UW Huskies Insider

Category: Alamo Bowl


Checking out the 2011 Bowl Game swag

Some people don’t know this, but besides the experience of playing the bowl game, there is plenty of other benefits. There’s the week of free meals, tourist events like visiting Sea World, zoos and theme parks. There’s the learning experience of visiting recovering veterans or children cancer patients at hospitals and experiences everyone else may never get to experience.

But there is more. Each player and coach get a gift pack for participating as well from the bowl sponsor.

For example, this year for playing in the Alamo Bowl, the good folks at Valero made sure that each player

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Wrapping up the Nick Holt firing and few other links

AP photo

Well, yesterday was supposed to be a light day in terms of football coverage and that all changed with the 11 a.m. email we received from the University of Washington informing us of the firing of Nick Holt, Mike Cox and Jeff Mills.

From my story for today’s TNT.

After the Alamo Bowl loss, Sarkisian was adamant to the point of anger that he would evaluate the performance of his defensive staff along with all other facets of the team before making a decision.

Apparently, that evaluation period was less than 48 hours.

For three straight seasons, Sarkisian’s paid coaching staff had remained intact with no departures or dismissals. It was something he prided himself upon. However, that changed shortly before the Alamo Bowl when cornerbacks coach and top Los Angeles recruiter Demetrice Martin left for a similar position with UCLA. Now with the firings of Holt, Mills and Cox, it leaves just line coach Johnny Nansen from the defensive staff.

The three coaches were under contract for 2012, thanks to Sarkisian, who helped get them contract extensions and pay increases. As part of those contracts, all three will receive their 2012 salary in a lump sum within 30 days.

Holt, who was third-highest paid state employee behind Sarkisian and Lorenzo Romar, will receive $650,004. Cox will get $220,008 and Mills will receive $155,000.

The sum is more than $1 million, however the money Washington received from the recent Pacific-12 Conference television deal makes swallowing the deal easier. It also gives athletic director Scott Woodward the leverage to spend more on replacing the coaches.

When Sarkisian was hired in December 2008, he considered Holt one of his most important hires. The two worked together at USC, and it was considered a major coup to lure Holt away from a Trojans squad that was loaded with talent. Initially, Holt turned down the job, but Sarkisian got him to reconsider. Of course, making him the highest paid coordinator in the conference helped.

Holt arrived at Washington and wowed fans and alums with his close-shaved head, a professional wrestler’s mentality and a voice that sounded like he had gargled with sand and rocks. But the cartoonish figure and his animated antics on the sideline soon wore thin on Huskies fans as his defenses struggled on the field.

Opponents vs. UW defense in 2011 Total Rank in school history
Points 467 Highest
Total touchdowns 58 2nd Highest
Rushing touchdowns 32 Highest
Passing touchdowns 22 2nd Highest
Pass completions 305 Highest
Passing yards 3,700 Highest
Passing yards per game 284.6 Highest
Completion percentage 62.8 3rd Highest
Total yards 5,893 Highest
Average total offense per game 453.3 Highest
First downs 297 Highest
Passing first downs 167 Highest

STATISTIC 2008 2011
Points allowed 463 467
Points per game 38.6 35.9
First downs allowed 268 297
Rushing yards allowed 2,887 2,193
Avg. rush yds per game 240.6 168.7
Rushing TDs allowed 33 32
Passing yards allowed 2,534 3,700
Avg. pass yds per game 211.2 284.6
Passing TDs allowed 24 22
Sacks 16 34
Total offense allowed 5,421 5,893
Average yards per play 6.6 6.4
Third-down conversions 75 of 152 88 of 179
Third-down conversion pct. 49.3 49.2
Fourth-down conversions 9 of 17 12 of 20
Fourth-down conversion pct. 53.0 60.0

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UW officials shrug off Holt firing rumors

While I was flying back from  San Antonio, Footballscoop.com put out their daily scoop on coaching changes which included this …

Washington: We are told that Sark has informed his defensive staff that changes will be made. We are told Nick Holt and safeties coach Jeff Mills will not return.

And of course, that touched off a wave of speculation here in the Puget Sound, while I was blissfully unaware cramped into my window seat.

As to the report, the official word from UW officials is there’s nothing to it. Their official position is there nothing to report.


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Wrapping up the Alamo Bowl

Well that was interesting. I can honestly say the first bowl game I’ve ever covered won’t soon be forgotten. Two teams, two offense, two, ahem, defenses and lots of points and touchdowns.

A big thanks to the guys back at the News Tribune copy desk, who dealt with my late arriving copy from what felt like a nine hour games. The guys are under appreciated pros.

From my game story …

The 2011 Alamo Bowl turned into a record-breaking showcase for two dynamic, multi-threat offenses filled with playmakers. Remember the old Holiday Bowls? This

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Baylor postgame press conference transcript

Q. Terrance, do you want to talk about the way to close out your career, what a performance you had tonight, just break it down for me.

TERRANCE GANAWAY: If you don’t mind, I would like to close out our career as a team. It’s all about Baylor. Offensive line played really well, Robert, all the receivers, took a lot of pressure off me. So just going out there and fighting for a win, that’s what we all did, and luckily I was able to put my stitch on the end of the season.

COACH BRILES: I’d call it a

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Washington postgame press conference transcript and audio

COACH SARKISIAN: Can I just start for a minute? I’ll say the Valero Alamo Bowl and ESPN got what they were hoping for tonight. What a game. What a game to be part of for these guys. That’s a good football team, obviously. We knew coming in it wasn’t just about Robert Griffin, it was their entire offensive football team. They weren’t the No. 2 offense in the country just for a fluke. They were good. We knew the challenges

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Game updates: Baylor 67, Washington 56 — 2:28 fourth quarter

Fourth Quarter

2:28 — Washington fails to convert on fourth and 8 and Baylor doesn’t just run the clock out, they scored again as Ganaway scores from 44 yards out. It’s now 67-56 and over.

8:15 — Baylor needs only 1:25 to score again. Robert Griffin III hits Kendall Wright on a 48-yard pass which led to Ganaway’s 4-yard TD run. Baylor leads 60-56

9:40 — Keith Price continues to play like a future Heisman winner. He scrambles away from two tackles and gets into the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown run.  UW leads 56-53

Third quarter

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