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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 1, 2007 at 12:19 PM

The Day After

Back from Syracuse, where the mood was as gloomy as it is bright here.
“Here We Go Again,” blared the headline in the Syracuse Post-Standard, while another column was titled “Going to dogs in a hurry.”
Here’s the Post-Standard’s Syracuse blog, which paints a pretty bleak picture of where everyone thinks the Orange is headed.
A couple of interesting quotes from that coverage:
First, Syracuse linebacker Jake Flaherty said that “their two best athletes were their quarterback and Rankin. They were just trying to get the ball in their hands.”
Also this from Syracuse coach Greg Robinson on Locker: “He was able to turn the corner on our defense. Once you start letting that happen to you, now all of a sudden you start to overpursue and things happen.
That’s just what the Huskies are attempting to create with the new wrinkles in their offense. Get people paying attention to Locker and then spring Rankin on them. If they take out Rankin, then let Locker run, or go to the air.
A FEW OTHER THOUGHTS:
— Someone asked how I could call Syracuse a BCS school. I mean simply that Syracuse is in a BCS conference, which is a common way of signifying that some schools are playing on a slightly different level than others. That said, not sure Syracuse will turn out to be any better than a number of teams in the WAC or the MAC. Still, winning that decisively on the road isn’t something UW would likely have done the last few years no matter who the opponent.
— I have no problem with UW scoring at the end. Again, Syracuse is a big-time school. It’s not Montana State or something when everyone realizes the two schools are on different athletic planets. Let them play. Maybe if they’d tried a reverse or something. But a run up the middle? Let them play.
— I didn’t see Robinson attempt to evade Willingham’s handshake after the game, as one of you wrote happened, so I can’t comment. But that was a huge loss for Robinson, who is really under the gun. Might have had more to do with that than anything else.
— Agree completely that the wide receiver blocking looks much improved from a year ago. Downfield blocking is critical when running this type of offense. Watch the replay of Rankin’s 47-yard TD run and you see a great block from Marcel Reece and another one from a receiver inside (I couldn’t tell who it was).
— Agree that the kickoff coverage looms as as concern after that game. But I would also caution that there were a lot of first-time players on the kickoff team (guys like walk-on Fred Wiggs and true freshmen Mason Foster, Nate Williams and Victor Aiywea). So I’d give them a little benefit of the doubt that there were some first-game jitters, etc., involved there. It’s not really practical to change coaching assignments in a major way during the season so I don’t see that happening.
Robert Lewis caught two passes, but otherwise the tight ends weren’t involved a whole lot, and it didn’t seem like Johnie Kirton was on the field a whole lot. Part of that is the new offensive package, which calls for more running backs, and means sometimes taking out the TEs. But I would also assume that there were will be gameplans where the tight ends will be used more. As I noted earlier, the Huskies reigned in the playbook once they got ahead and it was obvious they could do just about whatever they wanted.

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