Dawg Blog - Oregon

SEATTLE - Usually when the Washington Huskies would be hosting the Oregon Ducks, the Huskies would be salivating. All you'd normally look at would be the 58-39-5 series advantage (10-5 the last 15 at home), and it was plain to see - UW stook a good chance to win. My how things have changed...

It's over. And not a moment too soon.

That was just a clinic - surgical is the word that comes to mind. Over 460 yards running the ball by the Ducks. And I know a lot of UW fans are going to accuse UO of running it up...baloney. UO ran that same sweep play out of their base spread, and I don't think they got anything less than 5 or 6 yards a carry.

I know Jake feels his job is to get the other guys involved in the offense, but he needs to understand that the offense starts with him. On those read option plays, he needs to really look more for himself, because it looked like he would have had all day out on the edge, and the one time he really looked for it in the fourth quarter, he had a 47-yard gain.

Any way you slice and dice this one up - a horrific performance by the defense. But not too many (if any) have solved Oregon's spread. It'll be interesting talking to Coach Lappano after the game, and getting his thoughts on maybe just going pure spread. Because I think UO showed pretty well that you don't have to have a power-I game to have a power running attack.

3 Q Notes:
198 yards through three quarters - the Huskies don't have an answer for Jonathan Stewart. If I'm UO, I wouldn't throw another pass in the game. No need to.

Bern Brostek is today's Husky Legend. It's fitting, because the UW OL needs to use Bern as an example of how they can also run the ball and keep control of the clock. The Huskies need just a couple of things to break their way, and they could just win this thing.

Quick halftime stats:
First Downs UW 8 UO 20
Rushes-Yards UW 16-77 UO 27-194
Passing Yards UW 132 UO 140
Passes-Att-comp-Int UW 12-6-0 UO 21-12-1
Total Offense UW 209 UO 334
Total Plays UW 28 UO 48
Possession UW 13:33 UO 16:27
Rushing: Rankin 4/42, Locker 9/31; Stewart 18/144, Dixon 8/44
Passing: Locker 6-12 for 132; Dixon 12-21 for 140
Receiving: Russo 2/90, Reece 1/26, Ellis 1/8, Gottlieb 1/5; Strong 5/53, Williams 3/42, Pflugrad 2/27, Dickson 1/12

2 Q Notes:
Man, it would have been nice to see UW punch that last drive in for a touchdown, but they get the ball to start the half, and a chance to tie the game. I thought that when UO's placekicker came out for that 53-yard try that it was a little ambitious. Pinning UW deep in their own territory may have been the smarter play there, but I'm sure Bellotti felt he could tack on three more points.

Overall, not a horrific first half, other than for the fact that the Ducks have the Huskies completely bamboozled on the run game. All Jonathan Stewart did was roll for 144 yards on 18 carries and two scores. And it's not exactly like they can just gang up on him, because Dixon has made UW pay on the ground too.

Offensively, they looked better when they tried to run the ball, so hopefully they'll do more of that in the second half.

1 Q Notes:
Well, it took the Huskies basically until the end of the half to figure UO out, but they finally started getting to them a little bit. Problem is, they gave up 17 getting to that point, and there's three quarters left. Offensively, it's great to get the big play, but they have to establish some ball control. Seven offensive plays in one quarter is never going to cut it against a top-15 team nationally.

3:40 p.m.
Willingham Notes
Some sad news - Chad Macklin's grandfather passed away, so Chad is now out of town and will be gone for at least a couple of days. Willingham was unsure if Chad would be back for the game, so Cody Habben is now working at the right tackle spot. "Our best goes out to Chad and his family."

It was thought that Jason Wells might have surgery today, but it's been postponed until next week at the earliest.

A question was asked about special teams, and what it's meant to have walk-ons like Linus Chou, Josh Gage and Fred Wiggs work their way into valuable special teams roles, and Willingham said that they've taken to doing the 'dirty work', because special teams isn't considered a real glamorous spot to play, and they've been doing everything they can to help the team be successful. He added that Charles Hawkins and Nate Williams did some spectacular work on punt cover during the ASU game, and during one punt, Williams took his guy way out of bounds and into their bench. "That's playing football, and that's what we want to see."

