We’re heading back to Seattle on a rainy I-5, Jerry Brewer at the wheel, me trying to blog by the light of the computer.
So given the conditions, this may be a little more truncated version of the grades — not that I figure anyone will mind given the way the game went.
The quick overview of where this team is right now, however, is pretty obvious — 3-6 with three left, needing to win three in a row to get to .500 and a bowl. UW has won three in a row just once since 2003, when it won three straight in starting 4-1 in 2006. Each is winnable but also dangerous — a home game with a UCLA team that just beat Oregon State, and road games at Cal and WSU.
And today’s loss was UW’s third straight by 30 or more points, and fourth this year, to the four best teams it has played — UW finally finding some unfortunate consistency in one area, anyway.
On with the grades:
QUARTERBACK: A tough situation for Keith Price to make his first start, and it could have been a heck of a lot worse. Price was 14-28 passing and had four dropped and threw away 3-4 others. So he was accurate enough, and showed good mobility. He didn’t make every right read, but hard to expect that. He certainly wasn’t the reason that the score ended up the way it did, as might have been thought. GRADE: B.
RUNNING BACK: Another game where the stats make you wonder if they should have given the ball more to Chris Polk (17-77) and Jesse Callier (7-55). But while that’s a good average (24-132) 56 yards came on two runs, meaning the other 22 carries got 76 yards. But that was due to nowhere to go rather than running as Polk and Callier each seemed to get what was there. GRADE: B-plus.
RECEIVERS: Not a real great day here due to the aforementioned four drops and a couple of other times when it seemed like the effort coming back to the ball could have been a little better. More than any time this season the rotation was really limited to just three guys — Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar and D’Andre Goodwin — with James Johnson again not even getting on the field. GRADE: D.
OFFENSIVE LINE: UW went with just five OLs, and after much mixing and matching are back to the five that started the season — Senio Kelemete, Ryan Tolar, Drew Schaefer, Greg Christine and Cody Habben. It was better than a week ago, but UW couldn’t consistently pick up tough yards and allowed five sacks despite Price’s ability to escape. GRADE: C-minus.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Quite a few guys played up front as the Huskies tried to rotate to keep guys fresh. Alameda Ta’amu seemed to play what might have been his best game of the season with seven tackles and helping clog up the middle on all those runs up that gut that went nowhere. But the Ducks eventually wore this area down as it did the entire defense. The grades for all the defense, though, reflect the fact that Oregon has the best offense in the country. GRADE: C.
LINEBACKERS: Some good performances in this area for most of the day — Mason Foster had a game-high 14 tackles and recovered a fumble, Victor Aiyewa had 3.5 tackles for a loss, and Cort Dennison did his share in limiting Oregon’s running up the middle. GRADE: B.
SECONDARY: Felt like the worst of the three defensive units. Darron Thomas was 24-33 passing and flat out missed 3-4 throws to open receivers and had a couple dropped. UW had just one pass breakup compared to six for Oregon, that from Nate Williams, who also forced a fumble with a sack setting up UW’s only touchdown. GRADE: D.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Pretty much a disaster other than the punting of Kiel Rasp, who averaged 41.4 yards on 10 punts, downed one at the one and had a tackle to save a touchdown. UW allowed 127 yards on four punt returns and 184 on five kickoff returns, with returns helping set up three Oregon touchdowns. GRADE: F.
COACHING: Give the coaches credit for getting the team to play at a more intense level than a week ago, and with some overall plans that caused Oregon some trouble at times early. And given a first-time starting QB and the obvious talent difference, this one could have been worse. But the special teams issues are hard to ignore, and the result is what it is. GRADE: D.