Locker or Dilfer? The Huskies needed a win Saturday, and got it by dialing back Jake Locker from game changer to game manager. Locker had just 5 rushing attempts against Syracuse, the fewest of any game in his Husky career–hell, probably of any game in his entire football life.
Locker led the Huskies to seven scores doing his best Dilfer–or let’s be more generous–Kurt Warner impersonation:
–Short passes leading to long yards-after-catch gains. (Kearse had 179 yards receiving, none on deep balls.)
–Throwing balls away when he was pressured instead of forcing throws or scrambling. (Locker hasn’t thrown an INT since the Apple Cup, that’s 95 throws without one.)
–Letting Chris Polk do the running (20 for 125…yum!)
Syracuse helped matters by trying to pressure Locker–big mistake. Their corners couldn’t handle our receivers one-on-one. The Dawgs get Nebraska next.
Back to the Drawing Board, Niners How many years now that San Francisco’s been the trendy pick to win the NFC West? Sometimes I think it has more to do with the smoke wisps of their 1980-90s glory years than with the current team. The Niners made Vernon Davis the highest-paid TE in NFL history, and are paying Michael Crabtree in the high six-figures, but what’s the point when your quarterback is Alex Smith? (Or, frankly, when your coach is Mike Singletary.) The Niners were actually favored to win yesterday, and the Seahawks just obliterated them, despite going the first 24 minutes without a first down. The secondary playing a starring role. Kelly Jennings began to justify the Josh Wilson trade, with a key solo tackle of Frank Gore on a third-and-goal pass in the first quarter, and solid pass defense. Big play Babs was back in effect with an interception and run back to the Niners’ 20 to set up the Hawks’ second TD. And Trufant had his first career (regular season) TD, juking Michael Crabtree badly on his way to the end zone.
Nice win for the Seahawks, but before we get too excited, remember that the Hawks won their first game last year 28-0 over the Rams. True, it was the Rams, but who’s to say the Niners aren’t just as bad? They sure looked it today.
Another Bird Shot One more time? YES! Sue Bird hit a last-second, game-winning jumper off of a Lauren Jackson screen, and the Storm won a rough Game 1 over Atlanta. One ominous sign–the Storm barely pulled this one out despite the virtual absence of Dream star Angel McCoughtry, who played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble and a three-stitch head wound courtesy of an inadvertent head butt from the Storm’s Jana Vesela. If McCoughtry has even an average game, you figure the Dream win. Atlanta threw a towering lineup at the Storm, which gave Lauren Jackson trouble early. The Dream are also much deeper than any team the Storm have met in the playoffs.
Felix Falters An otherwise stellar weekend of sports was dampered somewhat by Felix Hernandez’ rough outing against the Angels. Hernandez got his 11th loss of the year, allowing 7 runs (though only four were earned). Could’ve done without Daren Brown leaving Felix in for the 8th inning, where he tired and allowed 3 of those runs.
Whay They’re Saying…
“Erik Kohler’s first snap of offensive football was a false start, so we have something on him for the next four years.” — Coach Sark
“One of the big things for Jermaine (Kearse) coming into the year was yards after the catch. That’s something we have been working on since spring ball and in training camp and that showed up tonight.” — Coach Sark
“We played harder this week.” — Quinton Richardson
In Other News…
Pacific Coast League baseball did not prove a big draw at Safeco–the crowd for the Rainiers was just 2,500 on Friday night and only three-digits on Saturday. Yeowch. However, the Rainiers did win a deciding game 5 Sunday night, and move on to the PCL Championship. That entire series will be played in Memphis–alternate Safeco homeis unavailable now that the M’s are back.
Leonard “Church Van” Weaver suffered a season-ending ACL tear Sunday for the Eagles.
The fall guy for the Josh Lueke trade had been named: M’s Director of Professional Scouting Carmen Fusco. KING 5 reports Fusco will be fired at year’s end, and not properly vetting Lueke is the reason. How about not properly vetting Casey Kotchman???
Do you know what a “Flash Mob” is? It was the half-time entertainment for the Seahawks game, and it’s not nearly as hard-core as it sounds.
Chad Brown raised the 12th Man flag.
Nebraska is a 6-point favorite over the Huskies.
Golden Tate wasn’t active for Saturday’s game, a bit of a surprise. Carroll said afterward it was because they needed Ben Obomanu’s special teams talents.
The Wazzu/Montana State game was supposed to be on Fox Sports College-Pacific, but that network instead showed a replay of an ACC soccer game. After the Cougs barely won, their fans are probably happy they couldn’t watch, but still–really, FOX? A Craig at CougCenter emailed the network about it and was not happy with the “response.”
Bizarre that both John Halama and Brett Tomko pitched against the Rainiers in the PCL playoffs. 10 years ago, both guys were key parts of the M’s MLB playoffs staff. Tomko was a life-saver in long relief in the M’s extra-inning Game 1 win over Chicago in the divisional round, and Halama pitched 7 shutout innings in Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. The M’s were just 6 outs away from a 2-0 lead in that series when Arthur Rhodes (who will likely pitch in the playoffs again this year, with the Reds) self-destructed.
ESPN GameDay picked the Auburn/Clemson game over Washington/Nebraska. Not the best year to feature Husky Stadium anyway, with all the construction going on.
Pro-style Skyline beat Wing-T Bellevue 28-21 in a big prep football battle.
Apparently Felix Hernandez is known as “Fifi” in the M’s clubhouse.
Ichiro’s up to 186 hits with 19 games to go, so looks like he’ll get to 200.
Chone Figgins had an amazing no-look, behind-the-back relay to start a double play on Saturday. Check out the .gif on Lookout Landing.
Add Sean Locklear to Julius Jones and Big Play Babs as Seahawks who took a pay cut to stay with the team. Locklear’s 2010 salary goes from $5.5M to $3.25M. That’s a $2.2M pay cut! Better revise that yacht-buying budget! Also, Locklear’s contract is done at the end of the year. Pete Carroll is all smiles on the outside, but he’s really cold-blooded.
Speaking of, my favorite part of the Seahawks game was after the Trufant pick six, when Carroll ran out on the field to celebrate and had to be restrained by the ref.
Baltimore @ NY Jets, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Mariners vs. Red Sox @ Safeco (Fister v. Lester), 7:10 p.m. (FSN)
San Diego @ Kansas City, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)