Friday, October 26, 2012
The Washington Huskies(3-4,1-3) are riding a three game losing streak and they are hosting another top 10 team in undefeated #7 Oregon State Beavers(6-0, 4-0) this Saturday. There has been plenty of talk on the message boards and even columnist about the future of Huskies fourth year head coach Steve Sarkisian. Also talk about struggling quarterback Keith Price who hasn't played well this year. The Huskies offense has been awful this year and they are facing a tough Oregon State team who is only allowing 16.5 points per game. The Huskies who have lost all three road games by 30 plus points can't afford a loss here at home with three of their final four games at home. The Beavers despite getting owned historically in this series have won seven of their last eight meetings against the Huskies including last year 38-21 down in Corvallis.
The Huskies passing offense has been terrible this year which was supposed to be the strength. Price hasn't looked at all like himself this season as he is a turnover machine as of late. In the last three games which were all losses Price has turned the ball over 10 times.
For the season he is 143-238 passing (60.1%) for 1,336 yards(5.6 YPA) with 8 TD's to 8 interceptions. He has ran for 16 net yards but take away the 143 yards he has lost in sacks he has ran for 159 yards this season(22.7 yards per game). He clearly isn't himself and seems affected by a struggling offensive line. He also has no trust in his receivers not named Kasen Williams. Price last year was a guy who had no expectations while this year he is struggling to cope with all the pressure being on him.
In the 38-21 loss last year to the Beavers Price didn't start. In fact Nick Montana made his only start of the season. Price did come off the bench to complete five of nine(55.6%) for 76 yards(8.4 YPA) with a touchdown and an interception. Had Price started that game perhaps the Huskies win instead they lost yet another game on the road.
If Mannion can't go the Beavers are in good hands with Cody Vaz who is 36-58(62.1%) passing for 506 yards(8.7 YPA) with three touchdowns while not throwing an interception. The improved play at the quarterback position along with their stellar defense is a big reason why the Beavers are undefeated this season.
His backup true freshman Kendyl Taylor has played well too. Taylor on the year has ran for 96 yards on 15 carries(6.4 YPC). He busted a 30 yard run last week in the loss to Arizona. He also has eight receptions for 47 yards(5.9 YPC) as he began the year as the Huskies starting wide receiver. Teams this year are only averaging 80.3 yards rushing against the Beavers and only 2.9 yards per carry. The Huskies must establish a rushing attack to help the struggling Keith Price. If Sarkisian avoids running the ball like he has the last couple of weeks the Huskies could be in line to get blown out once again.
Woods has also caught 19 passes for 147 yards(7.7 YPC). The Beavers rushing attack hasn't been that good this year averaging only 3.1 YPC on the season. Woods has only had one 100 yard rushing performance on the season as well. The Huskies defense has struggled against the run giving up an average of 196 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. The Beavers offense isn't very explosive so look for them to try and control the clock and play field position as they wait for the Huskies to self destruct.
Another weapon in the passing game who is doing well is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. For the season he has 37 receptions for 447 yards with three touchdowns. Last year against the Beavers he had six receptions for 40 yards with two touchdowns. Problem for the Huskies is they aren't getting any production from anyone else. DiAndre Campbell has just nine receptions for 96 yards with a touchdown. Jaydon Mickens has only 13 receptions for 70 yards. If Williams or Seferian-Jenkins aren't making a play in the passing game then the Huskies are getting shut down. The Beavers pass defense has allowed only seven passing touchdowns while intercepting 12 passes this year.
Wheaton is having a great year this year catching 48 passes for 654 yards(13.6 YPC) with six touchdowns. He has also ran the ball 10 times for 38 yards(3.8 YPC) with a touchdown.
Another weapon for the Beavers is Brandin Cooks who has 35 receptions for 667 yards(19.1 YPC) with two touchdowns. He has ran the ball nine times for 39 yards(4.2 YPC). The Huskies pass defense this year has allowed only 184 yards passing a game with 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions. The Huskies defense has only recorded nine sacks on the season while giving up 21 sacks.
