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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 1, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Five quick thoughts on the UW-BYU game

With a few hours to kill until practice this afternoon, I’ve been spending the morning poring over some stats and notes on this weekend’s game (when not pouring the coffee).
Here are a few that stand out:
1, BYU will have a substantial edge in size on its offensive line. The Cougars won’t be the only UW foe we’ll write that about this season as UW has gone in the general direction of being leaner, quicker and more athletic up front. But talk to UW coaches and one of the first things they mention is the size of BYU’s offensive front (one reason they wanted to make sure Everrette Thompson was ready to go for this game). The stats bear out that size edge — BYU’s five OL average 6-5, 306 while UW’s is 6-4.2 and 288. Obviously, they don’t face off against each other, but that does just show the size of BYU’s line. Just as obviously, this will be a huge early gague of the improvement of Alameda Ta’amu, and a game in which you’d figure we may also see a lot of Semisi Tokolahi.
2, Two teams that have great histories at tight end enter this game with huge question marks there. In fact, BYU — which has had nine All-American tight ends since 1980 — has only freshmen at tight end this year. UW, which has its own lengthy tradition of tight end greats, is going with junior Chris Izbicki, whose three career catches are the only receptions for a tight end from either school entering the game. Whichever team gets someone to step up at this spot will obviously have an edge.
3, These teams really have changed a lot since 2008. UW coach Steve Sarkisian noted on Monday that “these are two different teams” on Monday when asked if he would use the 2008 game as any sort motivational tactic. A look at the starting lineups from that day reveal just how different — though also showing that UW may have an edge in overall experience Saturday. BYU has just one projected starter for Saturday who also started that 2008 game — left tackle Matt Reynolds. UW has eight — Jake Locker, Chris Polk, Cody Habben, Cameron Elisara, Mason Foster, Nate Williams, Quinton Richardson and Senio Kelemete, though the latter was a defensive tackle for that game and is now an offensive tackle. (Though worth noting that BYU has a couple of players returning from mission/injury who were starters or key players in prior seasons).
4, UW hasn’t missed a point after touchdown since that 2008 game, and BYU hasn’t blocked one since then. UW has made 49 straight PATs since that day (and actually has missed only two since 2004 including that one). Not sure any of that means anything, but I found it kind of interesting.
5, While BYU is 22-2 at home since 2006, it’s 4-2 in its last six home games. In fact, BYU was 7-0 outside Provo last year, but 4-2 at home, losing to Florida State (54-28) and TCU (38-7). So while the home field edge there is substantial, it doesn’t make BYU invincible. Brock Huard brought up an interesting comparison in our ive that yesterday. Brock was the QB on the ’97 UW team that went into Provo and won 42-20. That was a more established UW team in the midst of a long streak of winning seasons. But Huard’s point is that BYU was in a similar position — that was the first game for the Cougars following the Steve Sarkisian era at QB and they were breaking in a new QB (and like this game, going with two — Paul Shoemaker and Kevin Feterik). UW shrugged off an early BYU TD to score 35 straight and win easily.

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