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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 5, 2009 at 7:07 PM

LSU game thread

LSU WINS 31-23 — It’s a final as the Tigers hold off a hard-fought effort by the Huskies, who for the first time since the 2007 season outgained an opponent. The task now is to turn those points into wins.
It also looks like other than Darrion Jones and maybe Nate Williams that UW did not suffer any significant injuries.
SIGNING OFF FOR NOW — I’m signing off for now to head to the field for post-game reaction.
HUSKIES HANGING IN — UW has the ball back and has driven to LSU’s 44 with 8:05 left after Locker picked up six on fourth down. He’s running more in the second half as other elements of UW’s offense have grown stagnant. But UW remains in the game.
FOLK WITH A COSTLY MISS — Folk misses from 42 yards to conclude UW’s last drive, all too reminiscent of what we ‘ve seen in fall camp, He’s 2-3 for the day, probably about his average during camp.
UW OUTGAINED 91-44 IN THE THIRD QUARTER — But the Huskies are on the move with the ball at the LSU 29 and 11:44 to play.
ATTENDANCE TONIGHT — Officially announced at 69,161, so still some work to do to convince people to come out. That’s better than all but one home game last year,m however, as UW had 70,437 for Notre Dame.
HUSKIES STAY ALIVE — UW gets a defensive stop it had to have to get the ball back at its own 36 with three seconds left in the third quarter. Nate Williams left the field apparently woozy after a hard hit, however.
Third quarter ends with LSU ahead 24-13.
MAHAN IMPRESSING —- The game seems to be getting away from UW now as the Huskies were forced to punt. But a 53-yard punt by Will Mahan has LSU backed up at its own 17, continuing a solid debut for Mahan as UW’s punter.
JEFFERSON TO TOLLIVER BEATS HUSKIES AGAIN — LSU is taking command of the game now with a 39-yard pass from Jefferson to Tolliver fo make it 24-13 with 5:50 to go in the third quarter. That was 86 yards on nine plays in 4:31. Once again, Tolliver beat a tackle attempt by UW redshirt freshman safety Greg Walker, catching the ball in the flat and then juking Walker and racing down the sideline.
Gut check time for the UW offense now.
FLAGS GOING AGAINST THE HUSKIES — That’s now nine penalties for UW to one for LSU after the offsides on Matthews.
LSU NO-HUDDLE WORKING — LSU’s no-huddle seems to be keeping the Huskies off-balance on this drive as both teams face a critical third and one at the 46 with 6:31 left.
SARK LAYING DOWN THE LAW — After Richardson was flagged for a personal foul — with one on the LSU WR as well — he immediately came out and Trufant on. That’s the second time I’ve noticed that tonight that they have subbed after a penalty, obviously trying to install some discipline.
UW OFFENSE STALLS — One first down and then a punt for the Huskies on their first drive of the second half. And as far as I can tell, the O-line has been the same for the entire game.
GOOD CALL BY HOLT — Don’t know if you could tell on the third down that Jefferson threw away, but the Huskies seemed to confuse him by rushing just three with Aldrich dropping back into coverage. UW gets the ball back at its own 37, a good start to the second half.
JONES STILL OUT — Rumor is a bruised knee for Darrion Jones and Aldrich starts the second half. The rest of the defense looks the same as at the beginning.
HUSKIES BACK OUT ON THE FIELD — Two minutes to the half and UW is back out on the field. LSU will get the ball first so this is a key moment in this game.
I see some of your comments and you are right that UW was often in this position the last few years then let it get away fast in the second half. Another hurdle this team will have to get over as it moves forward in a new era.
Given the statistical eges UW has, however, it may not be so much making schematic changes that the Huskies need to do but simply play a little smarter and not wear down.
FIRST-HALF OBSERVATIONS — So how do you like those Huskies? I would hope an awful lot. Sure, there have been a few too many penalties and a few mistake, but most of them seem out of effort and not omission. And the effort is unmistakeable. At some point, we will need to begin taking that for granted again out of this team. For now, it’s still noteworthy.