The Huskies face the most important game in the Sarkisian era this Saturday. Despite being undefeated and ranked in the top 10 the Beavers are only 4.5 point favorites against the Huskies this Saturday. The Huskies have played well this year at home as they are 3-1 with their only loss being by 10 points to USC. Sarkisian is 17-7 at home in career at home. The Huskies tend to play better at home and haven't lost back to back home games in the Sarkisian era since losing to Nebraska and Arizona State back in early 2010. The Beavers have a strong defense and average offense. While the Huskies have an average defense with an awful offense who has shown it can be productive last year. Perhaps this is finally the week the Huskies offense has that break out game.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
The Washington Huskies(3-4,1-3) were blown out by 30+ points for the third time this season under fourth year head coach Steve Sarkisian. The first two times were to the #2 team in the nation but this time was to the Arizona Wildcats(4-3,1-3) who had lost three in a row coming into this game. Sarkisian the offensive "guru" has seen his offense become a disaster this season. While his defense has improved it is still a very poor defense. Sarkisian now falls to 22-23 as a head coach and is 20-23 vs D-1 schools. He is also 4-15 on the road. Sarkisian despite having some talented players on his roster has proven that he isn't the head coach that many had hoped he would be. I was never a supporter of Sarkisian and I've noticed people are finally agreeing with me on him.
Instead of blaming the players like what most crappy coaches do Sarkisian should look in the mirror. He was getting blown out with Jake Locker, now he's getting blown out with Keith Price. He was getting blown out with Willingham's guys, now he's getting blown out with his guys. He was getting blown out with Nick Holt, now he's getting blown out with Justin Wilcox. Perhaps instead of blaming all those guys we finally put that blame on Sarkisian where it belongs. Sarkisian isn't the guy to lead the Huskies to a Rose Bowl title he has way too many red flags. If fans want to continue to ignore these red flags then you are quickly becoming in the vast minority. The red flags are obvious that Sarkisian is closer to being Tyrone Willingham than he is Jim Lambright, Rick Neuheisel and especially Don James(the standard). Sarkisian was a bad hire to begin with as he had no head coaching experience. Hopefully after this year the Sarkisian experiment at Montlake is finally over as this team is no better than the team he took over as head coach in 2009. Actually I think this team is worse than 2009.
Friday, October 12, 2012
The Washington Huskies(3-2,1-1) led by former USC assistant Steve Sarkisian host his old team #11 USC Trojans(4-1,2-1) led by senior quarterback Matt Barkley. The Trojans began the year as the #1 ranked team but after losing to Stanford 21-14(who the Huskies beat immediately after) the Trojans are now turning their hopes on still winning their first conference championship since 2008. For the Huskies they are hoping to rebound from their embarrassing defeat last week to #2 Oregon 52-21. Sarkisian will take on his friend and former colleague at USC Lane Kiffin. Sarkisian is 2-1 all-time against his former team having pulled off the upset against #3 USC 16-13 in 2009 and again in 2010 defeating #18 USC down in the coliseum 32-31. Last year was a different story as #18 USC destroyed the Huskies 40-17 down in the coliseum. The Huskies who are currently 3-0 at home are hoping to extend the winning ways at home. In the last two years the Huskies are 9-1 at home.
This year Price is struggling. His numbers on the year are 94-158(59.5%) passing for 882 yards(5.6 YPA) with only five touchdowns to four interceptions. Price like the rest of the Huskies offense just doesn't look the same at all which is a big reason why the offense is struggling so badly. Currently ranks 107th in the nation, the running game is 87th in the nation. The Huskies offense is 97th in the nation in scoring which includes 52 points against an FCS school. Against D-1 schools the Huskies are averaging only 15.5 points per game which is pathetic. That falls on Price as this match up heading into the year was supposed to be a battle of the two best quarterbacks in the conference.
