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2007 Washington Huskies Game Preview

Discussion in 'News' started by 3yardsandacloud, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus


    2007 Washington Huskies Game Preview
    written by:
    BB73, BuckeyeRyn, Buckeyeskickbuttocks, Bucklion, DaddyBigBucks, Hubbard, jwinslow, OSUBucks22, and 3yardsandacloud

    The Buckeyes make their first road trip of 2007, which includes later stops at Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, and TSUN.

    Ohio State's all-time record in the first game of the year away from Columbus is 65-46-7, including 31-8-1 over the last 40 years.

    The Buckeyes all-time record against the current members of the Pacific Ten Conference is 49-23-2, and it's 19-16-1 in games played out West (including 6-7 in Rose Bowls). The head-to-head mark versus Washington is 7-3, and 3-2 against them in the Evergreen State. In Seattle, tOSU is 4-2, since their only road game against Washington State was in the Emerald City, rather than in the Palouse.

    Since that 1974 victory over the WSU Cougars, however, Ohio State is 0-2 in the land of grunge rock and coffee shops. In 1986, #17 Washington downed #10 tOSU 40-7, although the Buckeyes ended up #7 in the final AP poll and the Huskies finished at #18. In 1994, #25 Washington defeated the #16 Buckeyes 25-16, even though tOSU finished the year at #18 and the Huskied ended up unranked.

    Under Jim Tressel, Ohio State has only played three Pac-10 opponents. In his first road game as head coach, kicking problems contributed to a 13-6 loss at UCLA in 2001. The other contests were a 25-7 victory over the WSU Cougars in 2002 (with Maurice Clarett running wild in the second half), and a 20-9 win in the 'Shoe over Washington in the 2003 opener, which featured a memorable hit by Nate Salley and some late-game "pad the stats" catches by U-Dub's Reggie Williams.

    Former Buckeye Randy Hart is now in his 20th year as an assistant coach at Washington, and handles their defensive line. He played offensive guard on Woody's National Championship team in 1968, and was on the '69 Buckeye team that went to Seattle and downed the Huskies 41-14. He started as a graduate assistant as tOSU in 1970, and holds bachelor and Masters degrees in education from tOSU. Under Earle Bruce, Randy was the Buckeyes' DL coach from '82 through '87 (Earle had given Hart his first full-time coaching job at the University of Tampa in 1972). His D-lineman have twice won the Pac-10 Defensive Player-of-the-year honors: Steve Emtman in 1991 (also the #1 overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft), and Jason Chorak in 1996.

    Historically, other coaches of note at U-Dub include Darrell Royal, who in 1956 went 5-5 in his only year leading the Huskies, before heading to Texas; and Don James. After a stint at Kent State in the early 1970s (where he coached Jack Lambert and Nick Saban), Don James became the Huskies head coach in 1975. James led them to a 153-57-2 mark over 18 seasons, winning Coach of the Year and a National Championship in 1991, when the average score in their games was 41-10. Don was born in Massillon and is the younger brother of Tommy James, who played on Paul Brown's teams at Massillon and tOSU.

    Rick Neuheisel went 33-16 as head coach of Washington between 1999 and 2002, before being forced out for betting on an NCAA basketball pool. He eventually won $4.5 million from the NCAA and U-Dub in a settlement, and is now the OC for the Baltimore Ravens. Current coach Ty Willingham went 11-16 in his first two seasons, after inheriting a 1-10 Huskies team upon losing his position at Notre Dame.

    Washington has had 3 straight losing seasons, but they have a very good football history, including some fairly recent accomplishments. They have eight 10-win seasons among the last 30, and went to eight consecutive bowl games from 1995 to 2002. They won or shared five Pac-10 titles between 1990 and 2000 (including the undefeated 1991 National Championship team), and finished #3 in the final polls for the 2000 season.

