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Mailbag: “Finally, a NIGHT GAME!!” Edition

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Washington v Utah Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Facts about Arizona State, Arizona state, Sun Devils

  • ASU was founded in 1885 as the Arizona Territorial Normal School (this is 27 years before Arizona was declared an official state), and has had five different names.
  • Sparky the Sun Devil, the university’s mascot since 1946, was created by one-time Disney Studios employee Bert Anthony.
  • There are over 300 palm trees on ASU’s main campus.
  • Pope John Paul II held mass at Sun Devil Stadium in 1987.
  • The largest snowfall ever measured in Phoenix is 1”.
  • Sparky the Sun Devil got himself into trouble in 2015 after jumping on the back of Tempe city councilman David Schapira during a halftime ceremony. The mascot did not know that Schapira was recovering from back surgery. Schapira filed a claim against ASU, and the state paid Schapira over $76,000 for his additional injuries.
  • Tortillas have been banned from Sun Devil Stadium, home of ASU football, since 2014. Students would bring them to the games and throw them in the air and onto the field. Now, the school lists tortillas on its list of prohibited items that must left behind when entering the stadium.
  • Famous alumni of the school include Barry Bonds, Phil Mickelson, Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Kimmel, David Spade and Steve Allen.
  • The bolo tie was made the official neckwear of the state of Arizona in 1973. It is one of two states in the country to have an official neckwear along with New Mexico, which also claims the bolo tie.

What’s up with Browning

He hasn’t been playing great since 2016. Do you think that Browning maybe scared of losing his job that he’s trying to make plays to look good? I think WSU benched their quarterback a few times last year because he wasn’t playing to his ability. Like the WSU quarterback this is Browning’s first year of having someone behind him that might have a better throwing arm than him. (Quarterback I think is the only position that seems to dislike competition. Look at the NFL and how veteran quarterbacks treat rookies who are drafted in the first round)

Now, I am not in the camp of demanding that we bench browning. But someone needs to tell him that he doesn’t have to win games for us. What I am trying to say is that Browing doesn’t really have the ability to make amazing plays with his legs or arms at times. And that’s okay for me (Payton Manning wasn’t the most athletic guy but he was able to dissect a defense) I think one of Brownings’s strengths Is he a good decision maker. Which is something I haven’t seen this year.

What do you think is driving him to make bad decisions? Do you think he’s playing scared of losing his job? Or that he thinks so less of his teammates that he is trying to carry the team on his shoulders? Something is wrong with him what is it? We need Browning 2016

Offense does not look good

Why don’t we target short passes for Browning? I thought that was Petersen’s offense recipe: run, run, shot passes and a few long and trick plays. Why aren’t they calling plays that are more towards Browning’s strengths? Maybe they are but it’s Browning trying to make big plays downfield with his arm. Who knows but when I was at the North Dakota game the tight ends were opened a lot but the reward wasn’t that great. Why aren’t we just taking what the defense gives us?

Rhaego

Give JB three bullet points of advice to avoid making those bad decisions he’s been making lately.

Stinkydawg

How does the staff keep Jake form running out of the pocket backwards? Is there a dog collar that can deliver a shock when he starts to retreat?

DawgFan12

Man all these calls to replace Jake makes it seems like the fans think they know better than Coach Pete, isn’t that kind of dumb?

Marty

Why won’t coach Pete hold Browning responsible for his immature mistakes? He needs benched honestly, look what Bama did with Jalen Hurts.. you may be our veteran senior guy but if you aren’t getting it done. That’s all that matters.

Texas.Dawg

Is Jake Browing the Huskies version on Andy Dalton? Promising early career, make the wild card playoffs, fans filled with hope. Eventually you realize that’s as good as it’s gonna get, yet he never plays poorly enough to be benched.

UWDP: And then.....

revtvoss

Gotta talk about the OL: It seemed OL development (in strength, technique, and play) was a strength for Boise. Obviously, this wouldn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. The OL seems to lack S&C, technique, and cohesiveness; and there are glaring blown assignments on way too many plays. Has anything changed from the BSU process?

SW-Husky

When do we address the O-line situation? Seems to be a Seattle issue as Seahawks are in similar boat.

