First Downs - UW 17 Stan 8
Rushes-yards - UW 30-178 Stan 14-109
Passing - UW 125 Stan 47
Total offense - UW 51-303 Stan 28-156
Possession - UW 16:14 Stan 13:46
3rd down - UW 6/10 Stan 2/6
Rushing: Rankin 13/113, Locker 8/28, Homer 4/19, Johnson 4/14
Passing: Locker 11-21-1 125
Receiving: Russo 4/73, Rankin 2/23, Homer 2/7, Reece 1/9
Tackles: Harris 4, Forrester 4, Savannah 3, N. Williams 2
With 303 yards total offense, 178 of it coming via the ground, Washington just needs to grind out the second half. This is about an ugly a game as it gets, and the more ball control and the more Louis Rankin, Jake Locker, Brandon Johnson and Paul Homer the Huskies can run at Stanford (literally!), the better off they'll be.
The defense has been opportunistic when they've needed to be, and they've only surrendered 156 yards so far. All things considered, a dramatically better defensive performance. Not sure why Stanford went to T.C. Ostrander in the second half, but they aren't any better with him in the game. The Huskies just need to shore up their run defense. E.J. Savannah has been all over the place.
On special teams, it's clear that guys are getting pushed out of their designated lanes - sometimes by as much as 10-15 yards away from where they should be. The latest offender? Victor Aiyewa. He was just blown up and pushed at least 10 yards off his line, and the Stanford returner went right threw the vacated area like a bullet and nearly took it the distance. He got an earful from Bob Simmons on the sidelines.
No Kent Baer on the sidelines this half - I'm sure we'll be asking him after the game what prompted the change back up into the booth. Willingham appears very animated on the sidelines, and at least from my perspective - a little more chewing out going on. I could be very wrong about it, but that's my impression from the box.
It's game day!
Roughly a half-hour to game time, and it's just gorgeous down here at Stanford. Mid to high-70's and the new stadium is fantastic. Not a bad sight-line in the house. It's a beautiful facility.
Anthony Russo, Greyson Gunheim, Louis Rankin and Jordan Reffett are today's game-day captains.
One little interesting thing to note watching Washington warm up...Curtis Shaw is being split wide. He did that when he ran a reverse against Arizona last weekend, so that's not too surprising. But they've been throwing to him in warmups, so it looks like they are trying to find ways to stretch the field with his speed and explosiveness. We'll see if anything happens with that.
Afternoon Practice notes
Usually around this time of the week we are treated to at least some 3/4 tempo scrimmaging, like two-minute drill, and those in the media there watching practice were not disappointed.
We got to see one drive and part of another before being escorted away. The first drive started on their own 47-yard line and lasted one play, as Jake Locker threw a bomb that was picked off by the scout cornerback at around the 10-yard line or so. I believe it was Vonzell McDowell with the pick, but with scout numbers being used it's sometimes hard to tell who is wearing what number.
The second drive - which also started on the UW 47, appeared to be a lot more productive, with passes to Marcel Reece and Cody Ellis moving the ball downfield. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see the tail-end of the drive, so I don't know what happened.
Afternoon Willingham notes
The Coach was in and out of the press work room in basically no time, and didn't have much in the way of revealing information.
It looks like Wilson Afoa will play against Stanford, and didn't seem to think that there were any other injury issues out there other than the ones that had been covered (Butler, Daniels, Wells). Said he wasn't sure if J.R. Hasty would be making the trip or not.
He said that the mood of the team is 'angry and disappointed'. "We're hungry for a win," he said, adding that he believes they have had a solid week of practice.
Willingham Afternoon Notes
Coach was in good spirits today and had plenty to alk about. Despite being in a pretty somber mood Saturday night, he's bounced back.
"At no time in my career, the heat has not been on Tyrone Willingham," he said. "The only thing that solves that is winning. And we've played some good football this year. Maybe we haven't played long enough at times, but we've played some good football."
Asked about a public vote of confidence for Kent Baer, and Willingham said simply that all those types of things are all done in-house and wouldn't be aired in public. He was also asked if people would notice any major changes to the defense at Stanford, and he said that it could look different. "That's all I can give you," he said.
He added that the team had a really good Tuesday practice - one of the best they've had this fall - and doesn't mind that they are angry.
