Game is over!
Well, it was the perfect scarlet and grey storm. They forced turnovers, they ran the ball down UW's throats and they had the offensive balance you just dream about. All of it added up to a 33-14 Ohio State win Saturday in Seattle.
Carl Bonnell came in to mop up and led the Dawgs to a 55-yard drive, capped off by a Louis Rankin 2-yard run up the gut, but it was well over by then. And to think, the Huskies led at half! That's what you call wonderful second-half adjustments, execution, and a little bit of good fortune sprinkled in by way of turnovers.
The Huskies are going to be bloodied, bruised and battered after this slugfest. The key was for Washington to hit the Buckeyes in the mouth first, and that never materialized.
The good news? This is just the game UW needed going into a brutal Pac-10 schedule. They needed to go toe-to-toe with someone that was just more physical, more focused and just better. Because USC, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State and California are going to present the same types of challenges the Buckeyes threw down in Husky Stadium on Saturday.
If the Dawgs were going to make their mistakes, better here where they can learn from them and still accomplish all the things they want to during conference play.
3 Q Thoughts
As we all know, you can't be minus three in the takeaway game and win, it's just that simple. The big pass play was something they could have overcome. The ensuing fumble by Curtis Shaw made it ten times worse.
If I'm Jim Tressel, I don't throw the ball the rest of the game. The Buckeyes' run game is more than potent to handle a UW defense that it simply out-gunned. They've been on the field too long, and Ohio State's offensive line is playing really, really well.
The Husky offense had played too well not to go into halftime without some points on the board, so it was fitting that Jake Locker was able to find Anthony Russo for a score with three seconds left in the half. Clock management was about as good as you could have scripted out. If the play doesn't work, they have three seconds to kick a field goal to finish the half. A TD - especially knowing that UW gets the balll to come out the second half - gives the O a ton of momentum.
Defensively, they need to shore some things up in the run game, but I'm sure Baer will take their effort going into half. But Baer will be absolutely furious about the defense's inability to convert opportunities in the turnover game. Roy Lewis and Donald Butler had picks gift-wrapped to them from tOSU QB Todd Boeckman, and couldn't come up with the thefts. The Buckeye signal-caller won't be nearly as charitable as he starts to figure things out, so let's hope that doesn't end up being a factor in the final score.
And special teams? What can you say, the Huskies are winning the battle so far, with Jordan Reffett again sticking his paw out there to block a sure 28-yard field goal, and the kickers have done their part in executing what they want to. The lone blemish would be a roughing call in the first quarter that had Willingham furious, but he wasn't furious at his team. He was furious because it wasn't ruled that his guy wasn't blocked into the kicker.
Quickie 1st Half Stats:
First Downs OSU 9 UW 11
Rushing OSU 18-113 UW 18-93
Passsing OSU 7-15 for 64 UW 10-19 for 111 and one score
Locker 8 rushes for 69 yards
Russo 3/44 and one score
Corey Williams 1/25
1 Q Thoughts
Boy, Roy Lewis' almost-pick better not come back to haunt UW, because that's the kind of play they have to make in order to stay tight with Ohio State. And the defense needs to keep coming up and forcing tOSU to pass, because Wells is liable to break one soon.
Offensively, one possession, and that's just not going to help you out much. Welcome to Tressel-ball, UW fans. Running, running and more running, solid defense and special teams. If UW is going to win this game, they are going to have to take it from the Buckeyes, because it's pretty clear they aren't going to beat themselves.
5 minutes before gametime
The crowd has the 'Go...Huskies' chant going from side-to-side, and the Ohio State captains have just come out to the field. Still disappointed that UW fans can't find their seats five minutes before gametime, but that's the way it goes. Today's UW captains are Chad Macklin, Juan Garcia, Roy Lewis and Caesar Rayford. The siren goes off, but no Huskies yet. It's almost kind of cooler this way. Now the team is forming at the mouth of the tunnel, and the place is electric. The team comes out, the siren is wailing, and the students are freaking out. It's fun to watch a team that's once again relevant on the national stage.
20 minutes before gametime
Taking a gander down by the sidelines, we're guesstimating that there are over 50 recruits here for the game. Here are the ones we were able to eyeball and identify from the pressbox:
Ryan Robertson - Eastlake
Drew Schaefer - Eastlake
Alameda Ta'amu - Rainier Beach
Matt Bernard - Gig Harbor
Le'Roi Edwards - Kentridge
Jermaine Kearse - Lakes
Nick Green - Central Catholic (Portland)
Jared Karstetter - Ferris (Spokane)
Terrence Thomas - Lewiston (Idaho)
Luther Leonard - Evergreen (Seattle)
Vincente Cordova - Evergreen (Seattle)
Friday's relevant links
Here's this morning's Scout links from both the UW and Ohio State sites...
