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Mailbag: “Maybe Landon Had Cal Pegged Right After All....” Edition

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Cal at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Cherry pits contain cyanide, which fans of “Ozarks” of course already knew.
  • The first use of the word “nerd” came in 1950, in Dr. Seuss’ book “If I Ran a Zoo.”
  • According to a 2012 study published in The Annals of Epidemiology, you are 13.8% more likely to die on your birthday than any other day of the year.
  • “Spoonfeed” is the longest word in the English language with the letters in reverse alphabetical order.
  • “Alaska” is the only state name you can type out using a single row on a standard keyboard.
  • Oranges in tropical locations are frequently green when ripe due to the presence of chlorophyll. In the (colder) US, oranges lose their chlorophyll and take on their namesake hue. Oranges imported to the US are exposed to ethylene gas or shocked with cold water to remove the chlorophyll and turn the fruit orange (instead of green).
  • Jupiter is twice as massive as all the other planets combined.

Questions. I can hardly wait. I hope there’s lots of clever plays on my name.....

Mountain Man: Best guess. Was that a “2016 vs ASU” type anomaly or should we brace ourselves for a hair ripping season of wtf?! type play on the field?

UWDP: It’s been a long time since Washington had this type of turnover on one side of the ball. I expected the quality of the players being recruited and the quality of the coaching on the staff to still hold the Husky defense at or near the top of the conference, and I still do, but some growing pains were to be expected. It’s never easy for me to maintain perspective in the moment, especially when you factor in just how bad the Bears were offensively in 2018, but still....

I think this game will be the anomaly. I hope this game will be the anomaly. Most of the bad things that happened on offense were self-inflicted and/or dumb luck. Many of the bad things that happened on defense are going to take a lot of really good coaching over the next couple of weeks, and some players really buying in to the things that they need to do in order to stay on the field.

THAT WAS BRUTAL: Both games now have shown that our linebackers are either never in the correct position nor able to make the open field tackle. Seemed like once Cal figured out they only needed to concentrate on the d linemen they could run at will. Are there REALLY no better options at that position?

UWDP: Most of Cal’s big plays in the run game came when a Washington linebacker freelanced, overcommitted, or both, and the ball carrier was able to run through the hole vacated by the Husky player.

I don’t think it’s a matter of poor tackling, and I do believe that those games have the best skills on the team. What we saw on Saturday was the result of guys trying to make the hero play, or to outguess the offense, instead of just patiently playing fundamental schematic defense.

The Huskies are going to need these guys throughout this season. It’s really important that the coaches get the right message across and that the players buy it. The defense desperately needs some leadership right now, and some peer pressure-generated accountability.

Sw-husky: Why do I continually get my hopes up for this team. Heart tells me we are a top 10 team. Just a piece away from being in playoffs. Facts prove again and again we are 15-20 in polls. Didn’t think I would utter “next year” in wek 2.

UWDP: Step off the roller coaster. This is a team with flaws, but not necessarily a “flawed” team. Yet (we just don’t know). Even with that groin punch of a loss, I think the 2019 Huskies are actually fairly “close” to being there.

If you’re only going to be about the playoffs, then I’d suggest picking up a new sport, as even a “perennial contender” Washington Huskies team is almost undoubtedly never going to rise to an Alabama level of dominance. You’re still going to be disppointed most of the time, and even early in the year. There’s still a lot left to play for, and I hope you’re able to enjoy it.

Yone: I thought the days of DE’s selfishly crashing in to make a tackle and not maintaining the edge left with Justin Wilcox but Joe Tryon got burned half a dozen time doing that last night. I saw this all during the Eastern game too from multiple players. This is DE 101 even for peewee football. What gives and why are we back to this un-disciplined play on defense which is seemingly being tolerated? Is this what we can expect with a DB as a DC vs. a lineman?

JT Wop: Is it just me, or did Joe Tryon struggle when lined up outside? A couple of plays really stood out in the second half where he appeared to lose contain on big Cal runs around the left side.