Mossyrock Fan

Can you share any insight as to whom they might settle for the five interior linemen? It looked like they were trying everybody against Utah to stop that jail break pass rush.

OsidePup

The performance of the offensive line has been anything but what us Husky fans had expected from this team so far this season.

1)Are we going to see wholesale changes in the position assignments for the ASU game?

2)Is the only starter that is safe at his position McGary. or are they going to switch him over to left tackle to shore up the blind side on passing downs?

Ragu

O-line. Can the currently healthy rostered players eventually be good enough or is this a personnel issue? Seems like teams will eventually take away our “running outside” success and then we are up the shitz creek without a motor or whatever.

UWdadVanc

Were the problems with the O-line indicative of poor coaching? Communication issues? Youth? Is this something that is easily correctable? Or should we just mail in the season because it can’t possibly improve enough?

OL Missed assignments

What do you make about the multiple missed assignments by the o-line against Utah? On several plays Utah’s big defensive tackle Leki Fotu ran unblocked straight at Browning.

O-line regression

Should we be concerned about the development of our lineman under coach Scott Huff? This year the line was supposed to be a strength, but it appears that we have regressed especially in pass pro. The o-line looked terrible against North Dakota and Utah.

Rawse206

OL MVP of the Utah game??

Provo Head, Seattle Heart

Washington’s offensive play is giving me trouble buying into a playoff shot. Are the offensive woes strictly due to shaky line play or are there deeper issues?

UWDP: ....plus.....

Run the ball more...

I think last year after the ASU lost Pete expressed that we needed to run the ball more or he could have said we should not give up on the run so early. Our offense coordinator seems to be out of his league. He’s not a good play caller. I must admit that I don’t like offense coordinator who played as quarterback because they seemed to like passing too much. We will have a big running play then we will try to go pass. Why don’t we run it until they stop it? I think we need to run more. Maybe UW is actually balanced but two great coaches Pete Carole and Nick Saban (defensive minded coaches) like running ball. Why aren’t we running more in the Red Zone? What is your assessment of our offense coordinator?

Jonathan Smith

How is my old friend Bush Hamdan doing? Does anyone miss me yet?

Undercover Dawg

The play calling has been very predictable. One sequence it seemed the same play was called three times in a row, all three stuffed. It seems sometimes Jake is not audibling to runs when the box is light, is Jake still aloud to audible? Who is handling play calling

Rawse206

Curious to hear your opinion on Hamdan at OC now that we are last our first PAC game... the good and the bad

UWDP: ....which covers most of the biggies for the start of the season.

Jake Browning, the offensive line, and the play calling. Probably in that order.

I personally don’t think we can begin to discuss play calling outside of a few glaring examples (both good and bad) with the execution the way it is.

I don’t really know what the general consensus is as to which position group is the bigger limiting factor with the offense.

We can re-re-re-re-engage in the debate(s) in the comments. I don’t think anyone’s mind is going to be changed at this point. This feels like a couple that are going to be of the year-long variety. Kind of like Jonathan Smith last season and Nick Holt back almost a decade ago. Settle in. But be mindful that everyone that’s contributing is a Husky fan. And we can all learn something from the other people that post.

RunningFaster

I get that Browning has his limitations. But why are so many “fans” spewing such vitriol about him, and about our performance in a game we WON? This is mind-boggling to me. These “fans” seem to forget that there was another team competing on the field, a team with a pretty darn effective defense. I would say coming out of there with as many points as our Huskies did, the game was a good one. Gaskin played really well. Fuller played really well. Browning played well enough and made some very good plays when he had time in the pocket, and even some decent ones when he didn’t. And when he wasn’t running for his life, he made accurate throws. Why all the negativity, and can those negative nancies please be banned, or at least just give it a rest? I love this site, but that awful showing by some of the “fans” (and it wasn’t this bad last year by a long shot) is making it an unpleasant place to be.

UWFan

With all the complaining about Browning you would think 0-3 and all bad losses. What gives?