Here is BuckeyeSports.com's Buckeye Newstand for Friday. And here is their take on the Huskies and what tOSU fans should know about UW 'Essentials'. And here is their '5 Questions' segment on the most important thoughts coming into this game and their takes. Lastly, BSC's answer to Dick Baird - Bill Conley (was also a recruiting coordinator during his college days, like Baird) - gives his analysis on the game, including his 'six points to victory'.
On our side of the ledger, DM.C's Scott Eklund talks with Seahawks.NET's Doug Farrar about the college spotlight games of the week, and of course - our man Eklund talks a little Dawgs too.
And last, but certainly not least - the Dawgman.com predictions. You'll have to forgive Kim...he's got someone else's body parts in him now, so he's not quite feeling himself this week.
Afternoon practice notes
Nothing really new to report. Savannah was the only one wearing red but it looked to be merely precautionary as he was running with the first team defense. Davenport was running through agility drills, but wasn't really participating so you can pretty much count him out for the game on Saturday.
The track had several areas marked off with chairs and barriers for Band Day this weekend. The past few years the bands have been able to sit in the stands, but this year they are going to have to sit on the track because of the sold out stadium.
Willingham afternoon notes
Willingham said the team got back to their normal practice Wednesday and that the team was full of energy and they were looking forward to the game on Saturday.
His concerns with Ohio State are not just that they bring in a very talented team, but they haven't been challenged much so they didn't have to open up their offense in their first two games and that he was pretty sure they would open things up the game before they head into Big 10 play.
Injury updates: Byron Davenport did not work yesterday and he doesn't expect him to work today and that means he is likely out for the game on Saturday.
Casey Bulyca participated fully in practice and will start on Saturday.
Said the team is confident and excited to be 2-0, but they understand that they still have a long way to go to satisfying his goals for them.
Said the Husky crowd can play a role on Saturday. Root hard for the home team and when the opponent has the ball, to root loudly and that will work. However, he also noted that Ohio State plays in large stadiums and on big stages all the time and that he expects their senior and junior leadership who has been there before the bring the other guys along. Their experience with handling pressure comes from winning and that's where he's hoping the Huskies can go in the near future.
Louis Rankin isn't 100%, but Willingham said he's not concerned about his ability to do anything they want him to do and that if he were to get injured it's still a trifecta that will back him up with no order among...Brandon Johnson, J.R. Hasty and Curtis Shaw.
Thursday's Bag o' Links
The first one is from College Football News. They have their 'Fearless Predictions' up and running.
And of course we can't replace what our man Taft does in terms of providing daily links, but the Scout.com Ohio State site has their own Buckeye Newstand, with all the links you can shake a stick at.
BuckeyeSports.com's Mark Rea has posted his Rea's Say, which breaks down the tOSU-UW matchup, as well as many, many other games being played during week three of the college football season.
They also have a story on Ray Small, Ohio State's speedy sophomore WR, who will be making his 2007 debut in Seattle.
And last, but certainly never least - our long-standing 'By the Numbers', always brought to us by Pat Thrapp.
No matchup against Ohio State would be complete without some words from the UW coach that is from Cleveland and played collegiately for the Buckeyes. Defensive Line Coach Randy Hart has called Seattle home for nearly 20 years, but his roots are in Ohio. Here's what he had to say.
On Ohio State: "They are going to do what they do. They have enough of a belief in their system, and their coaches have been there long enough that they know what they want to do and how they want to get it done. They are going to throw their wrinkles at you, they are going to see some of the things Boise did and we're going to see the same things as you go through. They are going to do what they do as a base offense and defense, but they are also going to look and see what people exploited in you before, and you are going to see bits and pieces of that. A football team throughout the course of a year is not going to be static. They are not going to keep doing the same things. They'll experiment, they'll try what's going on. Their injuries and the personality of their team will change as the year goes on, and normally when you get toward the end you look at what you started with and where you wound up at, and it could be two entirely different teams."
On his time at Ohio State: "When we were there, there was two formations. The pro formation and the twins formation. That's when football was good. There was two backs in the backfield and you could keep track of everybody real easily. And back then, three things could happen throwing the ball, and two of them were bad, so no one that. Things have changed."
On Boise State: "I was satisfied because it was a win. I'm never going to be dissatisfied with a win. But can we play better? Yes. And as we go through the season, you always look for improvement and obviously you want to play your best at the end. We have to continue to improve, and that's our goal. And as we improve, hopefully we can get a few more victories."
On the front not seeing a whole lot of difference between BSU and OSU: "For the guys in the middle, it's pretty much a matter of having a guy line up less than a yard across from his nose, and you're gonna know who he is on every play."
On this year's OSU team, compared with last year's: "They are a different team, and Troy Smith is a different quarterback, just by mere physical presence. Jim Tressel still believes in what he wants to do and we're still going to see the same, basic Ohio State offense that people have seen."
On the differences in offensive lines between BSU and OSU: "I think they are going to be bigger, but I thought that Boise State had a good offensive line. They are going to win a lot of games this year. That offensive line has been together a long time. They've won a lot of football games and have a lot of confidence. But we haven't played Ohio State yet, so we'll see how that one goes."
