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Washington Huskies

Mailbag, Yo: Huskies Take on Tiger-Eagles


Facts about the Flying Tigers and their turf:

  • The school was originally chartered in 1865, and was called “East Alabama Male College.” It wasn’t called “Auburn” officially until 1960.
  • The city of Auburn averages about 15 more inches of rain per year than does Seattle.
  • The total enrollment of Auburn High School in Auburn, AL is 1,444. The total enrollment of Auburn High School in Auburn, WA is 1,639. Take that, Auburn, AL.
  • The Auburn Teagles have a .613 winning percentage, all-time.
  • The Eagers have had 12 undefeated seasons all-time, with six coming prior to World War One.
  • Legend has it that at Auburn’s first football game, against Georgia in 1892, an old Civil War veteran sat in the stands with an eagle he had found during battle. At some point during the game, the eagle broke free and flew about the stadium, prompting the fans to change “War, Eagle!” Probably in unison.
  • Before a game against Mississippi State in 2011, the eagle Spirit crashed into a luxury box window during the pre-game flight over the crowd. Spirit finished his flight, and then delivered a key speech to Auburn’s defense during a timeout in the final seconds of the game. The Armless Carnivores held true, keeping the Bulldogs short of the end zone as the clock ran out in a 41-34 win.
  • Toomer’s Corner is on the outskirts of Auburn’s campus and is so named for Toomer’s Drugs, a store that sits on one corner and has operated since 1896. One of the traditions of Furry Eagle fans is to “roll the corner,” that is toilet-papering the two oaks that stood at the corner. Those two oaks were cut down in 2013, after being poisoned by an Alabama fan. The trees were replaced, but then needed to be replaced again after a man set fire to one of them and the second failed to take root.
  • Auburn was scheduled to host Georgia Tech in a game in the 1930’s. Some Auburn students greased the train tracks the night the G-Tech players were scheduled to arrive in Auburn, preventing the train from stopping for a full five miles past the station. The Tech players had to walk back to the stadium, which may have played a part in Auburn’s 45-0 victory that day.
  • Families enjoy picnicking at Hickory Dickory Park in Auburn (one of 16 parks), and the nearby Family Fun Junction provides miniature golf, go-carts, batting cages, and arcade games.
  • Auburn University is home to an exceptionally large lathe that was used to make cannons during the Civil War. Legend has it that if you kiss a coed at midnight in front of the lathe and it doesn’t move even an inch, she’s a true Auburn woman.
  • One day each semester on campus, students take part in “Hey Day,” when they right their names on tags and say “Hey” to each other to promote friendliness.
  • In 2008, Auburn defeated Mississippi State 3-2, in what was an Instant Classic. Husky fans are excused from knowing this game exists, since the 2008 football season itself did not exist.
  • It is illegal to sell peanuts anywhere on Auburn’s campus on Wednesdays after the sun goes down.

To your questions (Ragu-Free version – tips 40 for the sauce).

Cdawg

Factoring in the atmosphere, View, your seat mates, and other intangibles, Where are the bests seats in Husky stadium?

UWDP: Factoring all of those things, the best seats are in the front row of the second level, right on the 50 yard line. Either side.

Scott’s tots

What are the chances of landing 5* Athlete, Bru McCoy? How much of an impact would he have on our program compared to other recruits?

UWDP: There are people that follow recruiting a lot closer than I do that can hopefully answer this question. My general impression is “pretty low,” though.

It’s always great to add talent, but he doesn’t fill the most pressing spot, as far as I’m concerned.

Scott’s Tots

What will UW’s biggest weakness be vs Aurburn? What will Auburn’s biggest be?

UWDP: I think the biggest weakness on offense is going to be the line. The Huskies have struggled against elite defensive lines, and Auburn has one of those. This is probably the best offensive line Washington has had in the Chris Petersen Era, but it remains to be seen if it’s even close to enough.

Defensively, the biggest weakness is probably depth up front. At least in terms of experience. I think there’s some guys that have done good things, but their roles are a lot bigger this year.

Auburn’s offensive weakness is the same – offensive line. They’ll be breaking in a bunch of new starters. Defensively, the weakness is the back end. Mostly in terms of experience.

I don’t have one, just a fan from Belgium.

Given what we know about the starting rotation, what shape is the O-line in? Is it reasonable to expect some difficulties at the beginning of the season, just like last year?

