of the week. Run some completely off the wall stuff. Spread some disinformation. That would only work for a few weeks until the reporters realize they're being used or not. Wow, that's four weeks in a row the game plan has looked nothing like what we've been telling the other team! Maybe that's sly...

Health Insurance Expert said...

I was pretty impressed Dick. I don't know if you saw the game on TV, or just listened the stream, but we looked pretty good, not Cal, or USC good, but upper Pac Ten division good in the opener with a lot of upside.

prrbrr said...

Most impressive. We executed as well as any Husky team in the last 5 years. I saw few if any mental mistakes, but more importantly, just dominated them up front on both sides of the ball. I watched a few other games this weekend (like binge drinking) and was impressed by Stanford until they wore down in the latter half, Wsu same against Wisc. Cal looked unbeatable at times but couldn't put the game on ice when they had a chance due to miscues. The diff in Cal/Tenn were the 2 big plays, punt return and fumble return. Am really looking forward to this Sat as we take on Boise JC. I feel much better about our chnaces after seeing what these Dawgs brung to the table.

hairofthedawg said...

No, I just listened and I was impressed as well. If we play up to our potential I agree with your assessment, and, my assessment of our potential just went up a notch. There is a chance I can catch a game or two in my new location. There's supposed to be some sort of Fox Sports available. I'm hoping so.