Archive for October, 2005

HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY

October 28, 2005

Is it the Friday before the crucifixion? Or the Friday before the resurrection? Time will tell….

The picks:

USC 48 WSU 28. I have a hard time believing that our offense is going to score less than 28 points. I also would be SERIOUSLY thinking upset if it wasn’t for our horrible defense and special teams play. I think when its all said and done, we will look at a first half Reggie Bush punt return (to the house) as the thing that made this a blow-out and not an interesting game in the second half. Harrison will, however, get his 100 yards…

But I also think, upon further reflection, that my initial take on how the game will play out was a bit flawed. USC will stack the line of scrimmage to stop the run, but drop their DB’s WAY back to stop the deep ball. I also think they’ll gimick linebacker blitzes to fall back into pass coverage. The idea: keep the ball in front of them and bait little Alex into throwing the ball over the middle….in other words, for us to stay in the game, we will have to effectively use Biennemen and find an intermediate passing game. I think we’ll have some success, which will keep the score down because we will keep the ball for a while. But eventually, our lack of D and special teams will kill us. Also, I think we’ll know a lot about the game early. How will little Alex react to what Carrol has in mind? Will we be flat? Will we turn the ball over and get into a quick 14-0 hole? It WILL be fun to watch–at least initially.

OSU 35 Arizona 21

Arizona State 38 UW 21

UCLA 41 Stanford 28

Fla 21 Georgia 17

Brink stuff (and some eye-candy as requested by Rooster)

October 27, 2005

First, this from Rosie today via the Go-To-Guy, on Brink:

On replacing Alex Brink with Josh Swogger. It’s just not going to happen.
“He’s playing good, man,” said quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach. “A lot of things have happened to him that are not entirely on him. He’s not making as many mistakes as people around here would have you believe. Right now if we score 50 points and we lose, it’s his fault … He’s doing a great job moving the football. We’re happy with what he’s doing.”

Swogger supporters point to some sorry Brink interceptions in the past four games that tarnished his prolific passing-yardage totals. They’d like to see Swogger get a sniff of the field, perhaps in a second-quarter series, but there’s no chance of that either.
“You pick a starting quarterback you feel gives you a best chance to win the game. So he plays,” Rosenbach said. “We’re not losing because of the quarterback.”

Though Brink’s mistakes are mystifying to untrained eyes like mine, he’s still in his first full season as the starter, and his stats are better than the sophomore stats of a player he is often compared to, Jason Gesser.

“I’m sure it’s frustrating to people, frustrating to anybody who doesn’t have any perspective,” Rosenbach said. “If you look at it in the right light, the frustration will subside. Perspective is everything.”

I suppose. But as I sat there the other night, watching consecutive picks, perspective was impossible to find.

Rosenbach doesn’t have that problem. He’s been a backup and a starter, at WSU and in the NFL, who has also heard comments about his inability to throw deep. When those concerns were expressed about Brink, Rosenbach laughed.

“I hope people keep saying Alex can’t do a lot of things because he will prove them wrong,” Rosenbach said.

Once again, I know NOTHING about playing QB beyond the 8th grade. I’m going to side with the guy’s opinion that played at an extremely high level in college and the NFL, and has been coaching this kid since the day he set foot on campus. There is a reason it’s Alex Brink for today and beyond, and barring a Gesser-like broken leg, it’s Alex Brink until he graduates.

The only thing I do know is our history, and how Brink is stacking up vs. the rest of our decorated QB’s. And I can sit here today, and tell you flat-out, that Alex Brink is doing things as a sophomore that NO WSU QB has done at the same stage of his career. Does he F-up and throw terrible interceptions?? OF COURSE HE DOES. But didn’t Rosie/Bledsoe/Leaf/Gesser/Kegel all do the exact damn thing when they were learning?? OF COURSE. What will be most interesting will be to sit down and really look at what he accomplished in 2005. A 3,000 yard, 25-TD season is not a stretch by an measure right now, something no sophomore WSU QB ever did.

