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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 6, 2008 at 8:48 PM

Cal post-game notes and quotes

Sorry for the delay, but I have a flight tonight out of San Francisco and had to get over the Bay Bridge, which sadly proved a lot less penetrable than the Husky defense.
There’s really very little to say about this one. The Huskies talked about bringing it, and maybe they did and they are just this bad. More likely, it’s a combination of everything, with the added distraction this week of all the coaching comings and goings.
This one could have been so much uglier had Jeff Tedford not pulled off the pedal early — Jahvid Best literally looked like he could have had 500 yards rushing had everyone been so inclined.
More interesting was the subplots — Tyrone Willingham’s last game and the player reaction to the hiring of Steve Sarkisian.
Willingham betrayed little emotion, almost acting as if he didn’t want to give UW followers and media any satisfaction that being fired had any impact on him.
His press conference afterward lasted about two minutes and he at first tried to evade Seattle reporters, who showed up late after he first walked out and answered a couple questions from some Bay Area reporters. When we showed up, he initially sped away before stopping on a step above us and talking for a few minutes.
He mentioned that he’s now a “normal citizen” and said, when asked if he had any parting words on his time at UW, that he felt “a sense of disappointment for our young men, disappointment for the Husky program, that we didn’t get done what I came here to do.”
But that was about it. He wouldn’t answer a question from Hugh Millen about his comment the other day implying that UW was a “downtrodden” program when he took it over, nor would he talk about his future.
A couple players said that the events of the week made it more complicated to prepare for the game, others dismissed it as an excuse.
What might have been most interesting is some of their comments about Sarkisian.
Several mentioned that they think Sarkisian will bring energy to the program, seeming to infer that has been lacking.
“He’ll bring some fire to these guys,” said cornerback Mesphin Forrester. “Going 0-12, a lot of guys feel down. So he needs to bring some fire in and out of the locker room. These guys got to have passion for football and then they will be all right.”
As for grades, they almost seem irrelevant. There were a couple of decent individual performances — Taylor Bean played well enough to almost make you wonder why he didn’t get more of a chance at some point in the last eight game, so many of which were blowouts (his TD drive came with Cal’s first-string defense still on the field); and Mason Foster got 13 tackles to tie for the Pac-10 lead this season. But 48-7 basically speaks of a failing grade all across the field.
That would include the coach, who obviously wasn’t able to keep his team attentive enough to give a better effort (it was also worth wondering why some of those gadget plays used late in the game weren’t used earlier when maybe they could have resulted in some momentum — what was there to lose?).
But mostly, this game was about turning the page.
About two hours after it ended, the school officially announced the hiring of Sarkisian
Sarkisian talked a little bit about it after USC’s game with UCLA and one of his first comments was about bringing back some of the “tradition and toughness” that has been lacking. You can hear more from Sarkisian in this video from the LA Times.
Sarkisian will talk more about his plans for the UW program when he is officially introduced on Monday morning. He will surely then bring up more about restoring the tradition and toughness.
The hard part now is doing it.
TUI STILL UNDECIDED — In another note, Trenton Tuiasosopo confirmed he has gotten his sixth year but said he is still unsure about returning. He said he wants to sit down and assess his options before deciding and said he has no time line for making a decision.

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