UWDP: The difficulties are most likely going to come from facing a top-level defensive line. Auburn has all four of its starters back up front, and they were good in 2017.

Washington returns a lot of starts in 2018, but that’s not as pretty a picture as you’d hope. Trey Adams is obviously not going to be 100% given that he’s less than a year back from ACL surgery. Nick Harris is playing a new position, moving from right guard to center. Luke Wattenberg played mostly left tackle last season, and he’s sliding to the left guard spot. The only “new” starter is at right guard, likely to be Matt James or Jaxson Kirkland (Note: turns out Kirkland is #1 on the depth chart). Little known fact: James actually got the start in the season opener in 2015 at right tackle at Boise State, ahead of Kaleb McGary. McGary replaced him early on, and has started when healthy since then.

Husky fans saw the difficulty even one new player can create early in the 2017 season, when Jesse Sosebee stepped in for the departed Jake Eldrenkamp. The timing was just…off. And that timing is critical to the success of the run game.

I’m really nervous about the offensive line, largely because it’s simply time for the Huskies to be “good” up front again. I really want to see it. There’s no soft landing to start the season in 2018.

Cy-curious

Any word on what Cyler Miles has been up to since his retirement?

UWDP: I don’t have any idea, and a quick google search didn’t turn up anything. I believe he stayed on as a UW student after retiring from football in 2015, so he’s probably done with his degree by now.

Anyone that knows anything should add it below.

Hey

How have you been?

UWDP: Good, man, Thanks. You?

Darin Johnson

They say Auburn has a pretty good defensive line. You worried?

UWDP: No.

Bluthunder54

Do you think college players could get paid if every player got payed the same amount in D1 (let’s say 100k)

Pay them

Do you believe that players should be paid? I think if players receive some kind of pay it should be base on the schools academics; for instance Stanford would be able to pay their players more than Alabama because of their academic status. My reasoning for this is base on what happened this past summer.

UWDP: Given the amount of money they generate, yeah, they probably deserve to be paid. I don’t really like the idea, though.

I think $100,000 is way, way, WAY too much. That pretty much counts as “a lot” of money to a group of people that are frequently coming from situations that involve household incomes that are significantly lower.

I want to maintain at least this faint notion of amateurism in college sports, even though I know it’s really a myth. The money should be tied to academic progress in some way, and in some form of trust. Are fans going to want to see college players driving nicer cars than they have? Or give up tailgate spots for “Player-Only Parking?” I’m mostly kidding.

I doubt paying football players (only) survives a Title IX challenge, so you probably have to pay all scholarship athletes. Or, you’re talking exclusively about money the players can each make on their likeness, and not a generic stipend. Maybe that’s better, but it sure seems like it could be even more problematic.

There’s no simple answer on either side of this issue (except for “the status quo,” but that doesn’t mean it’s right). Anyone that says there is isn’t considering things all the way through. Introducing money changes the game of college football entirely. That doesn’t necessarily mean “worse” or “better,” but it isn’t going to be the same.

KPreston

Coach Peterson runs super clean program, recruiting is going well, so what derails the gravy train? Peterson to NFL? Pete Carroll back to USC?

UWDP: Petersen leaving probably kills it. If he doesn’t, “Perpetual 9-3” does, even at Washington, unless there’s a shot at a national championship in there every five years or so.

I think a lot of Husky fans will be surprised at how some will turn on Petersen if he doesn’t win it all at some point.

RockDawg

Brad, you’ve often said the offense is Coach Petetsen’s and simply executed by the OC. What if any differences if any, do you see in Bush Hamdan executing it versus Smith?

Ben Nice

What do you think will be some of the differences between Bush Hamdan and Jonathon Smith as an offensive coordinator? Specifically in play calling and use of personnel.

UWDP: It’s way too early to say anything about Bush Hamdan as offensive coordinator. The players seem to like him, so that’s a plus. He’s got a good offense to work with, so that’s a huge plus.

Even though the message is the same, sometimes hearing it from a new voice or with a new delivery can change the impact of it – and this pertains more to the quarterbacks than the total offense. But it matters to the whole offense. We’ll see if that happens with the 2018 version of the Huskies.

I honestly expect the actual differences to be so subtle that they’ll be hard to notice. The results could very well be markedly better if the team has better luck with health and productivity at receiver, and that’s what really matters. Receiver was a weak link heading in to 2017 even under the best of circumstances, and the way injuries stacked up was crippling to the passing game (and hence, the offense as a whole).