    The Huskies all-time record against teams currently in the Big Ten is 40-38-1, and they are 7-6-1 in Rose Bowls (they've never played tOSU in one).​
    Date and Time
    Date: Saturday, September 15th, 2007
    Time: 3:30 EDT (12:30 PDT) Kick-off
    Location: Husky Stadium (Seattle, WA)
    Constructed: 1920 (Renovated in 2001)
    Seating Capacity: 72,500 (Originally 30,000)
    Playing Surface: FieldTurf
    Events: Band Day

    Broadcast Information:
    TV Broacast: ESPN: Ron Franklin (Play-by-play), Ed Cunningham, former Husky (Analysis), and Jack Arute (Sideline)
    Radio Broadcast: Ohio State Radio Network (WBNS 1460TheFan in Columbus): Paul Keels (Play-by-play), Jim Lachey (Analysis), and Marty Bannister (Sideline)
    Satelite Radio Broadcast: Sirius Channel 123​
    2007 Washington Huskies Offensive Preview
    Returning starters: 6

    National championships ... Rose Bowl wins ... Don James ... Warren Moon ... Corey Dillon. Washington has a storied football past, a surprising portion of which comes from the offensive side of the football, for a team known for their stout defenses. In recent seasons, the decline of the offense has contributed significantly to the decline of the Huskies from national prominence. Enter Tyrone Willingham, charged with revitalizing the Huskies, and their offense, and stepping up their production to compete with conference offensive heavyweights USC, Cal, and Arizona State. The transition hasn't been easy, but there has been some slow progress that appears as if it might be paying off now.

    In 2006, the Huskies weren't particularly good. They ranked 75th nationally in overall yards per game at 331.9. From that, the Huskies were 69th in rushing at 127.9 yards a contest, and an equally mediocre 66th in passing at 193.8 yards a game. Their pedestrian 21.8 points per game also ranked a middling 76th. Looking a bit deeper, the Huskies didn't look any better, ranking a horrid 103rd in first downs per game at 15.8, and 97th in 3rd down conversion percent at about 1 in 3 (33.7%). This was not quality production, no matter how one looked at it. Overall, the offense needed fresh life and a new more positive outlook (not to mention more yards and points) if there was going to be any significant 2007 success for the Huskies, especially in the improving Pac 10.

    This year, after 2 games, the Huskies are looking much better. Though their ranking is 61st in yards per game, they have bumped the total significantly to 396.5 yards per game, and that comes against much more quality competition than many of the teams in front of them. Their rushing attack has been particularly effective, ranked 26th at 217.5 yards per game. Their 175.5 yards per game passing is down slightly (94th), but with a much improved ground attack and a well-balanced offense, they don't need to remind anyone of Hawaii. The Huskies have also scored 33 a game after 2 contests, which include one on the road in Syracuse (not the easiest place to play despite the horrid team) and one against a ranked team in Boise State, so that ranking of 39th is actually considerably more impressive than it looks. Looking a bit deeper, there is a sharp upward spike in their 1st down total (19.5 per game) and their 3rd down conversion % (53.6) indicating an offense that is grinding it out and moving the chains effectively. Given their previous competition, the Huskies are confident they can play with a solid Buckeye defense, and their performance thus far is indicative of such a prediction.

    QB #10 Jake Locker (6-3, 225, SO, Ferndale HS, Ferndale, WA)

    Jake Locker has brought a good deal of credibility and success to this offense in his first year of action, and became just the second Huskies QB since 1993 to win his first start in a season opening game. He is a multi-dimensional threat, able to create space and buy time to throw, or use his legs as a weapon in the ground game. He has completed a high percentage of passes (61.4%, for 335 yards and a TD) against reasonable competition and has been very effective on the ground, as evidence by his being second on the team in rushing with 167 yards and 3 scores in 2 games. He has also only been sacked twice in 2 games and has only thrown 1 interception in his first 2 college starts, good numbers for a young player. Impressively, he was equally effective against both Syracuse and Boise State, throwing for 142 yards and gaining 82 on the ground with 2 rushing TDs in the opening road win at Syracuse, followed by throwing for 193 yards and a TD and rushing for 84 yards and a score against highly touted and nationally ranked Boise State. He has been exactly what the Huskies have needed, mainly a multi-dimensional weapon who doesn't turn the ball over or take a big loss, who adds a consistent spark to what had been a moribund attack. If the Huskies are back (which will be evident by the end of the season and in the next few years), alumni may look back at Locker as the biggest key to the eventual revitalization.

    The backup is Carl Bonnell (#11), a senior who has been around the program for many years and knows the offensive philosophy. He has seven career starts, including 5 last season when he took over for Isaiah Stanbeck. He threw for 284 yards and 2 TDs (but with 5 INTs) against Cal and 271 yards and 2 scores in the season-ending victory in the Apple Cup. He has attempted only 2 passes this year, completing one. He offers veteran experience should Locker get shaken up during the contest, and can step in and be effective if necessary.

