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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UW vs. SDSU Game Recap

Well the season is off and running and there is a lot to talk about so let’s get right to it!

The Huskies began the season with a win, beating the San Diego State Aztecs by the score of 21-12. Something I thought I wouldn’t say for quite some time, but the Husky defense looked much better than the high octane offense that us Dawg fans have grown accustomed to. But a win is a win, so we’re all smiles here at SS&O.

The Offense:

It was somewhat a mixed bag to take away from the game Saturday night. I think we can all agree that Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the real deal. I understand that he was extremely good as a freshman last season, but he is now the focal point of the offensive game plan, alongside Kasen Williams. ASJ hauled in nine receptions for a total of 91 yards. It took at least two defenders just to take him down. He will demand a load of respect from defenses from now on, and if they fail to notice his capabilities, he will punish them repeatedly.

Kasen also had a nice game, making six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. On that scoring play I thought Sark was excellent with the play call, using Williams in the backfield and motioning him out into the flats to set up the screen. It was great how Kasen hid himself from the defense by crouching behind the Huskies O-line, making it hard for the Aztecs to adjust once he was put in motion. Williams did have a catch negated in the first half due to an offensive pass interference call (to the displeasure of the Husky faithful), but after watching the replay, the zebras got it right. He created clear separation from the defensive back by using both arms to push off.

The rushing attack for the Huskies wasn’t anything great, but it had its moments. The boys in purple suffered a setback when Jesse Callier went down with an apparent knee injury. It seemed as though he just got tripped up on his own after receiving a catch. He is scheduled to have an MRI and hopefully it won’t be anything that keeps him out for too long. In his stead, Bishop Sankey assumed the bulk of the rushing load, carrying 22 times for a total of 66 yards and a score. Erich Wilson II saw a few carries as well, breaking one of them for 17 yards. Still not really who you want as your number two back if we find Callier to be out for an extended period of time, but good for him as well as Willis Wilson for getting some meaningful carries in there.

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Signing Day 2012 Recap

Signing day 2012 is pretty much in the books and I think it’s safe to say the Huskies did a great job with who they’re bringing in for next season. The unexpected news of the day was Jordan Payton changing his commitment from UW, that he had made less than 24 hours before on national TV, to Jim Mora’s UCLA. Cyler Miles kept it interesting for everyone, setting up an announcement in the afternoon making it look as though he might flip to USC. Luckily, he stayed firm with his commitment and chose the Dawgs. Brandon Beaver capped off the recruiting class by choosing the Purple and Gold in the late afternoon.

There were also some surprise additions to the Dawgs class. Pio Vatuvei (DE, Patterson HS, CA), Taylor Hindy (OT, Chaminade Prep, CA), and Cleveland Wallace (CB,Oak Grove HS,CA). As for the rest of the class, Sark breaks it down in the video below which was taken at his press conference.

The Impact of Tripper Johnson

I realize that there is a tremendous buzz around the UW Football program lately. What with the big name hirings of Tosh Lupoi, Justin Wilcox and several others to the coaching staff. Oh yeah and Shaq Thompson committed to UW. As did Jordan Payton (son of Gary) (if only), and as I type this speedster out of LA Jaydon Mickens. Currently in the works on a “Mickens Mouse” shirt idea, will keep ya’ll informed. All this hubbub has prompted me for some of this:

Snoop-a-loop is for damn sure. Talking about the commitment of Thompson specifically, signing such a high caliber athlete at safety is a huge plus to a Husky defense that has, to say the least, struggled a bit. If that makes you nauseous, here’s a lollipop to make it feel all better. Link City is giving Rack City a run for its money. The point of it folks is that UW is making waves towards being a legitimate program again, one that it hasn’t been in nearly a decade, but the defense has got to get better before that happens. And Shaq Daddy is just one man, albeit a very fast and strong one, but his talent along with hopefully improved coaching across the board should be a beautiful marriage.

Now is about the time when you ask yourself, who the hell is Tripper Johnson and what is he doing hanging out in the title? Well buckle up folks, for I am about to tell you the story of the worst UW football player I have ever seen.

Born Nelson Alexander Johnson III (NJ3>RG3), “Tripper” was a stud athlete at Newport High School, where he was a force at football and baseball (averaged .453 with 6 homers his senior year). He is the second most famous person to come out of Newport, falling only behind Beta Theta Pi’s very own, Erik Jensen. Follow him @Themindofjensen.  Good ole Trip signed to play baseball (note, not football) at UW in 2000, and then was chosen by the Orioles in the second round of the 2000 MLB draft. After that, Tripper played eight mediocre seasons in the minors before deciding to make the always wise choice to come play football after his baseball career fizzled out. I mean why not? Trip was after all a first team All-Kingco safety…back in 1999. Let’s see what else was going back in 1999:

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UW Football Recruiting Update – 1/31

We are less than 12 hours away from when letter of intents start rolling off of fax machines across the country. We know of Shaq Thompson’s verbal commitment, but who else have the Dawgs picked up? Let’s take a look.

  • Four star wide receiver, Jordan Payton (Oaks Christian HS, CA), made it official today by verbally committing to UW on ESPNU. He will bring depth and size to a young but very talented Husky receiving corp that lost both starters this season.
  • Three star offensive guard, Shane Brostek (Hawaii Prep, HI), also verbally committed to the Huskies today. Don’t overlook this commitment because he is just a three star. Ratings aren’t everything. Brostek measures in at 6’3″, 300 lbs and possesses great mobility and footwork. He is above average at run blocking.
  • Four star wide receiver, Jaydon Mickens (Dorsey HS, CA), was the third player to verbally commit to the Huskies on Tuesday, again helping fill out a recieving corp that saw a few players lost to graduation. Mickens is small in stature (5’11”,170), but makes up for it with speed. He runs a 4.5 forty according to sources but I would not be surprised if he dips down into the 4.4 range. I can see him as a nice slot receiver for the Huskies down the road.
  • In the past few days UW lost a few offensive line recruits to other schools. I won’t really expand on it because here on SS&O we are all about the Dawgs, but Zach Banner (OT, Lakes HS, WA) chose USC and Arik Armstead (OG, Pleasant Grove HS, CA) chose Oregon. It’s too bad the Huskies couldn’t land these guys because they are both very talented, but let’s focus on the guys who want to be at UW, shall we?

As most of our readers now know, Signing Day is tomorrow, February 1st, so expect there to be a little more action on the recruiting front for the Dawgs. Here’s a list of players who you could possibly see choosing the Purple and Gold, and where I predict they will actually end up:

Check back after Signing Day to get a full breakdown of the Huskies 2012 recruiting class. Go Dawgs.