Only a few weeks ago the Huskies entered a four game stretch where the games looked winnable. The Huskies are 0-3 in those games and 0-6 on the season as Notre Dame rolls in to town. The Irish are not to be confused with being any type of juggernaught but based on how the Huskies have played since Jake Locker went down they should be able to win by a couple of touchdowns on the road in Husky Stadium.
This weeks game is a story of two coaches and programs going in different directions. Charlie Weis started the season on the semi hot seat but a 4-2 record duing the first half of the season with a victory over Michigan have quited such talk in South Bend.
The Irish are going to attack Washington from the air which makes sense since the Husky defense has not been able to stop a single QB this season. Notre Dame averages 285 yards passing per game and this week they should have no problem finishing with around 350 with an improved Clausen at the helm. Clausen has completed 61% of his passes this season. ND hasn't had much success on the ground this season averaging only a little over 100 yards per game which is similar to Washington.
On defense the Irish have given up 100 fewer points than Washington this season. that isn't to say that the Irish defense is all that good. What it says is the Washington defense is still among the worst in the country. The Irish defense is giving up around 136 yards on the ground per game and 231 passing.
Is this a winnable game for Washington?
I don't think Notre Dame is any better than Arizona, Stanford, and Oregon State. Washington on the other hand wasn't very competitive with those schools. Notre Dame in fact beat Stanford a week after the Cardinal beat UW. I would say the oddsmakers have this one right and the Irish should be a two TD favorite.
The injury to Jake Locker has hurt Washington's expectations but the lack of skill developing around him and a porous defense means the Huskies would probably still be winless with him at this point. One guy can't carry an entire team. I will say that back up Ronnie Fouch has done a decent job with locker out but he has to eliminate the turnovers to give his team a chance to win.
Emotionally the Huskies should be up for this one. It is Willingham's old team and whenever you play the most storied team in college football you tend to bring what ever "A" game you are capable of bringing.
Rumors are floating around out there that this could be the final game for Tyrone Willingham as Husky head coach. One website went as far to proclaim that it was already a done deal during the bye week. Scott Woodward the Husky AD has remain steadfast in maintaining that Washington will not fire a coach during the season. That doesn't mean that they won't accept a resignation after next Saturdays game.
Up next after Notre Dame is Southern California on the road and if you want to pick a good time to resign from coaching an 0-7 team that may be the right time to do it. The Trojans beat WSU 69-0 last week with Pete Carroll doing everything he could to keep the score respectable.
As far as replacements go it seems Fresno State's Pat Hill may have the inside track if he is willing to come to Seattle. Washington will likely talk to Pinkel and Mora first but it is doubtful that they are interested in leaving their current positions.
Husky Crew claims Head of the Charles Race
One of the greatest races in rowing is the Head of the Charles event in Boston. The course is 3.2 miles long and stretches from the start at Boston University's DeWolfe Boathouse near the Charles River Basin to the finish just after the Eliot Bridge and before Northeastern University's Henderson Boathouse.
It is the largest 2-day regatta in the world, with more than 8,000 athletes rowing in around 1750 boats in 56 events. It attracts about 300,000 spectators throughout Regatta weekend. The Head of the Charles Regatta is run by an office of 3 and approximately 1,500 volunteers.
Washington overcame gusty crosswinds Sunday to capture the men's championship eights, the featured race on the second day of competition at the 44th annual Head of the Charles Regatta.
Washington edged the French national team, rowing as Pole France Aviron Nancy, by 2 ½ seconds in 14 minutes, 28 seconds on the 3-mile upstream course. Brown University actually had the second-best time, but a 1-minute penalty pushed the Bruins back to 24th.
Washington, starting 22nd in the field of 37, had to slow momentarily and then navigate around crews from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard as the winds made passing difficult.
This was Washington's third appearance at the race and second victory. The win establishes the UW crew as the team to beat in the 2009 IRA.