UW defense bracing for fast-paced Grizzlies

Jimmy Lake.jpg
UW defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. (Photo: KOMO News)

From deliberate, shorten the game Rutgers, to hurry-up, run-lots-of plays Montana, the Washington Husky defense will face dramatically contrasting styles in its first two football games of the 2017 season.

Last Friday night, the Scarlet Knights figuratively 'took the air out of the football' with 42 running plays to limit opportunities for UW's potent offense.

The ploy worked for one half to keep a big underdog in the game, although Washington wound up winning comfortably, 30 to 14.

This Saturday Montana's best chance at shocking the college football world is throwing the pigskin all over Husky Stadium. UW defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, told KOMO news "I think these guys (Montanta) are going to try to put a hundred (points ) up, that's what I think. This is an offense that's been one of the best in FCS for years."

The Grizzlies ran 76 plays in their season opening 45-23 victory over Valparaiso. University of Kentucky transfer quarterback Reese Phillips completed 27 of 38 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns. UM coach Bob Stitt is considered one of the bright offensive minds in the smaller college ranks.

He uses some principles of the "Air Raid" pass offense Mike Leach employs at Washington State.

Washington's secondary is up to the challenge according to sophomore corner Myles Bryant. "It's just more opportunities for us to get the ball back. Really just create more opportunities for our offense to score. It should be fun," said Bryant.

UW redshirt freshman corner Byron Murphy had two interceptions against Rutgers and coach Lake said the only thing they would ike Murphy to do is make longer returns for touchdowns, or set up easy scores for the Husky offense.

-- By Bill Swartz

Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Husky Stadium with KOMO's radio (am 1000/ fm 97.7) pre-game coverage starting at noon Saturday.