THE "LOGIC" AND THE GAME PLAN

October 27, 2005

If Brink is so bad then how come you think the Cougs can score 38?

The logic is simple and evident in the numbers: this offense is as good as the 94 defense was through three quarters. I mean, the offensive production is RIDICULOUS when you consider that this team has not been blown out once. You can understand outrageous numbers from a juggernaut that gets most of their yards and points against 3rd string defenses (as one would expect with an 0-4 conference team). But the fact that we’ve been blasting first units speaks both to the fact of how bad our defense is and how leadershipless our QB is when it matters most.

You can also say what you want about ND and Weiss, but our offense is BETTER than ND’s and just about anyone outside of USC for three quarters–don’t believe me, just look at those OUTRAGEOUS numbers. I also don’t care what anyone says–USC will NOT be ready for us in the first half because those kids can’t possibly be taking us seriously given our record and their stature. The only caveat to that is if our boys don’t come to play. But with Hill talking about NFL aspirations and Harrison wanting and needing desperately to show that he’s something on the national stage, I doubt that the O is going to lay down.

The question is, how do we keep the game competitive to keep things interesting, and dare I say, put us in a position to stage the biggest upset in the history of college football?

Here’s my take:

1) Do NOT play conservative in the first half. Carol will stack the line of scrimmage early to slow Harrison and thwart our attempts to keep his offense off of the field. So, do what we did against CAL, throw the ball to Hill or Gipson and strike early and often. The goal: score 28 points in the first half.

2) Play overly aggresive on defense. Last week was PERFECT preparation for Bush and White. Stack the line, pinch whomever to shut off the sweep and try to knock Leinahrt out of the game. If you give up 400 yards passing in the first half and 28 or 35 points–so be it. But don’t allow the D to stay on the field for more than 15 of the first 30 minutes.

3) Game plan for the second half before the game. Continue the theme of the first half and go deep whenever you can. When USC finally has to drop back, unleash Harrison as much as you can. Play bend but don’t break defense (only in the 3rd) to further shorten the third quarter. If we can Shrink the game in the 3rd quarter, if we’re lucky, we’ll enter the fourth within 7–I’m thinking 42-35 SC.

4) In the 4th, play all out. If you lose 70-42–so be it. But, play ALL OUT. Gamble on defense in the same mold as the first half, and give your offense a chance to win or tie the game at the end.

In the end, we will lose no matter what–be it because SC blows us out, because Brink just can’t get it done when it matters, or because the bottom line is that both their offense and their defense is better (particularly their defenses ability to stop us a few times when our d may not be able to stop them once).

In any case, we will score–the question is how we play. If we play wide open on both sides of the ball, then we can make it interesting.

And you just never know what kids will do on any given Saturday.

I just hope it doesn’t come down to the kicking game. That’s one thing I can’t handle…

Good thing I won’t have to…

Gooooooo Trojans!

October 26, 2005

Just keeping with the theme from UCLA a few weeks ago……

All I know is, the tone at USC changed pretty quick after the latest BCS standings were released. USC is pissed. A few players said on Monday “What, do we have to win 100-0?” That leads me to believe USC is going to come out, on national TV, and put the pedal to the metal for the full 60 minutes, from kickoff to QB kneel-down. We’re in deep shit. Just think how good Oregon has been on offense, and how they were shut down when it mattered vs. SC, at Autzen. I know Notre Dame moved the ball when they needed to, but Brady Quinn has turned into a darkhorse Heisman candidate, and Charlie Weis is the best offensive mind on the planet, college of pro. Alex Brink, Josh Swogger, hell, Arkie Hall, are NOT Brady Quinn, and Levy is NOT Charlie Weis!

BrinkHater, I have one question with your logic to the Cougs scoring points on Saturday. If Brink is so terrible, how will they put up 38 on USC on the road?

USC 63, WSU 16.

Time to re-name this thing to Seahawks blog?

