Can’t Get No… Satisfaction…

I bleed Purple and Gold and after Saturday’s debacle in a rain trenched defeat my colors ran down my skin. Literally, the paint from my shoulders pads made me look like a Buddha who cries purple. As I left Husky Stadium with my head hung low I arrived at my car, plugged in my Ipod and put it on shuffle only to hear “I cant get no.. Satisfaction..” That is where we are in Husky Nation. A beautiful feeling last week to pure devastation the fallowing.

As I look at our upcoming schedule things aren’t looking any brighter for the Husky team that was supposed to wake us Nationally after a close to decade of slumber. The next three opponents are ranked and I’m sure we’ll be long shots in each of them. A bowl game looks distant with a should have won-loss. But even as I type these horribly depressing words and my brain is still recovering from the punishment of Everclear I regret so much I can’t help but ask you: WHO’S HOUSE?!?

Hold your heads up high Dawg Fans, raise your glasses with me, we are Husky Nation, We need to be there at every game, be our loudest and proud. Support Locker and his supporting cast because they need us now more than ever. I warn you Oregon State fans we will be vicious this next Saturday. It is a must win game and we will win this game. Time to drop a Woof Bomb. WOOF.

PS
Stay away from Everclear beerbongs.

Swami Sez: Arizona State at Washington

October 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Washington won perhaps their most important game in two years by defeating the Trojans for the second game in a row and winning their first road game in two years. The Dawgs will be gunning for two wins in a row when the Arizona Sun Devils step into Husky Stadium. But this matchup may not be a walk in the park as Dennis the Menace has his Devils playing well. After falling short the past three games, what has yet to be answered is if Dennis Erickson will be able to put everything together in time for a Saturday night victory, or if three crushing losses will have the super glue to ASU’s season coming apart. Fortunately, I believe it will be the later. If this game was on the road, I believe the Devils may have an outside shot, but on the road against a Husky squad with renewed confidence, I see the wheels coming off the Devil’s cart by the fourth quarter.

Arizona State has shown a salty defense, however, with Vontaze Burfect minding his manners, which means he will have only personal foul, and a young team that is as fragile as I can remember, I see Jake Locker and the Huskies running taking control late in the contest. Also, with a Bill Miller defense that is prone to giving up big plays, look for Jermaine Kearse to rebound from the dropsies, last week, to break away for a couple of scorchers. Once the defense is softened, the short passing routes over the middle and the running game will slowly take hold, wearing down an already beat up defensive unit. Erik Kohler will eventually have to get back onto the field and perform well after suffering the flu, but he will and the line, as a whole, will play adequately. Jake Locker will have a solid performance with 265 yards passing, 85 yards on the ground, and 3 touchdowns. And Polk and Callier will run over Burfect for 165 yards and a touchdown.

With another potent offense lining up against the Huskies defense, I see no breaks in site for Holt’s group, but I do see a lot of bending as the trench Dawgs will once again show their rotating door ways, but Steven Threet will give up a turnover or two and will not have enough in the tank to out do Jake Locker.

On special teams, the Huskies will give up a few decent returns, but the theme of improved play will continue, and Erik “Folk Hero” will be money, hitting two field goals.

In the end, the homefield advantage and a Husky team that is riding a renewed sense of optimism, will eventually where down Dennis Erickson’s Sun Devils in an exciting 34-24 victory.

Swami Sez……

 

34-24 Dawgs

Ramblings of a Husky Girl: Keys to ASU

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Wow. The USC game was incredible!! As a fan, that’s the kind of game that stresses you out during the game, reduces you to jumping to up and down in front of the television and screaming obscenities and then leaves you lying on the floor exhausted, happy with the memories that carry you through the off season.

I’ve watched it several times in the last couple days. (Unfortunately for me, the TV did not record the last nine minutes of the football game. There, it’s officially proven that women should not operate the remote control.) What I saw was a startling amount of difference between the ‘Cuse and the USC wins, which highlight some key factors to winning versus ASU.

Offensive Team Play: Overall, the offense played better as whole; there was cohesiveness and communication. One example was during the last touchdown drive. As Jake was standing in the collapsing pocket, Cody Bruns came away from his route to get to the first down marker and make a big catch. He knew his QB was in trouble and put himself in a spot where he could make the play and get the first down. I think Sark’s game plan was spot on: start fast, get the offense comfortable and let them play their game.