Asked about the weather, and he said that they fully anticipate that it will rain Saturday for Oregon (70-80 percent chance), and they'll go inside today because of the wind warnings that are currently out. It is really blowing outside, at least 30-40 mph. It rained heavily for the time I was out at practice on Wednesday, and Willingham was pleased with how they worked. "Our guys didn't slow down one bit."

4:40 p.m.
Afternoon Notes
It was absolutely pouring outside for practice today, and the team was in full pads. Not too much to talk about. The one period I was able to see something was a PAT/FG period. The first set was PAT, and Ryan Perkins hit two of three, with the last one careening off the right upright. The second set was from around 31 yards. It was hard to tell, as I was standing on the track, but it looked like Perkins made one and missed one, and Jared Ballman missed one. The last set was from roughly 40 yards out, and Perkins missed his chance, Erik Folk tried one that went left of target, and Ballman made his one kick from that distance.

Of note, during that period of kicks, the snaps and holds (Danny Morovick and Carl Bonnell) were perfect, despite the rain just dumping down on Husky Stadium.

3:45 p.m.
Willingham Afternoon Notes
Willingham started out by saying that only Quintin Daniels is out right now from those dinged up against Arizona State. He could be out 2-3 weeks. Jason Wells might have his surgery as early as Thursday.

Said that going out in pads Tuesday (first time all year) was what the game plan dictated. Said that in the past they would normally go pads, pads, shorts during the week, but haven't done that this year.

Asked about the switch in safeties (Forrester moves in to take Wells' spot), and Willingham said that it definitely puts an added burden on Mesphin, but he'll do a good job. Added that Darin Harris has come in and played hard and been physical.

Asked what is going to be the hardest thing to defend when dealing with Oregon, and Willingham said that first is their speed, and then their open field attack. He said they try to spread you out and create a lot of 1-1 matchups. "The system forces you to play somewhat passively, but you still have to stay aggressive. They play right to the edges, so you have to be active to defend that."

Someone asked if the Ducks do more cut blocking than most teams UW would face, and Willingham agreed with that.

Asked about what the team and coaches do at halftime, as they prepare to go back out for the second half. Willingham says that he first addresses the team and coaches to 'collect thoughts' on what's going on with the game. Then he'll meet with the coordinators and the coaches and they'll put together the second-half plan of attack. Then that meeting breaks up and the coaches go back to the players and meet with them - usually in personnel groups - to get their thoughts and also talk game plan. Finally, Willingham gets them all together before going out to 'give them their final marching orders'.

He was asked about some finger pointing that's been going on amongst the team, as referenced by Greyson Gunheim in Molly Yanity's P-I blog, and Willingham said that he would characterize it as 'frustration'. "When you want to be successful and you aren't seeing the fruits of your labor, you get angry. And you might say things. I do, believe it or not." He added that he doesn't see it bubbling up or creating a distraction for the team.

Asked about Todd Turner's comments in the papers about essentially not having the talent to compete with the top teams in the Pac-10, Willingham said that he hoped everyone would love to be associated with players that were overachievers. But when pressed, he wouldn't comment further on Turner's words.

4:30 p.m.
Afternoon Practice Notes
Team came out in full pads today, definitely something they haven't done so far this season. Greyson Gunheim, Wilson Afoa, Jared Ballman and Louis Rankin are wearing gold this week. No red, although Quintin Daniels and Jason Wells were both at practice Tuesday...Mike Denbrock was as loud as I can remember, exhorting his offensive linemen through their drills.

2:20 p.m.
Lappano Notes
The UW Offensive Coordinator was candid Tuesday about the Huskies' struggles in the second half of games. They are 5-0-1 going into halftime, yet 2-4 at the end of games.

"To be honest, I think we play not to lose instead of playing to win," he said. "We need to believe in what we're doing. We'll be fine. We can't let people on the outside put doubt in our head. We can't second-guess what we're doing.