    QB Rating: B+

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus Ohio State QBs

    Locker (P/R): 27/44 (61.4%), 335 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 128.3 rating; 26/167, 3 TDs

    Boeckman (P/R): 31/46 (67.4%), 356 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 152.4 rating; 5/-20, 0 TDs

    Both teams feature new quarterbacks looking to put their stamps on the offense. Boeckman has looked solid in 2 starts against in-state opponents, while Locker has demonstrated steady production at the Carrier Dome and then at home against a team with what was the nation's longest winning streak. Factor in that the Huskies have a veteran backup with extensive experience, and as a whole it is difficult to not give the Huskies the edge, though the answer, of course, will play out on the field as it always does. If Boeckman shines against a quality opponent (the first on the schedule), it could be a special season for the Buckeyes and a good result on Saturday. Locker is at this point, however, a more proven commodity, though he steps up this weekend as well.

    Edge: Washington

    Running Backs
    TB #9 Louis Rankin (6-0, 205, SR, Lincoln HS, Stockton, CA)
    FB#30 Paul Homer (6-0, 222, SO, Millard North HS, Omaha, NE)

    Rankin led the team last season with 666 rushing yards and 4 scores despite only 2 official starts, and continues to lead the way for Huskies' ground game this season, with 192 yards and 3 scores so far in only 2 games, a dramatic increase in offensive production for him. He destroyed the Orange defense in the opener, gaining 147 yards and scoring 3 times while averaging almost 9 yards a carry for his 17 carries. He was much less effective against Boise State, gaining only 45 yards on 17 carries, though he did his best Tomlinson imitation by throwing a 16 yard TD pass. He will need to be much more effective on the ground Saturday than he was against the Broncos for the Huskies to have a chance at the win. He's also not a monster threat out of the backfield in the passing game, but he did catch 13 passes last season and has 2 receptions so far in 2007, so the Buckeyes will need to keep an eye on him when Locker drops back to pass.

    The backup slot is really a 3-headed monster, led by junior J. R. Hasty (#24), and a pair of freshmen, Brandon Johnson (#6), and Curtis Shaw (#14). From those, Johnson has 7 carries for 23 yards and a score, Shaw has 3 carries for 6 yards, and Hasty has 1 for 6. Neither Shaw nor Hasty had any carries versus Boise State, so it would appear that Johnson is the first to get his number called. Johnson also returns some kicks, and appears to be a promising player for the future.

    Homer is a bit undersized for a traditional fullback, but does his job adequately and has contributed 6 carries for 16 yards in 2007. He was a good special teams player last season on coverage units.

    RB Rating: B

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus Ohio State RBs
    Rankin: 34/192 yards, 3 TDs, 5.6 YPC; 2 rec/10 yards, 0 TDs, 5.0 YPR
    Johnson: 7/23 yards, 1 TD, 3.3 YPC; 0 rec/0 yards, 0 TDs, 0.0 YPR

    C Wells: 36/189 yards, 1 TD, 5.3 YPC; 0 rec/0 yards, 0 TDs, 0 YPR
    M Wells: 15/57 yards, 0 TDs, 3.8 YPC; 3 rec/23 yards, 0 TDs, 7.7 YPR
    Saine: 19/70 yards, 1 TD, 3.7 YPC; 3 rec/8 yards, 1 TD, 2.7 YPR

    Rankin is a good back with game experience who is effective running with the football. He and Chris Wells have put up similar statistics so far, albeit against better competition for the Huskies to this point. Still, W

    Edge: Ohio State

    Wide Receivers
    WR #3 Marcel Reece (6-3, 240, SR, El Camino CC, Hesperia, CA)
    WR #16 D'Andre Goodwin (6-0, 170, SO, Antelope Valley HS, Lancaster, CA)
    WR #5 Anthony Russo (5-11, 185, SR, Lakes HS, Lakewood, WA)

    Gone is leading receiver from 2006 Sonny Shackelford, who had 666 yards and 7 TDs. However Russo had a good 2006 campaign, starting all 12 games and logging 32 catches for 552 yards and 2 TDs, and he continues to lead the way in the passing game in 2007 with 9 receptions thus far. Reece, who caught 9 passes in 2006 for an average of over 24 yards per catch, continues to show big play ability, as his 8 catches in 2007 have gone for 152 yards (19 per catch) and a TD. Promising underclassman Goodwin has been slow to log catches, with only 1 this season so far, but he has blazing speed, and has logged 31 yards on a reverse in addition to his catch. The coaches hope to get him involved more as the season progresses, and perhaps on Saturday, as he is probably the fastest player on the entire roster.