I expect the offense to take a step forward in 2018, regardless of who calls the plays. The skinny gay guy with the salt-and-pepper hair is far more important than the offensive coordinator. He’s still here.

Ungrateful

2018 football is here!! But should we be more excited about 2019 and it’s more mature receiving group, potentially more dynamic QB play, probably solid o-line, deeper d-line, better kicker(?), etc, etc?

UWDP: Forget 2019, I’m already looking forward to 2022, when the current group of 8th graders finally hits campus.

Don’t be ungrateful, man. Just enjoy 2018.

OsidePup

How many true freshmen see the field against Auburn? Ditto vs.North Dakota.

UWDP: Four against Auburn, seven against North Dakota.

OsidePup

KJ Carta-Samuels had a great game against Hawaii but his team lost. Did he make the right choice in switching his transfer from UCLA to Colorado State?

UWDP: I think K.J. Carta-Samuels could’ve done really well in a Chip Kelly offense – especially one that looked more like the ones he ran in the NFL. But there was definitely no clear path to the starting job in Westwood, and a lot of reasons for Kelly to go with someone that had more than a year of eligibility left, no matter how good he looked.

Yeah, for a guy that just wants to see the field in what is likely the last chance he’ll ever have to play competitive football, he made the right choice.

Maybe a better question is what in the heckfire Wilton Speight was thinking transferring to UCLA? That’s sort of like a scotch drinker electing to go to BYU.

Husky 123

Why Oregon Has a buy prior to playing UW (the sec wouldn’t do that to Alabama or any of their big schools) A few years ago I think WSU had a buy before playing UW too. Is there a duck making the PAC 12 schedule because the ducks can clinch the north by mid October. A positive is that we don’t have the trees and ducks back to back

UWDP: The eight game conference schedule almost undoubtedly gives the SEC more scheduling flexibility, but I’ll wager all fans think they get screwed over by their schedule. The Pac 12 is worse, but I can’t honestly say either way how much worse it is than, say the B14G, which also has nine conference games. (goes and checks…) Michigan has Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Penn State back-to-back-to-back. There’s a bye in there, but that’s a seriously tough stretch of games. In the Big 12, TCU plays Ohio State and then at Texas. Of course, Texas has USC the week before….Oklahoma State finishes the regular season at Oklahoma, home against West Virginia, and then at TCU in consecutive weeks…

I don’t think the Pac 12 does anyone any favors.

Three

3 things Auburn does to win? 3 things Auburn does to lose? 3 things UW does to win? 3 things UW does to lose?

UWDP: The game is strength vs weakness for both teams on both sides of the ball.

And in both cases, it’s in the trenches, and it’s an advantage for the defense in both cases.

If Auburn can control Washington’s running game and get pressure on the quarterback with a four man front, they’re going to win, because the Huskies won’t be able to score.

I think Washington’s defense will do the same to Auburn’s offense.

For Washington to win, they need to be able to run the ball and keep Auburn’s pass rush off of Browning, at least a little. This undoubtedly will mean some of the lateral passing game to the wide receivers, but hopefully it incorporates something to Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed to involve them in the game (if the running game doesn’t work right away).

At some point, the Huskies are going to need to be able to make a few plays down the field.

GeddyT

In light of the move for Tevis Bartlett from outside linebacker to inside, can you recommend a good electric hydronic boiler in the 20 kW range? Seisco boilers came recommended, and I was looking to buy a SH-18, but it appears the whole company was bought out and the product line canceled.

UWDP: I don’t know if Buterus makes electric ones, but if they do, they’re your answer. Argo is supposed to be pretty nice. So are Slant Fin.

uwshmitt

Is it just me or does our D-line depth seem the weakest on the team? Gaines JJ and Levi are are solid but whats after them for the Auburn game? Will a freshman or two get thrown into the fire that early?

UWDP: That’s the biggest concern for me on the defense, but I don’t think the defensive line depth is really any worse than the offensive line or wide receiver on offense.

This is the first time the Huskies haven’t had multiple 300+ pound guys that they can bring in on the line. We’ll have to see what that means.

Right now, there aren’t any freshmen on the two deeps along the line. Well see if they end up seeing the field.

Rawse206

I’m hearing great stuff about new freshman DBs we got. How long until we are recognized as DB U?? We got kids talent on deck!!