Kitty Rainbow Laser

I hear on the radio this morning folks mocking Browning as a player, teammate, and person. I see Husky “fans” here calling him names -- Jake the flake, Noodle Arm, etc., and the media in general seem really down on Browning. It’s now at a point where Jake (and his teammates) are acknowledging and addressing publicly the onslaught of negativity. Mind you, this is a college kid, not a professional athlete. 1) at what point is enough, enough when we’re talking about a college kid? 2) Are “Husky Fans” who endlessly rip this kid actually causing harm and distraction to this Husky team by creating so much noise and negativity? Comments and critiques are one thing – endless ripping apart and name calling are another. (Last I checked, UW just beat a very good team, on the road, by 2 TD’s. Yes, I see the issues (OL, no pass rush, Jake’s 2 or 3 mistakes), but it sure seems like the glass is 85-90% full right now! Why so much negativity -- especially at a kid who has done SO MUCH good for this program, has won a ton of games, and seems to be well liked and respected by his teammates? Thanks.

UWDP: Fans like to complain, because they’re people, and a significant portion of the human population likes to complain. I find myself in that group way more frequently than I’d like.

Two points on your question, and neither is an attack on you or anyone else: Washington is good enough that ugly wins (if you want to call them that) are moral losses now to a lot of people, and any amount of dissension, no matter which side of an issue it’s on, turns the internet into an echo chamber where everyone is against you. No one is getting banned for disagreeing, though. And while both sides would hope the other would “give it a rest,” that’s not going to happen either. There’s no way to affect that sort of thing.

We’re only three games into the season. It isn’t as bad as last year, yet. I will bet you it not only gets worse, but way, way, WAY worse. Unless we all collectively decide that it’s not going to. Which we will, then things will slowly deteriorate, followed by a decision that we’re all rooting for the same team, a brief period of increased tolerance and respect for the opinions of others, followed by a long slow detoriation. Then we’ll decide that we’re all rooting for the same team, and there’ll be a brief period of increased tolerance and respect......

Repeat, until Washington wins a championship, or there’s some even that serves to bring the fanbase together for an extended period of time, like a really good recruiting class......

KPreston

Yes Browning is a good QB and gives us our best chance but if I hear anyone say he’s a “coach on the field” or how great his feel for the game is I’m going to puke

UWDP: Noted.

I apologize in advance, but I’ll probably say it again. Hopefully you’ll be out of earshot, or the people around you will be able to move in time. Before the technicolor yawn.

What this team really needs is more coaches in the stands. Or in front of their TVs or computers.

Godawgs17

So what happened to the signature Jake Browning pooch punt? What happened to Whitford? Can we call up Mr. Miyagi to heal him please?

Punting issues

Any update on Joel Whitford’s injury? Porter has looked down right ugly on several occasions punting the football.

UWDP: If Chris Petersen is to be believed, those low line-drive kicks from Race Porter are intentional. We’ve seen good results from a couple of them. Those kicks hit the ground fast and hard, and they can be pretty unpredictable. Lots of guys won’t even try to deal with them. Britain Covey did a heckuva job fielding them, though. When a returner does, those kicks are susceptible to some pretty decent returns. As we saw.

No real news on Joel Whitford, but it’d be nice to get him back soon. Jake Browning’s kicks are situational, mostly determined by field position and distance to go. The defense has to think it’s there’s a reasonable chance the Huskies are actually going to go for it (so it has to be 4th and 5-ish, across the 50 for the most part....). I don’t know if the Huskies have really been in that position many times this year.

RBinOR

As the weekly (weakly) PAC12 choke-a-thon continues (USC blown out by a mediocre Longhorn team, ASU and OSU beaten by MWC teams, etc.)...how long before NCAA power brokers push our kickoffs even deeper into the night? A few more hours and we’ll have morning games again.

UWDP: I for one can’t wait for the Huskies’ first 4:30 AM kickoff. I also can’t wait for our first update on any Air Force cadets that might be of interest to Husky fans......(hint)

justsomebloke

If dawg fans were to write a diss track about a current husky player/coach/position, who would it be about and what would it be titled?

UWDP: Assessing the general mood of fans, I’d say there’s enough material for a double length album right now, not just one track.

