Coach's Corner

I didn't have to do my post game radio show following the Huskies important victory over the Beavers, so I decided to go to the locker room and get in on the fun. Let me tell you, there is nothing like the electricity and exhilaration of a victory locker room.

Without a doubt, this was clearly the biggest win so far for the Gilbertson era. Of course, it is only seven games old, but I hope that it lasts at least a decade. That will mean that the Dawgs are having success, big time.

What's not to like about the Dawgs going on the road (where they were 4-10 since their Rose Bowl victory) and winning a game that they were supposed to win?

Sure they were the underdogs, but that double figure line that the Beavers were favored by seemed a bit overboard. It would've been a sure bet to me if I did gamble.

It certainly was worth the trip down and it was even better to hug Gilbs and Randy and Tim and John and everyone else who played a part.

They had come together as a team and came out completely different with everything from their white socks to their confident attitude. They played like Huskies and they knew it. Talking with one player before the game (who shall remain nameless), the attitude was clear when he said, "We are pissed. We just want to go out, kick their (explicative deleted), and get the hell out of this place."

Mission accomplished.

It wasn't pretty but it was a win and a great win for everyone that was there to enjoy it. Considering the drug scandal and all the other constant distractions that this group of kids has had to endure, it's amazing that they were so focused. They pressed the action from the punt return on, and when they were done, they had made a statement to themselves. They had to rid themselves of the demons of the UCLA collapse and the Nevada nightmare.

The post-game atmosphere was so positive and I felt guilty being part of it because I know I didn't suffer and pay the price that all of them paid.

Even Seattle P-I Go-2 Guy Jim Moore shook the hands of the Huskies he interviewed. He did ask out loud as Dawgman walked by, "Is there anyway this team can still go 12-0?" You gotta love Jim's spunk, and Dawgman's ability to take a joke. Both those guys are characters.

From my seat, it was particularly good to see the fine job of coaching. The move of Terry "Tank" Johnson to defensive end did not result in any sacks but it did result in three holding penalties because their tackles and tight ends simply could not block him.

Hundley's linebackers had their best game of the season and ran thru into the backfield on tremendous run reads. Nobody this entire season will do to Steven Jackson what the Dawg defense did to him Saturday night. It was a marvelous defensive game plan and although James Newson still got off, the play of surprise starter Sam Cunningham on the corner really helps to Husky cover problems. He played real steady and so did another surprise starter, Donny Mateaki, at defensive tackle.

The play of the two safeties had to be steady and I figured before the game that they would have to be the leading tacklers just because of Jackson. Jimmy Newell and Evan Benjamin were great. They tackled well and were tough in coverage, playing their best games of the season.

I really got off on Greg Carothers' play. He was a force and pressured both the run off tackle and the pass. He had his best game and his pick was a great play. Carothers is the leader of the defense and he and Tank are capable of leading these guys to an absolutely unbelievable upset this next Saturday.

I realize I have not mentioned ET. But do I have to? There is no way Cody is going to let this team not win. He is the leader and he is a warrior. And he is hurt. I don't care what he says, I've seen this kid throw a football since he was 15. He put up more ducks than ever on Saturday, but somehow many found their home. He was simply courageous and found a way to get it done.

Even though Rich Alexis went down, we got to see more of Kenny James and Shelton Sampson. Those two are going to be special. James is the most natural guy at tailback on the team, making cuts and darts in accordance with what he's seeing.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the much maligned offensive line didn't give up a sack. The only time OSU dropped Cody was really a cover sack, and Pickett chose to play safe and not risk a turnover.

I liked it all, and I like their chances this Saturday at home against USC, if the crowd can get into the game.
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