Key to ASU: Wide receivers and the O-line. We saw a lot of big plays by the wide receivers, but they need to remember the 5-10 yard plays as well. Eight dropped passes in unacceptable. Catch the ball first, and then run. The O-line also needs to find a way to move the pocket while minimizing the risk of Vontaze Burfict getting into our backfield. If I were a betting person, I’d put money down that Tolar decks him sometime during the game when Burfict takes a cheap shot on Jake during the game.

Improved Special Teams: Remember the days when we stepped up to take a field goal kick; the stadium would let out a collective groan because we all knew it was going to be bad? Those days are gone. I love Erik Folk. What a great performance. If someone does make a “Folk Yeah” t-shirt, I will definitely be purchasing one.

The real question about special teams was the punting squad. It was real messy versus Syracuse. Missed tackles, break down in coverage; this was a big question mark for me. They did fine against USC, but it helps when we only have to punt once. Kiel Rasp, a walk on, is ranked number 12 for his performance so far this year.

Key to ASU: ASU has two blocked punts on the year. The protection needs to be there from the Dawgs, as well as some hang time from Rasp so the players have time to get into position and make big tackles.

What’s the word I’m looking for? Beat-them-down-ness: I think the USC team just got tired at the end of the game. With fewer scholarship players than most teams, they don’t have the personnel to rotate in and out of the game, nor do they have live tackling in practice because they can’t risk their scholarship players getting hurt. On top of that, when the other team pieces together some long drives, the defense gets beat down. Versus Syracuse, we had some good drives and then big plays which messed with their defenses’ collective brain.

Key to ASU: As much as we say Washington is a young team, ASU is pretty young too. They only have five returning starters from their defense last year. I think that if we jump start early with our offense, we will have a good chance to make them miss.

And as always, Jake Locker: I wish it wasn’t this way, but when Jake has a big game, the team has a big game. Sark’s game plan for him last week was great. Keep it up!

Vegas has picked Washington to win by 1.5. I’m thinking and hoping and praying that we use this spotlight and win by 10.

Go Dawgs!

Week 6 Pac-10 Predictions

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week I was 50% on my picks, and it is something that I am not to proud of.  I can’t believe I didn’t actually pick the Beavers beating ASU, what was I thinking???  The other game that I missed was an easy on to miss with UW winning at USC.  I should have gone with my heart.  This is week 6 in the Pac-10 and we have a full slate of games, a couple that could really begin to define team’s seasons.  Here are my picks:

UCLA at CAL: This is a game of two middle teams of the Pac.  On one hand I have no idea what to think of UCLA, they beat Texas on the road but then they can’t put the Cougs away till the very end of the game.  On the other side, CAL is just not what they have been in the past.  I would like to see CAL pull this one off, but I think UCLA will continue their winning ways beating CAL 21-17.

Oregon at WSU:  The big controversy this week is the fact that the game will not be televised.  I was actually wanting to watch this game too!  The Cougs looked respectable in Pasadena last week, but the Ducks are coming off a big win against Stanford.  The current line on this game is Oregon by 37!  That is a big line, but honestly I don’t think it is big enough.  I see the Ducks rolling over the Cougs, 56-3.

Oregon State at Arizona: I can’t believe that Arizona is now ranked #9 in the nation and no one is really spending any time talking about them.  They beat a good in in Iowa a few weeks ago, and they look to continue their winning ways against Oregon State.  The Beavers are coming off a good win against ASU, but I think the Wildcats will be to much to handle.  Oregon State will keep this close for the 1st half, but I see the Wildcats passing all over the Beavers in the 2nd half.  I see Arizona 35-14.

USC at Stanford: This is always a great match-up, and the previous years have not disappointed.  USC is coming off a tough loss at home to UW and are looking to get the rebound.  However I don’t see this happening.  USC isn’t the team that they once were and this is really the beginning of a couple average seasons for Kiffin and the Trojans.  Stanford on the other hand has a great team this year.  Granted they did just lose to the Ducks, and gave up a 21-3 lead.  The big question will be if Stanford can roll all over the Trojans at home.  I can’t think of a bigger game for the Tree’s this year.  I think Stanford will win 28-17.

