This is exactly the type of game that Mike Stoops ends up losing. I wrote that on Monday about Arizona in the Western Power Ratings. I looked at it again today and decided that it would be the perfect title for my preview of the game this week.
Mike Stoops has a habit of losing games he is supposed to win. It has already happened this year when a mediocre New Mexico squad dealt them a loss for the second year in a row.
Who has 3-1 Arizona beat exactly?
Toledo, Idaho, and UCLA?
Does the sound of that make you cringe with fear? Well it shouldn't because the Wildcats aren't very good. Defensively these guys have a lot of the same potential problems that the Huskies do. On offense I have to admit that they can light up the scoreboard with anyone. I still think that an inspired defense can still slow them down enough to beat them. I don't think it even has to be a good defense and that is where the Huskies come into the picture.
I really can't think of anyone who thought the Husky defense was going to be this bad. We blamed it all on the departed Kent Baer. Ed Donatell was going to come on in and put some NFL lipstick on this pig and make it all better. It isn't better. It is actually worse than it was last year.
Who would have thought that would have been the result with 17 and 18 year old defensive linemen playing for the first time? Surely this team could survive the losses of EJ Savannah, Jason Wells, and Darin Harris. It hasn't and the new talent is still swimming as it goes up against more mature foes.
You can't count on this maligned defense chipping in the seasons first sacks and pressure on the QB.So what Washington has to do in this one is control the ball of offense.
This is where it gets fun because Washington hasn't done a very good job controlling time of possesion this year. With Jake Locker out the offense is going to change. The quarterback isn't going to be running the ball much. Those 15 designed running plays for Locker are going to David Freeman or whatever back is healthy enough to play on Saturday's.
Freeman picked up a bundle of yards in the first half on a handful of carries before being injured. I would like to see what the Husky running backs can do with 35-40 carries on Saturday. UW needs to revert back to a gameplan similar the to the one they showcased against California last year.
It makes sense to me because the Washington offensive linemen are more suited to the power running game. I just don't think that what happened against Cal last year was a fluke. I think it was a major mistake going back to told offense when Jake came back. This year with Jake out til at least ASU the Huskies will be playing like this every week.
I ike Ronnie Fouch. I think he is going to be a very good QB and I think he is going to play very well on Saturday. He throws a real nice ball and he seems to have the ability to loft it in there more accurately the deepr you go than Jake. You are missing those great legs, but Fouch is no slouch either.
Keys to the game
- Can Washington come in fired up?
- Can the defense just improve a little bit so we have a chance?
- Can UW take time off the clock with a power running game?
- Will Mike Stoops be able to prepare correctly for Ronnie Fouch and a revamped Washington offense?
This is exactly the type of game that Arizona Coach Mike Stoops ends up losing.