UWDP: I agree with you about the play on the field, but not necessarily the “why” we saw it. If your argument is that the buck stops with Jimmy Lake because he’s the defensive coordinator, then I agree, it does. But it’s up to a lot more than just Lake to beat that undisciplined action on the field out of these guys. The two biggest culprits have struggled with this their whole careers - it kept Joe Tryon off the field until the second half of last season, and Brandon Wellington is notorious for similar types of things as well (see Oregon’s TD in overtime last year as one prime example). Point to Lake, point to Bob Gregory (the position coach), but mostly to the players themselves.

As I said above, it’s time for some leadership. Peer and coach.

imabithusky: Cal has a great defense but it was frustrating that WR’s could never separate and get open looks - and when they did, there were several dropped passes. I think the offense still needs a big-time receiver that Eason can consistently throw to in tight coverage. I sense that us following here at the pound believe it could be one of our younger guys, but they haven’t seen the field much. Are you surprised that we didn’t see younger players rotate in at WR? Do you see this changing next week?

George Birchfield: Why are our recent highly rated WR’s not playing? Without Ty Jones we seem to need a tall target who can go up and get the ball. All of our starting WRs seemed smaller and than the Cal coverage players

Husky Honk: When are the young WR going to get some run? Fuller and Baccellia would be fine in the slot with Chico, but they have no business being the #1/#2 WR on the outside.

UWDP: I was surprised we didn’t see more of Terrell Bynum, Marquis Spiker, Austin Osbourne, and Puka Nacua when the Huskies played last week, particularly with the big lead they built. Yes, I was surprised to see them languish again on Saturday.

At this point, I just have no idea what to think. Those guys represent one of the biggest collections of talent in the youngest three classes on the roster at any position group. It shocks me pretty much every day that we aren’t hearing plaudits about any of them coming from the coaching staff or beat reporters. As skeptical as I am about the UW receiving corps, I don’t believe that Chris Petersen is intentionally sabotaging the careers of the young guys. I don’t believe he’d sit them out of spite. And, I very firmly believe him when he says that he’s playing the guys that give him the best chance to win, as he has a $5 million contract to protect plus substantial future earnings as well as his superior competitiveness as a guy that’s lived football for three decades. I try to remember how little I know about the actual state of the program and what happens day to day. And that I don’t know how Petersen calculates his “best chance to win” criteria.

There are busts in football recruiting, so it’s possible that that’s the case with one or more of those young guys. And true freshmen receivers - even the ones in the top 100 of all high school players - they usually do nothing that first year.

It’s frustrating, but I don’t know.

Jhik: Brad, you’ve talked about execution in regards to play calling and Hamdan at length. But my real beef w/ him is in the red zone, and it seems the ability to convert into TD’s hasn’t gotten any better w/ a year under his belt and a new QB. UW was 115th in the nation last year in converting RZ attempts into TD’s, @ 54.4%, that graphic is posterized on TV.. Why does it continue to be so hard for Hamdan to gameplan the RZ?

UWDP: Maybe it’s a Bush Hamdan problem, but I tend to think it’s a “Chris Petersen Philosophy” issue. One thing that you find when you start looking into it is that Chris Petersen’s best teams throw the ball a lot in the red zone. That makes sense; space comes at a premium, and it’s easier to create room in a pass pattern than a running play. So when Petersen has the passing game components he likes (like at Washington in 2016, or at Boise State in the Kellen Moore era), you see a lot of red zone passing TDs. As great as Myles Gaskin was in 2016, it was the lowest season TD total of his time here, with only 10 on the ground (8 came in the red zone). Gaskin wasn’t a “3 yards and a cloud of dust” runner, and that isn’t the design of Washington’s ground game. Salvon Ahmed isn’t that guy, neither is Sean McGrew. Maybe Richard Newton is, but I don’t really think so.

I think Washington (and Hamdan, if you will) has the same limitation in the red zone as he does everywhere else - an incomplete passing attack.

Dystopian_Dawg: Well, did the scales fall from your eye’s last night, like they did from mine? It looked to me like we were both out coached and outplayed. What’s with all the out of control blitzing of a mobile quarterback?

UWDP: Washington didn’t match Cal’s intensity, particularly in the second half, and the disparity grew as the game wore on. By the final drive, Cal’s offense was more intense and emotional than Washington’s defense, as it appeared the Huskies were as surprised as anyone to be falling to the Bears in such a way.

