Monday, September 30, 2019

The Huskies are 4-1

(I know I usually write this blog post on Sunday morning, but I was traveling yesterday morning/afternoon.)

The California game is looking more and more like a fluke.

Saturday, the University of Washington Huskies took on the University of Southern California Trojans at Husky Stadium in Seattle. This was the Huskies' second conference game after that Cal game loss. So a lot was riding on it. And the Huskies came through, beating USC 28-14. The Huskies made two touchdowns in the first quarter, one off an interception. All together the Huskies made three interceptions on USC during the game, one stopping a Trojan drive almost at the Huskies' goal line.  UW one turnover, a fumble, and no interceptions. But the Trojans couldn't capitalize on that fumble.

In the first half, the game was basically a battle on short passes and runs. But in the second half, the Huskies started trying some explosive plays. Then Salvon Ahmed had an 89 yard run for a touchdown. And Husky quarterback Jacob Eason threw a 36 yard pass to Cade Otten. All together, Eason threw for 180 yards.

This game was important because, 1) it was USC and we hate USC almost as much as we hate Oregon and WSU. And, b) it's a conference game and that counts toward your standings in the conference. Right now we are tied with California for second place in the Pac-12 North. This was USC's first in-conference loss this year.

Next week, we play Stanford at Palo Alto. Stanford isn't doing great this year so that should help. But this is our first in-conference away game. The game is at 7:30 PM PDT on ESPN. I hate those late night games.

An Experiment

I added up all the points the Huskies have scored and all the points their opponents have scored. And it's telling. The Huskies have scored 191 points through their first five games. Their opponents have only scored 87 points. So the Huskies have scored 104 points more than their opponents. Or over 20 points per game (20.8 to be exact).

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

Oregon had a bye. Washington State lost to Utah 38-13 at Utah's stadium. Coach Mike Leach was
reportedly not happy.

California lost to Arizona State, handing the Golden Bears their first defeat. Stanford barely beat Oregon State, the doormat of the conference.

Right now the Oregon Ducks are still on top of the Pac-12 North. The WSU Cougars are in last place at 0-2 after their losses to UCLA and Utah.

Arizona (who we play in two weeks) is on top of the Pac-12 South, tied with Colorado at 1-0 in  conference.

The Polls:

Oregon, who didn't play this week, stayed at #13 in the AP top 25 poll. Washington moved up two spots to 15. Utah moved up two spots to 17. And Arizona State is at #20, back on the top 25 poll. California and USC dropped off.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Huskies take on USC Tomorrow

Ironically right now, Oregon State is #3 in the Pac-12 North Division because of their 0-0 record in conference. They must have had a bye last week, because they've only played three games while most everyone else has played four. (Arizona also had a bye last week.)

Oh well.

Tomorrow, the University of Washington Huskies take on the USC Trojans. The Huskies are 0-1 in conference after losing to California by one point at 1:20 AM. That puts them tied for 4th place, tied with Washington State who lost to UCLA last week. The Huskies are 3-1 overall having won all their non-conference games. The WSU Cougars have the same record.

USC is in first place in the Pac-12 South Division at 2-0 in conference (3-1 overall).  So they aren't going to be a pushover. Of course, I said that about BYU who we demolished.

We play at home, which helps a lot. The game is at 12:30 PM, which helps, I think, because the crowd will be awake (unlike the California game). And after how we handled BYU, I'm thinking we'll do fine against USC. The "line" is UW is favored by 10 points.

The one big worry is running back Salvon Ahmed may not be able to play. He has a leg injury and is "week to week" if he'll play. But last week against BYU, when he didn't play, Sean McGrew stepped up and handled running duties pretty well.

The game is, as I said, at 12:30 PM PDT on Fox. Should be a good game. Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

My Name

Here's a typical phone conversation for me:

Other person: "And your last name, please?"

Me: "Townsend" pronounced as clearly as I can with emphasis on the final "D."

OP: "Tompson?"

Me: "No, Townsend. The word 'town' and the word 'send' together."

OP: "Could you spell that for me, please?"

Me: "T-o-w-n-s-e-n-d."

OP: "So that's P-o-w-?"

No: "No, T, as in Tom."

OP: "Oh, T-o-w-n-s-c-n-d?"

And so it goes.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data (Excel file at the link),  "Townsend" is the 483rd most popular surname in the U.S. There are 69,360 people with that name in the U.S. And I'm one of them.

