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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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June 11, 2008 4:27 PM

Wednesday notes and links

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few notes and links to pass along:

--- Jon Wilner has this look at who the candidates could be to replace Tom Hansen as Pac-10 commissioner. Of the ones he mentions, one may stand out to UW fans --- Duane Lindberg, currently associate commissioner for electronic communications (which means he handles a lot of the conference's TV stuff). Lindberg is a Tacoma native and a 1979 UW grad who also has his master's from Washington.

--- Speaking of the Pac-10 commish job, a good source told me that it could be filled in as soon as four months. Hansen doesn't leave until July 1, 2009 and Hansen told me the other day that if a replacement is found before then, he will remain in the job to help in the transition.

--- BetUS.com has these odds on the Pac-10 race, as well as comments on every team. Kind of eye-opening that Oregon State is tied with Washington State for being the biggest longshots to win the Pac-10 this year. The comment on UW includes an obvious typo in the record (UW is 11-25 under Tyrone Willingham). And you'll note they are telling their customers to expect a lot of high-scoring games early. I hope they don't charge a whole lot for that kind of insight.

--- This link from CakeRocksTheParty.com gives one reason to like every single team in Division-IA. I figured UW's would be its defensive line but the author surprisingly picks Jake Locker (sarcasm alert).

--- Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Corvallis Gazette-Times gives a good rundown on the Fly Sweep, a play the Beavers began using to great success last season which the Huskies copied late in the year, and plan to use again this year with the likes of Chris Polk.

All for now.

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Posted by coreydillonfan

5:12 PM, Jun 11, 2008

he mentions that Juan Garcia is done for the season, is this true? I thought he was still progressing forward??

Posted by The Swan

5:14 PM, Jun 11, 2008

First

Posted by Formerly Guest

5:40 PM, Jun 11, 2008

I think OSU has gotten the most from the least, out of anyone in our conference, in the last 5 years. Given their tendency to over-achieve in conference, I would pick them between 4th-6th.

Posted by mikey

6:15 PM, Jun 11, 2008

fly sweep was always one of my favorites in madden

Posted by TurbineSeaplane

6:36 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Schedule Predictions:

What does everyone think? Here's what I have:

@ Oregon: Loss
BYU: Win (counting on a good home opener)
Oklahoma: Loss
Stanford: Win
@ Arizona: Win (with Stoops on the hot seat, this could be tough)
OSU: Win (hopefully home off a bye week will help, and that kicker being gone)
ND: Win (we'll see how good they are this year when it all starts)
@ USC: Loss
ASU: Loss
UCLA: Loss (depending upon their QB situation by this point)
@ WSU: Win (barely)
@ Cal: Loss (unless they do the usual quit on the season routine)

So, I have: 6-6 by the skin of our teeth.

Posted by Malibu

7:59 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Hey Turbine. We will win that opener vs. Oregon. And we will beat UCLA at home. I agree with the rest of your assessment. That would be 8 wins. One factor that few are discussing but I think is significant is the re-shuffling of the UW sked done earlier this year. I think it was a brilliant move. After the opener at Oregon, we get to stay home week after week with 2 bye Saturdays mixed in, too The only road game in that entire stretch is at Arizona. This will help us squeak out some good wins during this stretch. We'll need it with USC, ASU and Cal at the end.
Malibu

Posted by Jay

8:12 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Bob,

Can we look forward to your covering the softball team in future?

Posted by mikey

8:26 PM, Jun 11, 2008

@ Oregon: W
BYU: W
Oklahoma: L
Stanford: W
@ Arizona: L
OSU: W (OSU is going to get hit hard)
ND: W
@ USC: L
ASU: L
UCLA: W
@ WSU: W
@ Cal: W

id love to have juan back for these games. and EJ at 100%.