Glad the mailbag is back GO DAWGS!!!

UWDP: I recognize Washington as such right now. I think you should as well.

Rawse206

Do you see Spiker being a viable option as a true freshman?

UWDP: Marquis Spiker is a ways down the depth chart right now, and he’s on the steep part of the learning curve. That could go either way – things click for him and he becomes a player, or he ends up needing a year to really “get it.”

Talented guy. Glad he’s a Husky.

Aus*Dawg

1) What kind of game do you think Jake Browning will have against Auburn?

2) Why are there no Huskies named Brad?

UWDP: 19-29, 226 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 4 carries for -1 yards.

There are too many Jakes.

Jega

If Washington beats Auburn this Saturday, does that make them the fourth playoff team?

UWDP: I think they’d be the fifth playoff team. 1st round bye, most likely.

SpokaneDawg

Who is more annoying, duckitect or O4E? How do we cure a d_ck infestation?

UWDP: I suppose different fans would be annoyed by different factors you may find separately or collectively in them. I don’t actually find either of them to be “annoying.”

KingHusky

What time do you have to get up every morning to go down and turn the crank to keep the world spinning? Thanks for being apart of this blog Brad.

UWDP: You actually think that’s the kind of thing I do myself? Nah, I have people that do that sort of stuff for me.

I’m not apart of this blog yet, but I’m sure if I keep it up, one of the mods will get rid of me.

Have it your way with BBK!

If you are and NFL GM, where do you draft BBK today?

UWDP: Ben Burr-Kirven might have a career in the NFL, but I don’t think he’s going to be drafted at any point. If nothing else, he’s sub-six feet tall. He’s destined to be a free agent signing, and endure the uphill slog to making an NFL roster the same way he did to becoming a starter (and likely all Pac 12) linebacker at Washington.

What we lose Dawg…

If Washington loses by 2 scores to Auburn on Saturday should I invest money in the greater Seattle pitchforks and torch industry?

UWDP: I pretty much always hedge my bets and keep that investment. Odds are someone is going to need to get run out of town on a rail at some point each year. (I also invest in running out of town rails).

Think long term on these types of investments.

#1 Haener Dawg Fan

If Browning gets injured on Saturday and we still win, will Haener get the nod for the rest of the season or will they be willing to give a freshman a look.

Rawse206

What’s the word on the progress of our back up QBs?? As we know, they will get some action. Curious to hear how Haener is coming along and the rest.

UWDP: If Jake Browning was to get hurt in a season-ending or significant time missed type of way, the competition is going to begin anew starting next Monday.

That said, Jake Haener would have a leg up given that he’d actually performed well enough to pick up a huge win on the road, and by all reports, already has a significant lead over anyone else on the roster (that’s eligible to play football for the Huskies in 2018). He would have all but earned the starting job, at least in the short term. At that point, he’d need to go out and prove it’s his to keep.

Unfortunately, we really don’t know all that much about the backups. Reports are that Haener has improved since last season, but how much and relative to what, we really don’t know. By most of those same reports, the freshmen Colson Yankoff and Jacob Sirmon have mostly looked like freshmen – talent, but over their heads, making dumb mistakes and not really ready to play Pac 12 football.

Everything we get is pretty filtered, and most of the guys that do the reporting either don’t or can’t give much detail.

An upright Dawg that struggles to get through the uprights, everyday.

How many Field Goals can UW miss in the Auburn game but still win?

UWDP: Depends how many touchdowns they score.

21 points could win it. If they get there with two misses, they could still win. Anything less than that, and you’re probably putting way too big a burden on the defense.

Curious Husky Fan

What are the chances UW comes out of the gates guns blazing against Auburn with a bunch of screens to Gaskin and Salvon to counter Auburn’s ferocious D-Line?

UWDP: What’s “a bunch?” Figure the Huskies will run around 65 plays. I could see five screens to Myles Gaskin and Ahmed combined, if we count passes thrown to either of them while lining up or motioning out to the slot. And I think it’s a pretty sound strategy, too. Make those big guys move.

If you think it’s going to be way more than that, then I doubt it.

Best strategy to counter Auburn’s defensive line is for the Husky offensive line to play physical football at an exceptionally high level – to take that “next step” and be a dominant force.

Tricky Tricky Tricky Dawg

Is Chis Petersen more inclined to run trick plays to get to the championship game or to win the championship game?

