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

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July 18, 2008 4:23 PM

Offenisve line ratings and a little more

Posted by Bob Condotta

A rumination on offensive lines and a couple of notes to send you into the weekend:

--- First off, ESPN's Ted Miller ranked the offensive lines today and has UW at No. 3, likely the highest any of Washington's position groupings will rank in any of these things.

That's the same spot we reserved for the Huskies in Lindy's, as well. In fact, we were prepared to put UW No. 2, behind only Cal, when Juan Garcia was hurt and we moved them down a notch.

Miller ranks the top three as Oregon, Cal, UW while Lindy's had it Cal, Oregon, UW. Either way, it points out that the Oregon-UW game will be a matchup of two of the better O-lines in the conference this season, though unfortunately for UW, Garcia will likely be unable to play in that game, lessening Washington's strength just a bit.

One big difference on that day, however, is that the Oregon O-line will be matched up against a UW defensive line that will go into the season considered among the weakest in the conference while the Huskies will go up against an Oregon D-line ranked among the best.

I would imagine Miller is getting ready to soon unveil his D-line rankings. At Lindy's, we had ASU first, Oregon second with UW, which has just one player returning with any experience in DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, dead last.

To me, that matchup --- Oregon's O-line vs. UW's D-line --- looms as the key to the game. Oregon figures to try to just ram it down UW's collective throat. UW will have to prove it can stop that to put some pressure on whoever Oregon's QB is. Otherwise, all the talk about Oregon's inexperience at QB may not matter much if all he has to do is hand or pitch the ball to somebody.

One caveat to the D-line rankings is that it's a pretty down year for that position throughout the conference, so the difference between being No. 2 and No. 10 isn't as great as it could be in other years.

Oregon, for instance, has just two starters returning on the D-line but earned its ranking in Lindy's due in large part to the fact that one of those returnees is one of the best in the nation in DE Nick Reed --- Oregon also returns DE Will Tukuafu and has two seniors likely to step in at tackle.

The Huskies moved the ball pretty easily on Oregon's line last year, however --- the Ducks had only two sacks in the game, both from the secondary (though admittedly it's probably a little dangerous to read much into UW's sacks allowed stats with such a mobile QB as Jake Locker).

Anyway, the rankings of the two O-lines as among the best in the conference points to a lot of points Aug. 30 in Eugene. The big question for the Huskies will likely be whether they can keep up.

NOTES

--- First, someone wanted to know when camp starts. The first practice is slated for Aug. 4, a Monday. We should have a more detailed schedule of events coming soon.

--- Someone else wanted an update on Craig Noble. I haven't heard anything new. I was up at UW yesterday and the guys who were missing earlier are still missing from the bridge program --- it would be too late to get in now. Their status should become clearer once August rolls around and camp starts.

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