Posted by Malibu

8:33 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Mikey -- What is your thinking on the Arizona loss? That is a curious pick. Seems winable, but I'd like to know what your thinking is.
Malibu

Posted by Jordan

8:56 PM, Jun 11, 2008

If I had to predict (and I hate to because I think we are a team that can beat anybody given who our quarterback is):

@ Oregon: W (Oregon quarterback is confused by all the disguised coverages he has not seen on tape and we steal a close one)
BYU: W (Shootout)
Oklahoma: L (I think this will be very close but our d-line will wear down in the second half)
Stanford: W (Blowout)
@ Arizona: L (We'll overlook them after starting 3-1 and Tuitama puts up 42 against us)
OSU: W (very physical game)
ND: W
@ USC: L
ASU: L
UCLA: L (very close)
@ WSU: W (in a blowout)
@ Cal: W (Cal's season will be over by the time we play them)

Posted by Formerly Guest

8:56 PM, Jun 11, 2008

I can see us going anywhere from 8-4 to 4-8. But here is what I expect-

UO- L
BYU- L
OU- L
Stanford- W
UA- W
OSU- L
ND- W
USC- L
ASU- W
UCLA -W
WSU- W
CAL- L

Posted by Ducks 45 Dawgs 13

9:16 PM, Jun 11, 2008

It's clown time on Montlake. There will be no "W" against Oregon at Autzen. You were all so mesmerized by Double D last year that you think because he's gone you're going to win. Not going to happen. Your D is likely to be the one confused during week 1 with a new coordinator going up against a very fast, loaded, and deceptive offense. Even if the Duck O were to sputter a bit with a new QB, our D is going to be sweet and will stuff your offense. Locker will be facing one of the best secondaries in the country which will keep his completion % at a ripe 45%. Then our DE's will be collapsing the pocket and picking up 5 or 6 sacks. Not to mention it will be at night and the Duck faithful will be loaded and loud. Doesn't bode well for the Dawgs.

Posted by Malibu

9:34 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Ducks 45. Although I think your post is perposterous (I'll admit it could very well be a close, tough game), I do have a serious question for you. Aug. 30 is long before school starts. My (few) Duck friends tell me Autzen is not near as rowdy for Aug/early Sept. games. So, if you can calm down a bit with your chest thumping, won't a good share of your students still be home in August? Now, on the field, even your team last year, with all of your stars hitting on all cylinders in Husky Stadium, found itself tied 31-31 in the second half. Why would your offense with so many new key players be that strong in your season opener. I don't think so. The Huskies will be a solid Pac-10 team next year, especially on offense (even you should admit to that much) -- you won't be playing Rice or San Jose State in that opener. This will be an inspired Husky team playing a NW rival and looking for revenge. The game figures to be more like 31-28. You tout your defense, but there wasn't a defense in the Pac-10 that could shut us down last year. Locker and company will get their yards and points, no doubt about that. So it's your offense that must do the job. Can they?
Malibu

Posted by Bob Condotta

9:47 PM, Jun 11, 2008

CoreyDillon --- There is no set prognosis for Garcia. Despite the recent upbeat report, it's still no given he plays next season. But at the moment, he is making progress. It'll be a month or so before there is much more to know.

Jay --- No. Every once in a while I get called in to help out with stuff like that, just like the Mariners games I do from time-to-time. That's all that was.

Posted by Malibu

10:13 PM, Jun 11, 2008

I know it's early, but hey it's time for stuff like this.
Ducks have not had a big rival home game this early in the season in recent memory, and quite franklyhaven't been very impressive at home in their Aug/Sept. openers. Even in the big 2001 season (11-1 record), they beat Wisconcin in a Sept. 1 home game 31-28. In 2003, first home game was Sept. 6, a 31-23 lackluster win over Nevada. In 2004 Ducks LOST home opener to Indiana 30-24 on Sept. 11, and in 2005 they beat Montana Sept. 10 47-14 and the next week barely squeaked by Fresno State at home 37-34. In 2006, it was lowly Stanford Sept. 2. Of course, there were a few great road wins early on -- Michigan, etc. But this will undoubtedly be the biggest home opener and the earliest home opener for the Ducks in recent years. I think they are vulnerable this year in such a game this early, given all the new names in the lineup.
Malibu

Posted by poster

10:32 PM, Jun 11, 2008

I simply would not be surprised if the Huskies win at Autzen.

We'll know a fair amount during that game about the leadership of the team and how well prepared will be for the season. Oregon is no joke, and comes ready to play at Autzen, August or not.

