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Stuff and Shenanigans: ‘Tah ‘Tah for Now

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I consider the above one of my better titles of the season. Oh, and Washington beats Utah.

Washington v Utah

Everyone whose systolic blood pressure has yet to drop below 200, raise your hand.

Alright, that’s one...two...five...sixty...a thousand...everybody. Okay, you can lower your hands now.

And that, my friends, is why you don’t make overly confident score predictions in the comment sections of UWDP the week before the game.

A 100% Accurate and 83% Sober History of Absolutely Everything

First off, let’s get this out of the way:

As soon as the announcers decided to decide those were blocks in the back, my heart dropped since I knew a bunch of Utah fans — normally one of my favorite fanbases — would key in on that in a desperate attempt to put an asterisk on the win. The mothership did a good post on why one could argue for a block in the back on that, but probably not and all y’all need to calm down.

Then of course there’s the argument on the Washington side about blah blah blah the 14 points Utah got off of 112 malarkey-ass personal foul calls and the holdings that prevented the safety right before Utah punted that led to the Dante Pettis punt return TD which brings us to the above and complaining about the no-calls blah blah blah. In other words, that’s why you use punctuation, kids.

Now that’s cleared up, let’s talk about my two favorite things from Saturday.

1) Gaskin & The Run Blocking

Besides the fact that that could absolutely have been an early 60s rockabilly band, that was, besides a few pitch plays and poorly-executed cutesy nonsense, a work of art.

I don’t have much to add about the run-blocking that hasn’t been said before by someone else, so to that I say, “Good job, champ,” to all the O-linemen. But there’re a couple specific things about Gas Pedal that I don’t think he gets enough credit for. The praise we see him receive tends to be the same thing over and over about his vision (yikes if you’re an opposing defender) and his slipperiness (did someone order the spin move with a side of quick cut?) but it appears to me that what takes him past that foundation is he knows not to overdo it with that shiftiness.

Because really: how many running backs does the average person have to sit through where the guy is so obsessed with making that big play that he spends his whole time juking around into oblivion until he resembles an Irish jig? You know, the chronic I’m-gonna-dance-around-the-line-of-scrimmage-instead-of-take-what’s-there-and-make-something-happen type player? I know you know the sort of dude I’m talking about, and I know you know how maddening it is to watch that.

Enter Gaskin, who has just the right ratio of fast-twitch fibers to explosive “Oh shit, how’d he get over there”-ness to the patience and wisdom of a much older human.

Although I’m sure we’ve all noticed it, I think it’s time we all consciously appreciated this combination of shiftiness, patience, and decisiveness.

Furthermore, Gas Pedal protects the ball with his life. This was thankfully evident against Utah; watch that first touchdown run again and you’ll see. In fact, has he ever fumbled since coming to UW?* I can’t think of any instances. Next game, watch how he protects the ball; this dude is the king of carrying it high, using two arms and — this doesn’t get enough love — shifting the ball onto the opposite side of his body away from defenders. I suppose the uniting factor behind his vision, patience, and shiftiness, points to someone whose greatest asset on the field is awareness and his ability to react to the details he picks up. People like to talk about cerebral quarterbacks, but having a cerebral running back creates a whole new problem for defenders.

*If you or a loved one knows of a time Myles Gaskin ever fumbled, please say so in the comments.

2) Sidney “Don’t Target That Receiver, I’m Warning You Now” Jones

I’m just gonna leave that there and move on.

To the defense. First off, if you don’t miss Joe Mathis after Utah, please leave now. O’Brien is solid but the athleticism and power that Mathis brings in the pass rush and in stopping the run game was apparent against Utah. In his absence we suffered in both realms and I hated it.

Secondly, even without Mathis, the defense put up some crazy red zone fights. I can’t recall the exact amount of stops Washington got on the five-yard line or less, but it has to have been at least six or seven, right?* If it hadn’t been for Azeem Victor’s mind-numbing taunting, the Husky defense would’ve prevented a TD by Utah after the Utes had three attempts to punch it in from the one, and that was just the first instance of that dominance. Utah went through similar scenarios multiple times Saturday and it took them way more attempts than they presumably would’ve preferred, just to get a couple yards in the red zone.

*If you or a loved one remembers exactly how many 1 - 5 yard line stops Washington put up, please say so in the comments.

Oh, and Joe Williams is a nightmare and definitely the best of the Williamses. Troy Williams had a few sharp throws but, for the most part, the Utah offense may as well have been renamed Joe Williams & Ten Other Nameless Humanoids.

I would be quite glad never to watch UW go up against Joe Williams & Ten Other Nameless Humanoids again, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

The last takeaway from Saturday? Although I disagree with the personal foul penalty on Psalm Wooching (and Victor was taunting, but — and I’ve always felt this — the fact that taunting is an automatic first down is bullshit stupid) those two plays gave Utah 14 points when they should have been stopped for one field goal and a punt.

Combined with Everybody’s Favorite Bolt-Action Rifle’s dumb-as-shit interception, which never ever should have been thrown and which resulted in seven points for the Utes who only had to drive from the UW 19-yard line, this game was a lesson in playing smart.

Those two dumb penalties and one dumb throw alone resulted in a net gain of 18 points for Utah (assuming they would have made a field goal had the Victor penalty never happened). If those three stupid decisions are never made, the Dawgs win 31-6.

Yeah, that feels a lot different, doesn’t it?

Edit: JoeinWSea pointed out that it was the Chase Hansen interception that began the drive wherein Victor received his taunting penalty. Hence, if Browning never throws that interception and the Wooching penalty never happens, the Utes lose net 14 points and the score is 31-10; if Browning does throw the interception but Victor never taunts and Utah gets the field goal plus no Wooching penalty, the score is 31-14.

But those three stupid decisions did happen, and you can’t afford stupid decisions against Utah.

Despite that, it was reassuring, albeit horribly stressful and damaging to my cardiovascular health and not at all fun, to see Washington prove they can win when the going gets tough.

CoopWatch

San Jose State won this weekend, which hasn’t happened in a while. Plus Deontae Cooper got himself some kickoff return yards, 72 in 3 returns, to be exact. Unfortunately he didn’t get any opportunities as a running back. So that sucks. I don’t know if it’s SJSU wanting to protect him (Coop was injured-ish a while ago) or what, but I know Husky fans everywhere want to see him on the field!

Line of the Week

The ahead-of-themselves commenters on UWDP who predicted a Washington blowout Saturday:

That’s it for this week.

Oh, and I haven’t received any “This sucks you loser stop saying words,” comments lately. Step it up, guys.

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.