    The Huskies have no shortage of depth or experience at receiver. In fact a quadruplet of seniors gives the Huskies amazing veteran depth at the position. Corey Williams (#18) had 10 catches last season, Cody Ellis was 3rd on the team in 2006 with 18 catches for 230 yards and a score with 4 starts, Quinton Daniels played in 11 games and had 12 catches for 145 yards and 2 TDs, while walk-on Charles Hawkins has finally be rewarded for his hard work and is seeing the field on occasion in 2007 as well though it is doubtful he'll play much against the Buckeyes. All of these players should contribute this year in some capacity, with Williams having one start and 3 catches so far, and Daniels having hauled in 2 passes to this point. It will be interesting to see how the coaches run the receivers in and out, and it can be difficult to gauge this corps as the Huskies don't throw the ball all that much. One thing is certain, however, and that is that the Huskies have about as much depth and senior leadership as one could hope for.

    WR Rating: B

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus Ohio State WRs
    Reece: 8 catches, 152 yards, 1 TD, 19.0 YPR
    Goodwin: 1 catch, 4 yards, 0 TDs, 4.0 YPR
    Russo: 9 catches, 86 yards, 0 TDs, 9.6 YPR

    Robiskie: 13 catches, 235 yards, 1 TD, 18.1 YPR
    Hartline: 8 catches, 65 yards, 0 TDs, 8.1 YPR
    Washington: 2 catches, 41 yards, 1 TD, 20.5 YPR

    The numbers aren't huge for the Huskies, but they have an insane amount of experience and veteran players at this position. The Buckeyes boast two fine wideouts with quality game experience from last year, and Robiskie has been stellar so far this season as well. Reece and Russo also make an effective tandem, and there is no question who has the edge in depth. The Buckeyes are good, maybe better at the top 2 spots, but the Huskies get the slight edge on the whole of their roster and the experience of their players.

    Edge: Washington

    Tight Ends
    TE #86 Michael Gottlieb (6-5, 245, SR, Mercer Island HS, Mercer Island, WA)
    TE #37 Johnie Kirton (6-4, 270, SR, Jackson HS, Everett, WA)
    TE #81 Robert Lewis (6-5, 250, SR, Montclair College Prep, Los Angeles, CA)

    The TE position is a 3-headed monster with 3 senior players having significant college experience. All are large maulers who can block well and also get downfield to catch an occasional pass. Gottlieb is a former walk-on who started 6 games last season and appears to be the starter now, though all 3 are listed as interchangeable. Kirton, a mammoth TE and effective blocker, caught 12 passes last season to lead the TE position, and Lewis had one start last year after starting 10 games in 2005. This year, Lewis and Gottlieb have caught a pair of passes each. The TE position will be an interesting one to watch on Saturday, as they will definitely be involved in road-grating for the ground game, but the level of downfield action in the passing game will be something for the Buckeyes to think about, particularly since they can run 3 relatively interchangeable parts out there at any time.

    TE Rating: A-

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus Ohio State TEs

    Huskies: 4 catches, 45 yards, 0 TDs, 11.3 YPR

    Nicol: 4 catches, 22 yards, 0 TDs, 5.5 YPR

    This experienced tandem for the Huskies is especially important to their ground game, and they have 3 maulers that can play on any down and in any situation. They can also go downfield and catch the occasional pass. Nicol has been decent for the Buckeyes for quite some time, but the Huskies are 3-deep and get especially effective play from the position.