Transfer rules

Georgia got a 5 star receiver that transfer from Cal who’s able to play immediatel. Why is that? What makes the SEC different? So why can’t we use Easton?

UWDP: Demetris Robertson only played two games in 2017 before missing the remainder with an injury. He was given a medical redshirt season. He announced he was transferring to Georgia “for personal matters” and appealed for immediate eligibility. The NCAA apparently decided that whatever the reason given satisfied their requirements. In Jacob Eason’s case, I don’t think he had any real “story” as to why he was leaving that would’ve come close to getting him eligible immediately.

Cammet

Multiple times during the game announcers mentioned how they thought that the week one loss to Auburn was better than a win vs. a FCS school. However, they go on to say that the only way UW makes the playoffs is to win out the rest of the way. When I look at the scenarios, I see a one loss UW(odds are we drop one confrence game somewhere) with a “cupcake” schedule having a better chance than a two loss UW that is the most likely current situation.

Now, I loved the Auburn game and wish we would have a game of similar prestige each year, but what do you think? Is a loss to the #4(ish) team in the SEC better or worse than playing a nobody? (With regards to our playoff resume)

UWDP: An undefeated Husky team gets in, no question.

A one-loss Washington team is in the conversation. Probably with a lot of other teams. I agree a two-loss Washington is out, almost no matter what.

If we assume one and only one loss during the season, then you can make the case losing a close game to Auburn is better than losing a conference game (no matter which one) and beating another cupcake out of conference.

It’s a stretch.

When the playoff committee meets to consider these two different one-loss Washington teams, the one that played Auburn is going to get credit for scheduling the game. Maybe a better way to put it is the one that had another cupcake out of the conference will get punished for it.

Herm Edwards

What are the 3 keys for us to knock off UW?

UWDP: It’s pretty simple, coach.

  1. Get pressure on Jake Browning
  2. Take advantage of the deep intermediate throws to the boundary against Washington’s zone defense
  3. Most important, read “You Play to Win the Game: Leadership Lessons for Success on and off the Field” by Herm Edwards

UWFan

Is there a better defense we face rest of the season? Seems Auburn and Utah were the most difficult defenses we play.

Benno

Do you consider the win against Utah a good win? And how would you rate the Utah defense at this point? From my view, A win against Utah on the road is a very good win, and I would put Utah’s defense as one of the top 4 defenses in the PAC-12 (UW, Stanford & USC are there as well). The fact that the Huskies struggled to move the ball consistently against Utah should not be a huge negative. Though there are issues that exist with the offense, that quality of Utah’s defense should be taken into consideration.

UWDP: Utah’s defensive line is incredibly good. It’s equivalent to Auburn’s. Utah is probably stronger in the secondary than the Tigers, and Auburn has an advantage at linebacker.

Both are very good. There aren’t any advanced stats that are up-to-date specifically for defense yet, but S&P has a defensive rank. Currently, Auburn sits at #12 in the country. Washington is #3. Utah is #2. Somewhat surprisingly, Stanford is currently sitting at #4, and that’s certainly exceeding expectations for the Cardinal. Even more surprising than that, though is that Cal is currently sitting at #8.

Lots of things are going to change before those games. But the Huskies are going to face a few more defenses that look pretty stout this season.

Winning road games in the Pac 12 is critical, especially since the Huskies are in the midst of a year with 5 road games (and only four at home). Washington is a conference contender, so teams are going to be “up” to play them, as will be the home crowds. Rice-Eccles had energy for certain.

Yes, it’s a good win. It’s the best one the Huskies could’ve managed last Saturday.

SW-Husky

Thoughts on the Turnover props teams seem to be coming up with. I am torn.

Part of me hates it, but I am in my late 40’s. Another part says if kids like it (remember these are still kids) and we get better performance I am in.

My opinion is similar to uniforms

UWDP: I’m also in my 40’s, so I’m in the same boat. I think they’re dumb, and I’m glad Washington doesn’t have one (“YEAH!!!! I can’t WAIT to get over to the sidelines and celebrate with the Turnover Immersion Blender!!!”)

Whatever. If the players like it, I really don’t care.

