Here’s my game story.
But the tight deadline didn’t allow time for the usual number of notes and quotes, so we’ll try to fill in some of the blanks here:
Anyone looking for a silver lining? The best I can do is pass along Coach Willingham’s report that it looks like the team came though would any serious injuries. He said he pulled Locker just to protect him and to get Fouch some playing time, not because Locker was hurt.
Otherwise, there was a lot of disappointment. The Huskies seemed very surprised that they had so much trouble running — just 95 yards on 43 carries for a 2.2 yard average. Oregon pushed eight and nine guys down around the line of scimmage, and Washington to try to win through the air. But the UW air game wasn’t up to that either: 147 yards on 17-of-35 passing.
Individually, D’Andre Goodwin had a nice game: eight catches for 67 yards. And tight end Kavario Middleton was probably the outstanding freshman with four catches for 35 yards. But there weren’t any running stars. Chris Polk debuted with 19 yards on 14 carries. Brandon Johnson had 13 yards on seven carries. Jake Locker — the top returning rusher in the Pac-10 — led UW with 57 yards on 16 carries.
“Maybe the best thing we did was defend Locker,” Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. “He is their No. 1 weapon and very difficult to tackle in the open field. Our defense did a great job containing him.”
There wasn’t much to brag about on special teams, either. Mason Foster was the leading tackler, with 10. The UW defense recorded no sacks.
“I don’t think we scored as many points as we could hae for the yardage that we gained (496 total offense),” Bellotti said. “We weren’t as efficient on offense as we could have been.”
Here’s what the some of the Huskies had to say after the game:
That was one that we didn’t anticipate. We felt coming in that we’d fare much better than this and that we’d have a chance to win this football game, even in this difficult environment. The disappoint thing, for one is we couldn’t run the football as we thought we would be able to run the football. And defensively we gave up a few too many big plays that didn’t allow us to keep their offense in check. We thought early in the ball game we got a little better on both sides once we kind of settled into the pace of the ball game. But obviously in the second half we couldn’t maintain that and they were able to pull away from us.
ON THE YOUNG PLAYERS
I thought it was a learning experience for them. I thought in some areas they did pretty good. Probably our tight end got his first start today and I thought he did a pretty good job overall. And I thought there were some other guys who played and made some plays. But still they’ve got to grow. There was no area that we could feel very comfortable about right now in terms of saying that area played very well.
ON BOUNCING BACK NEXT WEEK VS BYU
I think that’s the great thing about youth. They’re probably more resilient than anybody else. They’ll bounce back and they’ll be ready to play. (After the game) I simply told them that there’s a better team in our locker room than we showed on the field and that we do believe we can run the football, we do believe we can pass the football, we do believe we can tackle and eliminate big plays. And we’ll go about the task of doing in.
WERE THEY DISTRACTED BY AUTZEN?
We knew coming in this environment would be difficult. I don’t think anybody tried to downplay that. But I don’t think that was it. I just think we weren’t able to get our game going and generate some things.
QUARTERBACK JAKE LOCKER
We didn’t play as well as we can. We’re not a team that can just come out and win without trying. We have to play as well as we can to win games. No one in this league is a pushover.
LINEBACKER DONALD BUTLER
There is a lot of disappointment because we didn’t expect to come down here and lose. Our expectations were high. I am very disappointed. Things turned out for the worse. … No doubt we have a better team than last year.
FULLBACK PAUL HOMERWe’ll let (the freshmen) know we’re a good team. We’ll get home and see what we did wrong.
TIGHT END KAVARIO MIDDLETON
I’m not too down about the loss. We’ll be back next week. We knew what we did wrong in certain situations, and we’ll get better next time.