October 25, 2005


This just in – the Big Tuna is pissed!

Seriously though, that must be one of the top 5 greatest W’s in Seahawks history. With all the adversity, for Hass to take the bull by the balls and drive them into the endzone to tie it up, without his top THREE WR’S (DJack, Engram inactive, Jerivicius out with a stinger) against a top-flight defense, is just HUGE. This is the kind of game that changes an entire personality of a franchise, and who knows? Maybe in the near future, they’ll look back to this game and say “yeah, that was the game that made this season.” In the wide-open NFC, anything can happen!

By the way, Lofa Tatupu. WOW. I keyed on him the whole first half of the game, and I swear, it’s like he’s reading minds. It’s amazing. I’ve never seen a guy anticipate so well. He moves players around, in complete control of what is happening, and never, ever takes a false step. It’s amazing. Next chance you get to watch them play, for a series or two, just watch him in the middle. Sure, he’s on the small side, but he has something that you just can’t teach – instincts for this game beyond any rookie linebacker to come into the NFL in years, and he’s a GIGANTIC difference from last year to this year! There was an article at Seahawks.net in the beginning of the year, after Lofa won the MLB job, that said the Pats were frantically trying to trade up in front of Seattle to pick him in the 2nd round. He’s exactly that brainy, instinct, winning, team-first type of guy that Belichick gets hot for, and Ruskell nabbed him! What a tremendous pick.

Also, Walter Jones – another WOW. They had iso cameras on his so-called “battle” with DeMarcus Ware, but what a domination that was. Ware didn’t even sniff a sack, and only had one TFL on a Alexander cut-back. That was it. In fact, in the first half, there was one play where Walt just drove him 15 yards up the field behind the play! Another time Ware took like three steps, and Walt just shoved him to the turf! Truly, Walter Jones is the greatest tackle in the NFL right now, and will be wearing a yellow blazer in Canton some day. Put that in INK. Just like Lofa, when you watch them play again, just watch what happens when Walter blocks. It’s just amazing how much better he is vs. the guy across from him.

Swogger – "I’m a Coug!"

October 24, 2005

Forget the Swoggs-to-transfer rumors. The story is up now that he talked to cf.com and shot down any rumors of his transfer.

Rumors of a Josh Swogger transfer have been building for a couple of weeks — and took on new life over the weekend. But the strong-armed junior says he’s not going anywhere.”I’m a Coug,” Swogger told Cougfan.com Monday morning. “That’s the way I look at it. That thought hasn’t even crossed my mind. There’s always going to be stuff like that. Pretty funny, really.”

“I think there’s two ways you can handle a situation like this,” said Swogger. “One is the bad way, to say you’re getting a raw deal and all that. What I try to do is help out the guys, almost acting like a coach and help out the guys on the sideline.”

And Swogger reiterated that while many people will probably always have a tendency to automatically accept rumor as fact, this one has no basis in reality.”People are going to talk,” he said. “They’re going to say, ‘Oh I’m from his hometown and my second cousin’s girlfriend or whatever says….’ But I’m a Coug. And its going to stay that way for as long as I know.”At the end of the game, the Cougar Radio Network’s Bud Namek asked head coach Bill Doba if the staff had considered replacing Brink with Swogger at halftime. Doba was succinct: No.Still, Swogger remains as loyal a crimson and gray foot soldier as ever.”I’m doing good,” said Swogger. “I’m just hanging in there, and just seeing when I’m going to get my shot.”

BREAKING NEWS? – Swogger transferring to Youngstown St

October 24, 2005

Per many inside sources on the “premium” stuff, several rumors popped up late yesterday that Swogger was asking for his transfer. Then, Sunday evening, a media source spoke with an athletic department source at both WSU and Youngstown State, and both sides confirmed that Swogger and his father are due to request his transfer from WSU this morning. More to come as I hear it, I’m checking in with the little birdie that would know.

GOING TO VEGAS

October 24, 2005

If there was ever a time to break the pledge of NOT betting on 18 and 19 year old kids, this is the week.

