UW Football Season Recap: Part 1

As I sit here and watch the recording of the UW-Stanford game for quite possibly the 4th time, I think to myself 1) Thank God Josh Nunes was at QB for the Cardinal that game, 2) We probably threw 50% of our passes behind the line of scrimmage this year, and 3) This season may have not been what we really thought it was. What do I mean by that, you might ask? “We beat two top ten teams, one of which won the Rose Bowl!”

This season was a mixed bag, to say the very least. The elation of knocking off top-ten ranked Stanford and Oregon State, to the dejection of getting decimated by Arizona and blowing a 18-point lead in the Apple Cup. This is probably why I have found this article to be such a struggle to write. What route do I take? Was this season a success? Was it a failure? The sour taste that still lingers with the result of the final two games may make me lean towards the latter.

I think we can all agree that the season did not finish the way we had hoped for. What was easily the worst loss for Steve Sarkisian since joining the Huskies in 2009, to a heartbreaking two point thriller down in Vegas, it was a tough pill to swallow at the end. But what went wrong? Why couldn’t the Dawgs reach that benchmark eight win club? Especially against the lowly Cougars!

A lot of the blame can be attributed to the offense. Keith Price of 2011 was nowhere to be found this year. Honestly, I can’t even remember a single half where we saw that form out of #17. He struggled mightily all season, throwing 14 less touchdowns than a year ago and seeing his QB rating plummet from 161.9 to 122.4. He displayed close to zero confidence on the field, and gave the ball up in crucial situations, most of them being plays that left you scratching your head wondering what you had just witnessed. I will concede, the loss of Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar proved to be very significant to the effectiveness of Price this season, but good QBs are able to overcome those obstacles, especially when you have arguably the best tight end in the country and a wide receiver that can play with the best of them in this conference. We expected Keith to be the leader and playmaker that we saw him become a year ago and it never came to fruition. This is unquestionably the most glaring reason as to why they Huskies finished this season with a 7-6 record and recorded some pretty dismal losses on the way.

On a more positive note, surprisingly the running game didn’t really miss a beat. We all assumed it would be near to impossible to fill the hole that Chris Polk left after a magnificent career in the Purple and Gold, but Bishop Sankey filled those shoes quite nicely. Early season-ending injuries to Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper squashed the “running back-by-committee” approach that the Huskies were planning to unveil. But Bish handled the added workload like a seasoned vet. Amassing 1,439 rushing yards (an amazing 5.0 ypc) to go along with 16 touchdowns behind a makeshift line, it was nothing short of incredible. He carried the offense multiple times this season and unquestionably gets my vote for offensive player of the year.

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Huskies Land Seven

June 29th, 2012 was a huge day. Not because I spoke with Husky greats Brock Huard and Mike Jensen at work, or the fact that the USA beat Australia in the World Cup of Softball. It was bigger (surprisingly) than both of those things. Combined. Why you might ask? It was a day that could go down as the beginning of the return to prominence for Washington Football. June 29th saw seven recruits…no that’s not a typo, SEVEN recruits decide to pledge themselves to the Purple and Gold recruiting class of 2013, all while attending the Rising Stars 7-on-7 camp put on by the UW coaches. I learned of the news when I was on my break during work and I strained to contain myself from making an absolute scene in the break room. I resorted to a quick, yet powerful, fist pump and dove into the details. Here’s what I uncovered.

Stringfellow heads the group of talented recruits to pick Washington.

