Washington fell to 0-7 after a lethargic effort against Notre Dame on national television last night. The vaunted Typanno offense was able to move the ball only 121 total yards last night. Most of that yardage was picked up on a late drive against the Irish third string for a fourth quarter TD.
In one of the stranger moments of the season Senio Kelemente was carted off the field during warmups with a knee injury before the game started. It was obvious the football gods were not going to smile on Washington this evening.
Don't forget the Pac Ten refs who called back an early UW interception on a very questionable pass interference penalty in the first quarter. That was the biggest call of the night and if UW had any hope of building a fire in their souls it was extinguished on that one play.
The Washington offensive line that was supposed to be a strength this season but last night the senior laden unit didn't even bother to even show up exposing Ronnie Fouch to rough treatment all evening. Notre Dame blitzed 50% of the time and the Huskies didn't have a single answer for it.
For the uninformed when a team commits to the all out blitz there are opportunities down field but Washington didn't find any last night. where were the screen passes and the draw plays? Where was a single adjustment to what the Irish were doing on defense?
All I could think of when Juan Garcia limped to the sideline in the second half was how bad his body looked in comparison to other offensive linemen around the country. Somebody should let this staff know that the body has more parts other then biceps. Take a good look at the lower bodies of these guys and you realize why they can't get leverage against opposing teams.
The quit word was discussed quite a bit last night by the media as a very average Irish team dominated Washington all night. I think the Irish will be very good in coming years but this edition is a work in progress. I still think Arizona, and Oregon State would beat Notre Dame on most given Saturday's. However give credit where credit is due. Charlie Weis had his team properly prepared last night and Willingham's squad bent over from the very first snap to accept a pummeling on national television.
The Husky players fought with each other on the sidelines and a Husky parent was thrown out of the stadium after someone in the crowd called his kid a bum. I am all in favor of defending the honor of your family but getting in a public fist fight and having to be escorted out of the stadium by security isn't exactly how you want to be remembered.
Washington was able to slow Clausen down last night but they were not able to stop the running game. Weis followed proper coaching protocol by establishing the run first and keeping with it till Washington stopped it. To the Huskies credit they did make enough adjustments in the second quarter to keep the game in reach as the Irish went into the tunnel with only a 17-0 lead. It could have been much uglier if they hadn't stopped themselves in the red zone a couple of times.
Notre Dame took the ball in the second half and spread out the field. the Irish crushed Washington on a 2 minute drive that put the game out of reach at 24-0. Washington was penalized on the first offensive play of the second half for having twelve men on the field and the stadium began to empty out well before the third quarter was over.
The Irish put the final stake in Washington's heart on a fake punt which almost went all the way for a TD. Notre Dame routinely went for it on fourth and long all night which means they had little respect for the Husky defense and even less respect for the offense to move the ball if the gambit just happened to fail.
Notre Dame mercifully only scored 33 points in this one against a Husky defense that actually had a few individual bright spots. Matt Mosley had his best game as a Husky at CB. The sophomore was around the ball all night and his effort helped slow the Irish passing attack. Everette Thompson garnered his first sack of the season and the first sack by someone not named Daniel Teo Nesheim. Nate Williams had an interception at the goal line to stop an Irish drive on fourth and long. You can argue tha the should have let it go to the ground so UW didn't have to start at the 1/2 yard line but when you are playing for moral victories these things happen.
Ronnie Fouch never had a chance on this one. His offensive linemen left him in danger all night and he was never able to get his feet set let alone scramble. When he did get the chance to get a pass off to an open receiver the result was more often than not a dropped pass that could have gone for a first down.
The series that may have summed up everything better than anything else was the last Irish possesion of the first half. Weis anticipated that UW would call a timeout to be able to do womething offensively after a ND punt. Weis had the fake called but Willingham let the clock run down to three seconds electing to hit the dressing room rather than give it another try on offense. It may have been the only time his team out strategized Weis all night. Charlie of course couldn't resist taking what was there and ran the play almost for a TD late in the second half.
For Willingham this game has to be the low water mark of his career in a season of low water marks. He takes his team to the Coliseum next week and you might as well rename the Huskies the first century Christians because the carnage they will face against Pete carroll's team next week is going to make this game look pretty good.
The question we ponder this Saturday morning is whether Willingham has had enough. When is he going to throw in the towel? When is enough going to be enough for Willingham? When is he going to march in to Woodward's office with his attorney and start negotiating a settlement?
If you are a true Husky fan you don't want Ty to be fired or resign this week. You want him to take what is coming from USC next week rather than put an interim head coach in that position. You want Willingham to be exposed for what he is one final week against the nations best football team on the road.
It is going to be ugly next Saturday, really ugly. The Trojans are going to be able to score at will and Ronnie Fouch is going to be lucky to escape this one without being seriously injured. When USC and Notre Dame play later this season expect the Trojans to win by 40 or so points. Carroll is going to have a very hard time keeping the margin of victory under 70 next Saturday.
For the Husky faithful this is all very hard to watch. IF ememrt had only pulled the trigger last January this team could be rebuilding under Jim Mora Jr rather than disintegrating under Willingham.
I was in the stands during the black boycott days and this is even worse than that. This is the worst Husky football team in over 50 years and it is going to take half a decade with the right coach to turn it all back around.
Don't fire Willingham this week! Give Willingham another week to play against USC. I can't imagine any better punishment than that for a coach who has totally failed in his position at Washington.