First of all it was nice to wake up on a Sunday morning feeling good about the future of Husky football. We didn't get the win, and the opportunity to win it was there, but we learned enough about this football team to be encouraged.
Next up is an improved Idaho Vandal squad who picked up a big win to start the season on the road at New Mexico State. The 21-6 win was the Vandals first opening season win in over a decade and first road victory since 2006. The Spokesman Review has the story.
Lastly, it must have been an odd feeling for most of the Vandals; they’re usually the ones falling behind the Aggies were. It’s not a big shock that Idaho did exhibit any sort of killer instinct to put NMSU away earlier. But as Akey said afterward, “It does feel great. I’m happy for my players. I’m happy for tonight.”
Washington has to avoid the trap next week of taking Idaho lightly. Idaho isn't a great football team but the Huskies need to come out each week with the same emotion they had against LSU because Washington isn't a great team either. The Huskies need to come out next Saturday and put these guys away early. If they allow the Vandals to toy with them it will be a step backwards for team that doesn't have many to take.
We will have a full review of what to expect from the Vandals on Tuesday.
Quote of the Week
Steve Sarkisian on the state of his Washington football program after one game.
"It's not going to take us very long," he said. "We got to this point in a short amount of time and we'll continue to improve. I firmly believe it's not going to take us that long."
Pac Ten Round Up
The next Husky opponent after Idaho is USC. After shaking off the rust in the first quarter trailing 3-0 and dealing with a sputtering offense they exploded for 56 consecutive points in a convincing 56-3 win over San Jose State. USC was the most impressive BCS team I watched this week and the truth is they still can get a lot better as the season goes on. What impressed me the most was their defense which I think may just be the best in the country right now. Barkley is a work in progress but you can just see the talent oozing out of every one of his pores. I don't think these guys will have much trouble with Ohio State who was almost upset by Navy.
Stanford beat WSU on the road 39-13. I saw what I expected to see in this one. Washington State is terrible, but not quite as terrible as I thought, and Stanford is not as good as a number of experts are predicting them to be. Gerhart is a beast and Luck looked pretty good in his debut. Luck moves a lot better than I thought and definitely will evolve into top flight QB. Stanford still lack the tools on offense to light it up when somebody stops the run. Defensively I think they are challenged and thin.
I watched a little Notre Dame/Nevada hoping to see some fight out of the Wolfpack and it didn't happen. Jimmy Clausen looks to be improved this season. I liked the zip he put on the ball. The Notre Dame defense stopped Nevada all night which is a good sign if you are an Irish fan. How good is Notre Dame? I am not really sure till I see them play a better opponent but at first glance I would say they aren't nearly as good as USC, CAL, and LSU.
Oregon State had no problem shutting out Portland State last night but I saw some problems that need correcting on the horizon. The Beavers gave up way too many yards via the air in the 34-7 victory over a middle of the road Big Sky school. The Beav's need to improve their young secondary in a hurry. One thing about OSU is they have a track record of getting better every week. They need to do that because last weeks perfomance won't cut it once the schedule ratchets up.
UCLA fell behind early to SDSU but they were able to come out of it with a respectable 33-14 win at home. UCLA still has all the same problems on offense they had in 2008 despite scoring 33 against an Aztec team that is simply not very good. I think Tennesee will kill them this coming weekend.
Arizona won a tight game against Central Michigan 19-6. What was impressive for the Wildcats is the way their defense played against a team capable of scoring some points. They needed that type of performance because the offense is still a work in progress. I expected a higher scoring game. If that would have happened the Wildcats would be 0-1.
Arizona State beat Idaho State 50-3. Blowing up a bottom of the barrel Big Sky Team in your opener really doesn't give us much insight into how good ASU will be this season. Check back in a couple of weeks.
California definitely has the horses to battle USC for the conference title this season. Jahvid Best is definitely a Heisman candidate and Jeff Tedford has his team playing on all cylinders in game one after a 52-13 win over a Maryland team that beat them in 2008's opener. You heard it here...Cal is for real!
We spent enough time on Oregon's loss earlier in the week. I think they are headed for a tailspin and I think an underated purdue team will beat them next weekend at home. Purdue was impessive in their opener and they put up one of the few good games in the Big Tens opening weekend. The line is Oregon by 14...if you are a betting man this one is a good opportunity to win some money.
Pac Ten Power Ratings
A couple of changes this week as we drop the Ducks into the cellar along with Washington State. If you are a Duck fan perhaps you feel that is too drastic after losing a close one to a top twenty opponent. I don't think so. I think Kelly is in danger of losing his team. Losing a potential first round running back doesn't help your stumbling offense either.
USC and California are far and away the best two teams in the conference this season. Both came out and did exactly what they were supposed to do opening week. I think it is a six team scramble behind them for third place and Washington is firmly in that mix.
I saw a bit of every Pac 10 game this week and with the exception of Cal and USC I don't see anyone else out there we can't beat if we continue to play like we did on Saturday night.
Pac Ten Power Ratings Week One
1. USC...They scored 56 points but what really impressed me was the defense.
2. California...Maybe this is the year the Bear's return to Pasadena. It could be because I think USC is strong enough to play for all the marbles in the post season.
3. Oregon State...The Rodgers brothers give the OSU offense an edge that few teams have. The Beavers need to clean up problems in the secondary though if they want to keep this lofty position in our power ratings.
4. Stanford...The Cardinals get the win but I am not completely sold on them. I think the offense depends too much on Gephart and they have definite holes on defense.
5. Arizona...19 points on offense doesn't impress me against a MAC team. Holding CMU to only six points does.
6. Washington...The Huskies controlled the LSU running game and they almost gained 500 yards on offense. Take away a few errors and UW would have won this one. The losing streak stops next week against Idaho.
7. Arizona State...You really can't tell if there is improvement when you play an opponent like Idaho State. If you want to play the Bengals than I have to penalize you in the power ratings.
8. UCLA...The Bruins won a game they should have won against an inferior opponent. SDSU stuck around too long in this one. Despite the 33 points the Bruins haven't improved on offense and that will rear its ugly head in Knoxville next weekend. Two interceptions by Prince the opener will be magnified when they step to play the Volunteers.
9. Oregon...Duck fans will snicker at this but I think Oregon is finished after week one because of internal problems and a head coach that isn't prepared to be a head coach. The only thing that could turn it around is if Bellotti returns to take over this week and that isn't going to happen.
10. Washington State...The Coug's aren't very good but they have some bright spots. I really like Tardy and Montgomery at RB. Too bad Wulff can't figure out his best chance at winning is to feature his running backs. Relying on Lopina and the Lobster to make big plays is a pipe dream.
Pac Ten Offensive Player of the Week
TB Jahvid Best California
Best ran 73 yards for one of his two first-quarter touchdowns and the 12th-ranked Golden Bears avenged an early-season loss to the Terrapins. Best ran for 137 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Pac Ten Defensive Player of the Week
Mike Nixon returned one of his three interceptions for a touchdown and blocked a punt to lead Arizona State past outmatched Idaho State 50-3 Saturday night. The senior linebacker became the first Sun Devil with three picks in a game in 20 years.
Husky Offensive Player of the Week
QB Jake Locker completed 25 of 45 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns.
Husky Defensive Player of the Week
DT Alameda Ta'amu was a huge part of Washington's effort to control the run against LSU.