Same Ol’ Same Ol’ for Huskies and Seahawks
The Huskies learned Saturday where they are in their climb back up the mountain of college football eliteness–still looking for their shoes at base camp. #3-ranked Louisiana State laid some Christian Grey-style domination on the Huskies, winning 41-3.
I missed the chance to make some easy money at Auto Battery, where I was watching among an overflow crowd of University of Georgia alumni there for the UGA/Mizzou game. Halfway through the second quarter, watching LSU make UW QB Keith Price run for his life, I mentioned to my friend that the game was “over.” Some Georgia guy sitting near us was all, “It’s only the second quarter,” and I stupidly tried to explain my position instead of just giving him 1,000-to-1 odds on a Husky comeback and telling him to put his money where his mouth was.
LSU’s plethora of huge, fast, defensive linemen owned the game. Their four-man line was able to pressure Price without blitzing–which meant that Price had to find open receivers, on the run, against seven LSU defenders. It was hopeless. A quarterback with a hero complex would have forced throws down the field and thrown multiple interceptions; Price wisely either dumped the ball to his outlet receivers or threw the ball away. The Huskies had more punts (8) than they did catches by wide receivers (7).
The oddest thing to me was reading Steve Sarkisian starting his post-game assessment of LSU by praising LSU’s offense. Not that the Tigers don’t deserve the praise, but their 437 yards of total offense was largely a function of how often they had the ball. The Tigers averaged 6.2 yards per play, which is very, very good, but San Diego State had 5.5 yards per play against the Huskies two Saturdays ago.
Sarkisian still seems to see the game through an offense-only lens, and if he’s going to turn Washington into a power again, he needs to apply his football and recruiting acumen to the subject of defense. Like legendary Husky coach Don James, Sarkisian is a former college quarterback. Unlike Don James, Sarkisian has not yet figured out that, as a football coach, he’ll be remembered for defense or he won’t be remembered at all.
Solid Play from Wilson Highlights Seahawks’ Persistent Weaknesses
Russell Wilson had a solid but not spectacular start for the Seahawks in Week 1, and led a last-minute drive that had the Seahawks a sticky fingertip away from a victory. After four consecutive passes from inside the 10-yard-line in the game’s final minute fell incomplete, the Seahawks were left with a 20-16 loss that looked a lot like last year’s losses. To wit: The Seahawks couldn’t protect their quarterback and couldn’t get consistent pressure on the opponent’s quarterback.
One note on Wilson’s start–the NFL’s QB rating system gives him an awful 62.4 score (100 is considered a good game), but that system doesn’t take QB rushing yards into account (Wilson had 20), and it dings Wilson for a meaningless interception at the end of the first half. Wilson played well, giving his receivers multiple chances to win the game for the Seahawks. He may not, as Bill Simmons of ESPN contends, be the best quarterback in the NFL, but I’m looking forward to more.
The 107th Aberdeen vs. Hoquiam football game was chosen for an Internet broadcast as part of the Great American Rivalry Series, so of course the game was a complete blowout, with Hoquiam winning 49-6…Skyline High did the state prouder, going to Salt Lake City and crushing one of Utah’s top teams in a game that was televised on ESPNU…Bellevue vs. Bothell was supposed to be a good game, but it was a complete mismatch, with Bellevue up 35-0 at half. Bellevue–which has added a spread attack to its already potent wing-T offense–is ranked as high as #5 in the nation. It’ll be cool to see how high they can rise.