Alex Brink leads WSU to victory by completing 38 of 47 passes for 469 yards and 5 touchdowns. Oregon's Dennis Dixon tears apart Michigan's defense with 368 yards and 5 touchdowns en route to a 39-7 win, handing the Wolverines their worst defeat since 1968. Colt Brennan of Hawaii passes for 548 yards and 4 touchdowns in Hawaii's win over Louisiana Tech.
Those are offensive numbers that are down right scary and those teams are on the Huskies schedule later on in the season.
With the exception of Oregon State getting spanked like a red-headed stepchild, the Pac-10 had an amazing weekend.
Cal won, ASU won, and UCLA won and all did it with explosive passing offenses.
Fortunately the Huskies can't be looking ahead though because right now they have to contend with the absolute bruiser on their schedule, THE Ohio State Buckeyes, who won last weekend the old fashion way, on defense. All they did was hold the Akron Zips (great college name) to a grand total of two (that's 2) points and forced the Zips to punt 14 times including 12 consecutive three and outs. Akron managed only 69 total yards on offense and gained a net 3 yards rushing. Now that's great defense!
Like I said, "You know it don't come easy." Ohio State is obviously one of the true powerhouses in college football. Sure they have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar on a number of occasions, but somehow they defend themselves and always skate with a slap on the wrist. Besides, in their conference they don't eat their own. They are "old school" and they are always tough and hard nosed and if you're going to beat them then it will be an awesome battle.
That's what is in store for the Huskies. If you thought the offensive line of Boise State was good, wait until you eyeball the monsters coming in from Columbus. I will promise you this will be the greatest win in the Willingham era if they can stand toe to toe with this bunch and win.
A win here and everyone will know that the Huskies are for real heading into the "cushy Pac-10 schedule" (according to LSU coach Les Miles anyway).
To beat the Buckeyes you have to play their game, old fashion "hit you in the mouth football". It is not out of the question to expect this Husky team to do just that. This is the perfect game for the guys like fullback Paul Homer. It is made to order for linemen like Jordan Reffett and might be a great game to watch linemen in your binoculars. This will be a monster mash.
In case you missed it in the Huskies' first two wins, they are really becoming warriors up front. They are getting tougher in both lines then they have been for years. They won't back down from THE Ohio State University. Saturday was a tremendous win against Boise State, but now comes the "A" game on the pre-season schedule. This is the defining game. This is why you play for the Huskies.
While the Huskies really need to clean up their mistakes, they also have to continue to win the turn over battle, something they have done in both of their wins so far. This kind of game is going to be decided by about 5-6 plays – do not blink.
The last two times The Ohio State team has visited Husky Stadium they were beaten by the Montlake Dawgs. In 1986 we opened our season with them and they were ranked number 10 in the nation. We jumped all over them that day and went on to win 40-7 behind a balanced attack of exactly 204 yards rushing to go with 204 yards passing while at the same time holding them to 82 yards rushing and 104 yards passing. Yep, we played some pretty good defense.
The next time the Buckeyes came to Husky Stadium was in 1994 and Napoleon Kaufman stunned them with his speed and John Fiala stopped Eddie George on the goal line in route to another Husky 25-16 win.
They hosted us the next year and when we rolled into Buckeye Stadium somehow they had forgotten to mow the lawn. That slowed the game down and helped them beat us 30-20. I can distinctly remember walking onto the field before the game and having my cleats sink into the deep plush green grass. We laughed at it because we didn't want it to be an issue with our kids, but it worked. They forced the game into the trenches and pounded on us for 259 yards rushing. It was ugly.
But I'm digressing from the point I wanted to make - when we played them in Columbus, they sort of had their way with us, but when the Buckeyes have played in Husky Stadium they have not had much success. There were 70,861 fans in Husky Stadium that day in ‘94 and the place was rocking. It was so loud you couldn't hear someone talking right next to you. The crowd carried us that day in a game we won when we were unranked and they were ranked 16th.
Not unlike this coming Saturday.
I think the Huskies have an excellent chance against the Buckeyes this time around but no interceptions or fumbles lost is going to be key. Getting about two turnovers from them will help especially if we could take one to the house. That is what is going to take to win. A defensive touchdown or kicking game touchdown is just what the prescription calls for.
Washington needs to make every field goal and extra point and hit a good punt every time out. Good snaps, quick get offs, solid protection, good hang time and proper coverage lanes and good open field tackling. There have been breakdowns in some of those areas so far, but it's time for that to end.
The kids on kick-off coverage have to sprint, avoid blocks, recognize returns, sprint to control, break down and make open field tackles. This single phase of the Huskies' kicking game has been a glaring weakness in first two victories. They cannot allow for field position losses due to sloppy coverage in the kicking game. Remember Boise State had a kickoff for touchdown called back due to a holding call. Up in the press box I had a beautiful view of it, and there were actually two holds plus a push in the back on that play. But still, their kid still went the distance. The Huskies can't allow that sort of thing to happen against the Buckeyes
These are the kinds of teams that you love to play against. You know they will be big, tough, and bruising. This is the signature win coming up for this Husky program.
Their two offensive stars will have to have great games for the Huskies to win. To win games like this you really need to have your play-makers shine. Besides Locker and Rankin you have to have sure handed performances from your receivers. Reece has to do it again, so does Corey Williams and Anthony Russo, and with a defensive score or kicking break, all of a sudden you will be turning it over to your running game and defense and eating up the clock at the end.
And how cool would that be?
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