"That's a good term," he said. "I'm not opposed to them being angry. "We have to continue to work to a certain level of excellence and be the best we can be. We have to finish the deal.
"We've been at the door long enough, we've got to kick the sucker in."
As far as injuries - Wilson Afoa is in red because of a shoulder, but no long-term status has been determined. He definitely hasn't been ruled out from traveling.
Asked about Hasty and Willingham said that he won't immediately jump right back to the status he had before he left, and the staff hasn't made a determination as to whether or not he'll be traveling this weekend.
Asked about Byron Davenport, and Willingham said that his decision was based not just on the two plays against Arizona, but also on what he saw in the week leading up to the game. "He just didn't seem to be like Byron," he said. He added that it's true that they had him ready to come in during the rest of the game, but Willingham decided it wasn't the right move to make.
He did add, however, that barring any unforseen thing right now, Davenport will be starting against Stanford.
He was asked about Roy Lewis really stepping up, and Willingham said that he reminds him of the Energizer Bunny. "He's always going," he said of Lewis. "That's Roy." He also mentioned guys like Jordan Reffett ('One of those 'never say die' guys') as a leader.
Asked about having one reallying guy - like the offense has with Jake Locker, and Willingham said that a lot of leadership is based on performance.
Asked about going back to Stanford, and he said that he has a lot of fond memories and a lot of special friends back there, but he won't be able to soak in much of it because he's on a business trip.
Recruiting with Chris Tormey
Here is a quick Q&A with UW Recruiting Coordinator Chris Tormey, on how he sees Husky Recruiting right now.
How is it going so far?
Tormey: "We're as far along in the recruiting process as we've ever been, we like the kids we have committed and I think you'd have to say it's going well."
Do you have to maintain those commitments more when you are on a losing streak?
Tormey: "You do your best every day in recruiting. We stay in constant contact with our recruits through the phone, hand-written notes - all the legal forms of communication. We work at it all the time, regardless of the record."
How big is winning in the overall picture of having recruiting success?:
Tormey: "Winning is important, but it's not the only part. There are a lot of aspects of recruiting that are important when you sell the University of Washington. First, we have one of the best coaches in college football in Tyrone Willingham, and I think players and parents are really drawn to his approach - on the field and off the field. Seattle is one of the best cities in the country, one of the premier places to live. The University of Washington is one of the great academic institutions in the United States. We play a great schedule and we've been competitive in every game we've played in this year. We have a great young quarterback and nice, young nucleus of talent, so there's an awful lot of positives to sell about Washington right now."
How it is having Jake Locker as a selling point for the program?:
Tormey: "Everyone can see what he can do, and when you have him at the helm you've got a chance in every game. Recruits see that, and they want to be involved with a program that has a quarterback like him. That's certainly a key position when you look at the future of any team."
How important is it this year to finish strong with in-state recruiting?:
Tormey: "We have some great recruits in-state, and some players that I believe could come in right away and have the ability to help us right away, so we have to do everything we can to try and keep them at home."
Byron Davenport speaks
UW Corner Byron Davenport talked with the media Wednesday about getting benched in favor of freshman Vonzell McDowell, Jr. Saturday in UW's 48-41 loss to Arizona.
Davenport was told to stay ready to get back in the game, but never was put back in. UW Defensive Backs Coach J.D. Williams was the one that initially told Davenport that his 'gut was telling him not to put (Davenport) back in the game' after getting beat deep twice in a row early in the first quarter.
Davenport said that he made a mental error, a gut decision to move up on UA's Mike Thomas, when he was planning to give him a little more cushion. After he was beat for a long touchdown, that's when the Husky coaches benched Davenport - for what ended up being the rest of the game.
"I learned one thing," Davenport said, adding that he claims he's never been beat over the top like that since he's been in organized football. "I learned that I'm never going to go against my gut again."
He thought it was just going to be for a series or two, but when he never got back in, he didn't react well to it. Willingham talked to him on Monday, telling him that he wasn't the same Byron during prep week, and Davenport admitted he wasn't as fiery as usual because he was still suffering a little from injuring his shoulder in their loss to Oregon. Willingham said during the game that because they didn't think he was 'right' - meaning right physically, mentally, all of it - that they weren't going to play him.
Davenport has been told by the coaches he's still a No. 1 corner, he practiced with the ones Tuesday and expects to start against Stanford, but he's still a little on edge. "What happens if I get beat again," he said. "I don't plan on getting beat, but what happens?"
