In my preview I said that this one didn't look good on paper. What I didn't predict was how terrible Washington was going to play. I didn't anticipate that. Perhaps the series of close losses have finally taken its toll and this team no longer has a lot of fight left in it. Washington isn't as bad as they looked yesterday but as a team they seem to have peaked midway through the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game and have been regressing ever since. Perhaps the series of close losses have finally taken its toll and this team no longer has a lot of fight or heart left in it.
The first quarter was just a disaster in which poor offensive execution took the Huskies out of the game early. Locker threw an interception on the games second drive to set up Oregon State's first touchdown. OSU applied a lot of pressure early but Jake made it worse by taking the sacks rather than throwing the ball away. It is almost the end of year four and the game hasn't really slowed down yet for Jake. He couldn't adjust to the OSU pressure by getting the ball off quicker. Truth is he wasn't getting a lot of help from the play selection or his offensive line either.
Jake was sacked four times, and rarely had time to throw, completing just 14 of 23 passes for 153 yards. He had just 62 yards passing through three quarters before the two scoring drives in the fourth quarter and finished with three touchdown passes. The deep pass was there for the taking all day but Locker didn't have time enough to set up for his receivers to get down field.
I wonder what Chris Polk would do behind a good offensive line? He had 19 carries for 116 yards against one of the nations best rush defenses. Polk continues to break tackles and run strong every play. He also showed some speed getting around the corner at times today. Polk has 900 yards for the season and it looks like he will be the first 1000 yard back at Washington since Louis Rankin. When Sark was hired we all thought the fullback would be utilized more but Paul Homer has been MIA this season. What is really puzzling since they are having trouble in the red zone is why they aren't utilizing him as a blocker?
Grade A minus
When Locker had time these guys were open but overall there were too many key drops early that could have pulled Washington out of the hole they were digging. Jermaine Kearse had a another solid game and continues to improve. Devin Aguilar was shook up on a hit but returned to the game. James Johnson is still going through some growing pains. D'Andre Goodwin played a little more than usual and we had a Cody Bruns sighting.
These guys set the tone for the game from the very first snap and it was not a very good tone. The first quarter was just attrocious. Jake didn't have time to throw and Chris Polk had nowhere to run. It wasn't Jake's best game but the offensive line really never gave him a chance.
Washington already has four highly rated HS OL on tap for next year but they won't be able to help immediately. This game sealed the fact that Washington needs to bring in two JC OL who are capable of starting in 2010
Grade D minus
We actually saw pressure on the QB for one of the first times this season. Washington picked up three sacks. However the offense put the entire defensive unit in a bad position the entire game. I thought they actually were playing pretty well until the two minute TD drive by OSU to end the first half.
The wheels seemed to come off after that and the game was no longer in doubt after a long James Rodgers return on the opening kickoff of the second half. The Beavers picked up 178 yards on the ground with most of it coming on long plays by Jacquizz Rodgers. Take away the big plays caused by missed tackles and it was a much better effort than last week against UCLA.
Fans need to realize that Oregon State was able to rotate ten defensive linemen into the game all evening. Washington is a long way away from being able to do that. The lack of depth is a big reason these guys are worn down by halftime.
Butler, Mason, and Dennison played OK but there were somemissed tackles here and there that led to big plays. A healthy EJ makes this unit a lot better which is no knock on Dennison who plays his heart out. Linebacker needs to be a priority in the 2010 recruiting class.
Grade C Plus
Sean Canfield was 21-29 for 185 yards and for TD's. Washington pressured him better than most QB's they have played this season but he kept making plays. You have to give credit to Canfield for making plays. Desmond Trufant was picked on for the second straight week. You would think with more pressure these guys would have done better but they didn't. The Huskies failed to break up passes or even get close to making interceptions.
Grade C minus
Will Mahan's seven yard punt in the first quarter helped keep Washington in the self inflicted hole the offense had put them in. James Rodgers 90 plus yard kickoff return to start the second half put the game out of doubt for the Beavers. Washington doesn't have much of a return game and tried to compensate by inserting Donald Butler as a lead blocker. Butler would clean a Beavers clock on the first block but it seemed like he was the only one blocking out there on Saturday. The returners for the most part are tentaitve but that just may have a lot to do with the lack of downfield blocking.
Steve Sarkisian isn't impressing anyone with his offensive play calling. Washington needed to strike long against the Oregon State defense early to stretch the field to take some pressure off Locker and they didn't do it. The long pass was there for the taking all day but Washington never went after till the game was no longer in doubt. To be fair the lack of protection provided by the offensive line was a big factor. If you can't block you can't get much of anything to work.
Penalties continue to be a problem for this team. Washington was penalized nine time for 76 yards. The majority of them were of the stupid unprepared variety such as offsides and delay of game. The team simply did not look ready to play today.
"Well that was an ugly football game. There wasn't a phase where we performed to our capabilities. And that's what's disappointing from a coaching standpoint. You want to acheive or play as close to your level of capability as possible and today, for whatever reason --- that's what we have to figure out --- we just didn't do that. We didn't perform at a level that we're capable of.''
"I have to look at everything we're doing, because the last thing I want is for this to ever happen again," Sarkisian said. "The opponent didn't even really have to play, and they were going to beat us today. We just kind of handed it to them."
Washington is going backwards right now. I could have sworn I saw Ty Willingham on the sidelines. He wasn't on the sidelines but he is in the heart of too many players on this team. The Huskies came out flat and there is no excuse for that when you are playing to keep alive for a bowl game.
Oregon State really didn't impress me that much. They are a good team but far from the best that Washington has played this season. Washington acted like they didn't want to be there and with two more game left that is a real bad sign.
On the positive side I thought Nick Holt mixed things up well this week. It was nice to see some pressure and a pass rush. Sometimes it backfired but it was better than sitting back waiting to be picked apart by Sean Canfield.