R U having fun yet?

Washington is 2-0 and in the process did everything you could've expected. They hammered a bad football team away from Seattle, and they defeated a very good Boise State team despite being shut out in the second half. They are doing what good football programs do – they are winning and competing hard.

If you aren't having fun yet, you are missing the point of college football. Sure, it was a nail biter as the Broncos threatened no less than three times in the second half while they had the Husky offense bottled up, but that was fun too. A LOT more fun than watching bad football, something Husky fans have seen far too much of recently.

What you are seeing now is good solid football by a team that believes in their coach, believes in their teammates, and most importantly, believes that they will win the football game. I saw ZERO panic in the eyes of this Husky team when Boise State came knocking on the door three times with the score 24-10 and plenty of time left on the clock. As recently as last year, Washington would've started looking over their shoulder and HOPED that something would happen. Hoped that the clock would start moving faster, and hoped that a bad snap or a fumble would bounce their way.

On Saturday, whenever the defense would take the field and their goal line would begin to creep ever closer, they would pin their ears back and get after it. They felt the fans behind them (AND THANK YOU FANS, SATURDAY WAS AWESOME IN THE STANDS), and they found a way to get it done. You could absolutely tell that this team expected to win this game on Saturday.

And they did. They made interceptions when they needed them, they made key tackles when it was absolutely necessary, and they grinded out a tough win against a solid opponent.

Yet after the game I heard some people grousing about Louis Rankin and the fact that he was "regressing back to last year". Oh brother, can you really be that short sighted? Those folks were not watching the Boise State defense and not watching the techniques, schemes, and how fast their linebackers were at coming up and filling the gaps and not making the holes obvious. Rankin made some incorrect cuts, sure, but unless your name is Walter Payton, I think every back does that. Louis is running so much harder than last year. If you can't see that, then you are just looking for reasons to complain.

He is not Napoleon Kaufman nor is he Cory Dillon, those were two special backs that we haven't seen the likes of since they departed. But Rankin is who he is, a solid running back that is capable of hitting a home run when he gets a crease. He can carry the offensive load when the holes are there and the way Boise defended Washington, you could tell they felt he was a threat and watched him closely on every play. He has the respect of the defensive coordinators that have seen him, and that shows me something.

Marcel Reece showed me something, coming back from a key drop to make two huge plays. Anthony Russo is not flashy, not very big, but he's playing like you need your senior leader to play. Solid, sure handed, and someone that will keep those around him grounded.

The offensive line looks dominating at times. Sure they have work to do, but the fact that a unit with so many question marks can dominate on some drives deserves some kudos. Well done Coach Denbrock. Nice work Juan Garcia, the undisputed leader in the trenches. Garcia's shotgun snaps are sharp and his line calls have been excellent. It won't be one of the best lines in the Pac-10, but they may not have to be. They have a very special guy taking snaps behind them that can make them look even better.

That being Jake Locker.

Locker is elusive, can turn the corner at any time if you lose containment, and his arm is only going to get better. His arm strength is already on display, and touch will come. He is going to be the best running quarterback that Washington has ever had in its history, and his passing will be solid. What a special kid. The entire demeanor this year of the offense is so incredibly different and NOTICABLE. Stanback was a quiet leader by his own admission, but it is very obvious that Locker is the type of leader that this team has been clamoring for. He's the guy that can will them to great things just as Tui did with his teams. These guys will run through a brick wall for him and they believe that he will find a way to make them go.

All the offensive line has to do is hold their blocks and push guys outside so Locker can run around them and through the lanes to either make the defense pay with yards on the ground, or he can pull up and throw with his cannon arm that will only get more accurate.

Locker made some freshman mistakes, and he'll continue to do that because, well, he's a freshman. However he's also going to do things that will make the crowd at Husky Stadium go crazy. Take the amazing with the "not so much." He is gaining national attention now and for good reason. It is so nice to have a quarterback that defensive coordinators have to plan for every week.

On defense, the front seven are something to watch. The Huskies have some ATHLETES!!! Gunheim on the edge is having a big year, Reffett is getting up field, Rayford just looks sick this year and has no intention of getting blocked on any passing play. And how about EJ Savannah and Dan Howell? Those two are the best running linebackers I've seen wearing purple since the early 1990s. There may have been faster guys than them, but no one with the combination of speed, pursuit angle, and sure tackling abilities. Savannah looks amazing so far and Howell is no longer over pursuing as he did last year. And Butler may be the fastest of the three, and he's about 240 pounds. He has the most to learn yet, but he's an impact player already as a sophomore. What a solid front seven the Huskies are putting on the field this season.

The secondary, patchwork as it is, is holding out after two games. Just pray that Roy Lewis doesn't have to go out of the game for long. There is a HUGE drop when he does. Mosley doesn't have his speed or his break. Kudos to Vonzell McDowell, giving his all and starting as a true freshman due to need. For those that are angry that he is being coached to give up the short route and provide a cushion, please realize that the kid is about 5 foot 7 inches tall, probably weighs around 160 pounds, and has spent next to zero time in the weight room since he just got out of Rainier Beach High School. People, he is not Dana fricken' Hall, get real. When Vonzell is facing a 21-year old wide out that is over six feet tall and 200 pounds, what do you think is going to happen if Vonzell lines up in his face? If he doesn't give that cushion, it's a mismatch of epic proportions and you cannot cheat the safety that far over without disastrous consequences. Vonzell is proving to be a good tackler with great instincts, so give him props, and he had a key interception on Saturday which will only help his confidence. He is getting a warp speed education, so let him absorb it and stay positive for the kid, Husky fans. By the time he is late into his sophomore year, he'll have seen enough football and have enough confidence to jump the short route, but until then, just chill and enjoy watching him grow up.

However, I cannot reiterate how important Roy Lewis is going to be to this team. He is the glue to not only the secondary, but the entire defense. When he is off the field, it is a different stopping unit.

Special teams still needs work but I like the punting a lot. Well done Mr. Ballman. The blocked placekick was a wake up call, those need to stop. And I think that they will. It's just nice to have a deep snapper that you can depend on. Danny Morovick is doing a yeoman's job in that department. Well worth a scholarship.

All in all after two games, Husky fans should be excited. They NEED to be excited. The Dawgs are not world beaters yet, and in fact I'm not even sure they will finish in the middle of the Pac-10 yet (let's see how healthy they stay), but my point is, they are playing exciting, tough-nosed, Husky football. You can't really ask for more from a program that has been down so long.

And if you can't get excited about that, than you really are missing out on some fun times that are happening on Montlake Boulevard.

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