Game Analysis – UW at Stanford

PALO ALTO, Calif. - In the aftermath of the mess that took place in Stanford Stadium, here were some observations and analysis from Dawgman and Scott Eklund, who were in the press box as Washington suffered a rough 65-21 defeat at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal.

Turning Point(s) – Scott feels that it was the pick-six off of Keith Price. With the game at 31-14 and Washington having the chance to punch it in and narrow the gap, it becaome 38-14 and the game was essentially over. Dawgman felt that the turning point came on the BS holding penalty on Kevin Smith for a tough down field block. The Huskies were poised to punch the ball in, driving down the field to answer a Stanford score, but instead a questionable call on Smith who had his man engaged in a rough block erased a play that would've put the Huskies in business on the Stanford 15. After that Price took a sack and Erik Folk missed a long field goal attempt. From there the wheels fell off.

Offensive player of the gameChris Polk. He was the only reason this game stayed close for a quarter. He dashed, banged, and juked through the Cardinal defense for Washington's first two scores. His 144 yards on 15 carries weren't nearly enough though after the Cardinal found the end zone time after time.

Defensive player of the gameSean Parker. Parker looked the most at home against the Stanford juggernaut, coming up with nine tackles and breaking up one pass near the goal line that forced the Cardinal to go for an early field goal. He is the best looking safety on the team right now and he is poised to really step up.

Key Stat – 446 yards rushing. That is what Stanford did to Washington's front seven this evening. 44 attempts produced 446 yards, which converts to better than 10 yards per carry. When you get nearly three ball carriers over 100 yards each, you know you've just clown-stomped the other fella.

Hand outs to the standouts. Chris Polk for his 9.6 yard average and two touchdowns, not to mention going over 100 yards for the 17th time in his career. Austin Seferian-Jenkins for not only his 5 receptions for 77 yards, but also for his downfield blocking on both of Polk's touchdown runs. Sean Parker and Will Shamburger for their heart and big hits. Both of these kids showed a lot of guts and fire.

Needs work. The defensive line. The two interior defensive linemen were not credited with a single tackle, and the two defensive ends were consistently rolled into the secondary or on their backs. Those guys were on roller skates. All night. And the outside linebackers were continually caved. There was one series where they ran at John Timu three straight times and he never saw the play on any of them. He was too busy getting planted into the turf like a zinnia. Jermaine Kearse dropped three passes, and two came at pretty crucial times (well, they seemed crucial at the time anyway). Keith Price needs to rest his knees, so you could consider that work, I guess.

Scary analysis. Based on what we saw above the field tonight, you would've thought that the Husky defense was out of position most of the time. It didn't look that way though. I wish it did. What it looked like was one team beat THE CRAP out of the other despite them being lined up correctly. The defensive line got rolled, the linebackers got blocked and never got off of said blocks, and that was just on running plays. On the pass plays, when they were sitting in zones, the Cardinal receivers were smart enough to find gaps in the zones. Why was that? Because the Husky defensive line was unable to mount any sort of pass rush. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. You can't expect linebackers and defensive backs to cover guys for seven seconds at a time. And when they were in press coverage, they just got plain beaten. Pass rush, wherefore art thou?

Next up? Arizona comes into Husky Stadium riding a wave of optimism after crushing Rick Neuheisels' UCLA team. The Wildcats looked loose, confident, and dare I say cocky. The fight on the field near the end of the first half was kind of ridiculous. Washington will need to play significantly better than they did tonight in order to beat the ‘Cats. Nick Foles will throw for 300 yards next week, count on it. But I'm counting on the Huskies to punch it in at least one more time than the ‘Cats.

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