(The most popular surname in the U.S.? Smith.)

I'm sure there are people who have a hard time with their names, too. Probably a harder time. But, to me, "Townsend" isn't that hard. Why don't people understand it?

Once I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Port Townsend, Washington. When I made the reservation, the woman asked "what's your last name?" and I said, "Townsend" and she said "cool." That was one of the few times I didn't have problems with someone understanding my name.

And don't get me started about trying to tell people my domain name at the end of my email: "sevantownsend" I spell it phonetically: "S as in Sam, E as in echo, V as in Victor..."

Do you have problems with people understanding your name? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Huskies are 3-1

The Cougars lost.

Yesterday the University of Washington Huskies beat the Brigham Young University Cougars in a dramatic 45-19 win. And to think I was worried.

The Huskies dominated from the start. Even without star running back Salvon Ahmed who didn't make the trip due to a leg injury.  (He's "week-to-week" if he'll play or not.) Running back Sean McGrew stepped up and ran for 110 yards in the game, showing that the Huskies have depth at running. Quarterback Jacob Eason showed his skills in his first away game for the Huskies by throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns. The Dawgs were so successful in reaching the end zone that they only punted once in the game and that was in the fourth quarter.

On the negative size, there was one interception by BYU and we did fumble the ball once. When the score was 45-19 with about five minutes left in the game, Husky coach Chris Petersen, as he likes to do, put in backup players. We didn't score after that.

The Huskies looked much better, making me think the California game might have been a fluke. (Or California is much better than anyone thought.) Eason continues to impress. And that we moved the ball for 187 yards running without Ahmed says a lot for the skill of the rest of the players.

Next week we play USC at home. The game is at 12:30 PM on Fox. I sure like these midday games better than 7:30 at night.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

On Friday, USC beat #10 Utah. This should drop Utah in the AP poll a bit when it comes out.

California, ranked at #23, was the other team not playing in-conference. They beat Ol' Miss 28 to 20.

Oregon beat Stanford 21-6 yesterday.  No surprise there. Oregon is ranked 16.

And in the biggest upset in the Pac-12, unranked and win-less UCLA beat the #19 WSU Cougars at home 67-63. Sounds like a basketball score. That should ding the Cougars in today's poll when it comes out.

The Houston Cougars lost, too, so all three college teams named "Cougars" lost.

The only undefeated team in the Pac-12 is California who are currently on top of the Pac-12 North. USC is on top of the Pac-12 South at 2-0 in conference, 3-1 overall.

And it wasn't in the Pac-12. Wasn't even in the FBS, but Idaho beat Eastern Washington, which is just amazing. And a lot of my relatives are happy about that.

The Polls

The AP Poll has come out and all the Pac-12 teams moved.  Utah went from #10 to #19. Oregon, who beat Stanford, moved up three places to #13, making them the highest ranked Pac-12 team. California is now at #15 up from 23. Washington is at 17, up 5 places, and USC is back in the top 25 at #21. The Pac-12 has 5 teams in the top 25, which is pretty good. The SEC beats us at 6.

Washington State dropped off the poll after their loss to UCLA. And Arizona State dropped off after losing to Colorado.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Huskies Take on BYU

Tomorrow the University of Washington Huskies travel to Provo, UT, to play the Brigham Young University Cougars.

BYU is going to be a tough team to beat. They lost their first game to in-state rivals Utah (Utah is in the Pac-12). But then they won two tough overtime games against Tennessee on the road, and against USC at home (USC is also in the Pac-12).

The Huskies are coming off that big win against Hawaii. BYU is probably going to be the toughest team they'll face so far this year. And that includes California who beat them.

They Huskies are facing a tough crowd at BYU (those Mormons get loud) and will have to play a near-perfect game to win. We'll see if the defense can hold BYU and if quarterback Jacob Eason can hit his targets in an on-the-road game (where he's never played before).

The game is at 12:30 PM PDT on ABC. So everyone in the country can watch it if they have television.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


The cliché is that writers, such as myself, usually have an unhealthy relationship with coffee and specifically, with 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione (also known as "caffeine"). The meme I've seen many times is that a writer's superpower is turning caffeine into words. Or a meme such as this one:

I'm not like that. I drink, usually, one triple mocha a day (in the summer, I don't even drink that because I don't like hot drinks in the heat). I remember years ago I was told I was allergic to caffeine (at the time I would consume 4-6 cans of Diet Coke a day). So I had to give it up. I was worried this would interfere with my creativity. Ten published books later, and I'm not worried any more. Except that I started drinking caffeine again, in reasonable quantities.