    Edge: Washington

    Offensive Line
    LT #79 Ben Ossai (6-6, 300, JR, Stockdale HS, Bakersfield, CA)
    LT #71 Cody Habben (6-6, 300, SO, Skyline HS, Sammamish, WA)
    LG #65 Ryan Tolar (6-5, 310, SO, Pasco HS, Pasco, WA)
    C #58 Juan Garcia (6-3, 315, SR, Eisenhower HS, Yakima, WA)
    RG #72 Casey Bulyca (6-6, 340, SR, Woodinville HS, Woodinville, WA)
    RT #75 Chad Macklin (6-8, 300, SR, Golden West HS, Visalia, CA)

    This group has a lot of experience and is a very physical line, as evidence by their success in the ground game in particular. The Huskies line also allowed only 19 sacks in 12 games last year, so they are also adept and keeping their quarterback vertical most of the time. The best of this year's group might be right tackle Macklin, who started all of the Huskies games at RT last season and has been stellar in 2 starts this year. Garcia missed 2 full seasons with significant injuries before a successful return to start all 12 games at center last season. Bulyca is a versatile battering ram who has paid his dues as a backup to the guard spots the last 2 seasons, and is now getting his chance to play extensively this year. Tolar is also seeing his first game action as a starter. Ossai started 11 games at LT last season and has made 2 starts this year as well...the coaches are also very high on Habben to the extent he is listed as a co-starter on this week's chart and has seen extensive time in the game for a backup, his first action as a Husky.

    In addition to Habben, promising versatile interior lineman Matt Sedillo (#64) could see time at guard or center, as could veteran lineman Ryan Bush (#73). Tackle Eric Berglund (#69), guard Jordan White-Frisbee (#76), and titanic guard Morgan Rosborough (#70; 6-6, 365) could also see the field.

    OL Rating: B

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus Ohio State OL

    The Huskies are a quality unit that doesn't allow many sacks and plows over defenders to clear space for an effective ground game. The Buckeyes are also a physical and talented line with some good game experience. The Huskies have 3 seniors, and they have 3 players that entered the season with significant starting experience, but the Buckeyes, led by the experience of Boone and Barton, and the size of mega-mauler Steve Rehring, are deeper and slightly more talented at the top of the chart ... though the outcome of the game will determine this answer for sure, as this game will probably depend more on line play than even the typical game does. The Huskies are good, but give a slight edge to the scarlet and gray.

    Edge: Ohio State

    Overall Offensive Analysis

    One can start out by saying, simply, this is now a quality offense based on what has happened so far. Though they won't remind anyone of Hawaii or USC, they have good talent in the backfield, good size and some experience in the trenches, 3 TEs that can significantly aid the ground game and catch a few balls, and a receiving corps that has a reasonable amount of historical production and is as veteran as any in the country. There are no exceptional standouts, per se, though Locker appears to be a superstar in the making, but there are no big holes to fill and there is reasonable quality at every position. This is the kind of team one would expect from Washington if one remembers the Huskies of the 80's and 90's (and early oughts). They aren't quite back to elite status yet, but Locker looks to be the man to ignite the engine, and the rest of the pieces are there for a successful season. Look for good production from the Huskies Saturday running the football, from the back and QB spots, and the key will be how well they can contain Locker on the ground and how well Locker can find the open man in the passing game. This will be an intriguing contest.

    Overall Offensive Rating: B+
    2007 Washington Huskies Defensive Preview
    Returning Starters: 7

    The Huskies return seven starters from a defense which gave up nearly 26 points per game in 2006. The front seven were good but not great, allowing 139.6 per game on the ground with 19 sacks. The secondary, however, was among the worst in college football, giving up 240 yards a game while also giving up 15 touchdowns while picking off only 10 passes. While the 2006 performance did represent an improvement over the 2005 unit, the Huskies are hoping to see even bigger improvements in 2007.

    So far, against Big East weakling Syracuse and a ranked Boise State squad, however, the same trends from last year are evident. In those two games Washington has been very good against the run, allowing only 55.5 yards per game, but miserable against the pass, giving up 242 per. True some of that is owing to the Huskies playing with the lead. Still, the numbers are in keeping with the relative strengths and weaknesses of this group. While giving up just 22 points (11 per game), the Huskies numbers look a little better than they probably should owing to the Syracuse game. Syracuse managed only 8 yards rushing and 199 through the air. Boise State, by way of contrast, ran for 103 and passed for 285. Likewise, while in two games the Huskies have 3 picks, 9 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, it cannot be overlooked that 2 of those INTs, seven of the sacks and one fumble recovery came against the Orangemen. Regardless, the Huskies appear to be heading in the right direction from where they were when Willingham took over in 2005.