Asked about what it was like watching the team surrender so many yards passing against Arizona, and Davenport was visably frustrated. "It was tough," he said. "I didn't know why I was pulled, and to see all those yards...I think I could have helped a little bit. I just don't think we were focused the way we normally are. We knew their game plan was to throw it deep. We just didn't play it right. We didn't get out-coached or out-thought. We just didn't make enough plays on the ball."
He said that he'll absolutely be ready for Stanford. "I have to be, I don't have a choice," he said. "I don't need all this extra stuff going on." He added that he definitely feels like the defense is going to play well. "We just have to go out there and play angry," Davenport said. "What else can we do? We're tired of all of it. You just have to go out and do it. We have to finish the game. We have to go down there and smack them in the mouth."
Afternoon Practice notes
Ryan Tolar and Jake Locker were the only ones wearing gold Tuesday at practice. Wilson Afoa was the only player wearing red. Donald Butler wasn't participating, but he was walking around pretty well, and wasn't wearing a brace. If he doesn't play this coming weekend, I would think he'd be ready for Oregon State, but that's just my observation based on what I saw.
It was a full pads practice with mostly individual group work. J.R. Hasty was there, wearing No. 33 - the number of Stanford RB Jason Evans.
Tim Lappano came into the workroom Tuesday, ready to talk about the Stanford defense. First he mentioned how key it was going to be for the Scout team to give them a great look, because the Stanford defense blitzes 54 percent of the time, and only Boise State and Ohio State are teams that would have approached blitzing that much. To that end, he's doing something he's never done before. He's having the Scout team come in beforehand and watching a tape of Stanford blitzes put together by RB Coach Trent Miles. "They have to give us a perfect look," he said.
He added that they'll use four linebackers, and they'll come from every conceivable direction. He thought they led the league in sacks and tackles for loss (second in sacks behind Oregon State), so the Huskies would have to be very solid in their pass protections and he also felt that they had come up with some plays to counteract the upfield rush. "I think we have a good plan for it," he said.
Because they put so much pressure up front, the Stanford defense is very susceptible to big plays. "But they play really hard and swarm to the ball," he said. "We have our hands full. They come from everywhere and have messed up a lot of people. They couldn't hang with Oregon at the end, but they were with them for three quarters. And you saw what they did to USC. It's going to be a good challenge."
Asked about receiver drops, and Lappano said that the coaches might make the WR's go through the 'Distraction Drill' or the NFL Combine-style gauntlet that has QB's throwing from both sides of the WR while he is running full speed down a straight line. "It helps because they have to catch the ball with their hands, away from their bodies," he said. The 'Distraction Drill' is done where the ball is thrown at the player with hands in front of his eyes, and the hands are moved at just the last moment before the receiver can catch it.
"We might do some of those things if we have some extra time this week," he added.
Asked about J.R. Hasty returning, and Lappano was pleased. "I support J.R. 100 percent," he said. "I had nothing against him when he left, but I don't know what Coach (Willingham) is going to do."
J.R. was available to the media Tuesday, but didn't say whether or not he'd be traveling with the team to Stanford.
Asked about the overall growth of the offense and how it has improved, and Lappano was quick to point out that, while Jake Locker would be the focal point, there are plenty of other people stepping up to make things go. He mentioned Cody Habben and Ryan Tolar as young OL that are stepping up, and he also mentioned Anthony Russo and Marcel Reece as veteran receivers that are openly calling for the ball to make plays. "I like that," he said. He also mentioned how Louis Rankin continues to run hard and give them a big-play threat every time he touches the rock. "He's been more consistent lately," he added of Rankin.
He also noted how Locker is progressing in the nuance of the game. Said that during the Oregon game, when he would float the pocket for Locker, Jake had his head down running when a player was open. This last week against Arizona, his head was up on a key third down in the red zone, and that was the play where he found Rankin in the end zone for a touchdown.
A question was asked about there possibly being more audibles for Jake at the line of scrimmage, and Lappano is giving Jake more room to do some things, but he just wants to give him enough to make sure he can get out of potentially bad situations.
He also noted an interesting fact about Jake - he holds his breath when he runs. He doesn't do it any other time when he runs, except for when he's out on the field, competing.