UWDP: I don’t know. I think he’s going to do what he thinks he needs to do in order to win, and he’s going to take advantage of the playmakers he has in the best ways possible, while attacking weaknesses or tendencies of the defense.

Trick plays are a part of that. A really small part of it.

KingHusky

How was Washington able to find so much success with the Wild Cat against Penn State when our overall running attack was relatively ineffective that game?

UWDP: I don’t know, luck would be my guess. That and the fact that Gaskin is a really good running back that’s bound to make a play or two if you get him the ball enough times. I guess I don’t think the plays that worked were necessarily because they came from the wildcat, mostly just a coincidence. I could very well be wrong, though.

dgdawg

Film Study 2018 / 2019?

Please?

UWDP: I’m down, but John Sayler is the one that makes the gifs. You have to get him on board. As far as I know, he is, but he and I haven’t talked about it for a bit.

Syphilis

I thought Cade Otton looked very impressive in the spring game but don’t see him talked about much. Thoughts on his impact, especially in our AMAZING 3 TE SETS? Thanks and go dawgs

UWDP: It’s probably worth keeping in mind 1. Who’s doing the talking, and 2. How little we actually hear in general. For the bulk of the mainstream media, practice reports consist of how Jake Browning did, and then maybe a blurb on one or two other QBs, updates on the “awesome” secondary which mostly consist of nothing, a description of a nice play or two, and if we’re lucky, the 11 starters on each side of the ball when the team stuff starts. That’s about it. Go back and count how many mentions there are of offensive linemen and anybody on the defense at a position other than secondary.

I don’t only want to pine for Bob Condotta, but the tattoo of his face and autograph on my back needs a little touch-up work.

In the depth chart released this week, Otten is one of the four tight ends listed as a co-starter. I think he’ll end up playing a fair amount on Saturday.

Unless someone emerges as a major offensive threat at the tight end position, if we still see a preponderance of three tight end sets, we can safely assume the passing game is in trouble again in 2018.

Wishful thinker

It seems our current measure of ability is compared to other non-Pac-12 teams. Compared to last year’s UW team, would this year’s UW team have a better chance at beating last year’s Penn State team? (any particular reasons why?) Compared to 2016’s team, would this year’s UW team have a better chance at beating 2016’s Alabama team? (any particular reasons why?)

UWDP: You’re a wishful thinker if you believe that I can possibly answer this question with anything but a guess. But we can give it a try….

Let’s start in the secondary: I’d probably give the nod to the 2016 version, with Kevin King, All-American Sidney Jones, and Budda Baker over the 2018 one, but the 2018 version is better than last year given it’s the same players but a year older.

Linebacker: If you’re talking about the unit with a healthy Azeem Victor and Jojo Mathis, it’s the 2016 one, hands down. Without those two, though, they might slide to third. The depth chart released a few days ago is no real help in who’s starting and where, but I think it’s Burr-Kirven and Bartlett inside, and Benning Potoa’e and Ryan Bowman outside. With that group, I’m obviously reeeeeeaaaaaaaallllly projecting, but I’m talking the 2018 unit first, followed by the 2017 one, and the banged-up 2016 one last.

Defensive line: 2016 ran Elijah Qualls and Greg Gaines, then subbed in Vita Vea and Damion Turpin until Jaylen Johnson got healthy late in the year. Yeah……2017 is next, and 2018 is third.

Offensive line: It’s mostly the same starters for game one each year, which is pretty incredible. At least the core three of Nick Harris, Trey Adams, and Kaleb McGary. Those guys were so young in 2016. Things went south with Adams’ injury last year, but it got expected starter Luke Wattenberg a bunch of starts. I’m going 2018 first, even though Adams isn’t 100%, followed by healthy 2017, followed by 2016. If we have to use injured 2017 with Kirkland in for Adams and Wattenberg over at tackle, they slip to the bottom.

Running back: Again the same starter. I expect Myles Gaskin to be better in 2018 than he was in 2016. Salvon Ahmed won’t replicate Lavon Coleman’s out-of-the-blue 2016 season, but he can do different things really, really well. I’m taking 2018, followed very closely by 2016, then 2017.

