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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 29, 2009 at 7:33 AM

Stanford upon further review

Finally made it through the replay of the game last night and thought I’d throw out a few observations. …
— First, here is my wrapup of yesterday’s press conference with some observations from Steve Sarkisian and Nate Williams about what went wrong Saturday.
— Watching the replay you can clearly see what is talking about in terms of the opening kickoff as the UW defense is headed to the left while the kick goes to the right, and Chris Owusu quickly bursts through the opening that is created. As Sarkisian said, the plan wasn’t to quick it right to Owusu, as it appeared, a move some have questioned, but instead to the other side.
Jake Locker said he just threw it to the wrong guy on his first interception and that’s very evident watching the replay as Chris Izbicki appears to be wide open on the other side of the field on what likely would have been an easy TD had Locker thrown it that direction.
—- Chris Polk did indeed again run really well in tough circumstances and as Sarkisian said, there just wasn’t much reason to take him out. That said, of the two carries Johri Fogerson got, one was at an especially key time — a third-and-seven on the first drive of the third quarter when the game was just 24-14. He gained just two yards setting up a fourth down where Locker was sacked.
— And that fourth down play illustrated clearly what Sarkisian meant by an apparent lack of communication at times up front. Stanford’s Sione Fua broke free on a stunt and right past Ryan Tolar and Senio Kelemete, who each were blocking another Stanford lineman (I think Ekom Udofia). Neither went over to get Fua who had a free pass to run right to Locker and sack him before he could get the ball off. It was also a clear illustration of something else Sarkisian said was an issue — that Stanford was able to get pressure without bringing any blitzes. That play — a fourth-and-five — was a simple four-man rush. It also was a clear illustration of how Stanford just dominated on both sides of the line all night.
— Sarkisian’s lament of missed opportunities was also clearly illustrated again early in the fourth quarter when Locker missed a wide-open D’Andre Goodwin about 20 yards downfield on a play that might have been a touchdown if completed at a time the score was still 27-14 (though having said that, Stanford wasn’t as sharp as it could have been, either, missing one throw in the third quarter that might have gone for a TD and blown the game open earlier).
— The above play came on the drive that ended in a fourth-down incompletion from Locker to Kavario Middleton. Middleton has gotten a lot of criticism for his play in the game, but on that play, it kind of seemed to me his feet were just in an awkward position or something and he had just had physical trouble making a play on the ball. Whatever you thought of his effort on that play, the whole thing seemed a little screwed up.
— There’s been some talk of certain offensive guys not seeing the field as much in the second half. But a contributing factor is that that was one of the shorter second halves I’ve ever seen. UW ran just 21 plays in the second half — their average per half this season is 33.5 including the Stanford game. Stanford got the ball for the last time with 8:09 remaining and never gave it up, converting four third downs along the way (one on a penalty on Desmond Trufant), the reason that many of its starters were still on the field at the end — crazier things have happened than losing a 20-point lead in eight minutes.
— The broadcast was as bad as all of you wrote me said it was — Sean Farnham’s placing of UW in Bellevue twice, running the package of Gerhart highlights while a live kickoff is happening, and I don’t get what the deal was on the hazy camera for the halftime interviews of Sarkisian and the two Stanford players. Luckily for everybody involved, that’s a game that’s likely to not pop up on continual replays in the future.
All for now.

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