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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 22, 2008 at 7:34 PM

Apple Cup grades

Here are the grades:
QUARTEBACK — Figuring the Huskies would be able to run the ball, the coaches didn’t ask Ronnie Fouch to do much today. He had his best day in terms of accuracy since becoming a starter, going 11-16. But he also threw an interception on the first series that gave the Cougars some momentum, and had only one pass longer than 10 yards all day in throwing for 99 total. GRADE: C.
RUNNING BACKS — Kind of a weird day with Willie Griffin getting his first career start — becoming the fifth UW tailback starter this year — and seeming to havve his way with the Cougars early, then sitting much of the second half in favor of Terrance Dailey. Both ran fine — Griffin 112 yards, Dailey 89 — and Tyrone Willingham said he just wanted to change the pace by making the switch. And maybe that’s all it was as Griffin, who has been battling a toe injury, had 26 carries and they probably wanted to make sure he didn’t wear out. There were no fumbles and this was overall UW’s best day of the year in this category, though the caveat is that the Cougars are horrible defending the run. And ultimately, UW averaged just 3.9 yards per rush with no run longer than 17 and got worse as the game went on. GRADE: B.
RECEIVERS — The conservative game plan meant the receivers weren’t asked to do much, either, so it’s hard to judge a lot. But there was one costly drop — a slant pass by Devin Aguilar on a third-down play at the 11. He might have been stopped short anyway, but given WSU’s defense, who knows for sure? TE Michael Gottlieb had a good day and D’Andre Goodwin appeared to do what he was asked. GRADE: C.
OFFENSIVE LINE — The plan was to let these guys dominate up front, even with a re-worked unit with Skyler Fancher getting his first career start. They did it for a while, but instead of the Cougars wearing down, it appeared it was the UW line that did. UW had just 45 yards rushing on 15 carries in the fourth quarter when it had a few chances to take the game over, and was just 7-25 in the overtime, when it couldn’t mount a sustained drive either time. This should have been the shining moment for this group, but ultimately it was another disappointment. GRADE: C-minus.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Daniel Te’o-Nesheim was the best player on the field for a lot of the game, and there was some good push up front for a lot of the day. The line also came up big in on that first drive of the overtime, forcing a field goal. If you include Chris Stevens as a lineman, considering he lined up at rush end much of the day, the line had three sacks. But the Cougars ended up with their best rushing day of the season (other than Portland State) and the blame again mostly falls on this under-manned unit. I grade hesitantly since a lot of these guys just shouldn’t be out there, as I have written often, which is the fault of the coaches and not the individual players. GRADE: C
LINEBACKERS — Donald Butler had one of his better days with 11 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss, and Trenton Tuiasosopo also seemed pretty sturdy in the middle much of the day. But that 57-yard TD run in the third-quarter should have been better defended, which probably falls on this group, and the Cougars got a few too many medium-range runs, as well. GRADE: B.
SECONDARY — WSU is such a poor passing team that the Huskies shouldn’t be given much credit for holding the Cougars to so few yards for so much of the game. Unfortunately for UW, their weaknesses were laid bare on the 48-yarder on the final drive of regulation that set up the tying field goal. Quinton Richardson bit on a pump fake and Tripper Johnson didn’t get over quickly enough, and WSU made the play it had to make to win the game. WSU’s 167 yards passing was its best since the Oregon game on Sept. 27 and fourth-highest total of the season. GRADE: D.
SPECIAL TEAMS — Really, the game might have been lost here more than in any other area with the three missed field goals, all of which were from makeable distances. The Huskies also didn’t appear to play that last punt real well as it looked like it could have been downed. GRADE: F.
COACHING — This has to be one of the worst losses in school history — the only recent one that may really compare is the Stanford game in 2006 — especially with the way it got away late. The players played hard, but a lot of untimely sloppiness doomed them in the end, and that goes back on the coach. And ultimately, 0-11 this year and 13 straight losses says it all. GRADE: F.

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