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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 1, 2006 at 6:37 PM

The day after

First, here’s the grades as they will appear in Monday’s paper:
GRADING THE GAME
Offense: There can be few questions about Stanback’s passing ability now that he has thrown for seven touchdowns and just two interceptions in the last three games. The best news was a revival of the running game. UW rushed for 154 yards overall with TBs Louis Rankin and Kenny James combining for 108 on 29 carries. The scoreless second half was a little disappointing but might also have been the result of nursing the lead. Grade: B
Defense: The coaches installed their most aggressive game plan of the Willingham era and the players thrived. Arizona threw for 308 yards, but the Huskies made the key stops when needed and limited UA to 301 yards overall. The passing yards, however, indicate that there is still room for concern when the Huskies face teams more adept at passing than Arizona. Grade: A-minus.
Special teams: Another spotty effort. Sean Douglas downed two punts at the 1-yard-line and the UW coverage teams did a solid job. But PK Michael Braunstein missed field goals of 22 and 39 yards and has made just two all season.
Grade: B-minus.
Second, here’s an interesting column from Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. Always worth seeing how others view the Huskies (sure many of you may not agree with his lukewarm assessment of UW) and how rapidly things are falling apart for the Wildcats. Another story here says Wildcat players were so alarmed at the defeat they were calling a team meeting for today.
Last, here are some answers to a few of your questions. Hope I got them all:
Is the scoreless second half a concern? Yes and no. The offense wasn’t as sharp in the second half as it was in the first …quot; it would have been nice to see UW put together one of those long time-consuming drives to sew up the game. But it also seemed like the playbook thinned a bit once UW got ahead. I think the Huskies knew Arizona probably couldn’t come back and tried to make sure they didn’t do anything stupid on offense to let them back in the game.
Were the fans as bad as the announcers made them sound? We sit in an enclosed press box that is very antiseptic so it’s hard for us reporters to get a real good sense of the crowd there. But you could definitely hear the boos as the first half ended, and there were a lot of empty seats in the second half, a sign that fans are beginning to lose faith in Mike Stoops, who is now 8-19 as UA’s coach.
Were the 11 tackles for loss any type of record? While a season high, it’s not a record. In fact, UW had just as many against Idaho last year. The press guide doesn’t list a school record for TFLs, but the school record for sacks is 13, meaning the TFL record is likely more than that.
Why are the Huskies suddenly good again? That’s a really good question that I actually want to defer to go in-depth on for now so we can address it better later. But in general, I think it’s the coaching stability, players buying into the system, a lack of real key injuries, solid play by a lot of upper classmen who are working harder than ever now that they have tasted a little success and see good things on the horizon for the first time in their careers.

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