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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 10, 2009 at 7:38 AM

Tuesday a.m. links

Red-zone struggles and Beaver believers included in this mix. …
— Here’s my story for today’s paper which looks in part at UW’s red-zone issues the past few weeks. One thing that can be confusing is that if you look at the Pac-10 stats for red zone offense, the Huskies rank fifth, scoring on 27 of 32 trips. But that includes all scores, TDs and field goals. What’s been ailing the Huskies is that too many of those trips are resulting in field goals instead of touchdowns — Washington was 1-5 in red-zone trips scoring TDs Saturday (the other TD came on a 34-yard pass). UW has scored TDs on 15 of 32 red-zone trips. Of Pac-10 teams, UCLA is the only other that has scored TDs on fewer than half of its trips into the red zone (yes, including Washington State, which is at exactly 10-20.
In fact, here’s how you rank the Pac-10 in terms of touchdowns scored on red-zone trips.
Oregon 26-37, 70.2 percent
Oregon State 26-38, 68 percent
Cal 19-30, 63 percent
Stanford 25-40, 62.5 percent
USC 19-31, 61 percent
Arizona 20-37, 54 percent
Arizona State 18-34, 52.9 percent
Washington State 10-20, 50 percent
Washington 15-32, 46 percent
UCLA 9-26, 34 percent
A common denominator is that the teams at the top have pretty good (or consistent) running games, the teams at the bottom don’t. To me, that’s probably the biggest issue in this. As Steve Sarkisian said yesterday, one of UW’s biggest problems is that it has not yet shown an ability to consistently run the ball when opponents know UW has to run. That, I think, is the key to scoring in the red zone. So until UW really solves that, or figures out a creative way to mitigate it, the Huskies are likely to have issues scoring consistently in the red zone.
The red zone may also be where limiting Jake Locker’s running is having its biggest impact. Locker scored 13 rushing touchdowns as a freshman in 2007 — 11 from inside the red zone.
He has rushed for just four touchdowns this season (and he’s played nine games this season, playing in 12 in 2007, though missing more than half of one of those when injured against Oregon State), three inside the red zone.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
Nick Daschel makes a case for Oregon State going to the Rose Bowl making the same point we did here yesterday — of all the two-loss teams, it has the easiest schedule remaining.
— The Corvallis Gazette-Times writes that the Huskies are an unpredictable opponent for OSU. Story also notes it’s Senior Day for the Beavers Saturday.
— The Oregonian has lots of notes on OSU as it enters the week.
— Lots of news and notes on the Beavers from the Gazette-Times, as well as a picture of the Rodgers brothers handing out doughnuts to students waiting in line for tickets on Monday.
— The Oregonian also asks if LeGarrette Blount will be a sideshow at Oregon now, along with lots of other Pac-10 links.
Ted Miller ranks the Huskies No. 9 this week.
All for now.

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