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Mailbag -Schizophrenic Fanbase Pendulum Swing Edition

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Looks like rain on Saturday evening. And while everyone complains about the weather, I've yet to see anyone do anything about it.

First up are your un-fact-checked useless facts.

  • In Utah, it's illegal to swear in front of a dead person.
  • In Kentucky, it's illegal to carry ice cream in your back pocket.
  • It's estimated that at any given point in time, 0.7% of the world's population is drunk.
  • Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is unique.
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • The average person sprays about 300 microscopic saliva droplets per minute of speaking.
  • The Earth experiences around 50,000 earthquakes per year, and his hit by lightning 100 times per second on average.
  • Every year, approximately 11,000 Americans injure themselves attempting sexual positions.
  • The US consumes approximately 18 acres of pizza per day on average.
  • It takes 8.5 minutes for light to get from the sun to the earth.
  • Almost all non-dairy creamers are flammable.
  • Golf courses cover 4% of North America.
  • The average person will ingest just shy of a pound of insects per year.  Most come from processed and packaged foods.
  • Until 1994, world maps and globes sold in Albania only had Albania on them.
  • The country Andorra has the longest average life span, at 83.49 years.
To the questions.

Leo:

What do you think about moving D Washington to WR? If memory serves he's played it before... and his size and speed would be a matchup nightmare for defenses. Imagine Lining him on the outside on a DB and getting him in motion and throwing a slant or crossing route? Perhaps slide Cooper up to the back-up RB with the move.

UWDP: Yes, he spent his redshirt freshman season there, prior to being moved late in the season.

There's a reason he was moved, and it wasn't because of the depth and talent at the wide receiver position on the roster that year.

Dwayne Washington has good hands - for a running back.  He runs good routes - for a running back.  Part of the reason that he can create mismatches as a receiver right now is because teams cover him like a running back, meaning he's the responsibility of a linebacker or maybe a safety.  He's a straight-line runner as well, so it's highly likely he's not going to be able to make the quick cuts a receiver needs to make on routes in order to get separation from equally fast cornerbacks.

The offense can do all of the things you're looking to see with him as a running back.  It wouldn't surprise me at all to see he and Myles Gaskin on the field at the same time in the near future, with one or both motioning into or out of the backfield.

Mismatches.  Creating them is the key.  Washington at receiver isn't a mismatch.  At running back, he is.  He's also the best pass protecting back on the roster.  There's tremendous value there.

People 'round these parts seem to be really down on Dwayne Washington.  I really don't get it.  Gaskin is the best pure runner on the roster, but Washington is the clear-cut #2.  He needs to stay at running back.  He adds the most value to the team there.

deltron2:

A multi part question -- how much of the AZ game was UW executing and how much was AZ quitting? Dwayne Washington's TD run -- where has that patience and vision been for him all year? Finally, could a successful offense be predicated on running wheel routes on every passing play? Kind of looks like it.

Rhaego:

Was the Arizona game a sign of the changing tides or more reflective of a battered and wet Wildcat defense?

Benno:

I have to admit I feel giddy about the performance of the offense. I've been seeing progress since PAC-12 games have started, and feel like this breakout was due. But JB had a few passes that were perfectly placed, and I don't see that happening with consistency. Walk me back to reality. Was this a single performance where Arizona gave up, or did the offense take a step forward?

UWDP: There's definitely some of both.  Arizona's defense is really bad, and they had a bad game (even for them).  But a team playing well has an effect on that - arguably, the Huskies' efforts on Saturday contributed to the way Arizona ultimately played.  And Washington played well.

The Huskies' offense is young, and relatively inexperienced, but it's not untalented.  This sort of game, where things just come together, is to be expected the same way that poor showings that we've seen so far are as the O makes its non-linear progress.

If I was going to put numbers to it, I'd call the result we saw 50% Arizona just not being very good defensively, 30% Washington playing at a high level, and 20% Arizona packing it in.  On both sides of the ball.

That was a pretty nice look by Washington on that run.  It was a power run (with the backside guard pulling around to lead the play), which is the style most suited to Washington.  He made a good read.  Hopefully it portends things to come.  I love that wheel route with him.  It'll be interesting to see how well Utah has that play scouted.

DawginMA:

Barring injury or coaching change (please don't leave Coach K!), it seems reasonable to think the already stellar Husky defense will be even better next season. And the offense, though incredibly frustrating at times, is anchored by true freshman at key positions who have shown signs of improvement. If the Huskies can put together a couple of more performances this year like they did against Arizona, don't you think expectations going into next season will be stratospheric?

