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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 2, 2006 at 5:02 PM

Movin’ on up

Sure, it got a little more tenuous at the end than anybody would have liked — and more than anyone would have really thought possible earlier in the game.
But in the end, they got to 1-0 for the first time since 2001.
And in the post-game interview room afterward, that was almost all that seemed to matter.
“The best part of it is that the young men are excited,” said UW coach Tyrone Willingham in what passed as a typical comment as the Huskies emphasized the positive in getting the win rather than worrying too much about the turnovers and the secondary.
Willingham was also happy that the Huskies appeared to emerge unscathed injury wise. The only injury he said will require further evaluation was to tight end Michael Gottlieb, though he wouldn’t say what it was.
Certainly, though, there is much to be concerned about as the team heads to Norman, Oklahoma, most notably, a secondary that seemed a lot leakier than advertised.
The good news for next week is that passing isn’t exactly Oklahoma’s strength. In terms of the matchup of strengths and weaknesses, if the Huskies had to face a non-conference powerhouse on the road this season, a running team like Oklahoma seems like the best possible fit.
Offensively, UW ran the ball well today, better than might have been expected given the youth up front. One concern will be whether Isaiah Stanback can handle that much punishment all season — he had 17 carries today and admitted afterward it took its toll.
Maybe all that running helps explain why Stanback was off on two potential touchdown passes. He also misfired a little on the pass that was intercepted early. But overall, it was a solid debut for Stanback.
Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano seemed most irritated by the two lost fumbles — one by Louis Rankin and one by Gottlieb, saying the team had worked on ball leverage all fall camp and that he had emphasized it during a meeting Friday night.
Cutting down turnovers was one of the areas where the Huskies improved the most a year ago and they can’t revert to their old 2004 ways heading to Oklahoma.
Defensively, it’s obvious the Huskies need Dashon Goldson to return to health. He was forced into the game for a few plays but obviously wasn’t ready to go. With him, Matt Foutaine then becomes the No. 3 cornerback in passing downs instead of Mesphin Forrester, who saw a lot of action today. Forrester may be a promising young player, but right now, there’s no question who you’d rather have on the field.

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