It’s amazing, frankly, but somehow Washington is still in this game. It’s never a good sign when the crowd roars in excitement over the Huskies finally getting a first down, which came midway through the second quarter on a pass interference penalty.
At the half, Washington is being outgained 195-95, with 92 of the yards coming on the final possession for the Huskies. Washington has minus-13 yards rushing.
But, improbably, the UW only trails by nine. Part of that is the Husky defense is playing pretty good, and UCLA quarterback Ben Olson has not been great despite having all day to pass the ball. The Huskies have to find a way to put more pressure on Olson.
The main thing that I’ve noticed is UCLA is so much faster than Washington. It’s almost comical, really. The UW offensive line is just getting killed by the Bruins’ speed, which is one of the reasons Isaiah Stanback has been so off. But there have been several open receivers that Stanback has missed. Add to the fact that he hasn’t been able to run, and it’s not encouraging.
But he did look good on the last possession as Washington seemed to go with more of a quick passing game to combat UCLA’s speed. And Sonny Shackelford continues to make tough catches. But the Huskies have to find a way to generate something on the ground, or Stanback is going to get sacked a lot.
Overall, things really could be worse, believe it or not. The Huskies are being thoroughly dominated, yet the fact that they are in the game and are coming off a strong offensive and defensive series to end the half had to send the team into the locker room feeling a little better.
It’s going to be very interesting to see what kinds of adjustments the Husky offense makes in the second half. I would expect more quick passing plays on offense, and more blitzes on defense.