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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 6, 2007 at 9:22 PM

Questions, Vol. 1

Lots of good questions this week. Enough that instead of waiting to do them all at once, I’ll spread them out over a few posts. So here we go.
Q: Will the Huskies use Curtis Shaw this year or is he essentially done now that he has switched to receiver?
A: Hope you saw the Tim Lappano interview earlier where he said that they will definitely look for ways to get Shaw in games this year as a WR. He said they had a play for Shaw in the works against Stanford but decided against it due to the field position at the time. So yes, I would expect to see him out there at some point.
Q: Why didn’t the Pac-10 stay with TBS? That seemed like better national coverage than FSN.
A: TBS dropped college football after last year (you can read about it here) and those telecasts are now on Versus (the network the USC-Stanford game was on, if you recall). So nothing the Pac-10 could do about that. But with the new ESPN package, I think the Pac-10 has as much national coverage as ever.
Q: Does Jake Locker work at looking off receivers?
A: Definitely. All QBs do. But as has been well documented, Locker did not have a real complicated passing game at Ferndale so a lot of the intricacies of it are new to him. He is ranked 100th this week in passing efficiency in the NCAA evidence that he still has some work to do in that area. But no one realizes that more than he does. Working at it won’t be an issue for Locker, and I would expect that now that he has a year under his belt and understands more what it takes to be a good passer that he will be much improved next year.
Q: Why are so many of Juan Garcia’s shotgun snaps low?
A: After getting a few e-mails about this, I asked Garcia about that this week. He said that he thinks he’s better at it this year than he was last year, his first as a starter. But he said that if he is going to miss on a snap, he’d rather miss low than high. If it’s low, probably the worst that happens is that Locker falls on it for a loss. If it’s high, it could go over his head and be recovered more easily by the opponent. So he errs on the side of being low. But obviously, he’s trying to get them back there perfect.
Q: Will the UW defense bring as much pressure this week as it did last week?
A: Hugh Millen said the other day on KJR that the Huskies blitzed 15 times (if I heard Hugh right. If not, someone can correct me) compared to just three or four the previous week. But that was a bad Stanford offense with a bad line and a statue at QB. It might be riskier to pressure as much this week against OSU, especially with Yvenson Bernard back. He’s pretty good at finding the right hole and scooting through it. On the other hand, OSU gave up nine sacks last week against USC, so the Beavers’ line is vulnerable. And OSU will go with a new QB in Lyle Moevao. So maybe it will make sense to be aggressive again. But I still wouldn’t expect a blitz-o-rama, to use a Lappano term.
Q: What do you think about the Huskies running the wishbone for a quarter?
A: Well, to run the wishbone, you have to practice it, and it’s hard to just up and implement something like that this late in the season. So I don’t think you’ll see that now. Also, the spread option offense offers a lot of the same elements, especially when it puts two backs with the QB, so not sure the wishbone would offer much different. Locker is getting more than enough opportunities to run the ball.
Q: Didn’t Anthony Russo start out as a running back, like Curtis Shaw?
A: Yes, Russo was an RB for a few months in 2003. He was recruited out of Lakes High as an athlete and played RB for a little while before switching.
Q: After the O-line was basically the same five guys last year, there has been more rotating this year. Why is that? Competition, injuries, design? And do the coaches think that has helped the line stay fresher?
A: Indeed, there has been a little more rotating this year on the line than last year, when the same five guys basically played all year. Last year was something of an anamoly, however, as you won’t often see that happen. This year, you have seen a regular rotation at LT with Cody Habben and Ben Ossai and some increased rotating of late with Jordan White-Frisbee playing some at RG for Casey Bulyca. It has been by design as coaches have wanted to rotate more as long as it made sense, and the improvement of Habben and JWF has allowed for it to happen. I talked to line coach Mike Denbrock today and he mentioned that the increased depth has allowed for some players to stay fresher. Ideally, I think they’d like to rotate more. But guys like Garcia and Chad Macklin have been incredibly durable the last few years. By the way, worth noting that Habben has started the last two games at LT after Ossai had been the starter the first seven. May have been a quiet changing of the guard there, though the rotation appears about the same.
I’ll try to have another installment of answers tomorrow.



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