I can’t disagree that Washington was beaten in every way possible Saturday. Credit to Cal.

Kirk Herbstreit: Do you know how many people of the East Coast were watching that game at 4 AM? Do you know how grateful you should be for that exposure? You’re frickig welcome, Dawgs!

UWDP: Probably not that many fewer than were watching at 1:30 AM on the west coast.

Is this actually Kirk Herbstreit?

Mountain Man: Expectation trap? Ever since 2016, it feels like each year starts off with talk of our road to the playoff as if that’s the measuring stick of success or failure. Being frank, we’re not a top 4 (or even top 10) type of a program yet. Is this the new norm as far as expectations? Playoffs or bust? Seems like a recipe for a ton of disappointment. Your take on Husky Nation’s expectations these days?

UWDP: Yes, probably. Good news is that the Huskies have reached a point where that’s the expectation heading in to the season for a lot of fans. Bad news for a lot of fans is that the Huskies aren’t quite there in terms of being a “perennial playoff contender.” Or, maybe they are. It depends how you want to define that nebulous term.

I wonder how much fun it is to be an Alabama fan for a lot of people. There are one or two games that make your whole season, and ten games that mostly set up solely as negative opportunities.

I like being a good team, but I’m only guaranteed 12 chances a year to watch the Huskies. I’m certainly not going to tie my hopes to a four team playoff.

Plastic ponhco: Were you at the game? Did you stay after the delay? Can you describe the fan experience?

UWDP: I was not, but anyone that was should chime in below.

Otis: Did we recruit Weaver? He made me really miss BBK.

UWDP: Yes, the Huskies recruited Evan Weaver. Word is that the scholarship spot came down to whomever committed first between Weaver and Tahoma’s Amandre Williams. Williams committed, and Weaver ended up at Cal (although I can’t be sure how interested Weaver ever was in coming here). I’ll be the first to admit that of the two, I wanted Williams, who is no longer with the program. Meanwhile, Weaver has talked the talk and walked the walk, and just came and stole all our jellybeans. Kudos to him, he had a spectacular game.

Otis: Dropped passes, no take a ways, underwhelming linebackers.... should we be worried?

UWDP: Sure, yes, of course. Or not, it’s up to you.

I hate to lose, and hate to lose to a team I still don’t think should’ve been able to come in and win in Husky Stadium, but all teams have really bad games every year. The Huskies aren’t yet good enough to play poorly and still win against a team as great on defense but mediocre-to-poor on offense as Cal is. And frankly, I don’t know what to call the Bears, because their defense is truly great - top 10 in the country great - but that offense is not even actually mediocre. It’s rare to see a team with that type of dichotomy.

Right now, it’s one game.

gliderdawg: Is there any formula or method of calculating how long it takes to shake-off QB “Rust”...or is it simply a case by case ‘trial by fire’ adventure? Is there anything like a “fan portal” (or holding cell) to wait the process out? Thank you for your gentle sense of humor as I’m a sensitive fan right about now.

UWDP: I think it’s actually been a really good adventure with Jacob Eason so far. I know Eastern isn’t a very stiff test, but that was as good a debut as you could expect to see. Cal’s secondary is in the conversation for “best in the country.” Eason was no where near perfect, but he also had no help. He’s going to get a lot better from this game.

Mountain Man: Was the defensive collapse in the second half more a function of mental mistakes (blown assignments, bad reads, etc.) or would you say it was more based upon physical shortcomings (out muscled, getting fatigued, etc.)? Short term or long term concerns on either front?

UWDP: If I was apportioning blame between the mental and the physical, I say at least 90% mental, 10% physical. Probably more to the mental part, if anything. Virtually all of Cal’s 10+ yard runs were the result of blown assignments, where a player would abandon a gap, and Cal’s back (including the QB) would turn a small run into a big play by attacking the void. The missed tackles were mostly mental - guys either coming in to a play wild and out of control, or abandoning proper technique at the last minute.

The tackling in particular is a little alarming, because it’s just not something you see from a UW team with this coaching staff. The freelancing is disappointing because breaking the human nature aspect of pursuing the ball instead of holding fast is tough to overcome. At this point, I don’t have a long-term concern about either. We’ve seen development from this coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball; it’s their calling card. I’m no where near panic, I just want to see improvement, starting now.

