Thursday, October 11, 2012
#2 Oregon destroys #23 Washington for 9th straight year 52-21
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.