Saturday night, Washington traded in its offensive machine, a 2007 Locker,
for an older model, a 2004 Gilby, and then motoring its gutless machine, along with its feckless defense from last year, proceeded to lose to the
Oregon Ducks, 44-10, at "Let me Autzen here," in Eugene, Oregon.
that we're picking on former coach Keith Gilbertson; he was a victim of some
horrid circumstances and deserved a better fate. He was in the right place
at the wrong time and deserves accolades for bravely captaining a hopeless
last season at UW (2004), his 1-10 team averaged a meager 14 points per
game. That team lost to Oregon 31-6, and, counting that one and up to now, the
Huskies have lost five-straight games to the Ducks.
2004, against Oregon, QB Casey Paus completed 14 out of 36 passes for 211
yards, with no touchdowns against four interceptions. Last night, Jake
Locker went 12-28-0, with no touchdowns. His efficiency rating was 73.76 and
he completed 43% of his passes. The Huskies' leading rusher, he netted 57
yards on the ground.
Third-string quarterback, Chris Harper of the Ducks netted 60 yards rushing,
out-dueling Locker on the ground during the game, in which, during its latter stages, Locker
eschewed the run. True freshman Harper has the potential to be better than
last season's brilliant quarterback Dennis Dixon.
Huskies had no defense for Harper; they must not have listened to coach Mike
Bellotti singing the Wichita native's praises after the Ducks' spring game.
Huskies' defense gave up 496 yards, while the offense managed just
242 yards. No one was covering Jason Williams when he took a pass on the
sidelines behind the line of scrimmage from Jeremiah Masoli and legged it in
from 48 yards out to give the Ducks a 30-10 lead with 11:02 to go. Masoli
replaced starting quarterback Justin Roper who left the game in the second
quarter with a concussion.
Basically, the Huskies couldn't throw, catch, tackle, cover and block. Their offense
defense and their special teams were mostly wretched. The 3-3-5 defense was an
experiment gone awry, giving up two quick touchdowns to the Ducks in the
first quarter. The Dawgs looked better when they returned to a 4-3 defense
in the second quarter, and they played more enthusiastically.
whole team evaporated in the second half as it did in most of its games last
Offensive coordinator Tim
Lappano stubbornly pounded true freshman phenomenon Chris Polk up the middle
in all futility, as we feared he would do. Polk gained 19 hard-earned yards
on 14 carries. Lapano had no back-up plan for a power-running game that would
fizzle like a botched chemistry lab experiment.
Lappano needs to junk the
power-running game and concentrate on the spread.
We hoped to see a no-huddle
offense; it never materialized. We hoped to see some swing passes to Polk
lined up in the slot. That never happened. The coaching was unimaginative
and downright lousy. Head coach Tyrone Willingham may not last the season,
and we still wonder why he fired last season's defensive coordinator Kent
Baer, which we said at the time was a poor decision.
But quarterback Ronnie
Fouch looked good when he replaced Locker in the fourth quarter. Fouch was
5-7-0 for 44 yards and a PE of 124.23. Fouch is a typical California
quarterback, ready beyond his years. True freshman Kavario Middleton (four
catches, 35 yards) stood out at tight end. At 6-foot-5, 255, his size is a blessing for the
high-throwing Locker, from both a mental and physical standpoint. Ryan
Perkins booted a neat 35-yard field goal.
As the game progressed,
playing Fouch at quarterback and using Locker as a running back came to
mind, and it became clear to me why Locker played baseball during the summer
months as I stretched my mind, which is not an easy thing for me to do. See
Will recruiting mistakes cost Huskies?
Failing to light up the
scoreboard dramatically is the bottom line of our commentary. That
shortcoming could spell doom for the Huskies early this season, while their young players are
But, all in all, it doesn't
look good for the Huskies this season, especially if they should continue to
motor their scaled down buggy, that rusty clunker, that 2004 Gilby.