Except that heading into the year Lee was supposed to be the #2 receiver as Robert Woods was supposed to be the guy. Last year against the Huskies Woods wasn't a factor as he had just two receptions for five yards and was shutout the previous year. Still didn't stop Woods from catching 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. This year Woods has 31 receptions for 272 yards(8.8 YPC) with five touchdowns. He also has one carry for 76 yards. With Trufant only able to cover one guy look for them to pick on Tre Watson quite a bit. Shaq Thompson who plays a lot of linebacker lately might have to play more safety this game.
The other talented player is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who is having a quiet conference season so far. Even with that he has 24 receptions for 254 yards(10.6 YPC) with a touchdown. Last year against USC he caught four passes for 48 yards. After those two there is a big drop off in production for the Huskies. DiAndre Campbell has six receptions for 51 yards with a touchdown. True freshman Jaydon Mickens who is from L.A. has seven receptions for 46 yards. The Huskies passing game hasn't gone over 200 yards in four straight games. They must get their passing game going to have any chance at the upset.
The other back McNeal killed the Huskies last year as he ran for 148 yards on 18 carries(8.2 YPC) with a 79 yard touchdown run. This year McNeal has ran for 225 yards on 33 carries(6.8 YPC). The fact the Trojans have two excellent wide receivers to go with a top tier quarterback means teams load up to stop the pass. Which makes it even more difficult to defend as the Trojans have talented running backs who can beat you on the ground. Justin Wilcox is going to have his hands full in this game.
Backing up Sankey is Kendyl Taylor who has ran for 38 yards on nine carries(4.2 YPC) and has five receptions for 34 yards. Taylor began the year as the Huskies starting wide receiver. Erich Wilson has ran for 140 yards on 25 carries(5.6 YPC) with a touchdown. Dezden Petty has ran for 99 yards on 29 carries(3.4 YPC) as he is the short yardage back for the Huskies. The Huskies only shot at the upset is running the ball effectively which could lead to play action passing.
If the Huskies can somehow win this game that would put them at 4-2 and probably back in the rankings as they would defeat another ranked opponent. A loss here puts the Huskies at 3-3 as they face the second half of their schedule which they went 5-1 against those same teams last year. The Huskies must get their offense back together and in particular Keith Price who has been struggling badly. The Trojans defense let Josh Nunes look like a decent quarterback so perhaps there is hope for Price this week against the Trojans. If the Huskies were to pull off this upset they must pressure the Trojans offensive line which appears to be the only weakness for the Trojans offense. They had problems against Stanford and Utah's defensive line and the Huskies can only hope they have those same problems. This should be a big game for the Huskies as whenever Sarkisian takes on the Trojans it is always a huge game. This game has a bigger feel to it because this is the last "great" team on the Huskies schedule and with a win here the Huskies can start dreaming of big things for this season.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
For the ninth straight season the #2 Oregon Ducks(6-0,3-0) destroyed the #23 Washington Huskies(3-2,1-1) 52-21 in a game that was never close. Once again Steve Sarkisian saw his Huskies blown out in a big game showing that the Huskies are further away from being a serious contender in this conference than they had hoped. The Ducks were led by freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota throwing four touchdown passes and the Ducks offense ran for 299 yards on the Huskies. For the fourth straight week Huskies quarterback Keith Price failed to throw for 200 yards and he threw two interceptions. For the second straight week Price threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The Huskies played a sloppy game committing five turnovers and having over 100 yards in penalties. Which has become a bad theme the Huskies proved once again they aren't ready for the Ducks.
The Huskies offense would go three and out. The Ducks drove down to the Huskies 24 yard line as Rob Beard missed a 41 yard field goal. The Huskies actually showed some life starting from their own 24 yard line. Taylor began the drive with a gain of eight yards to their own 32 yard line. After a short run facing a third and one from the 33 yard line the Huskies had a play action pass as Price connected with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of 28 yards down to the Oregon 39 yard line. On that play Seferian-Jenkins suffered an injury and didn't return to the game. After a two yard run by Sankey, Price connected with Williams for a gain of eight yards to the Oregon 29 yard line. Price would scramble for 10 more yards to the Oregon 19 yard line. That is where the Huskies offense would stall as Sarkisian chose to go for it trailing by 28 points and Price threw an incomplete pass.