Demorea Stringfellow – WR, Moreno Valley, CA

Probably the best out of the bunch talent-wise and name wise. I mean, he isn’t in the same echelon as Wonderful Teriffic Monds II, who is a linebacker for the powerful University of Buffalo Bulls, but he definitely brings the best name to Montlake in quite some time. But I digress, Stringfellow is another man child to add to an absolutely stacked group of wide receivers. The Huskies already picked up the #5 WR of the 2013 recruiting class in Darrell Daniels, and here they add the #11 WR. Airwolf (the new nickname I am giving the kid based on the 80’s TV series who’s main character shared the same name) is a handful for defensive backs, standing at 6’3″ tall and weighing roughly 205 lbs. He possesses a great combination of size, speed, and strength, which creates huge mismatch problems for defenses. Stringfellow looks to be the type of receiver that can stretch the field not necessarily with his speed, but with his playmaking ability in traffic and tall athletic frame which allows him to fight for jump balls. He still lacks a little in the speed and route running departments, but he has super soft hands and can snag almost anything that comes his way. Demorea had offers from Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, Florida, Ohio State, and Nebraska to name a few. Still a raw talent, but with time we could see him develop into something quite special for the Huskies.

Elijah Qualls – DT, Petaluma, CA

Qualls is a load, weighing in at 279 lbs and standing 6’2″ tall. He surprisingly plays both running back and defensive tackle for his high school team, but figures to be on the D-line come college ball. He is very quick off the line and uses his low pad level to gain leverage against offensive lineman. Also, he has shown the ability to penetrate effectively and get a nice push, even with his smaller size in comparison to your normal defensive lineman. Still lacks some polish when it comes to footwork and block shedding, but like Stringfellow, Qualls is still very raw. He actually is a more advanced RB technique-wise at this point in time, but it’s nothing that can’t be changed and improved in the future. One thing that plays into his favor is his high motor and intensity that his game brings to the table.

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We’re Still Here!

Another lengthy layoff from posting for Boyd and I as we decided to take the Winter break off from SS&O, which was unplanned but unfortunately the case. Unlike the sporting world, our posts seem to stall from time to time. Please bear with us. We’re still here! Anyways, I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Holiday!

I can’t speak for Brandon (I’m sure he sat inside and played Tecmo Bowl all day), but I was lucky enough to visit the wonderful country of England over Christmas. I was even luckier to attend an English Premier League soccer match (I’m sure our non-existant european audience cringed after that wording). I took in Fulham FC vs. Bolton on December 17th at the storied Craven Cottage. Seating just a shade under 26,000 fans, it was one of the most amazing sporting venues I’ve been to. Built in 1896, the tradition and history transcends the likes of old Yankee Stadium and even Fenway Park. Our seats were situated up against the Cottage itself, which was built initially as the player’s clubhouse and changing rooms, but now accommodates those who wish to pay a little more for their football experience.

To the home crowd’s delight, the Whites netted two and held firm along the defensive line to earn a well deserved 2-0 victory. An even better treat was American star Clint Dempsey found his way onto the score sheet with a well aimed header, alongside a crafty chip by Bryan Ruiz. It was a sporting environment that is very unique to those that we are used to in the U.S. I took a fair amount of photos before and during the game and have posted a few in a slideshow below. Hope you enjoy them!

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UW vs. Hawaii Game Recap

The opening week game against Eastern Washington put questions in a lot of Husky fans minds (nevermind that Eastern lost 30-17 at South Dakota last week). But the questions were valid. The play calling looked timid, the pass defense looked like my 7th Grade Flag Football team could play better, and it took a great play by Desmond Trufant just to seal the victory against an undeniably inferior team.

You can't handle the Truf

The Hawaii game answered a couple of those questions. First of all, the offense came out firing against the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii. No toes in the water offense, Coach Steve Sarkisian went right at Hawaii. The first offensive play of the game for Huskies tells the entire story. A play-action pass with the first read being the deep ball over the middle, but Price checked down to hit a wide open Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 30 yard gain. Sark and Price didn’t stop there, hitting ASJ on a seam route over the middle for a 47 yard gain down to the 2 yard line where Chris Polk ran it in for a touchdown on the next play. The next two Washington possessions continued the trend of a more agressive offense trying to win instead of trying not to lose. UW scored on a Jermaine Kearse touchdown to make it 14-0 to cap off a 95 yard drive. Kearse caught a slant and took it all the way to the house for a 20 yard touchdown, making it a 21-0 first quarter lead for the Huskies. This offensive onslaught that was being put on display prompted me to tweet “Goodbye haters, UW is back” from the student section. Exactly what haters I was referring to is still a mystery.