Fan

It looks UW had better tackling technique Saturday night. Is tackling an underappreciated aspect of UW’s sustained defensive dominance in the Kwiatkowski/ Lake era?

DawginTexas

I was really happy to see the tackling improve vs Utah. How much of that was improvement and how much of that was Utah’s offense just being bad?

UWDP: Washington played a very physical game on defense. It was fun to see, especially from Byron Murphy. I wasn’t aware that he had that type of attitude in him.

Utah’s offense isn’t very good, and Tyler Huntley delivered a handful of “hospital throws,” so named because they lead to big shots on receivers that can put guys out of games. But it wasn’t just that, there were examples all over the field of guys tackling with intent.

Teams haven’t made a living gaining yards after contact against he Huskies the last few years. The first couple of games weren’t bad in that regard, they just weren’t quite as....dynamic. Saturday was. First contact brought the ball carrier down.

I might not have said that tackling technique was an underrated aspect of the defense under Pete Kwiatkowski and Jimmy Lake. That’s probably why it is....

Jhik

The Husky passing scheme under Pete seems to lean in attacking the boundaries almost exclusively. Last night TE’s were targeted once by my count, and that was a angle post to the sideline 15yds deep. Is it a systematic flaw of the route tree? How does a team decide not to attack the biggest part of the field, game after game? Utah last night, sat their MLB, 4 yds off the LoS in the middle of the field, while walking up a safety to blitz almost the entire game. I get attacking the man coverage w/ one safety deep, but if you’re oline can’t protect long enough for these routes to develop, shouldn’t you help your QB out w/ some 5 yd ins from the TE’s? By doing so, now a backer has to honor that and reduce the box and blitz. I’m not sure what this offense is trying to accomplish, it invites the pressure but doesn’t do anything to alleviate it. Plus it wreaks havoc on the run game as well. Systematic flaw? Poor route trees? You’re guess?

Chip and release TE’s

Do you think that we should include more chip and release plays for our tight ends? It appears that this would be a way to help with protection while also utilizing the middle of the field. Getting Sample and Otton involved will also ensure that the defense has to account for our tight ends as receiving threats.

UWDP: As I’m sure you know Jhik, the tight ends are mostly staying in to help pass block.

You’re right that most of the routes in Washington’s passing tree or to the perimeter. Given the formations and personnel the team likes to use, those are the most open spots on the field. Washington very frequently lines up tight to the ball, bringing the defense in to the middle. Routes in the middle are right in the highest density of defenders on the field. If Washington was to spread the field wide with formation, that would open up the middle. I know others will disagree, but there’s no intrinsic value to throwing passes to the middle of the field. The best passes are the ones thrown where the defense isn’t.

The other thing to consider is that the tight ends are seeing a fair amount of man coverage. And they typically aren’t Browning’s first read on any route. Since the general rule is that, as a receiver you can’t stop your route against man coverage, a route that’s crossing in to the middle of the field might very well get all the way to the other side of the field (and look like an out-breaking route) by the time Browning works through his progression and gets to the tight end.

I love those little chip-and-release plays. In a way, they almost feel like cheating because they’re such a simple, almost junk route. There’s a lot of film of the Husky tight ends staying home to block. It’d be a great time to really surprise a defense with a couple of those - could be an easy 20 yards or more.

Fan

How big of a recruiting class for 2019? How many 5 stars?

Rawse206

In your opinion what’s our chances on any of these 5* kids we are getting visits from ??

UWDP: Hopefully there’s someone ‘round here that can step in and give better information, because I really don’t follow recruiting that closely.

Low 20’s on the class, maybe one of the 5* kids (didn’t a national recruiting analyst just project a receiver to UW recently?).

Anyone?

Fan

Is UCLA the next easy game?

UWDP: Is the UCLA game going to be easy?

I can see how much the Bruins have struggled through three games. The thing that scares me about them is that I think Chip Kelly is a really good coach, and that this is a team with more talent than is showing up in the box score that has the potential to put it together for a brief moment in time.

There are a lot of signs that suggest Washington wins comfortably, but I want to see it happen.