Keith Price was terrible in the first half completing 13-22(59.0%) of his passes for 116 yards(5.3 YPA) with a costly interception. He ran four times for 15 yards with a costly fumble. His main target was Kasen Williams who had five receptions for 42 yards. Seferian-Jenkins had two receptions for 33 yards. Kendyl Taylor had two receptions for 17 yards with a rush of nine yards. Jaydon Mickens had two receptions for 13 yards. Bishop Sankey added 62 yards on 13 carries(4.7 YPC) with a touchdown.
For the Ducks they were led by their quarterback Marcus Mariota who was 10-18(55.5%) passing for 160 yards(8.8 YPA) with three touchdowns and one interception. He also had five carries for 34 yards. His main target was his tight end Lyerla who had two receptions for 58 yards with a touchdown. Josh Huff had the one grab for a 34 yard touchdown. Kenjon Barner had 83 yards rushing on 13 carries(6.3 YPC). While DeAnthony Thomas had 42 yards rushing on six carries(7.0 YPC) with a touchdown. He also added one reception for 12 yards. It was total domination by the Ducks in the first half over the Huskies.
Sankey would rush for four yards, then Price would hit Bruns for eight yards to the Oregon 42 yard line. Sankey would rush for four yards followed by Taylor for two yards. On third and four Taylor would rush for five yards to the Oregon 31 yard line. Sankey would rush for seven yards to the 24 yard line. Facing a third and five from the 26 Price would hit Campbell for a gain of seven yards to the 19 yard line. Price would hit Bruns for five yards to the 14 yard line. Taylor would rush for four yards setting up a third and one from the 10 yard line. Price would hit tight end Evan Hudson for a gain of four yards to set up first and goal from the six yard line. Sankey would appear to be stopped for a loss but would break a couple of tacklers as he would spin into the end zone for his second score of the game cutting the lead to 38-14.
The Ducks would fumble the punt on their next possession and despite being handed the ball on the 17 yard line the Huskies couldn't take advantage. Facing a third and one from the eight yard line Price would throw his second interception of the game as he would be held out of the end zone.
The Huskies would have one last drive left in them though for pride. Starting from their own 45 yard line, Dezden Petty would rush for 14 yards to the Oregon 41 yard line. Petty would rush for eight more yards to the Oregon 33 yard line. Erich Wilson would then rush for seven yards to the 26 yard line then again for nine yards to the Oregon 17 yard line. Wilson on second and one would rush for five yards to the 12 yard line. Petty would rush up the middle for five yards to the seven yard line, then for three more to the four yard line setting up a third and two. Petty would rush for three yards to get the first down and set up a 1st and goal from the one. Wilson would then rush for his first career rushing touchdown for the Huskies as he cut the lead to 52-21.
The lone bright spot was the running game which ran for 208 yards led by Bishop Sankey. Sankey ran for 104 yards on 25 carries(4.2 YPC) with two touchdowns. Dezden Petty had five carries for 34 yards(6.8 YPC), Kendyl Taylor had five carries for 29 yards(5.8 YPC) while also having three receptions for 17 yards. Erich Wilson had four carries for 21 yards(5.3 YPC) with a touchdown. The running game did well for the Huskies and has done well the last three weeks. The passing game for the fourth straight week failed to reach 200 yards passing.
The Ducks ran for 299 yards on the day led by Kenjon Barner who ran for 122 yards on 20 carries(6.1 YPC). DeAnthony Thomas had 75 yards rushing on 10 carries(7.5 YPC) with a touchdown plus caught a pass for 12 yards. Byron Marshall ran for 59 yards on eight carries(7.4 YPC) with a touchdown. Tight end Colt Lyerla caught three passes for 71 yards with two touchdowns while also rushing for four yards. It was a dominate effort by the Ducks who held back most of the second half.