Arizona St. at Washington: Arizona St. is coming into this game with a 2-2 record and 0-2 in the Pac.  They were picked to finish 9th in the conference.  Washington is also coming into this game with a 2-2 record, but 1-0 in the conference.  Washington needs to win this game and avoid the “big letdown” after a huge win on the road.  They are also at home for the next two games.  I really think that this game can be the start of something big for the Huskies.  Arizona St on the other hand is looking to prove themselves to the other teams in the Pac-10.  They need this win on the road.  I think the Huskies will be fired up and end up winning another close game 24-22.

Categories: NCAA Football, Sports

Mr. Big: Danny Shelton Checks In

October 8, 2010 4 comments

With the Washington Huskies having difficulty stopping the run, it is apparent that the line is in serious need of an upgrade and one of Sarkisian’s biggest recruiting targets, both literally and figuratively, is just down highway 167 in Auburn’s mammoth four star defensive tackle, Danny Shelton.

Danny Shelton, not only plays defensive tackle, but is a load at right tackle, but if he had his options, which he does, he would prefer to play on the defensive side of the ball at the next level. “You get to strip the ball, sometimes then you get to scoop and score. You don’t get to do that as an offensive lineman. And on defense, you get to pick off the ball, if your good enough, if you have hands for it.” And he likes the physicality on the defensive side of the ball, however, it sounds as if the real hitting is as an offensive lineman, “The real big hits are on offense, when I block I look for players that are just blocking around or just chasing the ball carrier, and then I can crack block. And that’s what I like about blocking on offense.”

After a successful junior year that ended with a 34-21 loss to Skyview and an 11-1 record, Danny seems to be getting a lot of attention from offensive coordinators, along with PAC 10 coaches,  “Every team started, my junior year, they started to try to triple team me, doing whatever to try to keep me out of the play.” And with the all of the recruiting attention, he not only is focused on bringing the Auburn Trojans back to a championship game, but is also looking forward to the next level. So what universities is Danny considering attending for next fall, “UW and Oregon at the top, and then UCLA and Cal.”

So not only are UW and Oregon bitter rivals on the football field, but also for this highly coveted recruit. So what is Danny digging about the Huskies, “I like the coaches and I like the players that they have. They are so close that I get to go to some of their games and am friends with one of the player’s family.” So who is he close to on the team? “Everette Thompson. His cousins play with me. One who’s a senior with me, he plays middle linebacker and fullback, and we have another one that’s a junior, and he plays outside linebacker and fullback.” He also likes defensive coordinator, Nick Holt, “He’s a solid coach, um, he reminds me of some of my coaches, the way he talks, and off the field he’s pretty cool to hang out with.”

And what does he like about Oregon? “I like their defense. I remember going up there for junior day, watching them practice and do some drills and became friends with some of them and I felt like I could fit in with them.” Big Danny is also friends with a current University of Oregon player who also matriculated from Auburn. “They have a kid from Auburn Riverside. When I went down for Junior Day I got to meet him and I got to stay over at his place. He’s my head coach’s son in law’s brother.”

Big Danny, who works pretty hard to build to his 6’3″ 300 pound frame, “I work out everyday. Every weekday. It’s one of my classes,” also enjoys hanging out with friends and spending time with family. And when it comes to family, Danny’s Samoan roots my also have an influence on his decision. Asked if his roots could be a factor, Danny Shelton replied, “That would make me feel comfortable, being a Samoan.” So while fans may think Steve Sarkiasan had better have a few luaus lined up in Husky Stadium, he most likely won’t need to as there is a fairly good-sized Samoan population on the football team.

When competition is tight, it’s that extra bit of effort that often delivers on the recruiting front. So who’s pushing the hardest for the big defensive tackle, “I don’t know….actually, probably UW.” So if effort is the deciding factor, then we may be seeing a BIG tweet from Steve Sarkisian this February.

USC Leftovers

October 4, 2010 2 comments

Husky fans everywhere, except for the “I hate Sark” crowd, are proud to be Dawg fans and now there is a fresh spark of optimism floating around Montlake. And beating the 18th ranked team in the country, on the road no less, puts a fresh salve on the wounds of the depressing 56-21 loss at home to a dominating Nebraska team. The Washington offense was unstoppable, and made just enough plays to overcome a defense that still doesn’t know how to tackle. There are still a lot that needs to be repaired heading into the remainder of the PAC 10 season, but signs are pointing to improved play in almost every aspect of the game. Leftovers are sure tasty after the USC game. So let’s dive in!

