Saturday, October 30, 2010

Huskies Versus Stanford Preview

     Tonight the Washington Huskies could pretty much pencil themselves into one of the 30 something bowls with a win versus Stanford a very good team that is 6-1 with its only loss to a excellent Oregon team that has their sights on a BCS National Championship.

      Stanford is 6-1 and has scored points at a scorching rate and don't miss Tony Gerhart at RB at all. Their sights this year are set at trying to get to a BCS Bowl which, if they go undefeated the rest of the way should be heading to the Rose Bowl on January 1st. 

     Standing in their way this week is Coach Sark and the Washington Huskies. Their 3-4 record doesn't say how explosive of a team this  team can be as the Huskies three wins have came from Syracuse, Oregon St. and USC. Three teams I might add that all have winning seasons so far.

    The UW-Stanford rivalry is not much of a rivalry. Stanford football has been bad for many years but now are getting their program back up to where every school wants to be. In 2006 Stanford only had one win that year and that win coming versus Washington at Husky Stadium with the final score being 20-3. In the end this loss knocked the Dawgs out of a bowl game. In 2008 the 0-3 Huskies were looking for their first win of the season. The Huskies started playing good football but when Jake Locker went down with his thumb injury, the game changed in the Cardinal favour and Washington's season went down the drain.

     Who is the better QB Andrew Luck or Jake Locker? If the NFL draft is tomorrow I know who I am picking. No its no it won't be the guy in purple today. For the first time since the Nebraska game Jake Locker will not be the best QB today. Andrew Luck is a very smart QB who makes good choices of where he wants to go with the ball. His stats show it with 19 TD passes and five INT's. 

    However, my bigest key for Washington today is to limit Stanford's big gains when Stanford has the ball.If Washington can do this I believe that UW can improve to 4-4. Or a loss will set them back to 3-5. This is a massive game if Washington wants to make it to a bowl for the first time in 8 years. 

    When the 60 minuets have been played and the game is over my thinking is that Stanford will win this game. The game will be a high paced game with Stanford wining 36-31. Stanford is too strong offensively and Jake Locker isn't quite 100%. 

     The game is set for a 4pm kickoff and can be seen on Versus. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wildcats Dump Huskies 44-14

      Last night the Huskies were looking to improve to 3-1 in the Pac 10 but it just wasn't to be as Washington looked like the 2008 team that went 0-12 and were never in any games.

     A promising start was in order for the Huskies which they got forced a Turnover on Arizona's first drive and marched right down the field to lead 7-0. But after that it was all Wildcats who scored 17 straight points to lead 17-7. Washington then got on a good drive and scored a touchdown set up by good field position by the special teams. However that was the last time that the Special teams were special for the Huskies. Their Defence played almost as bad as they did versus Nebraska and the offence never seemed to click. The Wildcats won the game 44-14.

     Softy said it perfectly on his radio show Friday. This would be one of the biggest Seattle Sports weekend in a long time. Washington had a chance to maybe crack the Top 25 with a win and well the Seahawks still have a chance to be first place in the NFC West come Monday morning. All in all a terrible start to the weekend because of a coupple things.

     Firstly, Washington had major holes in their defence the whole game. Arizona had big play after big play. In fact Arizona did not punt the ball in the first half and only punted the ball twice the entire game. If this doesn't change this week Stanford will score touchdown after touchdown the Huskies Bowl chances will be decreasing.

     Also, Washington's offence was no where to be seen for the most part of the game. Dropped balls were again an issue as this prevented the offence to get any momentum what so ever. Furthermore, When Washington fell behind early their play calling got really predictable and it showed as Jake Locker got sacked a few times and also fumbled twice.

      Lets give Arizona some credit. They have the best rated defence in the Pac 10 which I doubted that it was any good before the game. They had play three very weak teams and Cal could of been counted as number four as they did not have their best stuff on that day.

     Maybe the biggest thing that was preventing the Huskies from getting their offence going was the health of Jake Locker. He was for sure not 100% and he showed it as he was uncomfortable  doing his boot legs and what he does best when he is healthy.

      What can I say. My key to the game was dead on. Washington let Matt Scott back up QB to be his self in the first quarter. Washington had no pressure on him when Scott settled in he never looked back on route to his teams 44-14 victory.

