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Know the Enemy Q&A: Thor Bowl Part 2
Our dear friend John Sayler from UW Dawg Pound graciously took on our absurd questions. He gives us the inside look at what to expect from the Huskies going into Saturday’s game!
How much leeway does Lake have? What would cause UW to fire him before the season is over?
Depends. Sports radio fired? Or actually fired by UW Athletic Director Jen Cohen?
Yes, fans are fed up, and they should be. The team was not well prepared the first two weeks, and when you lose a game to an FCS team, there is the instant thought that the coach needs to be canned immediately. It didn’t get Mike Leach fired at WSU in 2016, it won’t get Lake fired.
I’d say zero percent chance he is fired during this season. But if things are bad enough in 2021, you can up that to a 30% chance they would terminate him after the season. It would have to be a really shitty year, but it’s possible.
Which is the "real" UW offense, the Montana game or Arkansas State one?
Arkansas State looked like a really bad defensive team, so that is a big part of the equation.
The UW offensive line has looked a bit slow and has been having trouble with quicker, attacking defenders. With UW down 4 wide receivers in the Montana game, and 3 out vs Michigan, teams were daring the Huskies to throw, and plugging the run. QB Dylan Morris struggled commanding the offense the first game-and-a-half of the season, including a disastrous performance vs Montana.
Against Arkansas State, UW returned to nearly full strength with three healthy starting WRs for the first time. Morris had much better results once he had Terrell Bynum and Jalen McMillan to work with. The timing looked very good.
Was Michigan's success running the ball a function of the UW offense being worn down or a sign of some underlying issues? Or both?
Both, for sure. The Husky defense –particularly the run defense- has been on a decline the past five years. Vita Vea was like having two players out there, and the guys around him were all really good too. The current, young DTs are not on that same level, and the linebacker play has also declined.
Lake asks a ton of his DTs, playing light boxes and trying to prevent the big play. I’m not sure he can continue to play that style against good running teams anymore.
This is not your 2016-2018 UW Defense. The offense needs to help them out with points and ball control.
When do you expect ZTF to return?
Well, if you get excited by reports of players “walking around without a noticeable limp” then I guess you are hoping every week that ZTF returns. I can walk without a noticeable limp, but you should see me grimace after jogging up half a flight of stairs.
This whole college football “week to week” thing is frustrating for fans.
“Coach, is it a leg injury?”
“We’re not saying right now what he has, or even if he actually has legs. Or any appendages or limbs right now at this point.”
How confident are you in Dylan Morris? When do you expect Sam Huard to win the starting job?
Dylan Morris frustrates me. The thing is, most of it is correctable. The part that is not is his gunslinger mentality. That’s just who he is.
Cadence. Altering the snap count… The simplest of QB duties. Justin Wilcox is licking his lips (yeah), at the thought of gaining an advantage on the big, somewhat lumbering UW offensive line by anticipating Morris’ snap count. It looked better against Arkansas St, but I don’t understand how it has taken so long for him to learn it.
He is not always the smartest when it comes to decisions either. His post snap read needs to improve or he will have a 20+ INT season.
Huard wins the job next year. Morris transfers to Fresno State.
Which player on offense should Cal fans know about?
WR Jalen McMillan (#11) had a huge debut last week (he played some snaps against Michigan, but looked to just be testing things out). Cal will absolutely need to jam him at the line of scrimmage or he will get behind the secondary.
For some reason, he gets a lot of clean releases. He did last season as well. Usually means you are quicker than other guys, and stronger than you appear.
Which player on defense should Cal fans know about?
Cornerback Trent McDuffie (#22) is the latest in a string of a dozen or so outstanding UW defensive backs during the Jimmy Lake era. He’s just… everywhere.
Who’s one under-the-radar or X-factor player who could swing this game for you?
Remember how long Myles Gaskin was the running back at UW? Well, Sean McGrew has been here even longer, but he’s never been “the guy.” The Husky running game has struggled, and fans are desperate to see McGrew on the field because of his outstanding vision and ability to make people miss in the hole.
What does UW need to do to win the game?
Based on what they have shown, I just don’t see UW running the ball unless the pass is established first. For that to happen, the O-Line needs to communicate better to give Morris time to throw, and get himself into rhythm. UW needs to score at least 24 points to win this game.
What does Cal need to do to win the game?
Run the ball, then Garbers will need to make some plays later on. Make Dylan Morris uncomfortable by getting in his face and taking away the running game.
How do you see the game going?
Pac-12 opener for both teams. Neither team has looked great, or even good.
Let’s go with the home team by the obligatory 3 points.
UW 27 - Cal 24
Whom do you most want to punch in the face?
This answer will forever be Evan Weaver. And tell him to stop ringing my doorbell. I know it’s him.