He was asked about the different OL rotations, some with Cody Habben and Jordan White-Frisbee in it, and some with Ben Ossai and Casey Bulyca in it, and he said that there's been a lot of good competition, and more depth as a result.
Asked if he's starting to get a read on an offensive line he wants to go to in the 4th quarter when the team needs a drive, and he hinted that he is, but didn't give anything else away, so I'll be on the lookout for any lineup changes this week in practice (not that 25 minutes a day is going to allow for much more than a cursory look at best).
Lappano also was asked about the Tight Ends, and he said that the TE's were more involved in the game plan against Arizona because UA was giving them the TE on a lot of first reads, and UW was taking advantage of that. He also wanted to give props to Johnie Kirton for his work blocking against UA. "He probably had his best performance last week blocking," Lappano said of the junior from Mill Creek.
Lappano was asked for some general thoughts about how he feels recruiting is going, and he said the best thing to do right now to help UW recruiting is to win games. "It cures a lot of things," he said of winning. "But if we can take care of the guys in-state that we want, it's going to be huge for us."
Asked about the dichotomy between how well the offense is playing, compared to just how much the defense is struggling, and Lappano said that the team just has to come together and support each other. "I've been there," he said. "And we're all still the same coaches that were here through even the Ohio State game. All you can do is battle through it. It's all you can do. I knew it was going to be tough, and our guys have to be tough about it. We're supporting each other."
Players of the Week and Willingham thoughts
Pepsi Players of the Week for the Arizona game were Jake Locker - Offense; Jordan Reffett - Defense; and Chris Stevens - Special Teams. Scout Players for the game were Romeo Savant - Offense; Darrion Jones - Defense; Linus Chou - Special Teams.
Willingham talked Monday about the challenge coming up ahead for the team as they play Stanford on the road. He talked about finishing games, but also said that he has not addressed the team yet about the fact that their backs are up against the wall this week. They have no margin for error when it comes to becoming bowl-eligible. Because they play 13 games this season, the Huskies have to win seven regular-season games, meaning they have to now run the table in their final five contests.
No injuries coming out of the game, although the Huskies will be without Donald Butler for another week. Willingham said that Byron Davenport was nursing a shoulder injury all last week, and that when Arizona receiver Mike Thomas ran past Davenport two times in a row to start the game, Willingham realized that something was physically wrong. "That didn't look like Byron," he said. And so they collectively made the decision to put Vonzell McDowell in the game. Davenport is listed as the starter for the Stanford game. "It was a decision that only reflected that day."
He said that the same thing held true for E.J. Savannah and the stinger issue he's had since coming to Washington. "That did have some impact on who played and who we will play. We'll be monitoring that all the way."
He said that he feels like this team has a lot of fighters and battlers, they just have to battle throughout the whole game. Asked later about this, Trenton Tuiasosopo said that he feels it's a matter of heart and will, and who is going to go above and beyond the call to show the most heart to get the job done.
Asked about the 'circle the wagons' comment made by OC Tim Lappano Saturday night, and Willingham said that the 'noise' heard outside the program has always been there, and nothing is going to be completely right, even if they win Saturday. "We've got to be prepared to deal with that."
Added that the key is to understanding what they know about each other on the inside and trusting it. "Like I've told the team, obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the prize."
Asked if this is the lowest point he's been at since taking the UW job, and he said yes. "I think everyone is sick and tired of this. That game stunk. But we've been in position every game, and we have to find a way to knock that door down. And that's on the coaches, to get these guys in a position to win games."
Because of the massive numbers being put up by opposing teams, Willingham again fielded a number of questions about changing schemes. "We realize our system has done some good things, but in the past few games, it hasn't been there. I know Coach (Kent) Baer is not satisfied with it, I know he's not happy with it."
He went on to talk about the positive energy a team generates from the offense being on the field, and how - the longer a defense is out there, a negative energy is created. "We have to find a way to create more positive energy."
He was asked whether or not - over the course of his relationship with Baer - if they have made any major philosophical defensive changes - scheme or otherwise - and he said no. Tuiasosopo thinks that they are really close to punching things through, and that the players still have faith in the coaches and the scheme. "It's not the coaches and it's not about the schemes. It's about heart and individual efforts."