Receiver: No matter what happens to John Ross in the NFL, he had a great 2016 season at Washington and is a great Husky. When he was coupled with Dante Pettis, those two were as dynamic a tandem as any in Husky history, and the entire passing game just clicked. It’s hard to imagine a worse situation at receiver than what Washington had in 2017, with significant injuries (or at least time lost) to so many receivers (plus Hunter Bryant at tight end). The coaches didn’t have the confidence to play more than one of them at a time by the end of the season. Unfortunately, though, the two biggest factors that make 2018 better are health and hope, not actual returning production. It’s enough to fall into second, but well below 2016.

QB: This should be an obvious one for 2018, but we’ll see how things progress with the receiving corps, because Jake Browning needs weapons around him (even though that’s somehow a knock on him to some Husky fans) in order to succeed. This is by far his toughest opening game since his very first as a Husky in 2015 at Boise State.

Well, that whole exercise didn’t actually amount to anything, since there’s no scoring system.

Short answer – this team should be the strongest by a significant margin on the offensive line of any in the Petersen era, even though Trey Adams won’t be 100% right away. The quarterback and the running back(s) should be the best. The defense is so close to any that even if there’s a drop off, it should’ve be anywhere near enough to derail the season. This should be the best team of the last three seasons. They get a huge test opportunity right out of the gate. I can’t wait.

Sowletrain

I am really excited about the season (I also thought that before the 2008 season…), but I can’t help but think we’re over-hyped a bit. I can’t put my finger on it, but it doesn’t feel right. I know we lost Vea on defense, and kept essentially everyone else on both sides of the ball. I am not a Browning-hater, but I certainly don’t think he’s “elite” despite the numbers he accumulated at UW. He doesn’t make many mistakes, but he also doesn’t take over games like Tui used to. The OL is stacked, RB is solid, receivers are young but appear to be formidable – so what is the missing ingredient? Maybe I’m focused on the offense and it’s actually a special teams deficiency? I can see three or four losses this year between Auburn, Utah, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford. Call me crazy, but something doesn’t feel “right”.

UWDP: I picked 9-3 heading in to the 2016, and felt that was a “realistic, optimistic” projection.

Yes, I agree the team is overhyped a bit. I’m not sure who isn’t, though. I tend to focus on the things that can go wrong with the Huskies’ season, because that’s my nature. But I also try to keep in mind that I know Washington’s weaknesses far better than I do any other team in the country.

I guess I assume Alabama is going to be better because it seems like they have been forever. Clemson is nearing that place. Georgia and feels like they’re heading that way, with their recent recruiting, but I don’t put them in that category quite yet. Other than that, I don’t know who’s actually better. Their are teams with more talent, but they either have a glaring weakness (like at quarterback), or a coaching staff that’s a net negative.

No, it doesn’t feel “right” to me either. I don’t think there’s a possible result from Saturday that would make it feel right. Oh well, it certainly isn’t going to lessen my enjoyment in any way.

GeddyT

Is there anybody else who immediately pictures this: http://i.imgur.com/IoiFcHp.gif EVERY SINGLE TIME you see the “Call For Questions” headline?

UWDP: A website address?

pychnopod

Are we going to blitz more this year?

UWDP: More than what?

The Huskies rushed five players (a blitz) pretty frequently last year. I don’t know the exact numbers but I’d guess at least 40% of “passing” downs? Maybe more? What you don’t see, though, are the total sellout six and seven man blitzes that some teams use. I don’t expect that to change, because those are defenses that have a high propensity of giving up big plays.

Washington will blitz, but a big part of their blitz package is disguising who’s coming and who’s not, and creating small mismatches (like two defenders rushing through the same gap) as opposed to overwhelming an offense with sheer numbers.

Lebrons long lost cousin

What if this game ends up meaning nothing? Like auburn has a season and this “huge playoff decider” ends up being just another game that we we’re supposed to win?

UWDP: Washington is going to get full credit for scheduling Auburn, no matter what happens to Auburn’s season. Some of the impact might be lessened, but we aren’t going to see ESPN’s “cupcake” graphic no matter what happens.

As great as the game against Auburn is, the fact is that the second toughest out-of-conference game in 2018, BYU, has almost as much credibility attached to it as Rutgers (the marquee game in 2016 and 2017) did.

Rawse206

Who do you think will be our 3rd RB? We have Gaskin and Ahmed but I’m just curious who you think they will add to that mix.

