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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 8, 2006 at 3:36 PM


OK, here’s the pick for the Oklahoma game as it will appear in Saturday’s paper – Oklahoma 31, UW 14.
Sorry, but I’ve got to be honest. A lot of what I saw last week against San Jose State looked all too familiar — sloppiness on offense, secondary problems on defense.
Yes, the Huskies did hold on to win, and quarterback Isaiah Stanback and the running game looked a lot better than they have.
But I’m just not sure this team is ready to compete on the road against an opponent like this just yet.
I know the offensive line looked good last week, but facing the Sooners in Oklahoma is obviously a whole different deal.
And to make another obvious point, the new injuries don’t help.
The Huskies are beginning to have depth problems just about everywhere, and this could be a physically taxing game tomorrow.
That said, OU has some flaws of its own.
The Sooners had four turnovers last week, and their defense looked less than sharp.
As I write for the paper as well, I think OU is about the best top10 matchup the Huskies could be facing right now considering that the one thing the Sooners are really good at — handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson and letting him run — plays to what should be UW’s defensive strength.
Especially considering that Washington’s defensive line could possibly have an edge on an OU offensive front that features four new starters, all sophomores. If Greyson Gunheim, Donny Mateaki, etc., have good days, the Huskies might be able to keep Peterson in check.
A huge key will be how Washington’s linebackers handle Peterson.
Scott White told me as much this week, saying Peterson will inevitably break through the first line of defense a time or two. But UW can’t let him get through the second and third lines, as happened too often a year ago, notably in the California game.
Offensively, the Huskies just have to hang onto the ball, yet they can’t get so conservative trying to do so that they become predictable. And somebody’s going to have to make an unexpected big play — like the Stanback-to-Chambers hookup that essentially won the game at Arizona last year — especially early.
The Huskies have to get the momentum on their side early. They still feel good about themselves right now, but considering what has happened the last few years, it might not take much for that good feeling to disappear.
Speaking of Stanback, there was one real interesting stat involving him in Washington’s official media release that I never found a way to get in the paper this week.
Did you know that Stanback has the second-highest yards per completion rate for his career among all QBs in UW history behind only Chris Rowland? Rowland (who played from 1973 to 1975) had an average of 14.76 yards per completion. Stanback is next at 14.73. Sonny Sixkiller is third at 14.28.
And Stanback has the fourth-best passing yards per attempt (7.55) behind Bob Schloredt (1958-1960), Greg Collins (1971-1973) and Tod Hullin (1963-1965).
If you are a connoisseur of stat books like The Pro Football Prospectus, you know that some people think the best way to measure the effectiveness of a QB is judging his yards per completion and attempt. The thinking is that anybody could complete 10 1-yard passes and wrack up a perfect completion percentage. But the QB who goes 5 for 10, but all for, say, 25 yards, is actually doing more for his team.
Lastly, here’s a chart that indicates just how much trouble UW has had winning road games against good out-of-conference teams in the last decade.
2004 — lost at Notre Dame, 38-3
2003 — lost at Ohio State, 28-9
2002 — lost at Michigan, 31-29
2001 — lost at Miami, 65-7
2000 — won at Colorado, 17-10
1999 — lost at BYU, 35-28
1998 — lost at Nebraska, 55-7
1997 — won at BYU, 42-20
1996 — lost at Notre Dame, 54-20
1995 — lost at Ohio State, 30-20
That’s a 2-8 record since the Whammy in Miami in 1994.
Maybe Saturday’s the day.



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