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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2012 UW Football Preview

The last time I got the energy to write on SS&O, I promised to be back to my usual semi-frequent writing self. Since then, I have realized that I don’t have that in me. Not even a Felix Hernandez perfect game could get me to write. The King had arguably the best individual performance in Seattle sports history and I didn’t comment on it. I did instagram about it though (b_boyd619, I don’t take THAT many pictures of sunsets and I could use some more non-sorority girl followers). But the point is that I am not the writing machine I thought I could be when Stanton and I started this blog last year. The application to the UW Football Preview is coming soon folks, trust me. There is one thing that will infinitely motivate me though. Ever since I was probably about ten, my dad stopped buying a program for every Husky Football game, and so did most of the people in the vicinity of Section 32, Row X, seats 3 and 4. They had me. I am a wealth of Husky Football knowledge. People who want to know a little bit about the team to have enough to talk about at a tailgate ask me how the team is going to be this year. That is what I can do for you. Husky Football is the one thing that I will always have the time to write about. So here we go. Welcome to the 2012 Washington Huskies.

The above image is the lasting one for the 2011 UW Football campaign. Robert Griffin III and Terrence Ganaway ran away from the UW defense in the Alamo Bowl back in December. The Dawgs lost 67-56 that night, giving up 777 yards of total offense. Those numbers are disgusting, even for the biggest proponent of offensive football. Such was the case for most of last season. Nick Holt and co. gave up 51 points to Nebraska, 65 to Stanford, 34 to Oregon, 40 to USC, and 38 to Oregon State amidst several other lousy defensive performances. To make matters worse, the offense was absolutely dynamite at times last season. Keith Price set passing TD records, Chris Polk ran for almost 1,500 yards and highly touted freshmen Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins performed extremely well. The firing of defensive coordinator Nick Holt after the Alamo Bowl was in my opinion about a month too late, but absolutely requited. You can’t be paid to be a defensive coordinator if your defense actually looks uncoordinated. I’m telling you, there are way better defenses out there with much worse players than the Huskies do, so the finger points up.

In steps the Great White Hope, or hopes actually, the new UW assistant coaches. New defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, new secondary coach Keith Heyward, and the gem of the group, D-Line coach and recruiting extraordinaire Tosh Lupoi. Lupoi’s impact won’t be seen on gameday necessarily, but his impact on the recruiting scene is absolutely incredible. The guy is cooler than Sean from Boy Meets World and 18 year old kids love it. I can’t say this with 100% certainty but he’s the reason we got Shaq Thompson. Who’s that?

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Husky Spring Game Recap

Exactly four months from today (May 1st) is when the Washington Huskies take to the gridiron at CenturyLink Field to face the Aztecs of San Diego State. Now, four months may seem like a long time, but they will come much quicker than you think. What will the 2012 Huskies look like this season? Well, we got a first glimpse at them on last Saturday, April 28th, at the annual UW Spring Game.

In what was quite a surprise, the Defense was the side that impressed, beating the offense 36-10. The scoring system was not what you would expect (3 pts for a defensive stop, etc.),  but that’s beside the point. The offense couldn’t get anything going against the new look defense.

In regards to the offense, there are several things I noticed. First was the play of the offensive line: awful. The Huskies lost senior left tackle, and captain, Senio Kelemete to the draft, right tackle Colin Porter to career ending shoulder injuries, and left guard Colin Tanigawa was out for this game due to a knee injury he sustained last season against Oregon State. Therefore, I’ll cut them some slack this time around, but things must improve. Due to the poor line play, the Huskies only rushed for 20 yards on 35 attempts for the game. Save yourself the time doing the math on that yards-per-carry, it’s just flat out terrible. Bishop Sankey led all ball carriers with 34 yards on 11 carries. Jesse Callier handled only 2 carries for 4 yards, but was limited due to injury earlier this spring. There seems to be a glaring need of power running for this group, so don’t be surprised if you see prized recruit Shaq Thompson get a carry here and there each game to mix up the tempo on offense.

