Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013
So, one of the more popular posts on Duck Sports Authority this week was started with this post:
Are the Huskies that much better than last year?adamwinn68 posted on 10/9/2013...

I was just looking at the Huskies' schedule from this year and last year, and and I am just wondering if they are really that much better than last year or if the schedule to this point has given them the perception of being better. Here are the two schedules side by side Game 1 W over San Diego 21-12 Game 1 W over Boise State 38-6 Game 2 L to LSU 41-3 Game 2 W over Illinois 34-24 Game 3 W over Portland St 52-13 Game 3 W over Idaho St. 56-0 Game 4 W over Stanford 17-14 Game 4 W over Arizona 31-13 Game 5 L to Oregon 52-21 Game 5 L to Stanford 31-28 Game 6 Oregon????? Do the Huskies really look that much better than last year? They beat Boise St at home after loosing to them last year in a Bowl game, so maybe that spells improvement. But as we have seen, Boise St is not near the team they were a year ago. Fresno St. put up 41 on them. This could be interpreted as Boise St got a lot worse and UW stayed about the same or got a little better How impressive is the win over Illinois? A road win is certainly good, but Illinois doesn't look like that good of a football team and UW only won by 10. This does not show me the are that much better than last year. A win over Idaho St. tells us nothing--looks like their win over Port St. Now maybe the win over Arizona is the sign that they are much improved. Last year they got beat by Arizona 52-17. So this is a major reversal. But what do we really know about Arizona. There best win is against UNLV or UTSA? They lost 6 starters on offense including their QB. And their defense last year was one of the worst in the Pac 12. Finally, they lost to Stanford, a team they beat last year. So is this resume that impressive? I think it is quite possible that Washington is really about as good as they were last year, and that they have played an easier schedule and so look better to observers. Maybe they are some what better than last year, but I don't see that much evidence to suggest they have significantly improved. For this reason, I am going to say Ducks win this game easily and at the years end, UW will be something like an 8 win program. Bet Oregon and lay the points . . . Thoughts?

Here are my thoughts on the topic.

One thing I am going to say to this question is that there has not been much talk of this but...

While this Husky team is undoubtedly better than last season and probably the best Husky team Oregon has faced during the last 10 seasons...

Well, this OREGON team is the BEST Oregon team Washington has ever faced. Ever. This is, in my opinion, the best team Oregon has ever fielded. That is a bold statement, but I believe it having watched them play live four of their five games and having watched the Colorado game more than once on tape.

Like every team, there are things you can nitpick, like some linebacker play or some inside OL play, but as a whole, this team is just that good.

Does that equate to the dominance of the last 10 years? I don't think so; Wilcox defenses always play with an edge (no, I don't believe intentionally dirty, just an edge) and the game WILL be chippy at times.

This is where the type of player Mariota is comes on handy... calm, cool, collected. If he stays calm through the storm only showing emotion when needed and does not get rattled, guess what, the team will follow suit.

One thing I learned being divorced, the best way to piss off someone else is to NEVER let them see you get angry. Take that control away and they cannot STAND it... so, I say, stay calm and let the Huskies be the ones to lose control of their emotions.

Something else that has been bugging me... I keep hearing commentators say that Mariota has never played a "meaningful" fourth quarter snap. Well first  of all, clearly that is untrue. So others minimized that by saying "in a win." Well, again, I say that is not true.

Against USC last season, the Ducks led the Trojans by just 10 points (48-38) and the Trojans had the ball. the Duck defense got a stop and Oregon took over at their own 15 yard line. They drove 85 yards to go up 17... that was a MEANINGFUL drive. When USC scored again to make it a 10 point game with 2:00 left, Mariota took the Ducks in for one more score to secure the win.

I also consider the fourth quarter possession against Kansas State, after the game had been closed to a 32-17 game where Mariota and the Duck offense drove 57 yards in 10 plays to get a field goal extending the lead as "important" fourth quarter snaps. The 5:19 drive sealed the game taking away any chance for a Kansas State comeback as it made the game a three possession game where one secured onside kick could not undo the game...

So, I disagree with the "never" having played a meaningful 4th quarter snap.

The only thing that can be said is THIS season, Mariota has yet to play a meaningful 4th quarter snap. To which I say, so what?


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