One of the more curious things to me about this last season is the combination of the lack of depth on the D-line and the inability to sustain drives. The low conversion % to first down (from any down), coupled with the thin D-line, would mean they'd see very long stretches on the field in the second half, get tired, and then the rest of the defense which may have been average was simply overmatched. Even with Garcia out I believe our offensive line will be strong, I believe some of our young skill players will show well (particularly with the front 7 having to cheat up because of Locker), and to address the curiosity above, the D-line will have more bodies, even if they are inexperienced while the offense will improve it's conversion %. A minor change in conversion % helps the D tremendously, and the depth on the D-line should show in the 4th quarter (exactly when it didn't last year).

Say what you want about Willingham, but the team is going to have a physical and demanding warm-up to the Oregon game, Locker will show he is an improved leader in workouts/practices (not just a warrior), and the new DC is a plus for the Huskies, not Oregon.

One of my main concerns about next year is the health of Locker. Certainly he's tough as hell, but that could be what hurts him. Personally, I think he'll be fine, but the loss of him will change the season.

We'll have achieved nothing at work all Friday afternoon, thought about the game when having dinner with our family (whoever) on Friday, we'll have woken up through-out the night and listened to the sounds outside, we'll fidget like a spoiled kid on Christmas Eve until 7:00pm on Saturday when we'll have a drink in hand and even the wife in front of the T.V. for opening kick-off, and then we'll start to remember what it was like an admitted long time ago... and when it's all said and done:
UW 35 - UO 30

Posted by Malibu

10:32 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Bob -- Apparently, kind of a quiet night. I've been quiet myself recently on the blog, but thought I'd get a little warmed up tonight. :) Thanks for the great daily links and updates. One quick question: What is the date for the beginning of fall practices? Thanks.
Malibu

Posted by Malibu

10:38 PM, Jun 11, 2008

There is some life tonight, after all. Nice post "poster." Yeah, the last 24 hours before any Husky game is torture. It's been better the last couple of years because of Bob's blog. Hanging out here on Friday night is good therapy. :) All the regulars check in Friday night during the season and it gets pretty lively.
Malibu

Posted by kdawg

10:43 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Just thought I'd throw in my comments from the desert. ASU is beatable. They are steaky over the course of a season and in each game they play, which is mostly due to an erratic Rudy Carpenter at QB. I feel positive the Dawgs will win that one - so much so that I'm bringing my ASU buddies to Husky Stadium to watch the defeat in person. The key to beating ASU is simple - play consistently over sixty minutes. The Dawgs might not be able to do that early in the season, but by Nov. 8, I think they'll be able to do it.

Posted by poster

10:44 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Yes, it's not my first rodeo, I typically copy my post before I try to post it. :) Point being, I'm on here to check it out on Friday nights but don't often post here. I just sit and think about it, and only once have I spilled Guinness into my keyboard (ever, as it currently stands).

I think not enough was made of the combination of the conversion % and D-line lack of depth. Certainly it was talked about, but we saw at times where we could do well against good teams, but the combined weakness is amplified in the 2nd half. I believe even a 5-10% conversion % increase, which is realistic if Jake even points his left foot at the receiver when he throws (he'll improve, don't know how much yet), and the D-line depth will combine to make the 4th quarter look more like the 2nd and 3rd. Which, come to think of it, if we did that last year we really get 2 more wins, and up to 5 more.

Seemingly small, but not at all.

Posted by Malibu

10:57 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Hey kdawg. Hope all is well there. ASU will be interesting to watch this year. That game at home is winable, no doubt. We'll be coming to Tucson for the Arizona game so if you go may see you there.
Poster -- Yeah, it was infuriating wasn't it to see all the 3 and outs, just when we seemed to be able to get on top of somebody. You make a great point about even a small percentage of improved sustained drives will really help the defense. I think the new talent and speed on offense, plus Locker's natural progression in leadership and skills, will be the difference. Izbicki, Middleton, Boyles, Polk etc. etc. really gives Locker some new talent to go to. We better use those tight ends this year, though!
Malibu

Posted by kdawg

11:02 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Malibu, when the time for the UA game gets closer, maybe we can connect! It was good to read your warm-up comments today.

