TOP OF THE TOWN – Somebody online suggested the Washington Huskies age a mediocre football team. I can’t disagree. They are no longer the punisher. They are the punishee. Stanford proved that Saturday night (Oct. 5) when the Cardinal punished the huskies unmercifully in a 23-13 upset. Here’s what I think happened. First, quarterback Jacob Eason has a gun for an arm and is a true pocket passer. He is not good on the run. Stanford knew coming in that if they put pressure on Eason and forced him to bail out of the pocket they had a good chance of taking away that gun. It worked perfectly. Eason is no scrambling Russell Wilson. Second, and most important, Stanford coach David Shaw had a perfect game plan. I knew something was up when Shaw in the pre-game was all smiles. He kept that smile throughout the game. He knew what nobody else knew: He had all the answers to shut down Washington. And I might remind at this point that Washington has lost six straight games at Stanford dating back to 2007. This beating was bad. And the Cardinal won with freshman back-ups on the offensive line and second and third string quarterbacks. Shaw had a linebacker blitz going throughout the contest. Most of them were delayed blitz and often the linebacker got a clean shot on Eason without being touched. You couldn’t dial this up more perfectly. The Cardinal also blanketed Washington receivers with freshman cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly playing so much of a locked-down he could have been accused of slapping handcuffs on the receivers he defended. Backup quarterback Davis Mills, a five-star recruit three years ago lived up to his five-star ranking with an incredible performance (21-30 for 293 yards and one touchdown). He was helped by not being pressured by the Husky defensive front, which was a no-show. The Huskies had no answer for six-foot-seven and 250-pound tight end Colby Parkinson and could not stop the Marshawn Lynch like bull-rushes of 6-1, 216-pound fifth year running back Cameron Scarlett. It sometimes took three and four Huskies to bring Scarlett down and after 33 carries he finished with151 yards and one score (he also caught two passes for 32 yards). When Washington’s punishing redshirt running back Richard Newton got injured in the second half and didn’t return. He had rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries and the Huskies did not have a good replacement for him. I’m not surprised by much of this. I predicted before the season started the Huskies would go 8-4 (5-4 in the Pac-12). They are currently 1-2 in the conference and before the season I figured they would win at Arizona (this Saturday, Oct. 12) and win at Oregon State, Colorado and at home with the Apple Cup against Washington State. That is five conference wins. I also figured they would lose at home against Oregon and Utah. Now I’m not so sure about my prediction. Arizona is 4-1 and Oregon State and Colorado can score points so those three games are not an easy road anymore. You might be looking at five losses with the lone win coming against the Cougars.  At any rate, the Huskies now have me, and maybe you, thinking again about just how good they are. If Eason doesn’t have time to throw and Newton does not come back, stuff may hit the fan. … You know, I have covered high school football in Kitsap County for decades and the football on this side of the water has not been good, except for Ed Fisher’s peak years at South Kitsap. But it really surprised me that North Kitsap, one of the better teams over here, got destroyed by Steilacoom, 57-7.  I realize Steilacoom lost its two games to powerhouses (41-13 to Union and 56-47 to Lynden), but that still caught me flat-footed. The game was in Poulsbo, too. … Some wise guy mentioned on the Internet that the WSU Cougars did not lose Saturday, and didn’t give up any points. That’s because the Cougars had a bye week. The Cougar defensive coordinator resigned after watching his defense surrender 105 points in the last two games, both losses. This Saturday Cougars play in Tempe, AZ against Arizona State and the way things are going I would expect them to win in a shootout.  Just don’t bet the mortgage on it.

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Have a great day.

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