Willingham was asked if he's felt that this current losing streak has affected recruiting at all, and he said that the prospects he's talking to, they see how close the team is to breaking through. He added that the recruits are seeing the direction the program is headed, they see opportunities. "But nothing substitutes for a win. But I'm getting good vibes from the guys I talk to."
Official Stanford two-deeps for their game against Washington on Saturday.
WR 9 Richard Sherman 6-3 195 So. 4 Mark Bradford 6-2 215 Sr. LT 76 Ben Muth 6-6 301 Jr. 75 Joe Dembesky 6-5 295 Fr.* LG 72 Mikal Brewer 6-3 297 Sr. 71 Andrew Phillips 6-5 298 Fr.* 69 Preston Clover 6-4 300 Sr. C 62 Tim Mattran 6-5 298 Sr. 70 Bert McBride 6-3 295 Fr.* 71 Andrew Phillips 6-5 298 Fr.* RG 60 Alex Fletcher 6-3 295 Jr. 71 Andrew Phillips 6-5 298 Fr.* 69 Preston Clover 6-4 300 Sr. RT 63 Chris Marinelli 6-7 304 So. 61 Matt Kopa 6-6 275 So. TE 84 Austin Gunder 6-5 255 Jr. 45 Ben Ladner 6-3 250 So. QB 14 Tavita Pritchard 6-4 200 So. 13 T.C. Ostrander 6-3 215 Sr. 15 Alex Loukas 6-4 215 Fr.* RB 34 Jeremy Stewart 5-9 185 Fr. 31 Tyrone McGraw 5-9 185 Fr.* FB 48 Owen Marecic 6-1 235 Fr. 47 Josh Catron 6-0 236 So. WR 8 Evan Moore 6-7 236 Sr. 89 Doug Baldwin 5-11 178 Fr. 38 Ryan Whalen 6-2 200 Fr.
DE 91 Pannel Egboh 6-6 275 Jr. 90 Udeme Udofia 6-4 252 Sr. 97 Emmanuel Awofadeju 6-4 250 Sr. DT 54 Ekom Udofia 6-2 310 So. 99 Levirt Griffin 6-4 270 So. 39 Brian Bulcke 6-4 255 So. NT 95 Chris Horn 6-5 273 Sr. 65 Gustav Rydstedt 6-3 295 Jr. DE 80 Erik Lorig 6-4 260 So. 97 Emmanuel Awofadeju 6-4 250 Sr. SLB 44 Pat Maynor 6-2 217 Jr. 28 Peter Griffin 6-1 225 Sr. 57 Max Bergen 6-2 220 Fr. MLB 50 Nick Macaluso 6-3 235 Fr.* 42 Will Powers 6-4 234 So. 55 Jonathan Frink 6-2 230 Fr. WLB 20 Clinton Snyder 6-4 230 So. 43 Chike Amajoyi 6-0 233 Fr. 57 Max Bergen 6-2 220 Fr. CB 2 Nick Sanchez 6-0 190 Sr. 24 Kris Evans 6-0 188 So. 14 Tim Sims 5-11 191 Sr. FS 22 Bo McNally 6-0 208 So. 40 Taylor Skaufel 6-0 195 Fr. 10 Marcus Rance 6-2 202 Fr.* SS 23 Austin Yancy 6-4 215 So. 40 Taylor Skaufel 6-0 195 Fr. 10 Marcus Rance 6-2 202 Fr.* CB 6 Wopamo Osaisai 5-11 200 Jr. 24 Kris Evans 6-0 188 So. 14 Tim Sims 5-11 191 Sr.
Stanford Special Teams
PK 12 Derek Belch 5-11 195 Sr. 11 Aaron Zagory 6-0 185 Jr. P 27 Jay Ottovegio 6-0 196 Sr. LSN 52 Brent Newhouse 6-4 230 Sr. 42 Will Powers 6-4 234 So. SSN 52 Brent Newhouse 6-4 230 Sr. HLD 27 Jay Ottovegio 6-0 196 Sr. 14 Tavita Pritchard 6-4 200 So KR 89 Doug Baldwin 5-11 178 Fr. 31 Tyrone McGraw 5-9 185 Fr.* 26 Corey Gatewood 5-11 185 Fr. PR 36 Chris Hobbs 5-9 174 So. 9 Richard Sherman 6-3 185 So. 2 Nick Sanchez 6-0 190 Sr.
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. 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.
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. 9 Donald Butler 6-1 240 So. 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