Posted by Bob Condotta

11:04 PM, Jun 11, 2008

As far as I know, the first practice is Aug. 4. That could change by a day or two, but with the opener on Aug. 30, it has to be right around there no matter what.

Posted by poster

11:08 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Malibu,

Yes, I'm just hoping that if it turns out that way and we get it done (no surprise to me), and the "Ducks 45" poster up above feels like we did in '94, that we can remember we've won before and respect a great program/opponent... but, if we beat the Ducks at Autzen and the hometown crazies back in the U District make it look like Detroit the day after Halloween (or any day, for that matter), well, we'll still have beat the Ducks at Autzen.

That alone would change some expectations, for better or worse...

Posted by Malibu

11:29 PM, Jun 11, 2008

Yeah baby. Nothing better than beating the Ducks. What a huge win this would be for our program. Thanks Bob for the fall practice date. I don't suppose TW will alter his no media policy, which is the one real disagreement I have with him. This isn't a private school -- the citizens of the state of Washington pay his salary. Those citizens have a right to be there. . . . the media representing us, that is, as our surrogate. That's one thing I really appreciated about Rick N. -- even the Rose Bowl practices down here were open. . . .Oh, let's not get started on that again . . .
Malibu

Posted by NINETY-ONE

1:21 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Something no one has mentioned about this year's trip to Autzen is that school will not yet be in session. Anyone know how this typically affects attendance numbers down there?

Posted by HMFD 82

1:59 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Ninety-one

School will not have begun for them, and I believe that's a huge factor. Being apart of the husky alumni band, we are usually aloud to join the varsity band on non-conference road trips such as Syracuse last year and Oklahoma a couple years ago, as long as we clear it with the director. With no non conference road games this year, the alumni band doesn't just have the chance to join the varsity band in playing in the stands, but have the chance to perform pregame as well. There was rumor that becuase school had not started for either school, but specifically oregon becuase it's in Autzen, the husky band may be bigger than UO's band.

I believe it will be very unusual for both teams to be playing eachother this early in the year, but more so in oregons case, especially with such a rivalry, they may be unprepared mentally, fans and the football team.

On another topic, what I found interesting was seeing phil steeles prediction with Cal finishing 2nd and UCLA finishing what was it, 6th? Just didn't look right, maybe the other way around, and he didn't have Daniel Teo' Neshiem(sp?) in any of his top 4 all conference teams. Plus Phil's the only one so far to not have Locker in the top two all conference teams, beaten out by Tuitama, and Lockers on the third all pac10 team.

For us to beat ASU, I believe we just have to keep our cool. Ericksons teams always have the most penalties in which league he's coaching in(I could be wrong, but near the top every year).

Whatever,

Go Dawgs!!!

Posted by Jordan

7:52 AM, Jun 12, 2008

I completely forgot about school not being in session. That is a great point Ninety-one. I am even more confident we are going to win that game. I find it so funny that Suck fans even come one this blog. But also that they come on here talking about how stout their defense is. Their defense is terrible. It was terrible last year. It is almost always terrible. We put up 34 points on them and I didn't feel we played a very good game offensively. (especially in the 4th quarter) The Suck offense was impressive last year, no doubt. But they have lost your starting quarterback and their starting running back. You don't start a season and not feel that in offensive production if you're USC let alone Oregon.

And no offense to Dennis Dixon on the mouth but Jonathon Stewart made him look very good. Jonathon Stewart not Dixon on the mouth was what made that offense because you had to account for him on every play and the second you over-adjusted Dixon the mouth would hurt you.

The Sucks are very beatable. Don't buy into their garbage. No Stewart. No Dixon on the mouth. School not in session = Washington 38 Oregon 24.
Oh yeah and the last Oregon Rose Bowl victory : 1917!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Bob Condotta

8:25 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Malibu --- No chance of that happening this year. If anything, restrictions are going to be even tighter as they attempt to get to the Oregon game without anything getting out about changes they are making defensively (or us writing inaccurately about the QB overthrowing the receivers).

Posted by Red

9:25 AM, Jun 12, 2008

jordan,

Do you realize that Oregon's 3rd string RB Crenshaw put over 100 yards on our defense last year!