     Next week the Huskies will play another Pac 10 foe of the Stanford Cardinal. They're led by QB Andrew Luck and can put points up on the board in a hurry. Stanford is off to a great start to the season with its only loss to Oregon in Eugene 52-31 a game they had a lead in 24-3 at one point.

      My question is which team will show up? If the good Washington team shows up we have a chance to even up their record at 4-4. However if it is the bad team that shows up I will be writing about the Huskies basketball team season preview instead.

     The game will be a 4pm start and can be seen on Versus.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Huskies Tavel to Tucson to Take on Wildcats

      Today the Washington Huskies will try to start 3-1 in Pac 10 play for the first time since 2001. That year the Huskies went to the Rose Bowl where they beat the Purdue Boilermakers 34-24.

      However if the Huskies are going to become 3-1 they will have to beat a very good Arizona team who is 5-1 and coming of a 24-7 win versus UW's biggest rival Washington State. Just like last week though the Huskies got very lucky when they found out that Star QB Nick Foles is out with an injury that will give back up Quarterback Matt Scott will start the pitiable Pac 10 game.

      There is a lot at stake tonight for this game in the desert. The winner will find themselves in second place come Monday morning which is pretty significant considering Oregon seems unstoppable as they defeated UCLA Thursday with a 60-13 win and has their sights set on the National title game not the Rose Bowl..

     With the breaking news we were informed with on Thursday with the division arrangement.  Washington could be making their last trip to Tucson until 2012 or 2013. Which is unfortunate considering all the good games these two teams have had in past years.

      Lets Flashback to 2006. Washington was 3-1 overall and 1-0 in Pac 10 and coming of a great 29-19 win over UCLA, a game the Bruins blew a 16-0 lead. Arizona came in to the game 2-2. It was the Wildcats Pac 10 opener.  After a scoreless first quarter Washington led 21-3 at half and held on to a 21-10 victory. The following year Arizona got some sweet redemption. With Washington leading 41-26 early in the 4th, Arizona scored 22 straight points and won the game 48-41. This was a crucial loss for UW as they were 3-5 at the time and instead of being 4-5 Washington was 3-6. In 2009 it was Washington's  turn to get revenge. The Huskies were just coming off a heartbreaking loss to ND.  The Huskies after having the lead 14-10 at half fell behind 33-21 with four minutes to go. UW quickly moved down the field and got a Touchdown with two minutes to go. Then the in probable happened. UW returned a interception for a touchdown and with the two point conversion the Huskies took the lead 36-33. That was the final score and Washington moved to 3-3.

     The game today will come down to how uncomfortable will Washington make back up QB Matt Scott. If he settles in during the first quarter he might get into a rhythm that he might just stay in for the hole game. Consequently if Scott is intimidated by the big stage and doesn't get into the rhythm that he wants to Washington has a great shot of pulling off this slight upset.

     The Huskies will come away victorious tonight by a final score of 30-17. Jake Locker will make plays and the defence will get an interception for the second consecutive week.

     This will be Locker's first start @ Arizona as he was injured with his broken finger. The game starts at 7:15 and can be seen of ESPN.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Huskies Win Double Overtime Thriller

The Washington Huskies Saturday played a resilient Oregon St. team and came away with a 35-34 2OT win which will be a game the Dawgs look back on if they end up going to a bowl game. 

     In a game for the ages the game ended when Oregon St. coach Mike Riley decided to go for two instead of logical extra point try to send it to triple Overtime. In Addition the play selection was very questionable as the Beavers decided to go into a shotgun formation which told Defensive coordinator  Nick Holt that they were most likely passing since Ryan Katz is not a scramble QB like Locker is.

     You can say what you want about great games by Huskies but this one ranks as one of most all time great Husky  games. Firstly there were ties in football games up till 1995 so really you can't say there was a better game then this one on Saturday night. Sure it is up their in the best games ever in Husky history with the 1990 game vs USC, 1991 Rose Bowl vs Michigan , the 1992 game vs Nebraska, the 1994 game vs Miami, 2009 game vs USC and 2009 game vs Arizona. All of these games were great Husky wins but none of those wins had the must drama as this one on Saturday night. If I had asked you would take one play for the game on a two point conversion with the Huskies defence with their defence you would most likely just want to play the full game to see what happened because the huskies D is so terrible sometimes.

