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Stuff and Shenanigans: Montana, more like MonCAN’T-uh

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Get it? ‘Cause they CAN’T beat Washington? Good golly I crack myself up.

Montana v Washington
And above you’ll see Montana thinking they still have a chance.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Hello and welcome to this week’s Stuff and Shenanigans, the column where we (I) draw hyperbolic conclusions about the latest Husky matchup in an attempt to have a bit of fun and maybe even learn something.

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

First off, let’s take a moment to give it up for Dante Pettis for setting a new Pac 12 record for punt return touchdowns.

Secondly, let’s give it up to Trey Adams for catching a real-life football pass and running it closer to a real-life endzone. We can all agree that was a work of art, albeit a less than successful one if we’re judging success on “Did he get to an endzone that was like, four yards away?”

Alright, enough applause, let’s get on with our takeaways:

While it was fun watching the Dawgs score 63 points — 49 of which came from the offense — said offense still looks... off.

In the UWDP writers’ message group, Brad pointed out an apparent decline in Browning’s vision and anticipation. I hadn’t been able to put a word on what felt wrong the first two games but I think that’s a big part to do with it. So far this season the offense looks less cohesive and, subsequently, less precise. The 49 points they scored Saturday looked less like the result of a well-tuned duck-hunting mega-ass-kicking transformer and more the result of simply better athletes. (Spoiler alert: you don’t get to beat UCLA, USC, Stanford or even Oregon by out-talenting them.)

It’s not that I’m unsatisfied with the result, it’s that if I saw that score on paper and then watched the game, I’d expect it to be 3000% better executed by the Huskies’ offense.

I’m not complaining, the first two weeks of the year just have me a bit more apprehensive for conference play than I would like.

And while the offensive line was mostly great in pass protection, there were multiple snaps that were straight crap. Against an FCS team.

Now if you follow UWDP on twitter, you’ll recall these responses to Browning’s revelation that he’s actually a disciple of the Church of Dual-Threat:

Now on one hand, sure, it’s a blast watching a little dorky guy like Jake morph into Russell Wilson but also it’s not like the Washington offense schemes for this sort of thing to happen. Watching Browning stymie defenses with his feet is fun. It is also totally not a thing we want to see happen because if it happens that means the offensive line is crapping the bed and leaving our nerd quarterback to scramble for his life.

Whatever. I’ve decided there’s no in-between with the offensive line. Either they will give Browning 10 seconds of Proud American O Line Protection or they’ll derp around and get him either A) sacked immediately or B) a nice cardiovascular workout.

I suppose we might as well enjoy all Jake’s running around and not think about why he has to do it, if only for the sake of our stress levels.

Moving on**...

Shall we talk about tight end play? Yes. We shall. Because I am the dictator here and get to decide what we talk about. Ha.

I love Will Dissly if only because he has the catch-radius of The Hulk, knows how to block and receive (all on one play! Gasp!) and looks like a kindly thumb or, say, a character from one of those zany cartoon shows of the early 2000s. And yes, all three of those things are compliments.

No one from the Sark years had even one of those characteristics — a sure sign that Chris Petersen is championship caliber.

Also on the tight end front, while Drew Sample’s injury didn’t look too frightening, I’ll feel better once he’s officially on the field; with the receiver play being less-than-electric, getting some mismatches with multiple of the big dudes playing simultaneously looks like it’s a direction the offense might be headed.

On to the defense, where the edge rush looked, at the very least, solid-er. If I had to pick one concern that hits me the most, however, it would be that against two teams of supposedly “inferior” athletes, Washington’s defense looked to be getting out-muscled by ball-carriers. If you don’t believe me, re-watch both games and count the amount of times a Husky defender tackles an opponent and forces them back versus the times a defender tackles an opponent and is forced back.

I haven’t personally hit The Big Red Giant Panic Button yet but it doesn’t sit well in my stomach for when the Dawgs face their conference foes. If you don’t get your leverage right against Rutgers and Montana, Stanford and Utah will beat the everloving snot out of you.

Lastly, I’m psyched to watch the evolution of the younger guys in the secondary. While this is true of all of them, what made me think of this specifically was Keith Taylor’s play against Rutgers and Montana. So far he’s only really been noticed onscreen for a couple mistakes, but he’s already close to being a great cornerback. Plus Brandon McKinney almost got in there for a tackle for loss and Elijah Molden’s looked good. So it’s not like there’s a shortage of people here praising Jimmy Lake as a coach and recruiter but.... Let’s take a moment to praise Jimmy Lake as a coach and recruiter.

A lot of that probably sounded a bit too negative considering the team won by 56 points. I don’t mean it to. It’s just that going, “We won by 56 points! Isn’t that great? Goodbye!” doesn’t make for a very informative article. Also because the negative things I pointed out are, to me, legitimately scary.

**I know I said we’re moving on from Jake Browning but I had the epiphany while Browning was transforming into Lamar Jackson that he has the face of a little elf. If he grew his hair long he’d look like Legolas’ cousin who “supervised” during the Battle of Pelennor Fields. In this universe, Sean McGrew is a hobbit. That is all.

I just felt that was critical to share with you all.

Line of the Week

And finally, here’s your weekly reward for getting through the above word vomit, you little horde of Pavlovian football dogs, you.

An exclusive look at Washington’s defense conversing with Montana’s offense:

And here we see Montana’s exclusive post-game interview:

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