What is your relationship with coffee or caffeine? And do you think it helps you be creative? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Huskies are 2-1

Last night the University of Washington Huskies took on the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The Warriors were 2-0 against Pac-12 teams. Admittedly, one of those teams was Oregon State. But the other was Arizona. So, Hawaii was no easy team to beat.

Unlike when they played California last week late at night, the Huskies won and won big. In the first quarter alone they scored 21 unanswered points. The Warriors didn't score until the second quarter, after the Huskies were already up over 30 points.

And, unlike last week, the defense showed up for this game. In the third quarter, the defense did allow the Warriors to score 13 points (they missed an extra point after a touchdown).  But in the fourth quarter, the Warriors didn't score at all and the Huskies put up another 14 points. This, despite Husky coach Chris Petersen putting in backups in with about six minutes left in the game. No one scored after that. Sometimes I wish he'd just rack up points to impress the AP voters.

The final score was 52-20.

Next Week:

Next week the Huskies travel to Provo, UT to take on BYU. This isn't going to be an easy game. BYU beat USC this week. The Huskies are going to have to play hard as this will be their toughest opponent since California.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

Now that we're 1/4th of the way through the regular season, we can start looking at the standings. The
Pac-12 is not doing great against non-conference opponents. As I said, BYU beat USC yesterday. The good news is, WSU beat Houston Friday night (both teams called the "Cougars"). But Air Force upset Colorado, UCF beat Stanford, Oklahoma beat UCLA (who may be the worst team in the Pac-12). On the positive side, Arizona State beat Montana State, Oregon State beat Cal-Poly (an FCS team), Utah beat Idaho State (another FCS team), California beat University of North Texas, Arizona beat Texas Tech, and Oregon beat Montana.

California is on top of the Pac-12 North standings at 3-0 (1-0 in conference). Stanford and Washington are tied for last place at 0-1 in conference. Washington is 2-1 overall, Stanford is 10-2 overall.

In the Pac-12 South, the Trojans (USC) are on top at 1-0 in conference (2-1 over all). Everyone else is tied for last at 0-0 in conference. When conference play starts in earnest next week, we'll start sorting things out.

The Polls:

The Huskies came up one in the AP poll, to 22. Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 are Arizona State, at 24 (they weren't in the top 25 last week), Washington State at 19 (up one), Oregon at 16 (down one despite winning their game), and Utah at 10, up one. USC fell off the top 25 after losing their game. They spent one week at 24.

UPDATE: I missed that California is now ranked, at #23.

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Now that summer is over and it's getting more fall-like, I have a confession. I don't like the outdoors. My snappy comeback if someone asks why is "Outdoors is sunburn and allergies." Of course, after seven years of allergy shots, my allergies are better. But  I still get sunburned very quick and very easily.

When I was in high school and college, one of the "treats" for the class would be to hold it outside. This usually happened in the spring. Everyone else in the class was saying "Yay!" and I was saying, "Oh, no." I would, at the very least, have to find some shady spot to stay out of direct sunlight. But sometimes there wouldn't be shade. And you'd have to sit on the ground (no thanks) and squint against the bright sunshine.

So why did I join the Army, which does most of its stuff outdoors. I don't know. Maybe I was crazy. We did this one "field exercise" in the Mojave Desert in August. The uniform was supposed to be sleeves rolled up to above the elbow. I kept mine down the entire time. I didn't want to get immediately sunburned. I was shocked I didn't get in trouble with the First Sergeant who was a massive racist jerk.

So, now it's fall. Cooler weather and no snow...yet. And people don't want to go outside for random reasons. Sounds good to me.

What are your feelings about being outside. Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Huskies are 1-1

Maybe this is a rebuilding year.

Last night the University of Washington Huskies played the University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears. Going into the game, the Huskies were both favored and ranked.

But after about six minutes of play, the game was suspended for lightning in the area. The weather delay was an interminable two hours and 38 minutes. That meant that the game restarted at about 10:30 PM. It lasted until around 1:15 AM.

