Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

We start off with a new article from Seattle PI Husky Football Beat Writer Molly Yanity. She reviews the QB's the Huskies will face in 2008.

While the Washington spring football game might have revealed an improved -- but untested -- defense, the images of last year's second-half defensive meltdowns still haunt the Huskies.
How did Todd Boeckman hit Brian Robiskie for a 68-yard touchdown pass to change the tenor of the Huskies' dogfight with Ohio State? How did Oregon's Dennis Dixon mess up the Huskies so much they allowed 465 yards on the ground? How did Arizona's Willie Tuitama transform into a Heisman Trophy contender? And how did Colt Brennan of Hawaii erase a 21-point Huskies lead in the season finale?

I think most of us think Washington will average 30-35 points per game next season on offense even though the Huskies will have a green receiving corps, and a trio of young running backs. That is asking a lot, and once again seems to put a lot of the burden of success squarely on the shoulders of sophomore QB Jake Locker.

Defensively everyone expects the performance to improve because Ed Donatell has taken over at DC. We saw glimpses this Spring that we are going to enjoy the way he uses his schemes in 2008. We are finally going to mix it up, and dump the ten yard cushion as our basic defensive backfield alignment.

I saw a lot of improvement in the defensive backfield this Spring, but the big question mark for me is at the line of scrimmage. Will they be able to get improved interior line play out of Elisara, Matthews, Kirton, or any of the newcomers?

Washington needs to lop off around 125 or more yards per game in total defense before they can hope to contend, or stay around late in the fourth quarter. You do that by playing physical, and getting a good rush on the passer. The best pass defense is an opposing QB on his back clutching the ball, and hearing the phone ring in his head.

If a team is scoring 30-35 points per game they can win some football games with an average defense. I don't expect our defense to be great, but if we were rated in the middle of the league which is very doable, we should win enough games to become bowl eligible. Can we hold opposing teams under 30 points, and 400 yards per game?

Shouldn't we be able to do that?

If you start taking away those big plays from 2007, and start creating some of your own you should be able to do that.

Marcel Reese

Marcel impressed the Raiders enough at their Mini Camp to get offered a contract which is a bit of a surprise. Good going Marcel! A guy that big, and that fast should be able to find a place in the NFL.

Pac Ten Alley

Let's take a walk down the coast to see what the neighbors are up to.

Oregon's Patrick Chung is up for honors in 2008.

The Football Writers Association of America named Oregon seniors Nick Reed and Patrick Chung to the watch list for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy. It is awarded to the best defensive player in college football and sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

We all know there is no real Stanford Blog, but Jon Wilner always has news about the Bay Area Pac Ten Teams.

It’s sure to be the most-anticipated Bay Area college basketball game of the 2008-09 season, maybe the most-anticipated Bay Area college basketball game in many seasons:
Mike Montgomery, back in Maples Pavilion as the enemy coach — as the Cal coach.

The Wildcats pick up a good looking LB.

Four-star linebacker Trevor Erno left Tucson last night for a flight back to the Los Angeles area, but not before committing to the University of Arizona football team. “He liked what he saw there and he seemed really excited when he called,” said Tina Erno, Trevor’s mom who confirmed his pledge to the Wildcats.

the Bears and Tedford looking for a better year in 2008.

UC Berkeley football coach Jeff Tedford had a good year in 2007 — a very good year. Sure, the Bears finished the regular season with a dismal 6-6 record and an invitation to the insignificant Armed Forces Bowl, where they barely beat Air Force, 42-36. But Tedford collected as much money in that one year as many of us will earn in a lifetime — $2.8 million.

Jake at the Oregon State Blog has done a wonderful job as usual this year covering Pac Ten baseball.

Here's where the Beavers stand after the series with UCLA. It should be noted that the Beavers already have more conference wins (11) than they did all of last season (10). But last year, the non-conference record was much more impressive.

Jon Wilner has this take on USC's OJ Mayo.

For the purposes of this Hotline item, let’s assume the allegations on “Outside the Lines” are true and O.J. Mayo did indeed take ten of thousands of dollars from a “promoter” while in high school and during his freshman year at USC.

ASU is playing Notre Dame in Dallas for some strange reason in 2013.

In case you haven't heard by now, we're playing against Notre Dame at the Cowboys new facility, in 2013 .The good news is, Brock Osweiler could be our starting quarterback at the time. I just hope Dennis Erickson isn't on the Notre Dame sidelines by that time.

UCLA picks up a basketball recruit.

Sources told that new LSU coach Trent Johnson plans to honor signee J'Mison Morgan's request and will release the senior big man from his letter-of-intent on Tuesday afternoon, effectively paving the way for Morgan to land at UCLA.The 6-foot-10, 270-pound Morgan signed with former LSU coach John Brady and appeared to stick with his decision even after Trent Johnson was announced as the Tigers new coach on April 10. However, the family had a change of heart last week and asked for his release.

The Cougar Blog examines Oklahoma State, the first team that WSU will lose to this year.

As the opener is a mere 110 days away(!), what better time than to start looking ahead? Today we'll examine our first opponent, Oklahoma State, in their post-spring state, to get an idea of what we're in for August 30th.Last year - The 'Boys finished 7-6, culminating with a big 49-33 win over Indiana in the Insight Bowl. QB Zac Robinson capped his breakthrough season with 5 TD's as the Okies rolled up over 500 yards of total offense in the blowout win.

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