In the fourth game of the season for the Huskies they began conference play against the California Golden Bears. In another close game, the Dawgs were able to pull out the victory, improving to an impressive 3-1 record on the season. As selfish as it may sound given the state of this team a few years ago, the win was a little bittersweet.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited about where the Huskies are right now in the season. You really couldn’t ask for more in the win/loss column. We all knew traveling to Nebraska was going to be a daunting task, and we performed valiantly in defeat. What irks me though, is once again the performance by the defense…excluding anyone named Cort Dennison. The Washington defense gave up 400 yards for the third time this year. Some may point out the fact that they held the Bears to only 3 points in the second half. Yes, that is a sign of improvement, but when we face the likes of Oregon, Stanford or even Utah, we won’t be so fortunate. Cal was unable to finish their drives, and give some credit to the Husky defense especially their goal line stand at the end of the game. That’s the kind of swarming defense I want to see for four quarters, and we have yet to witness that performance. Was the Holiday Bowl a fluke? Why can’t Alameda Ta’amu be that force in the middle that made Taylor Martinez scared for his life last December?
Nick Holt continues to give me reasons to yell his name angrily from the upper deck of Husky Stadium. It seems as though he is just learning what a Nickel package is. He stubbornly stays in his base 4-3 defense as we continually get torched through the air as the opponent throws out of three and four wide receiver sets. Now I will admit, I don’t know everything there is about X’s and O’s in the game of football. One thing I DO know is a linebacker on a wide receiver is considered a “mismatch,” and this has yet to be noticed by the Washington defensive coordinator. When I see two wide receivers being covered by our outside linebackers and continuously beating them in coverage, I begin to question his play calling. It would be one thing if Gilliland, Fuimaono, or Timu were able to cover wide receivers, but they sadly can’t. Hey Nick! Get Ducre or Gobern in there. That’s what they are on the team to do!
On the offensive side of the ball, emerging star Keith Price continues to impress. He had another great day. 19/25, 292 yards, and 3 touchdowns was his stat line, with only a first half fumble to go against him. He is still tied for the most passing touchdowns in the country with 14 and he even displayed some of that scrambling ability we all know he possesses. He is on fire right now and has yet to miss a beat. Sark, talking about Keith’s play after the game, said: “I tip my hat to Andrew Luck and Barkley and these other guys in our conference. But the level of play that Keith Price is playing at is as high as anybody in our conference.” “The Price is Right” may not have that desired 6’4”, 220 lb. QB frame like Luck or Barkley, but he has the drive, leadership, and potential to match them on the stat sheet. Don’t be surprised when you see Price step up and perform week in and week out for the rest of this season. He is finally out of the Locker shadow and he has a lot to show Husky Nation.
The next game for the Dawgs is at Utah in hostile Rice-Eccles Stadium. It will be a tough task to beat the Utes, but if the defense finds its rhythm, the sky’s the limit. I’ll be watching Nick Holt’s coaching very closely this week, hoping he actually figures it out finally. Let’s hope we see the team in purple improve to 4-1, 2 games away from another bowl appearance. Go Dawgs!