Victoria: This question is ostensibly for myself.

Why do I remain hopeful of a team that while achieving some relative success in recent years, has now become a classic underachieving unit and not only is losing almost every watershed game but insists on looking flummoxed and overmatched in said games?

The new UW paradigm is to deflect, obfuscate and minimize the only thing that matters (Game results) by parsing and examining components of the program- ie. recruiting , player behaviour, graduation rates, NFL draft placement and so forth so as to claim some irreverent token accomplishment.

Meanwhile the team throws body blow after body blow at its collective, incredulous fan base.

I’m at a precipice ( dramatic enough for you?) inasmuch as losing interest in this team.

One last thought to delineate and calibrate my queried rant.

Upon personal reflection and rumination my frustration although certainly record based has effectively tilted ever so gently toward how the team entertains me or should I say doesn’t . Peterson is cruising at 35,000 feet but I thought we were trying to get to the moon.

UWDP: Did you think Cal was a watershed game heading in to it, or is it only now a watershed game because they lost?

Probably the latter.

I hope this was just venting, but if it wasn’t, then it sounds like you don’t want to watch anymore. If it’s this bad, why would you?

Nervous Nelly: Thanks to the Cal offense, PAC12 offensive coordinators just got some very good film on how to quickly and efficiently move the ball against the Husky defense. I could not help but think about what the offenses of Oregon, USC, Stanford (with Costello back), Arizona and for that matter, Colorado are going to do to this defense ... talk me off the ledge ...

UWDP: Sort of. Opposing coordinators will see that there are a couple of players prone to cheating on assignments and freelancing, and may look to disguise certain things or use counter action to try and bait them.

On the other hand, it’s really a matter of what Washington does more than other teams. If the coaches and players clean some things up (basic gap integrity and assignment soundness), it doesn’t matter.

DawgFan12: Why can’t we hire a competent OC? We seemed to have two bad ones in a row. Would have been nice if got Baldwin before Cal did.

UWDP: UW’s offensive coordinator is basically just an extension of Chris Petersen. It’s Petersen’s offense, and his philosophy. It’s not likely at this point that Petersen hires someone like Beau Baldwin, because Baldwin comes with his own philosophy and playbook. That’s the value he adds. It’s not likely Baldwin comes in order to run Petersen’s playbook.

Petersen’s offensive coordinators are pretty much always young, coachable guys that Petersen can mold. I don’t have a strong opinion about Hamdan at this point, but what I do think about him is based more on the QB development than his role as play caller (which as I’ve said many times, is overvalued by fans). If Hamdan moves on or is fired, expect the next guy to look exactly like him - young, coachable, and without his own playbook.

Cal’s offense was one of the worst in the country last year. It’ll probably be better this season, but the game Saturday was far more about the Huskies’ inability to do simple things than it was some sort of offensive genius from Cal.

Raul: To me it seems there is something fundamentally flawed/outdated with our offensive scheme. Outside of the first 8-9 games in 2016 while Jeff Tedford was a consultant this offense under coach Pete has been disappointing against talented defenses. It’s too complicated, takes way too long for young receivers to get in to play, and maybe somehow also a little to predictable for good talented defenses. Will coach Pete ever throw out his old offensive playbook from Boise St and hire someone else to totally revamp the offense from scratch to something simpler for the younger blue chip talent we’re now getting?

UWDP: 2016...Jeff Tedford, and also John Ross and Dante Pettis. I’ve said many times which I think was more important.

I personally doubt Petersen shakes things up (the last time he did, adopting the hurry up no huddle and spread attack for a few years) it didn’t go well. I don’t think the offense is fundamentally flawed, and I don’t know how much of the whole “too complicated” aspect of it is a result of suboptimal coaching up until this past spring.

I wouldn’t expect a massive shift. But we’ll have to see.

ORKris: I noticed that our middle linebackers were slow. Did you see the same thing? As far as Eason, how much latitude do you think he has with reading defenses and making pre-snap audibles? It seemed like Browning made a lot of last second pre-snap adjustments with both play calling and even snap counts. And lastly, what do you think about Tryon’s play? I noticed three plays where he crashed inside and lost containment, giving up 1 TD and two big run plays.