MIKE Donald Butler and MIK Trenton Tuiasosopo
We spoke with a couple more players Wednesday - linebackers Donald Butler and Trenton Tuiasosopo. Right now the two are sharing time at the MIK position, and are 'tag teaming' the spot awfully well. Here's what both have to say.
MIK Donald Butler
On splitting time with Trenton Tuiasosopo: "So far it's going good. In all honesty, I'd like to be starting and taking all the reps, but since we are splitting time we both enjoy it, both getting after it and both having fun.
On whether or not they will share time the whole season: "I know as for this weekend, we are, but for the rest of the season, I don't know."
On the challenges Ohio State pose: "You always want to look at a team and see a big offensive line. What do they average? 6-5, 6-6? Something like that. 315 pounds. And they've got some big guys in the running back position. It's definitely going to be a challenge."
On the difference between last week and this week: "Boise State tried to trick us, mentally, I think. Ohio State, they don't run a whole lot of different formations, they don't run a whole lot of shifting and motioning. They just line up and run the ball. If you stop it, great - if you don't, they'll keep running it right down your throat."
On strength versus strength: "Ohio State is great up front. That's the strength of their team. It's going to give us a test, but our front seven is a strength too. I'm just looking forward to it, it's a big challenge. Ohio State is the number 10th-ranked team in the nation, and I'm just ready to get after it."
On his knee: "My knee's not bothering me anymore. I'm able to make plays now that I wasn't able to do during fall camp."
On having fresh legs right now: "In all honesty, I'd rather of gone through training camp with my teammates, but because of my knee it wasn't holding up the way I would have liked it to, so my legs are probably a little fresher than the other guys."
On splitting time with Donald Butler: "It's doing OK so far. Coach (Baer) is trying to find the right fit based on who can do what on each week."
On Ohio State: "They are looking for everyone to step up and do what they can against Ohio State. Ohio State is going to be a big challenge for us. They have a big, smash-mouth offense that's going to pretty much just line up and go, unlike Boise State. Coach Baer is looking for the defense to step up as a whole and play physical as much as we can."
On Boise State: "We had some good things and bad things happen, but we just need to clean some things up for Ohio State because it's going to be a challenge for us. They are going to try and stuff it up the middle, so it's going to have to be a team effort overall."
On Ohio State's offense fitting his strength: "For me, I'm used to just lining up and go. It was a challenge for me personally to get ready for Boise State because they were changing all the time. With Ohio State just lining up and going, it'll probably be easier for me to just read my keys and go and try and react as fast as I can and play as physical as I can."
On BSU's result helping the defense for Ohio State: "Last week was last week. Boise State was what they were - a good team. But now we have Ohio State, which is one of the real powerhouses of the east, so we have a big challenge in front of us, and I'm curious to see how we do lining up against them."
On Ohio State's run game: "We're just going to have to go down in the trenches and get after it. They have real physical runners, but they also have finesse, quick guys that can get to the outside. It's going to be hard to match up against them, not in the sense that we can't get out-flanked by them, but more just playing our defense against their offense and not try to overplay or overlook all the little things."
On whether or not he's seen last season's national championship game: "I saw bits and pieces of it, but not all of it completely. They are impressive. But I think we'll be up to the task."
On coming back from his injury: "I believe I'm back to 100 percent. It's always a blessing to be able to play, let alone start. It's truly amazing to be out there and to have the opportunity. Against Ohio State, I feel like this is my type of offense. They like to line up and go and hit somebody. That's what I love to do. I may not be the best at reading my keys or adjusting to different formations, but I'll learn. Nevertheless, I just like to line up and go and play."
On the rapport the linebackers have with the defensive line: "With every week that goes by, I think it just gets stronger and stronger. The d-line knows where they need to be, and they also have trust in us linebackers to know where we are going to fit right off of them.
Afternoon Practice Notes
Saw Jordan Reffett with a a wrap right above his wrist where he must've incurred a deep bruise against Boise State. Didn't stop him from doing everything that we got a chance to see this afternoon. Byron Davenport, on the other hand, looked to be very, very limited in what the coaches were letting him do.
The team was listening to 'Husky Nation' on the PA today...
It appears I may have missed a member of the Gold Club this week...Chris Stevens was out there wearing gold, and I don't remember seeing him him gold Tuesday during the 25 minutes we had to observe practice.
As the offensive line was going through their sled work, Mike Denbrock could be clearly heard above the din. "Get off the ball and strike somebody!!" he yelled out, at least a couple of time to my recollection.
Quinton Richardson had family in Husky Stadium today, as his Mother Stephanie and cousin Hilton - who was drafted this year by the Kansas City Royals - watched practice from the stands.
