Success buys credibility for coaches

Winning is everything, but in some cases that coveted 'w' can bring even more to the table. For the staff at Washington, each win creates some much-needed purchase within the team; a marker, if you will. After Saturday's 16-13 thrilling victory against No. 3 USC at Husky Stadium, the team has regrouped this week and the coaches have come to practice with plenty of currency.

They are looking to up the stakes as they get ready to play Stanford this coming weekend.

"It gives you credibility as a coach," former USC Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt said Wednesday about the win over the Trojans. "And they start believing more. And now we can take them places where they might not want to be taken. Every day it's a process with these guys.

"This week was huge because I think now the kids are really looking and buying in and saying wait a minute - maybe these guys kind of understand more than I do and I'm going to do it his way. I think in just two days we've made a ton of progress just in our assignment stuff."

The USC win could be just as important to Washington as the UCLA shutout was to the 2001 Trojans, Pete Carroll's first year in Los Angeles. Only time will tell.

But just like his offensive counterpart, Doug Nussmeier, Holt was ecstatic with the effort, but none too pleased with certain phases of execution when he reviewed the game film. "There were still a lot of busts still; ten guys doing it all and then one guy busting," he said. "There were some times where everything was perfect, and one guy missed a tackle. Talia (Crichton) had the guy, Allen Bradford, for eight yards (lost) and everything was perfect, but then...there's a lot of things we can do better.

"After the first two series, we played really solid defense. We made some personnel changes, because guys weren't doing things right. We just settled down and played. We still need to correct some things, and if we can eliminate some of the mistakes mentally, we have a chance to be really solid."

The Huskies' confidence will be tested Saturday by a Stanford offense averaging over 204 yards on the ground and 32 points on the scoreboard per game. "You have to stop the run first and make offenses one dimensional," Holt said. "These guys are a good running football team, as is USC. Number 7 (Toby Gerhart) is a good running back. And they are a committed run team. They use two tight ends quite a bit in their package and they are good at it. You have to be solid and get ready mentally to be physical, shed blocks and tackle their running backs, because they run hard and do a good job." Top Stories