Locker has definitely looked better throwing and he seems to be adjusting just fine to the new offense. Chris Polk has been as advertised, running harder than a year ago and so far withstanding the punishment.
James Johnson has also been as advertised and UW’s WR corps is sure to only get better as the year, and the years, go on.
You get the sense that LSU’s offense is starting to get on track. Still, the UW defense is flying around and holding a team like the Tigers to just 10 offensive points is a huge improvement from a year ago — probably the best one-half defensive performance since the the last time UW won a game against Cal in 2007.
Here are some first-half numbers:
Locker is 11-20 for 183 yards and one INT, on the way to breaking his career-high of 336 passing yards against Arizona in 2007. He also has the one killer interception.
Polk is 12-82 rushing with a long of 33.
Johnson is the leading receiver at 4-38 while Aguilar is 2-63.
Savannah is the leading tackler with five followed by Foster and Butler with four.
UW has 296 yards to 160 for LSU and a 14-10 first-down edge.
UW has 113 yards rushing on 22 attempts while LSU is 16-95.
UW HAS 296 YARDS IN THE FIRST HALF — That’s more than the Huskies had in seven entire games last season, all but but one of the last six, the Apple Cup when UW had 323.
SARK AT THE HALF — I frankly had trouble hearing all of Sark’s radio comments as he left the field at the half, but here’s a couple I got.
“We’re playing hard, unforunately we had a couple of turnovers.”
“The kids are playing hard. I’m proud of them, We have to regroup and get our energy back in the second half.”
On the offense: “I like the way our kids are playing. I think Chris Polk is really running hard and Jake has been effecient throwing the football.”
LSU 17-13 AT THE HALF — Nice score before the half for UW, as Folk kicks a 38-yarder to make it 17-13.
SARK GETS AGGRESSIVE — Have to like that aggression there as the Huskies go to the no-huddle and get a big play to move down the field and into scoring position. Exact opposite of the Willingham approach, who surely would have taken a knee there. UW has the ball at the 20 with 16 seconds to go.
LSU TAKES 17-10 LEAD — Tigers move 75 yards quickly to take a 17-10 lead the final 45 coming on a pass to Terrance Toliver, who broke past a tackle attempt by UW safety Greg Walker at about the 25 and sprinted into the end zone. Walker is a redshirt frosh seeing the first action of his career.
UW HAS 224-85 YARDAGE EDGE — Huskies dominating the stats but it’s 10-10 on the scoreboard thanks to the interception return for a TD.
THREE STRAIGHT THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS — All on passes by Locker, who is beginning to find his rhythm. UW now has the ball at the LSU 46.
JOHNSON LIVING UP TO THE HYPE — James Johnson simply looks like an upper classmen out there, showing for the world what we saw all during camp.
POLK-JOHRI BACKFIELD — We’ve seen it 2-3 times already.
UW WINS A REVIEW — Whoops, initial call overturned and UW has the ball on a fumble recovery by Mason Foster at their own 19.
TRUFANT NOW IN — Trufant in for McDowell after the roughing penalty on McDowell.
AND MATTHEWS IS IN FOR ELISARA — Matthews in this series at DT.
AIYEWA, ALDRICH STILL IN GAME — Aiyewa is back out on this series for Walker and Aldrich for Jones, who is apparently still hurt.
ARE HUSKIES AS FAST AS LSU? It’s sure looked like it so far, despite all we heard pre-game about LSU’s speed.
UW TIES IT — Folk hit a 34-yarder on the first attempt of his career to tie it at 10 with 13:50 to play. That’s obviously a confidence booster for Folk, who has been inconsistent throughout camp.
GRIFFIN IN GAME — So three TBs have played so far.
TRUFANT IN GAME — Actually Trufant is now in the game on the punt team so he has played. So that’s four true frosh.
