UW Huskies Insider

Archives: 2014

Sep.
18th

Pac-12 picks, Week 4: Two conference games make things interesting (sort of)

Arms-folded guy can't believe Arizona is giving 10 points to California this week. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Arms-folded guy can’t believe Arizona is giving 10 points to California this week. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Can California continue its surprisingly hot start? Can Washington State slow the Marcus Mariota Machine? Will anyone ever again pick a Steve Sarkisian-coached team to cover on the road?

Two of those questions will be answered this week. Here are our picks for this week’s games, with all lines courtesy of VegasInsider.com. Lines (in parentheses) are for entertainment and gambling purposes only. As always, our pick for the Washington game will come in a separate post on Friday.

Last week: 7-1 straight-up, 2-5 against the spread

Season: 27-4 straight-up, 12-13 against the spread

Read more »

Sep.
18th

Pac-12 power rankings and national top 25, Week 4

Richard Gerald Neuheisel III came to UCLA's rescue last week. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Richard Gerald Neuheisel III came to UCLA’s rescue last week. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Longtime readers of the News Tribune know that during football season, we publish a Pac-12 power ranking and national top 25 each week. (Also, just want to note that I don’t have a vote in the AP poll this year, so this ranking doesn’t go anywhere but in Thursday’s newspaper. And here.)

Pac-12 power rankings, Week 4 (And a quick note here — the conference power ranking isn’t intended to be a predicted order of finish, or even an order of the best teams, so it might appear more skewed week-to-week than the national ranking. The conference ranking is a weekly snapshot intended to reflect which teams play the best, week to week; which teams are on hot streaks; and which teams are trending downward. For example: USC is not the worst team in the Pac-12. But this week, it is the No. 12 team in our power rankings, despite remaining in our national top 25. Hope that makes sense.) Read more »

Sep.
18th

Q-and-A with Doug Roberson, Georgia State beat writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Our weekly Q-and-A session with a beat writer covering the Huskies’ opponent features Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC), who covers Georgia State football for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Doug answered five questions for us. Here they are.

1. For fans out here who don’t know much about Georgia State, could you give us a little background on their transition to FBS and the kind of resources/budget they’re working with?

Roberson: “The program is in its fifth year of football. It had planned on being an FCS-level team, but as the landscape began to change a few years ago they were approached by the Sun Belt Conference about joining as a full member, which would necessitate playing football on the FBS level. It wasn’t in the original plan, so the program overall is a bit behind in terms of balancing the classes by year in football and in some of the important ancillary things like a strength and conditioning facility. But it has plans put together to improve in those areas.” Read more »

Sep.
18th

Quoting Chris Petersen on progress, punt returns and financial-aid agreements

Here’s everything Huskies coach Chris Petersen told reporters earlier today during his final media availability before Saturday’s game against Georgia State. Some more thoughts on punt returns, plus Petersen’s opinion on financial-aid agreements in recruiting and the idea of an early-signing period.

(On Marcus Peters) “We’re fine. Making progress. We’ll see.”

(What hope to see in terms of offensive improvement this week?) “Offense, defense, special teams, it’s kind of all the same. I’m always so anxious to go get the tape after the game and just see who’s showing up, who’s looking better. That’s why we do this. This is why we coach. This is what we like. We like to put that tape on and say, ‘There it is.’ And it is hard work during the week. Stuff that we’ve been working on for a long time, we’re still going back and going back and going over. So it’s exciting to see: Did we get it right or not? There’s just so many thousands of details you’re trying to shore up. It’s not any one thing. It’s not any one thing; it’s not the run game, it’s not the kicking game — it’s all of it. Is that guy making progress? That’s kind of how we look at it.” Read more »

Sep.
18th

Morning links: Scooping and scoring, Kasen Williams and Pac-12 news

Chris Petersen meets with reporters later this morning for the final time before Washington’s 3 p.m. game Saturday against Georgia State at Husky Stadium (Pac-12 Networks). And now … links.

Here’s our story in today’s newspaper about the Huskies’ emphasis on scoring touchdowns off turnovers, which sometimes means scooping a fumble instead of falling on it.

The Huskies got another recruit to commit yesterday. Read more »

Sep.
17th

Reports: LB prospect Ben Burr-Kirven commits to Washington

Linebacker prospect Ben Burr-Kirven from Sacred Heart Prepatory in Atherton, Calif., has committed to play football for the Washington Huskies, Realdawg.com was the first to report.

Burr-Kirven is considered by Scout.com to be a 3-star recruit and the No. 47 middle linebacker prospect in the 2015 recruiting class. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds on his Scout profile. Read more »

Sep.
17th

Huskies trying to maximize opportunity on ‘country fumbles’

Washington linebacker John Timu smiles on the sideline in the second half against Illinois in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington linebacker John Timu smiles on the sideline in the second half against Illinois in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE – There are “city fumbles,” John Timu explains, and there are “country fumbles.”

A city fumble – ball on the ground, lots of dudes in the area trying to grab it – needs to be dived upon and covered immediately.

But the country fumbles — those that occur away from the obstructive tangle of arms and bodies — represent opportunity. And so Washington’s coaching staff encourages its defensive players to recognize that when a ball is on the ground with enough room to scoop it up and run with it, that they should, well, scoop it up and run with it. They drill this frequently in practice.

That emphasis manifested during the Huskies’ game last week against Illinois, when defensive end Andrew Hudson stripped Illini quarterback Wes Lunt of the football, and Timu sealed off an Illinois player to allow junior linebacker Shaq Thompson to duck in, pluck the ball off the turf and sprint 52 yards unimpeded for a touchdown. Read more »

Sep.
17th

Quoting OC Jonathan Smith on Georgia State, John Ross and backup QBs

Huskies offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith met with reporters earlier today and discussed some details of Georgia State’s defense, more questions about getting the ball to John Ross, and said Jeff Lindquist would be the first quarterback off the bench if something were to happen to Cyler Miles.

(On Georgia State’s defense) “I think they’ve got some athletes that play pretty hard. They’ve been good in regards to getting some turnovers, so we’ve got to be great with the ball. They do play a scheme that can create problems because they blitz you from all different areas. So really focused on identifying things and then taking care of the ball.” Read more »