      That's what happened and on a magical weekend where the Hawks beat the bears, some of that magic that was in Chicago on sunday was in Husky Stadium on Saturday as the Beavers elected to pass and the pass was incomplete with no flags on the plays as Husky fans from all around the globe erupted in excitement. 

     It is not a true classic though without some controversy and with 4th and 1 for Oregon St. in the second OT Katz  pass fell incomplete and the huskies started to celebrate  although a late flag came in which was pass interference  on UW giving OSU new life. If Oregon St. ended up wining that game their could of been major riots and these two football programs would of been bitter rivals as long as College Football existed. 

      The game started slowly for Washington they fumbled on their first drive but once the team got going the team looked unstoppable as they built a 21-0 lead mid way through the second quarter. Once Rogers and they Oregon St. offence got going it looked like the huskies would yet again be another typically Huskies loss. But in the second half the Huskies offence came but big including a interception in the end zone that kept this game tied at 21. That was all the scoring in regulation and we were going to OT tied at 21.

      In OT Washington won the toss and decided to play on defence. Oregon St. made quick work of Washington on the Beavers first possession and led 28-21. With Washington needing a Touchdown Locker found Kearse over the middle for a touchdown that nodded the game up at 28. In the second OT this time UW got the ball and made quick work. On 2nd and 17 Locker found  open for his fourth TD catch of the game and Locker's fifth TD pass of game. More importantly the Huskies retook the lead for the first time since they led 21-14. Oregon St. had a chance to score and on their possession they got into a long 3rd and 20. Oregon St. completed a 19 yard pass to set up the dramatic 4th and 1 where the questionable call gave OSU a 1st and goal. Where two plays later UW won on the incomplete pass on the two point conversion. 

     The Huskies Jermaine Kearse had a career day catching four out of five TD passes thrown by Jake Locker. Furthermore with Jake Locker having a TD to interception ratio of just above 4 to 1 does this put him back in the Heisman race. Also the Huskies are now smack damn in the middle for the Rose Bowl race. With Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin Oregon would be in the BCS National Championship game if the season ended today. This would mean Pac 10 #2 would be headed to Pasadena on January 1st.

     Both of those opportunities for Washington is still a long shot considering we are so inconsistent in are play this year. However lets just enjoy this win as it is a major turn around to the 48-21 loss last year we had to the same Beavers.

     Next week the Huskies travel to Arizona to take on the Wildcats. On Saturday Arizona defeated UW's rival WSU 24-7 despite QB Nick Foles going down with an injury. This will help are chances to try to start a two game wining streak something the  Huskies haven't done in ages. The game starts at 7:15 again and will also be on ESPN the same station as on Saturday. 


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Huskies Versus Oregon St. Preview

       Today the Huskies will play what could be a must win game versus Pac 10 rival Oregon St. at Husky Stadium.

     The Huskies are coming off a disappointing effort versus Arizona St. last week where they only scored two majors. In fact one of the majors was set up by special teams and the other by a missed field goal by the Sun Devils.

   So UW will try to get their offence back on track tonight when they play a really good blitzing defence of Oregon St. who beat Arizona in Arizona by a 31-29 score.

   However it wasn't all good news for the Beavers last week. Star Wide Receiver Jacuzzi Rogers went down with an injury, which will sideline him for the rest of the year. Don't blink though the Beavers still have the great James Rogers at running back. He is very quick and can break a lot of tackles so the Huskies defence will have to be on their game or they can forget about going to any bowl game.

     A big loss for the Huskies if he can't go will be junior Devon Aguilar. He will be a big loss if can't go because the Huskies offence struggled mightily last week and a extra option for Locker tonight could make all the difference  for Jake if he has a good game or a bad game.

    When it is all said and done with tonight. The winner of tonight's game will be the team will be the team with the least amount of tackles missed. That leads me to believe it will be the Oregon St. Beavers prevailing tonight under the lights of Husky Stadium. The score will be 33-21.

     The game is another night game kicking off at 7:15 on ESPN.

      P.S. If you haven't heard Eric Wedge in the Mariners new skipper. I will do a blog on that in the coming days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sun Devils Down Huskies in Rainy Affair

      On Saturday night the Washington Huskies were stepped on, punched at and embossed in front of their home fans as they never could get the right mojo as they fell to Dennis Erickson and the Sun Devils 24-14.

      With the loss this puts Washington in a tough position to make a Bowl game as they will have to go 4-3 just to get bowl eligible and UW will still have to play @ Oregon, @Arizona and VS Stanford on Halloween Eve.

