Another round. …
Q: In your opinion, how big is this game in terms of next week and the rest of the season? Going into the Nebraska game 1-1 and coming off a victory with some momentum seems to be a completely different season path than coming in 0-2 with the very real prospect of starting the season 0-4. Am I overstating the importance of this game?
A: No. I agree completely with all of that. It would be pretty hard to lose tomorrow and still get to a bowl game, considering the next two games on tap. Not impossible, obviously, but pretty darn hard. You’ve laid it out well. Both the 1985 and 1999 Huskies started out 0-2 and made it to bowl games, but it’s not the preferred route.
Q: Please remind everyone that the season is not over. One close week 1 loss on the road to a tough opponent and the blogs are seething with negativity, calling for the coaches heads and casting doubt on No. 10’s ability to win. Plenty of mistakes vs. BYU to be sure, but this team seems capable of winning any given Saturday this year and will never enter a game as a three touchdown underdog. Shouldn’t we still hope that this season will be special?
A: No question one game is way too early to write off a season, or fully judge it, as well. Again, as mentioned above, the 1999 Huskies started out 0-2 and almost made it to the Rose Bowl. The 1977 team started out 1-3 and did make it to the Rose Bowl, beating Michigan. The 1990 Huskies looked pretty lethargic in their first two games against not great foes before breaking out with the 31-0 win over USC, beginning of that three-year 90-92 run of dominance. Most people perceived the BYU game as pretty much a toss-up, and that’s what it turned out to be. Sure, there were some aspects of it that if not fixed quickly could be deadly — no pass rush, the OL issues, most notably. But you’re right that it’s way too early to make sweeping judgments of anything.
Q: By my count we will have ten scholarship LBs seeing the field this year. In your opinion, which of the seven non-starters do you see getting the most PT? The least?
A: Without being in their meetings it’s so hard to answer something that specific. Not really even sure they could answer that. But barring injuries, I’d say Matt Houston, who saw some significant time at the SLB spot, to see the most team. As for least, I’d say Cooper Pelluer or Princeton Fuimaono, who at the moment seem to be mostly special teams guys.
Q: The strength on offense is the RB, QB and the WRs. In my opinion, it’s Jake Locker’s arm that’s his greatest asset as he makes throws that NFL QBs can’t. He’s accurate from short range, has a quick release, and zips the ball. My question is, why didn’t we see more high percentage passes utilizing our strength at WR? Slants, outs, screens, etc. There were plenty of situations where an easy slant would’ve been better than going long or running.
A: Two thoughts — I think BYU’s defense lent itself more to trying some of the deeper stuff; and if you’ve listened to Steve Sarkisian this week and read between the lines, he’s basically said they’ll do more of what you are saying. Sarkisian said that: “We’re going to try to get that consistency back to where we need it, get him more consistent. Get him some more completions to where he feels good about what we are doing.”
Q: Sorry to obsess on punting, but do you know of any other players that punted in high school?
A: First off, if they have to go to a position player to punt, I think they’re in a lot of trouble. And if they thought they had a better option than Kiel Rasp, I think they’d already be using it. That said, I did a quick perusal of bios and two that I know of are Kimo Makaula and Micah Hatchie. And obviously, I would assume the other kickers — Erik Folk and Eric Guttorp — could do it if needed.
All for now.
Another round. …
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