Coach's Corner

Saturday wasn't pretty. It was an off day for the Dawgs and they got thoroughly beaten by an Oregon State team determined not to let their own season slip away. It was awful and there is no getting around the obvious, the Huskies were out played by a team who came out and basically beat them up.

The Beavers physically won the football game.

The Beavers got physical with the Husky receivers and certainly disrupted their timing, but the Huskies also lost the battle in the trenches - and with it lost the game. They dropped balls that needed to be caught, they threw passes into the ground and over open receivers, and got mauled by a little running back that got tough yards after contact. He literally pushed the pile himself at times turning 2 yard gains into 5. The Beavers got 6 sacks and put constant pressure on the Husky quarterback. The Huskies got no sacks and hardly put any pressure on the Beaver quarterback.

It was down right ugly, but it's over. A loss is a loss and no matter how you put a spin on it, it hurts.

These games happen in football and maybe the unfamiliar role as favorite got the best of them. It's over and now an even better team looms on the horizon. After beating the Golden Bears for 19 straight years the Huskies have lost the last four in a row and they haven't been close the last three, losing 54-7, 42-12, and 56-17. Yikes!

Unfortunately, for many of the Husky faithful, last Saturday looked too much like a game from one of those years. A second half collapse that was totally unexpected. It was a winnable game that they lost after taking a lead into halftime. Study it, learn from your mistakes, and get ready to play the best team you've played so far this season.

There are five games left to play and a chance to play in a bowl game still exists. This is a Husky team who can't afford to be feeling sorry, can't lose their confidence, and can't forget how to win ball games. It's time to buckle up their chinstraps and step up.

After dropping their first game of the season, the California Golden Bears have been on a tear. They have won six straight and are obviously very good on the offensive side of the ball. They scored over 40 points in five of those games and are, quite frankly, a very good team.

Washington is not.

It's not as though the Huskies are a bad team, they just haven't clicked on all phases in a game. They have improved in just about every way, especially in the win column.

The Bears' passing game is the very best in the conference averaging over 280 yards and leading the league in pass efficiency. The Huskies pass defense ranks last in the league giving up close to 250 per outing. That is kind of scary.

One consolation is the Bears are almost just as bad in pass defense as the Huskies, however, they lead the conference in interceptions That phase of the game is a scary match-up in itself but you've got to think that the Huskies will improve on the back end of their defense and with a little better pressure, just might be able to slow them down. Their best chance is to keep the ball away from Cal's offense by keeping them on the sideline.

These two teams are almost identical in rushing the football. They both are gaining a little under 170 yards per game. The Huskies are actually are better at stopping the run and so it might get back to the passing game and the kicking game where the Bears hold the edge in both.

Washington has the better punter but California has the better overall punt game. The Bears lead the league in NET punting and are second in punt returns and third in kick off returns. The Huskies are 7th in all these categories. The Bears are perfect in Pat's and Field Goals.

Do the Huskies even have a chance? If they play flawless where they run the ball well and keep the Bear passing game on the sidelines, the answer is maybe. Add to that good punting, winning the field position, and somehow hang around until the fourth quarter, then the answer becomes yes.

There are five more opportunities for Washington to get a couple more wins. This team has come too far not to pick up the pieces, not put this loss to the Beavers behind them, and try to improve. Study more, work harder, keep the faith, make an individual commitment to become better and play hard come Saturday in Berkley. That should be the focus.

Going to a bowl game would be great for this group of kids. This Cal game is the first of five opportunities to advance toward one.

As fans, we are all concerned about the injury to Isaiah Stanback. How serious is his injury? Will he or won't he return? What does this mean to Jake Locker? I assume that if Stanback can't go then it will probably be Carl Bonnell. It would be great for him to have success as he most likely will be the field general for at least the next few games. He is the next in line, it is his turn to lead the offense and his turn to play. I am positive that Coach Willingham and Coach Lappano will do and play whoever they feel gives them the best chance to win. They want to get a bowl invitation to build momentum and get those important 15 more days of bowl practices, another building block to the program.

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