Dawg Blog - Cal

Here's the Dawg Blog for the Cal-UW game at Husky Stadium. It will be updated at the end of the game.

Pre-Game: Watching the ND-Michigan game. 0/3 in the red zone with a pick and a fumble? Way to go Wolverines. They are making Charlie Weis look like a genius. And what's with the fumble call? The refs said the ball never crossed the plane of the goal line, but then called it a touchback? How can a play be a touchback if the ball never made it to the end zone? Interesting...granted I'm watching the game without sound right now, so I don't know what the full explanation is. All I saw was a ND DB with the ball in his hands in his own end zone.

23 minutes until gametime: The Irish cough it up with five minutes to go in the game. This play is also under review. Maybe they can get this one right...

21:30 until gametime: Was actually hoping to see the Huskies in all purple. Images of them coming out against Colorado in '89. Boy did they get smoked in that one. I guess it's probably a good idea they didn't...

20 minutes until gametime: The play is still under review...

19 minutes until gametime: The replay ref butchered that call too. If Penn State had been playing this game, JoePa probably would had a heart attack on the sideline.

17 minutes until gametime: Interesting to see some of the starting personnel for today's game. Will watch with interest to see how Tui Alailefaleula ('The Alphabet' is Willingham's nickname for him) plays. The rain has scared off whatever crowd was going to be at Husky Stadium. I'm thinking 30,000 for the game right now. Nothing but smatterings of purple throughout, nothing solid.

10 minutes until gametime: Always that stunning image of the flag coming out on the field. A breath-taker if there ever was one. You know it's almost time to play UW football...Michigan is trying to make a game out of it in Ann Arbor...

7 minutes until gametime: The Washington sidelines were loaded with recruits prior to kickoff: Tony Zackery, Jason Brace, Jeff Jack, Cody Habben, Cameron Elisara, Jake Locker and Ryan Tolar were among the prep dignataries in attendance...also at Husky Stadium is the entire team from the Iolani School from Hawaii. They are playing Olympia Capital at the Tacoma Dome Saturday night.

Four minutes until gametime: The Pac-10 rescinded their rule about the home team coming out first, so the Bears come out first...it's nice to see the sun come out after raining hard all morning...hopefully the fans will respond in kind.

Three minutes until gametime: The siren roars as the Huskies come out...Just looking from the box to the north side, the stadium appears about half-full. UW game captains are Joe Lobendahn, James Sims, Jr., Dashon Goldson and Brad Vanneman.

One minute before gametime: Cal wins the toss and elects to receive...the ND-Michigan game is going to run over, but ABC plans on switching over once the Cal-UW game is ready to start...ominous music is coming from the jumbotron...not sure if I'm getting ready to watch a football game or seeing 'coming attractions'.

Gametime: Notre Dame pulls out a squeaker in Ann Arbor. Weis should give his game ball to Michigan's red-zone offense...the officials are at mid-field, making sure they have their dinner reservations all set.

Gametime: No Darrion Jones on the kickoff team...in fact, no Darrion Jones. Maybe he's hurt? Knudson buries Cal deep and they down it.

14:50/1st: So much for pounding it with Marshawn Lynch. Way to use your head, Matt Fountaine...visions of Jose Canseco. Darin Harris gets his first pick. Nice way to start for the Huskies...and then they follow it up with mayhem on their first play on offense.

14:40/1st: Cal does the same thing the Huskies have been guilty of for years...totally lose sight of where the ball is in the air...and Sonny Shackelford makes them pay with a 56-yarder. Huskies up quickly, a perfect start for Willingham and crew.

13:08/1st: Just what you like to see after a strike of lightning...a defensive stop...why is that Washington fans stopped coming early to games? It's almost 1PM and LOADS of people are crossing Montlake from getting off the busses...used to be the place would be packed 30 minutes before gametime. Can't just be the rain...

9:57/1st: Just looks to me like the UW corners are playing closer to their men and with Ayoob rolling out it's giving them time to make a play on the ball...third-down bug hits the Huskies again. They need to win the battle of third-down today to have any chance.

7:04/1st: At this point the Huskies are doing exactly what they did in the beginning of the Air Force game - they are not beating themselves. They are playing field position and the defense is clearly running around a lot more. I attribute that to the fact that what Cal is showing them they are a lot more familiar and comfortable with. Get that triple-option stuff out of here...just as soon as I type it they make a mistake but get away with it because Cal makes an even bigger one...that type of play is something that would have gone against the Dawgs last year.

5:44/1st: Gotta love seeing OL jump on piles to move them an extra 2-3 yards...kudos to Chad Macklin in that department...I know Lappano has to keep Cal honest with a run to the outside every once in a while, but they are running so much better between the tackles right now...good to see Kenny James back in there again.

4:11/1st: Stanback needs to make quicker decisions...he has a little bit of success early and now he thinks he's Mike Vick...he needs to keep taking what's given.

3:25/1st: Since when did defensive players lose their arms? Wrapping up has basically left the game, for some reason...Ayoob is quickly finding his stride...I'd say replay right now has been a big flop...just check the jumbotron guys, even I could see the play was good...that scoring drive was vintage Tedford.

:55/1st: Another pet peeve...why in the world can't receivers run routes past the first-down markers? On the scoreboard the game is a wash, but the Huskies have to feel good about being right there. It's clear the Bears have a potent offensive attack.

14:38: Again, third-down is a killer...the Huskies are playing the first two downs to perfection, then they seem to be looking around to find someone to make a play on third - not good...Master call by Tedford on the shovel pass, and just like last week Scott White is a hair short from making a big play...good defenses don't allow those plays to happen...meanwhile Willingham has a couple of heart-to-hearts already with the line judge on his side...

