Still, Washington had a similar problem from a season ago. Gilbertson is well aware of it. "Our deficiencies jump out at us. We don't run the ball. When we did try to run the ball, we had very little success doing it and a lot of protections broke down. The reality of it is we have to find a running game. We just can't start every game and get nothing done offensively."
|UW vs OSU GAME GALLERY|
A real bright spot was the kicking game, an area that was expected to be a weakness. "I thought Garth Erickson did a nice job his first time as a punter. Evan Knudson made a nice field goal, but on the second one, he just didn't get any height on the ball. It was a little slow in developing."
"I am disappointed, but I am certainly not discouraged. I am anxious to get back and start coaching on Monday. We've got some things to clean up and get ironed out, but it is a long season – a marathon, not a sprint."
Ohio State's front four really dominated the game. "That front four can do so much. When they can get to you with four-man rushes, and not have to pressure the blitz, it just makes it that much easier for them on the back end. They have great athletes," said Gilbertson.
Gilby was asked if he was comfortable being back on the sidelines. It brought a smile and a deadpan answer. "After tonight?? (laughs) … Do you really want to know? There were a couple of times I wished I was back in that damn booth! But, I thought our kids competed well, and hung in there. We had some chances to score and get into the game, but I thought we played very poorly in the red zone. We had penalties down there and were jumping off-sides. One player had three false starts, and down there, you just can't do that. We had plenty of chances and didn't get it done."
"We were affected by the crowd, particularly down in the horseshoe endzone. We were trying to come out of there at the end of the first half, we did not want to throw a pass. I just wanted to run the clock and try to get out of the half down 14. We had penalties and the clock stopped twice, and heck, we had to try to throw a pass to get out of there. This is as noisy of a place that we have been to, it reminds me of Arrowhead Stadium, which is unbelievably noisy."
The lack of a rushing attack limited what the Dawgs could do offensively. "Cody had no time to throw, we had to stay in the quick game just to get the ball off. Their front seven is excellent, very hard to run and throw against. When we got down, that dimension goes away. The only way we can get back into it is to throw the ball."
Krenzel's scrambles were the killer plays for the Husky defense. "He just made a nice run and got outside the blitz. Once he got out there, we were just out-leveraged. We had a safety get there late."
Gilbertson was quick to point out that this loss would not be similar in nature to the way the Michigan loss deflated the team. "I don't see any similarity between the two. We have to have more leadership and more character than to let this thing deflate us. We knew we were playing the defending national champions and that we were in for an evening. We knew what would happen if we didn't run the ball and have some balance on offense."