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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 18, 2007 at 2:36 PM

On the offensive

As always, Tuesday is our day to talk with UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano. Here are some highlights:
Asked about UCLA, Lappano said: “These guys are a good defense. They have 10 returning starters from the team that came up here last year and got after us in the first half pretty good. They have a great edge rusher in (Bruce) Davis. He’s probably as good a speed rusher as there is in the country. He’s maybe a little light (234) but what he lacks in weight he makes up for in explosiveness. We’ve got to be aware where he’s at. They’ve got some veteran corners. They are a very aggressive secondary. They play a lot of man (defense). They are a cover-one, man-bump team and they are pretty good at it. They’ve given up some yards but that’s what you do when you play a lot of man like that. When you make a mistake, you get blistered for some deep balls. That’s just their style of defense. They are very fast, they like to play man and gamble in the secondary.”
Lappano further said that UCLA blitzes 40 percent of the time and that he figures it will be “blitz-o-rama” like it was against Ohio State which he said blitzed 47 times (UW officially ran 71 plays).
But in general, Lappano said he is “more worried about us than I am them.”
What he meant by that was that in reviewing the film of the Ohio State game he felt the Huskies made a lot more mental mistakes than he had originally thought just after the game.
“We had some major mental mistakes,” he said. “Too many mental assignment mistakes.”
He said the main unit that struggled there was the offensive line.
“We’re not getting overwhelmed physically,” he said. “It’s mental.”
So with that in mind, he said the team may limit its playbook a bit this week to reduce mental mistakes.
“We’ve got to get back to us executing and not making mistakes. … We’re making too many mental mistakes both in technique and assignment.”
Lappano said again that the receivers “have got to be able to catch the football. They all don’t have to be perfect passes. Players make plays and we’ve got to make plays — mamke tough throws, break tackles in the run game. There’s no magic wand. Players make plays and we have to make plays because we are letting too many plays slip away.”
On a few other matters, Lappano said that:
— He’d like to get D’Andre Goodwin involved in the offense more, and said that should happen this week. “You’ll see him in the game a little more than you have the past couple weeks.”
— Said the team is still searching for a number two running back but said whoever emerges is likely to see some significant time this week. “We’re looking for a guy to take a little bit of the load off of (Louis Rankin) a little bit. We need fresh guys in there all the time.”
— Said again that there are plans to use the tight ends more but that it also depends on what the game plan is that particular week. “We have not given up on them by any means.”
— Said he likes the potential of true freshman tight end Chris Izbicki, calling him “scrappy” and said “he’s going to be in the mold of those guys back in the day when they had Mark Bruener and all those guys.”
— Said that it’s unlikely that any true freshmen offensive player who has not yet seen action will play this year. So unless injuries hit, assume guys like Brandon Yakaboski, Willie Griffin Alvin Logan, etc., are going to redshirt.
— Said he thinks Curtis Shaw is recovering fine from the fumble last week and that he will definitely be called on again this week.
— Talked a little more about Jake Locker’s learning curve and said that one thing they discussed with him this week is the value of killing a bad play. For instance, he said there was one situation where Locker should have called time out to get UW out of a bad play but didn’t do it. Said they told him he has free reign to call time outs when needed. Said he also could have called time out at the end of the first half, as well. “We told him you can’t be worried about burning a time out,” Lappano said.
— Finally, when asked how UCLA could have a good defense and give up 44 points, he pointed to the turnovers. “Turn it over four times, I don’t care how good you are, that’s going to happen,” he said.

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