And the Huskies lost, 20 - 19. Not a huge lost but bad enough. The Husky defense had trouble stopping the Bears. The Husky offense had problems connecting and moving the ball. It didn't look like the same team that beat Eastern Washington last week. The defense could not make tackles.

Yes, everyone was tired. But so were the Bears. Probably the only thing that helped the Bears was that the weather delay caused is about half the fans left, meaning there wasn't as much fan noise when the Bears had the ball.

But now I'm worried about the rest of the year. If we couldn't beat California how can we beat USC, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State whom we all play at home. Never mind winning on the road.

Maybe Coach Chris Petersen will have some magic between now and next week when we play Hawaii at home (4:30 PM on Pac-12 Network). We'll see.

Because the game ran so late I got to bed at about 1:30 AM.  I slept until almost 10:30 AM. Even house-rattling thunder at about 5:00 AM from our own lightning storm couldn't keep me awake. Which really messed up my day which is why I'm posting this at almost 5:00 PM rather than this morning.

At least the Seahawks won...barely.

The Polls:

In the AP top 25 Football poll, Washington dropped nine spots to 23. This puts them barely ahead of USC at 24. Washington State is at 20, Oregon moved up one to 15, and Utah is still the highest ranked Pac-12 team at #11.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


I have a theory about words. And that is, the shorter they are, the more common they are. If they are one syllable, they are probably quite common. The more syllables they have, the less common they are.  This is also why swear words tend to be one syllable.

Think about it. Almost everything you touch every day is a one-syllable word. Some may be contractions of longer words or phrases (the "el" for "elevated train, for example).

Look at the car. It, in the space of about 50 years went from "horseless carriage" to "automobile" to "auto" to "car."

The telephone became "phone." the smart phone also became "phone." Applications became "apps" but I think that was more a marketing thing.

As computers become more common, they too will probably be shortened. I've already heard computers called "puter." Will in fifty years they be called "pute" or "comp"?

Can you think of something you touch everyday that was two, three, or more syllables? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

AP Top 25, Week 2

For some reason the AP is calling their poll released today "Week 2." They were calling the preseason poll "Week 1" earlier, and I thought that was a mistake. Or maybe it was supposed to be Week 1 but nothing changed (no ranked teams played).

So, after winning their game against Eastern Washington and looking great, the University of Washington Huskies...drop one rank to #14. They essentially traded places with Utah who moved up to #13. Utah beat BYU.

Stanford moved from 25 to 23 and WSU went from 23 to 22. All those teams won their games.

But then the University of Oregon Ducks lost to Auburn. This dropped them from 11 to 16. Auburn went from 16 to 10.

From now on, the AP poll comes out on Sunday morning (my time) so I won't have to make a separate post for it. I'm not sure when the CFP rankings start coming out. Usually around week 8 if I remember correctly.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Huskies Win Their First Game

Yesterday (Sunday), I forgot to write this blog post, so I'm doing it today.

Saturday the University of Washington Huskies played the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Eagles in their first game of the 2019 season. I wasn't too worried about this game because EWU is an FCS team, albeit one of the best FCS teams (they were beaten in the championship game last year by North Dakota State). That, and after four years of Jake Browning at quarterback, we were breaking in a new QB in Jacob Eason. His skills were an unknown.

I needn't worry. Eason proved to be a very capable quarterback and the receiving squad also showed its skills, especially Aaron Fuller who made two spectacular catches in the end zone for touchdowns. At one time the Huskies had the ball at the exact center of the field and Eason threw a long bomb that was caught by Andre Baccellia and ran in for a TD. It reminded me of the Jake Browning-John Ross era.

In the end, the second best team in the FCS couldn't keep up with the Huskies' offense. Toward the end of the game, as he often does when the score is lopsided, Coach Chris Petersen put in second stringers. Even then they managed to get a safety. The final score was 47-14.

Next week we play California at home in the Huskies' first conference game. Having seen Eason's abilities, I'm only slightly worried about that game, too (although maybe I should worry more; last year California beat us). The game is at 7:30 PM on FS1.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

The big hype this year is around the  #11 Oregon Ducks (whom I hate). They played #16 Auburn in Texas and nearly won. They led most of the game but ended up losing. I know it would have been better for the Pac-12 if they won, but I can't help but be happy that they lost.


The AP poll doesn't come out until tomorrow sometime. I'll likely have a post when it does. I'm not counting on the Huskies moving much (they are at #13). But Oregon should drop a bit.