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Jerry Brewer explains the thinking behind his columns and invites readers to express their views on the sports world.

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August 31, 2008 12:18 AM

Husky Recap, Game 1

Posted by Jerry Brewer

Oregon 44, Washington 10

We will keep this one pretty short because 44-10 pretty much says it all.

The Huskies were awful. They were ill-prepared for this game. The offense was bad. The defense was bad. The players lacked competitive edge. The coaches were even worse.

It's never a good thing when your new defensive coordinator says after the game, "They just out-answered us in the second half." It's never a good thing when your head coach already feels the need to emphasize how much he believes in his team after one game. It's never a good thing when a coach maligned for poor in-game adjustments watches his team get outscored 30-0 in the second half of the season opener.

For all the talk about change, there was no change.

For all the talk about reviving the defense under Ed Donatell, the Huskies still allowed 496 yards to a transitioning Oregon offense that rummaged through three quarterbacks.

For all the talk about quarterback Jake Locker taking the next step, he was unimpressive as inexperienced receivers and running backs, poor offensive-line play and questionable play-calling assisted his poor performance.

The last time a Husky football coach on the brink of an axing visited Autzen Stadium, Keith Gilbertson lost 31-6 to Oregon. Two days later, the end of his tenure was announced.

Now, that doesn't figure to happen to Willingham. The Huskies had a 1-7 record when Gilbertson's forced resignation occurred. He coached the three remaining games, and then Washington hired Willingham. After one game, even a game this bad, there's no way UW would make a coaching change.

But if that Oregon game signaled the end for Gilbertson, we might look back at this Oregon game as the unofficial end of the Willingham era.

I hope not. I hope the team will rally and make something of this season. After covering the Sonics' departure and the Mariners' collapse already this year, I'd like to write about something more upbeat. At the same time, those experiences have served as a tutorial on sensing disaster. And if you can't tell that the building is on fire after Saturday's game, then you need to get your nose and eyes examined.

That's enough for tonight. After a game like this, all you can do is rant. Most troubling is that this game provides a permanent roadmap of how to beat the Huskies.

"We're going to have to have an answer for this because when you get this on film, everybody's going to see it," offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said.

All of their flaws are exposed. At least I think that's all of their flaws.


Current reading on 1-10 scale (1 = buying green bananas, 10 = putting house on the market): 7.5

Optimistic thought: It can't get any worse.

Pessimistic thought: With BYU and Oklahoma on deck, it won't get any better any time soon.

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