Instant Reaction: Apple Cup 2011


Dear LorenzoPeterson, you commented on my picks this week that there was no way my 38-17 prediction could even come close. Well, I guess 38-21 wasn’t close enough? I predicted the Huskies would go 7-5 this year and low-and-behold guess where they are…


That is now where this series stands. It is the largest differential of any Pac-12 rivalry!

First of all, if anyone had any doubts who Washington’s starting QB should be after the Oregon State game last week and the Apple Cup game this week, let those doubts go to rest. Keith Price is the future of the Washington Huskies…While I never hope someone transfers, it seems like given who is coming in (Lindquist and Miles), plus having Derrick Brown as a backup right now, it seems like there is no real future for Nick Montana. But, I’ll take the depth at QB if he wants to stay.

Secondly, I love it when Sarkisian calls those short routes over the middle. Keith Price is so accurate in those throws and if his receivers hold onto it, they can run those plays all day and cruise down the field. One thing Keith Price is better than Jake Locker at is the accuracy of his throws. Locker was better at escaping the rush and was overall a stronger physical specimen which made him a dangerous runner. But, with Price’s accurate throws, this team really needs to open up the passing attack more than it already does. If Price played for Boise State or Houston, he’d rack up 5000+ yards…

The defense is also really getting on my nerves. How many of those screen passes did WSU throw, where a Husky went flying by the ball, but missed and the Coug receiver then proceeded to run for 15 yards? Secondly, on that fumble in the 4th quarter, why didn’t they just fall on it, rather than trying to pick it up to run with it? But, the defense made some important stops tonight. Not always because of their great plays, but also due to some poor decision-making by the Cougs.

The one thing I’ll really give credit to with the defense though was their emotion. They really seemed to care tonight in a way I haven’t seen the last few games. They had some big hits, some nice pass break ups, and a decent rush on the Lobster. When they did make a play, you could see the emotion come out. They actually seemed to be enjoying the game!

As much as the secondary has been decried this season, one player back there who I think has a tremendous future is Sean Parker. Next year, I expect him to rise up as one of the true stars of the Pac-12.

Offensively, I continue to wonder about Sark’s play calling. Up 31-21 in the 4th quarter, the play book completely available and they go 3-and-out without really ever a chance to get the 1st down? The screen works all day for WSU, but when the Huskies try it, Kearse just drops it. Go back to what was working. Quick hits up the middle for 8-15 yards!

Also, Polk is such a deadly reciever, as evidenced by his 22-yard TD catch and some of his earlier big plays this season. Go back to it. If they are packing it in the box, let Polk go outside for some nice streak routes. I am really sick of the wildcat to Callier. It stopped working 6 games ago. Callier may have some skills, but not running it straight up the middle when the other team is expecting it. I heard Callier played some QB in high school. Let’s see him run the option or roll right and toss it downfield 5 yards to Austin Sefarian-Jenkins.

By the way, what a STUPID trick play by the Loebbestal in the 4th quarter!!! The ball was thrown too far and too high, allowing the entire secondary to drop right into position.

I do like the play calling by Sark on that drive to finish off the Cougs. Polk had a big run that was called back, so with 2nd and 20 in an expected passing play, Sark calls the delayed draw for a 34 yard gain to the 1 yard line. Then to reward the greatest RB in Husky History, Sark gives it to Polk for the TD!!!! Also, in classic Chris Polk style, he earned his 20th 100 yard game of the season. If he does go to the NFL after this season, it has been a real pleasure watching him run!

I know a lot of Husky fans are disappointed by the late season collapse of a 7-5 season following the 5-1 start. But, seriously, it was to be predicted looking at the schedule. They only lost one game they shouldn’t have (a road game to Oregon State) and only beat one team they weren’t expected to (a road game to a 7-5 Utah team). To me, 7-5 was an acceptable season given the strength of this conference at the top (Oregon, Stanford, USC?). So, don’t be disappointed. Soak in yet another Apple Cup win and enjoy the bowl game.

As for the Cougs, so is Paul Wulff gone? To improve to just 4 wins in his 4th year? Is that enough?

When the Huskies went 0-12 and brought in Steve Sarkisian, they went 5-7 the next year (and could easily have been 7-5). Then they 6-6 the next year and 7-5 the next. THAT is progress.

If your a Coug fan, what do you think? Are you statisfied with that “progress”?