"We can't be afraid to make a mistake. And yes, we are making mistakes, but I think it's because we're so afraid of making them, we do.

"We have to be a lot tougher mentally to go through the peaks and valleys. We have to keep going, no matter what."

He pointed to the missed field goal against ASU in the second half as a point where the wind went out of the team's sails. "And I'm not placing any blame or pointing the finger at the kickers, because they did a great job all night. But when something like that happens - and it's going to happen at some point - we just have to keep going no matter what. Every team has to deal with adversity."

With that being said, Lappano was pleased at how the team bounced back on Sunday. "Their heads are good right now, I liked what was said. They still believe they can win. We've got a lot to play for. We just have to finish the deal. We just have to finish. We have to win a game. We have to win a game we're not supposed to win, and there's no better team to do that against then Oregon."

He was asked about Oregon's defense, and he said that he likes their front four a lot, they have size inside and probably more athletic than the Arizona State front they saw. They like to get upfield pressure. Said that Nick Reed is a guy that is 'very disruptive'. Their linebackers run well and their secondary is OK. They give up an average 23 points per game, 140 yards on the ground and 262 through the air. Said they run a lot of man and quarters and blitz about 20 percent of the time.

"Overall, they are pretty similar (to ASU)." He added that Oregon, Oregon State and Cal all play essentially the same type of philosophy, so that's going to give UW some time to really focus on the base things they need to do to execute and play consistently.

He also believes that the style in which they practice - which is more based on the pro model - will pay dividends. "We get good looks because we are going up against our second team. Our defense goes up against Carl Bonnell instead of our 4th or 5th team quarterback, and I know that you get a better picture because of that."

Lappano said that in watching the games UO has played in preparation for their game plan, all the teams they've played against have had a long run and a long pass. He said they also really need to manage the clock well, which means running the ball well.

Was happy with how they ran it in the first half against Arizona State, but then ASU picked things up a notch and they weren't able to run as much when they got behind.

Asked about Louis Rankin, and he said that when Rankin ran over the one ASU guy on a long run in the first half, he 'went crazy' in the booth. "We showed that to him, and he knows. But he only did it one time."

Added that he was happy with how J.R. Hasty and Brandon Johnson did, especially with how the frosh played. "He ran hard. There was one play where he only gained a yard, but he really put his head down and shoved it up in there. He runs with power."

He liked what he saw out of the two-back sets running the ball, and he thinks the offense is developing that tough mindset, that attitude that they can move the ball on the ground.

He was asked about Jake Locker's accuracy, and he said that it's getting better but still not where it needs to be. Said Jake has to do a better job of putting the ball in a position where either the receiver can make a play on the ball, or there's a chance for pass interference.

"I think right now he's throwing the deep ball better than the short ball."

He was also asked about Locker's frame of mind, especially since he's not used to losing, and Lappano said that Jake has been great on the phone when they talk after each series. "I'm not down there, but I can tell that it kills him (to be losing)."

Jordan White-Frisbee started the game at right guard for Casey Bulyca, and Lappano said that he really likes what he's been seeing from big No. 76. "He's getting better all the time. This is still kind of new for him, but when he gets to the point where he isn't thinking, he's what we need. He can knock people back. I like him a lot."

He added that he expects to see more of White-Frisbee.

As far as the receivers go, Lappano thinks that they just need to be more consistent in everything they do - routes, footwork, hands, separation, etc... "And that goes for everything we do on offense. We haven't shown the ability to be consistent for four quarters." Added that because Quintin Daniels is hurt, D'Andre Goodwin will probably step up and be seen more this weekend. "He's got skill and he's got speed."

Someone asked about his recruitment of Mason Foster. Lappano's recruiting area is the Bay Area in Northern California, and he said that where Foster comes from - Seaside HS in Seaside, Calif. - is a 'little off the beaten path' for recruiters. He went to see him, and he saw him play almost every position except for on the line of scrimmage. "I asked his coach if anyone was recruiting him, and he said no. And when we offered him, the only team that came after him was the team we're playing this weekend.

"He can play. He's physical, fast and tough, and he likes to play football."