UWDP: Kyler Manu isn’t the fastest guy, but I don’t really get the impression that speed is an issue for Brandon Wellington. M.J. Tafisi and Jackson Sirmon both appear to be able to run well enough. I think there were guys that weren’t “playing fast,” but I’m not sure athleticism is actually the issue as much as the mental part.

I think Jacob Eason has the freedom to audible. I think he’s calling his own plays a lot when the offense goes into hurry-up mode. He might not do as much adjusting as Browning seemed to, but it could very well be that that’s some of the simplification of the offense Petersen mentioned after the Rose Bowl.

Darin Johnson: What the actual $#@&??

UWDP: Dunno. I.....It’s........Man.

Darin Johnson: If the football gods had offered each coach a three-hour delay at game time, which of them would have taken it? Neither, right? But one of them SHOULD. Which?

UWDP: Wilcox, no question. Conditions and events like that increase randomness. As the favorite, Washington needs the game to go chalk. The more junk you could throw into the equation the better for a prohibitive underdog.

Darin Johnson: How pissed is Peyton Henry today?

UWDP: Transfer portal pissed.

KC: Run the ball more in the red zone first and goal from the two and we run one time and try to throw two times or if you pass at least play action pass. An empty set means no run threat.

We were out coached in this one. After half time Cal adjusted to our defense and moved the ball at will. UW play calling again is not up to the task at hand

UWDP: I can get behind running more down there. For sure.

What do you think Cal did to adjust their rush attack?

John Coalson: When UW lined up against Cal’s game winning field goal, it appeared to be their starting defense. Do the Dawgs have a field goal block personnel?

UWDP: I was wondering that same thing. Made me think of the San Diego Chargers putting Kellen Winslow in to block a game-winning kick attempt by the Miami Dolphins in a 1982 playoff game.

Judging by the Husky combine results, the guy the Huskies would want out there was also a tight end; Jacob Kizer had a freakish vertical, like 37” at his height.

I was a little disappointed the Huskies didn’t have a trick up their sleeve, just for a play like that. But they rarely work in the real world.

Bread Jensen UDerb: I’m not sure you’ve ever thought about this before, but play calling: does it matter? Did it matter? Forgive me if I straw person you, but you’re in the camp that thinks it’s mostly irrelevant when compared to execution, correct? I mean, extreme example, if we tried to run the same play 30x in a row and just executed well, it would no doubt be less effective because it is expected, correct? Isn’t there a balance of not only executing but also deception?

UWDP: Not quite what I’ve said about play calling. I don’t think we have the ability to evaluate play calling without the context of execution, and I’m just echoing far more accomplished football minds there. So the debate of play calling mostly comes down to what works and what doesn’t, not the design or sequencing of plays. My point is that if you want to get into play calling, you need to bring something solid to the table other than things like “it didn’t work.”

Deception, maybe. You can get into playing the whole “outthink the opposing coordinator” game, or you can just call plays your guys are really good at executing. Your point is an extreme, and there are obviously boundaries, but if I could have the world’s greatest play caller, or the world’s best execution of whatever play, I know which one I’m taking.

Bro Jahnsen Yuuuduuuup: I saw hesitation and bad timing from Eason. Did you see that? Was that or dropped passes a worse element of our performance? Whose fault were the dropped passes?

UWDP: Yes, I did too. And that’s what you get on TV - a closeup of a guy with the ball. On the rare instances we saw the coverage, I saw a correlation between hesitation and bad timing, and “nobody open.” Not always, but a lot. Enough that I don’t think the QB is the biggest problem with the passing game, same as the past few years.

Personally, I blame those drops on you.

They’re on the receiver. There was one short crossing route that I’d maybe put on Eason because is was ever-so-slightly off target, but came in at a million miles per hour.

OsidePup: Coach Pete has been criticized on the blog for poor clock management. Was this a legitimate complaint for the waning minutes of the Cal game?