Willingham Afternoon Notes
Said that Jordan Reffett and Erick Lobos were injured yesterday, but they won't be held out of the Ohio State game. Said Luke Kravitz practiced the majority of the day, Dan Howell practiced the whole day as did Donald Butler, Casey Bulyca was limited, and Byron Davenport was very limited. Added that if Bulyca couldn't go, his backup would most likely be Cody Habben.
Said that the Butler/Tuiasosopo combo at MIK has allowed them the ability to put fresh bodies out there so they could play all out. "It allows us to get more guys involved." Added that if both continue to play well, he could conceive of both playing a lot for the rest of the year in the manner in which they have the first couple of games.
Asked about Archbishop Murphy Head Coach Terry Ennis, who passed away this week after a long bout with cancer, and Willingham said that Ennis actually worked at one of their clinics in the spring. "He was definitely one of the landmark coaches in the state."
He was asked whether or not Ohio State might have been holding back their offense the first two games of their season, and he agreed. "They are definitely sitting very tight on that playbook."
Asked if he felt OSU's attack against the Huskies defensively would be to stop Jake Locker first, and he said that would be 'everybody's game plan, to stop the guy that has his hands on the ball every play." Added that if the QB is involved in the run game like Locker is, they definitely expect Ohio State to do their best to stop their running attack.
Little blast from the past
Was working in the work room at Hec Ed, and Stanley Daniels and Shelton Sampson came walking in. "There are all my media guys!" Daniels belted out.
He just got cut by the New York Jets and is now back in Seattle to try and finish up his degree in political science and hopefully get a call from another team. He was signed originally as a free agent by St. Louis, but was cut before falll practices started.
Shelton has had inquiries from the Seahawks and Patriots, but he's waiting for that call too. Stanley said that Scott White is still in Seattle, coaching at Seattle Prep.
Washington Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer
Hot off the heels of his Defensive Coach of the Week honors by the Master Coaches, Baer has his hands full once again with a top-20 team.
He said that it's the first time he's ever coached against them. To his recollection, he's coaches against everyone in the Big-10, other than Ohio State, Northwestern and Indiana. "They remind me of Michigan and Michigan State, based on the way we played them over the years. Typical Big-10 offensive line. They try to play power football."
He said that they are trying to figure out which QB to use. "The second guy (Rob Schoenhoft) is probably more apt to run the football than the first (Todd Boeckman), he's more willing to take off. But we don't change our gameplan based on which quarterback is in the game. You can't do that. I see a little bit of difference, but not a huge difference."
Said he likes all their running backs. "They are going to utilize all of them the best they can.
"They have some talent at receiver, and some speed, but maybe not the experience they had. They are getting a kid back this week that was injured (Ray Small). I know he's fast. It just presents another challenge because of their size and how physical they are. They don't give you a lot of the stuff we saw the week before, but every week is a different challenge."
Even though Ohio State is going to line up in more conventional looks and not try to out-scheme UW, Baer's sleeping patterns haven't changed. "I don't get much anyways, so it doesn't matter."
He doesn't think the crowd at Husky Stadium will affect the play of the Buckeyes. "They've won two Big-10 championships in a row, they just played for the national title. They have a lot of guys coming back from that team. They know how to win. 72,500 fans are not going to affect them at all; they play in front of 105,000. It's not like they are going to come in here and be intimidated, because they aren't. They play on that kind of stage week-in and week-out. You hope you get a 6-point advantage at home, but I don't think that's going to be the case this week. We're going to have to play our best. Anytime you see a team that's as big as they are and move the ball...they move the ball any time they wanted to against the first two teams they played."
Asked about tackling. "Tackling is a mindset. You've got to work at it. Some of the best tacklers I've been around weren't the best athletes, but they had a mindset that they could tackle, and they believed that they could tackle out in the open field. The more athletic you are, that probably helps.
"As a coaching staff, I think we do as good a job as we can. We don't tackle live in practice, but 80 percent of tackling is what leads up to the finish, things like angles, footwork, initial step. Really, 20 percent of it is just the finish. You can work on tackling every day, even when we might be in no pads. We preach it and we did a lot of tackling during training camp."
Baer knows full well that he's got his hands full with some of the most-potent offenses in the country. "You look at the offenses we have to play, including these guys. Oregon gets 628 yards against Michigan. The kid at Hawaii (Colt Brennan) is throwing for 500 yards a game and he's only playing half a game, and you look at Cal's offense...we have our hands full. We haven't proven anything. We've played OK the first two games. We just need to be at a consistent level week-in and week-out to give us the best chance to be successful."
He said that he definitely got something out of Florida's whitewashing of Ohio State in last year's national championship game. "Greg Mattison - their defensive coordinator there - and I worked together at Notre Dame and I talked to Greg a lot after that national championship game and quite a bit in the off-season. You take a look at that, but we've looked at all of them. Youngstown State did a good job and so did Akron up front. Youngstown is similar to what we do up front, Florida is very similar, Penn State is similar - based on the games I've seen...Illinois. As much as you take from those games, you try to find teams that are similar to you as you can, in terms of what you do up front and coverage-wise. You can get a lot off of that."