Lappano said that their evaluation of Foster was akin to what Bill Belichick does when evaluating for the NFL draft. "New England doesn't go by draft reports or any of that stuff - they do their own evaluation. And they get guys that really love to play football, love to practice football, love to watch film. And Mason loves to play football.

"And when he got here, I think a lot of people thought he was just running his mouth about how he was going to play this year, but he backed it up. He's the real deal. He has a chance to be really good."

4:35 p.m.
Bellotti Notes
Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti had plenty to talk about Monday with the Seattle press regarding the Ducks' upcoming game with Washington.

He was asked if he remembered how to get up to Seattle, and he said no, but was sure someone would be able to get him there for the game. Said they played perhaps their best game of the year against Washington State, but it was a costly one. Cameron Colvin and Jeremiah Johnson are out for the year.

Asked about going into the full spread offense, and he said that he watched other programs have success with it, and when Utah beat both California and Oregon with it a few years back under Urban Meyer, Bellotti wanted to incorporate it into Oregon's offense, but the coaches weren't enthusiastic about it. "I think if you aren't changing up and finding ways to attack defenses, they are finding ways to stop you."

So now they do full spread, no mix of other offenses, except the occasional play or two from the old west coast hybrid offense that he had run since coming to Oregon. Said the most important thing regarding offense is to always fit the offense to the personnel, and not the other way around.

Asked about Dennis Dixon and he said that even when Dennis was playing baseball over the summer, he was still throwing the football every day, and he had his computer with him, so he still watched film. He worked himself into being the player he is right now.

Said that he thought his defense 'came of age' against Cal with some of the stops they had. "We have played a true bend-but-don't-break defense. It's mental toughness."

Asked if he thought his players understood about the nature of the rivalry, despite the fact that very few of them have played against Washington in Husky Stadium, and he said that he'd do his best to explain it to them. "Our players understand the rivalry, but they also understand that it's a season of 'one game at a time'. It doesn't matter where you play, you better be ready to play excited, motivated football for four quarters. You can't assume anything."

He was asked a hypothetical about what he would be looking for if he was an athletic director looking to turn around a losing program. "I would be looking at the players and the coaches, the interaction and attitude of those involved, how recruiting is going, how players are selling the program. To me, that's the thing you should be looking at when looking at coaches across the nation.

"The time to build a program, sometimes it takes years to change attitudes and to understand what needs to be done."

Official Oregon two-deeps for their game against Washington on Saturday.
Oregon Offense
WR   4 Jaison Williams       6-5 240 Jr.
     6 Derrick Jones         6-1 176 So.
    91 Rory Cavaille         6-3 210 So.
LT  57 Fenuki Tupou          6-6 322 Jr.
    78 Jacob Hucko           6-7 317 Jr.
    68 C.E. Kaiser           6-4 290 Fr.*
LG  61 Josh Tschirgi         6-4 310 Sr.
    66 Pat So'oalo           6-5 322 Sr.
C   60 Max Unger             6-5 300 Jr.
    54 Jordan Holmes         6-4 295 Fr.*
    51 Jeff Kendall          6-4 297 Jr.
RG  71 Mark Lewis            6-4 308 Jr.
    54 Jordan Holmes         6-4 295 Fr.*
    63 Jon Teague            6-2 301 Jr.
RT  75 Geoff Schwartz        6-7 337 Sr.
    78 Jacob Hucko           6-7 317 Jr.
TE  83 Ed Dickson            6-5 240 So.
    26 Malachi Lewis         6-3 215 Fr.*    
QB  10 Dennis Dixon          6-4 205 Sr.
    16 Brady Leaf            6-5 225 Sr.
     7 Nate Costa            6-1 220 So.
RB  28 Jonathan Stewart      5-11 230 Jr.
    22 Andre Crenshaw        5-11 195 So.
     5 Remene Alston         5-8 200 Fr.*
WR  89 Aaron Pflugrad        5-10 172 Fr.
OR   6 Derrick Jones         6-1 176 So.
    87 Daniel Barkley        6-1 210 Fr.*  
WR  21 Garren Strong         6-3 203 Sr.
    82 Drew Davis            6-1 202 Fr.

