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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 4, 2006 at 8:42 PM

Going for two, and more

A few of you asked why UW coach Tyrone Willingham didn’t decide to go for two when the Huskies scored their final touchdown Saturday.
So I asked Willingham that very question today.
Willingham responded by saying he considered going for two after each of UW’s last two touchdowns but decided against it. He wasn’t real specific about why other than saying he just thought it was better not to at that particular time.
My take is that there is some risk, as there is some advantage to being up six instead of just five, though obviously seven is better. Even seven isn’t fool proof, however. What if San Jose State went for two, deciding to just try to win it rather than simply tie it and then send it into overtime, the way Mike Riley did so memorably in 1998? Maybe Willingham figured the sure point was better than the risk of only being up five and SJSU not even needing to kick the point if it did score at the end. Certainly, these are the kinds of questions you wish sometimes that he would be a little more open with his answers.
UW has gone for two just once in Willingham’s 12 games as coach — last year in the Apple Cup when Anthony Russo caught a pass to put the Huskies ahead 22-19 early in the fourth quarter.
Interestingly, while some were wondering why Willingham didn’t go for two — seemingly playing it safe, instead — others were wondering why UW gambled and went for it on fourth down twice rather than kick field goals. I think the distance of the field goals played into each decision. One would have been a 44-yard field goal, the other 46. Both would have also been into the wind.
As much confidence as Willingham has expressed in Michael Braunstein, the reality is that he hasn’t made a field goal beyond 29 yards in his career, having gone 0 for 4 from beyond that length, so maybe that was part of it, as well.
A few of you also asked about Jordan White-Frisbee and the answer was as I had thought — once the Huskies went to almost all nickel in the second half, there wasn’t a place for him. Willingham also acknowledged that White-Frisbee isn’t yet in optimum playing shape. But I’m almost certain he’ll be used this week to defend against Oklahoma’s run. As for Erick Lobos, Willingham said other players are simply playing better right now. Obviously, he’s fallen behind Jordan Reffett, who remains listed as a co-starter this week.
Finally, as he has said almost every day since the camp started, Willingham said again that there is no change in the status of the players out for academic reasons.

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