Quarterback– Jake Locker needed to have a big game to win in the Colosseum, and he delivered one of his most impressive performances of his career with 310 yards in the air, a touchdown pass, and 110 yards rushing. He was every bit of the Heisman Trophy candidate that fans were hoping to see after a subpar performance two weeks ago. He made good reads, he made clutch throws near the end, and he ran like a gazelle in the secondary. This is the Locker that will give analysts and NFL scouts some sense of ease. However, Locker did miss a few easy throws and when it was apparent that he was going to be wrapped up on a significant gain, instead of securing the ball, Jake allowed Shareece Wright to poke the ball out, ending in a questionable touch back. Also, Jake occasionally appeared passive in moments of the first half, but did show that competitive fire that he sometimes lacks. Locker played well in the pocket and exceptional out of it, but still appeared a little uneasy, at times, in the pocket. It’s always easy to pick someone’s game apart, but in the end, Locker was clutch and kept fighting despite the myriad of dropped passes.

Offensive Line– The line played its best game since they mauled the Cal Bears 42-10 last year, by controlling the line of scrimmage against the Trojans on Saturday night. Jake Locker had plenty of time to throw, as he was sacked only once, and the running game performed well; speaking to the performance of the offensive line. The results were a huge upgrade over the Nebraska debacle, but at the same time no one will confuse USC’s defensive line with that of the Cornhusker’s. Regardless, they played very well and were quietly the key to victory. Without such execution in the trenches, Polk doesn’t find a hole that releases him for 26 yards in the fourth quarter, or Locker wouldn’t have time to connect with D’Andre Goodwin on a 4th and 11. They weren’t perfect, since Locker had to escape the pocket a hand full of times and Erik Kohler was knocked on his keister twice in one series. A few glitches, however, will not overshadow the entire body of work, but up next will come an aggressive Arizona State team who are hungry for a victory after coming close to winning in the last three contests. ASU’s linebackers, led by Vontaze Burfect, are a far more physical group and will challenge the offensive front. They will bring pressure. So the question is, “will the trench Dawgs be able to hold back the ASU pass rush?”

Wide ReceiverSaturday was a mixed bag for the Huskies wideouts, with receivers open all over the field and catching enough of Locker’s rockets to account for 310 passing yards, however, there were several dropped balls, which skewed Locker’s numbers. Despite the drops, Saturday was still a good day for the receiving core, and on a 4th and 11 late in the fourth quarter, D’Andre Goodwin made a clutch 18 yard reception to continue UW’s game winning drive. The tight ends, however, were absent besides one touchdown pass, and I still would like to see what Hartvigson and Barnett are capable of, but the position may still not be ready to contribute significantly in the passing game.

Running Backs– Saturday was a great day for the running game with 222 yards on the ground, and yes, I’m including Locker in this category due to the fact that he was essentially a running back with his designed runs totaling 110 yards. Chris Polk ended the day with 92 yards on just 13 carries and Jessie Callier was effective in the fly sweep with 20 yards on 8 carries. Polk and Callier are becoming a good one two punch, with Polk being able to pound the ball in the middle and Callier being a possible playmaker with his quickness. Next week may be a tougher challenge, or at least a more painful one, but I am more than comfortable that this group can get the job done.

Special Teams– While there were still some hiccups in the coverage, special teams were still greatly improved over the first 3 games, and in enduring some horrific moments, the Huskies may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Erik Folk’s 4 field goals, including the game winner as time expired, overshadowed a 55 yard kick off return by Robert Woods, and with Kevin Smith proving to be solid in the return game, Husky fans can start to breath a little easier.

Defensive Line– Saturday’s performance may not have been good for Huskies fans, but was fantastic for the USC stat sheet and for potential recruits who are dreaming of significant playing time as freshman. The Huskies were simply out manned the entire game, and with a bend but don’t brake philosophy, the defensive line broke all game long to finally stiffen in the tail end of USC’s final drive. The big boys pad level was too high, even after Holt made that an emphasis after the Nebraska loss, but talent deficiencies are probably the main issues with this front four. The linemen are simply not explosive enough to get off the line with any sort of momentum and have difficulties shedding blocks, tackling, and reaching the quarterback. And what made things even more challenging is that starting defensive tackle, Cameron Elisara, went out of the game in the first quarter with a neck stinger. Cameron has struggled greatly, over his career, with neck stingers, and it has remained to be seen if the latest stinger will affect his status for this Saturday. The depth on the d-line is razor-thin and no more injuries can be sustained. Another alarming observation is the speed, or lack thereof, on the end. Without such speed, the quarterback can just sit back, relax, and make a cup of Joe before hitting a wide open receiver. There are a lot of questions on the line, and there are no answers to be seen.