Oregon Defense
DE  49 Nick Reed             6-2 255 Jr.
    58 Kenny Rowe            6-3 215 Fr.
DT  97 Cole Linehan          6-4 295 Jr.
    91 Ra'Shon Harris        6-5 321 Jr.
    43 Michael Speed         6-4 258 Jr.
DT  90 David Faaeteete       6-2 310 Sr.
    95 Tonio Celotto         6-3 268 Fr.
DE  99 Jeremy Gibbs          6-3 290 Sr.
    39 Will Tukuafu          6-4 279 So.
    88 Brandon Bair          6-7 250 Fr.*
WIL 30 Kwame Agyeman         5-11 205 Sr.
    25 Kevin Garrett         5-11 215 So.
MIK 40 John Bacon            6-4 230 Jr.
    55 Casey Matthews        6-2 220 Fr. 
SAM 13 Jerome Boyd           6-2 220 Jr.
    30 Kwame Agyeman         5-11 205 Sr.
    35 Spencer Paysinger     6-3 222 Fr.*
LC  32 Jairus Byrd           6-0 208 So.
    17 Willie Glasper        5-11 184 So.
RV  15 Patrick Chung         6-0 210 Jr.
     2 T.J. Ward             5-11 191 So.
     1 Marvin Johnson        5-10 205 Fr.*
FS  20 Matthew Harper        6-0 181 Sr.
     9 Ryan DePalo           6-1 206 Sr.
OR  23 Jeffrey Maehl         6-1 178 Fr.  
RC   6 Walter Thurmond       6-0 185 So.
    37 Talmadge Jackson III  5-10 182 Fr.

Oregon Special Teams
PK  85 Matt Evensen          6-1 194 Jr.
    41 Daniel Padilla        6-1 210 Fr.
    23 Morgan Flint          5-9 168 So.
P   80 Josh Syria            6-3 232 Jr.
    26 Tim Taylor            5-11 185 So.
KR  28 Jonathan Stewart      5-11 230 Jr.
    22 Andre Crenshaw        5-11 195 So.
OR   6 Derrick Jones         6-1 176 So.
PR  27 Andiel Brown          5-11 198 Sr.
     6 Derrick Jones         6-1 176 So.
OR  89 Aaron Pflugrad        5-10 172 Fr.  

UW 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. 
     6 Brandon Johnson       5-11 195 Fr.
    14 Curtis Shaw           5-11 190 Fr.
FB  30 Paul Homer            6-0 222 So.
    32 Luke Kravitz          6-1 245 Sr.  
WR   3 Marcel Reece          6-3 240 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.
    59 Darrion Jones         6-3 255 Jr.
    96 De'Shon Matthews      6-4 255 So.
DT  95 Jordan Reffett        6-6 295 ^Sr.
    77 Erick Lobos           6-3 285 Sr.
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 9 Donald Butler         6-1 240 So.
OR  57 Trenton Tuiasosopo    6-2 240 Sr. 
    40 Mason Foster          6-1 218 Fr.
OLB 22 E.J. Savannah         6-2 228 Jr.
    40 Mason Foster          6-1 218 Fr.
    29 Chris Stevens         6-0 215 Jr.
FS  15 Darin Harris          5-11 200 Sr.
    39 Nate Williams         6-1 205 Fr.
SS  23 Mesphin Forrester     6-2 205 Sr.
    27 Jay Angotti           5-10 180 So. 
CB  18 Byron Davenport       5-11 195 Jr. 
     6 Vonzell McDowell Jr.  5-9 176 Fr.
    19 Matt Mosley           5-11 190 So.
CB  28 Roy Lewis             5-11 187 ^Sr.
    17 Jordan Murchison      6-0 184 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  9 Louis Rankin          6-0 205 Sr.
     6 Brandon Johnson       5-11 195 Fr.     
PR   5 Anthony Russo         5-11 185 ^Sr.
     9 Louis Rankin          6-0 205 Sr.

^ indicates fifth-year senior

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