With a little success under the belt the Huskies have once again become the talk of the town and even the nation this week. All that aside it is still just one more point in a season that still has nine points left to go if the Huskies want to end up getting anywhere.
There has been some talk here and there that Jake Locker could end up being a first round draft pick next April and leave before his final season at Washington. I think it is a bad idea because Jake is still a work in progress who still needs a lot of refinement if he wants to have success at the next level. There is a big difference from being drafted and getting a big check as opposed t0 developing a base to be succesful at the next level for a long time.
Locker is completing 60% of his passes right now. If he continues at that clip he would be the all time leader at Washington in that category. Despite that awesome statistic he still has some holes in his game that need a lot of work. Credit a lot of that high percentage to the way the coaching staff is using him right now. They are giving him the type of passes they know he can complete. No question that he is zipping it in there in a marvelous way but he isn't the complete package yet.
One thing he needs to develop to take his game to the next level is the deep ball. How many has he thrown this year so far? Not many because the coaches feel his chances of connecting aren't high yet. He can throw the ball a mile but the long range touch isn't quite there yet. To have great success in the NFL you need to be able to connect with your receivers deep and hit them in stride. He needs to work on that.
Jake has tremendous potential and an NFL team is going to jump all over that potential in the draft if he keeps playing like he is. Thinking long range it is in Jakes best interest if he stays at Washington and continues to work with the coaches who have dramatically improved his game over the past six months. If you think he is good now just wait till Sark and company has the chance to polish him for one more year.
We all know that tese type of decisions can boil down to the simple fact that it is all about the money. Spencer Hawes felt that way and left UW before he was ready for the NBA. I still think that was a mistake even though he had a pretty good second year. Jake should be thinking about the second and third contracts he signs in addition to the first one.
If Jake stays another year he is assured of being a starting QB in the NFL for ten or more years if he stays healthy. He will be prepared to start in his first NFL season. If he leaves early he runs the risk of sitting on the bench a year or two honing his craft and waiting for his chance. Ask Marques Tuiasosopo how that feels. Marques didn't leave early...but he left after four years rather than five because he was forced into action as a freshman. An extra year at Washington would have given him an edge in getting established in a starting job.
Lets put the money and the pro potential aside for one second. When Jake arrived at Washington he was declared the savior of the program. He may just be a big part of that this season in conjunction with the new coaching staff. If he stays another year the Rose Bowl or a BCS game becomes a distinct possibility. I think that would mean a lot to Jake and I am pretty sure that will be a strong reason for him to stay.
How many times do you get the chance to win a Heisman Trophy? If Jake stays another year that award that represents immortality in the college football world is in his grasp. To me that is another strong reason to stay. You only get to live your youth once...why push it?
We saw film of Spencer Hawes running around on the sidelines during the last seconds of the game Saturday going nuts. Spencer is a great guy. Spencer has plenty of dough. Spencer is going to have a good career in the NBA. When Spencer looks back at his life no matter the success achieved in the NBA he will eventually regret not staying at UW to help them advance to the Big Dance and the Final Four.
You saw it in the way he ran around on the sidelines on Saturday. He was fired up for Washington! Those type of chances only happen once in a lifetime. I am betting that Jake is smart enough to realize that and finish what he came to UW to start.
As for Spencer the kid has a lot of class even though he left early. He is still going to school in the off season completing his degree. You really can't ask for more than that or can you?
Bud is one of the very best in the business. He has a classic column today in the Seattle Times. Cheers to Chip Kelly for having the bronze one's to write the check. Oregon isn't good this season. They have their backs against the wall. Somehow they have scratched out two victories out of three chances against all odds against over-rated competition.
"I am sending you an invoice for my trip to Boise," Seminary wrote Kelly. "I feel as though I'm entitled to my money back for the trip."
Done. Kelly scribbled out a check for $439 to Seminary, one of whose friends sent copies of the check and the correspondence to The Times and other outlets. Taken aback, Seminary wrote to Kelly with effusive praise — "Your kids must want to run through walls for you" — and said he was returning the check.
Timu Tears ACL
On a sad note Husky recruit John Timu who is slated to be a WR or DB tore his ACL this past weekend and will miss the rest of the season. It takes around nine months to recover from an injury like that after surgery. Timu should be ready to go by June or July which makes him a certain candidate to RS next season or even delay enrollment till winter quarter. Sarkisian said earlier this year that if a commit gets injured they stand by him.
Dennis Dodd from CBS Sportsline throws out this zinger at Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis. The zinger aside this win was really a powerful statement of where Washington and Steve Sarkisian are going together. Some college coaches like Weis never get a win like this and Sark picks it up in his third week. As for Willingham his biggest wins at UW were against Boise State and Cal. He came close against USC twice but never closed the deal, Fate is a fickle mistress.