    Defensive Line
    LE #66 Daniel Teo-Nesheim (6-4 245 SO)
    LT #95 Jordan Reffett (6-6 295 JR)
    RT #74 Wilson Afoa (6-3 290 JR)
    RE #7 Greyson Gunheim (6-6 265 JR)

    Returning each of last year's starters, the line is the strength of the Huskies defense. Washington hopes the speed on the ends translates in to more pressure on the quarterback than 2006 which should assist the defenses weakest group, the secondary. Ends Teo-Nesheim and Gunheim are very quick and may be an underrated tandem. Gunheim led the teams in tackles for loss with 14 and sacks with 6. He's already recorded 2.5 sacks this season and has an interception on his 2007 resume. With outstanding speed, Gunheim should be playing on Sundays soon. Teo-Nesheim also has 2 sacks this year. In the middle are returning starters Afoa and Reffett. With good size and game day experience, they will be counted on to plug up the middle.

    Washington enjoys some quality depth on the line which was unavailable not long ago. Among the backups are Defensive Ends, #59 Darrion Jones (6-3 255 JR), #95 DeShon Matthews (6-3 245 rFR), #85 Caesar Rayford (6-6 245 JR), #97 Fred Wiggs (6-1 225 rFR) and DTs #55 Jovon O'Conner (6-5 290 SR), #93 Derek Kosub (6-4 270 rFR), 99 Cameron Elisara (6-2 275 rFR) and #77 Erick Lobos (6-2 300 SR). Jones and Rayford provide depth with game experience on the ends while inside, the sky is the limit for Elisara.

    OL Rating: B+

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus OSU DL

    Washington's D-Line is the strength of the Husky defense. While it is not historically dominant against the run, as Ohio State has been, they are quick and will provide the Ohio State offensive line with its strongest test yet. Both Ohio State and Washington feature athletic, quick ends who can get to the QB in a hurry as well as big bodied run stuffers in the middle. While Ohio State is better against the run, Washington has had more success getting to the QB in 2007. Ohio State is probably a little quicker from the DT positions with Worthington and Denlinger. While close, though the course of 2007, the Ohio State D Line should prove to be the better as between the two, thus Ohio State is given a slight edge.

    Edge: Ohio State

    OLB #34 Dan Howell (6-1 225 SR)
    MLB #9 Donald Butler (6-1 240 SO)
    WLB #29 Chris Stevens (6-0 215 SR)

    Dan Howell is the lone returning starter for the Huskies at Linebacker. Howell has good speed and forced a team high 3 fumbles in 2006. He has 9 tackles in 2007, three for loss. Butler gets the start in the middle. One of only two freshman to see action in 2006, Butler has shown consistent development while on campus and has 11 tackles thus far in 2007. While listed as the starter on the weak side, Chris Stevens is being pushed mightily by #22 Sophomore E.J. Savannah (6-2 228) Both can expect to see plenty of action and Savannah may well get the nod on September 15. Savannah leads Washington with 19 tackles in 2007 (13 against Boise State) and has a fumble recovery, while Stevens has recorded 7 tackles thus far.

    Backing up the starters are #51 Linus Chou (6-4 215 JR), #36 Matt Houston (6-1 230 rFR), # 20 Kyle Trew (6-2 235 SR), #24 Joshua Gage (6-2 225 JR), #57 Trenton Tuiasosopo (6-2 240 SR), and #43 T.J. Poe (6-1 205 JR). It wouldn't be Washington football without a Tuiasosopo on the roster and Trenton provides a bigger and stronger option than does Butler. Gage has recorded a fumble recovery for the Huskies thus far.

    LB Rating: B-

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus OSU LBs

    It will take a superior unit to get the edge against Ohio State's LB corps and this group is not that unit. While the Washington LBs are fast, able to get to the QB on blitzes, and able to run in coverage, Ohio State's LBs are not lacking in these areas. Washington's group is not as experienced but does have the potential to grow in to a very athletic play making group. Ohio State's LBs, however, are already there and thus get the edge here.

