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Getting to know the Huskies (Defense)

Following up on this morning's roundup I wanted to delve more into the Husky defense.

I didn't get the watch the entire Huskies game against the Sooners. However, I did catch this.

The highlight reel is somewhat deceptive considering the Huskies were hanging in there in the first half against the Sooners. But still this is not a great Huskies teams UCLA will be playing in Seattle. As Zach mentioned earlier this defense managed to make two quarterback look great, whose talent is no where close to No. 7's.

Per Huskies pass defense has given up almost 600 yards in two games, as QBS from San Jose St. and OU (backup Paul Thompson) completed 70 percent of their passes, throwing 5 TDs and 1 pick. Meanwhile, Huskies run defense is pretty solid. Althought it gave up 165 yards to Sooner star Adrian Peterson, so far it has managed to hold the opposing run offense to less than 4 yards per carry, giving up 2 TDs (both of them to AP) in 2 games. More on the Huskies secondary issues from the Seattle Times Husky blog (HT to U Dub Dish):

The secondary is particularly limited with UW only having three corners right now it really wants to put in the game and one of them -- Dashon Goldson -- hobbling. In the spring, when everyone was waxing optimistic about the secondary, the assumption was that Jordan Murchison would contribute and Ashlee Palmer would be eligible and Goldson would be the starting cornerback. There was also a slight hope that Darin Harris and Josh Okoebor, who each started games last year, would get healthy and be back.

Instead, Palmer isn't in, Murchison is out, Goldson ailing and Harris and Okoebor not on the roster at the moment due to their injuries.
Doesn't sound like a confident bunch. And these guys have given up some big plays in their first two games. Take a quick look at the Husky defense situation stats, and you will see how thee guys have already given up 20 plays of 15 or more yards. And they get weaker as the game goes along, giving up almost twice the passing yardage in second half as they do in first half. Perhaps this secondary will be the perfect pick me up for Ben Olson, who was not happy after the Rice game.

So the question is when we go up to Washington, what will the Huskies do?

Are the going to put any new wrinkle in their defense to help out their all ready maligned secondary? From today?s paper it looks like our guys are expecting the Huskies to play conventional defense.

Still it could be very interesting. UCLA has shown that it can pass in the first game and run in the second game. It will be imperative upon the coaching staff to show they can put together a balanced pacakage and do both in the same game.

Considering so far the Huskies have held their own with their rush defense, I don't see them stacking the line to stop the UCLA run like Utah did. And, considering their pass defense has been so atrocious against below average QBs in their first two games it?s a good bet they are not going to pull up their safeties leaving their already vulnerable CBs against our receivers.

So if the Huskies pull back their safeties to help out their pass defense, it will be up to our OL and Markey, Bell, and rest of the UCLA running backs to put together a formidable running game. Especially our RBs will need to back up the talk coming out of Westwood this week that running game has really improved since the Utah game. Featuring two hundred yard rushers in 2 out of our last 3 games featuring pathetic run defenses of Northwestern and Rice is one thing, running hard against Washington will be a different matter. Let?s hope the coaches are ready for the challenge.

UCLA should have the upper hand in this game. Check out the Huskies front-7 (per CFN):
DE 66 Daniel Te?o-Nesheim 6-4 235 RFr.
92 Walt Winter 6-5 245 So.
55 Anthony Atkins 6-2 290 Jr.

DT 74 Wilson Afoa 6-3 290 Jr.
77 Erick Lobos 6-3 300 Jr.

DT 91 Donny Mateaki 6-5 285 Sr.
95 Jordan Reffett 6-6 295 Jr.
56 Jovon O?Connor 6-5 315 So.

DE 7 Greyson Gunheim 6-4 240 Jr.
41 Brandon Ala 6-3 245 Sr. OR
85 Caesar Rayford 6-6 225 Jr.

OLB 4 Scott White 6-1 230 Sr. OR
34 Dan Howell 6-1 225 Jr. 20 Kyle Trew 6-2 220 Jr.

ILB 47 Tahj Bomar 6-2 215 Sr.
57 Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2 230 So.

OLB 29 Chris Stevens 6-0 195 So.
22 E.J. Savannah 6-2 215 RFr.
One note Dan White was moved up the starting spot switching up with Chris Stevens at OLB per the depth chart Willingham released before the San Jose State game (HT to the Dish again). Otherwise not any major changes.

These guys are not the biggest frontline our OL will face this season. This is a front 7 our OL should be able to physically dominate. The microscope will really be on OC Jim Svoboda and OL coach Jim Colletto to see if they can make the right play calls and make sure OL has the right schemes to open up lanes for our RBs, while at the same time giving protection to our first year QB on the road. Again this is a game we must win if we want to maintain realistic chances of meeting our minimum expectations. We are going to find a lot about our coaching staff in 10 days.

I would love to hear from everyone else on Husky defense. As mentioned above I didn't get to see most of the Husky/Sonners game. So those of you who saw that game and perhaps even saw the San Jose State game please chime in. But from what I have sees so far and reading between the numbers, I think there is no reason UCLA should not be winning this game in Seattle.