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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 7, 2007 at 9:29 PM

A few more answers

Trying to plow through all the questions, so here are a few more.
Q: Why don’t you put a bigger emphasis on time of possession. Isn’t that a key statistic for the Huskies?
A: It can be. But I’ve also often thought that TOP was a rather flawed stat, especially at the college level. With the clock stopping on every first down, teams that get a lot of first downs often rank near the bottom of TOP —- Oregon, for instance, is eighth in the Pac-10 in TOP this week. That said, TOP has correalated to success for UW this year. The Huskies have had TOP of 30 minutes or more only three times this year — Boise State, Arizona and Stanford. So obviously, that was two of UW’s three wins and a game in which it scored 41 points. But UW also had the ball just 28:59 against Syracuse, largely because it scored so quickly when it had the ball, showing how meaningless a stat it can be at times. But against OSU this Saturday, with both teams wanting to run the ball a lot, the team that has the better TOP probably has an advantage.
Q: Are the Huskies moving in the direction of being more of a run-first team than pass-first?
A: Kind of looks that way a little bit, doesn’t it? UW has 350 rushing attempts through nine games, fourth-most in the Pac-10, and only 272 pass attempts, more than only one other conference team. The last two weeks UW has attempted 109 runs and just 62 passes. Certainly, with Jake Locker, Louis Rankin and a rapidly improving line, it makes sense to go to the run. And given the youth at WR next year, it will make sense to try to be more of a running team next year, as well, as assuming that an RB or two can be groomed, that would figure to be UW’s strength.
Q: What is the contract situation for the assistant coaches? Will they be evaluated after the season?
A: All UW assistant coaches typically work on 1-year contracts that go from July 1-June 30. I know that’s how the football assistants worked the last few years. I haven’t seen the contracts for this season but no reason to think they are different. So obviously, being on one-year contracts means the head coach has to decide to bring them back again for another year. Given the events of this season, there may be some more pointed evaluation this year than other seasons. But there’s still a lot of season left, as well.
Q: Any plans to change the uniforms?
A: UW has made some constant tweaks to them through the years, putting the names back on this year, for instance. At this point, however, I have heard nothing new for changes for next year. Usually, that’s the kind of thing that is worked on during the off-season. So maybe check back again in the spring on that.
Q: Are they letting Jake Locker call more audibles?
A: The Huskies have tried to ease Locker into the playbook as much as possible, but OC Tim Lappano said this week that he has become so adept at picking it up that they are basically using all of it. That also appears to mean that Locker is getting a little more responsibility as the season goes on for things such as audibles. Doesn’t sound as if he can or has done a lot of it. But they do want him to call some to get the Huskies out of bad situations.
Q: How is Ronnie Fouch looking?
A: By all accounts, he’s doing just fine. He’s redshirting this season, though he makes all trips as the No. 3 QB, getting some valuable experience in that regard. A key time for Fouch will be next spring when he will be the backup QB — and potentially one of only two scholarship QBs on the roster. Fouch showed an accurate arm as well as some good mobility in the spring and in fall scrimmages.
Q: How come we haven’t seen Carl Bonnell more? Tyrone Willingham hinted earlier in the season that he would be used at times, maybe in some trick plays?
A: Willingham did indeed say that early in the year, but so far we haven’t seen it. Maybe we still will, with four games left. As for Bonnell simply playing at QB, I think Locker’s rapid improvement has thrown any thoughts along those lines out the window.
Q: How come Cody Ellis hasn’t played more? And will D’Andre Goodwin get more time now with Corey Williams struggling?
A: Ellis has had some health issues, particularly early in the year, that I think made it hard for him to get in a real groove. But he’s been out there regularly of late and has caught at least one pass in each of the last five games. Williams probably hasn’t had the senior year he was hoping for having caught just two passes the last four games. Goodwin, meanwhile, quietly had a career-high two catches against Stanford. So I’d figure you can expect to see Goodwin more as the year wears on.
Q: How is recruiting going, especially for the key in-state players?
A: One thing to note is that I have never pretended to be a recruiting authority on this site. I try to monitor it and bring you what I can. But especially during the season, I prefer to concentrate on the season. It’s short enough as it is that I like to focus my energy on the games being played during those 13 weeks. So expect more here on recruiting once the season is done. That said, I wrote this story two weeks ago that updated UW’s recruiting situation including where the Huskies stand with the four key in-state recruits.
I’ll try to get to more questions later.

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