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Stuff and Shenanigans: Fres-Nope State

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Yes, the puns will continue. No, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Fresno State v Washington
“There’s like a 93% chance I’m good.” ~Tevis “Wyoming’s the New Crootin’ Battleground” Bartlett
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

First off, I’d like to formally apologize on behalf of the belated-ness for this week’s Stuff. (Not for this week’s Shenanigans, though. That little bugger is a lost cause.) If it weren’t for a poorly-timed cold-y sickness, other dumb loser responsibilities, and a bunch of persuasive Canadians, this would have been ready to go and at your doorstep Monday.

As it stands now, I’m sure you all have moved on from non-conference play and are looking forward to the Colorado game. For the, like, six of you who still want to talk about what we’ve seen so far, continue reading.

Let’s get to Saturday’s takeaways:

A 79% Sober and 100% Accurate Rundown of Absolutely Everything

To begin, I’d like to use this platform to showcase my beautiful humility in defeat and graciousness or lack thereof in victory. After the Rutgers game, our writers’ chat group discussed opinions on player performances. The following was noted, with the author’s name redacted so you don’t all egg his house and wrap his car in toilet paper (I know you all are just a purple-colored angry mob at heart):

Can you believe a Husky fan EVER being remotely apprehensive about a player’s abilities? Of course not — we’re all so reasonable and positive about everybody and would never even think of bad-mouthing anyone. Ever.
Image courtesy of someone whose name rhymes with Theff Thagorman

If you weren’t paying attention, Bartlett had one sack, one interception returned into the red zone, and three tackles for loss, plus provided more pressure off the edge.

At the risk of sounding oh, I don’t know, not gracious in my rightness, Fresno State was a good day to be an O.G. Tevis Bartlett bandwagoner. Suck it, Theff.

In all seriousness though, I’m not going to anoint him our savior in the pass rush/linebacker depth yet for the same reason why I didn’t panic when he wasn’t a world-beater in the first two games: small sample sizes suck. (Or, in my original phrasing, “Chill out bros, give Bartlett some time to get good.”)

There’s probably a 40/60 chance that last Saturday was the start of Bartlett kicking all sorts o’ butt all game every game, or that it was a step forward for his progress which is still far from being consistently realized. If I had to put money on it, I’d probably go with the latter. Still, it was great to see Washington has a guy who can potentially be a big deal off the edge.

What else looked good on the defense?

Well, for one, guys were picking up near-interceptions like they were an Oprah audience and that was the prize under their chair. So that’s good.

On the other hand... If you have the ball right in front of you, make the interception.

Whatever. I’ve mentioned a bunch of time that I love this pass defense in the secondary and that there’s just a handful of little things the younger guys need to get better at before they’re a genuinely elite unit. I’ll add “finish those INTs” to that list of little things.

On the offensive front, the pass protection looked not perfect but a lot better than in weeks one and two. Also, the entire passing game was in sync and functional, in a turn of events completely unrelated to that last sentence. Seriously though, the it was so much more cohesive; Browning threw on time and with some mph, receivers were able to get yards after catch. Everything looked good in a way it didn’t against Montana or Rutgers.

And while we’ve been low-key fretting about “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Receiving Targets Not Named Dante Pettis?,” Saturday may have shown us the light. It turns out Hunter Bryant and Brayden Lenius are good, apparently, and that Aaron Fuller can work in a pinch.

Still though, if the offensive line was a solid B+ in pass blocking, what the crud was happening in the run game? Sure, it wasn’t totally horrific like some Debbie Downers on Twitter were suggesting — that tight end and off-tackle job on the Myles Gaskin 30 yard touchdown run was *kisses fingertips like a self-satisfied Italian chef* — but when it came to running it up the gut... I mean c’mon guys... You can’t get out-leveraged by Fresno State.

Anyhoo, that about sums up my thoughts from last Saturday. Sorry it’s late and worse than usual. (Except not really because I just sneezed six times in a row. I didn’t even know that was possible.)

Line of the Week

Can I just say, this has been me (and the entire UWDP staff) the last three weeks doing research on Washington’s out-of-conference opponents:

Personally, I’m so happy that our opponents will return to being familiar names.

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