Vegas expects the Sun Devil game to be relatively easy, given the 17.5 point spread. It’ll be interesting to see if the late money pushes that down at all. Arizona State is the flag-bearer for the conference in terms of interdivisional games, but even with that one, this is still a pretty mediocre team. Washington’s defense is good enough to hold the Sun Devils to somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 or 17 points, so it won’t take much from the offense to manage a really comfortable win. I think they get it, and then some.

AJ

Seems like teams have had their most success running the ball against us by QB scrambles. Who’s not keeping their rush lanes?

UWDP: It’s been different guys at different times. Nobody’s 100% innocent or guilty.

Here’s one thing to note: The Huskies are running a lot of dime defense. Hat tip to Max for compiling the data, but the Huskies played dime on around 30% of the snaps against Utah, mostly late in each half. A lot of the rush in those plays is coming from defensive backs, and the speed at which they get to the QB ends up forcing the action quicker than if the pressure comes from a down lineman or linebacker.

That’s isn’t what happened on Tyler Huntley’s long run, though.

Here’s the play: https://youtu.be/JAOrG0Svfm0?t=1443 Make sure to stick around for the reverse angle....

The Huskies were in their base nickel package. Utah came out with five wide receivers. There was some confusion with the Husky defense; Myles Bryant is gesticulating widely at Tevis Bartlett, who’s playing inside linebacker. Bartlett sprints out widely to the furthest receiver from the ball (probably a running back split out wide). Benning Potoa’e then drops off the line like an inside linebacker, and is in coverage. Ben Burr-Kirven looks like he might be spying on Huntley, but he dramatically overreacts to a little hop-step Huntley makes to his right. With only a three-man rush, it’s difficult to really contain rush lanes, and Utah has Greg Gaines neutralized in the middle of the field with a double team. It looks like Burr-Kirven is the culprit here.

We featured a play on the Film Study this week from the reverse angle that showed how the Huskies spied Huntley using Ariel Ngata out of their dime defense, with better results.

Otis

Where was Ahmed? I guessed it was either an injury or punishment that kept him on the sidelines. Any ideas?

OsidePup

Is this the week we see Pleasant supplant Ahmed as the #2 running back? Gaskin may not last the season @ 30 carries a game and Ahmed seems to have fallen out of favor. Or will another RB make a surprise jump up the depth chart?

UWDP: A commenter here pointed out that he saw Salvon Ahmed go into the medical tent on the sidelines twice during the game. Regardless of what Chris Petersen said in the halftime interview about Ahmed’s health, I tend to believe that that was the issue with his touches on offense throughout the game, as opposed to being in trouble with the coaches for a missed assignment of some type. Nothing that he did prior to disappearing from the game seemed to be egregious enough to merit pulling him entirely, and he did end up coming back in later. We’ll have to see about his availability this week.

Whatever the reason for it, Ahmed’s absence gave Sean McGrew a few snaps. He had one carry, and then got an indoctrination by fire into pass protection against the blitz. He has some work to do in that regard.

karth295

Who gets fired first: Chip Kelly or Clay Helton?

UWDP: Clay Helton, and it’s not close. Chip Kelly’s seat is nice and cool even with the 0-3 start. UCLA doesn’t have the money to fire him, and with such an accomplished coach bringing in a new system, he’s going to get at least a few years to get things rolling. Fans will grumble after each loss, then remember Kelly’s record at Oregon, and start talking about “next year.”

There might not be a “next year” for Helton. This is his third full season, and fair or not, people are going to consider it his fourth since he served as the interim coach for almost a full year in 2015. He signed two highly-regarded quarterback prospects, but the second is a true freshman that skipped his senior year in high school in order to enroll early at USC, and who won the starting job in fall camp.

After back-to-back losses, things are deteriorating at USC right now.

Just Win Baby

Which of the following is the most annoying TV commercial among those in heavy rotation during football games?

1. Mitsubishi salesman rapper

2. Sheryl’s she-shed got hit by lightning (State Farm)

3. Verizon Wireless hipster

(These are the only options. You can choose only one.)