      For ASU they get their first win in Pac 10 play and things are starting to look up. Their right in the middle of a three game road trip before they finish the season with three out of their last five are in Tempe.

    The game started slowly with both teams punting on their first possession but it was ASU who got on the board first nine minuets in and led 7-0. UW quickly came back as they got good field possession and moved the 41 yards for a Washington score that tied the game at 7. Before the end of the quarter ASU re-took the lead to make it 14-7. It stayed that way until the Sun Devils last drive of the first half as they converted another major to extend the lead to 21-7. In the second half it was mostly the same. With the rain coming down hard the offenses were held in check for the most part of the third quarter but UW was on the move in rhe final seconds of the quarter. Early in the 4th on a 4th and 2 Jake Locker found Middleton in the end zone to trim the deficit to 2-14. However that was a close as they came ASU added a Field Goal and ASU won the game 24-14.

      The rain was coming down for most of the game which seemed to favour the underdog Sun Devils as Jake Locker was never really comfortable running which could of led to his mediocre play. Devon Agular did not dress for the game so he was missing one of his go to receivers.

      The bottom line is the Huskies need to get better. Too many times we are moving the ball down field and settling for Field Goals so on rainy nights like Saturday when Folk can't kick that far in the rain we are faced with going for it on 4th and short, which means when are offensive line sucks were in a bit of a hole. This was the case on Saturday as UW went 2-5 on 4th down conversions.

     Of course rain is no excuse for losing because its the same for both teams. Lets not forget this is a very youthful team if you take off Locker and Foster.

     My message for the fans is be patent. Programs like Oregon, Ohio St. Boise St. and Oklahoma don't form over weeks like I think some fans are thinking. Some fans are thinking: We beat USC were the best team in the world because in reality were not. Teams like I just mentioned  above don't come out flat like the Huskies did on Saturday. The game reminded me of the 2008 Stanford game or the 2006 Oregon St. game two games that we should have won which would have boosted are teams moral  more so in the  2006 Oregon St. game, which we had a legitimate shot at a bowl game. Ironically both of the Husky QB's got injured lucky for Locker he did not.

       The big thing for me on Saturday was the amount of big plays the Huskies got. I can count with one hand how many big plays the Huskies had. In contrast the ASU offence had numerous big plays over 15 yards or more. Which leads me to the Huskies next opponent with Oregon St. The Beavers live off the big play from their big play maker Rogers. He has as much speed as a track athlete and if the Dawgs aren't ready Oregon St. will make Washington look like a high school football teams defence.

     The game Starts at 7:15pm and will be on National TV on ESPN2.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How Times Have Changed

       15 years ago on October 9th 1995 all of Seattle was starting to party because the Miracle Mariners of 1995 had just came back from a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Pinstripes. The Series was caped off by Edgar's double and Griffey's Slide that will always go down as a memorable moment for Seattle sports fans.

      So it was Monday October 9th a work day for most and also a party day. Times were different back then, The Huskies Football team was almost complete their Sanctions, The Sonics looked like they had a bright future ahead of them and the Mariners if they got their new Stadium would make free agents want to come to the great Pacific Northwest.

      15 years later the Sonics are gone the Mariners can't score a run if their life depended on it and the Huskies are two years removed from a 0-12 season. Would you agree that times have changed in Seattle? Could you have predicted all that stuff that I just mentioned.

     Today when the Huskies play their Pac 10 home opener at 7pm the Huskies have a chance to go to 2-0 in the Pac 10 since 2006. A season that the Huskies would have went to a bowl game if Stanback didn't get injured,

    The Huskies opponent today is very similar to Washington in ways that they both have explosive offenses and neither team can tackle. This favours UW in a way that they can use their experience and the home crowd to hopefully power them to victory.

    Washington has not had great success  with the Sun Devils in the past decade only winning once which came in 2001 a 33-31 win in Tempe. However when you make your prediction for tonight's game dont just look at that stat. UW in most of the losses this decade have played ASU tough. In 2008 the Huskies battled hard without Jake Locker losing 39-19. Also in 2006 ASU beat UW in heartbreaking fashion 26-23 in OT.

    Okay I just made it sound that ASU is the big favorite. They are not. The Huskies are a three point favorite but when the spread is that close it really doesn't matter. How I see it is Which ever team makes the most big plays will be the team that comes out victorious.