11:43/2nd: Man, I don't know if I've ever seen a ref have as much of a brain freeze on that Cal TD...scary, if not for the fact that it was pretty funny to watch...at least they got the call right...of all the Cal WR's, I doubt Kent Baer was thinking Robert Jordan was the guy that was going to torch his secondary...the Dawgs need an answer.

10:42/2nd: Stanback's fakes didn't work against the Falcons and they definitely aren't working against Cal...Shackelford bails his QB out with a big play, he's starting to show glimpses of why he was recruited...and another crossing pattern well short of first-down distance...Knudson, as Bob Rondeau would say, is money...the Huskies answered, but probably not the way Willingham would have envisioned.

8:25/2nd: All in all, it turned out to be a beautiful day at Montlake...too bad there's a lot of fans masquerading as empty seats...the Cal receivers are doing a killer job in blocking UW's corners...Fountaine and Lewis are having a really tough time shedding blockers...another big stop, courtesy of Greyson Gunheim...can the Huskies take advantage?...Russo looks like a deer in the headlights.

6:05/2nd: Again, Stanback needs to stick to a play and go with it...after two great kicks that ran forever for touchbacks, Douglas goes for a 53-yard punt that probably went 33 yards on the ground...the Huskies - just like last week - have their opponent pinned deep...will it be deja vu all over again?

4:12/2nd: Lavelle Hawkins and DeSean Jackson have been total no-shows for Cal, a huge surprise...but they have been pulling their weight and then some when it comes to blocking on the edge, the Huskies are really stuggling to get off blocks...Lobendahn has Ayoob dead to rights and completely whiffs on third down...those plays are made by winning teams...White gets absolutely mauled trying to sack Ayoob and nothing called...meanwhile downfield, Fountaine whiffs on the pass and Jordan ends up with his third score...Washington is making Jordan look like Michael Jordan...it seems like the Huskies are always making someone look invincible nowadays...last week it was Greg Kirkwood.

2:21/2nd: Stanback is looking awfully human today and definitely isn't too interested in taking what's given...two bombs later and the Huskies are punting once again...well, at least they tried to punt. It's going to be a long year, UW fans...this series will make or break any chance the Dawgs have at making this a game...one play later, it's a ballgame...simply put, the defense is out on the field WAY, WAY, WAY too much.

1:34/2nd: Even plays that look wide open appear to take Stanback a lot longer to dissect than normal...bad play by Cal there, no need for a hit out of bounds...first Craig Chambers citing, but a hold will nullify a nice pass play...Stanback is all over the place...Cal takes a knee to end the half, smart play...Huskies down by 18 and probably could have been worse.

2 minutes before start of third quarter: The team comes out of the tunnel and is bouncing around...don't know if it means anything, but they don't seem down. As Rick Neuheisel would say, 'Gentlemen, this will be the greatest comeback in the history of college football.' It's going to have to be...

14:40/3rd: After seeing Roy Lewis return a couple of kicks, does it scare Husky fans to know that he returned a kick for a score during a fall scrimmage? The Huskies could learn a thing or two from Cal's rush defense, swarming to the ball at every occasion...they also use their arms, a pretty novel concept, apparently...meanwhile, the Washington OL has to be considered a disappointment, considering the experience they bring...finally, a crossing pattern that goes past the sticks!

11:07/3rd: The Craig Chambers saga is bound to continue after CC takes it to the house for a much-needed score out of the blocks. Good to see Stanback 'right the ship' - another favorite Neuheisel-ism. 'Tough times don't last, but tough people do,' is another gem...we'll see if the Dawgs are for real today if they can get a three-and-out this next series...

9:25/3rd: Huskies catch a huge break when Lynch goes out with a hurt hand...they have the ball back again, can they drive another 85 yards for a score? Lynch is headed to the locker room...

7:33/3rd: Just like the 4th quarter against AFA, these third-and-long situations will kill Washington...absolutely no running game to speak of right now...Lynch still out.

6:18/3rd: Absolutely no help on 3rd down, a killer if you're trying to come back in a football game...Goldson continues to make mistakes a leader isn't supposed to make...the Huskies need to realize that Forsett is in the game...Forsett, not Dorsett...and Jordan continues to look like Jerry Rice.

1:43/3rd: With a Marcus O'Keith touchdown, it's looking like the Huskies and Bears will stalemate in the third quarter. That's fine, but when you're down 18 points it doesn't get you very far...baby steps, I guess...Washington needs to catch some more lightning...my prediction for the final score is right on the money, if there's no more scoring...fans already starting to leave, a very sad sign that Cal has now become Washington of old and Washington has now become Cal.

End of Third Quarter: 35-17 and the Huskies are shooting themselves in the foot with a lot of penalties...the discipline and focus Willingham has been preaching about is non-existent.

15:00/4th: 57775 announced in attendence...that's tickets sold, folks...Blair Bush, a great Husky Center, is today's Husky Legend...Dashon Goldson is in the locker room for x-rays...man, it just doesn't seem like Washington's running backs are moving with a lot of steam...Stanback, on the other hand, looks very good running and I suspect the coaches will try and get him more touches that way as the season progresses...his deep throws need to be in the air a lot earlier, way too much time for the Cal corners to catch up.

11:43/4th: Figured Lappano would scrap the screen game the first four times it didn't work...apparently pass interference doesn't exist in the Pac-10 and I guess it's not a touchback any more when the ball is carried by a player trying to down the ball. Silly me.

8:32/4th: It must have gotten to the ugly stage, because streams of Husky fans are leaving Husky Stadium...Tahj Bomar gaps one way, Marcus O'Keith goes the other way, touchdown Cal - that was WAY too easy...when it's all said and done, this game is almost a carbon copy of 2004.

3:47/4th: The witch is dead.

End of the game: I spoke too soon. Wagers for Idaho, anyone?

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