Letters to the Publisher

Thanks to those that wrote in. Just how good was USC? Wow. Now the Huskies welcome their old friend Mike Bellotti to town. Washington needs this game if they have any hopes of a bowl game and 15 extra practices this year. And now onto the letters . . .

From Tara Johnson
Dear Dawgman
I just wanted to know what ever happened to Wesley Washington who graduated from Mader Dei and committed himself to Minnesota State Gophers but was denied because he didn't pass his SAT's , did he finally pass and is he headed back to Minnesota or is he headed for the Huskies? I tried to keep up with him one day I was reading he was named second-team the West by the Long Beach Press telegram and #3 by College Basketball News and every since they mention he was denied by Minnesota nothing else has been said, he was a very good bal player and I hope he is carrying on his skills and laying on them.

A: Wesley won't really know until December where he's going to go. He is undecided between Minnesota and Washington, but most feel that Washington is the fall back plan and that the Gophers have the inside track if he becomes eligible.
From Patricia Lindh
Dear Dawgman:
To find out the visitors to the game last Saturday, it says to go to the database and click on visitors. Where is the database?

A: The database is called "Scout" and can be found in the left nav bar under FOOTBALL. Here is a link to it: Scout database of fun. You can sort it by a lot of different fields, one being visit date. Enjoy!
From Chris Lohman
Dear Dawgman:
I'm a concerned Dawg. Are we recruiting a class this year that will allow us to compete against the LA schools (as well as the big non-conference games) the next 4-5 years. Athletically, we have been overmatched in over half of our games this year (and we haven't played Oregon and WSU). I know we have a lot of guys hurt, but our 2nd and 3rd team guys look two steps slower than our starters (four steps slower than Colbert and Bush). Please put my mind at ease and tell me the class we are recruiting right now is the class that will help our Dawgs get back to the top of the Pac-10 - or at the very least be able to compete athlete to athlete.

A: Washington needs to recruit some big guys and some guys with swagger. That won't happen overnight, but rather over a couple of years. They need big OL with attitudes, a bad-ass safety, a defensive end that can get up field and sack the quarterback, and a tight end that can actually spread the field. That won't happen in one year.
From Big Al
Dear Dawgman:
1) Have there been any true freshmen that are redshirting, that have really been impress on the scout-team (not including the WR's, Simpson, and Wallace) ... anyone else that we should be excited about as a redshirt freshman in 2004?
2) How is the recruitment of Matt Tui going? Do you feel that the Huskies are the front-runner?
Thanks and keep up the good work?

A: Watch out for DT Jordan Reffett. He's one to watch. Matt Tui will come to Washington, unless the school is in big trouble with the NCAA. Even then I have to believe that Matt will give Gilby a long look. Scott Pelluer is doing a nice job recruiting him.
From John Adams
Dear Dawgman:
Like most observers of this site I am die hard Husky fan and enjoy your work. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Dawgs and their hopes for the future but the USC game should be analyzed in a very cold blooded fashion to point out how far the UW has slipped in the past 2 seasons. Forget the obvious disruptions from the coaching change it is clear the Coach Nue was not the recruiter he hyped himself to be. We now have all Coach Nue players on the team and the UW was as overmatched as I can recall seeing since the lull in the program in 1987-88. While certain players like Reggie are great many of the others are not difference makers or impact players. Even in Lambos darkest days he was fairly competitive with UCLA and USC even winning handily in some years. The current players play hard but make a lot of dumb mental errors and lack the "hair on fire" abandon of the James years. I like Gilby but I shake my head in amazement when I hear him talk about needing to recruit this and that as though he just stepped into the program. Hell, he has been their through the whole 4 years. I hope he goes for young men who really want to play hard nosed football regardless of the high school All-American point systems. From what we see on the field those types are really cutting it. From what you see what has happened to the pipeline in California? While the raw percentage of players is significant the talent level seems lower. We used to get more impact players from there. Why didn't Coach Neu with his California ties capitalize on better talent? Realistically, are we looking at two recruiting classes to close the gap with USC? Can you find an NFL head coaching job for Pete Carroll?

A: I'm not sure the entire problem is talent. Washington doesn't have USC type talent, but they rarely have. It's what you do with the guys you get that counts. Recruiting is the lifeblood, but you cannot forget that it's coaching and development that are the keys to any good football program. A lot of recruiting fanatics forget that. Washington was really good at identifying guys that would develop in their system. They need to get back to that.
From Darryl
Dear Dawgman:
What happen to the talented group of true freshman receiver everyone was talking about? All we hear now is that Cody Pickett is not comfortable with them and as a result do not throw to them in the games. Well USC has a bunch of young freshman that is playing and getting the ball and performing. If these young guys don't get the ball how can they have breakout games and the confidence to perform. I thought football was a team sport and the more reps you get the more experience you get, everyone has been making excuses for Cody all year long and his turnover ratio has to be one the highest in the Pac 10. He should spread the ball around and that just might help.

