Author: Dan Raley

Washington State’s Jayden de Laura is the Pac-12’s best quarterback. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest The true barometer of how football has fallen off for the University of Washington is not the Jimmy Lake shove and resulting pink slip, not the Montana stumble, not the 88-yard Boulder rumble with a fumble. The most disturbing development surrounding an incredibly disappointing season for those in Montlake is what isn’t seen these days — fans stuffed into Husky Stadium.  Huge gaps of empty seats remain well after kickoff. Parking lots are only partially filled with tailgaters. Montlake traffic jams following the games are, get…

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Sophomore DT Taki Taimani does what he can to plug the holes in the University of Washington’s defense. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest Steve Emtman, the most decorated player in University of Washington football annals, was like an infantry tank. The defensive tackle rolled up to the line of scrimmage, arms rotating wildly, crushing everything in his path. Offensive linemen. Running backs. Quarterbacks. Teammates.  Three decades ago, people were afraid of him, ran from him, couldn’t run on him and were seriously injured by him.

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Former Huskies assistant coach Gary Pinkel joined NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played for coach Don James in the 1970s, at the unveiling of the James statue at Husky Stadium in October 2017. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest Faced with a football coaching change, the University of Washington hasn’t gotten it right when promoting Huskies assistant coaches into the top job. Each time, it’s turned out messy. Either seeking to retain program continuity or looking for an easy way out of the coaching search, UW has hired five of these loyal soldiers over the past 100 years —…

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In 2013, Huskles QB Keith Price found himself a popular figure for the Ducks defense, getting sacked four times in second-ranked Oregon’s 45-24 rout at Husky Stadium. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest The USC Trojans used to be the most hated college football opponent in the West. They won everything and rubbed your face in it. They had an abundance of talent, arrogance, O.J., and that aggravating song. The men of Troy are such old news now. Total afterthought. So unimportant to the bigger scheme of all things in the Pac-12 Conference and the Pacific time zone. Nothing beats a more…

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Huskies QB Dylan Morris can’t quite do enough to please the fan base. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest The stat sheet showed the University of Washington football team used two quarterbacks in the Arizona game the past weekend. It seemed more like three. Bad Dylan Morris. Brief Sam Huard. Good Dylan Morris. For a position that’s always been a ready punching bag for UW fans — admit it, you booed Warren Moon, Steve Pelluer, Hugh Millen and Cary Conklin mercilessly at Husky Stadium over decades past, because it’s tradition — a new level of quarterback discontent has reached full fury.…

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Second-year freshman Rome Odunze had his first Huskies touchdown Saturday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest Rome Odunze sat down earlier in the week to do his first media interview as a member of the University of Washington football team, impishly looked into the camera and offers, “Hi mom.” The local football factory typically goes to great pains to shield early on newer players from the journalist crowd, fearful they either lack the maturity or the nerve to answer rapid-fire questions from strangers. Yet Odunze, a second-year freshman wide receiver from famed Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, demonstrated over…

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Pass-rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui had to assume a position uncomfortable for him in August — a passive observer. / Dan Raley, si.com Sometime during Saturday night’s Washington-UCLA football game, there’s a good chance Husky Stadium public-address announcer Eric Rasmussen will lean into his microphone from his perch high above the field and make the following pronouncement: “Now at outside linebacker for the Huskies, Zion Tu-u-u-p-p-p-u-o-o-o-l-l-l-a-a-a-Fetui!” Cue a thundering ovation from the 50,000-plus in the metal stands willing to brave rain and the night chill coming off Lake Washington, and who still believe in Jimmy Lake.

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The Huskies’ coaching switch from Chris Petersen to Jimmy Lake has become complicated, for many reasons. / Art Thiel, Sporspress Northwest Jimmy Lake stood at a podium with Chris Petersen seated to his left in the Don James Center at Husky Stadium. It was the transition between the new University of Washington football coach and his predecessor, in what seemed like a seamless succession. As he accepted the new job, Lake reminisced about working as an assistant coach for Petersen, following him from Boise State to UW and learning how it’s done.

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Former Washington assistant coach Jonathan Smith has his Oregon State Beavers slaying some Pac-12 powers. / Beaversedge.com With pudgy features and a receding hairline, Jonathan Smith, 42, looks more like a rowdy Oregon State football fan rather than the Beavers’ made-to-order head coach. He seemingly should be clutching a beer and a hot dog and screaming insults, rather than masterminding a football playbook and taking down giants. That’s always been the case with Smith — inside the everyman veneer is a serious competitor waiting to go for the opponents’ throat and make them gasp. After high school in Glendora, CA, Smith arrived…

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DB Brendan Radley-Hiles led the Huskies with nine tackles Saturday. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest Stylishly bearded and inquisitive to the point of being annoying, Brendan Radley-Hiles is not unlike a graduate student enrolled at the University of Washington eager to further his education. Yet rather than delve into research medicine or the latest get-rich business scheme, this Californian by way of the University of Oklahoma has come for the organized thrashing of opposing football players all over the artificial turf as a well-informed defensive back. The UW, it’s been reported, is a national leader in this sort of choreographed mayhem.

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