For the Huskies for the second time this year they were reminded they have a long ways to go before they are an elite team. The Huskies were out played, out classed, and out coached in this game as they weren't prepared for the moment. The Huskies shot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties and worse yet costly turnovers. The Ducks killed the Huskies by over 30 points despite letting up in the second half as Chip Kelly was taking it easy on his good friend Steve Sarkisian. For the Huskies who had a once proud program at what point will these blowout losses be too much? The Huskies must like they did against the LSU Tigers and move on. It is a shame that the Huskies in Sarkisian's fourth year just aren't able to compete with teams like Oregon still.
For the season Sankey has ran for 433 yards(4.9 YPC) with six touchdowns through five games. In the last three games Sankey has ran for 351 yards(117 yards per game) on 59 carries(5.9 YPC) with five touchdowns. For the season Sankey is on pace to rush for 1,039 yards with 14.5 touchdowns. That is also for a 12 game season not including the bowl game so safe to say Sankey would more than be the bright spot on the season for the Huskies.
He has caught a touchdown pass in all three Husky wins while being shutout of the end zone in both losses. In the Huskies three wins Williams has 22 receptions(7.3 per game) for 273 yards(91 yards per game, 12.4 YPC) with three touchdowns. In the two losses he has only nine receptions(4.5 per game) for 67 yards(33.5 yards per game, 7.4 YPC) with zero touchdowns. Basically if you shutdown Kasen Williams you beat the Huskies.
For the year Williams has 31 receptions for 340 yards(11.0 YPC) with three touchdowns. That would put him on pace to finish with 74.4 receptions for 816 yards with seven touchdowns. The reception total for a sophomore would be terrific while the yards should pick up since he is the #1 option. Williams though should feast at the back end of the Huskies schedule which will be a little bit nicer to them.
Thompson the #1 safety coming out of high school will eventually become a strong safety in a year or two. He is built more like a Kam Chancellor than let's say an Earl Thomas. He is a bigger safety but is quick like a small athletic corner. The Huskies defense in the future needs to land more guys like Thompson if they wish to defeat Oregon or any top tier program for that matter.
Second of all, I blame Sarkisian for that fumble. In a big night game on the road why put the freshman back there? Why not put Kasen Williams back there who returned punts for you all of last year? If not Williams why not senior Cody Bruns? Sure neither guy is going to take one for a touchdown but neither guy has ever fumbled.
Then Hall fumbled later in the game on the kickoff return. With Don James or Jim Lambright coaching he's done for the year doing returns. While Sarkisian seemed to dismiss it as "growing pains" in the post game which I found disturbing.
His numbers on the year are 94-158(59.5%) passing for 882 yards(5.6 YPA) with only five touchdowns to four interceptions. Take away the game against FCS Portland State and against D-1 schools he has two touchdowns to four interceptions this year. Price is on pace to throw for only 2,116 yards with 12 touchdowns to 9 interceptions which simply won't cut it.
Be very easy to say Price's problems are due to the offensive line and injuries at the wide receiver position. Now those are valid excuses but it goes further than that. He was only sacked once all game and that same "crappy" line has been producing in the run game the last three weeks. Price is missing easy throws and just looks like a shell of what he was last year. Perhaps people were right that he did overachieve last year. Anyways this is a disturbing trend for Husky football that back to back quarterbacks under Sarkisian have regressed the longer they are with him.
Anytime you are being compared to Tyrone Willingham as Huskies head coach that means you aren't doing your job. His constantly smiling after blowout losses are also getting old as well. The Huskies passing offense which is Sarkisian's specialty currently ranks 107th in the nation, the running game is 87th in the nation. The Huskies offense is 97th in the nation in scoring which includes 52 points against an FCS school. Against D-1 schools the Huskies are averaging only 15.5 points per game which is pathetic.
