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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 3, 2007 at 9:54 PM

Grading the game

Okay, so it is just Stanford and all that, a game that the Huskies had to win or else the wheels could have been considered to have been coming completely off.
And yes, it was a little messy at times with the two turnovers and two missed field goals and a few penalties.
But USC would like to have been able to beat Stanford right about now, so give the Huskies some props for getting it done.
Here’s a position breakdown:
QUARTERBACK: A somewhat mixed night as Jake Locker set the school record for rushing yards by a QB in a single season. Locker threw an INT early on a ball he tried to force and he missed on some deep throws. He’ll have to throw better to beat Oregon State and Cal. But after the early pick he was efficient enough, and his running was a huge weapon. GRADE: B-plus.
RUNNING BACK: Louis Rankin turned in the game everyone has been waiting for, a game that will keep him in the UW record books for a long time. He ran hard up the middle and made good moves to outfox defenders. The fumble could have been a big mistake so it wasn’t a perfect game, but if Rankin keeps running like this, the Huskies may have a chance for a few more wins. Paul Homer and Brandon Johnson also looked good, as well. GRADE: A-minus.
RECEIVERS: Not a great night here as there were a few drops early, and while the call on Anthony Russo might not have been the greatest in the world, he could have prevented it by holding onto the ball all the way. And nice to see Johnie Kirton get a catch, though he also then had a drop. A group that will have to do better. GRADE: C.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Simply the most dominating performance of the season. Even better, it seemed, than the Syracuse game, and considering that the Cardinal has done some things this year on defense, pretty impressive. Hard to single out anyone but it sure seemed like the Huskies got a great push up the middle behind Juan Garcia and the two guards. GRADE: A.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Defensive end Greyson Gunheim said the Huskies were buoyed by a players’ only meeting this week, something he said the team hadn’t really done this season. The defensive line really seemed buoyed, appearing to get their best push since the Syracuse game, including six sacks. Gunheim and Jordan Reffett each had 1.5 sacks. Stanford did get a couple long runs early, and the Huskies certainly had an easier time of it once T.C. Ostrander took over — he really holds onto the ball and isn’t real mobile. But given the way things have gone of late this was about the best fans could have hoped for. GRADE: A-minus.
LINEBACKERS: A solid night here, especially the final three quarters. Trenton Tuiasosopo came up big in some short-yardage situations and E.J. Savannah got his first sack as did Mason Foster. GRADE: B-plus.
SECONDARY: Much-maligned a week ago, they did a good job against what have been some decent Stanford receivers. A few of those sacks were of the coverage variety and the Huskies didn’t give up a pass longer than 21 yards all night. The return of Byron Davenport seemed to make a difference, and it can only help getting Jordan Murchison into the fold. GRADE: A-minus.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The one real sore spot as UW again gave up way too much kickoff return yardage — an average of 30.6 per return — and also missed two field goals — one each by Ryan Perkins and Jared Ballman. The KO coverage has been spotty all year. GRADE: C.
COACHING: Everyone’s off the hot seat for a night, anyway. Give them some props for getting the team ready to play a week after one of the worst losses it could have had. The players could have torn apart though all that has happened, but judging by this game, they are still playing hard and listening, and coaches have to get some credit for that. The Huskies were aggressive on defense, which the players liked, and had a good offensive game plan. And the Huskies were the better team throughout, outscoring Stanford 17-6 in the second half. Bigger tests await, obviously, but they wouldn’t have mattered at all if UW hadn’t won this one. Only real complaint is some sloppiness, particularly on the special teams. GRADE: B-plus.

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