Dawg Blog - California

SEATTLE - Well, the Washington Huskies are officially out of another post-season for the fifth-straight year and will have a losing record for their fourth-straight season - a school record. With the program headed backwards in the win-loss column, is it safe to say that Tyrone Willingham is coaching for his future these next three weeks? A win over Cal would definitely help his cause.

First Half Quick Stats
First Downs - Cal 12 UW 11
Rushes - yards - Cal 18-121 UW 24-185
Passing - yards - Cal 147 UW 51
Passes - Att - Comp - Int - Cal 17-14-1 UW 5-14
Total Offense - Cal 35-268 UW 38-236
Possession - Cal 15:58 UW 14:02 Rushing: Louis Rankin 17-171-1, Brandon Johnson 2-7, Curtis Shaw 1-5, Luke Kravitz 2-4
Passing: Carl Bonnell 5-14 for 51 yards and 1 touchdown
Receiving: Anthony Russo 2-20, Marcel Reece 1-12, Johnie Kirton 1-11, Robert Lewis 1-8

First Half Thoughts:
Well, everything the Huskies have dialed up offensively, has worked. Louis Rankin is simply playing his ass off, and could've had 200 yards for the half. Yeah, the passing game is not looking very solid right now, but they are making plays when they need to and need to find a way to slow down the Cal blitz package. So far Carl Bonnell has been smart, he hasn't turned the ball over, and he's made the percentage play.

Defensively, with the confidence Matt Mosley is picking up, I would hope Kent Baer plays his guys a little tighter. Sure, they could give up a play over the top, but pick your poison. Justin Forsett is racking up monster yards and Tedford is out-scheming Baer in that head-to-head matchup. Take the 3rd-and-6 when Forsett broke his career-long 58-yard run. Baer went to cover-8 and all Forsett had to do was get past the front three of the Huskies and he was off to the races. A superior play-call against a team that isn't really being given much of a chance to decide their own fate - at least on that side of the ball. I'm not sure what Desean Jackson's status is - but if he's out of the game I would gamble a little bit more on the edges if I was Baer.

The most interesting thing coming out of the tunnel for the second half is that Washington deferred the opening toss, yet Cal kicked off to start the game. That means UW gets the ball to start both halves - something you very rarely see.

15 minutes before game time:
Some interesting notes...Matt Mosley was working across from Roy Lewis, and Jordan Murchison and Vonzell McDowell were with the twos...so what's up with Byron Davenport now? He's been running along the sidelines, so it's possible he may have had a flareup of an old hamstring injury this week...Jordan White-Frisbee is definitely starting for Ryan Tolar at right guard - we'll see if that continues in the second half, after Tolar's suspsension for being ejected in last week's loss at Oregon State has been served...Nate Williams looked to be moving around pretty well, and definitely appears to be in the Huskies' pass-defense packages, but Mesphin Forrester and Darin Harris continue to be the Huskies' safeties at this time.

Carl Bonnell and Ronnie Fouch essentially took all the 7-7 and 11-11 pre-game snaps, so that's how I expect the lineup at QB to go today.

Some quick recruiting notes...we reached Everette Thompson this morning, and he is not on his official visit. He may, however, still show up for the game. Carl Moore was spotted on the sidelines, as were both Devin Aguilar and Anthony Boyles. Luther Leonard, Vincente Cordova and Le'Roi Edwards were also spotted on the sidelines before the game. Not too many recruits this weekend, and the weather hasn't made it a whole lot easier.

30 minutes before game time:
A couple of other factors have come into the speculation about Jake Locker playing today. Carl Bonnell has been named one of the game-day captains - along with Anthony Russo, Jordan Reffett and Greyson Gunheim. That pretty much assures that Carl will start. That, and the word up here in the box is that Jake would probably only come in an emergency, and if Bonnell got injured and that injury was serious enough to keep him out of the rest of the game, Ronnie Fouch's redshirt would be burned. But if it was deemed something where Bonnell just needed a series to get back on the field, the coaches would consider putting Jake to hand the ball off or throw a quick pass.

45 minutes before game time:
It's raining hard at Husky Stadium and Jake Locker is warming up, as usual. If he ends up playing in this game - let alone start it - it would basically a miraculous turnaround from the Locker the media saw on Monday...the one that couldn't move his head from one side to the other without moving his shoulders. Watching him throw the ball, at least to me it still looks like he's taking it very easy and not pushing it really hard.

