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Stuff and Shenanigans: Let’s Overreact About Rutgers

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Give it up for week one.

Washington v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Oh hello.

Guess what’s back and ready to distract you from doing actual productive things like mowing your lawn, fixing your windshield, or not having liver failure?

That’s right, bitches, football season means shenanigans season and I for one could not be happier.

Let’s get weird:

A 100% Accurate and 94% Sober Overview of Everything

First off, ahem:

SUCK IT, LOSERS, I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE SECONDARY.

Obviously you guys aren’t the losers I’m referring to because you are all rational, objective humans who always have perfect judgement on such issues as “Will the secondary be a true weakness after losing three starters in the first 44 picks of the NFL Draft?” (See also: “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”)

But for all the punditry about how the secondary will be significantly worse this year, this game made me revel in my right-ness that the defensive backfield is still a strength. I’ve rarely felt so smug.

That being said, those two Rutgers touchdowns? Yeah, Kevin and Sidney and Budda would’ve had those intercepted. Had Myles Bryant kept his eye on the ball and Keith Taylor not tripped over the receiver’s feet as he was about to go up to contest, both of those would’ve been easy interceptions. And that’s what alleviates most of my worries; the hard part of adapting to covering college receivers isn’t getting your hands on the ball when you’re in the right position — it’s being in the right position in the first place.

Still though, that almost made the two Rutgers touchdowns all the more painful, even if they are a good sign for the future. Twenty-eight people with good taste agree with me.

Both Taylor and Bryant were well-situated and, once they get that last 1% down, will be in the club of “Total Badasses You Don’t Wanna F&%^ With.”

Meanwhile Byron Murphy showed he’s already in that club. It’s definitely not an overreaction when I say that he could single-handedly defeat the entire KGB using only his stealth ninja DB skills.

Lastly, where the secondary is concerned, commentator Dave Wannstedt proved he’s a dipweed by asserting that “something something the secondary looks significantly worse than last year” and his rationale for said analysis is that Rutgers completed some passes. Bro... You clearly never watched a down of Washington football under Chris Petersen.

I just need to vent about that dumb comment of his. Carrying on:

This is not a stat I was expecting to see and does somewhat make me feel better about the run defense:

On the other hand, I swear that can’t be true because we all saw so so so many runs of 6-10 yards carried out by Rutgers.

Chatting about the game, the UWDP staff and myself agreed on a handful of things. Among those was that the guards were... relatively not good. Or, as I put it in my post-game shorthand notes: “um hi interior O line stop sucking please? k thanks.”

Seriously though, is Rutgers v. Washington 2017 the place where we all come to truly value the ghost of Jake Eldrenkamp?

The answer to that is, of course, “Nope.” I predict this because of three things: 1) Researching Rutgers’ defensive line I found that there’s a lot of potential there that is likely beginning to break through (hello there, returning-to-All-Big-10-form version of Kemoko Turay) 2) As the offensive line meshes into a cohesive unit, especially on the interior, I expect serious improvement, and 3) Most of us have the collective judgement of a turnip and as such never appreciate the things we should.

Another thing many of us agreed upon: not having Azeem or D.J. Beavers really showed how quickly that linebacking unit’s depth is depleted. While I’m not necessarily worried for next year when some of the younger talent is stronger and smarter, the thought of Victor or Bierria possibly missing time this year is straight up terrifying. Also, I’m not not worried about next year either. Let’s panic.

Guys like BBK, Sean Constantine, etc. are like tequila shots: Great as complimentary additions, but too volatile to be your main source of... whatever it is you’re getting out of this.

Back to the offensive side of the ball, where in the passing game it looked like nobody threatened Rutgers unless their name was Dante Pettis. (You go Dante! Way to not suck!)

Without John Ross stretching the field out and giving his teammates more space to work with, their job is harder. I get it. But c’mon that was just an uninspiring performance.

On the plus side, Myles Gaskin coming out of the backfield as a receiving threat could be a very very very very very super mega fun thing to happen. Am I the only one psyched for that to happen more? Yes? Cool I’ll shut up about it now.

Also of note in the passing game: While first watching the game, Jake Browning’s arm looked to me like it had gotten weaker. Upon noticing this I looked around the house for some bleach and a pint glass but, unable to find the former, decided I may as well go back and finish the watching some football.

Then I rewatched everything and realized he looked totally fine and just had a couple lobs which would’ve worked out much better had they been flung in their window with greater velocity. In other words, don’t worry about Browning’s arm; worry about how his throwing gets less trustworthy when the offensive line decides to suck.

On the list of “Things Jake Browning Does Better Than You (Besides Everything),” I would like to add his ability to sell play-actions. Selling the play-action is such a boring thing to be a total baller at; in other words, it’s the most Jake Browning-worthy thing to be a total baller at. I love it. If you don’t also love it, I hate you and it’s personal. Deal with it.

Speaking of play-actions, play-action to Drew Sample is something I could get behind. That is all.

Lastly, I feel very passionately about this fact:

But the most important thing to remember is that everything we saw during week one should be blown up, proclaimed a life-ruiner, and taken as objective and holistic evidence for whatever your emotional reaction to the Rutgers game was.

Line of the Week

Oh, you thought I was just gonna not do Line of the Week? As the world’s second most-famous Cher would say, “As if!”

To get that deep, analytical introspection, I figured this week we’d delve into what it meant to be a Husky fan over the course of playing Rutgers. This is serious business intended to help all of you better understand your inner selves.

Washington fans after one quarter:

Washington fans at halftime:

Washington fans once Washington remembered they could just not suck and instead be a functional football team:

And finally, Washington fans post-game:

Welcome back, football season, you sweet, soul-destroying beauty.

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