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ASK DAWGMAN - BYE Week Edition

We’ve gotten some more questions from intrepid Dawgman customers looking for more insight and information - and we’re here to deliver! It's the BYE week, but there's still a lot going on.

From: Anthony Forte:

I have three questions which are pretty minor but maybe you can explain:

Do UW football players still stay in a hotel before Home games?

DAWGMAN - Yes they do. They have done this for years as a way to keep things consistent. So no matter if they are at home or on the road, they go through the same weekly routine to create a sense of normalcy and also to help keep things organized and together. 

While watching college games oftentimes we’ll see the offense line up ready for the snap and then, suddenly, everyone stops, turns, and then looks at the sidelines – and then resumes the snap. Why is that done? Is the QB looking at the defense formation initially and then bailing out of the called play and – asking the coaches what to do?

DAWGMAN - Your last sentence is certainly one explanation. Sometimes it's completely planned to force the defense to show their hand early so then the offense can quickly make their call based on what they see. Sometimes it happens because of what the defense shows. They may have a play they can quickly run based on a certain look, and if they don't get that look the quarterback will stop the call and then everyone is coached to look to the sideline to see how they'll adjust. 

What instructional apparatus do QB’s wear on their wrist. Often I see them looking at something on their forearm and then calling the play.

DAWGMAN - Those are plays corresponding to words or numbers or a combination of symbols. When Steve Sarkisian was calling plays on the sideline, he would simply call in numbers with hand signals. Then the quarterback would see what play corresponded to the number Sarkisian was signaling in, and then they'd know the play to call. 


Here are some other questions asked during the week.

Nick Harris, Taylor Rapp, and DJ Beavers have seen quite a bit of playing time in the first half of the season. Any other young players who we might see more of in the second half of the season?

DAWGMAN - Well, Aaron Fuller has shown up for sure. And if you're including redshirt freshmen, Andre Baccellia did a nice job of imitating Chico McClatcher Saturday at Oregon. On offense, transfer K.J. Young could see his number called a little bit more. On defense, Tevis Bartlett should continue to get plenty of playing time, as should Ben Burr-Kirven. Benning Potoa'e could see more time, and true frosh Brandon Wellington has been getting plenty of special teams work and that should continue. 

Is there anything you miss about the old Husky Stadium?

DAWGMAN - In a word, yes. As much as I'm thrilled they adios'ed the track, I definitely miss the old helmet car. As a kid, watching that thing ring around the field was incredible. And I really think having the students in the lower north stand was where they should always be. Hopefully that changes at some point because when they were there with the band they were the catalyst for the noise and the energy. They seem too off to the side in the west stands. Over time maybe they'll be able to find ways to replicate the same feel that it used to have, but so far it doesn't look like it's going to be an easy thing to do. 

If the Dawgman.com staff players football at UW, what number would each wear and why?

DAWGMAN - Kim Grinolds would wear number one, because that's his role. He's King Cheese. Chris Fetters would wear Coleman Shelton's 79, because he's a lineman and calling the shots from the center of things. Scott Eklund would wear Chico McClatcher's 6, because he's the Swiss Army Knife of the Dawgman attack. He can do it all. And Luke Mounger, our intrepid intern, would wear Bobby Boucher's number 9. When it comes to fetching water and doing the dirty work, there's no one better. 

And I can't forget Moni. She would wear Jake Browning's 3. She's our Heisman candidate. 

Do you see John Ross leaving following this season and if so, who takes his place?

DAWGMAN - I know feeling is a bit mixed on this question from the staff, but when you suffer a couple knee injuries and football life is short I think Ross will jump on the opportunity to go pro. Right now his draft stock is shooting through the roof, and he may not find a better time to go. Obviously there are myriad examples of guys staying and improving their grade, but if Ross is expected to go in the first couple days, I'd be shocked if he doesn't go. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, there may not be anything more he needs to prove at the college level. 

Will the Huskies be able to figure out how to use the tight ends more in the passing game? 

DAWGMAN - It's been a bit of a mystery for sure. The Washington tight ends only have 17 combined catches through six games, equating to 15 percent of the Huskies' total catches. But they've caught more (12) than the running backs. In some ways, you can chalk it up to the younger receivers coming of age. Chico McClatcher, despite missing the Oregon game, has nearly more catches (16) on his own than all the tight ends. And John Ross and Dante Pettis combined have accounted for 47 percent of all catches, so it's clear Jake Browning has targeted them. The beauty of this problem is that it gives Jonathan Smith lots of opportunities to utilize the tight ends as weapons and throw new wrinkles into the offense that opposing defenses haven't seen on tape yet. Darrell Daniels has caught 65 percent of the passes completed to the tight ends, so he's still the main man. 

How does the 2018 recruiting class within the state compare to the 2017 class? Are there as many top end guys as we had this year? 

DAWGMAN - Not seeing it right now. When the 2017 class is led by arguably the top OL in the country in Foster Sarell, that tips the scales heavily toward the current class. But 2018 has some studs no doubt: Jacob Sirmon (already committed to UW), Kyler Gordon, Devin Culp, Campbell Barrington, Malik Putney, Tre Weed, M.J. Ale, Jarrell Anderson, Ben Wilson, Mason Starling, and Sam Lockett are some of the names UW fans should be getting themselves acquainted with for 2018. And we're only halfway through their junior years, so expect even more names to pop up.  

Will Jimmy Lake or Pete Kwiatkowski leave this season if they get head coach job offers?

DAWGMAN - Yes on Lake, no on Coach K - with caveats. I think Lake certainly has his sights set on becoming a head coach, and if the right opportunity comes along - like it did for Jeff Choate and Montana State - he will jump at it. He has experience at the highest levels of FBS football and in the NFL, so he would be an attractive candidate. But I really don't know what would constitute the 'right opportunity', and I also wonder if programs may want to see Lake in a coordinator position first before jumping all in. 

Kwiatkowski is absolutely deserving of a head coaching opportunity, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's approached in the offseason. His defenses have been nothing short of outstanding. But having covered him these last few years I just don't get the sense that Coach K is looking beyond Washington. I wouldn't necessarily say he's tied to Chris Petersen, but he knows he's got it great at UW and he may be very happy to stay and build on the success he's already helped to create. One thing I will say: his agent should be negotiating a hefty pay increase, because he's earned every penny. And frankly UW should pony up, because it's worth it to keep him around. 


Email ASK DAWGMAN questions to cfetters@dawgman.com

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