Sunday, September 13, 2009

Huskies Destroy Idaho. Vandals Rape Dawgs D

It was a beautiful late summer day down at Montlake. A slight breeze rustled through the trees as fans walked through the perfect 80 degree day to take their seats to see UW play The University of Idaho. Though the crowd was noticeably smaller than the week prior at the rainy LSU game there was still a feeling of anticipation and nervous excitement in the air. And how could there not be? The Dawgs were favored by 21 over Idaho to end their losing streak that had spanned parts of 3 seasons. The Dawgs were gonna win big and everyone knew it. The crowd wanted blood. A Roman coliseum crowd faced more uncertainty than those in attendance at Montlake today.

After a quick first down and then 3 and out by the defense Jake and company took up residence at their own 3 yard line to start their first drive of the day. And what a drive it was as the Dawgs moved at ease through the over matched Vandals defense. Jake Locker used his legs to scramble for the 3 yard td to cap the 97 yard drive. I'm not sure the last time The Dawgs had a drive near that long but the crowd ate it up. That drive gave creedence to most fans' thoughts that this game would be a cake walk and that the starters shouldn't be back in after half. Sadly, that was not to be the case. Idaho would not go quietly into their locker room.

The Dawgs defense that displayed dominance in the opener against LSU played as passively as possible. The second Vandals drive started with decent field position thanks to terrible kick-offs by kicker Eric Folk and poor coverage on the returns. Those expecting to see a complete and total mauling of the Vandals offense were sorely disapointed. The Vandals drove 40 yards and kicked a field goal. This seemed to be the story all day. The Dawgs would have a solid drive for a score only to have another shitty kick-off combine with lack of pressure on defense to result in a Vandals' field goal.

Field goals are not much to worry about and by halftime the Dawgs were up 21-9. But the Vandals refused to give up and after two second half touchdowns(one was in garbage time, but still) they covered the spread and only lost by 19.

I want to be happy about this win. The Dawgs amassed 374 yards of offense and moved down the field almost at will on the Vandals. The running game led by Chris Polk again looked solid. Johri Fogerson toted the rock and caught some passes and looked impressive while doing so. Jake Locker again spread the ball around completing 17/25 passes. He showed touch and timing that had never existed prior to this year. Yeah, he stared a couple receivers down like Oprah at a buffet line but hopefully he'll be coached out of that. Like I said, the offense was amazing.

However great the offense was the defense was inversely mediocre. Most pundits thought that UW would dominate the line of scrimmage and live in the UI backfield disrupting the QB all day. Sadly, this was not at all the case. Amazingly the same defense that manged to get adequate pressure against a far superior line in LSU was having massive troubles making a ripple against Idaho. And when blitzes were called the middle of the field was often left susceptible to big gains. It made for a maddening combination. It also made me shit my pants in fear at the thought of hosting USC next Saturday.

If the Dawgs play anywhere near this poorly on defense/special teams against the Trojans they'll crumble like R.Kelly's will around young women. Nick Holt needs to find something and fast otherwise the Dawgs'll just be a smear on the road in the wake of the big red USC machine. And I really would rather not see that.

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