Afternoon practice notes:
Jake Locker was in shells and shorts, but definitely looked a step slower than the other quarterbacks and still looked like his head movement was minimal. With Ronnie Fouch running their one period of 2-minute that we usually get to see on Thursdays, I'd say it's almost a mortal lock that Locker doesn't see action on Saturday. At least the team is practicing that way.

Quintin Daniels was definitely hobbled, and I'd be pretty surprised if he was cleared for action. Donald Butler was practicing, but Willingham said earlier Thursday that his availability for the Cal game was not happening.

Newest Husky Luther Leonard was in attendence with a few other Evergreen players. As soon as he saw Leonard, UW Recruiting Coordinator Chris Tormey came over and gave Luther a big hug. "Sounds like we have another Husky in the house," he said to Luther, as both had big grins on their faces. UW commit and Leonard teammate Senio Kelemete was not in the group of players watching practice on Thursday.

Willingham notes:
Asked about Jake Locker's status, and Willingham said that he's doing fine and he's off to a good start, but hasn't been in gear yet and they'll see how things go in practice today. The team will be in shells and shorts, and Willingham said he anticipates Locker will also be in shells and shorts.

Willingham was asked if they've ruled out Locker playing on Saturday, and he said that he could be starting, but the 'likelihood is not there, but I won't rule it out'.

He added that he's going to need to see Jake be able to protect himself adequately before determining his status. He also said that there hasn't even been a meeting between the coaches, doctors and trainers about Jake's status for Saturday, and there may not be, depending on how things go the next couple of days.

In other injury news, Donald Butler didn't practice Wednesday and is essentially out for the Cal game. Quintin Daniels practiced for the first time in a while Wednesday, but suffered a bit of a setback in the form of back spasms, so they are going to be monitoring him the rest of the week for availability on game day. Nate Williams practiced full on Wednesday and Willingham said that he should be fine to play on Saturday.

He was asked about Cal, and he said that offensively the UW defense is going to be focused on Justin Forsett. "He's had at least seven 100-yard rushing games," Willingham said. He also added that at least from a similarity standpoint, they are expecting a lot of formations, as well as shifts, pops and motions, just like they did against Boise State.

Afternoon practice notes
Jake Locker was out there, practice jersey on and throwing the ball around, but he wasn't in pads, didn't warm up and didn't go through any of the post-warm up practice. When he threw, he still looked like a guy that was trying to balance a book on his head - from the shoulders up was incredibly still. He really couldn't move his head from side-to-side without moving his shoulders too. But just the fact that he was out there throwing a little bit is pretty amazing, considering what happened just four days earlier.

Quintin Daniels was out practicing, and after catching one particular pass, OC Tim Lappano screamed, 'Q is back!, Q is back!' We'll see if Daniels will play against California this weekend.

Tyrone Willingham notes
Willingham said they had a good practice yesterday. Jake Locker was out there for some of it after going through his rehab. He did not participate in any drills. Willingham was asked if he needed to participate at all this week to be able to play Saturday against Cal, and Willingham said that Locker had taken basically every meaningful snap this year until his injury, but they would like him to do some work.

Asked for what he would need to see out of Jake to determine that he's ready to play, Willingham simply said, 'Just Jake'.

Asked about Ronnie Fouch backing up Carl Bonnell, and Willingham said that Ronnie has been involved all year, even if he hasn't gotten a ton of meaningful reps in practice. "He's also a very bright young man and he has a quarterback background. His Dad played quarterback. He has an understanding of the position."

Asked about Donald Butler, and although he did work a little bit yesterday, Willingham pretty much said he didn't expect the sophomore LB to play.

Kent Baer notes
Talked to Kent Baer briefly. He said that he felt that they played better against Oregon State than they had the previous two weeks, but that last drive in the fourth quarter was hard to take. "We missed some tackles and I think guys were just trying to do too much."

When asked about that uptick in intensity and passion on the offensive side of the ball, and whether or not that carried over to the defense, and he said that he didn't see any appreciable difference, and that he believed the defense played hard the whole game.

He said that after that game he got some calls from some other coaches he's friends with and they all remarked on how hard the Huskies' defense plays. "We're playing to win," he said, adding that he didn't see any dropoff in yesterday's practice in terms of energy and intensity.

