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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 5, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Sunday afternoon leftovers

Trying to sift through some of the e-mails and comments, and a few answers and thoughts to pass along:
— UW suffered no new significant injuries. There was nothing to anyone that held them out of the game. Cody Habben left for a play or two but came back, as did Devin Aguilar. And Cort Dennison also suffered another tweak of his knee, but also stayed out there. James Johnson sat out with the ankle injury that bothered him through camp, but he was the only regular not to play.
— A few of you have asked why UW didn’t go to the tight end more — Chris Izbicki caught one pass for 15 yards. Well, without Kavario Middleton around, there aren’t as many TEs to go to, and none that are yet as proven as receiving targets — think whatever you want of Middleton but he had obvious physical gifts that aren’t easily replaced. And remember that Jake Locker was trying to go to Izbicki on the last play of the game.
— I’m getting all kinds of e-mails about the play-calling, though not everyone is in agreement — I’m getting a lot from people saying Chris Polk should have run more, and some saying they ran him too much. One thing to remember is that a lot of his runs are zone read options where Locker has the option to keep it. As Steve Sarkisian said afterward, BYU emphasized keeping Locker in the box, which then enticed Locker to instead hand it to Polk (and knowing that would likely be BYU’s game plan, UW went in with a gameplan to try to exploit the middle).
— Lots of questions about the running game. Statistically, it’s a mixed bag. Officially UW had 128 yards on 31 carries. But take out the minus-39 for the punt and 10 yards on a sack, and UW had 177 yards on 29 attempts — an average of 6.1 that is obviously more than acceptable. But, 105 of those yards came on four carries — Jesse Callier’s 39-yarder and Polk runs of 28, 22 and 16. That means UW had 72 yards on its other 25 carries. Obviously, you don’t discount the value of big runs. But the stats speak to what we saw —UW wasn’t able to just consistently push its way down the field with 4-5-6-yard runs that are the staple of time-consuming drives.
— UW had 115 yards on 17 carries in the first half if you take out the lost yards for the bad punt snap, meaning just 52 yards on 13 carries in the second half. UW had 19 passes and 17 runs in the first half and 20 passes and 13 runs in the second.
— Other than the decision to go for it on fourth down with just over 12 minutes left, dissected in the posts last night, what many seem puzzled by are the three straight runs on the final drive when UW got to the 30. I need to watch the replay to see if any of those were read zones (I was in a rush to get some of the deadline stuff done and didn’t chart the formations there). But in general, I’m assuming the thought was to run out of much as the clock as possible since at best, UW was going to take a one-point lead there. That wasn’t a sequence anyone asked Sarkisian about afterward.
— Here are UW’s drive starts for the game, all on their own side of the field — 27, 19, 2, 20, 12, 20, 7, 16, 14, 20, 25. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Speaks to the edge BYU had in its kicking game.
— The talk that BYU wore down UW doesn’t necessarily hold up looking at the stats. UW forced BYU to punt on its last three possessions (other than the run-out-the-clock at the end). To be sure, one of those was the drive where it seemed like BYU had open receivers on a couple of plays and the connection wasn’t made. But ultimately, the defense held BYU scoreless the last 19 minutes of the game to give the offense numerous chances to win it.
— Speaking of Middleton, he caught one pass for four yards for Montana yesterday, while Tyrone Duncan had two sacks.
— Another former Husky, Curtis Shaw, rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries and scored a TD for Sacramento State in its loss to Stanford.
All for now.

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