Still wasn't 100 percent satisfied with the way his defense executed, but he was 100 percent satisfied with the result. "I thought we played way too soft and tentative at times, but some of it is that we were playing some young guys and they were getting their feet wet. That's a great game for those young guys...a national stage...to really step in and go with the flow. At times we didn't do a good job on first down. Guys were playing a little bit tentative, but I think part of that had to do with watching the Oklahoma game and that team and what they did to that defense.
"The biggest stat to me is points. Number one is to win, and number two is to keep them out of the end zone. And that was pretty good."
Just spoke with CB Byron Davenport
Said that the hamstring issue on his other leg is more like a spasm, but since he couldn't stretch it out like a cramp on Saturday, they shut him down and are treating it all week and giving him 'stronger medicine' for it. He initially 'tweaked' it on the Thursday before the BSU game, and it got worse on Saturday.
Said that he felt that since his other leg was overcompensating for the first hamstring pull, that's what caused the spasm. He was in four plays total against BSU, including that first punt, that he almost got to. He probably would have had an excellent chance of blocking that kick if he had been 100 percent healthy.
He's really frustrated by it, but knows that since the second hammy isn't close to the severity of the first one, he'll be fine. He didn't practice that much yesterday and probably won't again today.
Said that it was good to get that first hit back in him, but as soon as he got up, his leg was 'dead', so he figured the trainers were probably going to shut him down after that. Added that it's the first real injury he's ever had in football, so that's adding to his frustration level.
More links o' Goodness...
First of all, big ups to UW DC Kent Baer, who got props by the Master Coaches on Wednesday.
Washington shocked Boise State this past weekend in a 24-10 victory, snapping the nation's longest winning streak at 14 games. The Bronco offense struggled against Washington, led by defensive coordinator Kent Baer. After scoring late in the first quarter, Boise State was kept out of the end zone for the rest of the game. They added a field goal in the second period, but the Husky defense stiffened and shut out the gunslinger offense in the second half en route to victory. Washington improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2001. For his team's outstanding performance, Kent Baer is awarded the MCS Nike Game Ball (www.mcspoll.com) for the National Defensive Coordinator Player of the Week.
Each week during the 2007 college football season, the 17 Master Football Coaches will award an MCS Nike Game Ball to the respective schools of an Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week. The Master Coaches will also present a game ball to the offensive and defensive coordinator whose game plans made the biggest impact in their respective teams' victory.
In addition to Baer, the Master Football Coaches will also award MCS Nike Game Balls to Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, South Florida safety Nate Alllen, South Carolina kicker/punter Ryan Succop and LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.
Now we get to the links. From Scout.com's Ohio State site, they have a few links UW fans will be interested in checking out. Here is Jim Tressel's look at UW, from their press conference. Here is a look back on the last time the Buckeyes and Huskies played against each other. It was in 2003, the first game of the Keith Gilbertson era, and the Buckeyes beat the Huskies 28-9.
We're just getting started, folks. Buckeye Sports Bulletin staff writer Marcus Hartman also gives UW fans an idea as to what he thinks might happen when Ohio State travels out to Washington. And here is where Hartman 'crunches the numbers'. In this story, Ohio State talks about the hostile environment they are preparing to see on Saturday.
And finally, we have our own Dawgman links. For those of you trying to catch up and see what happened to everybody in the Pac-10 last week, Sean Mockler of BearInsider.com (Cal) has just what you are looking for. Another Pac-10 wrap, of sorts, with some editorial mixed in can be found here, written by Dawgman's own Derek Johnson. I got a chance to talk to a number of the veteran UW players on Monday, as well as one true frosh, and you can find out what they said by clicking here.
And last, but certainly not least - is Rico's world famous game preview. And I'm a little nervous this week, because at the end, he picks the Huskies to beat Ohio State. And he's usually pretty conservative in his predictions, so that leads me to believe it just might be a sea of purple and gold Friday when the full staff predictions are unveiled. We'll see...
Afternoon Practice Notes
There are four players in gold this week - Roy Lewis, E.J. Savannah, Anthony Russo and Paul Homer.
No one in red, and I watched Byron Davenport specifically to see how he was moving and he looked pretty good to me. Was backpedaling fine and seemed to have a burst to his step. UW can ill-afford to lose him again like they did last week.
Chris Tormey and Mike Denbrock were again very vocal in their coaching today. Clearly as the team warmed up, you could hear the LB's coach say loudly, 'It's the Buckeyes!!'.
Drill of the Day: True to Tim Lappano's words, the Huskies are very cognizant of the Buckeyes' ability to rake and strip the ball from the opponent. To that end, the first drill run today by the running backs was a rake drill, where the running back would be caught from the side, and would have to hold on while the other player tried to rake the ball from them. I didn't see any balls on the Husky Stadium turf during that drill.