UWDP: Good question. And congratulations, you’ve probably picked three of the most annoying commercials on TV, period, not just that run on endless loops during football games. I can’t even recall the Verizon hipster guy, but I can picture it in my head because all of Verizon’s add campaigns annoy me. If you polled 10,000 fans, these three are going to be top five. Well done, sir.

Sheryl’s she-shed is the Jake Browning of these commercials to me. It’s been around the longest, so therefore, I’ve developed the most contempt for it (like Husky fans have with Jake Browning). The stupid alliteration, the annoying repetitiveness...I hate that commercial. I might end up hating the Mitsubishi rapper one more at some point, but we’ll have to see if it has the staying power.

I hope the new she-shed gets hit by a comet.

Steven

If you were the Huskies offensive coordinator what would you call/change to improve the offensive production vs the blitz? I agree with Coach Petersen that this is a group failure and not all Browning’s fault. The offensive line has struggled at time giving Browning enough time, the coaches don’t seem to give him many easy safety valve options (short drag routes, RBs in the flat), and of course Browning compounds a lot of these problems attempting to be Russell Wilson instead of just throwing it away. Of course this is all based off the TV broadcast angle so there could be stuff I’m missing but from you’re view, how would you adjust to account for UW’s issues in the passing game?

UWDP: We saw glaring examples against both Auburn (Luke Wattenberg failing to get off the ball on the last offensive play) and Utah (see this week’s Film Study) of offensive line issues that are failings at very basic levels. Stuff that should be fundamental. I’m not trying to suggest they’re missing “easy” stuff, but it’s the stuff that should be the easiest to fix. They’re the huge bites at the apple that generate big results without wholesale changes to game plans or philosophies.

If they get those fixed, the two general ways to beat pressure are with enough protection to pick up all the rushers (tight ends and running backs staying in to block), or more receivers in the route than the secondary can handle. The Huskies have always gone with the former under Petersen. It hasn’t worked well yet, but that doesn’t mean there’s a flaw with the design.

One of the biggest issues with providing more receivers is that it sets up your quarterback(s) to take a lot of big shots if the defense can cover long enough or the QB can’t make the reads. For all the Jake Haener fans, that’s a good reason to change things up...

Fix the line first. That’s my opinion.

Travis

why didnt Utah bring the house every snap? We have yet to have a successful play when the openent blitzes .

UWDP: Yes, the Huskies beat the blitz several times on Saturday. Myles Gaskin’s TD run was against a blitz. Jake Browning made several nice throws against the blitz.

Oregon Dawg

Is the Pac 12 still looking to add teams? Who are the top four candidates? After watching the Aztecs beat ASU, why is San Diego State not considered?

UWDP: It seems like expansion talk has settled down for a bit, but I’m sure it’s something the conference is always watching.

San Diego State is in the midst of a pretty good run in football, but they really add nothing to the conference. They’re a lot like Boise State. Both TV markets are already in the Pac 12’s current footprint, so there’s no appeal for TV networks when it comes time to negotiate the next contract.

If that’s the direction the conference goes in expansion, it’s a failure. The Pac 12 needs to be proactive and think huge (not just big). Texas. Oklahoma. Anyone else from the Big 12minus2. It’s time to undermine that already unstable conference.

CAP’N CRUNCH’S OOPS! ALL BERRIES

Is the Herminator capable of out-coaching Petersen and Co the same way TV Pastor Todd Graham did last year?

UWDP: TV Pastor Todd Graham....that’s so awesome. The name, the hair, the headset....it all fits. You win the coveted Golden Internet for today.

Jake Smiling

What can Jake Browning improve on most for the rest of the season? Knowing when to take a sack? Improving pocket presence? What are the coaches telling him?

UWDP: All of those things. If I could pick only one realistic thing, I’d make it “don’t leave the pocket due to phantom pressure.”

#JustKiddingBoutSmith

Over/Under for touches to both McClatcher and Ahmed for ASU game

UWDP: 4.5 for Chico McClatcher. I would’ve gone higher for Ahmed, but I have questions about how healthy he his. So, 4.5 for him as well.

RockDawg

Hey Brad,

What did you think of the formation they used on the Gaskin TD run? Do you agree with me that the Utah game saw a lot more variations in formations then the previous two? Is this a function of Hamdan getting comfortable with depth the number of offensive plays?