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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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The Impact of Shaq Thompson

Napoleon Kaufman. Tommie Smith. Charles Frederick…all were amazing on the gridiron for the Dawgs, but they also share something in common: they were all highly touted out of state recruits for Washington. Could there be another now added to that list? Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies sent shockwaves across the recruiting landscape monday night when Shaq Thompson (Grant Union HS, CA) verbally committed to UW, via his Twitter account, beating out the likes of California and Oregon. If you have been reading our previous updates you may have some understanding as to how big this is, but if you have not let me give you a rundown.

  • #1 rated Safety in the country (Scout.com)
  • #3 rated recruit in the country (Scout.com)
  • 2012 Parade All American, 2012 US Army All-American Bowl participant, 2010 California state player of the year.
  • Jr./Sr. year HS Statistics:
    • Rushing: 284 carries, 3016 yards, 10.5 yards/carry, 25 TDs
    • Tackles: 111
    • Points accounted for: 264 (44 total TDs)

This is by far the biggest recruit Sark has landed since being on Montlake, and it could even be the biggest defensive recruit since the Don James era. Thompson is in a class of his own. Measuring in at 6’2″, 215 lbs, he is a safety in a linebacker’s body. He runs a 4.5 forty time and can strike fear into any receiver crossing between the hashmarks. Excited yet? Thompson possesses great closing speed, pursuit angles and range, and is a surefire tackler in the open field, getting low and driving through his opponent. On top of this, he has a high football IQ, regularly putting himself in the correct position to make plays and shows great defensive awareness. Even as a safety, he is above average in man to man coverage, which has been terrible for the Dawgs in the past. Lastly, and probably my favorite quality about him, is he is very good at coming up and stuffing the run. He can lay people out. In short, Thompson does everything. He is Taylor Mays 2.0, and if you are unfamiliar with the former USC standout, look him up. You won’t be disappointed. Shaq will immediately see the field in the upcoming season, and will most likely start for the Dawgs, giving the secondary a huge boost that it sorely needs. Continue reading

UW Football Recruiting Update – 1/24

The recruiting process rolls on as we are only a week and a day away from Signing Day. The Dawgs have been quite active over the past week, attempting to play the part of the antagonist and steal recruits from various schools, specifically Cal. Here’s what happened since our last recruiting update:

  • Four star WR Jordan Payton (Oaks Christian HS, CA) took an official visit to UW this weekend and seemed to love what he saw on Montlake. His player host was Keith Price, so how could you go wrong. He was in attendance at the UW-Stanford basketball game at Hec Ed, accompanied by Sark and WRs coach Jimmie Dougherty to name a few. The Dawg Pack even helped by chanting his name during the second half. What was most encouraging though was what he said on his Twitter account: “Dawgs in the house”, “Let’s just say its a done deal now”, and the real eye opener, “I like the rain.” I would be very surprised if the Huskies don’t lock up his services at the end of this process, as most other recruiting analysts would agree. Look for him to make a decision sometime later this week, particularly during the Huskies in-home visit on Saturday.
  • The Zach Banner (Lakes HS, WA) saga continues as he took an official visit to USC this past weekend and claimed it to be the best one yet. At this point, his final three schools are Washington, USC, and Oklahoma. Banner will announce next monday and not on signing day as he had planned in order to ensure he doesn’t overshadow others who are also signing national letters of intent. On top of that, he also cancelled in-home visits with all three head coaches of the schools still involved. I tend to believe he’s leaning towards USC at the moment, but Sark is supposedly taking this recruitment into his own hands which is encouraging. Regardless, these are the kind of players that need to be locks for the Huskies. Sark was able to wrangle up the big in-state recruits last year, but this time around seems to not be the case.
  • Cedric Dozier (Lakes HS, WA), a teammate of Banner and another 4 star recruit, is still a commit to California, but is also considering WSU and UW. I would say at this point the Huskies are a long shot due to the fact they are recruiting him as a CB, whereas Dozier prefers Safety. He visited WSU over the past weekend and enjoyed the Pullman, but I don’t see it being enough to overcome the commitment he has to California. Continue reading