    Edge: Ohio State

    RCB #6 Vonzell McDowell, Jr. (5-9 176 FR)
    SS #23 Mesphin Forrester (6-2 205 SR)
    FS #26 Jason Wells (6-2 210 JR)
    LCB #28 Roy Lewis (5-11 185 SR)

    The secondary has been, and remains, the weak link of the Huskies defense. Making it worse for Washington, they replace last year's best corner and safety, Dashon Goldson and C.J. Wallace. The only returning stater in the group is Roy Lewis. Lewis is a transfer from San Jose State and needs to be more consistent. Lewis is the team's second leading tackler in 2007 with 16 and has 1 INT. Getting the start at the opposite corner is true Freshman Vonzell McDowell. McDowell recorded his first career INT against Syracuse and has 10 Tackles on the year so far. Forrester and Wells are the strength of this unit. Both are among the team's leading tacklers in 2007 with 11 and 9 respectively. While not the greatest in coverage, both provide adequate run support.

    The back ups include #18 Bryon Davenport (5-11 195 JR), #19 Matt Mosley (5-11 190 rFR), #21 Desmond Davis (5-11 190 SR), FS #15 Darin Harris (5-11 200 SR) and #27 SS Jay Angotti 5-10 180 rFR). Harris provides back up to both safety positions after taking a medical redshirt in 2006 for a problematic back after a successful Sophomore season in 2005 in which he started 4 games. Mosley, while lacking game expirience, provides excellent speed. A member of the track team, he can keep up with nearly everyone but needs to improve his coverage skills. Byron Davenport is a UCLA transfer who used to go by the name Byron Velega. He began the season injured, but saw action against Boise State. He may work his way in to a starters role as his health improves.

    DB Rating: C

    Head-to-Head: Washington versus OSU DBs

    Washington has no true shut down Corner and has been abused for the last several years by the pass happy Pac 10. As mentioned above, if the D-Line is able to provide some pressure on the Quarterback, this unit will benefit. It cannot, however, be counted on to stand its own ground without help. The group is susceptible to the big play and has trouble making its own by way of interceptions and big hits. Contrasted with Ohio State, while the early season numbers may not bear it out (no INTs for OSU, for example), the edge is clearly in the Buckeyes favor.

    Edge: Ohio State

    Overall Defensive Analysis

    Washington has an improving defense. While there is still a considerable way to go before Huskies fans can rest easy with their defense, things are looking up. The defensive line plays hard from whistle to whistle and should not be overlooked. Gunheim possess next level speed and is a disruptive force. The linebackers are a quick bunch, though they lack game day experience having replaced 2 of 3 starters. E.J. Savannah is developing in to an "all over the field" force. The secondary, however, needs to show marked improvement or its failings might overshadow what is an otherwise athletic and capable defense.

    Overall Defensive Rating: B-
    2007 Washington Huskies Special Teams Preview
    Returning Starters: 1 (if you count the long snapper)

    These out of market match-ups (and cupcakes of week 1 and 2) are tough on the ol' special team writers, no way really to see film so all we gots to go on are stats. As you can imagine, not much info is available in post game write-ups. Add to that I am usually liquored up on Saturdays and the last thing I am paying attention to is OSU's special teams units. So what does all this mean? I am apologizing to you in my own convoluted way, these HAVE to be boring to read. With that in mind here comes my best statistical analysis, wish I would've had a class on that? ...

    The lone returning starter is long snapper Danny Morovick, he started all 12 games last year as the field goal and punt long snapper. There are two new guys handling the kicking duties this year and the kick returners don't seem to be set.

    Special Teams
    P # 12 Jared Ballman (5-11 175 JR)
    PK# 13 Ryan Perkins (6-0 185 JR)
    PR# 5 Anthony Russo (5-11 185 SR)
    KR # 6 Brandon Johnson (5-11 195 rFR)
    LS # Danny Morovick (6-3 230 JR)

    Kicking Game:
    Welp, it doesn't start out so well for the Huskies. Kicker Ryan Perkins is 1-2 (34) on field goals and the one miss was blocked. He injured his knee in the 2006 spring game, but he would've pushed for playing time last year. Perkins doesn't have the big leg because the punter, Jared Ballman is the kickoff guy.

    Ballman is averaging 65 yards on the kickoffs, which isn't bad but his coverage unit is bringing him down. The average starting yard line for kickoffs is the 31. That was the bad kicking news, the good news is Ballman is averaging 42.5 yards on 10 punts, with a long of 63, no block and 2 punts downed inside the 20.

    Kicking Game Rating: C- (I really want to give an opposing team around an A soon, feels like I can't give anyone credit)

    Head-to-Head: Trapasso: Stud. 46.2 average (44.3 net!! Go punt coverage team!), long of 57 and 3 (out of 6) down inside the 20. Ballman is pretty close statistically, but I would still take A.J.