UWDP: Sure. When the Huskies had the ball on their last possession, they went uptempo. Given the amount of time they spend doing that, my impression is that Eason must like it. I didn’t have an issue with it. It didn’t work out, but I thought that drive was setting up to go for the TD, not play for the field goal. Given that the offense wasn’t going to get huge chunks against a very good D, going uptempo even from the 30 wasn’t a terrible call, as long as you get the TD. Didn’t happen.

At the end, the whole “letting them score” thing is a really tough one. Intellectually, it’s probably the right call, if you can save timeouts. I have not seen any data on it, and there probably isn’t much out there at this point. But it would take a lot of guts to let a team score, just so you could then try to score again - when you’ve failed to do it all game long.

Brad, son of John: In the era of Post-Playoff UW, where does this loss rank in terms of personal pain/disappointment for you? Also, I’m you from other dimensions and the rest of us are all smarter than you.

UWDP; Losing to a rival in OT on a defensive breakdown was harder than this one; so the Oregon loss last year is still the number one worst. This one trumps ASU from 2017, which was #2 for me, narrowly edging out Cal from last season. Stanford in 2017 falls to #5, Auburn is now at #6, then the Rose Bowl to Ohio State, and the Fiesta Bowl to Penn State.

You should probably aim higher than being smarter than me. My kids are both smarter than me, which they tell me all the time.

Spanawaydawg: Are the majority of Seniors and last year Seniors recruits that Chris Peterson would’ve recruited while at Boise State, if so, is this one reason we notice games like Cal and will the next three years change this conception?

UWDP: The guys that were fifth-year seniors last year would’ve been welcome additions to most Husky teams. Greg Gaines, Drew Sample, Jojo McIntosh, Kaleb McGary, Jaylen Johnson...the class also included Budda Baker and Sidney Jones, Will Dissly. It was a good class. Maybe Petersen doesn’t offer all of them today.

I think the recruiting has gotten better. I’d expect one or two bad games every year, as all teams have them. The hope is the team has enough to lean on to get them through without the loss.

McKinleyville: This is more of a statement than a question - but do you agree that the special teams did a good job? This was really a problem last year. They look to be much improved over last year. And I hope they can keep this up.

UWDP: There is absolutely nothing to complain about with the special teams. Nice return from Sean McGrew on the lone kickoff return, Aaron Fuller had a nice punt return, good punting...

Too many field goals, but that’s not the fault of any of the special teams players.

Iron Maiden Legacy of the Beast Tour 2019 Blows the Roof off the Tacoma Dome: Seems like the Husky D is blitzing more so far this season - is it? If so, what do you think of the results?

UWDP: I agree that we’re seeing the inside linebackers coming after it a lot. Definitely feels like more than last season, I agree, but I can’t say for sure.

I’d say the results have been mixed. They’ve created some sacks, but also given up some plays that seem like they’re a result of the adjustments that come when players vacate coverage responsibilities. I tend to think it will get better with time, or we’re going to see less of it. Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s both.

Mountain Man: Was at the game, and was one of the folks not smart enough to go home early! That being said, as I was watching, I couldn’t help but notice that Cal’s team sure demonstrated a lot more energy, enthusiasm, and excitement than the Dawgs -- both on the field and on the sidelines, and especially in the 2nd half with the game on the line. This is something I’ve noticed before -- particularly during the “clunker” games of recent past. UW just seems flat at times. Is this something that comes from the top -- coaches? Has Washington been missing emotional leaders on the field -- players? Both? It just felt like UW needed someone to light a fire under their collective ***, and I just didn’t see that happening. Is this a fair observation? And, if so, where can they turn to for that “spark” that seemed to be missing last Saturday?

UWDP: Good on you for staying.

I certainly noticed that Washington didn’t match Cal’s intensity in the second half. I couldn’t say about the first half either way. I didn’t necessarily think the Huskies were flat, but did think Cal got more and more jacked up as they started to seize the momentum.

As you said, this isn’t new, so I don’t think it’s a matter of leadership per se (although I do think it might be an issue in other regards).

I think just about every coach in the country would like an answer as to high to light a fire under a team that’s missing one. It’s a pretty fascinating psychology, really.

Benno: Was the Cal defense that good or was the Husky offense that bad? It is so early in the season it is hard to say which is the true statement. Of course, it doesn’t help that I wasn’t able to see the second half, but the first half I though Cal’s defense looked pretty damn good. The interception was one heck of a play, and the only breakdown they had was on the 4th down play where Ahmed broke free for the TD. So, was it Cal’s defense or the Huskies offense?