Think of the absurd times we live in. In his third game as a head coach, Steve Sarkisian was able to do what Charlie Weis never could -- beat USC with Tyrone Willingham's players.
Speaking of Ty Willingham. He was in Seattle to catch the Oaks Christian/Skyline clash. No surprise that he played golf on Saturday. He was in the clubhouse at Gold Mountain getting ready to tee off during the Washington/USC game. Word has it he passed the TV without a glance and had no interest in the game. Too bad Willingham never came off as a loveable guy. Those that are close to him say it is there. He was just cut from the type of cloth that never allowed him to lay his true feelings out there.
The live broadcast will be on FCS, or Fox College Sports, which is not the same as FSN, at 6 p.m. That is DirectTV 617 and Comcast 415 in Seattle and the Bay Area. It will also air on the campus-wide cable system at UW. As usual KJR-AM will have all the pre and post game action to go along with the call by Bob Rondeau and Chuck Nelson. The game will also be broadcast on XM radio using at least the Stanford feed. Sometimes they broadcast both home and away if they have enough room.
The game will also be replayed on Fox Northwest later in the evening at 10:45 PM PST.
Donald Butler win another award
He picked up the Bronco Nagurski award for his performance against USC. You think Donald might be putting himself in a position to be drafted this spring?
WSU's Montgomery out for the season
Washington State's top running back will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury. Montgomery suffered the injury in last week's overtime win over Southern Methodist.
WSU to go ahead with Stadium Upgrade
We will be ready with a bill? After the way the some Coug boosters behaved with the blessing of the AD and the school President it is hard to conceive any "Bill" that would work to help fund WSU athletics. I don't have much love for WSU at this point.
Athletics director Jim Sterk said Tuesday that big drops in construction costs thanks to the slowdown will allow the project to proceed. Washington State will raise the money from its fans and boosters, and will not ask the state for funds, Sterk said.
"If the governor and Legislature decide they would like to fund stadiums, we'll be ready with a bill," Sterk added.
EJ has a broken hand
Washington linebacker E.J. Savannah has a broken bone in his left hand but the senior expects to play through the injury, beginning Saturday at Stanford. Savannah missed just a couple of series in the first quarter while his hand was getting wrapped. He finished with five tackles.
"Not taking anything away from what we did Saturday because SC was the best team we've played so far this year, but it is my true belief that we should be 3-0 right now," Savannah said. "And we're not. So we've got to prove it to everybody each Saturday from here on out."
The rest of the injured
Defensive tackle De’Shon Matthews (knee) returned to practice Monday, but defensive end Darrion Jones (knee, foot) sat out.
Quotes of the Week
"Everyone has just kind of jumped on board," Sarkisian said. "It's a mindset, a belief. I don't think it's going to take us very long. But by no means are we there yet. We've got a lot of room for improvement. What was encouraging to me was to go out and upset USC in that game, yet we didn't play great."
"We played hard, we played with great effort, but we didn't play a great football game. It didn't take some super-human effort from Jake Locker or Chris Polk or Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. We just played football hard and with great effort. But we can execute a lot better than we did."
"We don’t want to be one of those teams that plays hard against one of the top-ranked teams in the nation and then loses," safety Nate Williams said Monday. "I really think that’s what our motivation is."
Is EJ's spot becoming a platoon?
I think we all noticed a lot more of Cort Dennison and Matt Houston than we anticipated. Todd Milles of the Tribune speculates on why?
Twice, Savannah was pulled from the game in place of Cort Dennison, and given a stern lecture to by Holt on the sideline. He eventually returned (and I've seen a threat about Savannah re-injuring his hand and having it taped back up. 1, I'll check on that Monday. 2, Don't think that was what Holt's rant centered around).
Reprimand Coach Holt?
Ya, put it in his personel file...I dare you!
Sarkisian has not reprimanded defensive coordinator Nick Holt for getting a key penalty in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win. Holt was flagged for interfering with a game official when a side judge ran into him along the sideline. After the win, Sarkisian was able to laugh off the incident. "He’s just got to be smart," he said Monday. "He just didn’t see the official behind him is what happened."
Dave Boling of the Tribune focuses on Donald Butler.
Against the heavily favored Trojans, Butler made a dozen tackles, two for lost yardage, and forced a fumble and came up with an interception. It earned the senior linebacker from Sacramento the national Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week Honor, and also recognition as the Pac-10 Conference’s top defender.
“I’ll never forget that day,” he said. “It’s why you play college football.”