Not only did Saturday suck, but it turns out intros suck, too.
So here’s a lack of one.
A 100% Accurate and 62% Sober Rundown of Absolutely Everything
Before we even begin, it feels worthwhile to establish two things:
- Washington played like utter dogshit, and
- Stanford’s game plan was brilliant.
Furthermore, it’s telling that even all the Stanford fan predictions out there — as far as I know, anyway — went along the lines of, “Yeah, Stanford needs to play way better than they have all season and I just don’t see it so............................................................. Washington wins.” Pretty much, no one foresaw the ‘Furd being as genius and well-executed as they were, even their own fans. If you want a bit of consolation, that’s worth something.
But the caveat: even considering the Cardinal were a thousand times better than they’d been all year, the Huskies still executed like such piles of unpleasantness that the whole “Stanford playing out of their mind” thing shouldn’t have mattered.
Summed up: Stanford should’ve been able to play this well and still lose, had the Dawgs not full on crapped the bed.
Also, the triangle of suck between UW > USC > Stanford > UW is... why?
The only real good thing about this game is, if you’re a Stanford fan, you learned your coaching staff’s still got it.
The only other good thing is that every once in a while — don’t know if you’ve noticed this — I’ll take note of something other than “This team is great and I love them!” When this happens, someone will often leave a single comment ranging from “You’re clearly an Oregon spy sent here to slander Washington,” to “Lol this team’s perfect and *strawman counter-argument about some binary that’s tangential and doesn’t address my actual observation*.” And, without fail, every time this happens the Dawgs suffer a loss hinging on the thing I previously pointed out. So, with this silver lining that is enjoyable to literally nobody, *ahem* suck on that, homers.
Sorry, I realize the words “only real good thing” may have gotten your hopes up for actual good things and not just things that are either good for A) some other team or B) my ego. That was pretty mean of me to make you think there was a happy silver lining incoming — my bad, everyone! If you ever find me and say the words “Hey, that one time you said there was a good thing from the Stanford game and then proceeded to list exactly zero good things for us sucked,” I will buy you a beer. Unless a bunch of you do this all at once, in which case ya girl does not have the money to uphold that offer.
Otherwise, by my reckoning the only genuinely good thing from this game was Washington’s red zone defense, which both played out of their mind multiple times while being aided by Stanford’s pretty darn predictable sequencing. (By the way, should we have been drinking every time the phrase “good thing” shows its pretty face here? Probably, right? Good thing good thing good thing. There you go, now you have a legitimate excuse to take three shots at work or wherever you are right now. Don’t worry, your boss will totally get it.)
Unfortunately, their “all the rest of the field that isn’t the red zone” defense was, uh... Ya know. Not even terrible, honestly, considering A) how little rest they got and B) how excessively keep-them-on-the-field-for-seven-minutes-at-a-time and go-for-it-on-4th-y Stanford’s game plan was.
In that way, this game felt so, so much like a lamer version of the 2017 Stanford matchup that the Dawgs lost; run it until Washington hates their life, throw to an 8’3” freak on third down. Repeat until everyone’s dead, then win by default.
Except, at least in that game the offense did something.
Other than Aaron Fuller, Washington pass-catchers combined for 35 yards. And despite the statistics of accruing 171 yards receiving, by the eye test Fuller looked — this is the diplomatic way to say this — pretty darn awful too, including the critical woulda-been-a-first-down drop late in the game.
To me, this game epitomized the problems with the senior receivers — unreliable hands when covered but, more importantly, it highlighted their absolute inability to get separation against even vaguely physical or technically sound secondaries. At least with those two, though, it was more of what we knew. Sure, they played even worse than normal, but it was in line with the flaws that we’ve come to know and... uh... whatever the opposite of “love” is that’s not as mean as “hate” because I’d like to maintain at least a bit of a facade of being nice.
What was more confounding, though, in the passing game, was Hunter Bryant’s struggles. I’m not planning on freaking out about it since we don’t really have any evidence to think this should become a pattern, but more than anything his lack of, well, anything, really, is just confusing.
Which brings us to the other part of the offense to blame. Oh, hello, offensive line. Typically this year I’ve found their performance, if not dominant, fine enough where they felt trustworthy. And hoooo baby talk about going from trustworthy to bed-shitting.
In fairness, the best part of Stanford’s defense is their line — unlike the linebackers and secondary, they rarely this season have caused the Cardinal’s problems. But they’re still not close to the level of Cal or USC’s defensive lines. Or at least, they weren’t until now.
I keep going back and forth on which unit was more to blame for Washington’s offensive failures. On one hand, you should expect more from this offensive line — although the fact that we’ve gotten used to the receivers’ faults shouldn’t all the sudden excuse them from when they’re on display again.
If there’s one good thing about the offense: Cade Otton got a much deserved touchdown. Way to go, dude.
Overall — and this is something I internally refrain when things look particularly great or awful — people’s tendency is to overreact to games, whether wins or losses. I saw the words “This is a seven-win team” after Cal, then saw the words “This is a playoff team” after BYU. Neither of those were true then, and they aren’t true now.
So, if you find yourself freaking the eff out and your mental health going down the drain faster than a glob of shampoo after a strategic removal of your roommate’s/girlfriend’s/wife’s/sister’s/mom’s hair from the cover, take a breath. Probability-wise, both our best and worst assessments after these games are unlikely to be accurate.
So, I suppose, there’s your genuine “good thing.” (Take a drink, by the way.)
Lines of the Week
In this one, Ted Danson is people who make better decisions regarding their emotional investments and Janet is all of us:
Colby Parkinson is:
Seriously, there’s no way. It should be illegal to be that ginormous, which spell check tells me is indeed a word.
And lastly, all of us even while we attempt to remember that this team isn’t as bad in a large sample size as they were on Saturday:
Do good things (take a drink), don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.