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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 31, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Not bad for so-so

That was what Tyrone Willingham called the performance by Jake Locker tonight, anyway.
Willingham said something about Locker missing a few reads and said “Jake was so-so. He can do better.”
But hard to believe he wasn’t really pleased deep down about this one.
Locker is the focus of much of our coverage on-line and in the paper, so I won’t repeat a lot of that here. Speaking of that, here’s our game story, our notebook, and Blaine Newnham’s column. Blaine does a nice job of dissecting the new wrinkles in UW’s offense, something everyone is more comfortanble talking about now that it’s out in the open.
Here are a few other random notes and thoughts:
— The attitude after the game was interesting. I think a lot of us in the media were expecting the coaches and players to be a lot more celebratory than they were. Instead, everybody seemed pretty non-plussed about it all. Maybe they’re really confident in themselves and knew they could do that. Or maybe they realized that Syracuse really isn’t very good (I think Syracuse will turn out to be the worst team UW plays this year) and know that there are a lot bigger tests ahead.
— That said, UW hasn’t looked this dominant in a long time against a BSC team so it’s still really meaningful.
— One unexpected positive is that the win came so easily that the Huskies were able to keep some aspects of their new offense under wraps. Tim Lappano said there was some stuff in the game plan that the Huskies didn’t have to get to due to the margin of the game.
Caesar Rayford said the same thing about the defense, saying that the Huskies didn’t have to show a lot of their blitzes because they were so dominant up front.
— Rayford was a real revelation. I had forgotten he made only one tackle all last season, that sack at the end of the Apple Cup. In fact, he had only three in his career before this season. He made only two tonight, but 1.5 were sacks. Rayford said he played at 225 last year but is now at about 247.
— Interesting quote from Dan Howell that didn’t make my game story: “They weren’t ready for what we had to throw at them. We played a little harder than them in the first half and eventually we turned the game.”
— So who would have ever imagined J.R. Hasty’s debut would be so overshadowed? In case you missed it, Hasty got his first carry on the second-to-last drive of the game, gaining six yards.
— There appeared to be only one new injury with Luke Kravitz hurting his hand, though the severity is unknown.
— The 30-point margin of victory was the largest win of the Willingham era. The last time UW beat someone as bad was the 42-10 win over Oregon in 2003.
— After missing his first two passes, Locker was 14-17 the rest of the way. In fact, he missed three of his first four, then hit 13-14.
— You had to love the way the offensive line played. It was interesting that really only six guys played, with Ben Ossai and Cody Habben essentially rotating at left tackle, with the other four spots stable all game.
Fred Wiggs made three tackles and is emerging as the walk-on who could be the biggest contributor
Jared Ballman was another who played better than might have been expected. He averaged 46.2 yards on three punts and 64.2 yards on six kickoffs (compared to the 58.2 yard average of Syracuse kicker Patrick Shadle who is being pumped by the school as a Groza Award candidate).
— Got an early flight home, so all for now.

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