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Stuff and Shenanigans: UCLA Gets Spooked

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And then scampers into a ditch and falls on their face.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Halloween, goobers.

Halloween is fun. Last Saturday was fun. How much fun? Well let’s keep going and find out. (How’s that for a segue?)

An 89% Sober and 100% Accurate Rundown of Absolutely Everything

I think I’m just gonna spend the next 1000 words talking about how much I love this defense and how we’re all spoiled. So let’s take a moment to appreciate the totality of the Washington defense.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand defense appreciated.

Alright, that’s enough thorough analysis on the defense’s success. Let’s move on.

To the offensive line, where, by my reckoning, they looked significantly improved last Saturday — ironic given it was without All-World Badass and Left Tackle Trey Adams.

Obviously the O line killed it in the run game, but I was surprised at their performance in pass protection. Even though Jake only had 11 drop backs, there were multiple of those that stood out for him getting four, five, or even six seconds of clean time. So on one hand, that’s good.

On the other hand, the air game still looked grossly mediocre even with an offensive line that had for the most part gotten their business together.

So that blows.

The best way I can think of it is that, minus Pettis, most of the non-redshirting receivers have shown themselves to be perfectly fine #3 options or whatever. But, as they’ve been playing this year, it’s pretty much Dante Pettis and a bunch of simply okay guys. Maybe they’ll get better but until then there’s a clear ceiling on the passing game. And that, friends, is why Chris Petersen fired Brent Pease so many moons ago. (We’ll talk about Jake Browning’s implication in the “meh” passing game... wait for it... later.)

Now that’s enough harping on the offense from me, since I’ve noticed many of you find it surprisingly easy to conclude an offense — which scores on average 5.8 more points per game than their FBS opponents’ defenses allow (this number blows up to 10.6 greater PPG if we take out the ASU game), which is 2nd in the conference in PPG, which is best in the conference in 3rd down conversion percentage, and which is one of the most efficient in the country, all while playing 3rd and 4th stringers for a quarter of most games — is bad.

So here’s what’s good (and why those of you with Nebraska Fan Syndrome — a disease absolutely recognized by the latest edition of the DSM — should probably calm down a bit and consider if what you say you want from this team is actually what you want from this team):

First off, the running game on Saturday was borderline erotic. Was it because UCLA’s run defense is, to quote The Great Tate Martell, “ass, my dude”? Or was it because UW’s run game is really that good?

I’d guess it’s a combination of both; we already know what Lavon Coleman and Myles Gaskin are mean on the field. And the Dawgs are averaging almost five yards per rush. And we’ve seen how slippery Gaskin is and how well Coleman changes up his open space angles.

But there seemed to be a more cohesive line and subsequently more explosion and greater consistency out of that unit on Saturday. Again, they were made to look better by a UCLA run defense that has the efficacy of a mashed potato, but this was also a Bruin defense who knew exactly what was coming every single play and still couldn’t do anything. It’s not like the Huskies’ run game was just a bit better. They crushed the hopes and dreams of Westwood, and if they continue to even be almost that good the rest of the year, the offense will remain okay — even if not as crazy on fire as it was last year.

If the passing game limits this offense to a low ceiling, then at least we know the running game raises the floor pretty freaking high.

Lastly, on the topic of the offense: Yes, we all know Jake has regressed this year without John Ross and the glue of the offensive line that was Jake Eldrenkamp.

However. There is a difference between being critical of aspects of a player’s game and acknowledging the complexities of what makes said player play worse than we’ve come to expect, versus just flailing around and shrieking for QB1 to be benched or Staff Member X to be fired.

That is all.

Back to the defense:

Everything looks absolutely swell there. Moving on.

Because why we’re really here today is to celebrate a special occurrence. It’s spooky. It’s rare. It happens sometime in late October.

I’m talking of course about the resurgence of Tristan Vizcaino.

If you read last week’s S&S, you’ll know how I felt about his and the field goal unit’s lack of success. That is, it made me about as happy as a small child who drank too much Fruitopia in the backseat and then got car sick and barfed it out of the window on an exit ramp on 405*. Of course, then it just made me sad for T-Vizzy’s sake because struggling like that in front of tens of thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of TV sets would be humiliating.

So hats off to T-Vizzy. To overcoming the yips and regaining the starting job! You go T-Vizzy.

*Do I speak from experience? You’ll never know. (Yes. Yes I do.)

Line of the Week

On this bright Tuesday, the line of the week has already moved on from UCLA. UCLA is nothing to it. It doesn’t care about UCLA any more than it cares about the economic status of Slovakia.

It doesn’t care about UCLA any more than it cares about Stewart from accounting’s trip to Italy he won’t shut up about.

It doesn’t care about UCLA any more than it cares about if its entitled to benefits if it or a loved one has been affected by Mesothelioma.

Because it’s moved on.

Because it’s time for Oregon.

And this is how The All Sentient Line of the Week feels about Oregon (if Oregon were a single human male and Washington were Oscar Martinez, of course):

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