But regardless, UW was rolling at that point. And the above picture gives me the opportunity to talk about the helmets that UW chose to wore for the game. They were phenomenal. The Dawgs came out of the tunnel for warmups wearing their customary gold helmets, but when they came out of the tunnel for gametime wearing the new whites, they looked unbelievable. But the reason behind the helmets was even more important with the “W” logo on the helmets in red, white and blue it was designed to honor the victims and heros of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and it did a fine job of that.

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League of Ordinary Gentleman Draft Report

First of all, I would like to dedicate this post to my best friend in the entire world, Barry MollyWhompin Davis.

The above is the furthest thing from the truth and the rest of this post will explain why. Welcome to the post-draft report of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, otherwise known as my co-author’s fantasy league. It’s not my favorite league because its not PPR (You down with PPR?) but it has some good guys in it so I help the cause and gave my 20 bucks to play in it this year. The team names are as follows; Corn on the Schaub (Stanton), CAN’T WAIT (myself), Locked Out (Patrick O’Neill), Mc Seahawks?!!? (CJ Bollinger), Team Allan Quartermain (Caleb Hupp), Runnin’ Train (Tyler Propst), Mac and Steez (Michael “Omegle” Hatcher), Team Mezs (Michael Mezs), Team FBGM (Dennis Leigh), and finally Team PoopMouth…I mean Team MollyWhompin (Barry Davis). A cast of characters better than the one Martin Scorsese put together in The Departed.

This post will break down the major highlights of the draft, and a quick ranking of the teams in the league. 1 being the favorite to win it all, 10 being Barry Davis’ team. Boom.

The draft kicked off at 5:30 PM sharp and I pulled up to my laptop with a Mikes Hard in hand, with myself at the 8th pick, I was hoping the 7 idiots in front of me would mess up and I could end up with Jamaal Charles. Stanton picked Adrian Peterson #1 overall and all was going well for me to get Charles until Mac and Steez stepped up to the plate at pick 7. At this time the ESPN draft chat box was going full force, and I had an “I JUST WON THE LEAGUE YOU BUNCH OF TRICKS!” message all cued up and ready to go, assuming Mac and Steez would leave Charles untouched. Instead, and what would be a recurring theme, Hatcher stole him from my grasp. So instead of the above message, an expletive laced tirade was launched into our draft chat box. I ended up with Ray Rice, a guy I really like especially with Willis McStealPoints gone from Baltimore. But he’s no Jamaal Charles.

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You down with PPR? Yeah you know me.

I hope all of you got the Naughty by Nature joke in the title. If not, your old school hip hop game needs work. We are about three weeks away from the start of the NFL season and for me, that has everything to do with fantasy football and much less to do with how the NFC West will shake out or just how many times we will ask, “Wait, Kelly Jennings is still alive?” this season for the Seahawks.

He's like Oscar the Grouch level of garbage

Fantasy football is something very near and dear to my heart, like Katy Perry or my 10th grade health teacher. God bless Ms. Buehler. I have been playing fantasy football since I was in the fifth grade. My brother who is ten years older than myself got me into it and I have been hooked ever since. I have won my brother’s league twice, amassing over 3,000 US dollars in earnings from that league ever since owning my own team when I was 12. I am also the commissioner in two more leagues and participate in my co-author’s league as well. But I don’t like that league as much, and I will explain why in this post. Every league that I play in except for his uses what is called a PPR scoring system. PPR stands for Points Per Reception. Normally, a fantasy football league uses what is called a standard scoring system. Points are awarded for the following statistical benchmarks:

1 point per 10 yards rushing/receiving and 6 points for a rushing or receiving touchdown.

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