UWDP: Lots of really nice things on that play (it was featured in the Film Study this week). Setting up the unbalanced formation in the huddle, the action by Salvon Ahmed to occupy the safety, and then the execution...

I’m not really sure if there were a lot more formations this past week or not. There were some subtle differences, but it’s hard to say if they’re due to comfort, or if they’re game plan-specific, etc.

Yet Another Paul

Now that BBK is devensive player of the week.... commenters during the game thought he looked really slow to react on several plays and wound up chasing the ball carrier. Utah’s touchdown is one example.

My question is: were those actually his assignments that he blew, or is it his knowledge and hustle that even put him in the picture at all as he tried to make up for someone else’s mistake?

Linebacker Depth

I am really worried about the linebacker depth. I did not see Beavers against Utah, did he play? Also any update on Wellington?

UWDP: Ben Burr-Kirven was a little late to react on the TD run, but I doubt that he was going to affect the play anyway. The issue there was how soundly Washington’s line was beaten at the point of attack.

Ben Burr-Kirven is the Jake Browning of the Husky defense, lets just say....

The depth at inside linebacker is a major concern. For this year, and the near future, too. I don’t have any real information on either DJ Beavers or Brandon Wellington, unfortunately.

Rhaego

I’ll be in Montana and Wyoming for a week before the BYU game. Haven’t spent much time there as a non-mormon adult. Gimme some things that I can’t miss, ESPECIALLY if they have anything to do with looking at mountains.

UWDP: I believe each state has mountains, or at least has views of mountains in neighboring states.

This time of year, the fishing is going to be lights-out.

Ragu

During my vacation and my drives, I will have a lot of time to MYSELF BECAUSE I’M ALONE to ponder existential questions. I’m sort of struggling with sports fandom. Loving the USA teams as some sort of extension of my nationalism, when I don’t particularly love my country seems sort of strange now. Washington will surely rise and fall and rise and fall. What do I want out of UW? If they had five straight seasons of 15-0, would I feel supremely fulfilled? What is the meaning of life? Is there a god?

UWDP: This time of year, the fishing is going to be lights-out. It will fill the holes in your soul. But maybe not the holes in your sole.

Ragu

Chris Petersen has an impressive track record. He obviously understands football better than I do. But in this “discussion” about putting the players with the best chance to win on the field, I keep hearing “faith” and “trust” thrown around. The presumption is that since his teams have been successful, and since he obviously has great football knowledge, then he will do what is best for the team. I’m still uncovinced of this, at least that it should serve as “inherent or obvious knowledge”. I don’t claim to know better, I don’t claim to know that he’s stubborn, I’m simply leaving room for the theoretical possibility that he would let other thoughts/emotions factor into personnel decisions. I don’t have data to prove this, but I PERCEIVE him as the type of person to play a four year starter over a “better” player IF that situation were to arise, not saying it has. Explain to me why my questioning or my contrarian wondering is less justified than dogmatic presumptions. Please be nice.

UWDP: There are a lot of times what all of us (including Chris Petersen) view as “inherent or obvious knowledge” are actually opinions. For example, the factors that you use to determine “better” player aren’t actually universal. There are lots of different ways to determine better-ness. Yours and his might not be the same, which could lead to different conclusions while making a comparison.

Keep this in mind: Chris Petersen has a lot more data included in forming his opinions than your or I do; and Chris Petersen is more vested in being correct than you or I are.

dgdawg

Why are the Huskies 17.5 point favorites over ASU?

UWDP: That’s a pretty high spread, but would a final score of 28-10 surprise you? It covers the spread, and still gives fans PLENTY of room to complain about Jake Browning, the offensive line, play calling, Chris Petersen’s stubbornness, kickoff times, the temperature of the beer at your tailgates, mean people, lines, and rain.

Stepping forward

Do you think that Browning is still capable of learning how to step forward when feeling pressure or is this something that will continue to plague Browning?

UWDP: At this point, Jake Browning is the quarterback he’s going to be as a Husky.

All for this week, Husky fans.