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Monday Dots: Search for an Oasis

Dawgs return from Tempe with parched defense, prickly outlook

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NCAA Football: Washington at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On a freight train leaving town

Not knowing where I’m bound

No one could change my mind, but Dots tried

  • Despite decades of depressing history, this loss to Arizona State was still an unexpected one. Percy Allen filled in on the UW beat for the Seattle Times and focused on how thin the defensive ranks were due to injuries. In particular, there were freshmen all over the secondary who were pressed into action due to unavailability of more established players. For what it’s worth, the first-choice defensive backfield has not been an iron curtain, either.

  • Allen also had a commentary piece that gave an opposing point of view from Michael Penix- the Huskies need to do better at controlling what they can control. Between health, personnel, strategy, and technique, there is a lot of room for growth, especially on defense. What we see over the final six games will tell us a lot about the coach staff’s mettle in this area.

  • Jon Wilner rightly focuses his Pac-12 column on LA, where both teams remain undefeated and have a CFP light at the end of the tunnel. Wilner also notes that UW’s defensive dominance for most of the last decade has rapidly inverted, with a secondary that looks nothing like the recent vintages.

  • Christian Caple used his notes column to diagnose some of the problems with the UW defense. He’s right, but understates the situation when he says, “Man coverage does not appear to be an overall strength for UW’s secondary at present.” Playing a significant amount of zone would be a drastic schematic change, but no option should be off the table at the moment.

  • Dawgman has a summary of Kalen Deboer’s press conference, which is probably the toughest one he has had as an FBS coach. The coach sounded frustrated with the number of injuries, but resolute that the team can do the work to fix it.