This was one of those games that looked atrocious from the very first snap. This game was all signature Tyrone Willingham as the Huskies showed up emotionally flat and ill prepared for the opener with Oregon.
The Huskies had eight months to prepare for one of the most important games of Willingham's coaching career. What his team gave him was the worst performance of his Husky coaching career. This was the type of game that ends coaching careers.
How can you not be emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared to play Oregon in the opening game of the season?
Oregon is a top twenty type club but this edition does not come close to comparing with the squad that visited Husky Stadium last year. The Ducks simply outplayed Washington in every single facet of the football game last night.
There was no trickery or deception in this one. The Oregon lines simply came out and dominated Washington on both sides of the ball. This was nothing more than an old fashioned butt kicking.
This one could have gotten ugly early as Oregon raced off to a 14-0 lead against a UW nickel defense that featured three safeties. We all hoped for an attacking style and what we got was more prevent defense from the onset. The Huskies were very fortunate to be behind only 14-10 at halftime after Locker rallied the team in the second quarter when the Oregon offense sputtered a bit.
The second half was another episode of the worst of Ty Willingham "Deja Vu". Once again the opposing team made adjustments which countered the momentum UW had built up in the second quarter. Once again Washington had no answers. Once again Washington came out flat to start the second half.
The Husky offense was shut down completely in the second stanza unable to throw or run the ball. Special teams contributed shanked punts and poor kickoff returns which gave Washington terrible field position which only contributed to the offensive difficulties.
The Washington defense which looked like it had settled down in the second quarter was gassed after the first series of the second half. It is tough to make tackles when you are laid out on your back. Once again you have to question this teams physical conditioning.
The Washington offensive line was dominated the entire evening by Oregon. I really can't remember seeing a single scrum they won all evening. This was pretty surprising because the OL had been touted as being one of the better in the conference this year. Cody Habben had terrible game out at tackle as he was beaten continuously all night. Juan Garcia played almost the entire game which was great but he wasn't impressive.
Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano didn't do his team any favors as he called perhaps his worst game in purple and gold. The Huskies were predictable and uninspired all evening.
The Washington version of the spread offense doesn't spread the field. UW repeatedly ran the ball up the middle rather than trying to sweep it outside. Obviously they wanted to go with the supposed strength of the team which is the interior offensive line. It didn't work and Chris Polk and Brandon Johnson were smothered at the line of scrimmage the entire evening.
Locker dropped back to pass the majority of the night which allowed the pocket to collapse around him. You have to question why UW didn't roll out more since it would give Locker and his receivers additional time and more options.
Jake wasn't himself last night. It was obvious that the lack of practice time had hurt his conditioning and thrown off the timing between him and his receivers. He had a bit of a limp so you know the hamsting was still bothering him. It also looked like he suffered a chest or shoulder injury late in the second quarter which slowed him down in the second half.
For Tyrone Willingham this game was a nightmare because it signals the end of his coaching career at Washington. It was obvious to all observers that nothing had changed in the off season with this Washington team. All the same problems are here with the addition of a lot more inexperience. Things are not getting better, they are getting progressively worse, and everyone knows it is about time to pull the plug.
Up next is a BYU squad which is probably on a par or better than Oregon. The following week the Huskies take on possibly the best team they will face all season in Oklahoma.
The odds are pretty good that Willingham will submit his resignation during the bye week before the Stanford game. Washington will be 0-3 at that time hand and possibly have a scoring differential of about 170-30. That isn't a pretty picture.
Rumor has it that he tried to do that after the WSU loss last year but Todd Turner talked him out of it. That is probably the biggest reason Todd is no longer AD at Washington. Count on Scott Woodward to take it without argument this time around.
One of our readers wrote in asked us to highlight a few brigh spots. There weren't many but here are the ones I noticed.
QB Ronnie Fouch came in during the fourth quarter and played pretty well against the Oregon "B" team. To be honest he looked better than Jake last night.
Quinton Richardson had a nice night at CB picking up his first interception.
LB Mason Foster picked up ten tackles.
DT's Alameda Ta'amu and Johnnie Kirton looked like the best of the group out there last night. I can see them both getting more playing time next week against BYU.
TE Kavario Middleton is going to be a force once he gets his blocking down. He is an incredibly smooth receiver but his blocking is still a year away.