I'm sure JB will have a write up soon, but I thought I'd get this thread up for Dawg Fans to continue their discussion about what was clearly one of the most fascinating games UW has ever played. The Alamo Bowl was a congruence of order and chaos the likes of which has never been observed. On one hand, we saw an offensive display that is unrivaled in our history. On the other hand, the defensive display was among the most reprehensible displays put up in any Husky era. The corresponding competitiveness of the game did nothing to stir up feelings of joy and suspense. It did nothing more than provide a momentary salve for the feelings of shame and embarrassment that Husky fans everywhere were experiencing. Baylor, of course, is a worthy and accomplished offense - but they were hardly the best we've ever seen over the years when compared to the likes of USC, Oregon, Oklahoma, tOSU, Stanford, LSU, and Nebraska. Nevertheless, the body language of the players on the field communicated utter bewilderment and complete confusion. How many snaps did we see get hiked where one or more players had their heads facing the sidelines? How many arm tackles got broken? How many players got caught flat footed and out of position when a Baylor runner was barreling through their zone? The offense played at an elite level as a result of their sharp execution and their inferior opposition. All the D had to do was bend and crack while avoiding giving up "to the house" plays. The defensive efforts mustered in games like Nebraska, Oregon and Hawaii - as ugly as those were - was all that was required to win this game. The fact that not even that could be mustered after a month's worth of preparation assures that this defensive unit will be known as the worst in Husky history and brings the curtain down on the tenures of a few current staffers. Other observations after the jump.
... Keith Price was amazing. He was making good reads. He worked progressions. He showed escapability. And he rarely missed an open man. The only thing he didn't do - and he may never be able to - was to squeeze a ball into a well-covered receiver when no other options are available. He had a great game the likes of which he may never again equal.
... The look on the face of Chris Polk all through the fourth quarter told you all you had to know about his red zone turnover and how he felt about it. If I'm not mistaken, that was his first fumble all year. In a game where our D couldn't stop a rock from rolling uphill, it was a mortal mistake, one that a fear he won't ever get the chance to atone for.
... I was really happy to see Jermaine Kearse go out with a bang. He deserved it and he clearly came out with something to prove in terms of his physicality and his hands.
... While the D was abysmal, epically so, one cannot dismiss the appearance of a pass rush in the first half. The rush was generated by frequent blitzing and the individual efforts of Josh Shirley. Josh was consistently winning his one on ones and was a lone bright spot
... I haven't yet come to grips with the performances of Quinton Richardson, Cort Dennison, and Alameda Ta'amu. They were literally unspeakable efforts and provide a dubious shroud over what have been long careers.
... I also haven't gotten over the missed FG by Eric Folk and the long kick returns surrendered. I thought special teams was a clear advantage coming in and it ended up being nothing better a break even (at best)
... Paging Sean Parker ... or any Safety. WTF?
... Finally, a note on the O Line. I realize that there were some breakdowns in the run blocking - especially by the tackles - but I can't say I was anything less than surprised by how well the pass blocking was executed. Before that last fourth down play, I can't remember Price getting pressured prematurely on any single pass play. While they didn't have to contend with a ton of blitzing, they handled the preponderance of their assignments and go into 2012 as a strength to build on.
That's it. Discuss.