UWDP: My expectations for next season are already high, regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, for the reasons that you mention.  I expect to see a lot of growth from the offensive line this offseason, and just like sitting out the Stanford game seemingly gave Jake Browning a fresh perspective, I think an entire offseason will do that tenfold.
The losses of Travis Feeney and Corey Littleton are the biggest on defense, and I'm a little nervous about replacing them, but the heir apparents have played, and played pretty well.  What I really hope to see next year is either Greg Gaines or Vita Vea as the primary nose tackle, and Elijah Qualls sliding out to the position currently occupied by Tani Tupou.

Going back to 2009, how well have the Huskies done recruiting cornerbacks?  Desmond Trufant, Marcus Peters, now Sidney Jones....All three of them were 3-star guys that were modestly recruited, and it's certainly looking like Jones will join the other two as first-round draft picks.  After the 2017 season, hopefully....

This is a young team.  I'm certainly hopeful that the Arizona was a turning point for the offense, but I'm not exactly expecting to see this team suddenly averaging 35 points a game the rest of the way (and that's partly by design, with the exceedingly slow pace of play).  Progress is rarely linear.  I won't be surprised if they have another really good game, but I'm also not going to be shocked if they struggle a time or two again.

Andrew:

I did not get to watch the game, but I saw some highlights and Renfro had a pretty nice catch and run. How much did he get to play and how did he look outside of that clip? Is there some promise for his future there? Also, there was a lot of talk about dropped balls in the Instant Analysis thread, but you cant have a good showing by a quarterback without his receivers doing their part too. How did our ball catching runner guys do overall? Did they do enough to get some of the heat off them?

UWDP: I don't know how many snaps Isaiah Renfro played, but he and Chico McClatcher are the first guys off the bench.  My guess is that he was in for around a quarter of them.

And yes, that was a nice play.  He had a similar one in the Cal game, but unfortunately, that one ended with him fumbling the ball.  Of the pure receivers on the roster (I'm counting McClatcher as more of a "slash" guy), I think he's got the most potential.  He's got good size, and he's strong.


The biggest thing with the drops is that they all came at pretty much the same time - the beginning of the game, when the offense was still trying to find its footing.  The receivers settled down, and each of the primary guys got to turn in a nice play or two.  Brayden Lenius hauled in his first TD catch as a Husky, and Dante Pettis grabbed his first of the 2015 season on a nice catch and run.  Just as importantly, the blocking on the perimeter was the best it's been this season.

The heat is down, the same way it is for the entire offense.  It'll be interesting to see how they handle Utah's defense.
JoeinWSea:

Why?

UWDP: Because.

Andrew M Smith:

Why did the pac-12 add Utah over, say, BYU?

UWDP: Would you rather have BYU than the Utes?  I wouldn't.

The conference wanted the Salt Lake City market.  Either school would add it.

One reason is academics - both Utah and Colorado are Tier One research universities, and BYU is Tier Two.  But the far larger reason, I believe and has been whispered, is the religious nature of BYU.  There are a handful of schools in the conference that wouldn't allow such incredibly strong ties to the Mormon church into the conference.  I don't believe it's specifically Mormonism, but would be the same with any religious school.

The Pac 12 is for heathens only.

Lord Farquar:

Did we have any recruits for the game Saturday night and if so, how did there visits go? Stadium didn't look very full and was absolutely awful weather.

UWDP: I'm not really the person to answer this question.  Hopefully, Drew or Kirk or anybody else in the know will chime in in the comments section below.

But you're correct, the stadium wasn't very full, and the weather wasn't great.

John Bejovich:

Prior to the season, coach spoke of establishing the run game. The previous two games we didn't seem to lean on the run game as much as perhaps we should have. Last night we certainly did make a concerted effort to run more than pass. Do you think Pete had a coversation with Smith on that subject or was it just Arizona's bad D that allowed us to run them over?

UWDP: I don't think the play calling was actually very much different last Saturday.  The results were.

I'm counting everything after the score was 35-3 as garbage time.  But when the Huskies' built that lead, I'm counting 24 called passes (including scrambles and sacks) and 20 called runs.  And that's disregarding entirely the Deontae Cooper throw.

Fans like results, and results color our perceptions.  I was actually surprised, given that the running game was working, that the coaches chose to feature Jake Browning as much as they did.  I think it's fairly safe to say that Chris Petersen and Jonathan Smith want to be able to first throw the ball, and second to run it.  It's not an unsound strategy.  Fans just want the results to follow.

Oz dawg:

2 questions (the first I asked last week and you just may not have the information): 1. Any reports on who is looking good on the scout team? 2. With Arizona crumbling and Rich Rod rumoured for greener pastures would UW take MIchael Eletise if he called them back up given they have their two OL for the year?

UWDP: I really don't have a lot of information to share on who's looked good on the scout team.  Somebody mentioned this last week that Ricky McCoy and Benning Potoa'e have both looked really good on the defensive line.  I'm hoping that anyone that has any credible information will share it below.