In the fourth year this should fall on Sarkisian. He turned the program from 0-12 into a bowl team which should be applauded. When he was hired if someone told you he'd lose to Oregon 43-19, 53-16, 34-17 and 52-21 would you accept that? No you wouldn't! So why rationalize that now? Sarkisian being stubborn and refusing to run the spread offense since day one has hurt this program. It made Jake Locker from an electric quarterback into a bad quarterback at Washington. Price would also thrive in the spread instead he is getting killed. Sarkisian needs to figure it out soon because despite what some think he isn't that safe.
Once again the Huskies fail a big test against their rivals. Once again the Ducks proved they are in national title or bust mode which has been their motto since 2010 as they have only lost three games in that span. For the Huskies they face a hungry USC Trojans team who was ranked #1 for a while this year already. If the Huskies win and go to 4-2 the Oregon loss will sting less. If the Huskies lose or worse yet get blown out then this could start a downward spiral which has plagued Sarkisian since he has been Huskies head coach. The Huskies have lost at least three games in a row all three years Sarkisian has been at Washington. This was once again an embarrassing defeat for the Huskies who proved to the nation they aren't ready to be legitimate contenders for a while. The question is will the Huskies ever be legitimate contenders under Sarkisian? I'll guess we'll have more clarity to that question at the end of the season.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
After almost two years since his last international cap, Eddie Johnson finds himself back in the ranks as he gets called up to the U.S. men's national team for two huge World Cup qualifying matches against Antigua and Barbuda this Friday and against Guatemala next Tuesday. EJ's last cap for the U.S. came on October 13, 2010 against Colombia. Since then, his form began dipping during his spell in Europe and he eventually fell out of the picture. On Friday, Johnson sent out a tweet saying that he was called into the squad, but we didn't officially find out until yesterday. Johnson has appeared in 26 matches and scored 14 goals this season for the Seattle Sounders.
trade this past offseason that sent Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact. Back then, I did say that I was gonna keep my thought on the trade to myself and see what happens, but now I'll tell you that I thought it was a good move all along. I knew they made the right move, because as hard working as Fucito was, I didn't think he was that good and Fredy Montero needed a true stike partner and it did take a while for the Johnson-Montero partnership to click, but these two have combined for 27 goals this season. I'm really glad Johnson got called up after a terrific season with the Sounders. He deserved it.
Rest of the team:
There were complaints about Jozy Altidore being left out of the squad because he is having a terrific season for Alkmaar Zaanstreek. He's currently tied to the league lead with eight goals scored. But to hear Jurgen Klinsmann say that it had to do with his attitude, you know, his frame of mind going into camp just goes to show you nobody's safe. Alan Gordon was sort of an odd call up. We still have yet to see Joe Corona in a WCQ match. He's made two friendly appearances and that's it.
The match on Friday away to Antigua and Barbuda I think will determine USA's fate going into their home match on Tuesday against Guatemala. I mean, a lot of things could happen here. A win will surely boost their chances of advancing to the final round of qualifying. Right now they're in a three way tie with Jamaica and Guatemala in the group table with 7 points. I think USA will advance to the final round of qualifying after it's all said and done.