    Pretorious: Good enough so far, he really hasn't had to test himself so far, long of 37, but at least he's 3-3 on field goals and perfect on extra point tries as well.

    Edge: Ohio State

    Return Game:
    1 punt return for 5 yards. 7 kick return for 115 yards (2 were by the fullback for 15 yards, I can only assume squib kicks, in all fairness). Less than spectacular to say the least. Tyrone Willingham was quoted as saying that there was no set kick returner, he was looking for someone explosive to put back there, well he ain't found it yet. He better keep looking.

    Return Game Rating: C-

    Head-to-Head: Jenkins had a bad day, one return for 13 yards and Robiskie had a FRICKING fumble, not Tresselesque at all. Our youth really showed through last week, not only on special teams. Still I have faith in our guys that they will regroup this week. Brandon Saine had a great return for 39 yards on the only kickoff Akron had.

    Edge: Ohio State

    Overall Special Teams Analysis

    Ballman is the lone bright spot on a special teams unit who is untested. At least the long snapper has mucho experience and many Buckeye fans can appreciate that.

    I don't see Washington turning around the special teams this week. If our D plays as well as it did, I expect a lot of punts and at least that plays to their strengt

    Overall Special Teams Rating: C-
    BB73's prediction: 27-17, Ohio State
    BuckeyeRyn's prediction: 20-13, Ohio State
    Buckeyeskickbuttocks' prediction: 24-13, Ohio State
    Bucklion's prediction: 24-21, Ohio State
    DaddyBigBucks's prediction: 24-13, Ohio State
    daddyphatsac's prediction: ??-??, Ohio State
    Deety's prediction: 24-17, Ohio State
    Hubbard's prediction: 20-10, Ohio State
    jwinslow's prediction: 21-17, Ohio State
    OSUBucks22's prediction: 24-13, Ohio State
    osugrad21's prediction: ??-??, Ohio State
    OSUsushichic's prediction: 21-17, Ohio State
    3yardsandacloud's prediction: 28-27, Ohio State

    Previous Game's Results (OSU 20 - AKRON 2)
    Low score wins the year long battle of prediction supremacy! (Difference of actual score versus predicted score. 10 point penalty for picking the losing team.)

    (1, 19 = 20) OSUBucks22's prediction: 31-10, Ohio State (11 + 8 = 19)
    (2, 22 = 24) 3yardsandacloud's prediction: 35-9, Ohio State (15 + 7 = 22)
    (11, 14 = 25) DaddyBigBucks's prediction: 33-3, Ohio State (13 + 1 = 14)
    (7, 22 = 29) daddyphatsac's prediction: 34-10, Ohio State (14 + 8 = 22)
    (0, 29 = 29) OSUsushichic's prediction: 42-9, Ohio State (22 + 7 = 29)
    (7, 25 = 32) BuckeyeRyn's prediction: 34-13, Ohio State (14 + 11 = 25)
    (0, 33 = 33) Hubbard's prediction: 45-10, Ohio State (25 + 8 = 33)
    (4, 29 = 33) BB73's prediction: 38-13, Ohio State (18 + 11 = 29)
    (17, 22 = 39) Bucklion's prediction: 31-13, Ohio State (11 + 11 = 22)
    (10, 30 = 40) jwinslow's prediction: 42-10, Ohio State (22 + 8 = 30)
    (11, 33 = 44) Deety's prediction: ??-??, Ohio State (take highest score - 33)
    (17, 30 = 47) osugrad21's prediction: 38-14, Ohio State (18 + 12 = 30)
    (16, 33 = 49) Buckeyeskickbuttocks' prediction: 45-10, Ohio State (25 + 8 = 33)

    Adjusted scores for weeks missed. Participant must take the highest score from the week they missed:
    Deety (take highest score - 33) ​

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
    Deety likes this.
  2. daddyphatsacs

    daddyphatsacs Let the cards fall... Staff Member

    Great job!

    OSU- 23
  3. haueyman

    haueyman Freshman

    See i am little worried about this game. I trust that JT will get the boys up for the game but i am still worried. Washington is really good.


  4. Waller

    Waller No Pasaran!

    Will you guys writ my obit? Another great read!

  5. lvbuckeye

    lvbuckeye Silver Surfer

    great job. however, the final score of the tilt in '03 was 28-9.

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