Jake had an off night. His stats weren't all that bad but he didn't have any extra gas in the tank it when Washington absolutely needed it. He didn't get it done in the clutch like he did so many times last week. He couldn't sell a play fake to save his life. He was pressured all night in the pocket and was prevented from making big plays.
Jake wasn't feeling well and was seen taking oxygen on the sidelines during the second half. Sarkisian commented after the game that Jake wasn't explosive. He was sick all week and had problems getting his breath back during the game. Sark said that Jake had about one run in him per series. He wasn't able to use him in a moving pocket this week because he simply wouldn't have lasted four quarters.
The series of the game in my mind came right after the Cort Dennison interception. Washington went three and out, punted, and gave up a 30 yard punt return which resulted in ASU kicking a FG to take a 10 point lead. Going three, and, out and failing to capitalize, or at least move the ball on the turnover sealed the Huskies doom.
Do you put that all on a sick Jake Locker or do you look to the coaches and ask them they they didn't let Polk and Callier share more of the burden on a night when they were having success? I don't think the coaches put Jake in a very good spot last night.
Grade C Plus
Chris Polk as usual was magnificent with 110 yards on 18 carries. You have to wonder why on a rainy night a running back who was averaging 6.1 yards a carry didn't get the ball more? Jessie Callier (6.7 ypc) continues to get more touches and has big play potential. With Jake not feeling well it would have made sense to run Polk and Callier a dozen more times with Sylvester as a lead blocker to help lessen the load.
Devin Aguilar missed the game with a hip flexor injury. Deandre Goodwin, and Jordan Polk stepped in, and played well. Jermaine Kearse caught six passes but continues to have problems with dropped balls. He isn't making big plays right now and that is a problem for this offense. The longest catch was only 22 yards. The Huskies didn't seem interested in testing the Devils deep which makes sense because the offensive line wasn't giving Jake enough time in the pocket to make those type of throws. How far has James Johnson fallen on the depth chart?
Grade C minus
Jake was beaten up and pressured all night by the Sun Devils. The tackles didn't have a very good game which resulted in the pocket collapsing around Locker too many times. The Huskies missed Erik Kohler big time on the inside. He could be out 2-3 weeks or more with Mono.
Greg Christine was called for two holding penalties and didn't have a great game so look for the Huskies to take a long look at starting Colin Porter against Oregon State. Cody Habben was penalized for a late hit that extended a drive.
Two things that makes this offensive line look acceptable is the mobility of Jake Locker and the yards after contact by Chris Polk. Jake didn't have his usual mobility last night and on days like that the major flaws of this line are exposed.
The Huskies held the Sun Devils to 99 yards on the ground in 37 carries using a three man but they weren't able to get enough pressure on Steve Threet. Washington played with a three man front most of the night to help counter the spread. The name of the game against a spread team is pressure and Washington didn't bring enough of it to force Threet into making mistakes.
I thought the trio had a good game. Foster and Dennison led the team in tackles and both had a sack. Cort also had an interception. Victor Aiyewa had a nice tackle for loss. This group really misses having a big thumper. These guys also played every single snap of the game. Experienced depth at linebacker is a problem.
Threat picked these guys apart. It would have been much worse if his receivers hadn't dropped at least six balls. The Huskies played a nickel most of the night with Sean Parker seeing significant action. Even with the extra DB the Sun Devils were wide open most of the night. It could have gotten pretty ugly if ASU receivers hadn't dropped at least six catchable balls. Lack of pressure up front is making this unit look worse than it really is.
Jessie Callier did a nice job returning the ball. He broke one for 51 yards. Erik Polk missed a long field goal. Kiel Rasp continued to punt the ball well. Washington's coverage game continued to improve but they allowed two big ASU returns. The fake field goals wasn't a very good call, but the weather, and distance factored into that decision. Punting which was a much better choice could have backed up ASU and prevented that third touchdown which proved to be the game winner.
Grade C Plus
Sark didn't do his team any favors with his game planning. With Jake far from 100% and with a monsoon going on it would have made sense to keep the ball on the ground more. It was the type of night to play some Husky power football and Sark missed the opportunity. I think Polk and Callier would have looked pretty good being led by Austin Sylvester and one of the tackles lining up at TE.
The fake FG was a bad call. Of course all risky calls are either bad or brilliant depending on the outcome.This just wasn't the right place on the field to sell the fake which looked pretty pedestrian by the way. The decision led to an ASU touchdown drive that the Devils into the locker room with a 21-7 lead.
The defense held ASU to 24 points and that is usually enough to win the majority of the time. ASU's only score in the second half was a lone field goal. The Devils only picked up 99 yards on 37 carries. Those are good numbers which mask the fact that the only thing stopping ASU most of the game through the air was themselves..
On the negative side of the slate the Washington pass defense was terrible.The Huskies gave up way too many big plays in the first half which led to points. The Huskies blitzed quite a bit while staying in a nickel most of the evening but the Devil receivers were open all night. Holt needs to figure out how to get more pressure on the quarterback but he is hindered by the lack of horses up front to get it done.
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