U.S. squad by position (caps/goals):
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa; England) - 20/0
Tim Howard (Everton; England) - 81/0
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) - 6/0
Carlos Bocanegra (Racing de Santander; Spain) - 107/13
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; England) - 8/0
Edgar Castillo (Tijuana; Mexico) - 7/0
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96; Germany) - 85/2
Maurice Edu (Stoke City; England) - 40/1
Clarence Goodson (Brondby IF; Denmark) - 32/3
Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim; Germany) - 9/0
Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland; Denmark) - 14/0
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) - 23/1
Michael Bradley (AS Roma; Italy) - 69/10
Joe Corona (Tijuana; Mexico) - 2/0
Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04; Germany) - 24/2
Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht; Belgium) - 35/4
Danny Williams (1899 Hoffenheim; Germany) - 8/0
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) - 4/1
Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur; England) - 89/28
Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna; Mexico) - 16/5
Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes) - 0/0
Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC) - 42/12
Cherundolo F. Johnson
Monday, October 8, 2012
After clinching a fourth consecutive playoff berth up in Vancouver and with four games remaining in the regular season, it was important that the Seattle Sounders ended their regular season on a high note, starting with a stretch of three straight at home. And what better way to kick off that stretch with a victory over your arch rivals in front of a record crowd. Last night, the Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 in front of a record crowd of 66,452. After a somewhat disappointing month of September, the Men in Rave Green bounced back and completely dominated this match on both sides of the ball from start to finish to kick off the final month of the regular season. The Sounders also move up to third place and are three points behind Real Salt Lake for second position in the Western Conference with a game in hand. These two will square off on October 17th at CenturyLink and if the Sounders can win this match, they will move up to second in the Western Conference. This could be a potential quarterfinal matchup in the MLS Cup playoffs, but we don't know for sure. The Sounders still have three games to go before we find out who their opponent will be.
In the 17th minute, Portland fails to capitalize on some miscommunication. Jack Jewsbury's corner found Rodney Wallace unmarked in the middle of the area but he missed wide of Michael Gspurning's left hand side. The problem there was either Jeff Parke or Brad Evans were supposed to cover him, but they were both marking David Horst.
Nearing the end of the first half, Portland looked to pull one back. Diego Chara poked the ball back to Franck Songo'o, who saw that he had room to shoot and decided to have a crack at goal and was just inches wide.
I was really impressed with performance from start to finish from the lads. Down in Portland, they had a lead in that game and were outplayed since. They were outplayed against San Jose and were outplayed against Vancouver. And although the numbers favored the Timbers, you have to say the Sounders were the better side in this game. This is what we want with the playoffs looming.
Seattle Sounders FC - Own goal (Mamadou Danso) 25'
Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson 14 (Brad Evans 4) 28'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 13 (unassisted) 62'
Seattle Sounders FC - Christian Tiffert (caution; foul) 69'
Portland Timbers - Diego Chara (caution; foul) 72'
Portland Timbers - Donovan Ricketts; Lovel Palmer, David Horst, Mamadou Danso (Eric Brunner 68'), Rodney Wallace; Sal Zizzo (Mike Fucito 46'), Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe (Eric Alexander 78'), Diego Chara, Franck Songo'o; Bright Dike
Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez (Marc Burch 77'); Mauro Rosales (Andy Rose 87'), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (David Estrada 88'), Brad Evans; Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero
Labels: Adam Johansson, Brad Evans, Christian Tiffert, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara, Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero, Jack Jewsbury, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez, Major League Soccer(MLS), Mamadou Danso, Mauro Rosales, Mike Fucito, Osvaldo Alonso, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Sigi Schmid, soccer
Saturday, October 6, 2012
This week the newly ranked #23 Washington Huskies(3-1, 1-0) fresh off their upset of then #8 Stanford Cardinal are looking to have an even bigger upset this week. The Huskies travel down to Eugene to take on the #2 Oregon Ducks(5-0, 2-0) as they are looking for their first win in this series since 2003. The Huskies still lead the all-time series comfortably 58-41-5 despite losing eight in a row. This will be the first time both these teams will square off as ranked teams since 2000 when the #20 Oregon Ducks defeated the #6 Washington Huskies 23-16. The last time the Huskies won where both teams were ranked was back in 1990 when the #17 Huskies blew out the #19 Ducks 38-17. In fact only 1990, 1995, and 2000 were the only years these teams have squared off where both were ranked since 1990 which is pretty incredible. The Ducks are used to winning big national spotlight games while the Huskies are still trying to figure that out. A win down in Eugene would be Steve Sarkisian's biggest win of his young coaching career.
