While the first two weeks of the season were so miserable I couldn’t stomach doing anything for those Stuff and Shenanigans editions other than fecal-quality poetry, they did teach me one thing: It’s way more enjoyable to write fecal-quality poetry than it is to write actual sensical words (or better-than-fecal-quality poetry).
So today I’m just gonna combine the two.
See, I can more easily hop to it writing this whole thing by tricking myself into thinking it might be mindless and fun, which could only be true if it consists of poems that make you want to claw out your retinas. Then I get to the actual “writing down football thoughts” part of the task and realize that my first idea was, indeed, full of shit.
A 100% Accurate and 94% Sober Rundown of Absolutely Everything
Can has ZTF back? Pretty please?
Roses are red
Violets are awesome
The pass rush was “meh”
I’d prefer it to blossom
Overall, I was mostly pleased with the defense for *checks score* obvious reasons — including one thing I’ll mention below — but was for equally obvious reasons underwhelmed by the pass rush against an opponent where UW otherwise showed off their talent advantage.
They get some leeway for a gameplan presumably focused on containment. My memory of James Blackman from Florida State was that he’s a legit quarterback*, not a runner, but decently mobile enough where you’d probably want to just trust your secondary if you have a talent advantage like Washington had. Still, of the three sacks, one was from a Bookie Radley-Hiles blitz, and another was when Jacobe Covington decked their backup, Hatcher, when he scrambled to the sideline on 4th down and was winding up for one last desperation heave. Granted, I do love me a good nickel blitz, but you’d think that even focusing on containing Blackman, they’d be able to get to him a bit more... right?
It of course didn’t matter in this game, but in conference play it makes me anxious for that mythical ZTF return that’s supposedly happening this season.
*Seriously. That guy was like, the single highlight of the Willie Taggart era at Florida State.
Spare a thought of the linebackers?
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I don’t want to jinx it
So won’t mention in this poem that I thought the inside linebackers looked kinda good
Okay, full disclosure that I only watched the game live and then never rewatched it at all, much less while keeping an eye on the linebackers. So, were I to do that, I might find that the words I’m about to say are garbage. Those words being: The young linebackers I think, maybe, looked, dare I say, perhaps... good?
I know that means little given the quality of opponent (although their offense is a much better part of Arkansas State’s game than their defense), but still. Carson Bruener pleasantly surprised and there weren’t any moments from him or Daniel Heimuli that stood out particularly in a bad way. Considering Washington’s had some moments the last four years that made the inside linebackers resemble the last line of German defense in the fall of Berlin, let’s count this as a victory.
Considering Eddie Ulofoshio was mostly sitting out — presumably precautionarily more than anything serious — the ILB unit could’ve looked more-or-less like ass even with their talent advantage over the opponent.
Points (What are they good for?)
Well, making your opponent have to score them too, for one.
Score more points so that
your defense gets to defend
against the pass, please.
No but like, for real. For real real. For real real?
Granted, it’s not like Arkansas State is a run-first team anyway so they were gonna try to throw it regardless, but they really had to throw it.
This was exactly why it felt like the Michigan game was such a waste — Cade McNamara had a less-than-50% completion percentage and what, 44 passing yards? But John Donovan and Jimmy Lake decided to be crap-for-brainses against Michigan instead of actually trying to do the new age offensive strategy of “scoring points,” which — follow along with me here — would’ve actually forced Michigan to have their own sense of urgency.
Instead the Wolverines got to have a leisurely stroll on the ground. Which just so happens to be the thing Washington’s defense is least equipped to deal with.
But I digress — today is a happy S&S, not one for being bitter about past coulda-beens.
Still, I’m sitting here willing Lake and Donovan to commit to that fact from here on out instead of being too into that “real football” ball control-based Martyball malarkey. Please, O Lord Lake, acknowledge that offense and defense aren’t in opposition. Please.
Because seriously, this as of yet fine-not-great-by-Pete/Lake’s-standards defense would genuinely whoop ass if Washington’s offense committed to last weekend’s strategy and were subsequently potent enough to force opponents to play catchup.
Which, speaking of...
Behold! A running game that isn’t chucking oneself straight into nine dudes every snap!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Isn’t it just grand
To play Sean McGrew
Ain’t it a beauty? (The actually competent rushing approach, not the poem whose quality lies somewhere between “Monet painting” and “Kidd Rock lyric.”)
For the record, I’ve always held the view that a balanced approach to offense that still emphasizes passing to set up the run is the sexiest of offenses. Or, maybe not the sexiest. But certainly the best. (And if you disagree? Well then get yer face out of here! Just kidding. I’m a benevolent overlord that welcomes dissent.)
Just... just look at how much space there is for Lil’ Sean McGrew and Big Rich Newton to play with when A) there’s a proven passing game and B) they’re not going out of a bunched I formation every down? It’s so beautiful!
Or, as I wrote in my notes: “gee a good classic 11 personnel is just so refreshing or sometimes 12 when you use it for mismatch city and 21 personnel can be gr8 if you plan on using it in #deception BUT NOT THAT BULLCRAP AGAINST MICHIGAN GOD and ya know what let’s be bad from time to time and go with 10 let’s do it.” (Oh and son you run out there in 22 you better have a good gee dee reason because you better believe I think you’re full of it.)
I just think, if I saw Jimmy right now, I’d ask: What did Sean McGrew or Richard Newton or Cam Davis do to you? Why do they deserve to get beaten up by a pile of like 10 sweaty barely-adult men in a three yard radius every time they get the ball? Give the boys some space!
The Dawgs’ offensive gameplan was a gift to the running backs. Let’s keep it that way.
Sorry God, Race Porter is my god now
Don’t need no stinkin’ Aussies
When you got R-Ports.
I take back all I’ve ever said about how Americans punting should be illegal. I mean, they should be, but whatever. Race Porter’s just too much fun. His bants game is pro. His punts game is good enough. I’ll miss him.
Lines of the Week
My feelings having just watched that Porter punt:
The first time they ran the ball out of a non-psychotic formation into a non-psychotically stacked box:
Sean McGrew showing he never lost his groove:
All of us, unsure of our thoughts, to JohnDon after last Saturday:
Lastly, oh hey, look! While searching out lines for this week — which I realize really sounds like I’m talking about cocaine — I came across this description of the last two Stuffs and Shenaniganses:
Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.