    My prediction is that Washington will find away to win by forcing turnovers. Steven Threet QB ASU has thrown more interceptions then touchdown passes. The final score will be 45-35 and Washington will be 2-0 in Pac 10 play and ASU will leave Seattle 0-3 in the Pac 10.

    The game is set for a 7pm kickoff and will be seen on FSN.                                                                                                                                                                                       

Monday, October 4, 2010

Huskies Get Program Building Win

       On Saturday the Huskies got a huge program win when the defeated USC 32-31 on Erik Folk's 32 yard Field split the up-rights as time expired.

      This is a huge win for the program for a lot of reasons firstly this could spark some major recruits could come in our direction. Just think how much the win Stanford had versus USC a few years ago sparked their program and look where that program is now. Also the Huskies are now 2-2 and have a legitimate chance now to have 6 or 7 win season now if they can compete like this every week.

   Because for the hole game on Saturday the Huskies play four quarters and when ever USC scored UW had an answer which was huge because I doubt that Washington could of created the magic if they had fell behind by two scores.

   Lets be thankful that Erik Folk decided to go to UW instead of any other school because for the second year in a row he has put the dagger in the heart of the USC faithful. Last year it was at Husky Stadium on that magical Saturday last year. Ironically enough they were both short  Field goals.

     Furthermore the Huskies probably could of won this game by about one or two Touchdowns. If the controversially non Horse Collar call not called on Jake Locker that made Locker fumble the football. That may of gave UW a 24-14 lead. This sparked a 14 point swing in favour of the the Trojans. Also on the Huskies second to last drive they dropped a number of balls that could of resulted in another major by the Dawgs.

     Lets not get to ahead of our selves. USC is not the team they were five years ago and even last year for that matter. The Huskies did make a lot of minor mistakes that need to be fixed as the season progresses.

    Fortunately USC made a crucial mistake on the Huskies final drive as Lane Kiffiin did not call his timeouts and try to give his team the ball back in a game that looked like it would always be the last team to have the ball would win.

    So Coach Sark's first trip back to USC ended in a thrilling win that went back and fourth the hole game. The Huskies for the most part played a great game and handled adversity very well.

   Although this win will mean nothing if the Huskies lay an egg against ASU next week. The Sun Devils have shown in their first five games of the year there not a push over and the Huskies will have to focus if they want to be contenders and not pretenders. The game is scheduled for a 7pm kickoff and can be seen on FSN.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Washington Versus USC Preview

      The Washington Huskies will march in to today's game rested coming off its much needed bye week after getting beaten by a very good Nebraska team two weeks ago now.

     It seems like very game is like this but again tonight versus the Trojans will see where Washington is at as a program. USC is a very well known school in the College Football world but there respect is decreasing after the program was hit hard with sanctions similar to the ones that the Washington received in 1992.

     Washington has not beaten USC in LA since 1996. That was the year they won 21-10. But does anyone remember how close we were to defeating them in 2006. Stanback could not get the final play off as Washington would of had one shot for a Touchdown from about the 30 yard line.

     Let me remind you guys of something that you all should know. We beat them last year! This should sure give us a slight advantage as most of are players are still on that team that upset #3rd ranked USC on that magical Saturday in September last year.

       We should not get to far ahead of are selves though. This is a team  got humiliated by Nebraska. That UW team looked like a 3 to 4 win team. Although the team will play better tonight. Can they possibly play any worse?

        If the Huskies are going to break their 13 game road losing streak winning the turnover battle is a must. USC program is coming down as they are not as good as they were four or five years ago though, they are still a decent team trying to spoil other teams plans of going bowling this holiday season. So you can forget about the Upset if UW loses the Turnover battle. Not to mention the Penalty stat as well.

      USC though has not really got tested yet. You can say what you want about their 4-0 start. They beat a Hawaii team that can't tackle to save their life, A Virgina team that was picked last in the ACC which is the worst BCS conference this year, a Minnesota team that lost to a Div 1 AA team and a real Juggernaut of Washington State in their Pac 10 opener. So how good is this team?

        There pretty good. They have a Sophomore QB of Matt Barkley and still have okay players across the board. In the end UW will play hard but USC will be too tough as USC will prevail 35-23. The game starts at 5pm and will be broadcasting on ESPN2.