The early line has USC as THIRTY ONE point favorites. Time to bet the farm on us +31.

We may not have the lead in the 4th quarter, but unless we have a terrible start, we are gonna be close until late.

USC is already talking about being done with the hard part of their schedule, we’re 0-4 in conference and a seeming doormat to wipe ones feet on.

The question that comes into this week is whether or not we will give a damn when the ball gets kicked off.

I’m betting that these kids and the staff will get up for the nationally televised game and the opportunity at history.

USC’s defense hasn’t seen an offense like ours, and I really like our chances to score in the 30’s once again. That means that SC has to score 62 at minimum to be able to cover and I think Harrison will keep our O on the field long enough to make that tough…

So, as of Monday, I am predicting that SC is winning 38-31 going into the fourth quarter. The only question is whether or not the final will be 59-38 or whether or not we will see another heartbreaker in the mold of 52-38 when they score near the end to put us away.

The key will be the first two offensive possessions for us. If we score early, this game may actually be pretty darn fun to watch.

I’m hoping we can take the pressure coat off an have some fun.

2005 = 2000

October 23, 2005

So many heartbreaks, so little time.

This year really is shaping up to be Y2K all over again. That year featured erratic performances by a sophomore QB before he got hurt, and of course, 3 OT losses which could have swung a 4-7 season into 7-4 fairly easily (in fact, that was the Vilaskuhl at kicker season, and in 2 of those 3 OT losses, he missed field goals that would have won the game! I went back and looked it up. So truly, 6-5 was quite possible and should have happened). That team had young players EVERYWHERE, defense, offense, etc, and they grew up together and we saw what followed.

This year? Now 3 of 4 losses in which the Cougs had double-digit leads, 2 of those in the 4th quarter, yet couldn’t close the deal.

Is hope lost entirely? No, I wouldn’t say so. It’s STILL not totally over. ASU was absolutely crushed by Stanford (who led 45-7 in the 3rd quarter!?!?) and they appear to be a sinking ship, even benching Keller in the 3rd quarter. Oregon lost the 2nd best QB in the Pac to a broken ankle and they even lost their scary-quick backup QB to an injury, so who knows where they’ll be in a few weeks. Regardless of which QB it is, I’ll tell you, without Clemens, that Oregon team will be entirely different. Just ask UW how good he really is. Then, of course, there is the AC, which who the hell knows there. It’s looking a hell of a lot more possible to find 3 more wins than it did, say, even last week!?!?

As Michael said last night, we will score points on ANYONE, including USC next week. Cal was the #1 D in the Pac-10, and even though they had some d-lineman beat up, to put up 600 yards of total offense on the road?? I don’t care who that is against, that’s hard to do against air in practice. Simply amazing.

The absolute biggest thing to me? In the hindsight of the pain of blowing the games earlier this year, and as lousy as things were looking going into the locker-room at the half, the way they fought back was unbelievable. Who’d a thunk it?!? They totally rallied and that shows me a lot. Maybe in years past, even last year, we would have laid down with a 28-10 deficit on the road, but they fought back big-time. For that, I”m proud and optimistic. As I told Michael last night, I have given up, but they sure as hell wouldn’t.

All that said, we very well could be 5-5 going into the Apple Cup, and then all bets are off. Then again, the pessimist in me says no matter how big the lead, how can we ever feel comfortable again with this group!?!? They can’t possibly blow more games this year…..can they??!?

Ho Hum

October 21, 2005

I’m not really in the mood but I’ve got to get my predictions out of the way so I can go get on a plane to watch WSU UPSET CAL 35 – 32. COUGS COUGS. Well that was my weak attempt at some school spirit this morning.

USC will cover the 31point (last I looked) spread against the Pooches because they have two players who are in the Heisman hunt and need big stats.
USC 62 Probation Nation 17
UCLA 35 Beavs 31
Ducks 42 Cats 30
ASU 45 Trees 21