GLENN IN GAME — Justin Glenn is in at CB right now opposite McDowell as Trufant has yet to play.
UW LOSING TURNOVER BATTLE — Killer fumble by Polk at the 4 as UW now has two turnovers to zero for the Tigers. That’s the key stat of the first quarter as the Tigers hold a 10-7 lead.
UW, however, has outgained LSU 169-69, the most yards I can remember in a first quarter since maybe the Hawaii game in 2007.
PLAY OVERTURNED — UW 0-1 on reviews for the season as Locker was ruled down after flipping the ball to Polk for 9 yards. It’s instead a one-yard loss and UW has a 2-11 at the 17.
SARK INTO IT — During that time out for the review, Sark had the entire offense around him, talking intently, all eyes on him. We didn’t see that kind of thing the last few years.
MIDDLETON PLAYING A LOT — He’s been in for just about every play but the first, it seems like, so apparently no question about his health.
LSU STRIKES BACK — Pretty athletic play by LSU’s Jacob Cutrera to tip a pass and pick it off and run it in for a TD. LSU now has a 10-7 lead with 5:49 left. Locker was trying to hit Devin Aguilar over the middle. Cutrera stepped in front of it and picked it off and ran it back.
BRONSON HAS ALSO PLAYED — D. Bronson has also played on special teams so three true frosh have played so far.
HUGE VICTORY FOR DEFENSE — UW holds LSU to a FG attempt after a drive to the three, definitely showing a gumption that last year’s team never did. It’s 7-3 UW with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.
TOKOLAHI IN THE GAME — True frosh Semisi tokolahi is in the game on the goal line defense, so he is obviously not redshirting this year. Coaches had been vague about some of the DLs this week on who would or wouldn’t play. So far, he and Johnson are true frosh to play.
LSU ON THE DOOR — Tigers have driven quickly to the three where they are threatening to tie the game. LSU’s O-line is dominating for the most part on this drive.
JONES HURT — Darrion Jones leaves the field with a foot/ankle injury, apparently. Kalani Aldrich takes his place.
VONZELL GETS THE START — Despite the announcement of Trufant, it’s McDowell out there with the starters. The rest of the defense is as expected with Ta’amu and Elisara at the tackles.
LOUD IN HERE — That’s 85 yards on 10 plays and this is probably the loudest I’ve heard this place since the Ohio State game in 2007.
HOW ABOUT THAT START TO THE SARK ERA? — Locker to Johnson, and you may hear a lot of that the next few years.
PRESS BOX SHAKING — The place is rocking after the 51-yard pass to Fogerson.
POLK RUNNING STRONG — The early impression is that Chris Polk may live up to the hype after all. Two strong runs to open the season.
LSU WINS TOSS, DEFERS — So we’ll soon see the first play call of the Sark era.
SMOKE ON THE WATER — There was indeed a fog machine blowing out smoke for the Huskies to run through as they entered the field. Definitely a different experience than the last few years.
FUNNY MOMENT — The showing of the Oregon-Boise State score on the big screen just drew a loud cheer.
CROWD FILLING IN — The siren went off at the 20-minute mark and the crowd has begun to fill in, as Sarkisian had hoped. There’s a loud “Go Huskies” chant as I type this and it definitely seems like the crowd is ready.
LINEUPS INTRODUCED — One new touch to the pre-game is the introduction of the starting lineups. They have little film clips of each player introducing himself like they do on the NFL telecasts.
PRE-GAME — Thirty minutes to kick off and the sun is beginning to peak through as the Huskies go through their warmups on the field.
We were told that Desmond Trufant is an official starter. But as the team goes through its warmups, Vonzell McDowell is running with the ones and Trufant the twos. So I think that’s how it’s going to unfold.
Kavario Middleton and Paul Homer appear just fine as they go through their paces. Justin Glenn is also out there working with the twos so he appears ready to go.

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