Former Huskies Spencer Marona and Sean Douglas were on hand, watching practice on Tuesday.
Quick Luke Kravitz update
Talked with the RS Junior from Olympia, and he's still recovering from breaking his pinky finger in the first quarter against Syracuse. Apparently the UW doctors and trainers have fitted Kravitz with a special cast that's going to allow him to carry the ball, if needed. He fully expects to be available for the Ohio State game, and in talking to him you definitely sense his anxiousness in getting back out there on the field.
Tim Lappano notes
Spoke with Washington's offensive coordinator, and he said that Ohio State is good. Very good. "They have All-Americans up front, at linebacker and in the secondary." Said that they are No. 1 in the nation defensively, and they haven't given up any touchdowns this year. "They are physical, they tackle well and they try to rake the ball every chance they get. Ball leverage is going to be huge this week."
Said that, as far as pressures go, Ohio State 'fire' blitzes, much like what the UW defense does, so they see a lot of it in practice. He was asked about James Laurinaitis, and Lappano simply said, 'He's big and he can run. They are all like that.'
Asked about Louis Rankin's performance Saturday, and Lappano said he thought Louis got into 'panic mode', and needs to just take what the defenses give him. Added that he thought there were some holes available, but there were misreads.
Asked about the receivers 'popping their heads' with the dropped passes, and Lappano noted Rob Lewis and Rankin as offenders, but said there wasn't too much of that going on, and it can be easily corrected.
Asked about whether or not they've watched Florida's game against Ohio State, and he said that they've seen every game the Buckeyes played last year. He added that they are just going to run their offense, execute and focus on that.
Asked about Jake Locker's comfort level, and Lappano said that the RS Frosh is getting more and more comfortable with the playbook. "He says he's ready to go, so let's do what we've got to do, and that's always exciting to hear." Said that he continues to receive input from the quarterbacks as to the plays they'd like to see in the gameplan, because they are the ones that have to execute the plays.
Added that the long throws being made by Jake are getting to be 'on a dime', especially the flea-flicker thrown against BSU. Also said that by moving the pocket and getting Jake on the run, that just puts more stress on the defense.
Asked about the receivers and the run game, and he said that once again they stepped up and did their job blocking, did their part.
Because of the physical nature of the Boise State game, Lappano thinks it will only help the confidence of the team going into what they know is going to be a physical struggle with Ohio State because they can point to the BSU tape and show the team that they were able to play physical and aggressive and were able to get the job done.
Asked about the backup running back to Rankin, and he said that was a great question. Said that Hasty should be ready to go, his ankle issues should be in the past, and that both Brandon Johnson and Curtis Shaw should be ready to go as well. All those guys have to step up in a big way.
Asked about the tight end position, and Lappano said that it's still status quo as to one of the TE's taking control of that position and being the clear leader. Said they ran a lot more two-TE formations against BSU than at Syracuse.
Asked about still being encouraged despite leaving a lot of points on the field Saturday, and he said that they definitely had their chances to rack up a lot of points and yards, but they just didn't execute on offense. "They pressured us, but it's still on us." Added that he hopes the offense learned from that, because they can't do that against anyone else on their schedule from here on out.
Asked about running noise in practice every week, regardless of whether they are at home or on the road, and Lappano said that it's all about retaining the players' focus. Said that Coach Willingham really wants them focused when they are in the huddle, so he puts noise out there to encourage the players to really listen carefully in the huddle and concentrate on their assignments. "That's why we do it, and I agree with him completely."
Casey Bulyca update
Just talked with him and he said that his ribs are hurting a little bit, but he's going to tape them up, wear a little extra padding, and get ready for Saturday. Bulyca, a 6-foot-6, 340-pound redshirt junior, has made his first two career starts against Syracuse and Boise State so far this season.
He was one of the players Willingham talked about Monday that needed a 'full evaluation'.
More links du jour...
I was invited by Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts to come on their radio show Monday. Here is the link to listen to the entire Bucknuts radio hour. I think I show up around the 40 minute mark or so. If you want to find out the latest on the Buckeyes, this show will have a ton of useful information.
Race Bannon's award-winning Duckfighter Illustrated hasn't really won any awards, but that's one of the more unsung travesties in all of sport.
I spoke Monday with Washington QB Jake Locker, and found out that he had already played Ohio State. You can find out about that by clicking here.
Also got a chance to hear Tyrone Willingham's thoughts on Ohio State, and got nothing but love for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes.
Land o'Links and more!
There's a ton of Monday links to provide, so here goes...
Here is CFN's 'Mr. Pac-10' and his review of last week's games.
Here is another CFN Pac-10 roundup piece.
Here is a link to the official Pac-10 site, and the lead story is their weekly release that announced Roy Lewis as the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week. Lewis came up big in the fourth quarter with an interception to thwart one Boise State drive and a pass breakup on a fourth-and-goal from the UW 5-yard line to stop another.
