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Sooners Stomp Washington

You could tell the mood of the Sooners in the tunnel yesterday before the game when they attempted to block Washington from walking as is Tyrone's custom on to the field. The shoving match that ensued was caught on national TV and was the only spark of life the Huskies showed all day in one of their worst historical defeats.

Washington had to play mistake free football yesterday just to keep it interesting. If they were going to throw a scare into the Sooners they needed to pick up some turnovers. Washington lost three fumbles, missed two field goals and shanked two punts during a terrible first half . The Husky defense showed less resistance than butter going against a hot knife as Oklahoma rolled to a 34-0 lead at halftime.

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford had an easy day, efficiently running the Sooner offense, completing 18 of 21 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns, The Sooner running back routinely picked up 8-9 yards on first down which made Bradford's job pretty easy. It was hard to tell if he broke a sweat in the first half.

Oklahoma rolled up 591 yards against Washington and it could easily have been over 800 if Stoops hadn't started pulling players early in the second half.

The Washington offense looked better than they did in the opener against Oregon, but the turnovers killed any chance of Washington staying within striking distance in this one. You have to give Oklahoma credit because they bottled up Jake Locker most of the evening.

Tim Lappano came up with a good game plan which attacked the Sooners where they were not. The short to intermediate passing game was working for Washington. Washington went deep once early in the game and decided that the speed of Oklahoma was not going to allow that facet of the game to develop. Locker actually finished 16-24 which was one of his better passing days as a Husky.

Ronnie Fouch who came on late in the game for Jake finished 7-13 and is showing Husky fans he can lead the team when Locker isn't in there.

David Freeman again showed glimpses of being a very productive running back when he gets a little space to run in. He picked up 42 yards on nine carries. Sophomore receiver D'Andre Goodwin finished with nine receptions for 82 yards, and freshman Devin Aguilar had five catches for 71 yards for their best days as Huskies.

TE Kavario Middleton who looked like an emerging star the first two weeks of the season wasn't part of the UW offense this week. The return of senior Mike Gottleib kept him on the bench most of the night. I think Lappano decided he needed Gottleib's blocking more than KM's receptions. If you look at the film Gottleib was open most of the night but Locker and Fouch weren't looking his direction.

Senior center Juan Garcia had a terrible game snapping the ball and you have to wonder if it is time for the Husky coaches to consider a replacement. His errant snaps were all over the place last night and cost UW any chance they had of developing some urgently needed timing in the backfield.

Special teams were uneven yesterday even though we have seen improvement this year in the return game. Nobody is breaking big kickoff or punt returns against UW which is a plus for the coverage units. Freshman WR Jordan Polk had the longest kickoff return of his short career in the first quarter, a 38-yarder which ignited the crowd. Polk is going to take a couple back to the house this year.

The troubling aspects on special teams were two shanked punts in the first half which gave the Sooners a short field and three missed FG attempts. UW needs to find someone who can kick a FG, if they don't it is going to cost them big time over the next four games.

The difference in speed between these two teams was apparent all night. "You were getting hit by two-three guys all the time," Locker  said after the game. Like the fabled Husky teams of old the Sooners know how to get to the ball and gang tackle. Oklahoma was faster, stronger, deeper, and older than Washington. The Sooner lineup averaged almost an extra year of experience over the extremely young Huskies.

Washington on the other hand doesn't know how to tackle let alone stand someone up so they can gang tackle on a regular basis. The Husky defense was like a sieve yesterday as Oklahoma broke arm tackle after arm tackle in handing Coach Willingham his worse loss since a 56-17 from Cal in his second game as UW's coach.

Nate Williams and Johri Fogerson had tough learning days at the safety position as each of them gave up their share of big plays. For the talented Fogerson it was more of a baptism of fire while he got used to the speed of the game. Nate Williams on the other hand may have been just too beat up to play at his usual level after facing three tough opponents in a row.

The young defensive line went up against the nations top offensive line and had problems all night even though if you look closely you can see they are getting better as a unit. I saw some fine individual plays out there and one that comes to was Cameron Elisara coming from behind to throw an Oklahoma running back for a loss. Ta'amu Alameda looks like the guy with the most potential right now. I think he will keep getter better as the season goes on.

Willingham watch

For Coach Tyrone Willingham this game showed just how far Washington is from college football's elite after four years of coaching the program. A loss like this in year one would have been acceptable despite raising some eye brows. In year four with seven true frosh who have started at one time or another it is an indictment that the program is going backwards not forwards.

The game is all about recruiting and development. With only 17 players remaining from his first two classes at Washington Willingham has put himself behind the eight ball after being burned by so many players not getting in to school during his first two years at the helm. JC's can fill immediate holes if you get them in, but they can also create bigger holes when they fail to qualify.

The Huskies are 0-3 with a well earned bye week coming up. The next four games are all winnable on paper. UW needs to sweep Stanford, Arizona, Oregon State, and Notre Dame. USC is probably the only game the rest of the season that UW has no chance of winning. ASU, UCLA, WSU, and California are all games UW has a chance to win if they keep growing as a team.

The main job Willingham and the coaching staff has to do this week is to make the kids believe that they can still win enough to salvage the season and go bowling. A loss to Stanford after the bye week could trigger a resignation.

Game notes

Washington was handed its largest margin of defeat at home since 1929, when it lost 48-0 to Southern California.

The worst defeat of the modern era of UW football is 65-7 at Miami in 2001 when Rick Neuheisel was still coach.

It's the worst loss for the Huskies since a 54-7 loss at Cal in 2003 in Keith Gilbertson's first year as coach.

Oklahoma scored its most points on the road since a 56-25 win at Texas Tech on Nov. 22, 2003.

Oklahoma's Chris Brown, and Demarco Murray both went over the century mark rushing the ball against UW last night.

Husky LB Matt Houston looks like he has pulled ahead of Josh Gage. Gage a former walk on has been overmatched in all three starting assignments this season.

Washington has played 10 true freshmen this season after Johri Fogerson's start at free safety. That's thought to be the most in team history. Tailback-turned-safety Johri Fogerson became the seventh true freshman to start for the Huskies this season which is probably also a record.

Johri Fogerson's little brother O'Dea FB Zach Fogerson, said Saturday night he has given a verbal commitment to sign with Washington in 2010. Zach will play FB or MLB at Washington.

"We've done too many things wrong to win this football game," UW coach Tyrone Willingham said during his halftime radio comments.