Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daily Herald: Simpler Scheme for Bonnell

Offense pared some because of backup QB's inexperience

Here is the link.

By Mike Allende

SEATTLE - There's little question that the Washington offense will change this weekend. How could it not? There are simply plays that Isaiah Stanback could make that few quarterbacks in the country could because of his speed. And while Carl Bonnell can run, it's not realistic to think he will be able to handle some of the running calls the Huskies have used with Stanback.  So just how different will the UW offense look when the Huskies (2-2 Pacific-10, 4-3 overall) play at No. 11 California (4-0, 6-1) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday? Washington offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said the scheme will be the same, it just might be simplified a bit to account for Bonnell's lack of experience. "We're going to change a little bit, but we're not going to revamp the offense," Lappano said. "The package will be cut down a little bit, but there'll be a lot of similar things. ... With the inexperience, we can't go with 250 plays on the (arm) band. We'll cut that down to about 200 or so, so he can get more reps during the week, getting the looks he needs to see."

Cal coach Jeff Tedford said he expects Washington to have a little different look, but he said that just because the Huskies have a different quarterback doesn't mean you can ignore Bonnell.  "I'm sure it will change a little bit only because there's certain things they can do in the game as far as read plays with Isaiah to run the football because he's so dangerous," Tedford said. "I'm sure Carl's able to pull it down and run it as well. ... I would think the passing game won't change much. Probably just some of the plays that are designed for Isaiah to run they might cut out."  The defense that the UW scout team will try to emulate for Bonnell is one that by all accounts is better than its statistics show.

Cal ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in pass defense, seventh in rush defense and eighth in total defense. But last week the Golden Bears held Washington State without a touchdown for the first time since 2000 and Cal has forced a league-best 18 turnovers, including 13 interceptions.  "It was more the way they flew around and got after our guys," WSU coach Bill Doba said. "We did not execute well. We moved the ball. ... we just didn't score."

Cal has a bend-don't-break kind of defense that creates "all kinds of turnovers," Lappano said. "That's why I talk about taking care of the football. You can't have negative yardage in the run game. They get you in bad situations and they thrive on turnovers."  Leading Cal's defensive effort is cornerback Daymeion Hughes, tied for second in the nation with six interceptions. Cal's defensive backs will crowd the Husky receivers similar to how Oregon State did last week and the Huskies have to get better separation off the line of scrimmage.  The Golden Bears also have a strong defensive front led by middle linebacker Desmond Bishop, who has 56 tackles, including nine for loss.

Washington must run the ball well to take pressure off Bonnell, Lappano said, but added it probably won't be a grind-it-out kind of game for his offense.  "Anyone who is going to have success against this defense has to have some big plays," Lappano said. "I don't think you're going to have 500, 600 yards on them."  California has had success against Washington in the past three years, allowing just an average of 12 points to the Huskies. In fact, scoring defense has been a strength for the Cal defense this season as it allows 18 points a game. Tedford said his team will prepare less for Bonnell than for the UW offense as a whole.  "You have to defend their offense, not so much a player," Tedford said. "They'll still run the same plays. They're not all of a sudden going to change their offense."


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