Here is an interesting link to an SI online article that has Jake Locker as their national Player of the Week. Also included in that article - a note about former UW recruit and current Maryland QB, Josh Portis. My, how the mighty have fallen.
And finally, the Dawgman Monday links. Coach Baird wrote a great piece about the Pac-10 kicking butt and the history of the Ohio State-Washington rivalry.
Dawgman chimed in with a rockin' salute to the Huskies and where they are right now. One thing about Mr. Samek - he knows how to get the troops fired up!
And lastly (at least for now) - I caught up with Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel earlier today, and here is what he had to say about his team and the game on Saturday.
Also forgot to mention the Pepsi Players of the Week:
Offense - Anthony Russo
Defense - Roy Lewis
Special Teams - Chris Stevens
Here are the Scout team awards:
Offense - Willie Griffin
Defense - Fred Wiggs
Special Teams - Tobias Togi
Willingham was also asked Monday at his press conference about injuries, and the only three names he mentioned were Casey Bulyca, Dan Howell and Luke Kravitz. I spoke with Howell later on, and he said it's just a little knee thing and that he would be ready to go full on Tuesday, and both Bulyca and Kravitz are listed in UW's official two-deeps. Willingham said that he wouldn't know what's going on with those three players until they had 'full evaluations', and the earliest he would have any additional injury info on those three would be on Tuesday.
Ohio State's two-deeps released
OFFENSE LT 75 ALEX BOONE** 6-8 313 JR. ... third-year starter; Outland watch list 73 Josh Kerr 6-5 276 R-Fr. LG 71 STEVE REHRING** 6-8 345 JR. ... second-year starter on offensive line 70 Bryant Browning 6-4 311 R-Fr. 78 Dan Dye 6-3 277 5th/Sr. C 64 JIM CORDLE 6-4 302 SO. ... first-year starter; offensive POW vs. Akron ... Rimington watch list 66 Andrew Moses 6-3 272 So. RG 63 BEN PERSON** 6-4 321 JR. ... first-year starter 77 Connor Smith 6-5 317 Rf-Fr. RT 74 KIRK BARTON*** 6-6 300 5TH/SR. ... four-year starter; voted team captain; Outland watch list 70 Bryant Browning 6-4 311 R-Fr. TE 88 RORY NICOL** 6-5 250 JR. 86 JAKE BALLARD* 6-7 255 SO. 87 Brandon Smith** 6-3 240 Jr. WR 80 BRIAN ROBISKIE** 6-3 196 JR. ... offensive POW Youngstown State ... 9 catches vs YSU ... 19 Taurian Washington 6-2 180 Fr. QB 17 TODD BOECKMAN 6-5 243 JR. ... first-year starter 11 Robby Schoenhoft 6-6 244 So. TB 28 CHRIS WELLS* 6-1 235 SO. ... first career 100-yd game vs Akron (143); Doak Walker, Maxwell watch lists 34 MAURICE WELLS** 5-10 195 JR. 3 Brandon Saine 6-1 220 Fr. FB 49 DIONTE JOHNSON*** 6-0 242 SR. ... voted team captain 16 Trever Robinson*** 6-0 225 5th/Sr. 42 Tyler Whaley 6-1 265 5th/Sr. WR 9 BRIAN HARTLINE* 6-3 180 SO. ... leading receiver vs Akron (6/43) 12 Dane Sanzenbacher 5-11 178 Fr. 4 Ray Small 6-0 182 So. DEFENSE DE 9 ROB ROSE* 6-5 294 So. ... made first career start vs. Akron 97 Cameron Heyward 6-6 282 Fr. DT 84 DOUG WORTHINGTON 6-7 271 SO. ... first-year starter on defensive line 93 Nader Abdallah 6-5 297 Jr. DT 92 TODD DENLINGER* 6-3 286 SO. ... first year as an OSU starter 72 Dexter Larimore 6-3 304 R-Fr. 69 Bryan Gray 6-1 286 So. DE 50 VERNON GHOLSTON* 6-4 264 JR. ... second-year starter; Bednarik, Hendricks award watch lists; 2006 all-Big Ten 78 Alex Barrow* 6-5 275 Jr. 9 Rob Rose* 6-5 294 R-Fr. WLB 1 MARCUS FREEMAN** 6-2 236 JR. ... second-year starter; Bednarik watch list 51 Ross Homan* 6-1 230 So. MLB 33 JAMES LAURINAITIS** 6-3 240 JR. ... leading tackler first 2 games; voted team captain; Big Ten defensive preseason player; 2006 Nagurski Award winner 38 Austin Spitler* 6-3 234 So. SLB 6 LARRY GRANT* 6-3 226 SR. ... can play all three LB spots 26 Tyler Moeller 6-1 203 R-Fr. 37 Thaddeus Gibson 6-3 228 R-Fr. BC 2 MALCOLM JENKINS** 6-1 208 JR. ... Thorpe Award watch list; third-year starter 32 Eugene Clifford 6-2 191 Fr. FC 20 DONALD WASHINGTON* 6-1 188 SO. ... first year as full-time starter; was regular nickleback last year 5 Chimdi Chekwa 6-1 185 R-Fr. SS 4 KURT COLEMAN* 5-11 187 SO. ... first-year starter 3 Jamario O'Neal** 6-1 199 Jr. FS 21 ANDERSON RUSSELL* 6-0 205 SO. ... second-year starter; suffered 2006 season-ending knee injury at Iowa 8 Aaron Gant* 6-0 201 So. Specialists PK 85 RYAN PRETORIUS* 5-9 175 JR. 20 Aaron Pettrey* 6-1 193 Jr. KO 20 AARON PETTREY* 6-1 193 JR. 85 RYAN PRETORIUS* 5-9 175 JR. H 48 JON THOMA 6-1 199 SO. LS 56 DIMITRIOS MAKRIDIS 6-1 208 5TH/SR. SS 96 JAKE MCQUAIDE 6-3 211 R-FR. P 15 A.J. TRAPASSO** 6-1 224 JR. 48 Jon Thoma 6-1 199 So. PR 80 BRIAN ROBISKIE** 6-3 196 JR. 9 Brian Hartline* 6-3 180 So. KR 34 MAURICE WELLS** 5-10 195 JR. 21 Anderson Russell* 6-0 205 So.