UWDP: It sounds like it’s down to Kamari Pleasant and Sean McGrew, and that it’s still pretty close. McGrew is probably a better runner, but he’s still exceptionally small, and largely redundant with both Gaskin and Ahmed in style. Pleasant is a bit bigger (the only back on the roster over 200 pounds), and actually got a few meaningful snaps in 2017, mostly as a blocker. McGrew got the bulk of the garbage time carries, though. Either way, I wouldn’t expect the third back to get more than a carry or two outside of garbage time. And neither has really proven that he’s much of a receiving threat (at least one that’s taking opportunities away from Gaskin or Ahmed), so that’s not an angle to see the field.

(anonymous)

Anyone able to make it out to Crawsover at SPU last weekend? I’m curious how Nahz, Matisse, Noah looked? (Did I miss any Dawgs)

UWDP: Anyone have any information they’d like to share on this?

(anonymous)

Is Auburn over rated?

UWDP: No, they’re about 10th.

(anonymous)

Describe Petersen’s decision process with Kaho’s release.

UWDP: High road, all the way. The better question (and one that we’ll never hear anyone discuss) is if Petersen would handle it the same way in the future. And, if the UW athletic department has asked the NCAA to look at things.

Ale Kaho is listed in the two-deeps at linebacker for Alabama. It’s great that he was able to recover from all of his personal strife and put the weight back on.

I’d say something positive about him, but it’d be a lie.

Fan

What scenario gets Benning drafted in first 3 rounds in 2019?

UWDP: 15 sacks and two interceptions. I’d wager scouts love his size, so if Potoa’e can show some athleticism as a pass rusher and in coverage, he’s very draftable for the NFL.

(anonymous)

How many games does Dean’s son start this year?

UWDP: 15

(anonymous)

How does UW’s interior OL match up Auburn’s DTs? Also, how does UW’s edge rush match up with Auburn’s OTs?

UWDP: Maybe the question of the game, on that first part. Even with as much football as Nick Harris has played, this will be the first time he’s had to snap the ball before blocking. Plus, centers usually handle the audibles and communication on the offensive line, so the mental part of his job got a lot tougher. Add in the one true newbie next to him in what appears to be Jaxson Kirkland at one guard, and then Luke Wattenberg’s couple of starts at guard before moving out to tackle, and the interior is all pretty new. They’ve never played together for sure, if nothing else. I think this is the matchup that goes the furthest in determining the outcome of the game.

As for Washington’s rush, I think Auburn is totally unproven at one tackle (a graduate transfer from UMass) and mostly not proven at the other (a guy that played a lot, but wasn’t great). That being said, Auburn likely has talent at these spots. If the UW can get a sack-and-a-half out of Potoa’e and Bowman, and make Jarrett Stidham feel uncomfortable another half-dozen times or more, they’ve done their jobs.

dawgincostarica

!) Why ?

2) The NCAA has recognized UCF’s 2018 ,claim as National Champions. Why not 1960 Washington and 1984 Washington as National Champions ?

3) Expansion of the PAC 12.

Both U.Cal San Diego and U.British Colombia are academically ranked as in the Worlds “Top 50” universities. Imagine Canadians supporting U.B.C. playing in B.C. Place !

….and a real West Coast foot print

UWDP: The NCAA recognizing football titles is sort of a newish thing. As far as I’m concerned, the problem is 100% with Washington not claiming its history. If you count up every national title claimed by every school in the country, the total is a lot higher than the number of years college football has been played. But the titles become part of the lore when they’ve been claimed right away.

Good for Central Florida for doing it.

I’m going to assume the two schools you’re suggesting adding are a joke. Right?

SEC superiority guy

Why are your lbs all midgets?

UWDP: Washington has built a recruiting pipeline to m.h.s. (that’s midget high school – no caps – they’re way too tall).

What could have been

Will Marlon Tuipulotu, Foster Sarell, or Brandon Kaho have better seasons? Who would make the biggest difference on the current UW team?

UWDP: I expect the three of them to tie for the Heisman this year, so obviously you’d want to add all three.

Probably Tuipulotu. But I can’t honestly imagine that Husky fans are concerned about recruiting losses from two years ago, are they?

Haener’s mom

What would it take to take starting job from browning? Haener looked like the better qb on multiple occasions during fall camp.

UWDP: Never mind that, I’d love to hear more about the practices. Since you were there and all. How did the offensive line look?

jordancda

How many more postseason losses can UW take before it becomes a “monkey” that they can’t get off their backs? Is it going to become a problem for UW/Pac-12 if we make the playoff and lose again?