Asked about California, and he said that when you have a back like Justin Forsett goes for over 150 against USC and they run for over 200 yards against Oregon State, they are doing something well. "Those (USC and OSU) are the two best defenses in the league," Baer said. Said that Kevin Riley is probably more mobile than Nate Longshore, but Longshore has become a veteran in that system, and because of that Baer believes he's also become one of their leaders. "That's the nature of their system."

He also said that Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford 'has it all' in place when running an offense. "You take a look at the Tennessee game, and I'm not sure if they even ran the same play twice the whole game," he remarked, pointing to Tedford's huge playsheet that he carries with him during the game.

Chad Macklin Q&A:
On Locker's injury: "Seeing Jake get hit - he's a tough kid - but that brought out a lot of emotions for the whole team. He doesn't deserve that. We knew we were going into a fight, but when that happened it was a full-on fight after that. It's hard on the o-linemen, because we're supposed to protect him. We all know that we have to step it up."

On ramping up the intensity after the injury: "We weren't going out there throwing cheap shots or anything. It just pushed us to that edge where you play 100 percent on every play. We thought we were fired up going down there. That just sparked extra - extra that we didn't know we had. We know it's there. It's a shame we didn't discover that earlier. I've never seen that much emotion on the field at the same time. It was a totally different feeling."

On offensive line goals: "We still have Louis (Rankin) trying to break that 1000-yards (barrier), so as an offensive line that's one of our goals."

On finishing off the season right: "We know we can beat these teams - we just have to put a game together."

On how long it took him to get back mentally in the game: "I think it took until the next series or so."

On Carl Bonnell: "He's a great guy to come in and take control."

On the Cal game: "It's a personal rivalry for me." He committed to UW over and offer from Cal, and the first game he ever started was against Cal.

Greyson Gunheim Q&A:
On there being a sense of retaliation on UW's part after Locker's injury at OSU: "I could feel a sense of that. Before that they were doing some things - dirty things - trying to pick fights and talking a bunch of smack. We let it slide, but when it happened, that really got everyone's attention - especially the offensive line. They take a lot of pride in protecting him."

On the ramp-up in intensity by the team after the injury: "I'm glad to see that it means that much to the guys, but it shouldn't take something like that for us to play that way."

On seeing Jake on the sidelines near the end of the game: "That settled a lot of people's minds."

On what there is to play for now that there's no chance at a bowl game: "For the seniors, all we can do is get ready for these next three games. Before the Washington State game last year it was really emotional. All the seniors talked and it was a big deal to everyone. That's how it is now. We have to rally around each other and be accountable to one another."

On the OSU rivalry being more heated next year: "That's definitely going to be remembered for next year."

Carl Bonnell Q&A:
On Jake Locker: "He's a fighter, we've seen that. Maybe not this week or next week, but I know he'll want to get into a game before the season is over."

On jumping right back into the action: "I've been here long enough that I know the plays. This week I can get the timing down with all the receivers. I think I'll have a good chance to be ready."

On the team ramping up their intensity and passion after Locker's injury: "It makes you want to go harder, makes you want to compete for him - win the game and give him a little sense of satisfaction, a little prize for his pain."

On what the team needs to do to rally around the next three games: "It's got to turn into a sense of pride. We have what it takes to be successful these next few weeks."

Afternoon Practice Notes:
Trenton Tuiasosopo, Chris Stevens, Greyson Gunheim, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Jordan Reffett, Carl Bonnell and Anthony Russo were wearing gold today. No red. Russo was limited from punt return duty today.

Jake Locker Q&A
On the latest with his injury: "My neck is kind of tight right now, so I've got to get movement back. That's what we'll focus on this week."

On playing on Saturday: "It's not out of the realm of possibility. I'd like to, so I'm going to try as hard as I can."

On the hit and what happened right after it: "It was a scary situation for me. I've never really had anything like that happen. But it's part of the game. It happens. You can't be scared. Once I was able to move my arm I was feeling better about it."

On whether or not he felt OSU's Al Afalava was trying to hit with intent: "I don't think he had any intention of leading with his helmet."

On being in the hospital: "I was able to listen to the game, so I knew what was going on."

On the team's intensity rising to a whole new level after he got hit: "I think it's something that we've missed at times this year. It's something we needed to establish. I was really proud of the guys, and am very proud of the way they played."

On having his Mom and Dad at the game: "That was something that helped calm me down."

