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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2012 Husky Football Season Video

It’s that time of year again. The University of Washington Football Banquet was hosted Sunday evening at Hec Edmundson Pavillion and as they usually do, they showed a season review video. Every year the video staff does a great job with these so here is the 2012 edition for your viewing pleasure.

Just an update from our end. Finals week is here for Brandon and I, along with many of you readers, so we probably won’t have anything up early this week, but look for a possible UW Football recruiting update later on. And we might throw in a Seahawks article in there as well, taking a closer look at their push to the playoffs. But as for now, enjoy the sights and sounds of another unforgettable season for the Dawgs.

 

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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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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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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