Here is UW's two-deeps, as announced by UW Media Relations...
Washington Offense WR 5 Anthony Russo 5-11 185 ^Sr. 18 Corey Williams 6-2 195 ^Sr. LT 79 Ben Ossai 6-6 300 Jr. OR 71 Cody Habben 6-6 300 So. LG 65 Ryan Tolar 6-5 310 So. 76 Jordan White-Frisbee 6-6 320 Sr. C 58 Juan Garcia 6-3 315 ^Sr. 64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 300 So. RG 72 Casey Bulyca 6-6 340 Sr. 64 Matt Sedillo 6-3 300 So. 70 Morgan Rosborough 6-6 365 Jr. RT 75 Chad Macklin 6-8 300 ^Sr. 69 Erik Berglund 6-6 310 ^Sr. TE 86 Michael Gottlieb 6-5 245 Sr. OR 37 Johnie Kirton 6-4 270 Sr. OR 81 Robert Lewis 6-5 250 ^Sr. QB 10 Jake Locker 6-3 225 So. 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3 215 ^Sr. TB 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 ^Sr. 24 J.R. Hasty 5-11 200 Jr. OR 14 Curtis Shaw 5-11 190 Fr. OR 6 Brandon Johnson 5-11 195 Fr. FB 30 Paul Homer 6-0 222 So. 32 Luke Kravitz 6-1 245 Sr. WR 3 Marcel Reece 6-3 240 Sr. 19 Quintin Daniels 6-0 195 ^Sr. WR 16 D'Andre Goodwin 6-0 170 So. 29 Cody Ellis 6-0 185 ^Sr. Washington Defense DE 66 Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 6-4 245 Jr. 96 De'Shon Matthews 6-4 255 So. DT 95 Jordan Reffett 6-6 295 ^Sr. 77 Erick Lobos 6-3 285 Sr. 93 Derek Kosub 6-4 295 So. DT 74 Wilson Afoa 6-3 290 ^Sr. 99 Cameron Elisara 6-2 275 So. DE 7 Greyson Gunheim 6-5 265 Sr. 85 Caesar Rayford 6-7 250 Sr. OLB 34 Dan Howell 6-1 225 Sr. 20 Kyle Trew 6-2 235 ^Sr. ILB 57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 240 Sr. OR 9 Donald Butler 6-1 240 So. 40 Mason Foster 6-1 218 Fr. OLB 22 E.J. Savannah 6-2 228 Jr. 29 Chris Stevens 6-0 215 Jr. FS 26 Jason Wells 6-2 210 Jr. 39 Nate Williams 6-1 205 Fr. 27 Jay Angotti 5-10 180 So. SS 23 Mesphin Forrester 6-2 205 Sr. 15 Darin Harris 5-11 200 Sr. CB 6 Vonzell McDowell, Jr. 5-9 176 Fr. 18 Byron Davenport 5-11 195 Jr. CB 28 Roy Lewis 5-11 187 ^Sr. 19 Matt Mosley 5-11 190 So. Washington Special Teams P 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. FG/PAT 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. KO 12 Jared Ballman 5-11 175 Jr. 13 Ryan Perkins 6-0 185 Jr. HLD 11 Carl Bonnell 6-3 215 ^Sr. SNP 49 Danny Morovick 6-3 230 Jr. KOR 6 Brandon Johnson 5-11 195 Fr. 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 Sr. PR 5 Anthony Russo 5-11 185 ^Sr. 9 Louis Rankin 6-0 205 Sr. ^ indicates fifth-year senior