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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 21, 2006 at 10:01 PM

Play-calling and 10 men

Wow – a lot of fired up people on here tonight.
I’ll try to quickly answer a couple of questions.
1, First, the play-calling. I looked at the play-by-play and here’s what I came up with. UW had 28 first-down plays in the game and ran on 19 and passed on nine. However, four of the passes came on the last drive of regulation when the Huskies had to throw. So that means in 24 other first downs that could be viewed as regular playing time, UW passed on only five. Three were runs by Bonnell, the rest went to the tailback.
By way of comparison, Cal had 31 first down plays in the game and passed on 12. None of Cal’s possessions really fit the desperation mode, so I think they can all be included as fair game for comparison purposes.
So yes, just in comparing the two, UW was more predictable than Cal was in running on first down.
In judging coaches, however, I tend to be a big-picture guy. Overall, this team is doing more than anyone really thought possible — and played a much better game today than most of us really thought — which I think always has to be taken into account.
2, Yes, there were only 10 men on the field for the two-point play. I was standing on the sideline — media are allowed on the field for the last five or so minutes of games — and what I saw happen was that the Huskies sent in their PAT block team, which included Caesar Rayford and a couple of others not on the regular defense. When the coaches realized Cal was going for two, they tried to get the nickel team out there. Apparently it was E.J. Savannah, who is a regular member of the nickel defense, who didn’t get on the field for the play. Cal ran up the middle, so it’s hard to know how much difference E.J. could have made in that situation. But obviously you are better off with 11 players than 10.
3, Some of you mentioned an interception Dashon Goldson could have had on Cal’s last drive. He admitted afterward he just dropped it. Not much to really say about it other than that, but it obviously might have sewed up the game if he had picked it off.
4, It was an odd game to judge Bonnell. Take away five picks, and I thought he was really good — which is a really odd sentence to write. At least one wasn’t really his fault — the play to Reece in the end zone early in the game. He thought Reece was running a different route. The one to Kirton was also a tough one as that was a good pass that the Cal guy just made a good play on. It kind of felt like he threw only five bad passes all game and they all happened to get picked off instead of one or two of them just being batted down or dropped by defenders. But for a first start in two years, I would give it a pretty good grade overall.
5, The squib at the end of the first half. I didn’t think that was a good call at all, and Willingham admitted afterward it didn’t work out the way they hoped — which is fairly obvious. Coaches do it to avoid the long return. But I don’t like it because a) it seems like you aren’t showing confidence in your coverage team; b) it just seems to backfire too often, as it did today.

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