Last game of the regular season. Who's excited!!!!
Well, here's to extending it for one more game. We talk about the Washington Huskies and how they match up with the California Golden Bears with John Berkowitz of UW Dawg Pound; both teams are stalking bowl eligibility and the winner will certainly be on the right track. Questions in bold, answers below the questions.
1) How healthy is Jake Locker heading into Saturday's game?
He still has a broken rib so that is going to continue to affect his throwing motion. The consensus is that he should be improved but nobody really knows how he will play until he steps on the field and starts getting some contact. Will he be as effective as the Jake who played against Cal last season…probably not.
2) Which Husky weaknesses will the Bears have to exploit to win on Saturday?
Broken rib or not the Bears need to keep the pressure on Jake Locker and stop the Washington running game. If you put the game completely on the shoulders of Jake Cal will most likely win.
3) Is it fair to say UW hasn't lived up to expectations this year? What went wrong?
We lost close games to BYU and ASU that we didn’t have any business losing. A lot of fan criticism was directed at the staff because of the play calling in both those games. Another thing to consider is that the Huskies have played the second toughest schedule in the nation according to Sagarin. We don’t have a Chico State or Sacramento St on the schedule and that doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error when you are rebuilding.
4) Sark's debut went really well. Now with an unexpectedly tough year and Locker leaving for the NFL, what are your expectations for the rebuilding process? Are the pieces in place for the next guy (Nick Montana?) to lead this team to a nice bowl next year, or do you think it will take another 2-3 years?
The team will continue to grow and get better even though Jake is leaving for the NFL. Sark has recruited quite well and we seem to be in good shape at QB heading into the spring. This staff doesn’t have the luxury of another 2-3 years in fact no staff does. UW needs to get it done with what they have. Star players graduate for every team every year and you need to have the kids ready to plug in and take over.
5) How well have the Huskies played on the road this year?
We have a single road win this season but it came over USC in the Coliseum. We do play better at home but I haven’t noticed a huge drop off on the road.
6) Everyone knows that the key to beating Cal is to overload against the run. Even if the stats don't look great, is that something you think your D can do?
We did it with success last week against UCLA and the Bears seem to be quite similar on offense. The big question is if our massive DT Alameda Taamu is ready to play on Saturday. He has been dominating as of late. If he can’t go we might be in trouble.
7) Who do you want to punch in the face?
I haven’t really thought about that this early in the morning but I guess the standard general answer is always Lane Kiffin. As for Cal I guess we go after Brock Mansion and put him out of the game.
8) The UW pass D has not been world beaters this year, giving up on average about 230 pass yards on the road. However, the Cal passing offense has been dysfunctional, at best, this year, especially with QB Brock Mansion at the helm. In the battle of the movable object and the resistible force, who do you think wins out?
Based on how Washington played during its last outing against UCLA I would have to pick the Huskies. Mansion seems to be a mess going into this game and if we can get the same type of pressure on him it could be a long day for Cal. Honestly the performances of both these teams is up and down each week so it is hard to predict an outcome for Saturday.