On why he apologized to the team: "I felt like I let 'em down. I had left the game and I felt like I should have been there and played with them. I was sorry that I wasn't there and couldn't go through it with them."

On if he'd do the same thing on the same play now knowing what he knows: "To be honest with you, probably not."

On positives that came away from the OSU loss: "It was a big step for us. We really came together and fought well. I don't think anyone on this team is ready to give up or is going to give up. If anything, it's going to motivate us more to finish on a good note. Once you realize you can do it, it's easy to go back to it."

On playing to the level where it's nearly a fight on every play, yet can still keep their poise and their heads about them: "We understand it now, and won't play at a level below that."

On playing tentative the next time out: "I don't think it'll affect the way I play."

On Carl Bonnell stepping in and playing in his absence: "I was really proud of the way he played."

On the OSU rivalry being ratcheted up a notch or two for next year: "I think that would be safe to say."

On what he can do if he doesn't play Saturday against Cal: "I'll try to do what I can."

Willingham Notes:
Here's what the UW Head Coach had to say about Jake Locker's status. "There's still a great deal of questions involving our quarterback. I'm pleased with what I've seen from him. He's improving. For our standpoint, he won't do anything more today than just his rehab." He added that they'll see what he looks like on Wednesday and will go from there. "If by Thursday, we pretty much know the involvement each one of our guys is going to have."

So what will go into the decision-making process? Willingham said the best interests of the player and the best interests of the team. "Those are the two things you try to factor it. The health of the individual weighs a little heavier, but the team is still very important."

If Locker can't go, Bonnell would start, backed up by Ronnie Fouch. "I'm been very pleased with Carl over the last year. The progress he's made and the effort that he's put forth to improve himself and put himself in a position to help the team has been tremendous. I like his leadership, I like what he's done to help Jake develop and also help himself develop."

Asked about the OSU game, and Willingham said he was pleased that the team played angry, yet with poise. "Our team demonstrated some poise, yet at the same time showed that they still had a little vinegar in their bloodstream."

He thought the hit on Locker by OSU safety Al Afalava was illegal. "Still do. It was pretty clear. There was helmet-to-helmet contact."

Willingham added that he has not talked to the Pac-10 about teams singling Locker out. "There should be no difference, whether it's Jake or anybody else. I would be naive to sit around and think that there's not someone or some player out there that wouldn't say that if they take the quarterback out that we have a better chance to win the game. I hope that's not the case, and I hope that's not what we resulted to. Our conference should be vigilant in protecting all players."

Asked about Ryan Tolar, the one Husky that was ejected from Saturday night's game, and Willingham said that there would be no additional penalty on top of the mandatory half-game Tolar will have to miss due to Pac-10 rules. "Jordan White-Frisbee will be his replacement, and we'll go from there."

Asked about the team getting ready to finish out the season, despite the fact that their stated pre-season goal of winning a bowl game is officially mathematically impossible. "The challenges are out there. Our teams are in good spirits to give it their best try and come up with the W. We still owe a great deal to our seniors. The players are focused on winning football games. The key has always been on having your football team stay within and not be on the outside."

So what distractions is Willingham refering to? "People saying that you have nothing to play for, etc... You know, the things that come around this time of year."

I guess he doesn't realize that there are quite a few teams that are now talking about having a lot to play for, including a post-season game - like Oregon State, for instance.

"There's a great deal for our team to be excited about," he said.

Asked about any other injuries besides Locker, and Anthony Russo was injured on the last offensive play of the Oregon State game. "He is recovering and should be ready to go for practice on Tuesday, but might be a little limited in what he can do."

Asked about California, and the recent struggles they've had. "They'll try to get their defense back on track this weekend. Offensively, turnovers and not making the big play is what is holding them back. But they are extremely talented."

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.
OR  11 Carl Bonnell          6-3 215 ^Sr.
     8 Ronnie Fouch          6-1 195 Fr.
TB   9 Louis Rankin          6-0 205 ^Sr. 
     6 Brandon Johnson       5-11 195 Fr.
    24 J.R. Hasty            5-11 200 Jr.
FB  30 Paul Homer            6-0 222 So.
    32 Luke Kravitz          6-1 245 Sr.  
WR   3 Marcel Reece          6-3 240 Sr.
    14 Curtis Shaw           5-11 190 Fr.
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 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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