Here are my grades for the game:
QUARTERBACK: What a mixed bag. On the one hand, Jake Locker was almost all of UW’s offense, accounting for 253 of UW’s 346 yards running and throwing. On the other, obviously, are the three interceptions as well as a few other misfired passes. This was obviously the best defense he’s ever seen, and other than USC, maybe the best he will face all season, and that has to be taken into consideration. Still, he could have done a lot better. Carl Bonnell looked pretty good, but obviously there is no QB controversy here. Grade: B-minus.
RUNNING BACK: Louis Rankin is getting exposed against good teams, getting just 42 yards on 14 carries, with a long of nine, and right now the other options are limited. J.R. Hasty is either hurt or not showing the coaches he deserves time, and Brandon Johnson was out today with an injury. And so far, the fullback position hasn’t added a lot of offense though maybe Luke Kravitz will help when he returns to full health. May be time to start letting some of the younger plays more if/when healthy. Grade: C.
RECEIVERS: Not as many dropped passes this time, though at least one that hurt (the one by Marcel Reece right before Locker’s interception in the third quarter). Still seems as if they have some trouble getting open at times, though again, this was a good secondary they were going against. But you don’t sense that anyone is really fearing these guys that might right now. Or maybe it’s just that the receivers and Locker need more time to get in sync. After some talk that the tight ends would be more involved, there was just one catch (to Robert Lewis) with Johnie Kirton again the invisible man. Anthony Russo, however, played well and Corey Williams had one of his best games. Grade: B-minus.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Again, this was a really good defense UW faced today so that has to be taken into consideration when looking at how the Huskies had trouble opening up holes, etc. Still, the Huskies will face some good defenses the rest of the way, and will need to be more consistent. And what the opponent doesn’t (or shouldn’t really) impact is a few crucial penalties incurred by this unit, including illegal procedure on UW’s first possession following the two quick Ohio State scores in the third quarter. Grade: C-plus.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A lot of people thought UW might have the edge with its defensive line against OSU’s front. But that never really appeared to be the case. UW had no sacks despite the fact that OSU’s QB was a stationary target back there, and the Buckeyes ran for 263 yards, the most for a UW opponent since Oregon’s 316 last year. The Huskies pretty much went with just five players up front all day, so you also have to worry a bit about these guys wearing down. Not that tackles are the be-all stat for defensive linemen, but it’s interesting that Locker had as many as Greyson Gunheim (two each). Grade: C-plus.
LINEBACKERS: This unit was a little hamstrung due to the injury to Dan Howell that held him out of the game. Kyle Trew played hard and did pretty well considering the circumstances, however, and Donald Butler and E.J. Savannah had statistically solid games — Butler had 11 tackles, and Savannah eight. Savannah continues to be impressive with his speed and play-making ability. But this unit seemed overmatched at times in the running game and Butler dropped a potential interception. Grade: B.
SECONDARY: You knew the day would happen when a team would figure out a way to exploit UW’s youth here at a key time, and it happened with the long pass to Brian Robiskie in the third quarter that turned the momentum. Vonzell McDowell has a lot of ability, but he is what he is — a true freshman. The Huskies need Bryon Davenport to come back, but it’s hard to know when that will be. You’d assume he wouldn’t want to miss his return to UCLA next week, however. This wasn’t Roy Lewis’ best game, either. Grade: C-minus.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Considering you could argue that this unit cost the game during that key third quarter stretch — first, the blocked field goal, and then the fumbled kickoff return — it was a bad day here. UW did a decent job in coverage, however. But they need to get more out of the return game, especially Russo with the punts. Also a bad penalty by Chris Stevens on the running into the punter. Grade: C-minus.
COACHING: The big picture is that the Huskies had a lot of chances to win a game against a pretty good team, and appear to have made a lot of progress this season. Still, the clock management at the end of the first half seemed a little odd (even though it didn’t hurt as the Huskies ended up getting a TD there). And if a 30-7 second half means anything, it appears Ohio State made the better halftime adjustments. Grade: B-minus.
Here are my grades for the game:
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