UWDP: Cal’s defense is exceptional. Washington’s offense was going to have a tough go no matter what, but they made a handful of really critical mistakes that really didn’t have anything to do with Cal’s defense.

On the whole, I think Cal’s defense played what will end up being an “average” or “moderately above average” game. It wasn’t “out of their minds” good, because they are that good. I think Washington’s offensive effort will be “below average” on the aggregate, so to answer your question, it was both.

I think Washington wins that game with an “average” offensive performance, but the bigger bites for that game come on the other side of the ball - Washington could’ve much more easily improved its performance on the defensive side, and also gotten the win.

What Are The Odds: Seriously, what are the odds a player or fan would have been struck by lightning during Saturday’s game?

UWDP: On average, the earth is struck by 100 lightning bolts per second. The average of being struck in any one year is 1 in 700,000. Over the course of your lifetime, the odds are 1 in 3,000. That’s according to National Geographic.

According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being struck in a year are 1 in 1.2 million, and 1 in 15,300 over the course of your life. There are 270 lightning-related deaths+injuries a year in the US.

Taking all that into account, I think at least 14 people would’ve been killed if the game had been played. That could go as high as 1,100.

depresseddawg: Dan Wolken of USA Today published an article titled “Opinion: Michigan, Washington join FSU, Tennessee in college football misery index”. Here is the section on Washington: “It’s completely legitimate to look at Chris Petersen’s tenure as a big success, having reached three consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games (including one Playoff berth) along with top-15 finishes. At the same time, the Huskies seem to carry around a whiff of fraudulence. They rarely beat anyone good and pretty consistently drop one or two games a year against pretty mediocre opponents while everyone acts as if it’s a shock. But at this point, it’s not a shock that Washington lost to California, 20-19, in a game that was delayed 2 1/2 hours due to severe weather. While the circumstances of the game were odd, the problem was predictable — the Huskies’ offense turned the ball over twice and settled for four field goals after long drives. For Washington, a team many people had pegged into this year’s Playoff, this one goes right alongside losses last season to Oregon and Cal (again) in which its offense just wasn’t good enough and 2017 when the Huskies removed themselves from Playoff contention with losses to unranked Arizona State and Stanford. Any top program can get caught on a given day, but the really elite programs don’t make it a trend. At Washington, it’s happened with regularity, so perhaps it’s time to stop expecting the Huskies to get back into the Playoff.” I ask you, what hasn’t he portrayed accurately above?

UWDP: It’s all pretty accurate. Washington isn’t an “elite” team right now. I’m not sure how many people would argue otherwise, even Husky fans.

I don’t take any issue with what he wrote, but I don’t think it’s particularly insightful. It’s sort of grabbing at low-hanging fruit.

Mossyrock Fan: After Saturday’s debacle, how likely is it for the Huskies to lose home games to USC, Oregon, and Utah? What needs to change to avoid that?

UWDP: I don’t think any fan wants proof of how poorly their team can play, but as long as you knew how good Cal’s D was, you had to know that a loss wasn’t going to be impossible.

As far as I’m concerned, this doesn’t change much for those other games. Washington exposed its dark side, and needs to play better. If the coaches can’t get the little things fixed, they could lose all those games. I don’t think they will, and the team will probably still be favored in all three.

Long Time Lurker: There’s been lots of questions around receiver play for a while now, and it was highlighted again with all of the drops against Cal. Everyone has been clamoring to see the highly rated young players get more opportunities. Now after two games, we’ve seen a few young receivers get on the field for a few plays, though they haven’t caught many passes. Is there anything we can learn from the little bit tape of when they’re out there? Are they getting open but not being targeted, or are they just getting stuffed and staying covered? Are they making good downfield blocks?

UWDP: I haven’t seen anything in the mostly-meaningless snaps those guys have played. There’s been so few, I don’t think there’s anything to take from them, anyway.

Cramming 4 My Early American History Quiz: How many states were in the Union the last time Cal played in the Rose Bowl?

UWDP: Trick question - there was no union then.

All for this week.