His backup quarterback Bryan Bennett who many expected to be the starter is 13-23(56.5%) passing for 135 yards(5.9 YPA) with one touchdown and two interceptions. He has ran for 57 yards and three touchdowns on the year. Oregon has plenty of weapons to make these quarterbacks look good including the most exciting player in all of college football.
The other weapons for the Ducks include Bralon Addison who has 15 receptions for 185 yards(12.3 YPC) with a touchdown. Colt Lyerla has nine receptions for 118 yards(13.1 YPC) with two touchdowns. Keanon Lowe has 12 receptions for 112 yards(9.3 YPC) with a touchdown. Dwayne Stanford has 11 receptions for 106 yards(9.6 YPC). When you add it all up the Ducks have five different guys with double digit receptions already and six guys who are over 100 yards already. Eight different Ducks have also caught a touchdown pass this year showing you the kind of depth they have.
The other standout the Huskies have is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who the Ducks shut down last year. He was held to just one catch which went for negative yardage. For the year Seferian-Jenkins has 22 receptions for 221 yards(10.0 YPC) with a touchdown. Outside of Seferian-Jenkins and Williams the Huskies are lacking production. Kevin Smith has six receptions for 68 yards(11.3 YPC) hopefully this week he can return to health. DiAndre Campbell has four receptions for 38 yards(9.5 YPC) with a touchdown reception. Jaydon Mickens has five receptions for 33 yards(6.6 YPC) as he is a true freshman. Kendyl Taylor has two receptions for 17 yards(8.5 YPC) as he is being moved to running back this week. The Huskies going forward need another receiver to step it up to get the passing game going.
He is coming off of a career game last week against the 3rd rushing defense in the nation Stanford. He ran for 144 yards on 20 carries(7.2 YPC) with a 61 yard touchdown run on a 4th and 1. Backing up Sankey now is Taylor who last week ran for only nine yards on four carries. He also has Erich Wilson who has ran for 119 yards on 21 carries(5.7 YPC). The Huskies also have big back Dezden Petty who has ran for 65 yards on 24 carries(2.7 YPC) as he picked up a crucial fourth and one last week. The Huskies running game is in pretty good hands despite injuries and losing Chris Polk to the NFL.
This season Barner has rushed for 605 yards on 95 carries(6.3 YPC) with nine touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 111 yards(10.1 YPC) with a touchdown this season. He will eventually make his money playing on Sunday's in the NFL as he is a talented back who the Huskies must contain to have any shot at keeping this game close.
The Ducks have another running back who has done well in Byron Marshall who has ran for 199 yards at a 5.0 YPC clip with two touchdowns. Through five games this year the Ducks are rushing for 1,535 yards(307 YPG) with 21 touchdowns. In 2010 the Ducks ran for 279 yards at a 5.1 YPC clip with six rushing touchdowns against the Huskies. In 2011 the Ducks ran for 212 yards at a 5.4 YPC clip with three rushing touchdowns. The Ducks ability to run the ball down the Huskies throats is the main reason why they have dominated this series lately.
The Huskies have an opportunity to put a scare into the Ducks and then try and upset them. The Huskies have first down NFL draft picks on their roster just like the Ducks do. The Huskies program last year saw themselves ranked and were on ESPN on the road in a big game. They lost to Stanford 65-21 as they are hoping to avoid such a letdown again. For the bulk of this rivalry the Huskies have dominated the Ducks but in the past decade the Ducks have been the ones dominating. Can the Huskies steal back the rivalry down in Eugene? Can Sarkisian pull off back to back top 10 wins something the Huskies haven't done since 1982 when in late November they defeated #9 UCLA 10-7 at home then defeated #3 Arizona State Sun Devils 17-13 on the road. They then famously lost to 2-7-1 Washington State to get bounced from the Rose Bowl. So it has been 30 years since the Huskies won back to back weeks against top 10 opponents. Perhaps this can be the year where the Huskies do it again.