Good question on Michael Eletise.  I don't believe that Chris Petersen would pull any of the offers to guys already committed to make room for him, and I don't believe that he'd "force" any attrition either.  But I do think the Huskies would take him if he wanted to come, and the coaches would probably grey shirt someone to get a guy like Eletise on the roster.  If Rodriguez does end up leaving, it'll be interesting to see if the Huskies actively recruit him again.  It seems like family also played a role in him choosing Arizona, so the coach might not be the deciding factor.

OsidePup:

Now that Gaskin is the #1 running back he is getting the most reps during practice with the starting offense. So, how many reps is Washington now getting with the starters in comparison? Do any of the other backs get a shot with the starters in practice?
UWDP: Tough to really know, given the lack of information we get about practice.  I'm completely guessing, but when the Huskies run 11 on 11 stuff, it's probably 60% Gaskin, 30% Washington, and 10% the other guys the coaches feel might have a realistic shot to carry the ball in the next game.

You can't beat your starters up in practice, and Washington is still a really big part of the offense due to his value in the passing game.

I dunno:

Should the huskies be worried about the rising wsu Cougars?


UWDP: I dunno.

Yes.  Even with the lopsided winning percentage overall in the Apple Cup, it's rarely as easy as the records would indicate heading in to the game.  And WSU is better this year.  Particularly on defense.  Still mediocre, but that's a lot better than where they came from.

It'll be an interesting matchup.  WSU will most likely come in to the game with seven wins, and the Huskies might need that game for bowl eligibility.  WSU isn't an explosive offense; instead, they grind their way down the field.  They had 8 drives against Arizona that were 7 or more plays, for example.  And that's really what the Husky defense wants to force teams to do.  Strength against strength.

Dawgmanic:

What is your position on non students standing up the sitting down during the game? I wouldn't mind standing up for the game but the constant up down just gets annoying. I wish people would choose one or the other.

UWDP: This is a thing I have to be fairly cognizant of, because my seats are in the third row of the upper deck.  If I stand up, it means my whole section likely will as well.  I end up doing this awkward hunch sometimes.  A half-stand.

I like to stand up on big plays when the defense is on the field (usually third downs), but my personal criteria for doing it is to not be the first one standing.

I don't want to stand for the entire game by any stretch.  I sit when the offense is on the field.

I don't think a ticket gives people the right to see the entire game from a seated position the same as it doesn't give anyone the right to block everyone's view the whole time.  I think there's a balance.  I guess my answer is the "up down" you find annoying.

ElvislovesUW:

I noticed that Browning was under center for quite a few plays. This is a refreshing option that was successful. What do you think of varying the tempo for Utah by mixing HUNH with motion and normal huddle speed?

UWDP: I know Chris Petersen said he would vary tempo in the summer before the 2014 season.  I'm really not a fan of it, because with a limited amount of time to practice, it's a good way to wind up being not really very good at doing anything.  The HUNH requires a full-time commitment to actually be good at it.

I agree about Browning under center.  It allows for some things, particularly in play action, that aren't as effective when working out of the shotgun.  It can speed up the running game.  But there are certainly things in the passing game that benefit from working out of the gun.

The dye is pretty well cast for this season.  The team is going to play really slooooooooow.  But as Jake Browning and the rest of the offense continue to progress, it'll be interesting to see how the tempo evolves.  Some of Browning's best drives have been when he's playing at pace.

Rhaego:

It's never too soon to ask: Do you have an early prediction for next year's record?

UWDP: I've said 9-3 in the regular season.

Rhaego:

Is Kyle Whittingham the most handsome Pac12 head coach?

UWDP: Maybe, but I think the better question is, If all of the coaches in the Pac 12 were put into a fight-to-the-death steel cage match, would Kyle Wittingham be the guy that emerges?

I see Mike Leach being one of the first guys out, but that might be because I usually picture him like this:


He just looks like a guy begging to get sucker punched on a youtube video.

Mark Helfrich seems like someone that would throw a cheap shot on a guy that's already engaged, and then run, until David Shaw could catch him and body slam him.  Chris Petersen just doesn't have the size.  Gary Andersen would get caught up in the wash, USC doesn't have anyone, Jim Mora's "dirtbag" comments would come back to bite him, and Todd Graham, Sonny Dykes and Mike MacIntyre aren't in good enough shape.  It'd come down to Rich Rodriguez and Whittingham, and Whittingham's "old man strength" moves him on to the next round.

Lucas Shannon:

So how worried should we be that schools with vacant coaching positions, such as South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Miami will steal Johnathon Smith away and hire him as their new H.C. after our offense exploded for 49 points against Arizona? Also, how does the sarcasm font work?

UWDP: He's as good as gone, Lucas.

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of the sarcasm font.  I believe it was Backspin who said "The font demeans the art," and I fully agree with him.

All for this week, Husky fans.  Be there Saturday evening.