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Previewing the Washington Game

Showdown in the Emerald City. Let me begin by saying that if ASU loses this game - and they very well might - I will have to think that big changes will be coming for the team. Coaching, personnel, everything.

With that out of the way, lets take a look at the game. ASU (2-6) travels to Washington (0-8) to play at one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. I am from Seattle, and must say that I hold a fond place in my heart for Husky Stadium. Seating 72,500 and offering arguably the most scenic view in colleg football (right on Union Bay, you can see the Cascade Mtns, Space Needle, floating bridge, and Mt. Rainer..) the stadium rocks.

However, aside from the stadium, the Huskies really do not have much going for them this year. Their coach has already been let go, they have not won a game, and their stud sophomore Jake Locker has not played since week 5 due to a broken right thumb.

The team is not well coached, and simply does not have a lot of weapons - whether that is due to poor recruiting or poor coaching, I am not really sure. The one thing I can say about them is the nearly every one of their starters is a lower classmen. The future looks at least semi-bright. Or not so dim.

Let's take a look at some of the guys we will see tomorrow.

QB - Ronnie Fouch, Sophomore, 6'1 203 LBS
2008 stats - 79/165, 993 YDS, 47.9 CMP%, 4 TD - 7 INT, 97.95 RAT, 10 SACK

Heading into the season, the Huskies expected their Freshman phenom Locker to come out of the gates hard and lead them to a resurgent season, but Locker has been hampered by injuries all season and this has forced Willingham to play Fouch. An extremely inaccurate passer, Fouch has never completed more than 53% of his passes in a game he has started and has completed less than 50% in 4 out of his 5 games where he played the majority of the snaps. He also is not the threat Locker is in the running game. Really, if ASU sees Fouch throwing 25 or more times against them, we should be hopeful that a win is forthcoming. The guy just is not ready to start in college football - whether that is because his coaches havent placed him in a position to win, his supporting cast is lacking, or he just isnt that great.

RB - Terrance Dailey, Freshman, 5-10 194 LBS
2008 stats - 39 ATT, 174 YDS, 4.5 AVG, 1 TD, 1 REC, 9 YDS

A fairly highly recruited tailback/fullback hybrid who got his first carry in week 6 against Arizona, Dailey's numbers are slightly misleading. Against Notre Dame, USC, and Arizona he rushed 23 times for 72 yards (3.1) average. Weak. While he had a solid game against Oregon State (16 rushes for 102 yards) 59 of them came on his long TD run. Take that out and his game is 15 rushes for 43 yards. Ew. He also is not involved/not a threat in the passing game.

While he has talent, Washington's offense is simply inept. Their leading rusher, still, is Jake Locker - and he hasnt played since September.

RB - Brandon Johnson, Sophomore, 5'9 207 LBS
2008 Stats - 50 ATT, 117 YDS, 2.3 AVG, 2 TD

The second leading rusher on the team behind Locker in terms of carries, Johnson has been stymied by his line and his lack of burst. Sort of a Nance-esque rusher, Johnson had his most productive game against USC last week, which doesn't say much. 18 ATT, 54 YDs, for a 3 average. The team is averaging 2.8 per carry, so the bulk of the problem is the entire run game.

WR - D'Andre Goodwin, Sophomore, 5-11, 175 LBS
2008 Stats - 44 REC, 533 YDS, 12.1 AVG, 1 TD, 7 ATT, 17 YDS, 2.4 AVG

The kid is a stud. A soph who is on pace for over 60 receptions and 800 yards, despite all the instability at QB. He has caught at least 5 passes a game this year, and has had 4 games with over 80 yards and has only been shut down against USC (and really, who hasn't been?). He had a monster game against Oregon State, (5 rec, 136 yards) and will probably be matched up against Omar Bolden. An unknown recruit out of high school, Goodwin will be an interesting player to watch on Saturday.

No other wide outs on Washington have over 20 receptions, and only two others have over 10. Freshmen Jermaine Kearse (16 for 224, 2 TDs) and Devin Aguilar (17 for 207). Both those guys are freshman though, and prone to inconsistency, so it is hard to say what the Huskies will get out of either of them on Saturday.

Defensive Playmakers
DE - Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Senior, 6'4 263 LBS
2008 stats - 37 TACK, 4.5 TFL, 3 SACK

The fact that the Huskies leading sacker has only 3 sacks is telling. The defense is really a major weak point of this team. The senior lineman is a hustle guy, but for perhaps the first time all season, we might not have to worry about pressure on our QB and Rudy can have plenty of time to stare down his favroite receiver before throwing an interception.

MLB - Mason Foster, Sophomore, 6'1 229 LBS

The leading tackler on the team, Mason has been a solid player all year for the Huskies. He has been solid against the run and has been decent in coverage. Other than him though, the defense has not had a lot of playmakers. This happens when you give up 42 points per game to opposing offenses though...

Team Analysis and Prediction

SCORING 113 333
Points Per Game 14.1 41.6
Rushing 49 104
Passing 73 81
Penalty 20 9
Yards gained rushing 974 2084
Yards lost rushing 258 138
Rushing Attempts 259 336
Average Per Rush 2.8 5.8
Average Per Game 89.5 243.2
TDs Rushing 10 23
Att-Comp-Int 259-129-7 208-147-3
Average Per Pass 5.8 9.1
Average Per Catch 11.7 12.9
Average Per Game 188.1 237.0
TDs Passing 5 21
Total Plays 518 544
Average Per Play 4.3 7.1
Average Per Game 277.6 480.2
KICK RETURNS: #-Yards 44-750 18-405
PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards 4-22 16-216
INT RETURNS: #-Yards 3-0 7-90
FUMBLES-LOST 14-7 11-2
PENALTIES-Yards 36-288 65-605
Average Per Game 36.0 75.6
PUNTS-Yards 47-1770 20-789
Average Per Punt 37.7 39.5
Net punt average 32.2 35.3
TIME OF POSSESSION/Game 29:01 30:59
3RD-DOWN Conversions 54/118 52/93
3rd-Down Pct 46% 56%
4TH-DOWN Conversions 4/8 7/12
4th-Down Pct 50% 58%
SACKS BY-Yards 5-44 20-162
RED-ZONE SCORES 13-19 68% 34-38 89%
RED-ZONE TOUCHDOWNS 12-19 63% 28-38 74%
PAT-ATTEMPTS 14-15 93% 42-45 93%
ATTENDANCE 328728 194618
Games/Avg Per Game 5/65746 3/64873
Neutral Site Games 0/0

They have just been dominated this season, and if we don't manage over 30 points and at least a 2-3 touch down lead - we are as bad as we all think we are.

I say we go on the road and end this losing streak.

ASU 34 - WASH 17