UWDP: Depends who you ask. I don’t know why it has to become “a thing” to fans. I’d wager most teams have losing records vs teams that are higher-ranked. Wouldn’t you?

Aren’t we talking about two games right now? More than that.

I want to win if the Huskies get there, but I certainly don’t think losing represents a “problem” other than the disappointment of losing a game I’d love to win.

Iadawg

Do you think we will see a lineup with 3 DL more often than one with a nickel back? Why do you think this? Thanks.

UWDP: We might see both together, if you’re willing to count Benning Potoa’e as a defensive linemen (an end) on the plays the Huskies run their nickel out of an odd front (I do).

This is the defense Pete Kwiatkowski has run the last few years, and it’s tough to argue with the success he’s had with it. I know that Jimmy Lake is the defensive coordinator in name, but my guess is that that’s in terms of calling plays from Kwiatkowski’s playbook, and the fundamental architecture isn’t going to be allowed to change (but I admit that’s me parsing words and reading into the situation).

It’s a really versatile defense, especially given the amount of spread offenses the Huskies see in a season. Second, it’s easier to recruit five really good defensive backs than it is to find three really good defensive linemen, in Washington’s recruiting footprint.

dgdawg

Does the fact that the Huskies are 1 – 8 all time against SEC teams concern you as the Huskies head into this matchup against Auburn?

UWDP: If the Huskies were 1-8 with a bunch of losses to Vanderbilt and Kentucky then it might. Most of the losses are to quality teams, though. Yes, I’d like to have more wins (like eight more). It doesn’t concern me as some sort of “thing” though.

Oregon Dawg

What is the biggest limiting factor for Browning to be drafted into the NFL? He appears accurate, has decent feet and run ability, and he is good under pressure. But his delivery time seems slow (compared to other pro prospects) and his arm strength may be below NFL average.

Whatever it is, can he fix it and or has it been addressed in the off-season?

UWDP: He’s not what NFL evaluators would call an “explosive” athlete. He doesn’t have the requisite arm strength, and he’s borderline being too short.

It’s simply not something that can be fixed, because in this case, “arm strength” isn’t something that’s actually determined by how much weight one can lift, but the transfer of energy from the lower body up through the upper body. If you’ve heard the terms “fast twitch” and “slow twitch” muscle, Jake Browning is a slow twitch person. That’s genetic, not something you can train for – at least to the point it’s going to make a marked difference.

Deeply interested in your answer

What are your impressions of the two-deeps? (Good and bad)

UWDP: As per Chris Petersen’s usual, they are only minimally informative.

There’s a little bit of information we can take from it. For instance, the starters on the offensive line appear set, and Jaxson Kirkland won the job at right guard. It appears that one of either Andre Baccellia or Chico McClatcher is an outside receiver, as they are listed at different positions. I’d guess Baccellia is a traditional flanker (Pettis’ role the last few years), and McClatcher is the slot (although those designations don’t necessarily mean a ton).

Defensively, I don’t think there’s much “real” information here. There are three defensive linemen listed as starters, and we know the Huskies only play two. D.J. Beavers and Ben Burr-Kirven are both listed as starters, which would imply that Tevis Bartlett has moved back to an outside linebacker spot. I wouldn’t really call any of this “subterfuge,” but it’s not likely reality. I’ll wager that Jaylen Johnson will be either start or be a backup at defensive tackle (not a “starting” defensive end, as listed), and Bartlett will start on the inside, as he’s done all spring and fall. D.J. Beavers will be a backup on the inside, and I bet Brandon Wellington sees the field at the other inside spot before Jake Wambaugh. I think the outside linebackers will be Benning Potoa’e and Ryan Bowman, and that one isn’t backing up the other.

There’s precedence for this. For example, in 2016, Vita Vea was a “starting defensive end” every game by the depth chart (I think he had one start, and he was a defensive tackle pretty much every snap he played). Jojo Mathis was listed as a defensive end (he was actually an outside linebacker). Darren Gardenhire was an “OR” with Kevin King for at least a couple of weeks after being kicked off the team.

It doesn’t mean much. It’s the guys that will primarily play, but not necessarily their positions or rotations.

All for this week. No chicks were filleted in making this mailbag.

GO DAWGS!!!!

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