Quickly, other than Locker and Teo name another player on UW that would start for Oregon.

There isn't one.

Ducks are 12-1 in home openers under Belloti. I like your confidence but I think it is unfounded.

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

10:47 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Red, how about EJ Savannah? What about Ryan Tolar since he is better than any of their starting guards? Donald Butler probably too since he's better than John Bacon and Bacon is coming off an ACL tear. Mason Foster may be as well. Tough to know about Elisara since their two DTs were injured last year and I doubt either have as much potential as Elisara does. Paul Homer would start if they had a FB.

If anything, the Yucks simply have more experience due to having the same staff in place the last 5 years while the Dawgs obviously do not. Doesn't mean that equates to more talent though.

Posted by kirkland wisdom

11:30 AM, Jun 12, 2008

Ducks have experience. Of their 22 starters, 14 are seniors. Next year they will be underclassmen, but this year they are experienced.

Posted by red

11:37 AM, Jun 12, 2008

NY husky,

EJ Savanah would never be a starter at Oregon and shouldn't have been at UW. (Cannot really argue the point anyway since he will be on bench in game one) But, as far as I am concerned he is and will be forever considered an amazing bust. Players that show lack of commitment to offseason conditioning shouldn't get the nod.

Additionally, Bacon is not the ducks starter at LB. It would be Casey Mathews. He is a good one with NFL pedigree.
You may be right about Butler and Tolar, good catch. Also correct on FB since ducks don't utilize it is a nonissue.

So what have we, 4,5 or at best 6 players that would start over their UO counterparts. What about other positions? I say Oregon has 3 runningbacks better than our starter, at least 2 wr that are better than our best. Oregon has a secondary that looks like may be the best in the conference.


This is a HUGE talent gap, Not to say it is impossible to overcome but I don't have very high hopes.

Posted by Husky19

1:44 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Oregon's defense will actually be their strength this year. That seconary looks pretty darn good with those 2 corners.

UW will need to utilize the wholle field, push the boundaries as much as possible with that fly sweep type of play. That is the only way to get the Oregon corners looking around and not get into their game (because if they do, they are good).

We need Locker and Polk/Shaw to push the edges and Homer and Johnson to ram it up the middle of the field. This will open up a lot of play action to the TE. The UW WR's will not be as big a factor in the game plan (unless they exceed expectations) but should be enough to keep the ducks honest.

I think the wild card is the UW defense. It appears to be a weakness but I would argue that. With a stronger secondary, better LB play and experience, a young DL that has at least one major leader on the field, and Donatell, I think the UW D will surprise.

The Oregon offense is supposed to be the strength but with a relatively inexperienced QB and a RB from a JC (albeit a good one), the ducks will have a hard time getting into a rhythm. Plus I think that the new RB will have a hard time picking up blitzes. The whole offense begins and ends with the QB play since it is a wide open passing offense with a lot of timing. Ducks would be best served using a running QB in the opener like Costa but if not, it will be a VERY long day for that offense.

UW wins a close one.

And I also predict UW upsets USC this year.

Posted by Jordan

3:18 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Red,

Yes I do realize that about Crenshaw. Do you realize that most of that came late in the game when our d-line was playing even worse than they normally did last year because they were exhausted from chasing Stewart and Dixon the mouth all day .

Secondly, your point about who on UW's team would start for Oregon there are more than two. But I think it is pointless to debate. It doesn't matter who has more talent at each position. It matters who has the better team. It matters how individual players play as a team. Less talented teams beat better players all the time. Just ask JH about Notre Dame.

I do get your point about being tough at home. You're absolutely right about that. But so what. As someone else said on this blog a few days ago, the quarterback position is the most important position on the field. And when you have the best player on the field for either team as your quarterback you can win anywhere against anyone. Last year, Dixon the mouth and in my opinion Stewart were the two best players on the field. Locker was third. But this year Locker will be the best player on the field and he will have the ball in his hands every time UW has the ball.

But you know what you well could be right. But that's the beauty of college football; the outcome is decided on the field not on a Blog. We'll find out on Aug 30.

Last Oregon Rose Bowl victory: 1917!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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