Linebackers– This was the best group on the defense on Saturday night, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Mason Foster had a good game, but still had a few missed tackles, and the rest of the guys were just OK, with some missed assignments and missed tackles. The defensive line didn’t make life easy, with o-lineman reaching the second level easily to make the block, but when they had an opportunity to wrap up USC running back, Allen Bradford, they were simply overpowered. The linebackers are another group that needs to improve before we can see the opposing team held under 20 points.

Secondary– Desmond Trufant had a bounce back game, but overall, the secondary showed their warts with Matt Barkley connecting on 14-20 passes. This doesn’t even reflect a few errant throws, one would have been a touchdown. Once again, the secondary wasn’t helped with the lack of pressure, which gave Barkley far too much time to throw. Also, a whiff on Matt Barkley by Quinton Richardson, wasted a potential sack and allowed Matt Barkley to connect to his wideout on a deep pass. Missed tackles remain a theme here, as it does for the defense as a whole.

Coaching– This was one of Sarkisian’s best gameplans, as he simplified the play book for Jake Locker and the Huskies’ offense to gain confidence. Sark also gave Locker time to throw by moving the pocket and by calling a lot of bootlegs. The fly sweep was also called a lot, and was very effect in gaining yards on he edge and also helped soften up the middle for Polk. The coaches used the bye week well, as the offense was more prepared and confident than they have been all season, and special teams coach, Johnny Nansen, cleaned up a lot of the coverage deficiencies on special teams. Tackling, on the other hand, remains a bugaboo for Nick Holt’s defense and it remains to be seen if the problem is the coaching or the talent.

Overall, Saturday was a great day to be a Dawg, and despite some issues on the defense, most of us won’t be complaining too much with a W under the Huskies’ belt. Bring on Arizona State!

Week 5 Pac-10 Predictions

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello again, I first want to say sorry about not having posted pics the past couple of weeks, it has been really crazy around here.  But anyways here are my picks for this week:

WSU at UCLA:  This game seems to be an easy pick, but I still do not know what to think about the Cougs, I mean they did win a game…ok, ok who am I kidding.  UCLA is at home and they will win big, 42-7

ASU at Oregon St:  This is a very interesting matchup, you have Arizona State who had a very tough loss at Wisconsin a couple weeks ago, and Oregon State who lost on The Blue.  Convention would say that that Oregon State should rebound after a tough loss and being at home they should win.  I don’t see that happening, I think Dennis Erickson will go into Corvallis and put on a good show.  I see them winning 28-17.

Stanford at Oregon:  The Pac-10 game of the week!  This is really turning out to be a great matchup!  I’m sure you have all read the stories on the game, having ESPN College GameDay on site, and two undefeated teams, what is not to like????  I don’t see this game being a blow out at all, and it is really tough to call.  I think the crazy fans in Autzen Stadium will be as loud as they ever have and Andrew Luck might, well be out of luck.  I see the Ducks winning a close one 38-35.

Washington at USC:  My heart is saying, “GO DAWGS!!!” My brain is saying, “USC will win.”  But I thought the exact same thing last year when #3 USC came into Husky Stadium and was upset by the Huskies.  This year, USC is on probation and really isn’t playing for much other than pride.  I don’t think that will stop them from trying to pound the Huskies into the ground and get revenge.  The Huskies on the other hand are looking to rebound from an embarrassing loss to Nebraska at home, and they have something to prove.  I really want to say that the Huskies will look like the team that we all have expected them to be.  I think it will be a very tough game for the Huskies to win, especially in LA.  If the game stays close late in the game, I think the Huskies will have a good shot at the upset, if it gets out of hand early, then the TV will get shut off.  I am going against the Huskies and I really hope I am wrong, but USC 24, UW 14

Categories: NCAA Football