Quarterfinals: Auburn vs Washington
Today’s Poinsettia Bowl and first round match-up features two school with plenty of post season experience. It’s The Washington Huskies runners up in the Big Ten versus The Auburn Tigers third place finishers of the SEC. While both these teams made it to the playoffs in different fashions, they are both excited and ready to prove they have what it takes to move on to the next round. When asked what he thought about tonight’s match-up defensive tackle Raekwon Dong only had this to say ” We gon win “. Man a little words, just lets his play speak for itself. While Auburn Defensive Player of the Year candidate linebacker Mark Calloway had a little more to say about going in this game. ” Washington is tough. They beat us in a close one early in the season, and their defense played well. We feel fortunate to be here, but we aren’t calling this in. We’re here to prove we deserve to be. Nothing is gonna be easy, but I believe in this team.” Could this be the pay back from Auburn for there 34-27 loss to Washington earlier this season. That was a game in which QB Doug Ohle torched the Tigers secondary for 466 yards and 4 touchdowns. If Auburn does want to move on they will need to put the clamps on him in a big way. Let’s take a look at both these teams now and show what each are up against in tonight tilt.
This is QB Griffin Jelkic’s offense and as he goes this team goes. This season he threw for 2256 yards and 16 touchdown, good enough to be ranked in the top ten in passing this year. The one stat that he was towards the top in the country this year though was interceptions with 10. That isn’t one you want to be talked about, and if the Tigers plan on winning tonight he has to be careful with the ball. He does have the weapons at his disposal though, to have a big night in wide receivers Cross Ferry III, Bubba Davis, and Jacob Hill. All of whom are capable of catching a big pass and taking it to the house. In the running game Auburn has halfback Billy Cater, this year has been a little of a down year for him, but when needing to come up big he always shoes up. Ollie P. Peters steps up also a mix up to the running game and has a nose for the dynamic play when you least expect it.
Defensively, Auburn is a team to watch out for. As mentioned before DPOY candidate, linebacker Mark Calloway is the heart and soul, but they have talent all over the field. The other two linebackers on this team Jack Law and Micah Myers are not only hard hitters but are very good at blowing things up in the backfield before offenses can even get going. Then you have the secondary of Ollie P. Peters, Rian Chambers, Sky Taylor, Max Hands, and Laroi Sanders. OPP is the Captain of this wide-out nightmare squad, but they all contribute in big ways. You put everyone together and you have ” Murder House “. Washington needs to not only recognize but respect them, because there second match up has a lot more on the line and this defense will be much better than last time they meet.
The Huskies offense in a machine, They average over 35 points per game and 450 yards. That ranks them towards the top in all of college. The big reason is there own gunslinger in QB Doug Ohle. He has racked up 2,512 yards through the air and 306 yards on the ground with a total of 26 touchdowns. You better pay attention or he will pull it down and run, especially in the red-zone. The key factor for Ohle is he doesn’t turn the ball over much and that makes the defense have to work even harder to stop him. The running game for Washington is just as explosive as their passing game. Halfback Ron Dayne Jr. is a punishing and speedy back with the moves of a dancer on steroids. How is this for career numbers 5,737 yards rushing and 75 touchdowns, you throw in 1,471 yards receiving and another 6 touchdowns, Mr Dayne is a legend. The Huskies also have one of the more talented receiver corps too with Lord Helix, Jace Rosser, and Kayode Imani. All three of them average big yards per catch and know how to find the end-zone. Probably the scariest thing in this offense comes by way of the defense in the form of defensive tackle Raekwon Dong as a runner. When that guy gets going bad things happen. Washington is locked and ready for this game.
Talk about being ready for this game, safety Digger Graves started off by saying, ” after not performing up to expectations some people feel that we don’t belong in the playoffs, we’re going to prove them wrong.” Just ask Oregon what an angry Washington defense looks like, no fun at all. Defensive tackle Raekwon Dong and end Richard Bradley are not only sack machines but massive run stoppers. This means tough sledding for any thoughts by Auburn to control the ground tonight. Linebacker Erik Langston and the aforementioned Digger Graves shut done over the middle passing and if you think your going to do, be prepared to either get leveled or picked off. This is a young secondary and with that comes mistakes at time but this will be a game that corners Austin Johnson and Freddy Petty feel confident that can keep up with anything Auburn throws at them. The Purple Haze is coming for the Tigers and pain is what they say they are serving.
What to Watch For
Griffin Jelkic versus the Huskies secondary. Griffin remembers what happened last time these two teams faced each other. He promises not to make the mistakes a second time and will come out on top. Cross Ferry III will likely see a lot of action with that said should have a big game.
Speaking of Cross Ferry III he is also one of the most dangerous return men in the country and leads in yards this season. If you choose to kick it to him he can take it to the house at any time and has done so. Tonight Auburn flips the score on Washington, They have been in this situation before and we all know what happened then.