Tag Archives: washington huskies

Husky Defense Hammers Beavers

Prominent talking points around the Pac-12 this season have been about how the Washington Purple Reign defense isn’t what it has been, and how efficient the Oregon State offense has been.

Both were, and still are, true.

But Jimmy Lake and Pete Kwiatkowski, the Huskies Defensive Coordinator and Co-Coordinator had none of it Friday night at Reser Stadium though.

From the get-go, Washington shut down the Oregon State offense, and as a result, despite what was arguably the best defensive performance by the Beavers since well back into the days when Mark Banker was actually a successful defensive coordinator, the Huskies claimed the 19-7 win.

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Pac-12 Postseason Perspective

With the Beavers out of the post-season picture for the third year in a row (the last 2, by Veterans’ day, never mind Thanksgiving), and 5th time in 7 years, Oregon State fans (and reporters) are again in the position of being third party observers to this weekend’s championship games, and the next month’s bowl fun.

Especially with a men’s basketball team headed for a long and likely less than exciting season, a result of youth, injuries (getting Stevie Thompson back helped, but that didn’t happen until after Tres Tinkle’s hand injury), and being a turnover machine (Oregon State is one of the worst in the country when it comes to taking care of the ball), and a women’s team that’s playing off the continent, never mind off the radar, right now.

At least the Ducks are done for the football season too, though March Madness will be in their future.

Some Oregon State fans, and some of the local media, will largely look the other way rather than at the Pac-12 in the post-season, but that deprives them of some of the most interesting football of the year. That also means missing out on what it means for the Beavers down the road, which will be notable on a number of levels.

But first, lets review what’s happened, and take a look at some of the reasons why.

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Final Thoughts On Facing The Return Of The Purple Reign

Oregon State starts the back to back games against the Washington teams this afternoon in Seattle, taking on the unbeaten and 5th ranked Huskies. With the Cougs coming on strong, this game and next Saturday night’s against Washington State, in the only home game in the next 4, could be the toughest stretch of the season, eclipsing even the back to back against Boise St. and Colorado (and that went oh so well!).

Given the Beavers are going with their third string quarterback in Marcus McMaryion, and with Ryan Nall hobbling, this is a more daunting combination than the Broncos and Buffs were, on balance.

But its where we will find out if there is enough left in the Beavers’ tank to still be in the hunt for some more wins in the suddenly softer November run, against a Stanford team that struggles offensively as much as Oregon State, a UCLA team that seems to be playing to get their coach fired, an Arizona team that has about run out of players, and an Oregon team that has no defense.

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Makeup of the Pac-12 North: Washington Huskies

The second installment of my Pac-12 North Makeup series focuses on one of our more-hated Northwest rivals, the Washington Huskies. Some of you might know that I spent some time in the Seattle area (notice my use of a familiar jail stay term to describe my time in Tacoma) and having been around Husky fans, as well as watching the slimy Steve Sarkesian era, I have built a more than healthy distaste for the men in purple.

So imagine my delight, that after two straight years of beating the absolute pants off the Beavers, I get to predict what could be their worst season since the Jake Locker era. Below is a list of who they are replacing and who remains — as well as a hint at my prediction for them.

University of Washington Huskies:
What they lost:
I am trying to be brief in these sections for this series on the Pac-12 North, but honestly, this list is so long. Here we go:

Offensively, they lose every offensive lineman except LG Charles Dexter (who is a senior). They lose DiAndre Campbell at wide receiver as well.

Defensively, they lost seven starters, including all of their defensive line, all of their linebackers, and Marcus Peters, one of their best corners who had off the field issues last year (He was dismissed from the team). It is not just that they lost their front seven, but that they lost four players that went in the fist two rounds of the NFL draft last month. Danny Shelton,  Shaq Thompson, and Peters went in the first round, while Hau’oli Kikaha went in the second. So these are not your typical losses, these were exceptional players. Thompson might have been the best athlete in the conference last year.

What they have coming back:

With the status of QB Cyler Myles up in the air (didn’t participate in spring practices), the Huskies have one of shakiest QB situations in the Pac-12 North. That being said, any team that has a receiver like John Ross can score on any play at any time. The question is if they are going to be able to get him the ball at all, after replacing so much off their line.

Defensively, when you’re playing WSU, Cal, the ducks, Stanford, and the Beavers, I am not sure they match up well against anyone. Of course game changers like Budda Baker are always dangerous, and their recruiting has been solid for a few years, so the well is not empty at all in terms of talent.

Potential Strength:
Their secondary, minus Peters, is a pretty impressive group. Led by Baker, they have a lot of great players and play physical all the time. While they may have to cover a lot longer than they are used to, there is a lot of talent to work with.

Potential Weakness:
The trenches. While new players doesn’t always mean terrible performances, it does mean a lot of unknowns. So for now, it will be a mystery how UW’s front seven handles stout offensive lines like Stanford’s (who may not have lost much in an under-performing Andrus Peat). Boise State’s and USC’s. Heck, the Beavers return a lot of talented pieces on their offensive line that could be very difficult for the Huskies. Then you factor in how their linebackers are going to perform against confusing offenses such as the ducks, Cal, WSU and OSU?

Flip that to the offensive line and they are going to be going against defensive lines such as ASU, USC, Stanford, Utah — and I will throw in Boise State again. There is a lot of difficult matchups for the Huskies this year and with a two tough out of conference games (at BSU and at home against Utah State), and then a road schedule of USC, ASU, OSU, and Stanford, there are some difficult times ahead for the Huskies.

Way Too Early Prognostication:
Historically, you don’t make a lot of money betting against Chris Peterson-coached teams. That being said, I think he way underperformed last year with a pretty stellar, experienced team. Peterson has been wildly successful in the past, but he has never had to grind like he does now. Just ask Utah what the jump is like.

With all the losses the Huskies have in terms of experience and talent, it is going to take a very good coaching job by Peterson to get this team to a bowl game. If they do, he should be coach of the year. I can easily see them rolling into Reser Stadium on November 21 with three or less wins. Utah State will not be a gimmie, and Cal is one of my rising teams. Outside of those teams, UW has to beat (road games bold) USC, the ducks, Stanford, Arizona, Utah, and ASU before coming to Reser. That leaves only Utah State and Sacramento State as games I think they should win — and then there’s a whole slew of questions.

Because of the combo of their schedule and losses from last year, I have the Huskies near the bottom of the North this year. And by near, I mean at the bottom.