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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 29, 2006 at 9:56 AM

Day After Q and A

A few questions to answer on The Day After the season might have takena fateful turn:
—- But first, a plea for some more calm and decorum on this blog. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the comments, questions and banter on this blog. But lately, there has been a turn toward some more personal attacks, and sometimes some profane comments, and I would urge everyone to refrain. I would very much like to keep this blog to intelligent comments and questions about UW and Pac-10 football. Thanks.
HOW DID THE NICKEL DEFENSE FARE YESTERDAY? One of you asked for a breakdown of the nickel defense against ASU. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that as the game progressed, in large part due to other duties that kept me writing during much of the game. But UW was definitely in the nickel during ASU’s last TD drive of the first half. It made some sense considering ASU had no time outs left and just 2:13 when it took over. UW helped ASU greatly by calling two time outs of its own during that drive to get the proper personnel on the field. ASU was smart to cross up UW with runs when it was expecting passes. Maybe UW should have moved out of it once it saw what ASU was doing, but then ASU would likely have begun passing. Considering everything, I didn’t think the defense was the biggest problem Saturday.
WHERE WAS CAESAR RAYFORD ON THE PAT TEAM? On the bench. Rayford didn’t play Saturday as UW has evidently gone away from the PAT unit that worked so well on the memorable block against Fresno State (though truth be told, I think that was mostly due to a pretty bad kick). I don’t know for certain but I’m assuming they might have gone back to more of a base unit after the problems against Cal when they ended up with just 10 men on the field for Cal’s two-point play after initially rushing on the normal PAT block team that included Rayford.
WHY DOES THE TEAM KEEP COMING OUT FLAT IN HOME GAMES? To be honest, I’m not sure it does. If you really look at it, only one side of the ball is “coming out flat” if that’s how you want to define it — the offense. UW has been held under 300 yards offense in each of its last four home games, which could simply mean the offense has been overmatched against these defenses it has been playing at home. The UW defense, by comparison, has given up seven, 16, 10 and 14 points in the first halves of the last four home games. Considering the poor spots the offense has put the defense in many times during those games, not sure that’s really all that bad.
WAS THE OFFENSE REALLY THAT BAD SATURDAY? I think it was. UW had 274 yards. But consider that 41 came on the trick play pass from Shackelford to Russo, the only two runs of the day longer than 10 yards were scrambles by Carl Bonnell and a reverse by Marlon Wood (Rankin’s longest carry was nine yards) and the longest pass was the scramble by Bonnell were he pulled up and threw downfield for 23 yards to Russo. The longest pass play otherwise was 16 yards.

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