Luck played into the favor of Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian and his football team this past Saturday. Husky fans let out a collective 'phew' at the end of a game that most experts and insiders saw the Huskies winning easily. Somehow, despite the disappointment and negativity by some of the hardcore fans of the team, the Huskies are 1-0, and cornerback Desmond Trufant and kicker Erik Folk were named Pac-12 players of the week.
Lighten up, Dawg fans. The Huskies are 1-0, and only half of the teams in all of America can say that. Sorry, Oregon.
With that said, there are some serious problems with the Husky defense. If the Eastern Washington Eagles, an FCS team with FCS talent, can pass for 473 yards, I'm horrified at the prospect of what Hawaii, a Division One program that is known for its pass-potent offense can do to the Washington secondary.
What is the consensus opinion among fans after Saturday's performance?
The secondary played terrible, the defensive line created zero pressure on Eagles quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, and Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt was not successful in scheming or preparing his team to face Eastern Washington's spread offense. What the hell happened to the defense that suffocated the Nebraska Cornhuskers and led the Huskies to a Holiday Bowl victory last season?
Maybe Holt didn't blitz as much as he should have, or maybe he should have gone to more man-to-man coverage. Getting into the nitty-gritty is a matter of opinion, but without a doubt, some adjustments need to be made.
One thing that the coaches reiterated and is completely a legitimate fact is that the Husky defense is young and inexperienced. And they played like it too:
The reality of it is when you are playing a lot of young guys you are going to make young-guy mistakes,'' Sarkisian said. "The challenge for us as a coaching staff is to push them and coach them to where we grow from these ballgames as we move forward, said Holt. (Via: Seattle Times)
What needs to happen this week leading up to the Hawaii game? The coaching staff needs to stress the importance of going 100 percent in every move, action and play. In every sport, including baseball and basketball, coaches at all levels reiterate going full-speed with zero hesitation. You're much better off going 100 percent and screwing up that way then being hesitant and not even giving yourself a chance to make the right play with 100 percent effort.
The defense suffered from hesitation, both in the secondary and on the defensive line.
On our end, after evaluating the film, I really feel like we played not to lose. And that's disappointing to me. We played much too cautious, much too cautious a brand of football, said Sarkisian. (Via: Seattle Times)
Not having the veteran leadership of senior cornerback Quinton Richardson on the field hurt this team. In the secondary, sophomore Greg Ducre and junior Anthony Gobern, playing opposite of junior Desmond Trufant, saw more time at defensive back then they had all season long in 2010.
The young guys weren't ready for the onslaught of 69 pass attempts. That's taxing, and that's a lot of pass plays. Good practice for the future? Absolutely.
The Huskies won while generating four turnovers, and now they know about a gaping hole in their defense. Better now than in week three against the No. 10 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Be happy the Huskies are 1-0. The team is riding a five game win streak. I'll only be worried if the secondary does not improve at all this weekend. Holt and the defense will have their hands full against another pass-heavy offense in Hawaii, but hopefully the Eastern Washington game opened their eyes and made them realize what level they need to perform at to be successful.