Played in the Keith Carden Memorial Handball Tournament today at the Bremerton YMCA, so I missed the UW-EWU football game.
Between matches, I followed updates on Twitter and the outcome didn’t really surprise me that much. I figured Eastern was the most dangerous of Washington’s first four opponents — Hawaii, Eastern, Illinois and Georgia State (in that order). The Eagles’ offense might be the best Washington faces all season. And, yes, I’m including Oregon.
Still, the 59-52 victory raises questions, just as Washington’s 17-16 win over Hawaii did the previous week. For the second week in a row, we’re left wondering if this team is any good. As I type this, Oregon State is leading Hawaii 38-14 in the fourth quarter. (Update: Hawaii came back to make a game out of it, losing 38-30).
The Huskies have got some serious work to do on defense, which is where they were supposed to be strong. Linebacker Shaq Thompson, who didn’t make much of an impact in Hawaii, defensive lineman Danny Shelton and cornerback Marcus Peters were all preseason Pac-12 first-team selections. Defensive end Hau’li Kikaha joined that trio on the Bronco Nagurksi Award list, which goes to the nation’s top defender.
Peters was hit with a 15-yard penalty for taunting that led to an Eastern Washington touchdown and 45-44 lead for the Eagles in the second half. UW coach Chris Petersen benched Peters for the rest of the game.
“That was easy,” Petersen told the media after the game. “I’m not into stupid penalties. That wasn’t even a decision (to bench Peters).”
Ten wins (my prediction) doesn’t look good right now, but college football is a funny, unpredictable animal. By Week 7, when Washington travels to Eugene to play Oregon, the Huskies might be a different team. Thompson did have 14 tackles and a sack against Eastern. He also had a 57-yard rushing TD. Shelton had 12 tackles, including four sacks, and Kikaha had six tackles and a sack. The secondary remains a work in progress.
Give Eastern credit, though. Coach Beau Baldwin, the former Curtis HS/Central Washington QB who seems ready to parlay his offensive wizardry into a Division I head-coaching job, might be coaching one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Vernon Adams, Jr. Adams torched the Huskies for 475 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Oregon must be licking its chops in anticipating of their Oct. 18 game against Washington in Eugene.
Hell, Illinois and Georgia State are probably drooling, too.
Illinois sophomore QB Wes Lunt passed for 3 TDs and 456 yards in a 42-34 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday. He threw 4 TDs passes in a 28-17 win over Youngstown State the week before. Georgia State (1-1) lost to New Mexico State 34-31 after slipping past Abilene Christian 38-37 in a game where QB Nick Arbuckle passed for 4 TDs and 413 yards.
Sure, Washington put up 59 points and didn’t commit a turnover against Eastern. But Sam Houston State, which lost 56-0 to LSU on Saturday, scored 35 points against EWU the week before so you need to put things in perspective.
The Dawgs might be off to a 2-0 start, but even the biggest UW fan has to admit that it’s not the kind of start that gets you dreaming about big things down the road.
Olympic High grad Larry Dixon got his senior year at Army off to a good start, carrying 20 times for a career-high 174 yards and 2 TDs in the Black Knight’s 47-39 win over Buffalo. Army is at Stanford next Saturday (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
Bremerton’s Jim Wainwright and Loren Schaller of Gig Harbor beat Port Townsend’s Chris Cardinal and Bremerton’s Jane Erlandsen in the finals of the Carden Memorial Tournament. Yours truly and Gil Mendoza, the deputy superintendent of schools in our state, won the consolation bracket after getting out butts kicked by Wainwright and Schaller in the first round.
A foursome that included Connor Robbins and Scott Sargent (sorry I missed the other two guys) shot 19-under in a scramble format at Gold Mountain’s Cascade Course on Friday during the Yacht Club Broiler’s tournament. The round included three eagles.
“Percy Harvin is so fast it looks like he’s playing in a video games compared to the other guys on the field.” — Evan Somerheiser of the Bremerton rock band Power, and a huge Seahawks’ fan