Saturday's scrimmage was
encouraging...butMalamute, 13 April 2009
inherited corpse is sitting up on its own and taking nourishment. The
remnant of one of the worst teams in college football last season is showing life
-- but it's too early to tell whether it will walk on its own by fall.
The relatively effusive scrimmage on Saturday,
which saw 37 points posted on the board, was most encouraging when
placed in the context of last year's spring game where the two teams
combined for just 17 points. The Dawgs averaged 13.2 points per game
On Saturday, Jake Locker
passed for one touchdown, Demetrius Bronson rushed for two more and Jordan
Polk ran a kickoff off back for 80 yards and a score. Erik Folk
booted three field goals of 46, 35, and 47 yards under the cloud of less
than ideal weather.
The swirling winds
apparently didn't bother QB Jake Locker either, who completed 55% of his
passes, which is 5% under the bogey Sark has set for him. Inside the red
zone, Locker is more threatening than a bull in a china shop, having the
ability to take it to the house with either his motor or an
Locker's throwing motion
might not be as enigmatic as people think when viewed under some
Of course, you can make any point you want with statistics,
and here's a good example. In his last 5 1/2 games (3 1/2 regular games last season, plus the last two scrimmages,
year's spring game and Saturday's scrimmage), Locker has completed 57%
of his passes, throwing 128 times and completing 73 passes for 813 yards
and 3 touchdowns against one pick. This computes to a rating of 116.56,
plus or minus a point or two because of the two sets of unofficial
WR Anthony Boyles and
Locker's two tight ends (Chris Izbicki and Kavario Middleton) give him a
triplet of tall receivers to aim at. With Washington's most prolific
receiver last year, D'Andre Goodwin, getting a half-inch boost in height
over at dawgman.com who knows what will happen? ;-)
Seriously, there is
certainly hope for UW's passing attack going into its first game against
LSU, statistics notwithstanding.
Over his 16-game career at
UW, Locker has completed 48.7% of his passes, which is the stat his
naysayers quote and the one the media will use when presaging the
Huskies' conference finish in August.
Playing against the number
one offense, the number one defense excelled as
well as the offense did, maybe even better. They never allowed a
rush of longer than 11 yards and had five QB sacks. UW's running backs
had 88 yards on 32 carries. The five sacks, of course, are tempered by
the fact that the quarterbacks were off limits to tackling; just being
touched was considered a tackle.
The defensive front four (defensive ends
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Darrion Jones and defensive tackles Alameda
Ta'amu and Camaron Elisira) was singled out by coach Steve Sarkisian for
its stout play, along with the linebackers.
“I thought our number one
defensive front did a nice job of stopping the run and getting to the
quarterback,” Sarkisian was quoted as saying. “Coach Holt did a nice job
with his pressure packages.”
Now for the "but" in our
What's missing from all the
euphoria is some positive commentary about the progress of the offensive
line, which is of primary concern this spring.
Over at coachsark.com,
Sarkisian lists his "Daily Five" after each practice. In the category
"Players of the Day" Sark has singled out just one offensive linemen,
Mykenna Ikehara, this after the fifth practice of the seven practices
that have been held thus far. Ikehara redshirted last season.
Averaging an anemic 2.75 yards per
run doesn't speak well for the forward push of the big guys up front,
especially considering that UW's defense last season allowed 240.6
That part of Sark's inherited
corpse still has some rigor mortis set in.
Nick Daschel of bustersports.com pays tribute to coach Bruce Snyder who passed
away from cancer.
Table 1. Some partial
statistics from last two spring scrimmages. Very unofficial. Part of
this data was taken from Bob Condotta's blog.
||Spring game 2008
||10-18, 142, 1,0 (140.16)
||13-17, 159, 1, 1 (161.69)
||11-21, 146, 0, 1 (101.26)
||16-33, 154, 1, 0, (97.68)
||13-28, 2 TDs