offense-o-gram is positiveMalamute, 10 April 2006
scrimmages give the coaches a chance to assess the health of their football
team. As a result, various health metrics are recorded, such as
offensive-line-o-grams, defense-o-grams, quarterback-o-grams, and
running-back-o-grams. As for Tyrone Willinghamís Huskies and their scrimmage last
Saturday, most of the ďoffense-o-gramsĒ came back positive.
If Saturday's offense-o-gram were
like an electrocardiogram, one could say it came back negative because it
hasn't changed much over the last three springs. Boring, boring, boring. Who
Sure it was wet, cold and windy, and
the defense is always ahead of the offense in the early spring going. However, the
offensive statistics from Saturdayís scrimmage resembled those from last
seasonís spring scrimmages, which along with the loss to the Air Force in
the Huskiesí opener, presaged the 2-9 season that followed.
Over the last two years, the
Huskiesí offense has struggled, finishing near the bottom of the Pac-10 in
total offense: ninth in 2004 and eighth in 2005. In fact, over the last five
years, the UW has averaged just 113.42 yards rushing per game, with an
average conference finish of 7.2. On Saturday, the Huskies averaged 2.8
yards per carry. Overall, the offense managed 182 yards on 87 plays.
The four quarterbacks (Isaiah
Stanback, Johnny DuRocher, Carl Bonnell, and Felix Sweetman) completed 13 of
34 passes for 44 yards, 2 interceptions and 1 touchdown. As a group, they
managed a horrifying pass-efficiency rating of 38.22. Stanback completed 5
of 12 passes for 33 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. Expected to
start at quarterback in the home opener against San Jose State, Stanback ran
for 45 yards and two touchdowns; his
P.E. was 64.77 on the game.
Likewise: In the 2005 spring game, Stanback, DuRocher, Bonnell and Casey Paus combined for a pass-efficiency
rating of 91.82 (that is, 18 out of 34, 205 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 picks.
The Purple won the game, 3-0, in what some might call a defensive battle).
Defensively on Saturday, according
to a report I read, "Greyson
Gunheim had three sacks and five tackles for loss and Donny Mateaki had two
sacks and knocked down a pass. Mesphin Forrester led all players with 11
tackles." So I assume the defense motored ahead, and the offense sputtered
But this fan's focus is on the offense
line, which, this spring, is under close scrutiny because of the loss of
five players who accounted for 75% of the OL starts (42 out of 55) in
last seasonís play. One of them, Joe Toledo, has been projected as a
third-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Over the last five years, last
seasonís rushing statistic (135.2 yards per game) was the best of the
bunch. So did the Huskies reach a peak last year, expecting to fall off
again, when, in 2002, they averaged 74.5 yards per game on the ground? Each
year subsequent to 2002, the Huskies have added more yards to their per-game average,
increasing it by a tad more yards each year.
||Rushing Yards per Game
||Rank in Pac-10
The fact that the UW must rebuild an offensive line
most likely says that the 2006 model will finish near or below its
five-year-rushing average of 113.42 yards per game, as shown above. To
finish above that average, a healthy Stanback will need to run the ball
effectively for all twelve games.
In his column, Mike Allende (HeraldNet),
wrote, "The offensive line, looking to replace four graduated starters, was
overmatched, making for an unimpressive running game. Passes were not
accurate and there were several drops. Johnny DuRocher, the presumed backup
to Isaiah Stanback, looked slow and seemed hesitant in making reads. And
there were few big plays to create much optimism."
He saw the scrimmage, I didn't.
On a positive note, redshirt
freshman running back J.R. Hasty posted 78 yards on 12 carries, including a
43-yard gallop. Obviously, some breathing room was made available for him by the
guys up front.
Although the overall statistics say
the offensive line didnít have a good day, its inept performance can be
explained away by the inclement weather, by inexperience and by what some
might call the old "defensive copout," which over the last three springs,
including this one, is becoming de rigueur.
And for sure, wide receivers,
running backs, quarterbacks and tight ends must be held accountable, as well
as the offensive line, for any deficiencies noted in the overall offensive
Itís too early to project a
performance rating for the Huskies' offense in the near future, but
letís just say the early signs donít look good.
BTW, if you haven't guessed it already, that's Joe Toledo, pictured