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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 7, 2007 at 9:14 AM

Focus on the run

I wrote today about the UW running game and the chances of Jake Locker and Louis Rankin to break the 1,000-yard barrier.
Hopefully this story will answer a lot of your questions on this topic, such as whether the Huskies have ever had two 1,000-yard rushers (it hasn’t, the story tells you when UW has gotten close to it).
One reader commented that he’s not sold on the UW running game, that take out the Syracuse (302 rushing yards) and Stanford (388) games and the Huskies are still mediocre, at best.
I thought about that. Take those two games out and UW is averaging 149 yards per game instead of 192.
On the other hand, that’s how impressive rushing numbers are built, steady production punctuated by a few big games here and there. Fact is, UW hasn’t been held below 100 yards rushing in any game this season. UW hasn’t gone through a whole season getting at least 100 yards per game in a year since 2000.
Certainly, the uniqueness of Locker’s talents has a lot to do with it. Who knows how good UW’s running game would be without him and the Huskies had to do it more conventionally. But the Huskies do have Locker, and their task is to build a good running game around what he does, and the point of the story today is that they appear to be doing that.
UW’s rushing total Saturday was its highest in a Pac-10 game since getting 396 at Cal in 1990.
And UW is averaging 233 yards rushing its last four games (getting at least 146 in every game) against a representative sample of Arizona State, Oregon, Arizona and Stanford.
But no doubt, UW’s toughest test in that regard comes Saturday in Corvallis against an OSU team allowing just 59.6 rushing yards per game. OSU hasn’t allowed more than 184 yards in any game this season (against Cal) and has allowed 100 or more just three times.
OSU has been particularly nasty at home. The Beavers have allowed just 187 total rushing yards in five home games this year on 160 carries. The last two teams to play there are Arizona (nine yards on 27 carries) and Stanford (minus-eight yards on 25 carries).
So we’ll really know more come Saturday night.

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