A: The young WRs are very talented. They just make mistakes and are getting used to their third month in a major college program. USC does have a lot of talented freshman, very true. Cody has struggled this year, no doubt, but part of it has been the fact that the lineup in front of him, to the sides of him, and behind him, has never been consistent. That makes it more difficult, particularly when you are struggling. You tend to try to do too much.
From UW Dawg 70
Dear Dawgman:
Dave, two questions. (1) I thought I read that Aaron Butler had wanted to return to the team, but that Gilby said no because he had missed spring practice, but that if Butler returned this winter and went through spring practice, he could come back for next year. Any truth to this? Any idea what Butler's plans might be? Would Butler lose a year of eligibility for sitting out this year?
Question (2): Ty Eriks is way too small for DE. I wonder if this move isn't a transitional move back to OLB (SAM) for next year with both Carothers and Kambrink graduating. What do you think?

A: Butler could come back next year if he reenrolls, very true. I'm not sure what Aaron's plans are at the moment, but I do know that he didn't really enjoy the college curriculum much. As for Ty, I have no idea where he'll surface next. One thing about him though, if he fails at a position, it wasn't due to lack of trying. That kid gives it all he's got no matter what the coaches ask of him. I'd like to see him stay at DE to be honest with you. He hasn't played it very long and hasn't learned to tackle well yet. Randy can teach him that if given the opportunity.
From Chris Patters in Gilbert, AZ
Dear Dawgman:
Although I hate to see the Dawgs lose, USC was just flat out better and more talented than we were. We had some opportunities but didn't capitalize on them. Even though I still think we will have a winning year and go to some kind of bowl game, I want to ask you about next year. Who is going to be our quarterback? Will it be Stanback or Paus? The commentators always say that Stanback is an option quarterback. Can he throw the ball? I know Paus was highly recruited but can he lead the Huskies? Who gives us the best chance at winning? I think that James and Sampson will be good at the running back positions, we are loaded at wide receiver, although inexperienced. Are there any young stud O-linemen who will crack the starting lineup next year? As far as the defense goes, who will be on the D-line. The two guys who were injured this year, will they be ready for next year? I think at linebacker, Scott White, Galloway, Lobendahn will play but am I missing anybody? If Dashon Goldson comes to the UW, will he play right away? What about CJ Wallace? Gilbertson said he can really fly around and hit somebody but is he really that good? As far as place-kicker, will Braunstein play? I know this requires you to look into your crystal ball but I'm anxious to hear your response. Love your site and GO DAWGS.....I think Oregon will pay for this past weeks loss.

A: I think Stanback will win the job next year. He doesn't throw the most catchable ball, but he gives the UW the best chance to be dangerous on offense. He is amazing in the way he can get out of trouble. However he's going to make a lot of mistakes so get ready to be patient. The two young tackles, Erik Berglund and Chad Macklin, are good size. Watch for them next year. If Goldson keeps his verbal and comes to the UW, he'll play immediately. Wallace will play a lot next year, too. Braunstein will have a difficult time winning a job now that Knudson is entrenched and Douglas is doing such a nice job on kickoffs. Braunstein may vie for the punting job next year.
From Ron Martin
Dear Dawgman:
This week I was offered 2 tickets for the USC game but decided to watch the game at home on TV. Now I want to sell my TV. Ya know we actually had a chance to be in that game. We had so many missed and broken tackles, what ever happened to wrapping up a runner with both arms? We had so many running plays where we put a shoulder on the running back and have him bounce off for an extra 10 yards. Our secondary was beaten most of the day. I do not understand how USC can throw a pass in the flat to a fullback and have him run 50 yards into the end zone. I now know why Cody is reluctant to throw to our tight ends. They run like they are in sand and have waffle iron hands. Cody laid out some beautiful passes to our tight ends and it was like they were in slow motion pulling the Budweiser wagon with 72 kegs of beer. When we lost ET the USC defense shut down Reggie. Do we only have 2 wide receivers? We have the talent to compete with anyone but we do not take advantage of mistakes and opportunities, a fumble recovery on the USC 16 yard line resulting in 3rd and 50 from our on 40? As a 43 year Dawg I do not understand what is happening with this team. How can we play so well on D against OSU last week and miss so many tackles in the USC game and have such a bad day in the secondary. It seems we throw too many side line passes and hardly ever go down field. Cody, Reggie, and ET can not do it all, somebody else has to step up. Youth and inexperience is no longer an excuse. I have watched several true freshman receivers excel this year, WSU has one from Kent. Do we have a chance to finish above 500 this year? I do not think a 6 and 6 record is acceptable with our talent. Will a 500 season secure Gilby's job for next year? I am moving to a cave for one week to sulk, whine, and pout about our season. It seems the harder I want us to win the worse it gets, maybe I am bad luck. Every Saturday when the Dawgs play my wife leaves the house because I am so emotional and frustrated that we are not as good as we can be, guess I have been spoiled for a long time. I will not give up.

A: Well, I only found one question in there. Yes, I think the Dawgs will finish at least 500. Hang in there, Ron.
From Brenda Fisher
Dear Dawgman:
The score wasn't as close as it seemed. I wondered why USC bothered passing the ball. They were able to run at will. USC could have scored 50-60 points easily. This isn't a new problem. Over the last four games, UW has given up 390 yards against UCLA, 398 against Nevada, 390 against Oregon State, and now 565 against USC. I don't the defense getting better until the Huskies get someone to anchor the defensive line as they did with Larry Triplett a few years back. Do they have anyone that might be that guy? The only one I could think of that might be is Stanley Daniels.

A: Terry Johnson is the anchor on this line. Stanley has been moved to OG. You raise a good point, as Tank gets doubled and there isn't a lot of help for him. This team really misses Josh Miller.

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