Friday, September 23, 2005

Husky Primer | by Pat

Dawg Stats. UW after three games:

Rushing Offense: 129.7 ypg. Passing Offesne: 230.3 ypg
Rushing Defense: 166.7 ypg. Passing Defense: 222.7 ypg
At first glance, that rushing defense doesn't look that bad, but then you break it down by game:
Air Force: 218 yards rushing
Cal: 286
Idaho: -4
That's not a misprint: Idaho is terrible at running the ball (186 yards after three games). So expect our rushing totals more in line with Air Force and Cal. On the other hand, Baer loves to stop the run, so maybe he'll try to contain Darius Walker, thus leaving the corners on an island. He tried this strategy against Air Force, who despite their option attack managed to get 207 yards passing against the Huskies. Washington's corners are both 5'11, so expect a Stovall redux if they try to single-cover him.

Strange stat: Despite being 1-2, Washington has only given up one first quarter touchdown so far this year.

Quarterback. Isaiah Stanback is mobile in the Drew Stanton mold, but doesn't have Stanton's battle-tested experience. Accuracy wasn't supposed to be one of Stanback's strong points, but so far this season he's managed a respectable 61% completion rate and a 4/2 touchdown to interception ratio. I wouldn't be surprised to see Washington try for a big play through the air on the first play from scrimmage a la the ND-FSU game in 2002 and the Washington-Cal game in 2005. Still, I have a feeling that the most productive call for the Huskies might be the broken play.

Running Back. So far, 6', 195-lb sophomore Louis Rankin appears to be the man for the Huskies, their leading rusher with a respectable 4.8 yards per carry. While's he not blazingly fast, Rankin changes directions well and is a tough, second-effort kind of runner who's not afraid to lower his head and try and run over tacklers.

Injury Update. From the Seattle PI:
Special teams players Ryan Campbell and J.R. Wolfork left Saturday's 34-6 victory over Idaho with undisclosed injuries. Willingham was uncertain of their status. Left tackle Joe Toledo (ankle), cornerback Roy Lewis (knee) and quarterback Carl Bonnell (quadriceps) remain questionable, and defensive tackle Jordan White-Frisbee (foot) is out.
The big injury question is whether Toledo's going to play. Due to injuries to Toledo and backup Chad Macklin (who moved from RT to LT, then got hurt), the Huskies have had a different starting right tackle for each of their first three games. The current starter is Tui Alailefaleula, a 335-lb guard who was just moved to tackle last week (after redshirting in 2004 following a shift from DL to OL).

And if corner Roy Lewis can't go, that leaves Josh Okeobor, a JUCO transfer who sat out last year with a knee injury, to start in his place.

Diedrickless. I think the biggest change for Willingham has got to be the introduction of Tim Lappano as offensive coordinator, the first OC in seven years for Ty not named Bill Diedrick. Lappano worked with Dennis Erickson at a variety of stops (including the Seahawks and the 49ers) and has been groomed on a one-back, spread attack, although he made a lot of noise in summer camp about wanting to emphasize the run a lot more. So far, he's tried to live up to that ideal, running against Air Force and Idaho (although the Cal game threw him off, and he ended up passing quite a bit since they were behind by so much). The Idaho game was probably a model for what he'd like to do in every game: run the ball 39 times. Husky fans seem pretty happy with Lappano's playcalling thus far.

By the way, the last time Lappano faced the Irish was as Oregon State's offensive coordinator in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl. That was a great game.