Dec 30, 2012

Frustrating End to a Frustrating Year

The 2012 season ended in more frustration with a 28-26 loss to #19 Boise State. At 7-6 (5-4 in conference) for the third straight season, it's difficult to see this year as anything but a disappointment. What makes matters worse is that UW was five points from a breakout year. If the Huskies don't collapse against Wazzu and execute a little better against BSU, we're all lauding a 9-4 season and looking forward to bigger and better things in 2013.

Not quite there.

But unfortunately, that wasn't how the cookie crumbled this year. And yes, the late season failures of this team had a lot to do with coaching. Sark most definitely has his work cut out for him next season. The whole "brought the program back from the dead" excuse is deep in the past at this point. Sark must prove that he's more than a mediocre .500 coach. In my opinion, anything less than 9 wins next year should result in the program looking for a new head coach.

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Fortunately, 9 wins should be very possible in 2013. A very winnable out of conference schedule of Boise State, at Illinois (2-10 this year), and Idaho State should lead to a 3-0 start to the year. UW only loses a small handful of senior starters (Drew Schaefer, Desmond Trufant, Justin Glenn, Jon Amosa) and will be a deep, experienced team next year.

Sark should be coaching for his job in 2013.

The major keys for improvement will be the offensive line (particularly in pass blocking) that gained a ton of experience this year and will (hopefully) welcome back former starters Erik Kohler and Colin Tanigawa. Obviously the quarterback play needs to improve as well. It would be a major surprise to see Keith Price get beat out by Derrick Brown, Cyler Miles, or Jeff Lindquist, but if KP doesn't regain his 2011 form in spring and fall practice, a new Husky quarterback next year is a possibility.

More likely though, the increased competition, improved offensive line play, and addition of Marques Tuiasosopo as QB's coach will put Price back on the right track. A year more experience for the receiving corps and the addition of 5th-year senior James Johnson should also help KP regain the confidence he clearly lost this year.

James Johnson will provide a major boost in the WR corps in '13.

Another area needing improvement is the pass rush. UW only had 27 sacks this year (one fewer than last year). But with Josh Shirley and Andrew Hudson being juniors next year and hopefully Hau'oli Jamora returning from injury, the defensive end position should be able to put significantly more pressure on opposing quarterbacks next season.

The Dawgs will also need to find a complementary running back to Bishop Sankey as it's just not feasible to expect him to carry the ball 28-30 times a game. Jesse Callier should be back, and maybe even Deontae Cooper - I would absolutely love for that kid to find success on the football field after three years of rehab. Ideally UW could get some production out of a bigger back as well, maybe Dezden Petty or newcomers Dwayne Washington, Psalm Wooching, or Ryan McDaniel.

Ultimately, 2013 should be a breakout year for the Huskies. The 2012 squad had an unusually rough time with injuries (especially at the o-line and running back) and still should have gone 9-4 (or at least 8-5). If this coaching staff can't find at least 9 wins with this experienced team next year, it's time for somebody else to take over the job.

Go Dawgs!

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Dec 21, 2012

Get To Know A D'Bag: Boise State

Ol' Boise State... the little blue engine that could. What was once a David vs. Goliath story (see 2007 Fiesta Bowl vs. Oklahoma) has become an annoying fixture of college football media coverage. And now the blue turf of Boise is headed to the Big East conference... sure, that makes sense...

The site of the Great Smurf Massacre of 1927.

But back to this year's Las Vegas Bowl. Washington actually got a very quality opponent considering they're stumbling into this bowl following a loss with a 7-5 record. There are eight Pac-12 teams in bowl games (including two BCS bowls), but somehow only two of them are playing ranked opponents, including UW versus #19 Boise State.

I couldn't help but notice that Boise's top running back is D.J. Harper. If it feels like Harper has been at Boise since UW beat them in '07, it's because he has. He has gotten carries in six years as a Bronco and actually has set a record for the longest a black guy has ever lived in Idaho.

Congrats, D.J!

BSU has been remarkably dominant in pass defense this year, only allowing three touchdown passes the entire season (and one was a trick pass from a running back). Keith Price and his receivers have a major challenge ahead of them.

Once again, this game will be decided in the trenches. If UW can successfully run the ball as well as force Boise to pass on offense, they will have an excellent shot at winning this game. Boise's new quarterback is no Kellen Moore, but he does have a rad porno 'stache:

He works under the name Bernie Bronco.

Overall, UW is the more talented team, but Boise plays very disciplined football and is ultimately the better coached team - after all, BSU's coach Chris Peterson has turned down 368 head coaching offers over the years. Now for some obligatory photos of Boise State girls:

I have a gut feeling that UW's defense dominates this game. I'm sure Wilcox has put a few wrinkles into the defensive schemes and I'm envisioning Shaq, Trufant, Feeney, and company overwhelming a very pedestrian Boise offense. I'm picking UW 17-10.

Go Dawgs!

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Dec 12, 2012

Daquawn Brown Loves To Party

In an extremely unusual decision, three-star cornerback Daquawn Brown committed to Wazzu even though it appeared he also had an offer from Washington. The Los Angeles product visited UW last weekend and had visited CougFarm back in November.

His decision left college football pundits everywhere scratching their heads. Why would a kid want to play for a school that is 12-49 over the last five years compared to a team that is headed to their third straight bowl game? Why would a recruit pick the sad, barren Palouse over the vibrant Emerald City? Why would a kid want to play for a coach who publicly embarrasses his players?

But with a single 4-word tweet, all of these questions were answered:

Daquawn loves to party. Academics, shmacademics. If the Four Loko ain't flowin', D-Brown ain't comin'.

The unfortunate part is that while Daquawn came to Wazzu for the party, he stayed because he was locked in a shed.

To be fair, it does have Wi-Fi.

Go Dawgs!

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