So, homecoming day win over Washington State, everything is good right? Sort of.
Would have liked to see much more of a beat down. We were the second lowest scoring Pac-10 team against WASU (UCLA put up 28 against them) while every other Pac-10 squad scored over 50 against them! Stanford beat them 58-0, Arizona won 59-28, USC won 69-0, Oregon won 63-14, Cal won 66-3... You get the idea.
I like the shut out - first one since 1996 against #1 Nebraska..but they were also shut out by Stanford 58-0, who we beat 41-17. Take that how you will, I have no idea what it means.
Penalties, again, were a HUGE problem. 10 for 104 yards. Ridiculous, that over a field length's worth of penalties. Not sure how you fix that other than to coach the players up much more than they have been.
Some good things - defense, obviously. A shut out is always good. Doing it like this is even better. Aside from the penalties, the defense held WASU to 130 total yards. 7 yards rushing on 24 carries is amazing. We got to the quarterbacks, we have an interception and a fumble recovery. Defense is a definite strong point on this team.
The running game looked good, for once. Taking out Rudy's "carries" we ran 32 times for 150 yards. Everyone got in on the action. Keegan Herring looked pretty bad in the first half, while DeWitty looked solid (6 per carry). The second half belonged to Nance and Bass who ran 16 times for 82 yards. Nance also had 23 yards receiving.
The passing game was eh. Rudy was 17/25 for 213 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs. Mistake free. Big play free. Stud of the day was Kyle Williams, who had 2 receptions for 72 yards and 2 TDs. Everyone else had less than 40 yards receiving. Kerry Taylor had a td. Best thing that can be said is that 11 different players had receptions. Mike Jones disappeared.
Dexter Davis now has 9 sacks and has been named to the Hendricks watch list, so that is pretty cool. Nixon has 4 ints, and has become a good cover linebacker.
Team won. Bye week before UCLA at home on the 28th.
EDIT: To temper too much joy, these last two wins have come against ESPN's top two BOTTOM 10 teams.
1. Washington 0-8 "How the West Was Won": The winless Huskies need to discover how a team from the West can win at least one
2. Washington State 1-8 "Code of the West": In the 2008 season, the code is losing -- and the Cougars are definitely following that code.