Joel at Rocky Top Talk did this. It is much an application that is much-beloved by all.
Everyone is making much of Washington's large yardage number. You can see here that the yards came basically on 4 drives: the opening and closing touchdown drives, and two 1st half drives that resulted in field goals.
I'm starting to become optimistic, perhaps overly optimistic, that the defensive problems in the Washington game really were a result of various factors influencing that particular game: rust, travel, disparities in practice times between the teams, the lateness of the game, etc. And let's face it, Jake Locker made a couple plays. Jai Eugene had good coverage on that big pass play towards the end of the first half, but good coverage only forces the quarterback to make a perfect throw, and Locker did it. You have to give him credit there, and credit the receiver with making the catch.
For what it's worth, the players seem to be accepting the blame for either being in the wrong position or failing to make the play when in the right position.
“It’s a new scheme for us; it was our first game,” linebacker Perry Riley said. “A couple of people, including myself, had some mental errors. We weren’t where we were supposed to be. You can kind of expect that going into the game, but we got a feel for how (Chavis) is going to call the game now, and we feel better about the scheme and we are going to do a lot better this week.”
"Coach Chavis put us in the right position," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "Guys were just making a lot of common mistakes. That was basically it. We couldn’t get off the field on third down."
Peterson also expects a different result this Saturday:
"It’s definitely not last year," Peterson said. "I see a big difference. Like I said, this was our first real shot at putting the defense together. Coach Chavis, he is doing the best that he can. I believe this week, we are going to come out with a different mind-set."
Which of course begs the question, what happened to the mindset on Saturday? Alright, I m done beating up on the team. We've done that enough. The guys are saying all the right things, and we don't seem to have the dissent we had last year at around this time, when Chad Jones was openly complaining about not getting defensive signals and being confused on the field. We escaped a road game in rather difficult circumstances against a team that frankly is probably better than we ever thought. The 0-12 Huskies of last year did not have Chris Polk at running back or Jake Locker at quarterback for most of the year, and did not have Steve Sarkisian at head coach for any of the year. Polk and Locker made some great individual plays against us.
There are still plenty of questions. I have defended our pass rush, but I can't say it was outstanding. This was the same Washington offensive line that gave up 30-something sacks last year and got Locker injured. We managed one sack, an intentional grounding, and a couple hurries. That's not good enough even against a good offensive line.
Which of course bring us to Vanderbilt. Vandy is still a mystery. They beat up on a hapless Western Carolina team, who is bad even by FCS standards. They have a new starter at quarterback, and two freshman running backs. As a freshman in a reserve role last year, Larry Smith was a very ordinary quarterback. In 34 pass attempts, he averaged under 5 yards per attempt, had 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and got almost 1/3 of his yards on one pass play. He was also not a particularly effective runner. Like Jordan Jefferson, he had a very nice game in his team's bowl win, improving his numbers in all areas. Against Western Carolina last week, he was very good at both passing and running until leaving the game with cramps late in the 3rd quarter.
I don't know what kind of a team we're going to see when we face Vandy. I know they're going to a new hurry-up offense, and they're going to try to run with the running backs and the quarterback. How effective can they be? I simply have no idea. Can't wait to see.